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With spring comes welcomed hope

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

I think it might be the coming of spring, but boy, do I feel optimistic. I've got that stereotypical bounce in my step and I've been looking around and seeing possibilities and potential lately, rather than the dark side of things.

So I want to share an open letter to anyone who doesn't live in Western Massachusetts:

My query to you is: why don't you?

Thanks to the Internet, there are folks who don't live here who just might read this column and maybe, just maybe, someone might think, "Why not?"

Here are a few reasons:

Western Massachusetts has four beautiful seasons for those folks who enjoy a change of scenery.

And if you don't like the current weather, wait a moment it will change.

The area boasts of one of the most diverse higher education communities in the nation.

People actually say good morning to one another.

Springfield is one of the nation's leading centers for small business development.

Communities such as Chicopee, Agawam, East Longmeadow and Springfield have industrial park space ready for a new business.

Between Springfield and Northampton there are many social and entertainment events happening each and every week.

The average commute is about 20 minutes not 45.

There are buses that link neighborhoods and communities.

Forget those Iron Chefs on TV, we got our own: Mino Giliberti of Buon Appetito, Chef Wayne of the Big Mamou and the prince of the short order, City Jake. There are many more great chefs as well.

We offer the ability to live in a country setting with mountains, meadows, trees and genuine wild animals and yet be in a city in a few minutes. Heck, you can live in the middle of Springfield as I do and enjoy fauna such as skunks, opossums and raccoons in your back yard! See deer in a city park!

We are three hours from New York City and an hour-and-a-half or so from Boston, if you have a hankering for a metropolis.

Communities such as Springfield and Holyoke have amazing fiber optic system to accommodate Internet businesses.

Everyone lives in Western Massachusetts. Latinos, Russians and Southeast Asians have joined older ethnic groups from Ireland, Poland, Greece and Quebec. We have great ethnic festivals and markets.

There are a whole bunch of mayors here who actually like being called by their first names.

And we have plenty of housing options ready for you new arrivals.

Next week, I'll go back to something darker. Today, though, I just want to savor the positive.

This column represents the opinions of its author. Send your comments to or to 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, Mass. 01028.