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Editorial: A day of lobbying, and tasting, seeks to advance farm economy

Monday, March 30, 2015

When hungry lawmakers browse the tables at Agriculture Day in Boston today, one of the cheeses they’ll sample hails from Grace Hill Farm in Cummington. It’s there on Potash Hill Road that Max and Amy Breiteneicher create Hilltown Blue by hand, using milk from grass-fed cows. On Ag Day, farm groups fill tables in the Great Hall and Grand Staircase area inside the Statehouse with tempting tastes created in Massachusetts. …

Kristin DeBoer: Safeguarding Valley lands that sustain us all

Monday, March 30, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This monthly column is produced by the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project (http://pvrp.weebly.com/). Today, Kristin DeBoer of the Kestrel Land Trust writes about conservation. AMHERST — Food, water and shelter are essential to life. We know this instinctively. Yet, too often, forests, farms and waterways that provide for these basic needs are taken for granted, perhaps because land conservation is mistaken as …

Joan Vohl Hamilton: Believes Awad would shine light on SHELD operations

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: It’s ironic that the utility that lights South Hadley homes keeps its operations in the shadows. The South Hadley Electric Light Department, created to serve South Hadley and funded by ratepayers, has a current management that has shown a great reluctance to allow itself to be publicly scrutinized. For instance, the department has not been independently audited since the 1970s. …

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Kerry Homstead: Youth Truth event showed that all children are rooted in family

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: Thank you to the Gazette and reporter Chris Lindahl for his March 13 article recognizing the powerful voices and messages presented by members of the Treehouse Foundation’s HEROES program in their performance, Youth Truth. Based on their personal experiences and common vision to improve the …

Eric Stahlberg III: City’s senior center is not for general community use

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: The decision by our mayor to usurp office space for nine city employees in the city’s Senior Center is, in my opinion, wrong. The building on Conz Street belongs entirely to the hundreds of senior citizens of the city. It’s not right for this building …

Rodney Kunath: Wishes potholes would force impatient drivers to slow down

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: I have to slow down my car to avoid numerous potholes, especially on Bridge Street before the Coolidge Bridge, South Street and Burts Pit Road. Usually there are impatient drivers tailgating my car and they try to pass in a non-passing zone, which is dangerous …

Steve Funderburk: First Amendment rights need review in light of OU incident

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: I strongly disagree with a recent letter from a Sunderland resident arguing against the expulsion of two students at the University of Oklahoma belonging to the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and their now storied racist video. Yet I appreciate the writer’s support of First Amendment …

Suzy Shure: Hosting Olympics would invite Big Dig type expense

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: Thanks to Jim Foudy for his March 21 column “Olympics price tag to steep for me,” which reminded us we’re still paying for the Big Dig. I don’t know the source of the saying “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on …

Anne S. Awad: SHELD candidate says she would help utility restore trust

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: I am a candidate for the South Hadley Electric Light Department board. I am proud that South Hadley has its own utility and am aware of the options it gives us to prepare for the future in energy development and management. I run for positive …

Jonah Meyer: Fears legislation allowing towns to recoup cost of rescues

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: I’ve been lucky. In 20 years of outdoor recreation I have never required a rescue. As a full-time outdoor guide and instructor, the first lessons I impart to my students are always be prepared, know your limitations and have a plan in case things go …

David Sullivan: Men must answer the call to help prevent violence against women

Monday, March 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The eighth-annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day, held throughout our state earlier this month, is about ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities and making sure that men and boys understand they can be part of the solution. In the weeks and months that follow, our …

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 …

Editorial: First up, an Olympics of public skepticism on the 2024 Games

Friday, March 27, 2015

The state placed a help-wanted ad this week related to having Boston host the Olympics in 2024. The help that’s needed: an independent accounting of how the games would affect the state and its capital city. We’re glad officials see the need for answers. Boston 2024, fresh from …