Editorial: Kringle Candle gets moment in the spotlight as part of casino project

Sunday, October 08, 2017

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

We love an underdog, especially one that’s local. So it was gratifying to hear that Bernardston’s Kringle Candle Co. has been invited to open a store in the coming MGM Springfield casino.

The $960 million casino, which will be the first of its kind in western Mass., is set to open in 2018. Kringle Candle is the first retail partner to announce a boutique location as part of what MGM describes as its “curated shopping collection.”

Kringle was founded and is owned by the Kittredge family, who also founded Yankee Candle. Yankee, which while employing hundreds locally, has passed on to distant, corporate ownership.

Sheriffs support Puerto Rico and Florida

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Department has collected $1,200 in cash donations and has filled a 26-foot U-Haul truck with hurricane relief items for communities in Puerto Rico and Florida.

Last week outside of Greenfield’s Big Y, about a dozen employees from the Sheriff’s Department collected the donations, which will be shipped to Puerto Rico and Florida following hurricanes Maria and Irma.

Big Y employees handed out fliers to shoppers that included a list of suggested donations.

“This event was a huge success,” Sheriff Christopher Donelan said. “There was lots of baby stuff, lots of food, lots of water. A lot of people brought work gloves and tools and things that folks in Puerto Rico are going to need as they try to clean up and rebuild their property.”

Just goes to show that Franklin County has a big heart.

Next week, tractor-trailer trucks from the Massachusetts Sheriffs’ Association will bring donations to Florida.

Generous gift keeps Orka prowling

Orange’s police dog Orka, and her partner Officer Christopher Bisceglia, have a new dog-friendly cruiser thanks to a nearly $60,000 donation from a local couple.

Bisceglia said his department received a check in March from Franklin County residents Barbara Haas Blydenburgh and Raymond Blydenburgh and used the money on a 2017 Ford Police Interceptor SUV.

The donation came after the Blydenburghs met Bisceglia and Orka while they were training one day at the Orange Municipal Airport.

The Orange Police K9 team was founded more than 30 years ago and has long been supported by the Pioneer Junior Women’s Club.

The new cruiser is equipped with special dog-friendly technology including a temperature sensor that alerts Bisceglia when the cruiser is too hot or too cold for Orka, and, if the engine stalls, the back windows are automatically lowered and a fan kicks on for the dog.

A table for free, please

We thought Greenfield wanted to make downtown a gathering place for food and entertainment. At least, that’s what the mayor and town planners have told us.

However, it seems the town licensing board didn’t get that memo. It has declined to eliminate a $10 annual fee for retailers and restaurants who want outdoor seating and sandwich boards.

Last month, At-Large Town Councilor Penny Ricketts asked the board to waive the fees as a goodwill gesture to the merchants who want to bring a little energy to downtown. But apparently because the commissioners haven’t received any complaints from the Greenfield Business Association or local businesses, “extending this small token of kindness to our businesses” as Ricketts said, wasn’t deemed necessary.

Even Mayor William Martin supported the idea, noting the town could live without the $220 a year, and suggested the signs and seating could be allowed outright.

So, is $224 too small a sum to bother waiving or too small to bother charging in the first place?