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Michael Seward: Financing of Eric Lesser’s state Senate campaign did not get attention it needed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: Eric Lesser’s victory in the Democratic primary for the First Hampden-Hampshire State Senate District was a bad day for democracy and demonstrated the failure of the press to adequately inform the electorate. Despite spending more than three times as much as the candidate he narrowly defeated, Lesser garnered only a couple hundred more votes than his closest opponent. According to The Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political …

James B. Winston: Memorial a fitting tribute to those who made downtown Northampton strong

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: The Eva Trager Memorial, located on Main Street in downtown Northampton, recognizes citizens who have made a significant impact on the vitality of downtown Northampton. On a recent Friday, six people — Al August & family, Christina Cavallari, Bill Nagle, Kay Sheehan, Norman Winston and Stanley Zewski — joined the names of the previous honorees, Bashir Ahamed, David Bourbeau, E. …

Tom McBride: Opponents of The Retreat did not serve Amherst’s interests

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: There was nothing honorable about what those who fought The Retreat development in North Amherst did. I’m a believer in a free-market system which 20th century economist Milton Friedman was an advocate of. You can micromanage economic development, but this is swimming upstream. Friedman believed that commerce was an exchange between parties who had come to a mutual agreement. We’re …

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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

Marlene Marrocco: Why can’t we find more non-politicians to serve in office?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To the editor: It would be nice to have a non-politician in office for a change. A business person, someone who sees beyond the “game” and might be able to get things done for Massachusetts and the country. A fresh voice, a fresh perspective and a clean slate. …

Sherry Wilson: Public needs help in halting harassing phone calls

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To the editor: What ever happened to “Do Not Call” registries? For years I have been on the federal and state registries to prevent commercial enterprises from trying to sell their unwanted wares to me on the telephone. Charities, political parties and businesses such as your own bank …

Becky Reid: Goodell fails to uphold right standards for NFL

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To the editor: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s aloofness and inability or refusal to follow up on a grave situation involving off-field violence by players reeks of Joe Paterno. The old saying of “knew or should have known” applies of course, but what makes Goodell look like a complete …

Matt Levin: Citizens United ruling must be overturned

Thursday, September 18, 2014

To the editor: I have a message for Republican senators and fellow voters: I understand the difference between democracy and plutocracy, as I suspect you do. And I understand that plutocracy’s good for those — ”the 1 percent” — running it, and, as I’ve witnessed in recent years, …

Charles Bowles & Peter Whalen: Northampton BID struggles to fend off unproductive legal challenge

Thursday, September 18, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following guest column concerning the Northampton Business Improvement District was written by Charles Bowles and Peter Whalen — the group’s chairman and treasurer — and other members of the board of directors. NORTHAMPTON — Imagine a Northampton without Sidewalk Sales. Without Restaurant Week. Without sidewalks …

High-profile NFL must react decisively to off-field violence

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The National Football League fumbled its handling of high-profile cases of players accused or convicted of domestic violence or child abuse. The league, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell, has been ineffective and indecisive, and its punishment of those players has been lax, inconsistent and seemingly driven by public …

Will this become Scotland’s independence day?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: James Pentland, a native Scot and the Gazette’s night editor, offers thoughts on Scotland’s independence vote, to be taken Thursday. Today, in deciding whether to break up the United Kingdom and become an independent nation, voters in Scotland face the most momentous choice in the 307-year …

Dillon Sussman: Why some Valley residents choose to walk in the middle of the street

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One of the joys of being a land planner is that what I learn at work helps me understand how communities function and why people act the way they do. Here’s an example: A year ago …

On school grounds, safety matters more than pet access

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Amherst Superintendent Maria Geryk was right to ban dogs — unless they stay in the car — from school property during school hours. No matter how passionately dog owners vouch for their pets’ good behavior, there’s always the risk that an animal will lose control and injure someone. …

Cynthia Clayton Parent: End-of-life decisions must not be compromised

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

To the editor: I write in response to your recent headline: “On her terms: Lee Hawkins dies peacefully — as planned — in Northampton home at 90.” Many people will agree that the “as planned” is a great step forward in exercising our individual rights as Americans. However, …