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Opinion

Ed Gregory: A very special, and sluggish, delivery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You’ve heard the phrase “snail mail.” Well, believe it! I recently purchased a relatively expensive book online from Northampton and arranged for delivery to my home in Greenfield. Big deal, right? You bet it is! I offer the following authentic tracking data of the item from the Florence post office. Before reading the account, keep in mind that Florence is only 20.7 miles from Greenfield; about 25 minutes …

Michael Goldman: A cross-country ski destination of the heart

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FLORENCE — I can understand the practicality of cross-country skiing. I mean, if the neighboring village were running low on a crucial medicine, or if the tribe were running out of meat and the nearest caribou herd were five miles away, I would be the first to don my skis. But to flail across an icy lake, parts of my body soaked in …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, the University of Massachusetts …

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Don Robinson: Two new books tease out what freedom felt like for the enslaved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ASHFIELD — Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of two local scholars, authors of books that make major contributions to our understanding of what it has meant to be black in America. Barbara …

Jim Palermo: I’m still waiting for promised public records on use of standardized tests

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — In 1927, a standardized test, Stanford-Binet, identified people who could be forcibly sterilized in the United States, under a program of eugenics approved by the United States Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell. No less than the highly regarded Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that …

Editorial: Iranian student policy a test of UMass campus loyalties

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The law that tripped up University of Massachusetts officials this month, resulting in what one professor somewhat hysterically called “billions of dollars in bad press,” is known as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012. The part of it that applies to schools like …

Mary Balfour: Let the woman raise those chickens in her yard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: It’s true that I don’t know all the facts but it seems a shame that a Southampton resident must get rid of her chickens based on a judge’s ruling. Assuming that they are confined to her property — what’s the big problem? The Pioneer Valley …

Gretchen Fox: Boutilier is the right choice for Amherst Housing Authority

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: TracyLee Boutilier is an outstanding candidate running for a seat on the Amherst Housing Authority Board in the town election March 31. The board provides housing for low- and moderate-income residents using state and federal funding. Although the town has made some small headway in …

Joseph Tarantino: Liberals can blame themselves for high electricity rates

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: In January 2008 Barack Obama reportedly told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle, “Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” For those who wanted Obama to be president and who are now complaining about our electricity rates, I offer a few …

Lawrence Siddall: Apartment building going up in Amherst misses the mark

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: The apartment building under construction on the corner of North Pleasant and Triangle streets in Amherst is a huge disappointment. Architecturally it is not displeasing, but it is much too large for the building site. Having such a large structure abut a park it took …

Editorial: Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One of the first major tests on which the Senate presidency of Stanley C. Rosenberg will be judged is reform of the state’s welfare and job training programs. The Amherst Democrat announced last week the “WorkFirst Initiative” designed …

William J. Mullin & Andrew Larkin: An exchange about impact of nuclear plant’s closing on a frozen Connecticut River

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this space, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst responds to a guest column about ice formation on the Connecticut River. The author of that column, Andrew Larkin, then replies to Mullins’ points. AMHERST — Dr. Andrew Larkin’s interesting guest column …

Editorial: Ruling in embezzlement case offers new chance for justice

Monday, February 23, 2015

A judicial ruling last week raised questions about the handling of a long-running embezzlement case by the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Prosecutors should give deep thought to their next move. The case involved Northampton resident Nancy Whitley, who with her former wife and business partner, Heather Whitley, proposed …