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Message for Ashfield

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

Dateline Ashfield: Whether you liked Douglas Field’s handling of his role as selectman or not, his decision to resign from the board should give everyone pause, including the two selectmen remaining. Field announced his resignation because of interpersonal workings of the board. “It just got to the point where I had to say ‘enough is enough.’ It was giving me nightmares; I couldn’t sleep at night.” That’s a telling remark coming from a man who was with the Fire Department for 35 years, including 22 as chief, before deciding to run for selectmen 21∕ 2 years ago. “I don’t know where the end is,’ Field said in referring to the clashes between the others on the board. “I’m frustrated. I know a lot of people in Ashfield are frustrated.” Now someone will have to step forward to take Field’s place and we’d have to say he or she will deserve quite a bit of credit for deciding to leap into this fire. Who would want to join such a board? Ashfield voters, take note.

Dateline the region: Kudos to all those local emergency workers who have decided to try to help the New York City environs that are still coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. A team of emergency workers from Greenfield, New Salem, Northfield, Orange, Shelburne and Lanesboro in Berkshire County found themselves working in a secioon of the Bronx to establish a fueling station where school buses, medical staff and the like could get gasoline for their vehicles since damage to the power grid had shut down gas stations. While on the political scene there is continued talk about the differences between people, this kind of response shows that there are more powerful forces that connect us as one nation. Again, the men and women who have volunteered to help deserve all our thanks.

Dateline Greenfield: Filmmaker Steve Alves continues to take on issues that are relevant when it comes to our lives here or elsewhere in the country. His latest effort, focusing on cooperatives and food, will be getting international attention since it was one of seven films picked to celebrate the United Nations’ “Year of the Cooperative.” The germ of this particular film came from our own Green Fields Market. While the project developed into much more, it shows that Greenfield and its neighbors continue to serve as a real muse for Alves.

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