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Rivoli news: good...tree cutting in park: bad

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

It's another slow summer news week around here...not!

Does the state really need to log in Robinson State Park in Aagwam? There seems to be a fair amount of opposition to the idea that the park needs to have trees removed for its continued health.

I can understand if the park had suffered from the effects of wind and rain and there were trees that needed to be removed.

Shouldn't a forest be allowed to have a natural existence?

I hope the people who use the park examine this issue closely.


Ask long-time Chicopee residents if they have a memory about the Rivoli Theater and you're bound to get a story. Every one of the mayor's party that toured the theater complex had one. Mayor Mike Bissonnette recounted how as a kid he wanted to sit in one of the "balcony" seats adjacent to the stage, but never did.

Although it wasn't the only theater in town it was the longest lasting. There are plenty of stories about the former Airline Drive-in as well, but few are acceptable in a family newspaper!

The curiosity about the fate of the theater has remained constant in the city. With the right developer a newly renovated Rivoli could be an additional spark to further downtown re-development.

As a movie and theater nut, it was great to see and hear that the new owners are very concerned about preserving the history of the building as it enters a new chapter.

And speaking of movies, I'd love to rent an office there. They're straight out of The Maltese Falcon!

There's a lot of potential left in the Rivoli.


The Springfield City Council needs to step up and do the right thing: support a home rule petition that would change the composition of the council to eight ward representatives and five at-large members.

I live in a neighborhood with no representation. The two adjoining neighborhoods have no representation. If we are to have a council that truly reflects the voices of the residents, we need ward representation.

Many councilors who have in opposition to the plan in the past have spoken of the form of city government in place prior to 1961. It was time of abuses of power and the at-large system.

Now the at-large system has enables only those people with the financial resources estimated by some as at least $35,000 to run a city-wide campaign, to have a chance as a candiate. And many neighborhoods go without any voice.

Councilors need to put aside the politics of selfisness and support the effort to bring new faces, voices and ideas to the council.

This column represents the opinions of its author and no one else.

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