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

When you are occupying other people's land, blockading their borders, controlling their movements and the movement of imports and exports, demolishing their homes, building settlements on their land, violating international law, violating universal human rights and generally bullying the Palestinian people, you don't get to whine that you are the victim. It really says a lot about the character of many Israel supporters that when Israeli war crimes are exposed that you want to censor the press. ...(full comment)

Letter: What Israel faces

This town needs multiple cell towers, first off with the annual fall festival coming up soon, with little to no cell signal, the tourists tend not to stay. For the person in this article who complained about who will benefit from the cell tower. I have one comment for this person, the world does not revolve around you. Second, receiving a cell service is a necessity in today's society about contacting emergency services, using a GPS or getting directions from a friend. I will experience this lack of cell service when I visit next weekend and that is sad. ...(full comment)

Ashfield cell tower hearing continues to Oct. 29

Life before profits, before pipelines carrying death---not the legacy to leave our children. Sometimes NO is the right word to use, and civil disobedience the only sane alternative. The next generation is counting on our courage and resolve, as is the rapidly warming planet. We are running out of time and luck, and denial is no longer an option. ...(full comment)

FERC OKs fast-track pre-filing for pipeline

Um, buses are more fuel- and carbon-efficient than everyone taking individual cars. And NYC's atmosphere is probably cleaner than other cities with similar populations, since so many people there take mass transit, which is all part of the protesters' message. So unless you are advocating that no one participate in large protests anymore until we have zero-emissions vehicles (which probably won't happen unless people demand, um, protesting...), your insinuation that the participants are hypocrites falls rather flat. ...(full comment)

Letter: A burning question

As I noted in Chris Collin's column, where is the guarantee that if this pipeline comes that we will at least see a 30%-odd reduction in our electric bills after this rate hike? We are paying for its construction, after all. But fat chance any of these energy fat cats will put that in writing. This is just particularly extortive political maneuvering and people shouldn't fall for it. This pipeline is all about export, hence its size, and that's not going to lower anyone's bills here. Stand strong, Western Mass; corporate extortion and gauging of regular people must stop here. ...(full comment)

Editorial: A rate shock for New England

The rate hike is just too conveniently timed, almost ham-handedly so. But this still doesn't square with why the pipeline is planned to be so large, much larger than the capacity needed for increased electricity generation. The only explanation is that the gas is for export, which also means that it isn't going to lower our electric prices, either. And what are we going to do in 20 years when the gas wells run dry? But what I really want to know is, where is the guarantee that once we pay for this pipeline that our electric rates will go back down 37%? Try getting the utilities to agree to that one in writing...otherwise, we're still being hosed and Kinder Morgan is laughing all the way to their tax-free off-shore bank accounts.... ...(full comment)

In the Arena: Coming down the pipeline

I love this quote, "We could ask them to take a vote every year raising the gas tax, but I don’t think anyone in this room thinks that would actually happen." So right away, Ostroff has no confidence in his elected public officials to actually do their jobs? If their job isn't to represent the community, what are they there for? If you're not confident they are going to do what they are being asked, vote them out! Don't make their life easier because they don't want to do the job they were put there to do! ...(full comment)

Should gas tax stay tied to inflation?

Remember ENRON? ...(full comment)

Editorial: A rate shock for New England

Fantastic award and well-deserved. Such hard-working dedicated staff made it happen. Congrats! ...(full comment)

GCC earns national green award

"When the couple arrived at the Avenue A apartment late Wednesday afternoon, they were confronted by 19-year-old Anthony Rodriguez and 26-year Ashleigh Judd, both of Greenfield, and two other men. Rodriguez and Judd have been charged in connection with the alleged crime, but police are reportedly still looking for the other suspects. "-Conor Berry, via MassLive ...(full comment)

Montague police: couple ambushed, robbed at gunpoint