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Opinion

Rutherford H. Platt: Loss of Northampton Business Improvement District will cost city and residents

Monday, November 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The demise of Northampton’s downtown Business Improvement District (BID) due to a lawsuit by dissident property owners is astounding and inexplicable. Why would the plaintiffs incur legal fees presumably far exceeding the cost of BID assessments to which they object? Why did the city not “verify” the petition signatures in the first place, or when called into question by the plaintiffs? Have any signatures actually been proven to …

Don Schneier: Plenty of problems with Northampton BID

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: If, as the Gazette describes it in its Nov. 17 editorial, the BID was operating under a “legal cloud,” it was one of their own making, a product of overreach. But, the problems were more than legal. They were moral: imposing an ethos of commercialism on citizens, requiring the constraint of conviviality by self-interested purposefulness. They were political: a conflation …

Anne Perkins: Applauding whistle-blowing waitresses in Hadley

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: I am writing to applaud the waitresses who had the courage to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment at the Route 9 Diner. Sadly, whistle-blowers are rarely honored in our society. Although I personally do not know Marie Billiel, Jamie Young or any of the other nine women who blogged about their experiences of harassment, what I read …

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Amy Cohen: Route 9 Diner owner should have money go to nonprofits

Thursday, November 20, 2014

To the editor: I have been following the coverage of sexual harassment at the Route 9 Diner in Hadley and while I certainly agree that the current employees do not deserve to have their jobs jeopardized, people like myself, a former patron, need to see the owner, who …

Robin Dizard: Help support area Abortion Rights Fund

Thursday, November 20, 2014

To the editor: The courageous and thoughtful Nov. 15 guest column by Emma Ayres about abortion brings out vital facts: women are entitled, by law, to choose whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and decide to abort when they cannot in good conscience become mothers. Ayres calls …

Gayle Pemberton: After BID ruling Northampton, thoughts of a famous film

Thursday, November 20, 2014

To the editor: Re: BID ruling: Welcome to Pottersville. Gayle Pemberton Easthampton …

Alison Lucey: Wants to know why flags were removed from cemetery

Thursday, November 20, 2014

To the editor: On Nov. 15, I visited my husband’s grave at the Village Hill Cemetery in Williamsburg. Much to my astonishment and disappointment, the American flag and Elks Club memorial flag were both missing from his grave. I then realized that all the American flags throughout the …

William Brezinski: Peace Corps volunteers are front line of ‘American exceptionalism’

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: This time of year, with Veterans Day, we recognize individuals and groups who have sacrificed personally and emotionally to build the United States. Our military is assigned overseas, lives in hostile environments and are placed in the middle of political unrest. Many give their lives …

Penny Burke: BID’s demise a loss for Northampton’s art scene

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: Last week, I made an online comment in response to an article about the Northampton Business Improvement District and the mayor’s intention to convene a meeting of “downtown stakeholders.” I would like to share the comment with more Gazette readers and add a few remarks: …

Ann Hallstein: Letter-writer’s roster of Northampton downtown pioneers shows gender gap

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: A letter to the editor in the Nov. 15-16 edition of the Gazette caught my eye — and stirred my ire. Alan Scheinman, one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the BID, wrote in defense of his case, “Some people attributed the success of …

Editorial: Northampton BID’s fatal flaw found in court files

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Buried deep in files attached to Hampshire Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini’s order last week that the Northampton Business Improvement District halt its operations is a cry for help that went unanswered. It is contained in two emails sent by the Northampton city clerk to another city …

Joe Blumenthal: Thoughts on the demise of the Northampton BID

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nov. 12, 2014, was a sad day for downtown Northampton: Judge John A. Agostini ruled the Business Improvement District “null and void.” Thus ends a long and controversial chapter of our city’s history. The saga revolves …

Sara Weinberger: Looking for a common religious path in fractured world

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When religion makes the headlines, the focus is on extremism. Religious law is reinterpreted to justify the oppression of others. Religious leaders invoke their moral superiority to enter our bedrooms and condemn everything from homosexuality to birth control. The name of god is invoked to launch …