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LETTER: Reader urges votes for Birch’s “measured approach”

To Wiliamstown’s Voters

Dante Birch deserves to be elected to the Williamstown Planning Board. He is not only well informed about the proposals the Board has been debating, but he is also committed to listening carefully to townspeople and to gauging the possible implications of every planning proposal.

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LETTER: Reader says Birch “well-suited” to role on Planning Board

To the Editor:

I have been involved in Williamstown government for many years, but until today I have not publicly endorsed any candidate for elected town office. I am breaking my habit now to endorse Dante Birch for the Williamstown Planning Board because he possesses the personal qualities that are essential to the success and credibility of town boards.

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LETTER: Reader endorses Jeschawitz for second Planning Board term, Articles 32 and 33

Friends,

I’m writing to endorse Amy Jeschawitz for a second term on the Planning Board. It is the role of the Planning Board to envision and plan for our town’s future. That means they inevitably must grapple with questions of change: proposing adjustments to zoning bylaws to facilitate goals we want, while avoiding those harmful to us. It almost goes without saying that when the Planning Board is doing its job, residents will view it with a fearful eye—for no other reason than that it could bring change, and many of us like things the way they are. But Williamstown needs change. In particular, we need to diversify our housing options—doing nothing is tantamount to passive gentrification.

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Op-Ed: Who will roam the Stop & Shop aisles?

The reasonably autonomous drone, "Marty," that patrols the aisles at Stop & Shop, and other stores owned by parent company Ahold Delhaize. The anthropomorphized robot's job is, ostensibly, to monitor for spills and safety hazards, as well as to identify items running low in stock; photo by Jason Velázquez.
The reasonably autonomous drone, "Marty," that patrols the aisles at Stop & Shop, and other stores owned by parent company Ahold Delhaize. The anthropomorphized robot's job is, ostensibly, to monitor for spills and safety hazards, as well as to identify items running low in stock; photo by Jason Velázquez.

As union workers celebrate the win over Stop & Shop, owned by Dutch multinational Ahold Delhaize, the face of organized labor appears very much alive. The corporation had wanted to cut staff costs, ostensibly to provide “better customer service.”  While citing that labor costs are having a “major impact” on the company’s ability to compete in the changing market, Stop & Shop nevertheless secured a $2 billion profit in 2019.

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As threat of strike looms, so too does doubt regarding sincerity of Stop & Shop’s positions

Much of what has written about why the United Food and Commercial Worker’s Union, representing those at Stop & Shop authorized to strike, and for what benefits, and the bloodless P.R counterpoints from Stop & Shop corporate miss a more looming, macrocosmic issue facing service and food industry work as a whole: automation and dignity.

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Which Minorities Should YOU Be Persecuting In 2019?

Don't feel you have to limit your targets of discrimination just to the minorities listed — get creative! Depending on your location, many other outgroups may be available to harass or persecute!
Don't feel you have to limit your targets of discrimination just to the minorities listed — get creative! Depending on your location, many other outgroups may be available to harass or persecute!

Read Our Handy Guide To Find Out!

Satire by Corporate Christ, GUEST COLUMNIST

Are Lesbians moving into your community? Does the thought of Chinese children playing with your children frighten you? There are so many people to hate nowadays it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Read our handy article to make your own decision and you too can begin to make sense of your petty prejudices.

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For want of a nail…
Opportunity in America’s infrastructure

Massachusetts ranked 8th in a recent survey of the worst infrastructure in the U.S. by 247 Wall Street; photo, Interstate 495 over Merrimack River, Haverhill, courtesy Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Massachusetts ranked 8th in a recent survey of the worst infrastructure in the U.S. by 24/7 Wall Street; photo, Interstate 495 over Merrimack River; courtesy Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

How solid is a home that is sitting on a crumbling foundation? What other parts of this home are being stressed by having a weak infrastructure? Well, America IS our home and when we think about creating American jobs, we are literally standing on the solution. Keep Reading

Dem Bones

Since we stopped hunting and gathering and turned to markets for our food and ingredients, cost-conscious cooks have depended on affordable basics to provide hearty, healthy meals for their families. Many of these items are now being appropriated and glorified by “foodies” who have “discovered” them. The gentrification of traditional foods has enhanced the plates of the few at the cost of the many.

Nearly all ethnicities have roasted, then simmered, soup bones for a stock. Used to be that you could ask a butcher for some, and he would give you a big bag, cut into perfect lengths, for free. Traditional ingredients have enabled the cook to serve a wholesome and tasty meal of soup for less than $1 per person, including the chunks of warm bread for sopping it up. Think of all the cultures that rely on soup for satisfying nutrition. With pasta, with vegetables, with grains and curries, with garnishes like parsley or green onions.

Plain bones (no attached meat) are priced at about $2 a pound in the supermarket. And if you want someone else to do the simmering, a quart box of bone broth is about $5. Shanks and oxtails are a step up from bones, with more meat and flavor, but they have become unaffordable for the cook with a large family to feed. Another of my favorite bones, or collection of bones, is one of the dishes that has not been discovered—yet. Pig’s feet are part of the German heritage on one side of my family. I think it may take some doing before they are appropriated by anyone else. Keep Reading

Happy New Year, Greylock Nation!

I took last week off from putting out our newsletter to give us all a break. No last-minute appeals to the spirit of holiday generosity. No sentimental journeys. Not even my esoteric stream-of-consciousness prose that seems to be pretty popular with y’all. Keep Reading

Happy Hallmark Holiday

If you buy your holiday tree at a cut-your-own place, what tool do you bring or do they supply you with? Likely it’s a bow saw–a lightweight, efficient tool that nearly anyone, even me, can handle. It’s the tool that the workers at the lot use to even the cut of a precut tree so that it will stand nicely in your container and drink enough water to keep it green through the week or two it will gasp in an overheated room.

“Christmas Tree Farm After Snow,” by Bill Morrow; “Heart Hands,” public domain.

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Letter: Proposed Title IX Regulations Put Students at Greater Risk for Sexual Assault

At a time when students face terrifyingly high rates of sexual assault on college campus (23% of female, 5% of male, and 24% of trans and gender non-conforming students), the federal government is cutting back protections in Title IX.

 

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