Columns

In the Arena: Election night disappointment

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The only thing missing from Montague Town Hall on Monday night was a boom box playing a continuous loop of “Garden Party” by the late Ricky Nelson. Just as Nelson was booed out of Madison Square Garden on that fateful night in 1971, Montague Selectman Mark Fairbrother has been summarily dismissed by voters in one of the more decisive electoral skunkings in recent … 0

Newman/My Turn: Wedding hopes in the wings

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

No one at the rally on Main Street outside Northampton City Hall on the evening of Nov. 18, 2003, will forget that celebration. People hugged and cheered. Balloons floated. Signs were hoisted. Rainbow flags were waived. And Rachel Maddow spoke. Earlier that day, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had issued its decision in the Goodridge case, holding that our state constitution guaranteed gays … 0

Benzaia/My Turn: Preschool plans create questions

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

As someone who has been working in the field of early education for nearly 20 years, no one has to convince me of the importance of a quality early-learning experience for a child. The Girls Club of Greenfield and its branches, Valley Play School and Camp Lion Knoll, have been providing quality early learning experiences for children as early as the 1950s. However, … 0

Bos/My Turn: Our national procrastination

Monday, April 6, 2015

I am in the process of packing up everything I own, taking suits I have not worn for more than a decade (but still fit!) to the Cancer Connection thrift store, spending more time on Craigslist selling “stuff” … 0

Gran/My Turn: New age of consequences

Sunday, April 5, 2015

A Washington Post article on Feb. 25 stated: “Residents of the eastern United States are enduring one of the most painfully cold periods in modern times. Since January, Syracuse, N.Y. has never had more days below zero. Bangor, Maine, is witnessing its coldest month ever recorded.” The Northeast … 0

In the Arena: Back in Greenfield’s till

Thursday, April 2, 2015

How would you react if someone handed you $10,000 to spend on projects to improve your neighborhood? I’m assuming most people might be pretty psyched, which has not exactly been the reaction of a number of members of the Greenfield Town Council who were facing that very scenario, … 0

Touloumtzis/My Turn: Let’s value our trees

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I greatly appreciated Roxann Wedegartner’s letter on March 14 about the trees that were removed on Hastings Street. Her testimony about the demonstrated value of street trees was persuasive and her heartfelt lament about the loss of these seven trees — so familiar to her and her neighbors … 1

Morehouse/My Turn: The state’s SNAP snafu

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Since last October, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has experienced an exceptionally sharp decline in the number of recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly food stamps. This sudden drop is due primarily to a “business process redesign” implemented by the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA). … 0

Worgaftik/My Turn: Baystate Franklin update

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On March 10, members of the Community Health Care Initiative (CHCI) met with Steven Bradley, president, Baystate Health Northern Region and Baystate Franklin Medical Center (BFMC), and Amy Swisher, director of Public and Community Relations at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, to learn more about our regional hospital. This … 0

Bedaw/My Turn: Economic impact takes flight from Orange Airport

Monday, March 30, 2015

In a report released last month by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, the Orange Municipal Airport was credited with a $13.9 million annual economic impact on western Massachusetts. The MassDOT 2014 Statewide Airport Economic Impact Study summarizes the significant economic benefit that Massachusetts derives from its 39 public-use … 0

In the Arena: It gets hot in Montague

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I’ve experienced some tense moments covering local government, but few to rival what occurred at Monday’s Montague selectmen’s meeting. The topic was whether the board would sign a new contract with current cable access television provider, Montague Community Cable Incorporated, or issue a “request for proposals” for a … 0

Cahillane/My Turn: Caught with their pants down

Thursday, March 26, 2015

“PADDY PANTSDOWN!” Is one of my all-time favorite tabloid headlines. It ran in the Sun newspaper when a member of Parliament, Paddy Ashdown, admitted a five-year affair with his secretary. He was afterward knighted then named to the House of Lords as Baron Ashdown of Norton Sub-Hamdon. Ashdown … 0

Wyatt/My Turn: In Warwick, we’ve got answers on broadband project

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I am writing in reply to “Costly cable venture,” the March 20 letter to the editor regarding the Fiber-To-The-Home project that will be coming before the Warwick annual Town Meeting this May. The Warwick Broadband Committee has been meeting regularly and is working hard to answer all the … 0