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Finding ‘truth’ in today’s local issues

Date: 12/10/2015

One of the my journalistic gods, Ambrose Bierce – look him up  – defined the word “truth” in the following manner in his “Devil’s Dictionary” – “an ingenious compound of desirability and appearance. Discovery of truth is the sole purpose of philosophy, which is the most ancient occupation of the human mind and has a fair prospect of existing with increasing activity to the end of time.”

So “truth” can be elusive and fleeting, but allow me to share several “truths” with you. Knowing my readers I’m sure there will be a few who will dispute the accuracy of these “truths.”

What is going on with the MGM casino proposal is in many ways political theater, but it is necessary political theater. You know in your heart no matter how people desired a 25-story glass tower hotel and no matter how many people believe that without such an edifice the casino may have a more difficult time attracting an audience, the current plan will be approved and the project moved forward.

There are no elected officials who truly want to derail this project. What they want is to make MGM sweat a little bit. I don’t blame them.

MGM created this rancor through poor communications and they are still paying a price for that. They should. They need to understand city officials actually take seriously the concept of a partnership between the gaming giant and Springfield. What is going on now is not only dictated by law, but it is also a reminder that partners should have much better communication.

The casino, though, will go forward, despite the diehard opponents at the speak-out that was part of the meeting conducted in Springfield by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission on Dec. 3.

I believe this is a “truth.”

Another “truth” is the reaction I believe has already begun manifesting itself with the upcoming work on the Interstate 91 viaduct reconstruction. Traffic in Springfield as people seek alternative routes is already clogging up.

I’m trying to train myself to give myself an extra 15 minutes to a half an hour – depending on the assignment – in order to anticipate slow-downs. In my case, because our Reminder Publications Office for World Domination is on Route 83 in East Longmeadow, I have to allow up to five minutes to just take a left out of the parking lot in order to get to the rest of Hampden County.

 The traffic pattern here resembles a lobster trap. It’s easy to get here but more difficult to leave.

Although state transportation officials have said in the past the work on I-91 should only add 15 minutes to a person’s journey on the viaduct, I don’t believe this is a “truth.”

Here’s is another “truth.” For every outlandish remark made by people about Muslims, we run the risk of giving Da’ish more propaganda fuel to radicalize people. I know that outrageous political statements give some people comfort. By agreeing with idea of banning Muslim travel to the United States or registering American Muslims there is the illusion created that is a consensus being built to solve the extremist problem.

The “truth” is this political rhetoric won’t do anything other than convince someone this country is waging war against a religion.

There is one more “truth” I would like to share. Springfield will have to wait a long time to see another advocate for its students such as Antonette Pepe who passed away this week. We are lucky to have a School Committee with some very dedicated people, but Antonette was a cut above.

She spoke her mind and stood up against the status quo. She put the students, teacher and paraprofessionals as well as other staff first. Antonette was one of the most fearless public officials I’ve ever known and one of the least political politicians as well. She was a force of nature and yet was warm and always down to earth.  

My condolences go out to her family.

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.