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In The Arena

In the Arena: Sharing thoughts

Nobody asked me but ...

Greenfield Deputy Police Chief Mark Williams? Wow. I didn’t see that one coming.

∎ Sign of the times — Greenfield schools will have a truancy officer this year. An unfortunate, but necessary move.

∎ It looks like the Greenfield School Committee has decided to take a pass on the whole MCAS vs. PARCC issue. Pity they couldn’t have done the same with School Choice.

∎ In a related story: Welcome to Greenfield, Jordana Harper. What was that Twitter handle again?

∎ Late-night thought of the week — if he isn’t able to win the attorney general’s race, Warren Tolman should consider forming a singing group with Jim McGovern and Dave Sullivan. On second thought, maybe I just need a stronger sleep aid.

∎ Speaking of Tolman, his race with Maura Healey seems to have created some interesting political bedfellows. People’s Pint owner Alden Booth, whose politics probably more closely line up with Healey’s, recently hosted a fundraiser for Tolman, his former schoolmate. State Senate Majority Leader Stan Rosenberg and Northwestern DA Dave Sulllivan appear to have split from long-time ally and Tolman guy John Merrigan and come out in support of Healey, announcing plans to attend a fundraiser for her Sunday in Amherst.

∎ Congratulations to everyone who has taken part in the ALS “ice bucket challenge.” You have all shown great courage, but I’m going to have to take a pass, because there’s going to have to be more on the line than just raising awareness for me to risk sudden cardiac death.

∎ In case you haven’t figured it out, this Shea Theater discussion is about a lot more than just failure to renew a lease. What I’m wondering is whether those who have been so willing to kick the Shea board when its down will also be willing to join the effort to create the community theater that everyone seems to want so badly.

∎ Funniest thing read online recently: “The Greenfield Town Council is not a progressive council, it is a ‘nanny’ council.” From the mouths of trolls.

∎ Note from this regular downtown walker. If we are really fighting a “war” against heroin, how about giving some of these local chiefs some weapons to fight said war — like, maybe, funding for a full-time downtown police presence to put an end to the open and obvious drug dealing that’s happening on Main Street?

∎ She has her detractors, but even they have to agree that this has been a ground-breaking year for Penny Ricketts, who, following her election to the Greenfield Town Council was recently named the “grand marshal” of the upcoming Franklin County Fair Parade.

∎ I think the big question in next month’s Republican 2nd Franklin District primary is not whether Susannah Whipps Lee or Karen Anderson can do the job better than Denise Andrews, but which one has a better chance of beating her in November.

∎ Speaking of GOP sleepers, I look forward to hearing more from Dylan Korpita, but it’s going to take more than good looks and deep pockets to win a 1st Franklin District showdown with Steve Kulik, who is wrapping up yet another year as vice-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

∎ I highly doubt when he was elected that anyone expected Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin would become the political patron saint of solar power, but that’s what he’s starting to sound like every time he rails against government’s attempts to make it tougher for communities to access that particular clean-energy resource.

∎ The nonsense going on at Market Basket is one of the many reasons I shop at Foster’s. Well, that and the fact that it has the best produce department anywhere in the civilized world.

∎ Speaking of “locavores,” I continue to be amazed by what does and does not spark conversations on social media. A while back, I initiated a Facebook thread about which farm has the best local corn and the response was overwhelming. By the way, in case you were wondering, the answer is Golonka Farm in Whately, although Ciesluk’s offerrings are making a strong case for the top honors this year.

∎ As I watched Gov. Deval Patrick’s announcement this week about the return of passenger rail service to Franklin County, I couldn’t help but wonder how many more of these events we can expect to see after he leaves office. I have a funny feeling the next governor isn’t going to have nearly the same level of interest in our part of the state as Patrick has.

∎ Lamson and Goodnow bankrupt? That one cuts like a knife, in so many different ways.

∎ And big thanks to my former GHS hockey teammate Chris Kingsley for his decision to bring the Stanley Cup back to our hometown. Aside from the money raised for the Franklin County Hockey Association, this may have been the greatest thing to happen to Western Massachusetts hockey in the last 20 years. It was like a reunion for so many of use who grew up in that organization, and the most surreal moment for me was watching him carry the cup across the parking lot and hoist it in the lobby of the new Greenfield High School.

It was a great moment for the community, and a memory which will last a lifetime — one we’ll hopefully get to repeat this same time next year.

Chris Collins is news director/managing editor of WHAI FM and Bear Country 95.3. He is a former staff reporter for The Recorder and a Greenfield native.

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