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Opinion

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 awarding its leaders big salaries to pursue the Olympics bid, is feeling the heat of public doubt and has reiterated pledges the …

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 full day and some are half day. Some are full year and some follow the …

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 aggrieved terrier at blank pages. c) One architect of the Gazette News Quiz. d) The …

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Stan Rosenberg, Bruce Tarr & Michael Rodrigues: Shining light in on operations of state Senate

Monday, March 23, 2015

AMHERST — Since we took office Jan. 7, we’ve initiated a sweeping set of reforms that promise to change the culture of the Massachusetts State Senate and make it more accessible, more open and more transparent in its procedures. Some consider these changes long overdue. We share their …

Margie Riddle: Dog show success again fuels school volunteer group in Northampton

Monday, March 23, 2015

To the editor: Thanks to the participation of many volunteers and community businesses, the 10th anniversary Volunteers in Northampton Schools Dog Show this month was a huge success. Members of the Board of Directors of VINS, which sponsors and manages the show, are so grateful for all that …

Emmett Barcalow: Will Gov. Baker make action against climate change a priority?

Monday, March 23, 2015

To the editor: News reports call Tropical Cyclone Pam one of the strongest storms ever seen in the Pacific. It devastated Vanuatu. Climate scientists have warned that hurricanes and tropical storms will become more energetic as the oceans heat up. Evidence is also accumulating that the extremes in …

John Montanari: Beware of activist Bill McKibben and his ‘alarmist ilk’

Monday, March 23, 2015

To the editor: So, the Rev. Andrea Ayvazian has received the latest revelation from noted climate demagogue Bill McKibben (Gazette column, March 14), and has come down from the mountain to share The Word. Hallelujah. Meanwhile, the global climate, which has no doubt been affected to some hard-to-know …

Walter Krzeminski: Is it time to adjust baseball’s tools of trade?

Monday, March 23, 2015

To the editor: Because of dwindling offensive production in Major League Baseball, interest and paying customers — and potential interest of future paying customers — is waning. The MLB is searching for ways to rekindle offensive attacks and fan interest. The Professional Golf Association modernized its clubs and …

Mark Zinan: Are zombies here to stay?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

SUNDERLAND — Zombies. For a decade and a half now, you can’t escape them in books, social media, movies or TV. In response to this onslaught, essays like this one seek to explain the phenomena. Answers have included our fear of nuclear holocaust, destructive climate change, rebellion against …

Editorial: Reading between the lines in Republican budget plans

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Republicans now hold the gavels in Congress. Budget plans outlined last week by House and Senate committees offered the first look at how the party will administer the nation’s finances. Not surprisingly, these plans showcase the party’s vision of limited government. Between the lines, they show contempt for …

John Boothroyd: Amherst has done its share to provide affordable housing

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: Katherine Appy’s concerns about a lack of candidates for seats on the Amherst School Committee, expressed in a March 2 guest column, should run much deeper. We try to accommodate public opinion at the expense of common sense. Character assassinations are used all too often …

Donna and Peter Kenny: DPW, city employees did a great job clearing snow this winter

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: We agree wholeheartedly with a Southampton writer’s insightful response of March 12 to Jay Fleitman’s recent column about snow plowing. It is regrettable that Fleitman’s column possibly implies that his neighbors are unhappy with the snowplowing by the Department of Public Works. As two of …

Toni Hochstadt: Pleased Recreation Department is moving to Senior Center

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: I wish to thank the Northampton City Council and Mayor David J. Narkewicz for deciding to add the Northampton Parks and Recreation Department to the building which also houses the Senior Center at the corners of Conz and Smith streets in Ward 3 near downtown. …