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Opinion

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 University, I can comment on how I have experienced textbook use and purchase in my courses. Many students have been shopping online …

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 progress. Indeed, we think the editorial might have been more accurate if entitled, “UMass does …

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 let us remember to continue to strive for the Dream of equal opportunity for all.” …

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Editorial: A new leader for Hadley’s police department

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Michael Mason, Hadley’s new police chief, knows his department well. He joined the force as a rookie in 2000. Over the last 15 years Mason, who is 36, worked his way up from dispatcher to sergeant while getting …

Grant Milner: Thanks to a true dog-lover

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: On Dec. 26, my friend and companion, a 14-year-old fox terrier, escaped from her boarding home on Ryan Road in Florence. I am writing to thank Gary, a Good Samaritan, for rescuing Kelsey and transporting her to safety at the Valley Veterinary Clinic in Hadley. …

James Lowenthal: Not all LED lights are created equal

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: Thanks to Rudy Perkins for his article (“In the glow of a lighting innovation from Denmark,” Jan. 7) calling for energy-efficient LED street lighting, especially when they’re actively controlled to turn off when no one is there, as is being done in “smart cities” projects …

Montserrat Archbald: How do I hate Keystone XL? Let me count the ways

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: Building the Keystone XL Pipeline is a very bad idea. This pipeline would facilitate the extraction of tar sands oil, a low-quality product whose production causes even more pollution than conventional oil. According to the State Department, the pipeline would increase climate pollution by 27.4 …

Paul M. Craig: What minimum wage changes can accomplish

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To the editor: Do minimum wage laws reveal a structural fault in American capitalism? What fault are minimum wage laws meant to correct? How do we determine what an appropriate minimum wage should be? How many burgers must be sold at the drive-through window to make that job …

Robin MacRostie: It’s vital that we save ‘meandering jewel’ that is Lake Warner in Hadley

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To the editor: I write in support of restoring the $125,000 to fix the Lake Warner dam at North Hadley Pond. I wouldn’t have known that the earmark was vetoed if I hadn’t run into some Friends of Lake Warner at Whole Foods the other day. You may …

Editorial: Chilling news warns that oceans also marred by human touch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The journal Science last week published alarming research from a team of five scientists suggesting Earth’s oceans could be on the verge of “a major extinction pulse,” a catastrophe the likes of which has not been seen in marine species. The dense, five-page article — in which footnotes …

Adam Fisher: Reflections on my mother’s life

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I suppose that since she was graduated from Smith College here in Northampton and because she married one of her Smith College professors, there is some local relevance to the death of my mother, Helen White …

Susan Maguire: Urges more nuanced thought about police

Monday, January 19, 2015

To the editor: As a resident of Northampton and Ward 7, I am concerned with the very broad brush with which City Councilor Alisa Klein spoke about police and the criminal justice system. In no way can I argue that racism does not exist in the hearts of …

Rick Olson: Stop obstructing and build pipeline

Monday, January 19, 2015

To the editor: No nukes! No coal! No biomass! No wind farms! No solar! Now that natural gas is the cleanest large scale source of energy, we now have No pipeline! We’ve even had objections to siting a solar array on an abandoned landfill. With nuclear and coal …