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Editorial: Pulling the Rugg out of Greenfield

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

To have been a Greenfield business for more than a century has to say something about the way a company was operated. What became Rugg Manufacturing may have actually gotten its start in Montague in 1842 making rakes and snow shovels, but the company moved to Greenfield in 1889 and has been a fixture ever since. But times and thinking change, and thus a chapter in Greenfield is coming to a close with the sale of the company and the move of its operations to Leominster. While we’re glad that the new owner says “We’re going to make sure that all these domestically made products continue on in America,” it’s just another break in the links between Greenfield and its proud manufacturing heritage.

A class act by 1965 GHS grads

A tip of the hat to the Greenfield High School Class of 1965 in producing a park bench to honor longtime GHS staffer and volunteer Betty Nee, with the idea that the bench will be outside the entrance of the new high school building. It was quick thinking and acting from the ’65 grads. It’s a fitting tribute, and we suspect that there were other classes or people considering the same thing.

Yankee Candle’s gift appreciated

In the many years that Yankee Candle has been around Deerfield and Whately, the company has had a number of traditions. One that makes a real impact on Deerfield and Whately, its two host towns, are its annual donations to the community. This year the company anted up $24,000 which will allow the South Deerfield Fire Department to get four new radios, the Whately Fire Department to get a pump for an off-road tanker and also college scholarship money for 16 Frontier Regional School graduates. “One of the things I was most proud of is how we pride ourselves on being authentic, genuine and proud of our heritage and being part of the Pioneer Valley,” said the company’s CEO, Harlen Kent, who added this should continue to be the case under Yankee’s new owners. We’re sure Deerfield and Whately hope that this remains so.

Throwing his hat into the ring

We don’t know what kind of chance Jonathan Edwards has in securing the nomination for lieutenant governor. But we would like to think that Edwards, a selectman and Democrat, has as good a shot as anyone ... and that there are people within the party who see the value of having someone from western Massachusetts on the ticket. If nothing else, his campaign should give voice to some of the concerns that this corner of the state has. We wish him well in his campaign.

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