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Opinion

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the stories and photos “totally excessive.” She wondered if a daily newspaper is the proper place to tell this story, which recounted a 90-year-old Northampton woman’s death after she decided, amid physical pain and a loss of independence, to stop eating and drinking. This reader also asked whether the series sends a dangerous …

Editorial: Electricity costs pinch New England, but relief may be on horizon

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A recent drop in gasoline prices helps only a little to buffer news that electricity costs will rise sharply this winter, making it more expensive to keep lights on in the darkest season and delivering a blow to households that heat with electricity. Given enough time, New England will be able to bring down electricity costs as new plants come online, experts in …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

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Great invitation to community members. I now live in Florida and, so, cannot attend the games of my granchildren anymore. You made...(full comment)

Elizabeth Rockett Volkmann: Let yourself get bitten by the Northampton High soccer bug

Clare Higgins: Investing in right start for America’s children

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — We have a free public school system in our country that assures every child a seat. It doesn’t matter that the child just moved into the community, or has a special need, doesn’t speak English, or even that their parents don’t work. They don’t have to …

Clare Higgins: 'There's no prohibition against soaking people with low incomes' Why the Massachusetts casino law needs to be repealed

Monday, September 29, 2014

I’ve been known to buy a lottery ticket or two (or three…). When I was an underpaid early childhood educator, I would sometimes buy a scratch ticket. Only the $1 tickets and probably not more than once or …

Editorial: Tragedy of Ebola hits home in Hampshire County

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A local face was put on the terrible Ebola epidemic centered in West Africa with the news last week that a popular Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School drumming and dance teacher is grieving the deaths of …

Wikipedia grows up on campuses

Friday, September 26, 2014

A trusted bromide in academia is that you become a better student when you become a teacher. Something like that is happening at Wikipedia. The Internet encyclopedia has grown explosively since its creation in 2001, but it quickly earned a reputation as a Petri dish for misinformation. That’s …

Margaret Lobenstine: Time to lend a hand to area librarians

Friday, September 26, 2014

To the editor: Most of us in the Pioneer Valley feel like we live in a fair and caring community. Many of us love our libraries. However, one thing about at least one prominent library in our area, …

James Donnelly: Do unto others as walker, biker or driver would do unto you

Friday, September 26, 2014

To the editor: I drive more than I bike. I also walk and hike. I have found that there are bad drivers, bad bikers and bad pedestrians; I have encountered all of them while doing all three modes …

Janet Moulding: Forbes trustees thank grant’s anonymous donor

Friday, September 26, 2014

To the editor: The Trustees of Forbes Library would like to publicly acknowledge and thank an anonymous donor for providing a generous grant to preserve the library’s Outreach program which was at risk of being cut this year because of a funding shortfall. The Outreach program is a …

Editorial: A roadside attraction bows out on Amherst Town Common

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The information booth on the Amherst Town Common will soon be gone. Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Director Donald Courtemanche says the little yellow shack that provided information to visitors for nearly 50 years will be missed, but …

Michael Carolan: A profound silence at the People’s Climate March

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — My daughter was going to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City with my friend and me. Until she decided she had too much homework. While I understood, I thought she was a perfect …

Emmett Barcalow: Fossil fuel companies don’t want climate story told

Thursday, September 25, 2014

To the editor: I marched in NYC’s demonstration to protest government inaction on global warming. Despite the lies of the fossil fuel interests, which stand to lose trillions of dollars unless they persuade the world that global warming is a hoax, the scientific evidence is overwhelming that our …