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Opinion

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 thank you that expresses the kind of …

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 …

Kristin Carter:

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Mom: Do you really know just how bad smoking is for you? Not only will it kill you, it is a habit that will cost you a lot of money each year. It affects your hygiene, causing bad breath and smelly clothes. It also causes tons of health problems such as lung cancer — especially if you are a heavy …

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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 …

Editorial: Barstow farm project rewrites dairying economics in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Since 1806, members of the Barstow family have risen to long days working land on a rise just east of the Connecticut River in Hadley. In all that time, despite the coming of industry and waves of tech revolutions, one thing remained constant: Milking cows takes people a …