In The Arena

In the Arena: Subdued party crowd

Thursday, October 30, 2014

It was a little after 7 when I pulled open the door at Greenfield’s Ocean Grille, prepared to break my own not-exactly-hard-and-fast rule about refusing to attend party fundraisers the week before a state election. I couldn’t resist because this was being billed a both a fundraiser for unopposed 2nd Berkshire Rep. Paul Mark, who always throws a good party, and a Democratic “unity” rally, which I viewed as an … 0

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 … 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: 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

In the Arena: More to this office closing

Thursday, December 5, 2013

From where I sit, this Western Massachusetts Electric Co. consolidation issue suddenly became about a lot more than just the closure of one Greenfield office. WMECO lineman and I.B.E.W. Local 455 Assistant Business Manager Bill Freeman revealed to the Greenfield Town Council recently that his company has eliminated … 0

In the Arena: What’s on my mind

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A few quick hitters as we clear the decks in preparation for yet another season of holiday shopping — and free parking — in downtown Greenfield. THAT SOUND you heard last Wednesday night was crickets chirping during the Greenfield Town Council’s so-called “debate” over a proposal to split … 0

In the Arena: ‘Everybody needs a hero’

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The newest Facebook fad these days involves listing “little known facts” about yourself to your friends. While I’ve yet to participate in this ritual, it seems appropriate, especially on this day, to reveal one of my own. For most of my life, I’ve been fascinated by the assassination … 0

In the Arena: Holiday walkout?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Monday may wind up being “D-Day” in terms of a second potential strike involving union nurses at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. Union representatives and management will go back to the bargaining table that day in the hopes of settling their two-plus-year-old contract dispute. And if a deal doesn’t … 0

In the Arena: No shelter from the issues

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The conversion of Greenfield’s rotary motels into de facto homeless shelters for displaced Boston-area families has been one of the more frustrating and heart-warming stories in recent memory. The heart-warming part took place this week, when a group of local residents began developing a strategy to help the … 0

In the Arena: Chance to change the tone

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I have no idea what the future holds for a new appointee to Greenfieid’s Planning Board or why anyone would even want the job. But I do believe it is time for the Greenfield Town Council to cough up the choke pear left behind by Mayor Bill Martin’s … 0

In the Arena: Council has plenty to chew on

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Now that the burning issue of the Issac Mass/Planning Board appointment is in the rear-view, the Greenfield Town Council can turn its attention to more pressing matters — like a growing laundry list of new ordinances that I’m guessing will provide fodder for lively debate over the next … 0