Editorial: Kudos for keeping Franklin County Fair safe, fun

  • Twilight over the last night of the Franklin County Fair. Recorder Staff/Paul Franz

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Here are some brief thoughts on some of the events making news from around Franklin County and the North Quabbin area:

The greatest part about the Franklin County Fair is its local involvement. The Franklin County Agricultural Society is composed of longtime volunteers from towns across the region who work for months to bring us the biggest show of the year.

And those neighbors not only care about us having a good time, but also about being safe. So, while many fairgoers may have been disappointed that an iconic Ferris wheel didn’t rise above the midway this year, the organizers pulled it from the lineup rather than endanger anyone. And they should be commended for that diligence. Better safe than sorry.

Castle Rock caffeine

Orange coffee shops are still buzzing with chatter about the upcoming online series called “Castle Rock,” based on the works of horror writer Stephen King that’s being filmed here. And now, at Trail Head Outfitters & General Store at 1 South Main St., locals can get a buzz by drinking Castle Rock Coffee — a Mexican French roast that local importer and coffee roaster Dean’s Beans bills as “a dark and mysterious brew that will keep your taste buds in suspense!”

While Trail Head hopes to make a few extra bucks off the novelty blend, it’s more about the town having some additional fun with its newfound celebrity as the filming continues through the fall.

Connecticut River cleanup

For the 21st time, this weekend, volunteers will pick up trash from Franklin County’s waterways during the Connecticut River Conservancy’s annual Source to Sea Cleanup.

The goal of the watershed protection organization is to keep trash and tires and all manner of other debris from getting in our rivers in the first place, but in the meantime, volunteers are still needed at least once a year to clean up after the thoughtless or unscrupulous among us.

The cleanup will take place in the four states through which the more than 410-mile river runs. To date, Source to Sea Cleanup volunteers have removed more than 997 tons of trash out of the river.

We encourage everyone to contact the conservancy to learn how to help. Visit: bit.ly/2faYFZ3 to learn more.

Tough patch in Orange

We feel for the town leaders in Orange who have recently lost two key employees charged with operating the town as efficiently and effectively as possible and with expanding the tax base, commerce and quality of life in town.

Planning and Community Development Director Kevin Kennedy has submitted his resignation, less than a month after Town Administrator Diana Schindler left her post.

Schindler was in place for about five years and Kennedy nearly that long — a tenure just long enough for top town officials to be hitting their stride.

Searches have begun for replacements — who we hope will be as effective or more so than the people they will replace.

Definitely the People’s Pint

Patrons of the People’s Pint recently got to purchase brownie sundaes, served with locally-sourced Bart’s ice cream, and served in locally handmade pottery bowls to benefit the region’s hungry. The Pint’s owners and staff seem to always have sustainability and social well-being on their minds.

The money raised, matched with a $10 donation per bowl by the restaurant, will go to the Franklin County Community Meals Program. Last year, the program served 23,000 meals across the region, running three free community meal sites — one each in Greenfield, Turners Falls and Orange.

With a budget of $105,000 annually, the program has been looking for creative ways to raise money — and with the Pint’s help, has found another one.