Columns

In the Arena: Thanks!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This may seem hard to believe, but this week marks the 15th year I’ve been writing this column. During that time, a lot of political water has gone under the bridge, some dirtier than I’d care to admit. And I’ve been pretty blunt, at times, in my efforts, as the columnist’s creed goes, “to give comfort to the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable.” … 0

Hynes and Crowe/My Turn: ‘Christmas Truce’ signified truth

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

By H. PATRICIA HYNES and FRANCES CROWE Along the western front of World War I lie miles of cemeteries for British, Scottish, Belgian, French and other soldiers killed in the war. In a lone, out-of-the way plot in this land of teenage war dead, a large cross and a dozen small ones honor … 0

Blagg: Detrimental to democracy

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Democracies aren’t particularly good at reacting to sudden threats — they tend to overreact, exhibiting signs of paranoia and even hysteria in the aftermath of an unexpected attack or crisis. And in that period immediately following the event, there is a tendency to carelessly toss out the basic tenets of the Rule of … 0

Swinerton/My Turn: Playing pure politics

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Looking at President Obama the other evening as he gave his speech, one could not help feel a bit of sadness. He was the hope of so many and has disappointed so many. For example, those who watch … 0

Neilson/My Turn: Marginalizing candidates

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

In the Nov. 5 Recorder, 11.08 percent of the Franklin County gubernatorial vote going to third-party and write-in candidates vanished. It was reported as 62.4 percent for Coakley to 37.6 percent for Baker equals 100 percent of the vote. In Greenfield, 13.5 percent of the gubernatorial vote went … 0

Elan/My Turn: No way to hold a meeting

Monday, December 1, 2014

As a citizen of Montague, a landlord who owns rental property in Greenfield and, most important, as an avid, vocal supporter of local business and industry, I was shocked to learn that the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce (FCCC) organized and is sponsoring a presentation slated for today … 0

Blagg: Will Putin get his way?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Oh boy, here we go again! Vladimir Putin, Russia’s thuggish leader, seems determined to bring back the bad old days of the Cold War. He’s furiously rattling his saber at the rest of the world, unveiling new nuclear … 0

In the Arena: Leaving a sour taste

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I’m sure that a number of Beacon Hill Democrats will miss having one of their own in the corner office, but I’m not sure they will all be heart-broken to see Deval Patrick exit stage left — or, far-left, depending on your perspective. Steve Kulik, state representative for … 0

Connelly/My Turn: Eliminating plastics

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Plastic trash kills sea animals: turtles, whales, birds and fish. Very few people don’t know this, a tiny minority does not care. Some plastic trash is intentionally created micro particles added to products like toothpaste and some soap gels, supposedly with the purpose of increasing the cleaning power … 0

Blagg: Reasons to be thankful

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Strictly speaking, we ought to be thankful throughout the year, taking time to appreciate good fortune whenever it occurs, and “smelling the roses” in our daily lives. Does it really take a special day? But, humans being humans, it’s often hard to stop, raise up and look around, … 0

Charney/My Turn: No walk on the wild side

Friday, November 21, 2014

On the coldest day of the year — the temperature gauge on the car reads 6 degrees — we bring home a cat. “Dune, “ as in sand dune, I suggest for a name. “Why Dune?” my husband asks. Dune, I explain, conjures up the cat’s buff coloring … 0

In the Arena: Montague gamesmanship

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Is Montague becoming the new Ashfield? It sure looks that way, because much like their friends to the west encountered recently during ongoing battles over the Ashfield House, Open Meeting Law complaints are flowing in Montague like water through the Strathmore canal. Most of the complaints, much like … 0

Wood/My Turn: Unchecked surveillance

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What are we so afraid of? It’s easy to sound crazy when you start to talk about the United States’ sweeping surveillance program. It could be a conspiracy theorist’s fantasy. But in 2013, former NSA analyst Edward Snowden … 0