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Opinion

Editorial: A fragile optimism dawns for redevelopment of former Belchertown State School site

Thursday, May 28, 2015

If a project advances, a piece of ground in Belchertown will go from restricted living to assisted living. That may not sound like a big change, there’s a world of difference, more than 20 years after the human warehouse known as the Belchertown State School closed. Still, Kirk Stephens, a member of the Belchertown Economic Development & Industrial Corp., has a lot of reasons to be only “guardedly optimistic” about …

Editorial: When the call to teach runs in the family

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Talk about your teachable moments. This time it was a teacher — well, a future teacher — whose eyes were opened. Through high school and college, Alicia Lopez says she had resolved not to follow her parents into a career in education. Lopez did know she wanted to find a job in which she could help people. Important work, in other words. After …

Leslie H. Higgins: Vote out Northampton councilors for approving plastic bag ban

Thursday, May 28, 2015

To the editor: I thank Gazette reporter Dan Crowley for noting that Northampton’s single-use plastic bag ban was passed unanimously by the City Council. Most of the time, I think the anti-incumbent rage that animates many voters come the first Tuesday in November unjustified, as it can cast off the good people who hold office along with the bad. In Northampton’s elections this …

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

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

Rich Fleming: Shocked at the condition of Granby elementary school

Friday, May 22, 2015

To the editor: Recently, my 4-year-old (almost 5) excitedly directed us to see her “new school,” the West Street Elementary School in Granby, that she will be attending as a kindergartner in the fall. She could not have been more excited to show us that the school had …

Johanna Halbeisen: Siegel invaluable at UMass radio station, should be reinstated

Friday, May 22, 2015

To the editor: I was very alarmed to learn from a May 9 Gazette article that Glenn Siegel has been removed from his post as faculty advisor at WMUA, the radio station at the University of Massachusetts. I have known Siegel’s work at WMUA since 1983 when I …

Jimmy Burgoff: Hauling company owner says rail cleanup costs too high

Friday, May 22, 2015

To the editor: Thirty years ago when I lived on Martha’s Vineyard, I had a dump-run business as well as my current moving business. The local electric company would periodically hire me to haul away creosote poles to the Oak Bluffs unsanitary landfill. As I recall, they had …

Tom Riddell: State hospital land includes burial grounds to be respected

Friday, May 22, 2015

To the editor: As Gazette reporter Gena Mangiaratti accurately reported in a May 20 story, the hundreds of folks who attended Tuesday’s meeting at the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School about the use of the state-owned land off Burts Pit Road were mostly concerned about preserving public …

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had …

Editorial: US steps up to address decline in honeybee numbers

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our Pioneer Valley, a region dotted with farms, orchards and fields, makes an idyllic vision, one that conjures up “the land of milk and honey,” words from the Old Testament. Those words can be taken literally since the …

Editorial: Historic Northampton dig offers look at living history

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today, toss household trash out your back door and the health board might visit. At 58 Bridge St. in Northampton, authorities are on the lookout for a serial litterer. It’s a bit of a cold case — and …

Robert L. Dickerman: Let’s see more leadership on pipeline from Sen. Stanley Rosenberg

Thursday, May 21, 2015

AMHERST — You have to hand it to Sen. Stanley Rosenberg. He’s managed to cultivate a positive image for himself, despite his apparently selling out of constituents on the Kinder Morgan pipeline issue. His recent call for a local DPU hearing on the Berkshire Gas agreement, albeit commendable, …

Rev. Peter Kakos: What if the Valley were fracked?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With the necessary attention being paid to the proposed pipeline of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing that would snake its way through our Commonwealth, let’s imagine the plight of our beloved Valley were we the site for invasive extraction. The immediate effect would be coping …

Dr. Newton Bowdan: Science of biology means people are either male or female

Thursday, May 21, 2015

To the editor: A woman may believe she is a man in a woman’s body, or a man may believe he is a woman in a man’s body, but with very rare exceptions (XXY, XYY, or XO) he or she is either XY (male) or XX (female). Whatever …