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Northfire Recording Studio owner Jason Metcalf (left) and programmer Josh Braska (right) size up the sound paneling as musician Seth Newton readies to record a test track at the new David S. Dow Community Recording Studio.

Valley Free Radio’s free-to-use recording studio now open for business

Saturday, February 13, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — Valley creatives have differing reasons to utilize the new free-to-use David S. Dow Community Recording Studio, which laid down its inaugural tracks Saturday. For his part, 9-year-old Darren Chraplak plans to use it to edit his own comedy and music clips. Darren, of West Springfield, sat watching intently as Valley Free Radio programmer and project mastermind Joshua Braska …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The black history pigeonhole

Friday, February 12, 2016

I have always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with Black History Month. While I believe deeply in the need to honor and celebrate the black experience in America, I have had questions about why this is supposed to occur during the shortest month of the year. The black experience in the United States — including enslavement, resistance, struggle, courage, discrimination, perseverance, art, music, …

Editorial: ‘Pause’ in final mile broadband funding by state should be brief

Friday, February 12, 2016

The “final mile” push for broadband Internet in 32 unserved communities in western Massachusetts was never going to be quick and easy. The geographical and population issues that discouraged private cable companies from offering service present the same challenges to others who try, be they private, public or something in between. Those challenges may pale in comparison to what the effort faces on …

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Patty Kimura: As commoner, Gen. Amherst would never have been a ‘lord’

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

To the editor: It’s been interesting to read the spirited letters by passionate Amherst College alumni for and against the removal of the name “Lord Jeff” from official Amherst College. But one odd thing has piqued my interest about the use of the name “Lord Jeff” to allegedly …

Steven Barrett: Hillary Clinton’s swipe at Bernie Sanders ‘laughable’

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

To the editor: Hillary Clinton’s swipe at Bernie Sanders for what she called “artful smear” is laughable compared to what Clinton’s top surrogates, particularly Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill’s been saying about the Vermont senator’s openly admitted socialist beliefs. The old guard’s subplot goes like this: “Well, Bernie’s got …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …