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Opinion

Peter Ives & Jenny Fleming-Ives: Scotland’s judgment day nears on independence from Great Britain

Monday, September 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — For years we have been returning to Scotland every other summer to visit Jenny’s family and our many Scottish friends. Scotland is the place we first met in 1969 and where we were married in 1971 and where our first two children were born. So every other summer we have returned to visit old friends we first met …

Editorial: Students stand as witnesses to America’s race problem

Monday, September 15, 2014

Cherita Moore is a junior at the University of Massachusetts. Last week, she joined a procession through the Amherst campus to make the point that black Americans face unequal treatment from police. Moore and 75 others gathered Sept. 10 because a month and a day earlier, in Ferguson, Missouri, an 18-year-old unarmed black man was shot and killed by a police officer. But …

Natalia Muñoz: Community caring physicians shrinks with practice’s closing

Monday, September 15, 2014

To the editor: Due to burdens imposed by the health insurance companies, solo practitioners like Dr. Shelley Berkowitz find themselves with impossible cost increases. It is a loss for our community when someone of her caliber, closes the practice. She is an extraordinary physician who listens and asks all sorts of questions, knowing that a health issue isn’t just the thing itself, but …

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Now where is my fly swatter? Adios, little twit. ...(full comment)

John Sheirer: Why we must stop the excesses of this liberal president!

Stuart Krantz: One person, one vote must remain American way

Monday, September 15, 2014

To the editor: The amount of money a person owns must not dictate how much speech a person can have. In the United States of America, each person must have one vote and not use their corporate money as a way to have more speech We must amend …

Andrew Morehouse: Join to take action against hunger in WMass

Monday, September 15, 2014

To the editor: In western Massachusetts, there are more than 200,000 people annually struggling with hunger or food insecurity — not knowing where and when their next meal will come from. This number has doubled in the past five years. For this reason, our region’s emergency food network …

Asher Brookes: School lunches should offer a proper nutritional example

Monday, September 15, 2014

To the editor: With the new school year, parents’ attention is turning again to school lunches. Traditionally, the U.S.D.A. has used the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for surplus meat and dairy commodities. Children consumed animal fat and sugary drinks, to the point where one-third …

C.L. Dick: Amherst doing more than its fair share for UMass

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To the editor: No matter how large the town of Amherst is, we need smart, sustainable, esthetic and creative solutions with the needs of all citizens in mind. Why does the state university system put 30,000 students in a town the size of Amherst, when cities like Lowell …

Jon Lackman: Gaza crisis demands ‘intellectual humility’

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To the editor: Many recent letters concerning Gaza reek of moral certitude. We are taught in school to advance one position, to invoke counter arguments only to rout them, with some good reason, but this conflict demands nuance and reservation. It is millennia-old and in the last century …

David Starr: Time for Northampton to ban plastic bags, Styrofoam cups

Sunday, September 14, 2014

To the editor: One path to minimize Northampton’s contributions to climate change is to reduce its contributions to landfills by 90 percent — 30 percent from increased recycling rates, 30 percent from increased composting and 30 percent from fewer purchases and less packaging. The numbers are impressive but …

Editorial: American war fever is being stoked anew

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Former Vice President Dick Cheney wants America “back on offense,” this time against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. President Obama, after devoting much of his presidency to unwinding Bush-Cheney military misadventures, appears ready to fall in …

Sara Weinberger: Valley humanitarians reach out to Syria

Sunday, September 14, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A friend recently shared his perspective of the current situation on planet Earth: “If the whole world is in flames, where do you direct the fire hose?” Indeed, the world does seem to be in flames. We are paralyzed with shock when the news tells us …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The lives of the have-too-muches

Friday, September 12, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — No one in our household can figure out why a fat, glossy, intimidating magazine called Departures arrives in our mailbox every month. I told a friend we got this mysterious delivery quarterly and she asked me if the magazine was about death and dying. It is …

Editorial: Many volunteer hands help make light work

Friday, September 12, 2014

All around the Pioneer Valley this weekend, important work is getting done — for which not a single dollar has exchanged hands. Thanks to legions of volunteers expected to fan out in sites around the region, library shelves will be dusted, parks refurbished, gardens planted, a playground built …