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East Longmeadow's definition of a 'problem' is questionable

Date: 5/1/2013

By G. Michael Dobbs

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that amidst all of the chaos, there is good news.

In Springfield, about 1,000 people volunteered on April 26 to help rebuild and repair 25 homes on Tyler Street in the Old Hill neighborhood through the efforts of the Springfield affiliate of Rebuilding Together.

A great event, this shows what can be done to make a substantive change in a neighborhood.

I'm remembering that when we have to go back to the chaos.

Poop or no poop, that is the question

OK, first in East Longmeadow, we had a "problem" with Canada Geese congregating at Heritage Park and despoiling the grounds.

It's a biological fact that geese do poop.

Then, someone decided a while back to bring in a pair of swans because supposedly swans would drive out the geese. Instead, the geese and the swans get along just fine and the town found itself in trouble with the state because swans are a non-native invasive species.

And now we're going to have a town employee come out with his dog to chase the geese away.

The problem here is goose poop in places where people want to walk and play. The solutions so far have not been satisfactory.

Why are there birds there? The pond. Geese like water. Get rid of the pond and you get rid of the birds. Cap the spring and bring in concrete. It could be a skateboard park.

Then, of course, we'd have a bunch of adolescents. Thankfully they tend to use toilets.

Which has the most value: the pond and the poop that it inevitably brings or a poop-free environment?

Such problems. Seriously?

What if we lose?

So, West Springfield and Springfield what in the name of all that's holy is your Plan B? If neither community wins the casino license, what steps would be taken to ensure continued economic development?

No one is talking much about that. Everyone is acting like a football team before the big game. The problem is this is not a game.

I'm not trying to jinx anyone, honestly, but we all know that with just one available license there will be one winner and a bunch of losers.

The issue is especially acute in Springfield, as the money from a casino is desperately needed as new tax revenue.

Mayor Sarno and Mayor Neffinger: what plan do you have in your back pocket?

Talented people need not apply

When I was a mere boy and beardless youth, people starred in television programs because they had talent. To make it on a network show, being the boss's nephew or having a "special" friendship with an executive wasn't quite enough. There was always too much at stake.

Now, of course, starring in a television show with the potential of being seen nationwide – now worldwide, thanks to the Internet – has been democratized. You don't have to have talent. You just have to be yourself, especially if being "yourself" means you're either highly eccentric or a moron.

Olympic swimming champ Ryan Lochte falls into the latter category. Seldom have I seen a public figure exhibit so little intelligence in front of so many people. I'm amazed at the greed of his handlers to allow him to exhibit his ability to barely function in an adult world.

There are various animals with no opposable thumbs that make better decisions than Lochte and they are much more entertaining to watch.

The premise of the show is not to tune in because we admire him, but to watch him stumble with an idiotic grin on his face.

His parents must be so proud. Maybe they are getting a cut.

Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.