The Opinion Page
We moderate this page through one simple method. Civil stuff, we publish. Angry, vituperative and ugly stuff, we do not. Letters to the Editor are welcome. No anonymous commentary. If you have something to say, put your name to it. That's pretty much it. Send Stuff here: For the Opinion Page
|IN OUR OPINION:
Does Our Town Hall Need an Accessibility Ramp?
On Feb. 23, the Historic District Commission will continue a hearing on the appropriateness of a proposed accessibility ramp in front of our town hall. The Selectboard has proposed the ramp out of concern that the main hall is not accessible to disabled people. It certainly should be - that's the law.
But it might add to the discussion to recognize that there is one comment that
many visitors to our Friday Market leave behind each week: “This is such a
Do we need to follow the rules and make the a building accessible? Of course
we do. Are we facing an imminent enforcement action from the state? We are
not. Do we need to deface an historic structure to meet the rules? Of course
not. There are less intrusive solutions but the only choice presented to a
Dec. 12 town meeting was an external ramp.
The HDC should deny this application and send the Selectboard, well yes, back to
the drawing board.
Donald Trump lost the election - in Petersham - 416 to 312. But he won nationwide thanks to the Electoral College system. Here, 416 people probably gnashed their teeth. Elsewhere, people took to the streets in protest. That's the system. There are winners and there are losers.
Now it is time to step back, walk back the nasty rhetoric and get on with whatever comes next. NOTE TO ELIZABETH WARREN - That means you too. Hateful speech diminishes only the speaker.
The sky did not fall. The republic will survive. We are, after all, we are all in this together.
Where is the Argument?
Putting aside the question of how the Commonwealth might regulate pot shops - and collect staggering amounts of new revenue - there seems to be a contingent in Boston that wants to delay the whole thing.
But here's the deal - with black helicopters hovering and reports of law enforcement swooping down to confiscate small quantities of home-grown pot from people with medical marijuana permits - the people voted YES to allow home-grown pot plants. December 15, 2016 is the date when home-grown becomes legal.
In Petersham, the vote was 465 Yes to 329 No. Pot shops might require a regulatory "infrastructure" and creating that might cause a delay. But statewide, the electorate voted yes for small amounts of home-grown dope.
Our legislators should step back and respect the voters action. Simple as that. There is no need to delay that part of the new law.
Where Are All of You?
The US Census Bureau says 1,234 people live here. Our town government spends a bit more than $3 million each year on roads, schools and all that other stuff.
Eleven people attended the Oct. 21 Selectboard meeting. Three Selectmen, two town employees, two newspaper reporters, the transfer station assistant and the animal control person were among them. Two just plain residents? Where is everybody else?
Drunk - On (Our) Money
So how about Congress and the President? The US spends 10X more
than anyone else in the world for weapons and soldiers, billions on aid to other
countries, billions for agencies that spend their time writing more rules and more
regulations designed to "fix" everything that could possibly go wrong.
IN OUR OPINION...
The System Is Broken - 1
"We are sorry for the delay but all of our representatives are helping other customers. Please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly." How many times have you heard that and waited 20 or more minutes to get a simple question answered? Are call volumes "unusually high" or do these companies simply not have enough folks answering the phones? Here's an idea -- hire a few more call center representatives. Answer more calls in less time. Give a few folks badly needed jobs and give the rest of us a little well-deserved relief..
DAY - D. Tatlock
Send all snail mail to: The Honorable (name of your state representative/state senator) State House, Boston, MA 02133. Your representatives all have e-mail addresses as well.
Sometimes it is a good thing to live at the top of a hill.
IN YOUR OPINION:
Letters to the Editor
Trump Will Undermine Our Democracy
President-elect Trump threatens everything I believe in and have spent a lifetime supporting or actively striving for. Hillary was not the perfect candidate, Bernie was, but she will do. Trump has to go, and I hope the Electoral College agrees. Otherwise, he will undermine the fabric of our democracy and all the safeguards that have been put in place over the past 100 or so years...starting with Teddy Roosevelt's protections of the environment through the establishment of the national park system.
Trump has no respect for workers, civil rights, the environment or free speech. His behavior and cabinet selections reveal his game plan. But it is Trump, along with America, that is being played for a fool. He has played into Russia's hands and will do their bidding at a juncture when America is at a crossroad and could maintain its global prominence or rapidly decline and our resources plundered. Russia will be on the ascendancy if Trump is allowed to be president. Our glory days will be long past.
Trump does not uphold American values that have inspired people the world over. His language is that of a bully and degenerate. Fascism is not what made America great, but rather a belief in We the People and a firm understanding that the country belongs to all of us. We look out for one another through safeguards such as environmental and safety regulations, educational opportunities and civil rights protections that respect everyone within a nation of laws, not arbitrary rule by a preening narcissist with a comb-over.
211 Dana Road
Orange MA 01364
This space is reserved for your thoughts and opinions on all sorts of stuff.