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Editorial: Movie making

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

Dateline Charlemont: It will be interesting to contrast and compare the movie making that Jordan Marder plans in the community with that of Warner Brothers’s in Shelburne Falls for “The Judge.” Marder’s film probably qualifies under the umbrella of independent film, though such a label in no way means that it won’t be exciting for the town and any area residents who happen to get selected to appear in the movie. And we like that Marder has roots in Charlemont and understands that filming the movie in town can give it a boost in many ways. We’re sure he will be welcomed, and look forward to seeing Franklin County in yet another Hollywood production.

Dateline Erving: The issue over the fire chief just keeps getting more and more tangled in the muck and the mire. According to comments from members of the Fire Department during a meeting this past week, the issue has some roots in differences between the town’s two fire stations. We do think that the selectmen’s decision to hire a mediator for the department is a good idea. That there is some kind of rift based upon which station you’re connected with is not healthy nor good for the community as a whole.

Dateline Ashfield: A tip of the hat to Budge Litchfield, who retired this spring after working for Sanderson Academy for several decades as a teacher and the last six as principal. We know that during this time, Litchfield saw plenty of changes in education, including requirements, expectations, etc. For example, the introduction of Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System certainly put the school under the microscope during Litchfield’s first year as principal since the state put the school under “improvement” status because of low scores. As he said in an article last week, “within a few years, we had some of the highest MCAS performance scores in the state.” That doesn’t happen unless you’re committed to your students, and effective.

Dateline Whately: We can’t say that we’re surprised that there are residents near the Egypt Road train crossing who want the road closed. Nor is it shocking that they have decided to petition the Franklin Regional Council of Governments to reverse the selectmen’s decision to keep the road open. We’ll be most interested to see if there’s some information that wasn’t brought up during the three public hearings on the matter that will sway the FRCOG.

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