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Letter: Recorder takes low road

For the 25 years that I’ve lived in Greenfield and Shelburne, The Recorder has taken a dim view on Al Norman and his efforts to preserve the downtown center of Greenfield against the encroachment of big box development. For those of us transplants who remember the devastation that the birth of the shopping mall had the villages of Long Island, we admire Al Norman’s dedication to telling the truth about big box development — the ecological nightmare of paving over wetlands, and the destruction of local business centers. When the voters of Greenfield voted against bringing Walmart to town by eight votes, it was the one time I remember feeling that my vote counted.

What I find both tiresome and aggravating is The Recorder’s snarky attitude toward Mr. Norman, characterizing him with demeaning terms like “sprawlbuster” and taking offense whenever he shows up at a public hearing. Now The Recorder is calling him out for not serving on the Town Council or on the town boards. Would The Recorder endorse his candidacy for Town Council or an appointment on the conservation commission? I doubt it.

Greenfield voters have a progressive Town Council now, and it behooves the local paper to respect those voters. The so-called pro-growth faction is really “pro-corporate” — looking for large corporations to come to town to provide them with low-paying jobs and cheap imported goods from China. You don’t see them doing green start-up businesses, opening local food restaurants and taking the risk of entrepreneurship. I see little enthusiasm in The Recorder for the benefits brought to Greenfield by its “green” community — such as Green Field’s Market, Hope and Olive, the People’s Pint, Mesa Verde, the Arts Block, businesses that have transformed Greenfield into a destination and revitalized downtown. It’s time for The Recorder to take the high road and stop bashing an activist and start engaging in a workable community dialogue.

LESLIE GRINNELL

Shelburne Falls

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