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Opinion

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. She made 80 dolls this year for children in foster care. Dolls might sound a bit frivolous, but anyone who knows children …

Editorial: Is it time to retire English lord as college’s human mascot?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amid their frantic end-of-semester studying, some students at Amherst College found time for good-natured pranks with a serious message. Students want to replace the college mascot, Lord Jeffery Amherst, with the mighty moose. Their rather elaborate pranks included placing a life-size metal moose sculpture in the foyer of the Frost Library just after Thanksgiving, when the library was closed. Though library staff members …

Sigrid Schmalzer: Pedestrians get short shrift in road safety changes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: I am deeply distressed by the crosswalk accident that has left a beloved University of Massachusetts student, Chloe Rombach, in critical condition. Too many pedestrians and cyclists have been injured or killed locally in recent years. I cross at that crosswalk in Northampton almost every day: like many others, it is treacherous — but with more visible signs it could …

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Cynthia Loring MacBain: On the expectation gap in US life

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: A few years ago, while doing an Alternatives to Violence workshop in a maximum security prison in New York State, I met Malik. At the time, he was a leader of a prison gang, but he wanted to make something more of his life. He …

William Aherin: Government should not meddle in Internet use

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: In the “net neutrality” controversy, Americans are being told that we need government control of the Internet to maintain a level playing field. Previous attempts have resulted in the federal courts declaring that the FCC cannot reclassify Internet as President Obama has stated he will …

Philip M. Giers: Northampton Lions Club thanks public for support of yearly sale

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: The Northampton Lions Club thanks all those who participated in our 54th Annual Ski and Skate Sale and helped to make it a big success. The Lions Club gives back to the community all the profits generated by this event, helping those in need. It …

James Winston: Letter-writer fails to appreciate economic benefits of Eric Suher’s venues

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I noticed in the letters to the editor section Dec. 8 one regarding Eric Suher that in my view was both ill-informed and reckless. In the letter, the writer states in part, “why is the Calvin sold out, the Iron Horse sold out and people …

James W. Sherwood: Smith president didn’t need to apologize about word choice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I am reading the book “Measure of a Man” about Martin Greenfield, the clothier. Greenfield was in the Buchenwald concentration camp and was sent to a house of the mayor of Weimar, Germany, to do repairs. He was in the basement and found rabbits and …

John Kapitzky: Are you ready to help pay pricetag of Olympics site in Boston?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: Boston is one of several U.S. cities being considered as our country’s nominee for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Although the Boston group supporting Boston’s choice has had a few public meetings, mostly its efforts seem to have been kept low key. For example, the U.S. …

Madelaine Zadik: Phrase in editorial shows ingrained racism

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I have to say I was rather dismayed, shocked and disappointed in the Gazette when I read the Dec. 10 editorial (“Toward day when black lives really do matter in US”). It shows how ingrained racism really is. You wrote: “African-American men aged 20 to …

Editorial: Barstow farm project rewrites dairying economics in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Since 1806, members of the Barstow family have risen to long days working land on a rise just east of the Connecticut River in Hadley. In all that time, despite the coming of industry and waves of tech revolutions, one thing remained constant: Milking cows takes people a …

Adam Fisher: A 91-cent gift that never lost its value

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Like ivy on some campus dormitory, the Christmas lights have begun to creep up and around the houses in my Northampton neighborhood. Their jolly colors whisper of long traditions — of giving, of neurotic shopping and …

Paul M. Craig: Time to devise a much better unified health ssytem

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: Single-payer health care would make a smaller, more efficient government; a more productive workforce; the end of personal financial ruin from unpayable medical bills; some reduction in anthropogenic global warming; and reduced demand on the VA system. Correctly structured, it should have significant bipartisan support. …