Reminder Publications
| 2020 has been a year of important lessons | 60 years later, death of JFK still means something important | A healthy local press may also mean a healthy local political process | A new district map could lead to greater diversity | A sad level of hypocrisy exists with troopers refusing vaccine | A series of reflections now that we’re post-election | A trip to Cambridge underscores a real problem | Abandoned theaters provide economic development to cities | Abortion issue another example of politicians skewed priorities | Adjusting to working from home and problems that come with it | Afghanistan is an issue with local implications | Air and Space Show brings up memories of Westover in its prime many years ago | All it takes is one bug to shut down inspection system | An old man asks for explanations on variety of topics | An understatement: the Legislature puzzles me sometimes | Anniversary of casino bill important for state and region | Another casino: positive addition or hobbling earning potential? | As Groucho once said, ‘Hello, I cannot stay, I must be going’ | As usual, I learned a lot over the past year | As usual, I’ve got questions and seeking answers | Attack on Post Office is anti-American | Baker’s decision disappoints | Baker’s move makes next election a free-for-all | Balancing pandemic and opening schools is a tough decision | Balancing pandemic and opening schools is a tough decision | Banning books should never be part of our culture | Being a mayor isn’t easy, neither is running for the office | Beware the sexy lingerie store? | Biden signs new law to support the Post Office | Bill raises questions around profanity and context | Blackface is simply unacceptable at any time, for any reason | Bob ‘the Bike Guy’ renews my holiday spirit | Can billionaires understand small business struggles? | Can we actually cope with the challenges that face us in the 21st Century? | Can we really say we know how another person feels? | Candidates smear each other and it’s shameful | Cannabis event brings up many questions | Cannabis lounges should happen but must have safeguards | Casino Advisory Committee should focus on helping city | Chain stores can be great, but local retailers truly help build communities | Change is a necessary component of human life | Charland shows the impact of true public service | Charlie Ryan was a legendary figure in city’s history | Cities and towns should consider municipal broadband | Cities are bracing for legal pot | City and tourism officials should take advantage of MGM’s opening | City Council meeting presents some unexpected discussion | City should confiscate illegal dirt bikes driven on streets | Civil conversation gives me a little hope | Claims of censorship made by some are misleading | Climate change is here whether you ignore it or not | Comments underscore what work we have to do | Computers are great, but typewriters were expressive and fun | Confederate flag in the Capitol reaffirms the evil it represents | Coronavirus is as significant to history as the Great Depression | Decades old decision helped divide nation | Do you know a guy? That’s what you need to get the shot | Don’t let sticker shock prevent progress | Don’t worry, I’m not running for office this year | Dr. Seuss political hysteria is predictable | East–West rail makes sense – but at what cost? | Twenty years down, maybe five more to go | Education funding needs change, mayoral races are heating up | Enjoying a taste of normalcy in New England | Enough prayers; it’s time for action | Enshrinement should stay in Springfield | Ensuring the correct use of language is a daily habit | Erosion of freedoms looms with Supreme Court decision | Events still live as long as there are witnesses, survivors and participants | Fact checking letters to the editor – opening a can of worms? | ‘Faith’ should not be part of the electoral process | Few markets our size have the combination of tourism attractions we do | For Union Station to reach potential, customer amenities must be priority | Forecasts of increased crime with casino prove inaccurate | Gift giving is an art form. Some excel at it, others – not so much | Got a lot on my mind about my industry this week | Grim realities of a pre-determined impeachment | Growth in newspapers? Yes, it can happen. We’ve proved it. | Hard fought elections come to their conclusions | Here are some predictions on what we could expect in 2021 | Here’s an idea: let’s discuss issues we can actually affect | Hey kids, want to monitor the media for Homeland Security? | History’s lessons shouldn’t be ignored | Holyoke may be a city, but it’s really a village | Honoring veterans means more than just a ‘thank you’ | I describe ‘fake news’ as best as I can | I learned a lot in 2018, how about you? | I love our neighboring states, but I’m staying home | I made a not-so-bold prediction: forcing Neal isn’t going to work | I need to do something to help Ukraine | I offer advice to graduates that they didn’t request | I offer some unsolicited advice again to candidates | I support MGM Springfield but isn’t it time to reopen fully? | I want this pandemic to end. Do you? | I’d like to see MGM Springfield become even more successful | If May 18 was Christmas, the presents were sensible | Ignoring Facebook may ensure a Merry Christmas | I’m happy to say we’re bucking the industry trend | I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore | I’m not sure what message is being sent in Chicopee | Image in advertisement raises concerns from reader | Impeachment: staging a bloodless coup or addressing wrong doings of the president? | In a self-induced pity party? Snap out of it | In digital age, real travel is valued | In stressful election year, solace found in the words of journalists past | In stressful times, laughter can be the best medicine | In the absence of theaters, drive-ins offer a nostalgic option | In tumultuous 2020, there’s still plenty to be thankful for | Inflation might have been bad, but it didn’t seem to affect gambling | Inside baseball: facts in controversial stories can be elusive | Is candy corn the new fruitcake? | Is our future going to be similar to ones seen in science fiction films? | Is our political speech not much better than that of 150 years ago? | Is proposed raise for the city council justified or too much? | Is there a better way for cities to deal with snow? | Isn’t it time for solutions rather than shouting? | It takes a lot of gall for Sudders to show up here | It’s a mystery to me how history will view anything | It’s not that difficult to cut down plastic personally | It’s the best time of the year: election season | It’s the New Year and time to get back to business | It’s time for a new courthouse in Springfield | It’s time to put the politics aside and seek real solutions to violence | It’s time to start fixing our mistakes | I’ve developed protective coloring to get through Super Bowl | I’ve got a long list of reasons to be thankful this year | Lack of understanding of Trump is hitting me hard | Last weekend’s events offered a tale of two downtowns | ‘Less-than-adequate’ snow cleanup spurs complaints and plans | Lessons I’ve learned during the first year of the pandemic | Let’s change the perception of what is an ‘art’ town | Let’s hope that 2022 isn’t the terrible year that 2021 was | Let’s prepare for marijuana tourism as its coming | Life is indeed too short, live it to the fullest our situation allows | Local candidates show how to behave like adults in a debate | Local woman has spent years seeking medical help to no avail | Longmeadow Democratic Breakfast provides a political mosh pit | Longmeadow voters speak their mind on elected officials | Loss of small town resonates in climate debate | Low turn-out for preliminary election is troublesome | MAD was more than satire; it strengthened the freedom of speech | MAGA vs. Taylor Swift, a Super Bowl of stupidity | Massachusetts’ recovery will take longer than we imagine | Media jumps to conclusions, ride–sharing fee-hike bad for Western Mass. | Merry Christmas from this ink-stained editor | MGM needs the 4 a.m. closing time, but do other establishments need it as well? | MGM Springfield has met many expectations during its first year | MGM story takes an interesting turn – maybe | More proof that this country’s ‘crazy factor’ is regularly increasing | Neal rises to the top of the national political discussion | Neal’s record challenged by new progressive PAC | New mattress regulation creates an unexpected reaction | Individual acts of kindness help make this Christmas brighter for many | Daniel’s appearance prompts thoughts about celebrity | News articles shouldn’t use unnamed sources | Newspaper hero provides comfort this week | No offense Santa but could you stay away just a little while longer? | North-south rail, a first step in the right direction | Not all newspapers lean the same way in politics | Note to Gov. Baker and Legislature: Fund the PVTA properly | Now that elections are over, did you cast a vote? | Our continued expansion illustrates the value of community journalism | Pandemic has caused me to appreciate life’s little moments | Pandemic has left us searching for a little bit of ‘normal’ in 2020 | Past election night, more history will be made | Patrick needs to start now if he’s running | Pay rate for dealers surprises some | Paying tribute to Caesar is annual exercise in pain and confusion | People need to get past pandemic fatigue and do the right thing | Plan to weaken U.S. Post Office must be stopped | Please explain: Why do some people like to root for failure? | Police shouldn’t obscure or bury the history of systemic racism | Political debates are essential institution in our democracy | Politics is fun but confusing at times | Post-election town-by-town recap | Pot sales give municipalities needed revenue | Primary season brings about changes, surprises and intrigue | Proposed legislation is designed to protect personal freedom | Proposed legislation would open cannabis industry to more people | Proposed new funding source could help out downtowns | Proud of 18 years at The Reminder | Public opinion and statistics on Springfield schools differ | Publishing news that is hyper-local­ — that is still our philosophy | Putin’s threat sets off memories from childhood | Question for new governor: is high speed rail a priority? | Random act of hate adds to these sad and dangerous times | Ray Hershel created a legacy of professionalism in region | Reaching this life milestone is a little unreal | Reader disagrees and says same sex marriage is ‘immoral’ | Report about sheriffs and contributions is click-bait | Responsibility in the face of a pandemic | Retirement of police commissioner opens door to discussion | Ruling could affect tips-based jobs | Sanders gives standard stump speech for supporters | Scratch and Keno lottery sales decline worries officials | Should drug testing for first responders be considered? | Slap heard around the world just part of weird week | Smith & Wesson departure should make us think about business development | So what does government actually care about? | Soldiers' Home debate disgusts me | Some thoughts that have been in my head, before I forget them | Sorting through everything rattling through my brain | Sports betting should help as many businesses as possible | Springfield had plenty of good choices in preliminary elections | Springfield incident illustrates the need for public safety improvements | Springfield, welcome to your new community newspaper | Steps to combat racism in American society should be welcomed, not scoffed at | Study gives a peek at casino impacts | Study shows unfunded mandates remain a challenge for cities and towns | Survey says: people still believe in falsehoods | Taking stock of one head-spinner of a week | Taxing Boston drivers, visitors more is an idiotic plan | Tell me what you think should be done | Ten years later, 2011 tornado is still an influence | Texting argument is a distraction | The COVID-19 vaccines are a blessing | The death of a warrior, Michaelann Bewsee made Springfield a better community | The decision by the Times was wrong | The departure of two members of the media will be felt | The Fourth of July is about more than hotdogs and fireworks | The great power of imagery always needs to be examined | The growth of the cannabis industry needs to continue | The importance of affordable mass transit across the state | The movies teach us that 2022 could be a lot worse than it is | The Post Office should not be a casualty of the pandemic | The president doesn’t seem to understand purpose of Memorial Day | The primary is here and I hope you will vote | The primary season truly starts and it’s busy | The return of cursive writing could help students | The road to Aug. 24 opening has been a long and interesting one | There are rules about being ‘off the record’ | There are serious business concerns with cannabis | There is a disconnect between beliefs and actions | This is what democracy is all about | This past year provided me with a number of lessons | Those who defaced BLM street art are either racists or jerks | ‘Thoughts and prayers’ won’t solve continuing violence | Time to look past monuments of the past to create better future | Tips to get through the holidays from a ‘professional cynic’ | To get east-west rail service, we need to make it Boston’s ‘idea’ | To get the shot, you clearly need a plan | To me, Chicopee resident David Barsalou is a hero | Town meeting season brings up questions of efficiency in governing | Transportation, infrastructure improvements need to benefit Western Mass. too | Trip to UMass was nostalgic and hopeful | Trump’s snub of WWI observation would be political suicide for anyone else | Trust is difficult to rebuild following Croteau case | Two out of three candidates have an opinion about the courthouse | UMass Amherst journalism students give me hope | UMass purchase of Mount Ida College betrays its mission | Undocumented immigration demands attention | Unexpected and welcome letters from the mayor | Unsolicited advice is easy to give, harder to take | Vaccine sites should have been organized ages ago | Vieau did the right thing by removing Wilk | Visitors recognize region’s potential | Voicing an opinion is fine, but casting a vote is more important | Warren’s ‘everyman’ Instagram post registers as total fail | We all have health care stories | We don’t need to legalize fireworks in Massachusetts | We don’t sell out for sandwiches | We have the opportunity to do something here about climate change | We hope you enjoy your new newspaper | We may not have a coastline but there are things we share with the Cape | We must find a common ground and unite by finding solutions | We must save small businesses | We need a more cohesive regional and national approach to the pandemic | We need to take advantage of opportunities | Welcome to the first Reminder ‘Outlook’ edition | Welcome to the new chapter in The Pennysaver | Welcome to your new community newspaper, The Reminder | We’ll be delivering you local news every week | We’re making some changes | West Side has left money on the table – can it afford it? | What are you going to do to help our country move forward? | What businesses are learning from MGM | What has the Gaming Commission been doing lately? | What the heck happened to 2017? | What would it take for a racist to change their mind? | Whatever your traditions, happy Thanksgiving | What’s the difference between purchasing recreational cannabis and alcohol? | What’s wrong with a term limit for the speaker? | When I’m wrong, I’m wrong: Wahlburgers broke ground | Who benefits from vaping ban? | Why I’m exhausted by this year’s election season | Why is the Commonwealth considering banning menthol cigarettes? | Why would you oppose net neutrality? | Will banning plastic straws negatively impact your life? Probably not | Will Western Mass. benefit from high-speed rail? Not likely | With climate change, it’s time to rethink your yard | With Hall of Fame, it’s just business, right? Nothing personal | With low public interest, do voters even know it’s election season? | Wolff book brings up issues of how elected officials relate to reporters | Working from home provides different kinds of distractions | Yes, I want to go into space, but do they have a suit to fit me? | Yes, I’m going to get letters about this opinion | Zippy the Pinhead visits Western Massachusetts again | So should a museum be responsible for political correctness? | Las Vegas shootings bring up the same unanswered questions again | Freedom of speech is a demanding concept | What’s the second economic development act after 2018 for Springfield? | Imagine this: you could witness the start of a war as a kid and then serve in it | The city is benefitting from political involvement | Move the state capitol to Springfield? Sounds good to me | 2012 race the election of social media | What a week for the local newsman | 2013: An obsession with casino gaming | News brings back nuclear memories | 30 percent raise for councilors is too much | ABC40, Fox6 sale to Meredith Broadcasting would erodes freedom of the press | A big 'thank you' to readers who helped out | A chance to talk about the budget is coming | Add tax to my Zagnut; I can take it | advicefor2014gradu | Advice for 2014 graduates journeying into adult life | Solar panels aren’t that unattractive | A fairy tale for the suburbs | A few topics for contemplation | Affordable reliable energy is big issue | Age doesn’t bring insight, just more questions to ponder | A history lesson for the Millennials | A hot property? You could say that | Ah spring, the time for the neighbors to misbehave | A Last-Minute Letter to Santa | Albano’s campaign focuses on attacks rather than the issues | Albano’s response to WGGB corruption stories is inexpicable | Aldermen must abide by regulations | A little reminder about submissions | All press has a 'slant' here's mine | All the news that <i>is</i> the news | America polarized along race and politics | ...and the house fire's red glare | I don my annual protective coloring | Annual roast raises laughs and funds | An open invitation | An open letter to the year 2015 | Do you have the answers to my questions? | A political trade-off gives us higher sales tax | Are entertainment districts at odds? | Are judges undermining the police? | Are more taxes the answer to cuts? | Channelling 'Bitter Bierce:' Are people stupid or willful? | A request for Santa for some last-minute gifts this season | Are the right questions being asked in the latest mayoral controversy in Chicopee? | A rewards program could help local businesses | Are we ever going to progress as a society or a species? | Are you part of the 99 Percent? | Are you really a Republican? Take the RNC test | Are your satisfied with your media? | A season for 'Brown' effect? | A sleepless night brings random thoughts | As pro-casino folks bide their time, here’s some food for thought | Back-to-school elicits nostalgia | Bad call on biomass review | Basketball Hall, built from the ground up | Battles royal made for interesting primaries | Be heard with The Reminder’s Speak Out | Be horrified by things that actually matter | Biding reporters get no Biden time | Big Dig finger-pointing is starting | Billboard doesn't help discussion | Biomass questions continue to bother me | Black Friday deals aren’t worth someone’s life | Blizzard spawns bad behavior | I hate when this happens | Tornado sends us back in time | Boston Globe would give us goose poop | Boston's bad what about the Valley? | Boston’s Olympic aspirations don’t jive with state’s real needs | Bringing back the neighborhood business model | Brown can't seem to stay out of the limelight | Buckle or not | Buendo is honored for his service | 'Buy American, Buy from Massachusetts' | Buying American saved local jobs | Buying cheap perpetuates cycle | By cracky, these whippersnappers deserve ban | Call me 'Kreskin' | Candidates offer choices - go vote! | Candidates should take religion off the table | Candy tax no way to boost revenue | Can't agree with governor | Pro- or anti-casino? Make up your mind | Casino gaming on verge of embarrassment | Casino in West Springfield would be a mistake | Casinos aren’t like just any other business | Casinos won't save unemployed | Cathedral answer only creates more questions for diocese | ‘Celebrity’ – a matter of opinion | Center is good for region's economy | Changes to the Affordable Care Act shows how one action can affect many | Chief fiasco illustrates need for change | Christmas message makes more sense to me | Closing of a circus marks the end of an era in entertainment | City Council blows opportunity to talk about issues surrounding cyber caf&#233;s | City needs ward representation | "City of Homes" isn't lawless Wild West | City plans to market itself | Cleaning the river has made a huge difference in the Pioneer Valley | Clearly we love sensationalism | Climate change is real and we all must deal with it right now | Columbus Day: a holiday of myths | Comic Con, Bing Con not just for comic book lovers anymore | Commercialism taints yet another day | Communities should plan for billboards now | Commuter rail service must expand | Completing census form is a patriotic duty | Computing center is already helping | Condom issue isn't black and white | Conference can shed light on media | Conference Could Help Your Business | Congressional race could be killer | Consolidation of news operations is a troubling trend for Western Massachusetts | Conversation must trump rhetoric | Corruption can happen anywhere | Cost of Ingram’s ‘incentive’ way too high for taxpayers | Could any governor lower taxes? | Could Springfield’s involvement with Dunbar set expensive precedent? | Could the world’s most powerful nation be brought to its knees? | Could towns do a better job than RMV? | Count me among those who are still skeptical about MassPike toll changes | Coverage is the real health crisis | Credibility of Williams, NBC could be irreparably tarnished | Crisis in Syria has more depth than American news outlets suggest | Criticism of journalists just another shining example of American hypocrisy | I’m willing to bet the third Connecticut casino won’t hurt MGM Springfield | DCAMM’s process needs revamp | Dear Deval: fire the guy with the $5 fee | Dear Mr. President: let's hear more on energy | Debate rages on Agawam project | Debates, budgets and comrades | Debates were worth covering | Dedication to cause makes all the difference | Democrats for Romney, join me! | Dems: Get a spine, do the right thing | Despite life's trials, there's plenty for which to be thankful | Deval, we need equity in hospital funding | Deval will back casinos...I think | Did ancient grudges keep Hampden from doing the right thing? | Diocese not doing itself any favors in handling of Cathedral | Diocese should speak honestly about future of Cathedral High | Disputes arise over safety costs | Do crime stories hurt or help? | Does anyone have the answers to my questions? | Does Bay State support sweatshops? | Do ‘job creators’ really create jobs? | Do more guns mean more safety? | Don’t be complacent after the election; get and stay involved | Don't tear it down; build it up | Don't thrust your beliefs on others | Do these presidential debates matter? | Do we need a big box store in town? | Do we need another Stop & Shop? | Do we still have religious freedom here? | Down-sizing Westover is bad news for region and nation | Do you feel guilty eating Kentucky Fried? | Do you know a 'Hometown Hero?' | Do you want MGM’s closing time to be at 4 a.m.? | Early closing times detrimental to businesses | Time might be right for East Longmeadow to re-examine governmental structure | East Longmeadow has an outdated form of government | East Longmeadow's definition of a 'problem' is questionable | Election coverage slighted by budgetary restraints | Election merry-go-round may begin anew | Election mystery: where was Mitt? | Endorsing Popeye for president | Enduring institutions complete a bridge between generations | Enrich the city with more arts and culture | Essex House collapse raises questions about plans for other Holyoke buildings | Is the Gulf crisis boring you? | Everyone should be involved in agriculture | Facebook has changed the face of political discourse | Faith is great, unless it blinds | Fall-out continues from incident | Fear greases the wheels of government | Federal Building project is a misstep | Federal cuts beg question,"What's the Point?" | Fee boycott may not be the answer | Fifteen years at RPI: it’s been a long strange ride | Fifty years later, we can still take lessons from march on Selma | Finding a team might be the easy part for hockey in Springfield | Finding beauty in the most mundane of civic responsibilities – jury duty | Finding ‘truth’ in today’s local issues | First overnight hospital stay proves to be a teaching moment | Five years later, 2011 tornado’s impact still lingers in the Valley | Flag burners have rights but do they know what the flag means? | Flea market is great 'dig' for history buffs | Fly the flag on 9/11 for the victims and the troops | Focusing on the steak, not the sizzle | Following the evolution of a story can be fun | Forbes story is sensational and cheap | For the holidays, I may be turning off Facebook | Freedom of religion applies to all | Freedom of speech is a demanding and harsh concept | Do you play the gasoline game? | Future Hampden County sheriff should consider Griffin’s message on addiction | Gabrieli presents plans instead of promises | Get ready for Deval's visit this week | Getting traction on incumbents requires developing real issues | Government can only do so much | Government must aid in job retention | Government shouldn't restrict marriage between two adults | Governor’s Council operates in different fashion | Gov. Patrick wants to hear your opinion | Gov should get criticism he deserves | Graduates: what you need – more advice | Unsolicited advice to youngsters from a grey beard | Grillin' season arrives with Scott's roast | Group homes present ethical issue | Haberman Hardware was last remnant of Holyoke’s glory days | Handing out onions and orchids | Hard Rock doesn't address important details | Have you taught your kids the stare? | Help say 'Happy B' day' to a nice guy | Help still needed for tornado victims | Here's a little backstage peek at reporting | Here’s a simple guide to talking sports for those who don’t actually follow sports | Here's how to get your news in the media | Here’s more inside baseball about the news business | Here's my gift list this holiday season | Here’s what every graduate needs: unwanted advice | Hey Santa, will you grant my wishes? | Hillman spends a minute in western Mass. | History frequently provides answers | Court decision poses question: whose religious ‘freedom’ matters more? | Holyoke is pushing the high tech envelope | Holyoke may be best kept secret in area | Holyoke’s Christmas tree scuffle political silliness, nothing more | Holyoke's time in the barrel has ended | Honeybees should be protected, not banned | Hoping for a less bruising 2011 | Hoping third party gets first place | Horrors! Governments can create jobs | Howard Street facility could work in Maple High Six Corners | How can we ignore the generals? | How do you fix a city? Look at its issues | How do you think we rate as a brand? | How many donut shops do we need? | How many mistakes do the national TV news shows make? | How to be professionally ignorant | So how was your street during the last two storms? | How will the Trump Administration deal with legalized marijuana issue? | How you gonna keep Scott down on the farm after he’s seen D.C.? | Human trafficking story shows crime, misery not exclusive to cities | I ask for an answer and I get one | Identifying fact and truth is part of making sense of the fake news era | I don't know why you (don't) say goodbye... | I don't see Red Box as progress | If only residents and businesses were given a level playing field | If you don't vote, don't complain | Effort to bring illegal immigrants is bad policy and bad politics | I'll take my Olympics with a side of news | I'm crossing Wal-Mart off my options | I'm crossing Wal-Mart off my options | I'm ending the year with more questions | I'm looking for another good reporter | I'm seeing 'ghosts' and dead chickens | I'm suffering from election overload | I'm suffering from election overload | I'm tired of Springfield bashers | I need new rabbit ears for digital age | Ingram's salary too high in time of sacrifice | Inquiring minds want to know... | Insurance reform needed Kennedy's leadership | Internet killed the video store | Internet memes are no substitute for discourse | In the pursuit of happiness, how would you define the word? | In wake of bombing, faith in people restored | Is an early closing time the answer? | Is a run at Kerry's Senate seat worth it for potential candidates? | Is contest latest salvo in culture war? | Is healthcare a right or a privilege? | I shouldn't use the "g" word any longer | Is Kerry frightened of challenger? | Is Mitt running for prez or not? | Is political discourse now reduced to dueling memes on Facebook? | Is removing the toll booths really progress or just another government intrusion? | I start my adventure in social media | Is this the way local government should work? | Is your community a happy one? | It’s a good time to be a farmer | It's time to do something about jobs | It's time to play 'Guess My Party!' | It's time to put ideology aside | It's time to start from scratch | It's time to tell them what you think | It’s true: Local elections matter | It's your choice, East Longmeadow | Judge presidential hopefuls yourself | July Fourth is a time for reflection | Just how stupid are we? | Katrina: the storm that changed everything | Keeping public records public | Keeping the net neutral should be of paramount concern to all Americans | Keep those letters coming in | Kitty Broman part of era of media distinction | Kriss provides a lesson for all | Lack of coverage on Gravel is shameful | Language can be a minefield | Latest mass murder can’t be allowed to be ‘routine’ | Lease creates a straitjacket for Springfield | Lees' departure creates turmoil | Lees's departure will make election lively | Legislature faces interesting session with marijuana questions | Legislature throws spitballs while other states move ahead on casino projects | Lessons learned from Scottish life | Let’s all focus on accomplishing something positive in 2017 | Slots shouldn't be just at racetracks | Let's exchange for the table for food for thought | Let's not get Kerry(ied) away | Lewis’ appearance at Elms College graduation was moving | Liberty: the most precious possession | Lieberman leaves many questions unanswered at panel discussion | Life demands standards | Informed voting does matter | Live your life (legally), forget The Family Leader’s bogus pledge | Livingston's response was courageous | Living without broadband still a reality for many towns | Local activists could teach Congress a lesson | Local is as local does | Locally produced show is axed | Local policymakers should watch Boston’s bar closing time debate | Local races outshine national ones | Local radio suffers major blow | Local TV used to mean local shows | Long term investments needed | Long wait for fire academy highlights Boston’s disconnect with the west | Looking forward to 2013 newsmakers | Look on the brighter side of things | Maintaining a politically correct classroom requires delicate balance | Make fireworks legal already | Markey-Gomez 'slap-fest' continues Brown-Warren campaign trend | I’ll take Twain’s advice about growing older | MassPike meeting just theater | Mayoral scene is straight out of reality TV | Media feeds on hate culture | Media outlets blur definition of "newsworthy" | Merry Christmas to you and yours | MGM’s problem isn't the plan; it's the communication | Middle class is going without insurance | Some conservative policies confuse me | Missing the good old days of video | Mmm, smells like politicians roasting | More local news changes coming? | One person’s ‘boring’ is another person’s description of heaven | Movie shows times haven't changed much | Much of television like a cheap buffet | Much will be learned as Trump Administration takes shape | Musings on doing the right thing | My mantra is 'local, local, local' | Long lines and waits defeat good customer service | Name of new school required the wisdom of Solomon | Narkewicz doesn’t realize the golden opportunity he’ll have when MGM opens | Narrow streets call for parking enforcement | National Grid customers lack ‘big picture’ | Conservatives, liberals should support net neutrality | New four-year mayoral term suggested | New governor will get big wish list | Irish president visits (along with bodyguards) | News -- its all about the packaging | News outlets plug into MJ craze | Print media need evolution, not a coffin | New takes on old favorites aimed at Boomers | New trade policy raises concerns | New Year brings with it a sense of hope for the Pioneer Valley | Next week, The Reminder-Friday edition will debut | No cell phones and no cheeseburgers | No concrete answers for MGM’s suitability within the region | Nominees: Western Massachusetts voters are just as important as those east of Worcester | Not all taxes are created equal | Nothing to do this weekend in Western Massachusetts? Not so! | Nov. 22, 1963 - A day I’ll always remember | Obama: most feared president since FDR | Obama’s decision on relations with Cuba makes sense for U.S. | Object to my Fruit of the Looms? Don’t look. | One 'fiscal cliff' could be bridged | One percent sales tax increase could be one big problem | On the trials and tribulations of Facebook | Orlando club shooting raises questions, many of which don’t have easy answers | Oscars: Hype or fruitless enterprise? | Our life in the Commonwealth should not be reduced to only one issue | Outrage over plastic bag ban was strong, fascinating | Outside eyes | OWBs create permitting problems | Palin tries desperately to stay a part of politics | Parking prices put damper on downtown | Past experiences provide future comfort | Past steps damaged city neighborhoods, but future ones could help rebuild them | Patrick Administration is wrong on biomass | Patrick and noise with a side of burger | Patrick needs to pass his first big test | Patrick’s promotion of Boston 2024 is just politics as usual | Patrick's work in Western Mass. just can't be denied | People should realize the right thing is often the easiest thing | Primary vote: Pepe shows class, Morse shows support | Pets force look at miniature discrepancies | Picknelly lacks good business sense | Pick up the phone and talk to us MGM | Pioneer Valley offers plenty to see for visitors, residents alike | Plan for I-91 is one of the stupidest I’ve heard | Planning for un-retirement | Playing partisan politics is not acceptable | Please explain the 'air kiss' to me | Pluta has some big shoes to fill in Holyoke | Political change rarely comes from challengers of incumbents | Political discourse heading in scary direction | Political landscape keeps flip-flopping | Political maneuvering – like throwing chum in the shark tank | Political season starts early | Chicopee politics remain a blood sport | Pondering this year’s races | Pop 'pablum' puts thinking at risk | Postal Service deserves to re-invent itself | Postal Service needs restructuring, not cutting | Praying that the recycling gods find us worthy | Prediction: you won’t see pot shops in suburban communities | Presidential race was tainted by racism | Presidential tweets are a gift to an under-funded and sometimes lazy press | Press gives us dessert instead of main course | Proactive approach needed to fight deterioration of Springfield | Projects move ahead in Chicopee and Holyoke | Public schools are essential and deserve more praise than they receive | Public sector jobs should have expiration date | Publishing cartoons serves no purpose | Pundits are cold on MGM | Quality of life trumps politics | Races firm up in several towns | Rail investment is necessary | Railways could lay tracks to the future | Raising the minimum wage only makes sense | Random thoughts for the New Year | Reader suggests I open my eyes, ears and mind | Really how much is in the glass? | Real solutions needed in wake of another downtown shooting | Here's a little 'inside baseball' from DA debate | Recent media reports offer slanted perspective on City of Homes | Refugees, immigrants are lifeblood of this nation | Region can’t handle more job loss | Reid isn't helping his own cause | Relax! Dobbs is just on vacation | Repeal of House speaker’s term limits a disturbing development | Rep. 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  • Welcome to archive for past articles!/
  • Opinion/
  • G. Michael Dobbs/
  • 2013: An obsession with casino gaming
  • 2013: An obsession with casino gaming

    Date: 12/31/2013

    By G. Michael Dobbs

    Casino. Casino. Casino. Casino.

    It’s amazing how one word, one issue has affected so many people in 2013 and will color the economic climate of 2014 and the next two or three years of construction of the MGM resorts International. This past year marked the obsession with casino gaming in the Valley reaching a brutal climax. In West Springfield, casino proponents openly expressed their bitterness toward the voters who didn’t approve the host agreement with Hard Rock. There are still people in Holyoke smarting from what they see as a lost opportunity, considering how coveted the Wyckoff Country Club setting became among developers.

    And poor Palmer – if there has been one community where a casino agreement was considered to be a sure thing, it was Palmer. Talk about a tease – they thought they were getting married and instead they didn’t even get a handshake.

    The town had been courted for years prior to the legislation being passed by Mohegan Sun, a company that made sure it told the town just what it thought of it after the election.

    In a few years, we will have to worry if the MGM casino will actually perform in the manner we’ve been told – but that is a future concern.

    With the entire casino furor aside, let’s consider some other issues that should start to be looming largely in 2014.

    Locally, we will have an interesting game of political checkers as several key legislators either retire from office or seek new positions. Some races will be a free-for-all.

    What the hell is happening to the Union Station project in Springfield? Construction fences are up, but the baggage building was supposed to be on the way down in November. Is anything happening?

    How is Springfield going to work with the property owners who still haven’t recovered from the gas explosion? Yes, I know a study is going to take place, but does everything have to move at the speed of glaciers? There are now leveled lots and buildings that are in the process of being repaired and one major one that hasn’t been touched.

    In Chicopee, will the further development of the downtown continued to be stalled by a lack of action at the Cabotville complex, the one at which there was supposed to be condos? I know the city has done its share, but the developer is another matter.

    In Holyoke, the continual redevelopment of downtown is dependent upon the reuse of the city’s older buildings. Will the Legislature address revising building codes to allow entrepreneurs to come up with new mixed uses? This is something every older factory community in our areas needs.

    Also in Holyoke, will the City Council and the mayor look at a comprehensive assessment of older buildings, their condition and whether or not they are endangered such as the Farr mansion?

    In Westfield, will a new administration at Westfield State University be able to get the sour taste of excess out of the mouths of the public?

    The biggest elephant in the room patiently cracking nuts and biding its time is, of course, Interstate 91 and the condition of the aqueduct. Yes, I’m glad the Patrick Administration is finally moving forward on this before someone has died from something crumbing underneath his or her car, but this is a major job that should have been addressed years ago.

    The governor has basically blamed the Big Dig from sucking infrastructure money away other parts of the state, but I blame the Boston-centric Legislature whose maps of the Commonwealth end at Worcester. For being such a small state, the condition of being parochial is massive in the Commonwealth.

    An unexpected honor

    I want to thank my colleagues at The Valley Advocate for awarding me a halo in its annual “Halos and Horns” story. They wrote, “Sometimes we find ourselves thinking of Reminder managing editor Mike Dobbs as the most underappreciated member of the Valley’s Fourth Estate – then we remember that all the smart people we know appreciate the hell out of Dobbs. This year, we especially appreciate his thorough, honest reporting on the casino issue, a stark contrast to the starry-eyed coverage found in so much of the local media.”

    Wow. Thanks again.


    Now to keep myself humble, I need to make two corrections. In the story about Robert Prince, an emergency preparedness expert, I didn’t note his proper website address. It’s In the story about the Winter Farmers’ Market, I want to make clear the market is open ever second and fourth Saturday until April at the old Monkey House in Forest Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    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.



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