Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:
Dateline the region: “Forty-eight Hours” was a cop/buddy movie staring Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy, and also a CBS News series. But for those in the news business, 48 hours is the amount of time that an organization like the state police claims it needs in order to release information about a fatal accident or some other similar event. Too often, though, there’s no press release or someone who can provide the most basic information in a timely manner. As part of state government, one that continues to promise more transparency and openness, this continues to be a disappointment and hinders news organizations’ ability to provide the public with information.
Dateline the region: We’re already hearing about the mid-year statewide cuts announced by Gov. Deval Patrick affecting some of our local organizations. But what the public doesn’t necessarily see is the effort by the various organizations to patch the holes. Take, for example, the North Quabbin Community Coalition, which saw its state money reduced by $42,000. That translates in hours being cut for its two full-time and two part-time employees. While the cuts will impact what the coalition is capable of doing, the people working there will try to minimize the impact of those in the area they help.
Dateline the region: A round of applause for a couple of high school athletes whose individual accomplishments in their respective sports were recognized recently. Greenfield’s Zach Bartak was given the Norman S. Dagenais Award as the most outstanding football player in western Massachusetts. Bartak is just the fourth Greenfield athlete so honored in the 50-plus years the award has been given out. Meanwhile, Frontier Regional’s Cassidy Stankowski won her second straight Gatorade Massachusetts Volleyball Player of the Year award. Congratulations to the two athletes.
Dateline the state: Massachusetts likes to crow about being a leader in this or that. Often time that bragging is justified. But there are also times where the state is less than a leader. Recently, the American Association of University Women analyzed data from the 2011 federal Census and found that women in Massachusetts earned 77 percent of what men took home in median full-time pay in 2010. That percentage puts Massachusetts 37th among the 50 states. Obviously, the state’s employers could, and should do much better when it comes to equal pay for equal work. Both private and public entities should be considering how this can be rectified so that this becomes something Massachusetts can trumpet.