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

Bernie Sanders is also filling arenas wherever he goes, and he actually has something to say. Your guy is just an overgrown playground bully and don't kid yourself that he cares even the slightest little bit about you; he only cares about him. ...(full comment)

Letter: Oh those Clintons

Flint's problem started with the city wanting to change from Detroit water to the Flint river. You can also look to the time Flint was a bustling city. Auto plants providing a good tax base which could have made the replacement of the water pipes to non lead ones. Which should have happened years ago. Plenty of workers around. So what happened? The squeeze was put on the auto industry to be taxed more to provide more money for social programs ( hand outs instead of hand ups). The unions also keep demanding more and quality of workmanship declined. The Japanese dumped cars in the US.. of better quality. Americans wanted more and gave less, but they also wanted others to give more. That started a spiral effect. The auto industry moved out of the area. To the south ( non-union) AND out of the country. Look at how many people lived in cities in Michigan years ago and now. Detroit at its peak was 1.8 million and now its about 672, 000. Other cities in Michigan are close to that ratio. So when cost kept going up, automation and robots came along to keep cost down. People who put cars together made more than the average american worker. Regular american workers could not afford what it was costing to buy cars and that started the spiral. I was a Navy recruiter in the Detroit area in 85-89. The average auto worker I knew was making about 90k. Most kids in high school in my area had new or 2 year old cars. I envied that! But they would all tell me that their dad was going to get them a job at Ford. They were dreaming as the exodus had already started. Now how much does it take to slap a part on a assembly line? Some training but not much is needed. If you know Maslow's hierarchy theory you get the wages part. So when the auto indurstry left , it left behind a workforce that was not highly educated nor sought education while they worked. In fact you did not need a high school diploma to work in the auto industry.. When you squeeze a lemon and it leaves what are you left with? The need for another lemon, and another might not want to come and get the life squeezed out of it. ...(full comment)

In the Arena: Rumbling over Greenfield

Great!! Now work on your graduation rate. ...(full comment)

Committed to memory: Mahar students recite poems for school contest

Can't wait to visit your new location, Holly and Chris! Your new dishes sound wonderful!! Cynthia and Bob from Keldaby ...(full comment)

The return of Blue Rock Restaurant in Shelburne Falls

Flint was dismissed as a manufactured problem too. Public health and safety are being eroded by oligarchy and their henchmen stripping money out of government to send it to wealthy interests . . . with give aways to "companies" (no taxes, and "sweet deals" from the Gov. and their greedy CEOs, while gutting basic things like clean water. Sewage dumped into rivers is consistent with the long term plan for the U.S. in the current corrupt system: you can't see microbes so its a perfect crime. ...(full comment)

In the Arena: Rumbling over Greenfield

I've been a supporter of WMUA since the 1980's. I requested a refund of my donation and have made a pledge to public radio because they listen to listeners. And thank goodness for Valley Free Radio which is welcoming WMUA show hosts. ...(full comment)

Letter: Dismantling WMUA

Millions of Americans are also tired of hate speech. Half the wealth of our nation is now in the hands of a very few individuals who pay hate speakers to cultivate divisions among our citizens. Its an old tactic, and very sad that it works in our country. The tactic is to get people to hate and blame their neighbors, while the wealth and resources of a nation are stolen away. It's working very well. I'm sure they're grateful to you for all the name calling. And of course grateful that you were watching the big media distractions, rather than paying attention to policies like Glass Steagal being dismantled: that was the real scandal. You might be surprised to discover that your case of "the hate" is a most inaccurate picture of your neighbors. ...(full comment)

Letter: Oh those Clintons

Thanks for this letter. The Walk was indeed inspiring and demonstrated a deep commitment by citizens of the area and others states as well to resist having this pipeline shoved down our throats (and then being made to pay for it too) so that greedy corporations can make even higher profits by exporting their dirty product to Europe. In addition to your extremely helpful suggestions, there will be another anti-pipeline march (the March march) from proposed compressor station to proposed compressor station; the dates are 3/17-3/20, please plan to join us! Thank you! ...(full comment)

Letter: Carry on the pipeline fight

How about respect for the police. When given a ticket don't bitch about it. When asked to do something, be like Nike "just do it". Maybe you did nothing wrong, however the authority has been given to them by the people to enforce laws and arrest. You will get a chance to protest in court. You may also complain to the officers supervisors. Is it their fault how things have become in the country. I think not. I have been given breaks in minor traffic violations (maybe for military service maybe because I was wrong and admitted it and got off with a warning). Treat people how you want to be treated and things go better. They have a tough enough job . ...(full comment)

Letter: The root issue

This article accuses an entire group of people, and while it is clear that the U.S. police and law enforcement members are being militarized, I hold out hope, and have experience, that some who work in law enforcement are likely not of this ilk, and want to enact their role honorably. ...(full comment)

Letter: The root issue