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Editorial: A fragile optimism dawns for redevelopment of former Belchertown State School site

Thursday, May 28, 2015

If a project advances, a piece of ground in Belchertown will go from restricted living to assisted living. That may not sound like a big change, there’s a world of difference, more than 20 years after the human warehouse known as the Belchertown State School closed. Still, Kirk Stephens, a member of the Belchertown Economic Development & Industrial Corp., has a lot of reasons to be only “guardedly optimistic” about …

Editorial: When the call to teach runs in the family

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Talk about your teachable moments. This time it was a teacher — well, a future teacher — whose eyes were opened. Through high school and college, Alicia Lopez says she had resolved not to follow her parents into a career in education. Lopez did know she wanted to find a job in which she could help people. Important work, in other words. After …

Leslie H. Higgins: Vote out Northampton councilors for approving plastic bag ban

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: I thank Gazette reporter Dan Crowley for noting that Northampton’s single-use plastic bag ban was passed unanimously by the City Council. Most of the time, I think the anti-incumbent rage that animates many voters come the first Tuesday in November unjustified, as it can cast off the good people who hold office along with the bad. In Northampton’s elections this …

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

Sarah Buttenwieser: Bidwell the perfect candidate to represent Ward 2 on council

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: I’m supporting Dennis Bidwell for the Northampton’s Ward 2 City Council seat Paul Spector is vacating after wonderful years of service. Here’s why I’m delighted to support Bidwell: he’s smart, he’s kind, he’s a doer, he’s fair and he’s a team player, something I learned …

John Riley: Newspaper used word ‘crescendo’ correctly in boardwalk headline

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: In a May 21 letter to the editor, a reader finds fault with the use of the word “crescendo” to indicate a high point. “Coming to Crescendo” screamed the headline in an article about the completion of the Nashawannuck Pond boardwalk. The use of the …

Barbara and Normand Berlin: Volunteer’s dedication to garden at Jones Library noteworthy

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: We were pleased to read in the Gazette that no matter what renovations to the Jones Library in Amherst are made, the Kinsey Memorial Garden will not be harmed. It is a beautiful and needed oasis in the center of town. But there was one …

Eli Stark: Doctor offered old views on the ‘science of biology’

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: I was surprised to see a letter about the “science of biology” from a South Hadley doctor in the May 22 Gazette. The doctor’s argument is ignorant and antiquated. The basis of science is that we theorize, test our theories and that nothing is set …

Don Robinson: Debating issues of day remains citizen’s true calling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ASHFIELD — This is a tale of American democracy at work on two extreme levels. On the first Saturday in May, Town Meeting in Ashfield was asked to decide whether to mount a preschool for all children in the nine-town regional school district of which Ashfield is a …

Editorial: Northampton pool could keep YMCA team in the swim

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News about the fate of the Hampshire Regional YMCA swim team didn’t emerge until the end of a recent meeting between Y leaders and team parents, further evidence that the organization’s leaders could use a lesson in the importance of clear communication. But when a member of the …

Kurt Heidinger: Reader takes issue with column’s objectivity on GMO labeling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To the editor: In her May 6 guest column in the Gazette’s Viewpoints section, “Will the fight for GMO labeling get the job done?” Elizabeth Vierling confuses the consumer’s right to know what they are buying and thereby investing in, and the job of, as she puts it, …

Rich Cairn: Amherst Town Meeting fails to serve everyone well

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To the editor: Amherst Town Meeting ended after seven sessions during which 250 people (including staff) spent 20 hours. That comes to 5,000 hours — or the equivalent of two-and-a-half full-time professionals for a year. Our greatest accomplishment toward the future of a pleasant, diverse, sustainable town was …

Sherry McGuire: Fight against cancer by joining Relay For Life movement

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

To the editor: What started as one man walking around a track in Tacoma, Washington, 30 years ago this spring has grown into the world’s largest movement to fight back against cancer. Today, more than 4 million people participate in American Cancer Society Relay For Life events in …

Editorial: Reason must guide shared use of former Northampton State Hospital land

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s clear that Northampton has a gem of a property in 282 acres off Burts Pit Road that formerly was part of the state hospital and which, for the past 25 years, has been used both for farming and recreation. That continued shared relationship is now under scrutiny …