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Opinion

Editorial: Protecting biodiversity makes no exceptions, even for rattlesnakes

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Since Colonial times, it’s been people versus timber rattlesnakes in Massachusetts. Today, as the state moves anew to preserve this endangered species in the face of public opposition, it’s science versus emotion. At a forum Feb. 23 in Orange, wildlife officials will work to explain their modest plan to place one to 10 young timber rattlesnakes each year, starting in two or three years, on an island in the Quabbin …

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: CISA’s 2016 resolution: Local food for all

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By February, many of us have already forgotten our New Year’s resolutions, especially in today’s world of ever-scrolling Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s hard to get traction to make big change. At CISA, our 2016 resolution is to ensure more people have more access to local food, a campaign we are calling “Local Food for All.” With the help of our community, partners …

Adam J. Kolek: Time for local government to admit when mistakes are made

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To the editor: Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz would like us to believe that no one who works for the city was responsible for the fact that the city’s insurance company paid $52,500 to settle an unlawful and violent arrest case. What he didn’t say is that it is the taxes on Northampton citizens that pay the insurance premiums that fund this judgment. Our …

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Jude Spencer: It’s time to stop degrading misogyny in hip hop music

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To the editor: It seems idiotic to type reasons why we should stop misogyny in hip-hop music. It seems so obvious why men shouldn’t treat women like toys, and put sexism in music that thousands listen to. Rappers and hip-hop artists often use women as objects of sex, …

Joe Gensheimer: UMass needs fiscal restraint, not more funding from taxpayers

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To the editor: Your Feb. 3 editorial, “Rosenberg sets down marker on improved higher ed funding,” is wrong or misguided in many respects. The University of Massachusetts is not underfunded. Its inexorable appetite for increased funding well in excess of inflation continues year after year. Simply walk around …

Editorial: Finding right way forward in fight against Islamic State

Monday, February 8, 2016

No American should ignore the threat posed by a small number of radical Islamists to our country and western nations. Out of the ruins and power vacuum of the Iraq war, a significant new foe, the Islamic State, is extending its influence. But even if citizens wanted to …

Natalia Muñoz: Puerto Rico’s long economic captivity

Monday, February 8, 2016

In 1898, the exhausted Spanish empire illegally gave away Puerto Rico to the United States at the end of the Spanish-America War. Gen. Nelson Miles, an architect of the massacre of indigenous peoples in the 19th century in …

John Ortiz: PC got you down? Pass Democratic Party by

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: Have you had it with political correctness yet? If so, the solution is easy: Stop electing liberal Democrats. Simple. John Ortiz Sunderland …

Katharine Roberts: Double standard if Amherst name stays for town, college

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: Amherst College trustee chairman Cullen Murphy was quoted in the Jan. 27 Gazette as saying, “Amherst College will always be the name of the school.” Then in a Gazette editorial this paragraph: “The Lord Jeffrey Inn will get a new name but the college will …

Mary Gorman: Substitute teachers should make more than teen babysitters

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: When I first worked as a substitute teacher in Amherst, back in 1988, the pay rate was $65 per day if you covered for an instructional paraprofessional, and $75 per day if you covered for a teacher. Twenty-eight years later, you still make $65 per …

Paul M. Craig: Misleading to call all founding fathers slave owners

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: We are often told that the Founding Fathers who wrote our Constitution were slave owners. This sweeping assertion is misleading because it is partly false. Of the 39 framers — which the Founding Fathers who wrote and signed the Constitution called themselves — almost half, …

Leonard A. Cohen: System leaves people seeking guardianship in dangerous limbo

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: If you are so unfortunate to have a disabled, totally incapacitated relative and require a court-appointed guardianship in the state of Massachusetts, I suggest you move to another state. I tried on Jan. 1, 2015, with the help of an attorney — and nine months …

Andra Rose: Let’s call Berkshire Gas’ bluff on its new service moratorium

Monday, February 8, 2016

To the editor: Berkshire Gas decided last year to stop providing new gas hook-ups here. They claimed that the gas supply was insufficient to add customers. This made no sense unless the company actually preferred to lose business in the short run to make the case for the …