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WMassP&I Begins Guest Views Column…

In these tumultuous times, robust debate grounded in well-researched writing and opinions could not be more important. People are segmenting themselves off from each other via geography and media, frustrating our ability to solve problems. While WMassP&I has tried to provide sharp and fact-based news,

Take My Council, Please: (Not) Smoke-Filled Rooms…

SPRINGFIELD—The first regular City Council meeting coasted to a quick finish Monday night, a consequence of its small, uncontroversial agenda. Timing likely played a role in the slim to-do list. The body was only sworn in last week and submissions for this week’s agenda were

No Better Kickoff to 2018 than a Local Inauguration…

SPRINGFIELD—Amid frigid temperatures, rare New Year’s Day inaugurations formally installed new councilors two of the region’s largest cities installed last week.  Both Chicopee and Springfield swore in their city councils Monday. Council races were the highlights of both cities’ elections and the beginning of the

The Year in Springfield 2017…

For Springfield, 2017 seemed a year that confirmed some of the assumptions about the city. Despite a rare double-retirement at-large, voters did not turn out. But the changeover was consequential. Like the rest of the world, Donald Trump left an impact on Springfield, too. In

Briefings: Staff Changes to Your Weekly Reminder…

The economics of journalism and media remain volatile, especially in local markets and for alternative and community weeklies. Now, leadership changes have come to The Reminder, an East Longmeadow-based community weekly, if not due to turmoil. Christopher Maza, an assistance managing editor worked his last

Take My Council, Please: The Omega for Two Alphas…

SPRINGFIELD—Since the introduction of ward representation, most exits from the City Council have come with a bit of ignominy. Except for Keith Wright’s resignation for family reasons, other Council departures came either after defeat for reelection or failure to win a different Springfield office. However,

The Not Quite Glorious Property Tax Burden in Springfield…

SPRINGFIELD—The annual tug-of-war between residential and commercial property owners and their tax rates ended slightly in favor of residents this year. Each year, the City Council must set the rates, which distribute the property tax burden. The total amount to be collected was already determined

Take My Council, Please: But Will They Notice Me…?

SPRINGFIELD—The skimpiness of the evening’s agenda was no impediment for a lengthy and at times Byzantine City Council meeting.  Though subjects like tax rates, snow removal and parking bans are familiar matters, councilors managed to expend considerable time and summon from the well of procedural

Edge of 2017: Chicopee…The Next Generation Now Arriving…

CHICOPEE—At first glance, Derek Dobosz may not cut a particularly intimidating figure. Somewhat reserved and unimposing, he could easily be mistaken for younger than his 21 years. Nonetheless, Dobosz has accomplished one of the more difficult things to do in politics—knock off an incumbent city