Warwick Community School, regrettably, needs volunteers

Published: 8/25/2018 12:47:22 PM

Here are brief thoughts on some of the events taking place around the North Quabbin area: Warwick Community School is looking for volunteers to help fill in for positions that were reduced or removed during the Pioneer Valley Regional School District’s budget cutting.

The Warwick School Preservation Committee is partnering with the Parent Teacher Organization to keep the school operating normally despite budget cuts brought on or threatened by the district’s million dollar deficit.

The Preservation Committee began meeting in July to investigate all options for preserving Warwick’s school, should the Pioneer Valley Regional School Committee pursue the closing of schools.

Volunteer jobs will likely include office work like answering phones and doing paperwork to coordinate field trips, and possibly working with the fourth-grade band.

We are impressed with the level of volunteerism and community support for the elementary school, but are sorry that it has come to this.

Pot stops

Orange officials are feeling a little overwhelmed by the number of pot shops that seem interested in their town. Their answer: to ask voters to approve a bylaw that would hem in retail marijuana sales in town.

Currently, there are no Orange zoning regulations or bylaws limiting the number of recreational marijuana stores allowed to open up in town. With no bylaw, Orange has no way to legally reject companies that want to come to town, and half a dozen companies have expressed serious interest in doing so, officials say.

The Selectboard and Planning Board have proposed limiting the number of recreational pot shops to two, or a third of the number of liquor stores.

​​​​Seems like a sensible place to draw the line.

Loss for Phillipston

What a shame that fire has destroyed Pete and Henry’s Restaurant in Phillipston.

Several area fire departments responded to the call but to no avail. Neighbors watched wordlessly as the popular family gathering spot was engulfed in dark, billowing plumes of smoke and fire.

The popular restaurant was established in 1946 by Pete and Henry Dufault, who sold only pizza until the 1960s, when the men sold it to Bill and Ginny Cloutier. Present owners are John and Terry Cloutier.

We wish them the means to a full recovery.

Run for Mahar

If you want to help Mahar Regional School grads get ahead in life, consider heading to New Salem on Labor Day weekend for a 24-hour fundraiser.

In response to recent budget and service cuts, including some to instructional staff and a reduction of late buses, avid runner and Mahar Regional School Committee member Carla Halpern has been organizing the Village Ultra, in hopes of raising awareness around the school’s needs and to bring in some money for the upcoming school year.

While she knows you can’t make up an entire shortfall with one run, “we can do what we can,” she said.

The event will run from 7 p.m. on Sept. 1 until 7 p.m. on Sept. 2. Those interested can register online at bit.ly/2ORstGb.

Good exercise, good fun, and a good deed for local students.

Getting beyond bigotry

Congressional candidate TahirahAmatul-Wadud said recently she’s ready to move beyond what she called “issues of great distraction” regarding her Muslim faith.

“During this campaign, I have been confronted by religious intolerance, slander and hate,” said the Springfield attorney, adding that people have been “raising questions about my religion, religious affiliation, and my values as a progressive candidate.”

Amatul-Wadud is challenging longtime 1st Congressional District incumbent Congressman Richard Neal, who has also attacked bigotry that the race has brought out.

“I vigorously condemned the Islamophobic mailers and I just as clearly and unequivocally condemn any Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic hate speech,” Neal said in a statement. “There is no room in our state or our country for intolerance, ignorance and bigotry.”

We agree and hope that both Sept. 4 Democratic primary candidates will be able to speak past the Islamophobia to the real issues.

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