In The Arena

In the Arena: It gets hot in Montague

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I’ve experienced some tense moments covering local government, but few to rival what occurred at Monday’s Montague selectmen’s meeting. The topic was whether the board would sign a new contract with current cable access television provider, Montague Community Cable Incorporated, or issue a “request for proposals” for a new cable operator, which was the same method they used to edge the Shea board of directors out as operators of that … 0

In the Arena: Tobacco fight still smoldering

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Greenfield Board of Health may not have the last word when it comes to a series of proposed new tobacco regulations. The board last week voted to impose the regulations, which raises the minimum tobacco sales age from 18 to 21 while also banning the sale of certain tobacco products, including certain flavored varieties, ones that health experts say are geared directly … 0

In the Arena: Rosenberg using his pulpit

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It’s not taking long for new state Senate President Stan Rosenberg to exert his authority on Beacon Hill. The latest example came this past week, when Rosenberg made it clear that a committee looking to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston can expect no financial help from the Legislature. “If they start talking about money out of the state budget, they’re going … 0

In the Arena: I don't see a discount store getting built in Greenfield

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It’s time to face the painful truth, Greenfield — you are never getting your discount retail department store. The running joke used to be that I would only believe Greenfield had a big-box retail store when I was shopping in it. Now, I’m not even prepared to go … 5

In the Arena: Catching up with Warren

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I don’t know if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is going to be a candidate for president, but she sure sounded like it during last week’s visit to Greenfield Community College. “There was a time when our government viewed helping people pay for college as an investment,” Warren said during … 0

In the Arena: Candidate showcase

Thursday, February 12, 2015

The 2015 race for Greenfield mayor is officially underway and I can tell you after sitting through a 15-minute speech announcing her candidacy, I still don’t know a whole lot more about Patty Morey Walker than I did when I walked into the Arts Block last Friday night. … 0

In the Arena: Let the mayoral race begin

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The 2015 Greenfield mayoral election season is scheduled to officially begin tonight with the formal campaign announcement by Patty Morey Walker. Morey Walker is expected to make the announcement at 5 this afternoon at the Arts Block, and while I’d love to be able to give you some … 0

In the Arena: Key help wanted post

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Now that the “storm of the century” is behind us, Greenfield’s mayor plans to turn his attention to finding a replacement for Economic Development Director Bob Pyers, who officially leaves the job Monday. “That’s something I’m going to have to tackle beginning this week,” Martin said. “We’ve got … 0

In the Arena: Long-term economic view

Thursday, January 8, 2015

It may seem odd to hold a party to celebrate the removal of $480 million out of the regional economy, but that’s what happened last weekend as opponents of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power plant came together to dance the night away in celebration of that plant’s official … 0

In the Arena: Pipeline strategies

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Opponents of Kinder Morgan Company’s proposed Tennessee Natural Gas Pipeline probably thought they were getting an early Christmas present when they learned the company had decided to reroute its line through southern New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts’ northern tier. However, like so many other aspects of this project, … 0

In the Arena: No rubber stamp here

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Anyone who came out of the most recent Greenfield elections automatically thinking that Isaac Mass and Penny Ricketts were going to be in the tank for Bill Martin should stop by GCTV and take a look at the videotape of the most recent Town Council meeting. Fortunately, the … 0

In the Arena: Thanks!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

This may seem hard to believe, but this week marks the 15th year I’ve been writing this column. During that time, a lot of political water has gone under the bridge, some dirtier than I’d care to admit. And I’ve been pretty blunt, at times, in my efforts, … 0

In the Arena: She loved Greenfield

Thursday, December 11, 2014

She loved Greenfield more than the town sometimes loved itself. Those were the words that kept running through my mind this week as I tried to conjure up a fitting epitaph for former Greenfield Town Councilor Barbara Tillmanns, who passed away Sunday at the age of 72. “Barbara … 1

In the Arena: Resistant to change

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Greenfield taxpayers can nestle all snug in their beds this holiday season safe in the knowledge that the collective bargaining rights of public employees remain alive and well in their fair city. In what was clearly the most informative debate yet on the topic, the Greenfield Town Council … 0

In the Arena: Leaving a sour taste

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I’m sure that a number of Beacon Hill Democrats will miss having one of their own in the corner office, but I’m not sure they will all be heart-broken to see Deval Patrick exit stage left — or, far-left, depending on your perspective. Steve Kulik, state representative for … 0