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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

Clare Higgins: Why these remain taxing times

Friday, April 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Are we overtaxed here in Massachusetts? For many years we were known as “Taxachusetts” and there certainly are some who think that is still true. Of course, the cost of living is high is our state. We have the fifth-highest transportation costs, the fourth-highest utility costs and the fifth-highest health care costs, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. This winter certainly pushed the high cost …

Editorial: Lessons in compassion from an exiled leader

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the Dalai Lama visits the Pioneer Valley in late October, college students and fortunate members of the public will get the chance to hear from a man for whom patience, compassion and joy are not abstract notions. For him and his followers, they are the keys to fulfilment and, in some cases, survival. The exiled religious leader of Tibet has scheduled appearances …

Emily DelVecchio: Swimmer, 10, hopes YMCA will keep the Dolphins team

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: I am a 10-year-old member of the Dolphins swim team and have been in the swimming program since I was 1. When I was younger, my hope was to make the team as I got older. Without a competitive team, other little kids wouldn’t have a team to look up to. I think that the YMCA should have a swim …

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Teresa Lee Dowd Hurlburt, 10: Young student loves environment, urges government to nix pipeline

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: Like most 10-year-olds, I love the outdoors and love exploring nature. It seems that the best part of living in New England is the wildlife and all the people who care about it so much. At the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, my …

Bruce M. Kriviskey: Architect excited to see Lin’s designs for Smith library

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: I am both pleased and excited that Maya Lin and the architectural firm of Shepley Bulfinch have been selected to design the Smith College Neilson Library. These are both first-class firms with an amazing portfolio of world-class architectural and site design projects. Needless to say, …

Nick Seamon: One Amherst business owner’s economic development checklist

Friday, April 24, 2015

To the editor: In a recent Gazette article about the purpose of the new economic development coordinator’s job in Amherst, there was no mention of the downtown. The locally owned businesses that are working hard every day, supporting hundreds of jobs, were not mentioned. All that was written …

Editorial: Hadley must invest in larger police force

Thursday, April 23, 2015

‘It’s not good business.” That’s how the chairman of Hadley’s Finance Committee sees the practice of paying some police officers more in overtime than they earn in regular pay. Residents may have other words for it. As a Gazette story detailed Thursday, Hadley has long rung up deficits …

Marty Nathan: It ought to be a law, and can: carbon fee and rebate

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Most of the climate news from the oceans and the Arctic and California has been grim, with changes occurring around the world even faster than climate scientists had predicted. But this month, as my mixed-religious family prepared to celebrate Passover and Easter, the two holidays of …

Regis Murphy: Former Dolphin says swim team is much more than records

Thursday, April 23, 2015

To the editor: After reading the article regarding the review of the aquatics programs at the Hampshire Regional YMCA, I found the prospect of dissolving the swim team concerning. At 6, I joined the Hampshire Regional YMCA team. I instantly felt a part of a great community. Swimming …

Susan J. Adelson: Senior Center will need space when baby boomers visit more

Thursday, April 23, 2015

To the editor: I was both a volunteer and employee at the Northampton Senior Center when it was built, and now I am a consumer of its programs. When I first read about the Parks and Recreation Department’s imminent move to the Senior Center, it seemed like a …

Debra J. Diemand: Writer dubious of advertising decisions of Florence Bank

Thursday, April 23, 2015

To the editor: The saga of Florence Bank continues. After reading Gazette reporter Chris Lindahl’s April 10, 2015 article, “Selfie Snafu” depicting, in my opinion, another poor choice made by Florence Bank, I wonder, what are they thinking? Or are they not? I’m referring to the bank’s use …

Catharine R. Morrish and Bernard Miller: Synthetic pesticides cause harm, so why do we use them?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

To the editor: The spraying of synthetic pesticides on trees and lawns is known to be dangerous to humans and animals. Hospitals such as Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have long warned of the dangers of pesticides. This exposure is cumulative and can cause cancer, damage to neonatal …

Don Robinson: Hillary Clinton on my mind

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ASHFIELD — Why, despite all her “baggage,” does Hillary seem so right this time? The campaign is in its early stages. It is 19 months until Election Day 2016, 21 months till Inauguration Day 2017. In politics, “a week is an eternity,” as sage old Howard Baker used …