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Tarin Weiss: School start not about shopping

Friday, August 29, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Right now, in the world of K12 it’s all about “Back to School.” New clothes, new shoes, and new school supplies top the list of must-haves to prepare our children for … for what, exactly? If “Back to School” equates doing well with looking good, then we’re all set. A popular clothing store states that our kids can earn high honors if they’re well-dressed and that their intellect is obvious if they just wear the right T-shirt. A major office supply store touts that school success comes with their pencils, pens and notebooks! But, we know that academic achievement has never been that … 0

Editorial: Heavy hitters support later start for high schools

Friday, August 29, 2014

The American Academy of Pediatrics this week described an epidemic of “chronically sleep deprived and pathologically sleepy” adolescents and associated health problems. Mincing no words, the academy listed the consequences of teen sleep deprivation: higher rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease and metabolic dysfunction, increased anxiety and mood disorders, overuse of caffeine and prescription stimulants, higher risk of car crashes caused by drowsiness, lower … 0

Nan Clark: Ox teamsters event not just for the menfolk

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

To the editor: The crew responsible for the Ox Teamster’s Challenge at the Cummington Fair really appreciates the educational article featured in Monday’s Gazette. It is important to add that the competition is not just for men and boys. On Saturday there were three female teamsters and one 12-year-old girl also in the … 0

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Rosemarie Clark: Stop Israel’s repression, violence in Gaza

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

To the editor: I am outraged by the number of deaths in Palestine, most of them civilians and children. I ask, “Has the media been biased?” Every time there is a protest, Palestinians are deemed terrorists by the media. One third of their hospitals have been demolished. Families … 0

Bonnie MacCracken: Treasurer candidate Tom Conroy wants to fight climate change

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: Tom Conroy, candidate for state treasurer, will have my vote in the Democratic primary Sept. 9. My decision is based on bold actions he has taken to advocate for a flexible and progressive carbon tax … 0

Andrew Larkin, M.D.: Don Berwick’s progressivism is right for our times

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: Don Berwick Is running for governor of Massachusetts as a Democrat. He is the only candidate who has stated he is a progressive. Seventy percent of Americans support a progressive agenda. When he talks it … 0

Lynn Griesemer: Tini Sawicki of Amherst had will to live, desire to give

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: Tini Sawicki’s life will be remembered by many far into the future. For people, especially women, who are diagnosed with breast cancer, Tini was the president of the club, and she will remain on the emeritus list forever. She faced cancer as a patient willing … 0

Kirk Whatley: Taking good with bad in state’s new gun legislation

Monday, August 25, 2014

HADLEY — According to Guns and Ammo magazine, Massachusetts rates fourth from the bottom of the barrel when comes to being “gun friendly.” On Aug. 13, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Massachusetts’ latest gun control law, the Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence. However, unlike past laws, … 0

Editorial: Northampton mayor shows compassion for those in immigration limbo

Monday, August 25, 2014

While immigration reform eludes Washington lawmakers and the president, Northampton’s mayor took a stand last week that will help foreign-born individuals and families in the Valley feel less vulnerable. Mayor David J. Narkewicz agreed to sign an executive … 1

William J. Rowan: Rationalizing Israel’s behavior in Gaza

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: It never ceases to astound me when otherwise intelligent people continue to rationalize Israel’s unconscionable behavior in Gaza as a reasonable and proportionate act of self defense in response to recent Palestinian “aggression.” Israel wants to cherry pick the time period at which to start … 0

Barry Hirsch: The political uses of Palestinian ‘victimization’

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: In a recent edition, a letter-writer says the “majority of people in Gaza are simply longing for a life of peace and cooperation.” In 2007, the people of Gaza held an election that was endorsed … 0

Stephen Siegel: Israel turned Gaza into ‘open-air prison’

Monday, August 25, 2014

To the editor: In a letter to the Gazette, “Israel weathers years of rocket attacks” (Aug. 8), several writers argue “there was no occupation and there was no blockade” in the two years following Israel’s 2005 so-called “disengagement” from the Gaza Strip. However, while Israel did remove its … 0

Jon Lackman: Let’s help students find right path through high-speed world

Sunday, August 24, 2014

To the editor: In a recent article about Northampton schools taking “more steps into high tech,” the city’s district technology director, Angelo Rota said, “The world is working at that high rate of speed, so we need to give our kids exposure to that. Is that good or … 0