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Editorial: Two fires

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

Dateline Shelburne: Two fires on the same property in three days, resulting in the destruction of an unoccupied house and barn? If that isn’t arson, then it’s a fascinating story of a different sort. We’ll be interested to see what the state Fire Marshal’s Office has to say after its investigation.

Dateline Northfield: The idea of hiring an interim town administrator for the short term makes sense in several ways, particularly given the work underway by the Town Governance Study Committee. That committee, as it examines different forms of town government, plans on revising the town administrator’s job description and is supposed to bring its recommendations back to the town in early September. Having that description in place will provide Northfield with a much better chance of a better fit in hiring a longer-term replacement for Thomas Hutcheson ... whose last day was Friday.

Dateline the region: There is a new head of school for the Academy at Charlemont. Nell Todd, a graduate of the Class of 1993 and an Ashfield resident, has been hired on an interim basis to replace Mark E. Efinger, who was in the job for just one year. We understand that changes do happen and sometimes the person hired doesn’t turn out to be the right individual for the job. Whatever the reason, Efinger apparently resigned more than a month ago to become an education consultant. Good luck to him and Todd.

Dateline Greenfield: The Town Council is seeking people to sit on an advisory committee as part of the effort to create an ordinance to regulate a wood-burning power plant or similar facility. This is a chance for residents to get involved in doing research and helping craft appropriate regulations for such facilities. Those interested in taking part should send a letter of interest to the Greenfield Town Clerk, 14 Court Square, Greenfield MA 01301 or email it to towncouncil@townofgreenfield.org.

Dateline the state: A tip of the hat to all of the merchants and employees who handled the crowds associated with the weekend’s “tax-free holiday’ in the state. History indicates that this event really does spark increased sales, despite the fact that omitting the tax is really a pretty small discount. Perhaps it’s the idea of dropping the “Governor’s nickel” (or should it be the “Governor’s 6.25 cents?”) from the price that is the appeal.

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