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Editorial: New ownership

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

Dateline Deerfield: Any time a local company is sold, there’s a certain amount of trepidation — not only on the part of the employees and their families, but the community as well. Everyone looks for signs as to what may happen under new ownership and what it may mean. And when you’re talking about a company the size and value of Yankee Candle, it takes on even more significance. If the sale of YC to Jarden Corp. of Rye, N.Y., does go through, you know somewhere down the line there are going to be changes. In the corporate world, that is inevitable. But on the surface, Jarden may be a good fit as an owner since it is a Fortune 500 with plenty of experience in the retail market. That can’t always be said for private-equity firms like Madison Dearborn Partners LLC, which has owned Yankee Candle for the past six years. We know everyone will be watching and hoping things go well.

Dateline the state: We’re not too sure what to make of U.S. Sen. Edward Markey’s recent vote on Syria. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the junior senator from Massachusetts chose to say “present” on the measure to authorize the use of military force. While we realize this is a complicated and sensitive issue — one that has valid arguments about whether to support either backing President Barack Obama’s plan for a limited military strike or not — Markey’s vote fails to make the case for either. That makes him look wishy-washy at best. We find that disappointing, and hope it’s not a harbinger of things to come.

Dateline Turners Falls: We’re glad to hear that RiverCulture has again received grant money that will go to supporting its mission as a boost to culture, arts and the economy. The effort has been a positive for the village and has brought people from near and far to different events. While the grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council aren’t as large as in the past, they still will allow RiverCulture “... to deliver a full array of programming and marketing for cultural development in Turners Falls,” as Town Planner Walter Ramsey said. That’s good news, indeed.

Dateline Erving: While we think it is important that a new temporary fire chief has been named by the Board of Selectmen, selectmen are still going to have to make sure that the issues that divided the two fire stations, and helped cause the turmoil over the old chief, are addressed satisfactorily in the coming months. Failing to do so will surely lead to future problems.

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