Talkback

At a time when many folks in Northern MA were devastated by news of a proposed pipeline, Denise Andrews was engaged immediately, advocating for MA residents, marching with us, willing to listen, and to make the time to be at countless events. Her opponent may be locally supportive, but Denise immediately took action on behalf of the entire district and was present for all events: and she spoke eloquently on behalf of MA citizens at significant events raising awareness. She was interested and encouraged people to share information with her. She didn't deserve the smear campaign before the election. It was impressive to see how interested, attentive, and responsive Ms. Andrews was. If this is a "blowtorch" that's what we should all have from our representatives. ...(full comment)

Andrews, Whipps Lee talk jobs, pipeline, hunting in debate

Maura Healey has a genuine concern for the citizens of Massachusetts: not investment interests or Saudi Arabian legal concerns, and her devotion to the citizens of the commonwealth who work hard and play fair is palpable. This is an amazing candidate: vibrant and with devoted energy for us, and fine legal skills she will bring to the Attorney General's office. Martha Coakley deserves much credit in hiring a stellar and gifted attorney for the A.G.'s office, and taking on cases the public doesn't always hear about. For example, years ago, Charlie Baker shelved the Americans with Disabilities Act in Massachusetts: Martha Coakley brought it forward and saw it through. She has also gone after lending fraud in Massachusetts and defended homeowner's in unfair disputes with unscrupulous mortgage companies. . . the list goes on. Local residents may need to be reminded that Charlie Baker was in charge of "investors" for the Big Dig (initial estimate of 2.5 billion, that mushroomed into a 22 billion dollar morass of corruption and even death for one unfortunate MA citizen. . . which MA will be paying for until 2038 through department of transportation costs. He may be past it, but for those of us who remember, that was a bitter pill to swallow, and this harmed our communities profoundly. Most of us remember that the Big Dig nearly bankrupted Western, MA as funds and austerity programs orchestrated under Baker's leadership syphoned off money from our local communities. His wealthy investor pals likely made out rawtha well. Recently, Mr. Baker has had private fundraisers with Republican Party elites and former governors. He has a nearly limitless bankroll for campaigning: subsidized by the .01% who also back Mitt Romney. His big plan of "reforming" "welfare fraud" has been used these last forty or so years, to syphon money from state programs that benefit everyone, mostly working people, or those who would like to be working but get outsourced. Wealth inequality is tanking our economy, and Charlie is here looking for another investor feeding frenzy. Many people are still suffering from his efforts last time, and without taking responsibility himself, he wants to shame and excoriate the many folks whose lives were adversely affected by his last involvement in government. So please vote for candidates who want to represent MA citizens, not pillage Massachusetts to line their already bulging wallets. We have a great team, and Maura and Martha will serve Massachusetts citizens' real interests. It's time to level the playing field for those of us who have worked hard in our communities. ...(full comment)

Healey hears from opioid task force

This looks like another excellent opportunity for women to step up, run for office, and put the old horses out to pasture. ...(full comment)

Hawley voters end bitter town meeting early

Chip: Nice note on my Brother- In - Law Mike Russo, truly a legend in the world of college soccer. That competitive fire all began on the Russo hill in Deerfield as you we'll remember. That competitive torch has now been passed to his nephews who are making their mark in football and baseball at Frontier. Wish we could relive those early days on the hill. Best Regards; Ted Gewanter ...(full comment)

Keeping Score: The long goodbye

Article 1 did not involve setting the salary. It was simply to create the position of Accountant. The salary was to be addressed in article 2. ...(full comment)

Hawley voters end bitter town meeting early

I applaud this letter, but note that there are many ways to achieve the aims of runoff balloting. One method which would not require any changes in current voting infrastructure is known as "Approval voting." This may sound odd, but the idea is to cast on vote for every candidate you are not actually opposed to. More information here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Approval_voting ...(full comment)

Letter: Case for run-off elections

What is frightening is that starving government programs like the CDC has lead to this. Over the past forty years, through the constant barrage of hate-speech, and surgical efforts to divide Americans against Americans, our government is being dismantled, and the CDC is being gutted: then used as a media frenzy of "blame the President". The .01% own more than half the wealth of this nation, which is being used to dismantle every positive development in society for American citizens. They own the media: and they fund candidates for their agenda. The goal is to privatize everything: and then force us to compete with other nations for our own resources and jobs. Massachusetts currently sits at a crossroads. The Patrick Administration has done well for this state, given the destruction of the Big Dig that gutted most of our cities and nearly forced them into bankruptcy. We are among the top states doing well in the slow recovery. We do not need to return to scorched earth leadership that harmed us all for so many years. And wealthy investors do not need another chance to pick our pockets while castigating poor people. ...(full comment)

Editorial: Fear can’t rule Ebola response

Charlie Baker has deep, deep pockets for this, and we all know why. Many of us can remember the promise of our towns before his machinations lining up investors for The Big Dig. What began as a 2.5 billion proposal mushroomed into a feeding frenzy to 22 billion, that we residents will be paying, through the DOT until 2038. Investors are still profiting: Worcestor, and every town west of there, including Greenfield, Holyoke, Springfield were decimated. Now that MA is back on its feet, here comes Big Dig ready for another feeding frenzy on MA citizens backs. He says he's past it. Curious: many people would experience a sense of shame doing this to a state they claim to love. ...(full comment)

Andrews blasts mailing as ‘misleading attack’

ISO New England has been remarkably narrow in its awareness of the full energy picture. It's exclusive focus on multiple overbuilt gas pipelines all over the state may be a lucrative venture for some with ties to gas, but it will be devasting to communities. Their process on that issue demonstrates regulation capture, and should give us all pause on just whose best interest they are advocating. I don't blame folks for raising concerns. It seems like every effort to develop anything that isn't gas or big hydro is completely left out of discussions. And RATEPAYERS have no voice: the focus is always on investors. The privatization of this into quasi governmental agencies insure that only some voices are heard while others are silenced. This is quite deliberate, and is the result of deregulation that makes Enron tactics "legal". They remain unethical to a great many of us. ...(full comment)

Letter: Missing our point

After reading this article and knowing that this project was voted down twice I am appalled that they are going through with this prop 2 1/2 vote. The people have spoken for the time being and now they're apparently trying to backdoor this issue. Mr O,Rourke says he had no involvement with this because he was out of town. As "sitting chairman" I do not believe for a second that he had no knowledge of what the other 2 selectmen were going to do yet he is trying to distance himself from it all. Small time politics at it's best. I think Mr O'Rourke should step down at this point. ...(full comment)

Conway Selectboard chairman denounces election vote

I used to rent a storefront on Miles Street, by Energy Park. I wish we had cameras then. The best things I saw during my time there were: -A girl snorting powder off her dashboard while her three-year-old played with an empty Nip bottle outside the car -A man striking a girl who it appears was working for him as a prostitute (they were regulars in the Park, and it was pretty obvious what was going on). A worker from one of the businesses went out and ran the guy off but the pair was back within hours. -Drug deals, daily. -Fights, yelling, drama, daily. And this is all by daylight when there ARE cops downtown. At night there was a steady stream of foot traffic between the old Easy Street and the apartments in the upstairs of the Miles Block. Guess that is the REAL Business District... I called the police a few times when things were unusually messy, then gave up. They show up, walk around, see there's no trouble at that moment, and leave. The Pajanimals scatter like cockroaches when you shine blue light on them. I hope the cameras at least help break up the party, because no one wants to set up shop in the Combat Zone. You want to make Greenfield attractive to businesses and shoppers? Take away every flat surface at chair height from Veterans Park to Mohawk Mall, and set up a 24 hour Dunkin Donuts in Energy Park with free coffee for LEOs. Thank goodness for Mesa Verde and the traffic it brings; a crowd of regular people helps keep things more civilized than they would be otherwise. ...(full comment)

Keeping watch: Security cameras aim to deter vandals from damaging Greenfield-owned property downtown

Thank you, Greenfield Recorder! ...(full comment)

Editorial: Say ‘yes’ to repeal on Question 1

Kudos to all the souls who are willing to take this to eminent domain for the sake of our state's future. That may be the last bastion of resistance to protect our state's future, and lots of folks will be taking an economic hit to do it, based on the belief that our state's children and posterity deserve a better future than this drek. ...(full comment)

Dueling gas pipelines?