In The Arena

In the Arena: Clearing the air

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It always amazes me how people can attend the same meeting and come out with a completely different version of what happened. The latest example occurred this week following a Greenfield Town Council subcommittee forum on home wood stoves and chimneys. The Monday night gathering was billed as a discussion on the environmental impacts of the use of home wood burning devices, something not addressed in the biomass waste-to-energy air … 0

In the Arena: Skipping debates

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It looks like 2015 is going to be the year of the “nonpolitician” in Greenfield. Greenfield School Committee candidates Jesse McMillian and Cameron Ward took to Facebook last week — and, Ward’s case, the pages of The Recorder — to announce that they would not be running traditional political campaigns as they seek two of the three, four-year school board seats up for … 0

In the Arena: On board with schools

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Somewhat lost in the histrionics of last week’s Greenfield School Committee meeting was the appointment of a new board member. Greenfield native Douglas Mayo was the lone applicant to serve out the unexpired term of Jeff Comenitz, who died recently after a brief bout with cancer. It’s the first board appointment for Mayo, who had applied twice unsuccessfully to fill vacancies on the … 0

In the Arena: Not leaving without a fight

Thursday, September 10, 2015

I’ll admit it: I’m going to miss having Maryelen Calderwood on the Greenfield School Committee. I know that may shock some people, because we’ve had our differences, but it’s simply not going to be the same without “Lord Caldermort” holding the gavel on the first Wednesday of every … 0

In the Arena: Rosenberg’s road ahead

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A few quick hitters as we prepare to say adios to the summer of 2015. Senate President Stan Rosenberg appears to have taken to heart the criticism over his perceived silence regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline. After months of trying to ride down the middle … 0

In the Arena: Greenfield's tax-rate reduction

Thursday, August 27, 2015

If I were a Greenfield taxpayer — and there’s many reasons why I’m not — the question I’d be asking in the wake of last week’s Town Council meeting is: What did my government just spend $1.4 million on? The council voted to go along with Mayor Bill … 1

In the Arena: Mitigating political issues

Thursday, August 20, 2015

One of the goals of any incumbent’s political campaign is to try to take away issues that could be exploited by the opposition, a lesson it would appear Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin is well aware. While I don’t get the sense that His Honor is necessarily sweating the … 0

In the Arena: New gauge for plastic bans

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It looks like Greenfield residents won’t be voting on a binding plastic bag ban question this fall, but that doesn’t mean the issue is going away. The Greenfield Town Council Wednesday will consider placing three, nonbinding questions on the November ballot asking voters if they favor a ban … 0

In the Arena: A FERC hearing review

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The feds came to Greenfield last week, ostensibly to find out what the residents of Franklin County think about the potential environmental impact of a natural gas pipeline that seems more inevitable with each passing day. With that reality looming, it’s kind of hard to view that Federal … 2

In the Arena: Keep an eye on this Town Council race

Thursday, July 30, 2015

The stage is set for Greenfield’s fall electoral juggernaut and the number of potential angles to pursue between now and November has your faithful reporter almost giddy with anticipation. Ordinarily, the most interesting race would be for mayor, but with all due respect to incumbent Bill Martin and … 0

In the Arena: Plastics ban could be on ballot

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Greenfield residents may have more than just contested races in the first November election in the town’s history. A referendum question banning the use of small plastic water bottles and single-use plastic bags may also find its way onto the ballot, provided the proponents are able to secure … 0

In the Arena: The bottom of the barrel

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I’m really beginning to think this country has gone off its collective rocker. What other possible explanation can there be for Donald Trump’s lead heading into the Republican presidential primary season, the first contest for which, it should … 1

In the Arena: Health board chair out

Friday, June 26, 2015

Greenfield’s new tobacco regulations go into effect next week, on the same day one of its chief architects leaves office. Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin has announced that he will not reappoint current Board of Health Chairwoman Janina Thayer to the board, despite 17 years of service. “I’m shocked … 0

In the Arena: School Committee follies

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I’ve seen some pathetic displays in my time, but few to rival what occurred at the Greenfield School Committee meeting. I’m not going to rehash everything that happened — or, more appropriately, didn’t happen — in that nearly five-hour opus, but I highly recommend that voters take the … 0

In the Arena: Mass lone voice on right to buy tobacco

Thursday, June 11, 2015

As anyone who has read this column knows, I don’t like to make predictions. However, I’m prepared to break that rule when it comes to Wednesday’s Greenfield Town Council vote on Isaac Mass’ proposed tobacco control ordinance. It’s not only going to lose huge, but Isaac will be … 0