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Opinion

Katie Allan Zobel: A hearty thanks to Valley Gives honors

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I have been struggling to find a way to thank 14,189 people. This is the number of people who gave so generously to local nonprofits during Valley Gives Day. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it. Yes, the massive numbers of thank-you notes are daunting, but what is even more challenging is figuring out a way to say thank you that expresses the kind of …

Claire Streeter: A father who tried once before to quit — and must again

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Daddy: I’m writing to talk to you about something extremely important to me, and I’m not sure how to say it in person. I’m writing to talk to you about stopping smoking. I know you’ve been smoking since you were 15. Daddy, I’m worried about you. Smoking is really bad — from the tar in it, to the millions of …

Kristin Carter:

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Mom: Do you really know just how bad smoking is for you? Not only will it kill you, it is a habit that will cost you a lot of money each year. It affects your hygiene, causing bad breath and smelly clothes. It also causes tons of health problems such as lung cancer — especially if you are a heavy …

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Dylan Whitman-Allard: Smokers get a new birthday on the date they stop the habit

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I am writing this essay to ask you, even to beg you, to please quit smoking for me and more importantly, for yourself. I understand that it is hard for you to quit, but it is even harder for me to watch you smoke for all …

Jennifer Ladd: Time is now for white people to do the right thing

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I want to take a moment to thank Andrea Ayvazian for writing her column on Dec. 13. I agree with her 100 percent that we white people have the obligation and the opportunity to eliminate racism from our institutions, our systems, our norms, our personal …

Lawrence Tucker: A challenge to Mount Holyoke’s leader: End gender barrier

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: Recent news articles have highlighted the lives and accomplishments of both Rose Olver and Lynn Pasquerella, president of Mount Holyoke College. Rose Olver was appropriately described as a role model, courageous, selfless, insightful and an inspiration. But perhaps the most fitting accolade, and the one …

Amy Brodigan, Jana McClure: Amherst Education Foundation stands for equity

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Amherst Education Foundation, we want to reaffirm our founding mission to promote educational equity, social justice and diversity as central to achieving excellence in our schools. The past year has been challenging for our students, families, teachers and …

Kenneth R. Pollard: Thoughtless disruption at the Christmas Vespers

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: A recent Sunday we attended the 4 p.m. service of the Smith College Christmas Vespers at the John M. Greene Hall in Northampton. This is traditionally a beautiful contemplative service of holiday music and word. We brought our young son who has a serious medical …

Editorial: For Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, increased scrutiny now a fact of life

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the eve of the biggest vote of his life, state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg has found himself facing questions about his least favorite topic: his personal life. Rosenberg has been able to avoid such questions for a long time. He is known for taking tough assignments in the …

Dr. Newton Bowdan: Medical marijuana not ready for prime time

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Shortly before Thanksgiving I attended a meeting at a Northampton school. The subject was “Medical Marijuana.” I put the term in quotes because marijuana is marijuana, just as insulin is insulin. Whether marijuana is “medical” or “recreational” depends on the use to which it is …

John Connolly: US leaders abandoned moral high ground after 9/11

Thursday, December 18, 2014

To the editor: I would like to register a protest against the terms of the current debate raging over the “torture report” of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Those who, like myself, are appalled by the practices of the CIA in the years immediately following the events of 9/11 …

Barbara K. Clement: Smith College president’s apology not needed

Thursday, December 18, 2014

To the editor: To many of us, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney’s response of “all lives matter” to students protesting the deaths of black men at the hands of law enforcement was appropriate. As was reported in the Gazette, one sophomore believed the president’s response was not sufficient …

Editorial: Meaningful work can be undertaken at any age — as these seniors show

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

People at any age can be valued and valuable. They can be contributing members of a community doing worthwhile work. Society sometimes forgets this. In Amherst, 87-year-old Shirley Whittemore has been indulging her longtime passion for doll-making by setting up a veritable doll factory in her living room. …