Editorial: Thankful to call Franklin County home this holiday

Editorial: Thankful to call Franklin County home this holiday

The world will not be an ideal place, however for many of us, there are numerous issues to be glad about right this moment, dwelling as we do in one of the vital stunning corners of New England. Only a fast reflection reveals many issues to understand on this Thanksgiving:
Regardless of all of the turmoil that the Montague Police Division should be experiencing within the wake of the investigation by the state lawyer common, and a brand new selectmen’s investigation into the inner workings of the division, the city’s law enforcement officials proceed to do their job because the professionals they’re, defending their neighborhood regardless of the political tumult.
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Volunteers and college officers in cities like Northfield, Bernardston, Gill and Montague are keen to sort out the tough problem of discovering new methods to supply high quality schooling for much less cash within the face of dwindling enrollments and state help for colleges. They’re decided sufficient to enterprise past the neighborhood’s consolation zone to discover additional regionalization or collaboration to take care of good colleges, even when that may imply giving up a few of the conventional independence loved by our colleges.
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We’ve got seen our share of sniping and bitter emotions in Greenfield just lately over prices of political bullying, and frayed relations over hot-button points like “sanctuary metropolis” proposals. However regardless of that, we nonetheless most frequently see folks coming collectively to make their cities higher locations. And when there’s disagreement, most frequently we see civility in our public discourse. For instance, these Conway residents distressed by a sudden and sudden tabling of a secure communities proposal at a current city assembly have been in a position to categorical their disappointment at a subsequent selectmen’s assembly — politely and with respect on all sides.
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South County cities will quickly be getting a everlasting house for his or her regional ambulance service by way of the persistent parsimony of a number of Deerfield leaders — and with the beneficiant donation of a $484,000, four,000-square-foot constructing from Deerfield Academy.
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The North Quabbin Area can be glad about being chosen to be immortalized as Stephen King’s fictional “Fort Rock” when the net streaming service Hulu releases its horror/suspense thriller collection filmed partially in Orange. Orange landmarks, just like the Quabbin Harvest meals co-op on North Most important Avenue, and some locals shall be featured within the venture.
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Our county is full of folks keen to assist one another, particularly at instances of want and round holidays like Thanksgiving. There are simply too many examples, private and non-private, to checklist right here, which in itself is a blessing. However to call only one well timed instance: Monte’s March, wherein radio persona and Montague resident Christopher “Monte” Belmonte walks 43 miles from Springfield to Greenfield to assemble meals and cash for The Meals Financial institution of Western Massachusetts. Final yr, Belmonte’s trek raised $183,400. Officers who be part of Belmonte have included U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern, Meals Financial institution Government Director Andrew Morehouse, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III and Greenfield Mayor William Martin.
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Talking of meals, we’re blessed to have so many native meals growers who promote wholesome, sustainable consuming and existence, making it actually doable to eat regionally and nicely this vacation. One instance just lately profiled in our pages is Gill’s Upinngil Farm, which produces wheat — not a typical New England product — along with the farm’s signature strawberries and milk. The farm’s Sorrel Hatch and Isaac Bingham promote baggage of whole-wheat flour and wheat berries, together with home-baked bread, cookies and different baked items. Now, they’re additionally promoting pasta created from their 15 acres of exhausting pink winter wheat. A few of our native brewers use hops from Northfield and barley grown within the Pioneer Valley. That we now have greater than a dozen beer, wine and cider makers right here regionally is a supply of excellent cheer on the holidays.
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Our area’s produce growers can be glad about the Western Massachusetts Meals Processing Middle’s new $750,000 freezer-refrigerator constructing that’s anticipated to permit them to develop, freeze, package deal and market extra greens to the area’s colleges and different establishments throughout winter months, thus making their farms extra viable and permitting them to place extra meals on their very own tables — and cash within the financial institution.
West County residents are grateful for the bounty of regionally grown meals, too. Final Sunday, the annual Shelburne Falls Autumn Farmers Market, held within the Buckland-Shelburne Elementary College, stuffed cafeteria tables with contemporary greens, maple syrup, vacation wreaths and greens, regionally raised lamb, beef, pork and herbs.
Many farmstands displayed not solely meals, however handspun yarns, pottery, clothes and jewellery. The meals and items confirmed not solely the enterprise of meals growers, however a comforting reminder that the attractive hills and pastures of the hilltowns will not be simply pastoral “fairly faces,” however locations of actual agriculture and industrious creativity.
And these items are simply a few of the many causes we needs to be grateful to name this place house.