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Opinion

Open Meeting Law is worth the hard work it requires

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It’s not shocking that two public officials stood up at a public meeting to complain that the state’s Open Meeting Law is cumbersome and confusing. What is shocking is that they derided it as “unfair and undemocratic” and claimed that a request for meeting minutes is tantamount to harassment. Even more shocking is that in a room full of 100 elected and appointed public officials from Hampshire and Franklin counties, …

Editorial: Rule exposes electricity ratepayers to unfair double whammy

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Electricity customers knew last fall they’d pay more for power this winter. But as rates kicked up by nearly a third and some sought relief by switching suppliers, another expense caught them by surprise — making this a tough winter both inside and outside for ratepayers. Help may be on the way, but given bureaucratic sluggishness, there’s no guarantee. A band of lawmakers …

Nancy Kinney: Irked at Kinder Morgan’s actions, urges Gazette to keep story alive

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: Please keep Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline story front and center. A huge Texas company is threatening to impact homeowners in western Massachusetts. What gives a private company the right to take our land using “eminent domain”? Our government does because the fossil fuel giants own the government. If you think a pipeline will lower your utility bills, you need …

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Sid Moss: Postal Service offers a reliable bargain for mail delivery

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: The writer of a Feb. 27 guest column criticized the U.S. Postal Service because it took five days for a book mailed from Florence to be delivered to his home in nearby Greenfield. I can see that he might have been annoyed at the wait …

Gene Reilly: CPA panel should reject condo request for money to fix staircase

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: A Gazette article published March 19 discussed an application submitted by the Coolidge Park Condominiums requesting Community Preservation Act funds to help repair their granite steps. It is my opinion that the Community Preservation Committee should decline to support this application. The article noted CPA …

Peter A. Jones: Transparency lacking in decision to move Recreation Department

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: It was surprising and disappointing to learn from the Gazette that the Northampton Council on Aging is shortly to be evicted from its social room in the Senior Center. The space is being taken over by the Parks and Recreation Department, which is itself being …

Ann M. Hennessey: Proud to live in community that values arts for education

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: My family and I went to a wonderful performance of “Godspell” at Northampton High School earlier this month. Directors Cate Damon and Beau Flahive and the roughly 60 NHS students — actors, musicians and behind-the-scenes “ninjas” — put on a remarkable and professional performance. Congratulations …

Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters …

Editorial: Grieving military families find solace with new bond

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The ceremony marking the formation of the first-ever western Massachusetts chapter of American Gold Star Mothers served as a powerful reminder that the pain of seemingly distant wars is felt every day in the hearts of our Pioneer …

George Danziger: CPA panel should dismiss Coolidge Park condos request

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: It is shocking that the Community Preservation Committee would entertain the idea that public funds be used to repair Coolidge Park Condominium’s private property. The comparison to prior Community Preservation Act funding for First Churches and Historic Northampton repairs is bogus. The First Churches is …

Editorial: Banning sale of e-cigs to minors is right step

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let’s get real: Adults who smoke bubble gum- and banana split-flavored electronic cigarettes and use a Batman holster to carry them around are few and far between. The makers and sellers of e-cigarettes know full well the population …

Doug Roosa: All shook up over folly of deferred road maintenance

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FLORENCE — The first orange traffic barrel to cover a pothole landed in my neighborhood the other day. Nothing special about this hole: It’s only one of several dozen that have appeared in recent weeks, half of which …

Cara Henderson: Dissatisfied with Northampton enough to say ‘you’re fired’

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To the editor: This is a journal entry I wrote a number of months ago, “Northampton, you’re fired.” When I was young I enjoyed skipping around town, hanging out, getting food, window shopping, as well as being a patron over the years. There have always been buskers, disabled, …