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Opinion

Matt Curtis: Taking sides on charter school question not in students’ best interests

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FLORENCE — I would like to respond to misleading generalizations pertaining to charter schools recently presented by letter writers in the Gazette — and offer additional perspective. I suppose that one may argue that charter schools are “less public” than traditional public schools, but public charter schools are certainly not privatized in any accurate sense of the word. Public charter schools remain under governmental control. Charter schools are not inherently …

Editorial: Sessions helping veterans come all the way home

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dating the start of American intervention in Vietnam is complicated. Officially, the U.S. is now marking the 50th anniversary of the war, based on the March 8, 1965, deployment of 3,500 Marines to Da Nang. According to U.S. government timelines, the CIA sent agents inside North Vietnam in late 1960. American “advisers” were dispatched after that, slowly escalating U.S. involvement. Two months after …

Alison H. Bowen: Is a new gas pipeline really the answer to high electricity costs?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

GOSHEN — National Grid customers read on the front page of the Gazette March 25 that electric rates will drop 26 percent as of May 1, pending DPU approval. This is good news, given the long, cold and expensive winter. Spokeswoman Danielle Williamson explained: “It’s not a shortage of natural gas that makes the price higher. It’s pipeline capacity constrictions. There’s enough natural …

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Editorial: First up, an Olympics of public skepticism on the 2024 Games

Friday, March 27, 2015

The state placed a help-wanted ad this week related to having Boston host the Olympics in 2024. The help that’s needed: an independent accounting of how the games would affect the state and its capital city. We’re glad officials see the need for answers. Boston 2024, fresh from …

Clare Higgins: An investment we’ll never regret: better education for 4-year-olds

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I read something in the paper almost every week about pre-kindergarten as the key to school success. States like Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are offering free admission to pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds. New York City started its program for 4-year-olds last September. Some of these programs are …

Larry Parnass: A Gazette humorist’s secrets revealed

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette newsroom just isn’t the same these days without: a) An Air Force veteran proud of saying, “I served my country in Rome (pause) Rome, N.Y.” b) A skilled paginator who threw himself like an …

Editorial: Open Meeting Law worth the hard work it requires

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It’s not shocking that several public officials stood up at a public meeting to complain that the state’s Open Meeting Law is cumbersome and confusing. What is shocking is that they derided it as “unfair and undemocratic” and claimed that a request for meeting minutes is tantamount to …

Editorial: Rule exposes electricity ratepayers to unfair double whammy

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Electricity customers knew last fall they’d pay more for power this winter. But as rates kicked up by nearly a third and some sought relief by switching suppliers, another expense caught them by surprise — making this a tough winter both inside and outside for ratepayers. Help may …

Nancy Kinney: Irked at Kinder Morgan’s actions, urges Gazette to keep story alive

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: Please keep Kinder Morgan’s Tennessee Gas Pipeline story front and center. A huge Texas company is threatening to impact homeowners in western Massachusetts. What gives a private company the right to take our land using “eminent domain”? Our government does because the fossil fuel giants …

Sid Moss: Postal Service offers a reliable bargain for mail delivery

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: The writer of a Feb. 27 guest column criticized the U.S. Postal Service because it took five days for a book mailed from Florence to be delivered to his home in nearby Greenfield. I can see that he might have been annoyed at the wait …

Gene Reilly: CPA panel should reject condo request for money to fix staircase

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: A Gazette article published March 19 discussed an application submitted by the Coolidge Park Condominiums requesting Community Preservation Act funds to help repair their granite steps. It is my opinion that the Community Preservation Committee should decline to support this application. The article noted CPA …

Peter A. Jones: Transparency lacking in decision to move Recreation Department

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: It was surprising and disappointing to learn from the Gazette that the Northampton Council on Aging is shortly to be evicted from its social room in the Senior Center. The space is being taken over by the Parks and Recreation Department, which is itself being …

Ann M. Hennessey: Proud to live in community that values arts for education

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: My family and I went to a wonderful performance of “Godspell” at Northampton High School earlier this month. Directors Cate Damon and Beau Flahive and the roughly 60 NHS students — actors, musicians and behind-the-scenes “ninjas” — put on a remarkable and professional performance. Congratulations …