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A yellow phase timber rattlesnake looks out from a grassy hiding place during the 34th Annual Cross Fork Snake Hunt in Cross Fork, Pa., in the AP file photo. Massachusetts' plan to reintroduce timber rattlesnakes on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir has been met with some concern.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Editorial: Rattlesnakes have a place in Mass.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Since Colonial times, it’s been people versus timber rattlesnakes in Massachusetts. Today, as the state moves anew to preserve this endangered species in the face of public opposition, it’s science versus emotion. At a forum Feb. 23 in Orange, wildlife officials will work to explain their modest plan to place one to 10 young timber rattlesnakes each year, starting in two or three years, on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir that is off-limits to humans. They are acting because threats to these reptiles have accelerated in the last three decades and the state population is down to fewer than 200, including those that den … 0

Editorial: Safety complex plan: more questions than answers

Monday, February 8, 2016

Greenfield residents should be glad to hear the municipality is working on plans for a safety complex — especially in light of the public library’s expansion plans. But before anyone gets too excited, it would pay to listen closely to what Mayor William Martin is saying: “There are a lot of things to keep in consideration; everything is in play.” Everything is in … 0

Editorial: Valentine’s Day effort deserves praise

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area: A tip of the hat to those involved in the Love Letters, an initiative of LifePath or what was formerly known as Franklin County Home Care. What’s being done here is that Meals on Wheels recipients in the Franklin County and the North Quabbin area … 0

Editorial: Medical examiner backlog a disgrace

Friday, December 18, 2015

It’s a disgrace that the state medical examiner’s office is woefully backlogged in issuing autopsy reports and death certificates. It can take a year or more for families to get answers about unexplained deaths, a situation that not only worsens their emotional pain, but stymies police investigations and … 0

Editorial: Mohawk in crisis management mode

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A $600,000 prospective budget gap for the Mohawk Trail Regional School District may at first glance seem a shocking development. But upon reflection, the difference between what it takes to run the Mohawk district and the amount of money the district’s member towns can pay isn’t a surprise. … 0

Editorial: Moving forward on needle exchange

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Greenfield has a history of taking a methodical and cautious approach when it comes to townwide decisions. That’s not always seen as a good thing. Some people argue a plodding path ignores the need for quick action at … 0

Editorial: Let local communities control liquor licenses

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Perhaps 2016 will prove to be the year that Gov. Charlie Baker will be the toast of the town all across the commonwealth. Baker has decided to again take up the effort to give local officials the decision-making power when it comes to the number of liquor licenses … 0

Editorial: Season right for thinking of others

Monday, December 14, 2015

The holiday season means many things to many people. It should be, first and foremost, a time of thinking about others. It’s those thoughts of good will, of peace and of love that are so intertwined with this season and celebrating. Truthfully, though, we want those thoughts to … 0

Editorial: Updated websites a plus for public

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area: We applaud municipalities like Greenfield and Northfield that have recently updated new and improved websites. The sites are invaluable tools when it comes to getting information, especially for someone who … 0

Editorial: Trump taps into troubling undercurrents

Friday, December 11, 2015

It’s easy to call out Donald Trump for his proposed banning of all Muslims from entering the United States — including American Muslims traveling abroad — for the unconstitutional racist demagogy that proposed prohibition represents. Even though he … 2

Editorial: New recognition rewards our region’s farms

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Ricky Baruc, a vegetable farmer from Orange, was in unusual surroundings last week, talking about a subject which he warned would “freak out” some in his audience. At the Smith College Campus Center in Northampton, Baruc was making a pitch for building a microdigester that could extract from … 0

Editorial: Dropping the baton on broadband network

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WiredWest and the Massachusetts Broadband Institute, two legs in the relay that was supposed to carry Massachusetts communities with little or no broadband access across the finish line for service, have stumbled. The question now is whether the two can pick up the dropped baton. That, we suspect, … 0

Editorial: Part of a community’s heart

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

At the heart of any community stand civic and service organizations, whether a chapter of an international or national group or one that stands alone. At the same time, community — that is the people who live and work there — are the heart of these organizations. It’s … 0