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Opinion

Phyllis Woolf: Stop the ever-creeping insurance premium surcharges

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Your editorial of April 15 was a valuable piece, reminding us all of the new law mandating headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in use. Thank you for that. It also mentioned that, in addition to a $5 fine for breaking that law, private insurance companies will now be allowed to levy a new surcharge which may last up to six years. They will say …

Richard Prée: Carbon fee and dividend is market-based tool against climate change

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Each year since 1970 Earth Day, which was celebrated last week, has been a time to consider the precious goodness of our planet, and what we can do to protect this unique place in our known universe. With 7 billion humans on the planet, CO2 levels are steeply rising. We need to do all we can now to hasten the …

David Zimicki:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Of course, absolutely no one holds a gun to my head and forces me to read John Sheirer’s monthly column offering in the Gazette. I do so voluntarily. I own that it is a kind of masochistic hobby of mine. This writer, an ostensible spokesman of the co-exist/tolerance Left — does nothing but heap ridiculing, dismissive scorn on the views …

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Utility regulators act quickly, but more education needed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Four months. That’s all the time it took the state Department of Public Utilities to eliminate an unfair rule that penalized electricity customers for switching to a competitive supplier that promised lower bills. The speed at which the state’s top utility regulators acted shows the power of protest. …

Judy Markland: Whately needs to know real costs of buying library system building

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Sometimes when something looks too good to be true, it is. The idea that Whately can get “move-in ready” town offices at the Western Massachusetts Regional Library Building for a $65 a year increase on the typical tax bill is one such. The building is …

John Musante & Kumble Subbaswamy: Let’s keep positive town-gown momentum going

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AMHERST — In 2013, when Amherst Town Meeting agreed to match the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s commitment of $30,000 for a consultant to aid in the development of a shared economic development and housing vision, an historic process was begun. This collaborative effort marked the first time the …

Clare Higgins: Why these remain taxing times

Friday, April 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Are we overtaxed here in Massachusetts? For many years we were known as “Taxachusetts” and there certainly are some who think that is still true. Of course, the cost of living is high is our state. We have the fifth-highest transportation costs, the fourth-highest utility costs …

Editorial: Lessons in compassion from an exiled leader

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the Dalai Lama visits the Pioneer Valley in late October, college students and fortunate members of the public will get the chance to hear from a man for whom patience, compassion and joy are not abstract notions. For him and his followers, they are the keys to …

Emily DelVecchio: Swimmer, 10, hopes YMCA will keep the Dolphins team

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: I am a 10-year-old member of the Dolphins swim team and have been in the swimming program since I was 1. When I was younger, my hope was to make the team as I got older. Without a competitive team, other little kids wouldn’t have …

Teresa Lee Dowd Hurlburt, 10: Young student loves environment, urges government to nix pipeline

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: Like most 10-year-olds, I love the outdoors and love exploring nature. It seems that the best part of living in New England is the wildlife and all the people who care about it so much. At the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, my …

Bruce M. Kriviskey: Architect excited to see Lin’s designs for Smith library

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: I am both pleased and excited that Maya Lin and the architectural firm of Shepley Bulfinch have been selected to design the Smith College Neilson Library. These are both first-class firms with an amazing portfolio of world-class architectural and site design projects. Needless to say, …

Nick Seamon: One Amherst business owner’s economic development checklist

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: In a recent Gazette article about the purpose of the new economic development coordinator’s job in Amherst, there was no mention of the downtown. The locally owned businesses that are working hard every day, supporting hundreds of jobs, were not mentioned. All that was written …

Editorial: Hadley must invest in larger police force

Thursday, April 23, 2015

‘It’s not good business.” That’s how the chairman of Hadley’s Finance Committee sees the practice of paying some police officers more in overtime than they earn in regular pay. Residents may have other words for it. As a Gazette story detailed Thursday, Hadley has long rung up deficits …