Editorial: Anti-drug energy

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

We were pleased to hear Town Council President Mark Wisnewski speaking forcefully about the need for a more proactive role for the town in facing the current opioid crisis in the area. “The Town Council should play a role in bringing more resources to bear on this dangerous threat to our community’s health,” said Wisnewski, who is pushing for the re-opening of the teen center on Sanderson Street, the formation of an ad hoc committee to look at ways the town can partner with state and federal addiction initiatives, to provide more funding for public safety, to enhance health education in public schools and to provide more focus on public housing.

They’re all good points, and Wisnewski and other councilors would be right to push hard for more action. It’s a serious problem.

Hospital initiatives

And that makes Baystate Franklin Medical Center President Chuck Gijanto’s pledge to apply pressure on the state to bring a detox center to Franklin County even more welcome. Speaking at a public forum on the hospital’s future, Gijanto said “There is a need for detox in this region.

“Until the state of Massachusetts steps up and funds these programs in a way that communities need ... nobody is going to touch it.” Baystate will do its part to make the funding happen and support a project that follows, he vowed.

Welcome words.

Swift recovery

We confess to being a bit bemused by the momentary halt in Franklin County Courthouse demolition caused by the discovery of about 100 chimney swifts living there. It turns out the swifts — beautiful, graceful little birds —are protected, so the destruction of the south wall of the building had to stop while ornithological experts were consulted. Steps were taken to make sure the birds weren’t injured, and the work continued. It was an interesting — and instructive — incident that is completely typical of our community’s priorities.

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