Better adversaries to tackle ‘In The Arena’

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Chris Collins’ June 30 In the Arena column about the striking Baystate Franklin nurses read like a wasted opportunity. What is column-worthy about supporting a complaining friend who was upset that the nurses marched to his office to talk with him, a board member of the hospital that locked them out?

The nurses were involved in many actions last week to gain attention to their situation, including marches, attempts to get into work and support of those having to leave work. Why did marching to Gilmore and Farrell Insurance deserve so much more coverage?

Greenfield is full of goings-on that would make rich column material. How about the mayor’s veto of the $500 unanimously approved, grant-funded donation to the first-ever Franklin County Gay Pride the night before the event? The Downtown Cultural District Commission approved this funding 10 days prior, yet the mayor pulled the funds, inaccurately citing an ordinance about disposition of the town money. Hundreds came downtown to this event, by the way.

How about the Board of Health’s inability to implement the approved clean needle exchange program for more than a year, because it’s being blocked for political reasons?

Why not devote the column to the incredible community support shown for the striking nurses or its human impact on patients and the nurses themselves who are out a week’s paycheck? Yet what gets in is Mr. Farrell’s somewhat paranoid and completely erroneous accusation that the march to his office was a political plot from someone outside the union. Mr. Farrell wasted an opportunity to speak for the nurses and promote a satisfactory resolution — to be a leader and a “seasoned politician.” Instead, it was column inches of complaints and accusations.

C’mon Chris, I know you can do way better than this.

Patty Morey Walker