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Editorial: Compromise on trees

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

Tree debate in Warwick

It was a classic discussion: Should all those trees along Gale, Kirk, Chestnut Hill and West Wilson roads marked as hazards be cut down, or should the canopy of green that makes them so scenic trump town concerns? In the end, after a well-attended hearing, there was a compromise. Some 120 will be cut to protect utility lines and snowblowing crews, and most of the 700 or so others will be left. It was a good lesson in democracy.

State tourism ‘suits’ on tour

The Legislature’s tourism committee toured the county this weekend, visiting the Garlic Festival and other highlights and attending a forum with local officials. We hope they heard the message. The area depends on some tourism, and funding by the state, despite its history of starting projects (e.g. the Greenfield Visitor’s Center) and then abandoning them.

Chamber President Ann Hamilton stressed the importance of the state’s marketing funds — about $220,000 a year — to her agency in promoting the region and marketing events like the summer’s Green River Festival in Greenfield. “We want to make it clear that the tourism money supports cultural events and helps bring people to them,” Hamilton told The Recorder before the tour. “My idea is to strengthen their understanding of how important the tourism funds are to local and regional development.”

145 faithful years in Greenfield

Volunteers and Greenfield officials are considering the state of the town’s clock, housed in the steeple of the Second Congregational Church since 1868. The church is planning to renovate the steeple and is asking the town to help with the four clock faces, now badly in need of restoration. The clockworks themselves have been maintained for years by church volunteers, who have cleaned, lubricated and repaired them at their own expense. Mayor William Martin has indicated he’s appreciative of the role the clock plays in the ambiance of downtown Greenfield.

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