Cohn/My Turn: Why our county’s great

Friday, February 12, 2016

Yes, Franklin County! We enjoy great education for our families, terrific recreation, and plenty of venues for music, theater, dining and friendship. When you live in a city there is so much to see and do but the personal relationships and sense of community may not be as wonderful as they are here in our beautiful and rural county. We are seeing signs … 0

In the Arena: Rethinking a Senate run

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Don’t call him “Sen. Mark.” At least, not yet. After initially taking himself out of the running, 2nd Berkshire state Rep. Paul Mark now says he’s pondering a run for the state Senate seat being vacated by Ben Downing, after 4th Berkshire Rep. Smitty Pignatelli took himself out of the race last week. “I’m thinking about it. That’s all at this point,” Mark … 0

Down To Earth: Life after plastic (bags)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A friend of mine recently forgot his reusable bags when he dropped in at Stop and Shop. To make matters worse, he’d also forgotten about Northampton’s new plastic bag ban, which started January 1st. Then the person in line behind him lectured him on the merits of the ban. “Don’t give me that,” … 0

Connelly/My Turn: Let’s break the chain

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

These two eye-popping Recorder headlines tie together a very wide range of ideas. “Isaac Mass offers bus to Boston for big box hearing.” And on the same day and same page, beneath the fold, “Business slow on Main Street.” Recorder, B Section, Page 1, Nov. 28, 2015. Some … 0

Hogen/My Turn: Worthwhile ‘letters’

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Open Letter to Sheriff Christopher Donelan, The Recorder, and the inmates at the Franklin County House of Corrections: I want to express my deep gratitude to all of you for “Letters from inside.” First thanks to Sheriff Donelan because he has the authority to disallow such a series. … 0

Diehl and Harper/My Turn: Our educational landscape

Monday, December 7, 2015

We are following closely the discussion about potential changes to the cap on charter schools. There is much room for debate about the value, impact, funding and accountability of charter schools, and we applaud the work of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and our local legislative delegation in carefully … 0

Carter/Letters from inside: Transitioning to the real me

Friday, December 4, 2015

When I was a child I played with Barbie dolls and all my friends were girls. I had an automatic bond with everything feminine and beautiful. We had a gorgeous long hallway and every chance I got I … 0

In the Arena: Let’s not rush to judgment

Thursday, December 3, 2015

When Lyndon Johnson made his surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election in 1968, one network anchor reportedly remarked that he was so stunned he’d rather go home and wait until the next day to comment. I had sort of the same reaction to the recent controversy … 0

Hurlburt/Letters from inside: Finding my words

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I have been reading “Coming into Language” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, who learned to read and write while he was in prison and became a famous poet. I can truly identify with a lot of what he says. … 0

Longe/Letters from inside: We are not monsters nor animals

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Since I was a child I have suffered from depression and addiction. Twenty years of drug abuse have worn on me in ways I never would have imagined. No one told me when I first picked up that … 0

Perry/Letters from inside: ‘Jail became the new norm for me’

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

As I sit on the edge of my rack, head in hands, bare feet on cold floor, there’s a sour taste in my mouth from more than a decade of allowing the disease of addiction to rule my … 0

Aviles/Letters from inside: Don't be too quick to judge

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When I was a year old, my family moved from Puerto Rico to Chicago. Growing up I didn’t really have a relationship with my father, but I looked up to my uncle, who was a well-respected and longtime … 0

Williamson/Letters from inside: Angry at myself and others

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

April Fools’ Day 2016 has a special meaning for me. It will be the day I am released from the Franklin County Jail after serving 23 months. The charge was assault and battery with a dangerous weapon resulting … 0