Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 71° | Lo 49°


Academy of Music’s own drama will take stage in October

NORTHAMPTON — The Academy of Music is a storied place, having hosted show-biz greats like Mae West and Harry Houdini. But one of its biggest dramas was internal. When a former cashier named Mildred Walker took over its management during World War II, in its heyday as a 20th century movie palace, a film distribution company sued. The question of whether a woman should run the place went to court. This fall, Walker’s story will be staged in what the Academy’s executive director calls a 0

Wearing one’s heart on one’s sleet

Karen Carswell says she came out of her home in Easthampton today to find a visual message in the overnight “wintry mix.” “It was a beautiful morning winter message to see while my children gleefully slipped around on the ice and helped me scrape off our car before our morning school commute.” she said in an email to the Gazette. What did that message mean to her? “Embrace the storm no matter how big or small. As we say in our house ‘go with the 0

Behind the scenes: Monday’s Gazette editorial on contraception — and a reader’s take on it

A reader in Williamsburg called Monday to challenge an argument in our Dec. 2 editorial, “Contraception and the court.” After listening to her, I agree a little more should be said on a topic that seems to invite confusion. The editorial questioned the Supreme Court’s decision last week to hear a case attacking the birth-control mandate in the Affordable Care Act. The founder of Hobby Lobby, a nationwide chain of craft stores and avowed Christian enterprise, maintains that by requiring health insurance to cover contraception, 0

Tale of a daytime assault in Northampton and home break-in in Hadley

Maureen Gallo of Westfield got in touch with the Gazette to share a story about a harrowing experience in Northampton. I’ll let her tell it: “This past Saturday, during Northampton’s busy Bag Day promotion, I was shopping with a friend for a few hours of fun. “While taking a lunch break at The Teapot restaurant, I was approached from the back by a stranger who reached around me and slapped or punched me in the face so hard I almost passed out. This person then 1

What newspapers must learn when readers are the judge

NORTHAMPTON — For the third time since 2007, the Daily Hampshire Gazette has been selected as Newspaper of the Year in our circulation category (10,000 to 15,000) by the New England Newspaper & Press Association. It was a joy to share that news with colleagues and readers on Monday ... and to hear back from readers. Elaine Formica shared a very nice note of congratulations. “I’ve subscribed to the Gazette since moving to the Pioneer Valley over 20 years ago and look forward to reading 0

BMX for adults: The days of axle pegs and spin bars — they’re back this Saturday

HATFIELD — Though he’ll soon be 39, Steve Holloway still has the little bike he got in 1978 at F.J. Rogers in Florence. All that survived of the bike through the decades was the frame, but that piece of metal connected him with early BMX glory. On Saturday, Holloway and perhaps 100 other fans of these bikes will gather at the Lions Club pavilion in Hatfield to do things that made them happy before girlfriends, driver’s licenses and marriages — and yes, before mortgages, jobs 0

Cue the snow globe for New Yorker writer's visit to Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — A New Yorker magazine profile of Kim Gordon, the former Sonic Youth rocker, keeps her at center stage but offers Northampton a supporting role. It is a curious cameo. The piece by Alex Halberstadt in the June 3 issue captures the way the 60-year-old Gordon’s creativity has spilled over into fashion design, acting and business. It tells of her breakup from her husband and musical partner Thurston Moore. Readers in Northampton, though, might find the story a little bruising to the civic ego. 2

The making of our ‘The Cost of Choice’ series

NORTHAMPTON — In “The Cost of Choice,” a two-day series that begins Friday, reporters Kristin Palpini and Barbara Solow go inside one of the most controversial aspects of education reform in Massachusetts: school choice and charter schools. In the two decades since passage of the 1993 Education Reform Act, public schools across Massachusetts have been forced to adjust to competition designed to improve education and give students and families more choices. About a year ago, Palpini decided it would be worthwhile for the Gazette to 0

Share your thoughts on Northampton mayor's proposed Smith Vocational change

One topic for the Gazette’s first “Viewpoints” section May 15 will be Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz’s proposal that the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School be brought under management of the city of Northampton. On Wednesday, we plan to present reader comments on that topic, as well as columns by the mayor and a Smith Vocational teacher. We invite additional submissions of up to 350 words in length. Send them to opinion@gazettenet.com by 5 p.m. Sunday. “Viewpoints” joins our monthly rotation of themed Wednesday section 0

How, why ‘Resting Places’ found its way into the Gazette

NORTHAMPTON — “Resting Places,” the serialized nonfiction story that concludes today, has been an unusual effort for us. Readers noticed. While some praised the project for bringing attention to domestic violence and “honoring the community’s process of grief,” others questioned whether it deserved so much space. Several readers wrote or called to point out that there are many tragic stories worth telling in the Valley and one family’s grief doesn’t deserve such prominence, especially 20 years later. As the series wraps up, I’d like to 0