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A Last-Minute Letter to Santa

Date: 12/19/2008

Dear Santa:

I doubt that you need my help in determining who has been good and who has been bad this year. I know you have both sophisticated spying techniques as well as analysis services to determine just how much coal needs to loaded onto your sled. In the spirit of the holidays I hope the following advice will help or at least distract you from delivering a half-ton of bituminous into my stocking:

Please bring Mayor Michael Bissonnette of Chicopee a potential developer for the former library building. Bissonnette seems to be doing something that has defeated other mayors dealing with the Uniroyal/Facemate properties and it would be nice if he had some help on another redevelopment issues.

Give Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department something he truly wants as he does a great job interacting with the media on what is happening police-wise in the city. We all love those mug shots!

To all of the television weather people who insist on trying to scare us every time there is a hint, chance or a suggestion of a storm, let them find a couple inches of snow in their stockings.

The folks at Lorraine's Soup Kitchen, Margaret's Pantry, the Parish Cupboard, the Community Survival Center and the Open Pantry all deserve an extra candy cane in their stockings for all of the good work they do in helping people make ends meet. If you can manage it, a money order for $30,000 would really come in handy for Lorraine's new building.

Speaking of people who do good, my friends at Womanshelter/Compa eras also deserve something extra under the tree.

Please do something subtle to inform all of the ultra right-wing organizations that clog up my e-mail in box with hate-filled missives to please knock it off. I would gladly donate my anticipated half-ton of coal for this use.

A gift card for an extended vacation when his term of office is up would be a great idea for Holyoke Mayor Michael Sullivan. He deserves a break!

Speaking of Holyoke, please consider giving Police Chief Scott an actual Dick Tracy wrist radio. He likes the high tech stuff.

And to all of the folks in the Holyoke District Court whose lily-livered decisions undermine the efforts of the police and do not help residents in the city may I suggest a spine or two. I'd recommend something else but this is a family newspaper.

The folks at Westfield State College who are working on a redevelopment plan for downtown Westfield that actually might work all should get something they really want.

A new pair of suspenders is always appropriate for the sharpest dressing mayor in the region, Domenic Sarno.

To the East Longmeadow Board of Selectmen, may I suggest a group course in how to work together and maybe anger management as well?

All of the people who fight the good fight in their communities to bring issues to the forefront, including folks such as James Raschilla, Karen Powell, Lois Smith, Kat Wright, Liz Stevens, Robert Underwood, Minnie Galloway, Mo Jones and many others should get something extra in their stockings.

A huge "lawn cigar" should go to the people who keep their dogs chained to their houses in all weather or toss cats out like garbage. Make sure you leave it on their living room rugs better yet in their slippers.

And to everyone who uses this holiday of peace and love as an excuse to exercise feuds within their families, could you remind them just what the season is all about through some negative re-inforcement?

All of our readers and advertisers deserve the material equivalent of at least a hearty handshake of thanks, if not a hug but only with permission.

My staff deserves a good gift for putting up with me all year. And my wife needs to get a Lexus in the driveway actually, she'd probably prefer an extra mystery novel, a box of chocolates and some additional peace and quiet away from me.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all of you. And please, Santa, take it easy on me.