Some clouds
47°
Some clouds
Hi 55° | Lo 33°
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: All about the politics

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It makes no difference now, but I defy anyone to watch the videotape from Wednesday night’s Greenfield Town Council meeting and make the argument that Isaac Mass is not qualified to occupy a seat on the Planning Board. For close to 45 minutes, Mass took questions from councilors … 0

In the Arena: Let the search begin

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I’m not sure many people were all that surprised by this week’s announcement of Greenfield School Superintendent Susan Hollins’ retirement. But the question now is, who will replace her? “It won’t be easy, that is for sure,” Greenfield School Committee member John Lunt said. “Susan has done a … 0

In the Arena: Martin & Mass

Thursday, October 3, 2013

We may be about to find out exactly what role ideo-logy plays in the Greenfield Town Council’s decision making regarding mayoral appointments. Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin announced this week that he is appointing former town councilor and Planning Board member Isaac Mass to the planning board seat left … 0

In the Arena: Mayor’s spin on park problem

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

If I opened this week’s column with the declaration that al-Qaida was responsible for the allegedly criminal activity occurring in Greenfield’s Hillside Park, you’d probably think I was crazy. But that would make about as much sense as saying that the responsibility for this problem lies with the … 0

In the Arena: One-woman show? Hardly

Thursday, September 19, 2013

If there has been one constant in my time covering Franklin County politics and government, it’s that no one is sans opinion when it comes to the Greenfield public school system. It doesn’t matter what town I’m in, whenever the subject of Greenfield’s schools comes up, people tend … 0

In the Arena: Offer they could refuse

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I was surprised and mildly hopeful this past week to hear of a potential settlement to the contract battle between union nurses and management at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. The Massachusetts Nurses Association issued a press release announcing that Baystate rank-and-file nurses had voted to accept a proposal … 0

In the Arena: Short-handed board

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Even though there may be strong sentiment in some circles to do so, don’t expect Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin to try the “Tom Dehoyos-reappointment switcheroo” with former Planning Board member Jim Allen. Martin pulled a rabbit out of the hat at the most recent Town Council meeting, when … 0

In the Arena: A new appreciation

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I could feel my stomach tighten as I prepared to make the turn into the Bank of America parking lot, I was not at all looking forward to what awaited me across the street. Just last year, after Marty McGuane’s wake, I swore to myself the next I … 0

In the Arena: Not right time or choice

Thursday, August 22, 2013

When I read on the wire this week that former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown was considering running for president, I thought somebody in the media must have been playing an elaborate practical joke. When I realized that he was serious, it suddenly dawned on me not only how … 0

In the Arena: Initiatives no sure bet

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Even though we have this habit of electing the same legislators every two years, it appears there are some Massachusetts residents still interested in changing things. That was apparent earlier this month, when 33 proposed 2014 ballot questions were submitted to the attorney general’s office for constitutional review. … 0

In the Arena: Time finally seems right

Thursday, August 8, 2013

For the first time since the Nixon administration, western Massachusetts will have one of its own running the show in the state Senate. “This is definitely a culminating experience in terms of my time in elected office and I’m grateful to my constituents for sending me here, because … 0

In the Arena: Taking a special interest

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Some of the county’s political heavyweights have apparently joined the public relations battle to prevent a diversion of services from Baystate Franklin Medical Center to the company’s main facility in Springfield. Last week’s public demonstration at the Greenfield hospital drew the usual union and medical personnel, as well … 0