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Doggone good job

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

Dateline the nation: We don’t know if Fenway, a black Labrador retriever training to be a service dog, will ever actually understand how special it was to be one of roughly 40 dogs selected to march in today’s parade that is part of President Barack Obama’s inauguration. But his handler, Mary Ellen Fydenkevez, knows what a big deal it is, one that will create lasting memories for her and her family. Congrats to Fenway for being selected by Canine Companions for Independence to help put its best paw forward.

Dateline Shelburne Falls: Residents and neighbors do not need to be reminded of what a special place the village can be, but the greater public is learning more about that fact via recognition from organizations like the Massachusetts Cultural Council. The state organization announced last week it was awarding Shelburne Falls its “Creative Community” medal. It’s a select group getting the medal ... Barnstable is the only other community tapped this year. These awards and others from the council bring to light “the extraordinary contributions the arts, humanities and sciences make to education, economic growth, vitality and quality of life.” Obviously, none of this happens without the talent, hard work and dedication of the artists and the support provided by the community. Good job.

Dateline Greenfield: The School Committee last week created a new policy that limits public access to school grounds and buildings during the school day or other times of school activities. The committee established the rule following the recent tragedy involving the shooting deaths of student and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The idea is to keep people off the grounds unless they have a specific school-related reason for being there. While we agree with Mayor William Martin, who sits on the school board, that the community should have been invited to participate in the discussion of the issue, it’s a reasonable change. We’d also expect school officials to be reasonable about determining how the rule is administered, say, at the high school when, during good weather a function might be happening inside after school and people are using nearby fields for recreation.

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