Their company was recently purchased by Spanish giant Iberdrola. Prior to that, it spent 20 million in a failed attempt to purchase a Philadelphia company. (see Hartford Courant) It seems that lust for money is the only real policy, and pipelines are a means of stripping wealth away from hardworking Americans. If we are wise, as a state, we will stand up to this atrocity. This has no benefit whatsoever to our communiities, and there are other options, like Distrigas, that Sunderland companies can choose that will save lives now and in the future. ...(full comment)
This is obscene. Tearing up five square miles of MA pristine conservation and private land, forcing neighborhoods to live in incineration zones near the cheapest, flimsiest possible pipeline, operating under enormous pressure, and near live voltage. Running through drinking water supplies. Berkshire could fix their leaky existing pipes and stop cheating ratepayers. They could also engage in programs that conserve. They are fine squandering other people's lives, homes, and efforts for the future. They have demonstrated no concern for the consquences of their actions to others and this is outright threat. ...(full comment)
First, this will NOT increase the tax base - study after study shows that the services towns must provide to these types of developments do not pay off in sales taxes - just the extra policing alone will make it a wash. Second, great, a Wal-Mart as a new "entrance" to town - as if Walmart is always known for its beautiful architecture. Please. I'll take the trees. ...(full comment)
I am totally against big box stores (or even small ones) that don't pay a living wage and treat their employees badly as Walmart's history has shown anyone who can read. Does anyone who does support a big box actually believe that if Walmart came to town they wouldn't be the death of the small businesses in town? They'll hire locals then fire them before the benefits kick in, it's not gonna help anyone in Greenfield. There are now 3 dollar stores in town, the last is quite large so anyone wanting cheap, poorly made, sure-to-fall-apart-in-a-week underwear, you now have plenty of choices. Or you can shop at Wilsons or the Outdoor store and buy really nice made-in-America items that will last you for years. You get what you pay for. ...(full comment)
If folks follow the history of these big box stores they are well aware that these places are death to local business, and put U.S. workers in competition with nations where workers have few if any rights, allowing an increasing concentration of wealth in the hands of a very, very few greedy individuals who never seem to get enough and are disconnected from the consequences of their actions: destroying our nation. This is wealth that is almost completely drained from the U.S. economy, and hoarded: likely off shore. When these stores first arrived downstate, they generated a lot of excitement: but in short order, the friendly neighborhood stores disappeared one after the other, and with it went any kind of community and neighborhood connection. The stores tend to put a huge hidden burden on communities as well: not only their footprint, their traffic, but the drain on local budgets to make up the difference in poverty wages, lack of health care and the loss of full time versus part time jobs. They are also destroying U.S. manufacturing, driving out companies that provide full time employment in an ever increasing demand to compete with contracts in nations where there is no trade reciprocity. And where the rights and well being of citizens are fungible: and that is where we are heading if this pattern continues. ...(full comment)
Big box stores suck up more town resources than they produce; policing, sewer, storm runoff, traffic - all those become costs the town has to bear, while putting the pressure on downtown businesses. It's a wash, at best. They have their business model, and copious evidence shows it isn't set up to enrich towns (just ask Holyoke). And yes, you may be able to buy a pack of underwear or some other junk from China that will just end up in a landfill in a few years for a dollar or two less, but there is a solution to that too: it's called the Internet. I'm not too worried, though - if Wally World ends up in Greenfield, I think holding them off 15 years or so has given downtown a chance to get back on its feet, and time for residents to understand its value. ...(full comment)
Paying for rooms at motels cost taxpayers $3.5 million a month or $42 million a year. If we took that money and put it towards sustainable housing we would be better off. I have worked at both motels and know that the owners of the motels are making out big time. The state is paying a average of $52 a night per family. I managed 21 motels most in New England and the Tri-State region. When I managed a Brattleboro V.T. motel I charged Vermont Yankee $37.50 a night per room. My occupancy percentage was 100% for 6 months out of the year. The motels in Greenfield are charging what I used to charged for double occupancy. It's quite possible the owners of both the motels are price gouging the state of Massachusetts. The motel by law can not charge motel tax on the room if occupied by the same resident for 90 days. I think the state is probably tax exempt. This hurts Greenfield revenue of taxes for both motels. So this is skiing season and the peaks are great. Greenfield misses out on the tax revenue because skiers can't make a reservation at the full motels in Greenfield. Never mind D.A. graduation's, weddings, Holiday travelers, and much, much more. A motel is no place for children or teenagers for a long period of time. I have lived in motels for years when I worked for them. I know first hand. We must do better. For the sake of the families.
when teachers and administrators get paid that kind of money, is it any wonder why tuition is so much? This is were the injustice of pay is. These are the people saying that others are making to much. If her pay would have been half of that it would have still been too much. How much does a 4th grade teacher make, maybe one tenth and works much harder and teaches more hours in a week.
The higher education system is a racket as long as the govt is involved in tuition. Just look what it cost in the 70's and the cost of labor and what the cost of an education and labor is now. One has gone up more than ten times. I am sure you can guess which one. Anyone in the higher education game has seen their salary go up at much higher rates than any other sector. Is it only because of the govt is behind the loans? Of course it is. If money was not so free and easy to get school would cost much less. Maybe getting the govt out of it the cost would come down in the future. ...(full comment)