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Shawn Adams, of Pelham, holds her cat "Pippin" at her house in Pelham, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.  Pippin went missing for six months and was hit by a car Dec. 17, which left the cat a brain injury.

Shawn Adams: The cat who came in from the cold

Sunday, December 21, 2014

PELHAM — For many, this time of year is a time of memory. Looking back on the past year, we reflect on the significant events that have shaped our lives. Some of these memories can be full of joy, and others of loss. About three days ago I was standing on my deck looking out over the trees that surround my home in Pelham and I uttered a small prayer. “Pippin,” I asked, “why did you leave me? Come home.” Pippin is the name of my cat, adopted seven years ago from the animal shelter in Springfield. I am biased, as all animal-lovers are, yet …

Katie Allan Zobel: A hearty thanks to Valley Gives honors

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I have been struggling to find a way to thank 14,189 people. This is the number of people who gave so generously to local nonprofits during Valley Gives Day. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it. Yes, the massive numbers of thank-you notes are daunting, but what is even more challenging is figuring out a way to say …

Claire Streeter: A father who tried once before to quit — and must again

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Daddy: I’m writing to talk to you about something extremely important to me, and I’m not sure how to say it in person. I’m writing to talk to you about stopping smoking. I know you’ve been smoking since you were 15. Daddy, I’m worried about you. Smoking is really bad — from the tar in it, to the millions of …

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Editorial: Meaningful work can be undertaken at any age — as these seniors show

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

People at any age can be valued and valuable. They can be contributing members of a community doing worthwhile work. Society sometimes forgets this. In Amherst, 87-year-old Shirley Whittemore has been indulging her longtime passion for doll-making by setting up a veritable doll factory in her living room. …

Editorial: Is it time to retire English lord as college’s human mascot?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amid their frantic end-of-semester studying, some students at Amherst College found time for good-natured pranks with a serious message. Students want to replace the college mascot, Lord Jeffery Amherst, with the mighty moose. Their rather elaborate pranks included placing a life-size metal moose sculpture in the foyer of …

Sigrid Schmalzer: Pedestrians get short shrift in road safety changes

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: I am deeply distressed by the crosswalk accident that has left a beloved University of Massachusetts student, Chloe Rombach, in critical condition. Too many pedestrians and cyclists have been injured or killed locally in recent years. I cross at that crosswalk in Northampton almost every …

Cynthia Loring MacBain: On the expectation gap in US life

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: A few years ago, while doing an Alternatives to Violence workshop in a maximum security prison in New York State, I met Malik. At the time, he was a leader of a prison gang, but he wanted to make something more of his life. He …

William Aherin: Government should not meddle in Internet use

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: In the “net neutrality” controversy, Americans are being told that we need government control of the Internet to maintain a level playing field. Previous attempts have resulted in the federal courts declaring that the FCC cannot reclassify Internet as President Obama has stated he will …

Philip M. Giers: Northampton Lions Club thanks public for support of yearly sale

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

To the editor: The Northampton Lions Club thanks all those who participated in our 54th Annual Ski and Skate Sale and helped to make it a big success. The Lions Club gives back to the community all the profits generated by this event, helping those in need. It …

James Winston: Letter-writer fails to appreciate economic benefits of Eric Suher’s venues

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I noticed in the letters to the editor section Dec. 8 one regarding Eric Suher that in my view was both ill-informed and reckless. In the letter, the writer states in part, “why is the Calvin sold out, the Iron Horse sold out and people …

James W. Sherwood: Smith president didn’t need to apologize about word choice

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I am reading the book “Measure of a Man” about Martin Greenfield, the clothier. Greenfield was in the Buchenwald concentration camp and was sent to a house of the mayor of Weimar, Germany, to do repairs. He was in the basement and found rabbits and …

John Kapitzky: Are you ready to help pay pricetag of Olympics site in Boston?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: Boston is one of several U.S. cities being considered as our country’s nominee for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Although the Boston group supporting Boston’s choice has had a few public meetings, mostly its efforts seem to have been kept low key. For example, the U.S. …

Madelaine Zadik: Phrase in editorial shows ingrained racism

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: I have to say I was rather dismayed, shocked and disappointed in the Gazette when I read the Dec. 10 editorial (“Toward day when black lives really do matter in US”). It shows how ingrained racism really is. You wrote: “African-American men aged 20 to …