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Opinion

Editorial: Protecting biodiversity makes no exceptions, even for rattlesnakes

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Since Colonial times, it’s been people versus timber rattlesnakes in Massachusetts. Today, as the state moves anew to preserve this endangered species in the face of public opposition, it’s science versus emotion. At a forum Feb. 23 in Orange, wildlife officials will work to explain their modest plan to place one to 10 young timber rattlesnakes each year, starting in two or three years, on an island in the Quabbin …

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: CISA’s 2016 resolution: Local food for all

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By February, many of us have already forgotten our New Year’s resolutions, especially in today’s world of ever-scrolling Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s hard to get traction to make big change. At CISA, our 2016 resolution is to ensure more people have more access to local food, a campaign we are calling “Local Food for All.” With the help of our community, partners …

Adam J. Kolek: Time for local government to admit when mistakes are made

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

To the editor: Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz would like us to believe that no one who works for the city was responsible for the fact that the city’s insurance company paid $52,500 to settle an unlawful and violent arrest case. What he didn’t say is that it is the taxes on Northampton citizens that pay the insurance premiums that fund this judgment. Our …

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Lissa Pierce Bonifaz: Standardized tests got you down? Consider opting out

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Amherst Regional school system was recently notified that its students would take two high-stakes, standardized tests this spring. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for third to sixth grade will be augmented with items from another standardized …

Richard Fein: Presidential candidates do not warrant second interviews

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To the editor: Before retiring, I was director of the undergraduate career office at the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts for almost 30 years. Over those years I looked over hundreds of job descriptions. The good news is that almost all of the 10,000 …

Sigrid Schmalzer: Bridge Street School report card does not paint a complete picture

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To the editor: Recently, parents of children in Northampton’s public schools received “report cards” providing grades for their school’s performance. My child’s school, Bridge Street Elementary School, received the low grade of “Level Three.” This was disheartening, but not because I have any doubt about the quality of …

Susan B. Allan: When it comes to snakes, ‘city’ people don’t know ‘country’ life

Thursday, February 4, 2016

To the editor: I am writing in regards to the proposal by the state Division of Fisheries & Wildlife to make a “sanctuary” for venomous timber rattlesnakes on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir. I personally think if the state has so much money to spare to save …

Thomas F. Plaut, M.D.: The dollars make sense behind Medicare for All

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: Your family spends $10,000 for food each year. But you could get all that food free if you agree to pay a $5,000 tax hike. You could save $5,000. Would you do it? It’s the same as Medicare for All. Thomas F. Plaut, M.D. Amherst …

Mary-Elizabeth Connly: The right, and wrong, way to act when a vehicle hits someone’s cat or dog

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: On Jan. 21, a motor vehicle hit my cat, Liffey, on Clement Street and he was left there to die. The operator of the vehicle should have had the decency to stop. According to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 272, Section 80H, “The operator of a …

Chris and DeAnne Riddle: Let’s rename Amherst ‘Hitchcock, Massachusetts’

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: Now that we all agree that Lord Jeffery Amherst’s life does not warrant his serving as the mascot for Amherst College sports, maybe the same logic would suggest we change the name of the town and the college. We suggest Hitchcock, Massachusetts, and Hitchcock College. …

Paul Redstone: Moved by NHS student’s guest column on racism

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: I would like to thank Northampton High School student Zion Barbour for the guest column “Waking up to racism’s wounds” (Gazette, Jan. 27). It is an excellent thought-provoking discussion highlighting individual responsibility in the face of injustice in our society. His remarks make clear that …

Jim Cahillane: Northampton of today owes a lot to Ralph Levy

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: I was saddened to read of Ralph Levy’s death. Ralph was a longtime proponent of civic improvement in our home city of Northampton. In 1955 he knocked on my parents’ front door to ask me to join him and other young men in forming a …

Editorial: After Iowa it’s a marathon for presidential candidates

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The lesson from the first 2016 presidential voting at the Iowa caucuses Monday is that candidates now must run a marathon to win the nomination because there is no clear front-runner in either party. While attention will be focused for the next six days on New Hampshire, which …