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Sarno fires a shot heard 'round the valley

By G. Michael Dobbs
Managing Editor

Mayor Domenic Sarno has fired a shot that will be heard all around the diocese. He has approved the creation of a historic district that will preserve Our Lady of Hope Church.
Sarno's motivation was to protect the city's investment in three nearby public schools.
It will be interesting to see if other people seeking preservation of their closed churches will got this route.
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There are always winners and losers in politics and Congressman Neal is certainly a winner in the struggle of where to locate the state's back-up data center.
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The beginning of demolition of the Uniroyal/Facemate in Chicopee is a giant step forward for that city. The hulking industrial complex has been a legal problem that has bested previous administrations and the fact it has been solved and the redevelopment process has truly begun should hearten residents of the city.
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The world can be divided many ways Ginger or Maryanne, Shemp or Curly and now there is another way: Snuggie or the Dreamie.
Naturally, either makes the perfect gift.
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I seldom read the MassLive forums. Frankly, I would rather spend my time doing other things. In the past, I've noticed that too often a relatively small group of people have dominated the forums and too many of those fill their posts with some fairly nasty and ill-informed remarks.
I was a radio talk show host for five years, so I know all about anonymous opinion. Since I was the house liberal we had a conservative and someone was more centralist I received the best hate mail as this was during the Reagan administration.
I felt the need to go to the East Longmeadow forum this week as there was some buzz over a recent story by Mike Briotta about the National Priorities Project (NPP), a Northampton-based organization that calculates how much money the current war in Afghanistan is costing cities and towns.
Considering the current economic state of the country, I thought this was an interesting way to look at foreign policy from a local perspective. The NPP doesn't espouse any political viewpoint on the war, but only provides data.
Naturally, though, there were some people who didn't care for the story. That's fine write me a letter to the editor and make your point to our readers.
Instead, these readers posted their remarks to MassLive. In a way that's great too, because, as they say in Hollywood, any publicity can be good publicity and folks who missed the piece might wander over to our Web site to read it.
I can't help but wonder why either of these writers chose this forum to air their complaints instead of sending me their comments. Perhaps it's because if they wanted to have their remarks published here, I'd require them to stand by them with their name and community of residence.
Sorry, but I actually believe you need to take responsibility for your free speech. I do every week as well as the folks who write letters. Why can't you?
This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments online to news@thereminder.com or to 280 North Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028.


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