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Sara Weinberger.

Sara Weinberger: Really, America? Too afraid to do the right thing?

Friday, November 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I remember as a child on Yom Kippur watching those in my synagogue beating their chests with clenched fists as they chanted an alphabetized list of transgressions, ranging from gluttony to gossip. When I became too cool to sit next to my parents, my friends and I stood in the back of the sanctuary, mockingly punching each others’ chests, chuckling as we recited this alphabet of evil deeds. What I remember most was the transgression corresponding to the letter “x.” Each year, when we made it down to “x,” we would point to the word that sent us into “preadolescent” giggles — “xenophobia.” Each year we wondered what the meaning of this strange …

Michael Dover: My mother, the refugee — and lessons from her life

Friday, November 27, 2015

LEVERETT — “Frances, do you remember the time we were all lined up against a wall to be shot?” I was in my early 20s and at an afternoon family gathering. As we sat on the patio chatting, my aunt – my mother’s older sister – asked my mother this question. I’d known …

Editorial: Film ‘Spotlight’ Film story of betrayal that should not be forgotten

Friday, November 27, 2015

One of the biggest stories of 2002 is news again to millions thanks to Hollywood. While movie studios usually aim to distract viewers, sometimes their films contain uncomfortable truths. The new movie “Spotlight” recounts one of them: the Catholic church’s long cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. It tells the story of the Boston …

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Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School changes graduation requirements

Hi Lynne -- How did I miss this the first time around? (Thsi time via Chris.) My very bad -- would Miley...(full comment)

Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

Lilly Lombard: Volunteers help Northampton find some blessed ‘re-leaf’

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: This October, 73 citizen volunteers — over a third of whom were ​children and teens — joined Northampton’s ambitious effort to reverse decades of public tree canopy decline by planting 80 street trees. This is nearly triple the number of trees the city has historically …

Perplexed by calls to hire based on race or gender

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: Recently, you had a reader write in and state that the new town manager of Amherst “should be a woman or person of color.” I’m confused, isn’t hiring someone because of their skin color racism? Isn’t not hiring someone because of their sex, sexism? The …

Editorial: The people’s lawyer says pipeline isn’t needed

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Attorney General Maura Healey promised Massachusetts that she would deliver an independent examination of the state’s future energy needs. She did so in part because of the scenario painted by Kinder Morgan, the company behind plans for the Northeast Energy Direct natural gas pipeline: Massachusetts and the rest …

Michael DiPasquale: Taking climate change challenge seriously in Northampton

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In late September, Northampton began work to create the city’s first comprehensive Climate Adaptation Plan. The kick-off consisted of three days of public meetings and design sessions conducted by a team of six consultants organized by the American Institute of Architects. Climate adaptation refers to measures …

Lilly Gaev: The orphaned block in the heart of Northampton’s downtown

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The City Council just put the final kibosh on our many efforts to have Center Court in the central business zone downtown accepted as a city street. Many other former private ways have become official city …

Mary Carey: The lost Saturday — my seven hours without memory

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

AMHERST — I lost my short-term memory just before 10 a.m. the Saturday before last and didn’t get it back until 5 p.m. During my lost hours, I asked my husband Brian every two minutes or so where I was and what was happening. Brian would explain that …

Jeff Schrenzel: Social work is much more than ‘doing good’

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: I am writing about the Gazette’s Nov. 10 article, “Life As A Do-Gooder,” about social worker Jay Pasternack. While I commend Pasternack on his long career doing social work, it should be noted your title is a bit misleading. Social work is more than “doing …

Chet Cramer: Preserve prime agricultural land for farming, not commercial use

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: I often travel Meadow Street in North Amherst. Recently I have been very bothered by signs on parcels of land on the east side of the street, between Route 116 and the Waskiewicz family’s J & J Farms, offering the land for sale for commercial …

Sidney Moss: Reasons aplenty to vote Sanders for president

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: In response to a recent letter-writer who believes Bernie Sanders’ view of government is in line with the Founding Fathers, I appreciate his readiness to vote for Sanders. I admire Sanders because of his long-earned history as a fighter for social justice and fairness in …

Kristen Mokrzecki: Remember the children when crafting refugee policies

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: We are heartened to discover that our government has created policies for allowing refugees to enter the United States, and are pleased to hear that we will be accepting 10,000 refugees from Syria. The government has created a uniform procedure for accepting and relocating refugees, …