In The Arena

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, as the columnist’s creed goes, “to give comfort to the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable.” However, one thing I have managed to … 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 did everything she could to make this town a better place,” Wilson Roberts, former council … 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 last month, for the fourth time by my count, rejected a request by Mayor Bill … 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

In the Arena: A simple succession

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year than by being among the first to congratulate Greenfield Town Clerk Maureen Winseck on her decision to leave Town Hall and venture out into the dreaded private sector. And while we’re at it, I’d like … 0

In the Arena: It’s award time in the ‘arena’

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another year is about to be put in the rear-view, but before we break out the bubbly and toast 2014, it’s time to wave goodbye to the year that was with the “In the Arena End of the Year Awards” for 2013. ∎ The Fidel Castro “Close But No … 0

In the Arena: Giving out this year’s gifts

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Christmas season is upon us, and that means it is time to once again take a peek under the tree and see what Santa has left our merry band of newsmakers in the “In The Arena holiday gift bag” for 2013. FOR THE DOG OWNERS of Greenfield, … 0

In the Arena: Fires and their costs

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Anyone who has ever opened a property tax bill and wondered where all their money goes got part of the answer in abject terms this week. “They really got that thing just in time,” Greenfield Public Safety Commission Chairman Gary Longley said as we walked toward the scene … 0