A new Senior Center is a wonderful idea. So is a new library. And a new Police Station, Fire Station and Ambulance/Emergency Services center. And a new parking garage. These are all great things, and it would be terrific to have them - if we could afford them. But, in my view, we simply can't. The last time I checked, we had the second highest tax rate in the State. Taxes in Greenfield are up 46% since 2003 - while Greenfield’s population actually declined by 4% in the decade between 2000 and 2010. This tax increase 'breather year' we're supposedly in seems more like a year of planning how to increase our municipal spending to the point where no one, including seniors, can afford to live here. Let’s face up to the fact that we're either shrinking or, best case, not growing, and we can’t afford every 'It would be great to have that' project that we can conceive of. ...(full comment)

Letter: Make it multi-use

One reads bluebirds comments and wonders how Brown can support HRC. The government has done many misdeeds, but correcting them would admit that they did them. The chance of the current President giving a pardon will depend on who will be the next president. The new justice dept may go after IRS officials, State Dept officials former dept of justice officials. There has been a lot of problems with this administration and the next justice dept may want to fix and hold persons responsible. ...(full comment)

Mark/My Turn: Pardon Leonard Peltier

The rise of the litigious society will doom any such plan. ...(full comment)

Letter: Restore Highland Pond

I'm growing very tired of well intentioned members of the dominant culture calling for freedom of a man who not only admitted to the killing of one of the agents but who also participated in the terrorizing of Annie Mae Pictou Aquash. It is shocking to me that people buy into the rhetoric that has been tossed around by individuals trying to cover their behinds. I urge blind faith supporters to do their own research rather than drink the koolaide. There is testimony in the Aquash case where several individuals quote Peltier as having said he shot one of the agents as he was begging for his life. This was also stated by Annie Mae Aquash during one of the last phone calls made to her family prior to members of the American Indian Movement executing her at the direction of their leadership. Indian Country here in the sates and in Canada are dealing with so much oppression and violence. Rather than support an individual with a history of violence against women and the community please consider redirecting your support to addressing the epidemic of #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women) or our efforts to stop the destruction of the land. ...(full comment)

Mark/My Turn: Pardon Leonard Peltier

As I have said in the past and contend now, there is a large difference between burning wood and burning pellets. If the alarmist in our community would stop and look at the pellet industry, especially the pellet industry in Western Mass, they would, or should have a different opinion. "If history repeats itself" "we will burn too many trees" is a sound bite and we are clearly not repeating ourselves! There are large scale studies being done on forest supply, forest management and they point to the fact that we are far behind the curve in terms of cutting down (clear cutting) forests etc. Another scare tactic! Another thing I would like to point out, there have been more than one study done on this subject, yet it seems that only the Monamet study ever gets mentioned. ...(full comment)

Editorial: Boiler switch puts heat on Mohawk

Forget "teen," "youth," "seniors." Just build a "community" center so that someone who's 16 today can look forward to using it when they're 66 tomorrow. After all, they'll probably be paying for it in taxes their entire adult life. You just need rooms; the rest is programming. It's too expensive to be specializing buildings based on age. ...(full comment)

Seniors ambivalent about combined youth/senior center

Thank you Mike for a correct view on the Pellet industry here in Western Mass! I do agree that we need to be understanding of what we are doing with our forests, and it seems that the DOER and others in charge are aware of this. Also, remember that there is a large percentage of the wood that goes to pellet mills that are cut-offs and scrap from other industries such as the furniture industry and this would otherwise be waste. ...(full comment)

Letter: Wood pellet boiler makes sense

The statement that Tintypes "emulsions dried faster" than Daguerreotypes is incorrect. Daguerreotypes don't have emulsions, the imaging particles sit directly on the silver mirror surface of the plate, not held in the suspension of a emulsion as with Tintypes and other forms of photography. Consequently Daguerreotype plates dry very quickly and much more so than tintypes. Saying these image surfaces look like tintypes is hubris and disinformation, as they do not. The texture is of a pitted emulsion of a paper print with a baryta layer and with distressing marks made on purpose. ...(full comment)

ArtBeat: Looking back at the present

Sanders is not an octogenarian, that's someone aged 80 to 89. He's 74 (will be 75 in November), which makes him a septuagenarian. ...(full comment)

In the Arena: New bridge between schools and council

I've had the same thoughts about the need for President Obama pardoning Leonard Pelletier. Let's hope he has the courage to do so. Thank you, Jonathan for this excellent and well written piece. ...(full comment)

Mark/My Turn: Pardon Leonard Peltier

Wood boilers are a significant in Europe because it is considered carbon-neutral and thereby contributes to attempts to reduce green house gas emissions, even though it doesn't. And Europe gets its wood from the US, Canada and Russia. Southeastern US is being clear cut and wood is being sent to Europe, and there is a more on for GMO trees, turning forest into crop land--all to be burned. If history repeats itself, we will burn too many of out trees. And only when it's too late will people get upset about it. You don't have to ne a rocket scientist to see where we are headed. The Monamet study ended up agreeing with local activists about a number of things. We were ahead of the curve then. I would suggest that we are in this case as well. We hope that people care more about our forests and our environment than about platitudes about "green energy" that make us feel good about ourselves. ...(full comment)

Editorial: Boiler switch puts heat on Mohawk

President Clinton pardoned Wall Street rip off artists, and the legislation enacted on his watch promoted: monopoly ownership of the media, the first "investor state trade disputes" where corporate tribunals trump U.S. Law under NAFTA which began the leak of U.S. jobs; gutted Wall St. oversight and handed the financial sector abject rule of government, draconian prison measures leading to 1/3 of People of color imprisoned in private profit prisons with "quotas"; and drastic cuts based on "welfare queens" arguments which were never substantiated by statistics. So his inaction on Mr. Pelletier is unsurprising. And the media theme of him as a great president is only supported by the media he aided in becoming a monopoly. Mr. Pelletier has been an advocate for First Nations who have been under constant assault from land grabs and violated agreements for centuries. We are seeing people attempting to protect their homes, their family's health, and the safety of their children everywhere these days, and in doing so, they are treated like criminals by the forces of greed and conquest. Mr. Pelletier has not been treated fairly, and neither have his people. ...(full comment)

Mark/My Turn: Pardon Leonard Peltier

Go Deerfield! We're all cheering you on! Hoping some other towns will follow suit! ...(full comment)

Deerfield to pipeline co.: Don’t tread on us