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In The Arena

In the Arena: Free-cash management

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin likes to brag about not being a “politician,” but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have good political instincts. That became apparent two weeks ago, when Martin decided to ask each town councilor for suggestions on the best ways to use the town’s recent $3.29 million fiscal 2014 “free cash” windfall. “They added some new thoughts to the process,” Martin said. “Obviously, we can’t do them all, … 0

In the Arena: The talk in Montague

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The First Amendment and the state Open Meeting Law weren’t on the agenda at this week’s Montague selectmen’s meeting, but they sure played a role in helping shape the conversation. The Montague board had scheduled what would have been its fourth executive session related to the sale of the former Montague Center School. Greenfield Developer Mark Zaccheo has been negotiating to purchase the … 0

In the Arena: Coming down the pipeline

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It’s never to early to think about the holidays and I believe the management of the Kinder Morgan Co. should buy the biggest Christmas basket they can find and ship it over to their counterparts at National Grid, which has provided the best argument yet for construction of a natural gas pipeline through Franklin County. National Grid recently received state permission to raise … 1

In the Arena: Changing tack on Lunt

Thursday, March 27, 2014

It would appear that Greenfield’s abortive efforts to purchase the former Lunt property on Federal Street are finally at an end. Or are they? The Greenfield Town Council appeared to be the final kibosh on Mayor Bill Martin’s efforts to buy the entire parcel Wednesday when it rescinded … 0

In the Arena: Connecting some faint dots

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ginning up concerns about potential tax increases can be an effective tactic when challenging an incumbent, something Greenfield Town Council candidate Isaac Mass clearly understands. Mass issued a press release earlier this week focusing on areas of tax policy where he and his opponent, Council President Mark Wisnewski, … 0

In the Arena: Erring on side of caution

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Greenfield residents concerned about the potential impact of proposed new ordinances regulating noise and nuisances and vacant properties shouldn’t get into a lather just yet. A pair of Greenfield Town Council subcommittees held separate public hearings on the two proposals, gatherings that are typically followed by a vote … 0

In the Arena: He may get burned

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fanning the flames of discontent is not a new concept in politics, especially when a candidate is challenging an incumbent with a pretty solid base of support. One of the inherent dangers, however, is that said strategy can backfire, especially if the challenger is too aggressive with his … 0

In the Arena: The race is on

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The marquee race of the 2014 Greenfield election season is in place and Isaac Mass, challenger for an at-large Town Council seat, has set an early tone with what might best be described as massive political overkill. Mass this week submitted nomination papers to the Greenfield Town Clerk’s … 0

In the Arena: Why it’s a big deal

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Some people simply don’t get it. I know that may seem like a blunt way to start off today, but I’m not sure how else to describe what we’ve seen, read and heard in the week since it was revealed that Albert Norman had been allowed to “red-line” … 0

In the Arena: Heavy hand in rewrite

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Those who believe that the current Greenfield Town Council is in Albert Norman’s back pocket got a big piece of ammunition this week. The Greenfield Conservation Commission recently submitted to the council a draft version of a wetlands protection ordinance, which, as is the custom, was forwarded to … 0

In the Arena: Doing what you like

Thursday, February 6, 2014

“Bloom where you’re planted.” A science teacher wrote that in one of my school yearbooks 30 years ago. At the time, I didn’t know what he meant, but I now know it has something to do with being comfortable in your own skin. There is no one who … 0

In the Arena: Putting out a call to help

Thursday, January 30, 2014

It appears the concept of positive karma has been somewhat turned on its ear this week. A couple of former Turners Falls High School athletes head out for a snowmobile ride on a cold Saturday night and end up hitting a concrete barrier at the edge of the … 0

In the Arena: New front in contract fight

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The ongoing war of words between Baystate Franklin Medical Center management and its union nurses appears to be getting real ugly, real fast. Baystate management this week invoked the “nuclear option” in its two-plus-year contract negotiation with the Mass. Nurses Association, declaring the contract talks at an “impasse,” … 0

In the Arena: Attention-getting idea

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sometimes, it takes a seemingly outlandish idea to bring focus to a serious issue. That’s exactly what Mohawk Trail Regional School Superintendent Michael Buonoconti did when he proposed that the district examine the possibility of going to a four-day school week in an effort to reduce operating expenses. … 0

In the Arena: Next time, do the research

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Memo to Greenfield’s “anti-growth” faction: The next time you file a petition for a zoning amendment that would basically grind to a halt any large-scale development in town, you might want to make sure it is consistent with existing state law. Late last year, a petition was submitted … 0