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Opinion

Mark Moriarty: Changing a school’s schedule should not be rushed

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: A community member’s recent letter regarding the Amherst Regional Middle School schedule shift incorrectly states that the local teacher’s union has a deadline mandate causing the schedule change process to be rushed through to the superintendent. The deadlines in question are in the negotiated contract, a public document, with the intent of providing a deadline for a schedule change in mind for the next school year. The …

Jeannette Tokarz: SolarizeMass program in Amherst a success

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: A year ago this week, Amherst residents filled Town Hall to attend Solar 101 and Meet the Installer Night, the inaugural event in the Solarize Amherst campaign. Attendance was unprecedented with over 40 homeowners submitting an application to ‘Go solar’ that night. From that auspicious beginning momentum kept building. By the program’s end in June 125 homeowners were under contract. …

Susan Adelson: Sherman Avenue action should be treated as hate crime

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: I am concerned about the recent anti-Semitic vandalism in Northampton. I have read some people’s responses that since no Jews were believed to live on Sherman Avenue and no particular individuals appear to have been targeted, the incident is not of great significance. Two teenage girls are suspected of just wanting to do something of shock value. What if instead …

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Editorial: Finding right balance on social media’s time and attention demands

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From baby boomers to Gen-Xers and millennials, we as a nation are attached — some would say addicted — to our technology. At Northampton High School, students have become so absorbed with portable electronic devices at lunchtime that there’s not a lot of interaction among students. One NHS …

Bernie Bachand: Please don’t degrade our police and military

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: My message is to all those who have nothing better to do but decide to protest alongside of the Ward 7 councilor against the men and women in blue. You can bet on one thing: Despite this, if you were in harm’s way, they would …

Editorial: A court case offers lessons in gun safety

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three years after being acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury is back before a judge. The issue again is gun safety. Fleury is a private citizen now and deserves his day in court. He hasn’t had a chance to present a defense, or to …

Mehammed Amadeus Mack: On the plight of French Muslims

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — While French Muslims are not and should not be the only lens through which we observe the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, they will likely feel the consequences of the events in an especially acute way. The events could not have come at a more …

Maria José Botelho: Textbooks, even cheaper ones, are not the answer

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — I appreciate that the Gazette editors (“UMass can do more to reduce book costs,” Jan. 20) took notice of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s recent contract with the online vendor Amazon. As a professor at the …

Katherine S. Newman & Jay Schafer: UMass taking serious steps to reduce textbook costs for students

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — We write in response to the Gazette’s editorial Jan. 20 entitled “UMass can do more to reduce book costs.” We think it is important for readers to know that the university has invested significant resources to address the issue of textbook costs and have made enormous …

Clare Higgins: Keeping it real about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday Monday. King, the non-violent revolutionary, now has a federal holiday. Speaker Boehner tweets, “Together, may we have the wisdom to follow Rev. King’s example & heed his call to service.” Sen. Rubio proclaims (via tweet) that “On this #MLKDay …

Nanny Vonnegut, Laurie Foley, Scott Prior: Scourge of heroin epidemic is upon us

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: As concerned parents, our hearts soared at the recent headline news: Hampshire County gets $550,000 to combat toll of addiction. Finally, opiate addiction is no longer a closeted issue and much needed help is on the way. Our hearts sank on further reading that the …

Joe Jewett: Time to take legal action against naysayers

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: Perhaps it is time to consider legal action against the deniers and naysayers on the issue of our deteriorating planet. By these I mean such as the Koch brothers, Sens. Inhofe and McConnell and Speaker Boehner. There are others of course who are heavily invested …

Charles Schmid: Time to clamp down on unruly drivers

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: I work in Northampton and drive through the city and have noticed something: you could be run down. While driving home one day I noticed some people would not cross when cars stop, as if afraid they would be run over. This is a major …