Adjusting to the times
Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:
Dateline Leverett: While you may not like cellphones, and the towers that are necessary to provide the signals, that doesn’t mean you don’t recognize their importance these days, especially in communicating during some sort of an emergency. That had to play a part in the turnaround by Leverett residents when it came to amending town bylaws regarding cellphone tower restrictions. That, and the town continues to insist on safeguards when it comes to how close the structures can be built to homes or how high they can reach. The technology, too, has changed. As Jeff McQueen, a Planning Board member, said during the meeting on the matter, “When we first passed a telecommunications bylaw 10 years ago, it was so restrictive that we managed to keep cellphone towers out of town pretty effectively. In the era of smartphones and wireless access, it’s only become more important to address this problem (of problematic reception).”
Dateline Greenfield: A tip of the hat to Sandy Shields, the head of Public Works Department, who has announced she’s retiring in March. In the five years or so that Shields has been leading the department, she has certainly had her share of challenges, from all kinds of weather events like Tropical Storm Irene, to tight budgets. But we think she has proven her mettle. As Mayor William Martin said, “Sandy is a wonderful and great asset and we are going to lose a ton of knowledge with her leaving.” We second that sentiment.
Dateline the region: Don’t forget that Wednesday is the deadline for registering to vote. With just a couple of days left, the best option is to register through your town hall.
Dateline Turners Falls: We’re sorry to learn of the decision to close the Gallery at Hallmark on the corner of Avenue A and Third Street. We suppose it’s another sign of the changes that are taking place with a different ownership of the Hallmark Institute of Photography. But it does open up space in downtown Turners. And it doesn’t mean that the school won’t be exhibiting its photographs. The school is planning to hold periodic exhibits in its buildings on campus.