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Opinion

Editorial: Food bank rethinks Thanksgiving table — to strengthen offerings all days of the year

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In church basements around the Valley, those without enough means are enjoying traditional Thanksgiving meals today thanks to community volunteers and donations that make such feasts possible. Meanwhile, at dining tables around the Valley, other families who struggle to make ends meet may have found it more difficult than usual to assemble ingredients considered necessary for a Thanksgiving table. That’s in part because two years ago, the network of anti-hunger …

Don Robinson: The United States of impasse

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ASHFIELD — It’s Thanksgiving, time to remember our manifold blessings, both personal and communal. We are grateful to occupy such a lovely place in God’s abundant creation, so bountiful, so forgiving. We are thankful for faith and hope, ever renewing, that one day we will be able to break through our stale habits and old ways and find the energy, together, to imagine …

Rev. Peter Ives: There’s no place like ... Earth — A Thanksgiving reflection

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Years ago William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, described the whole of Earth as God’s great farm. The earth is the Lord’s, he said. “All the resources of the earth: land, water, minerals, wood, and produce and from this Farm, and the owner is God. We have nothing that we can call our own. We are Tenants only,” Penn said. In the …

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Penny Burke: BID’s demise a loss for Northampton’s art scene

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: Last week, I made an online comment in response to an article about the Northampton Business Improvement District and the mayor’s intention to convene a meeting of “downtown stakeholders.” I would like to share the comment with more Gazette readers and add a few remarks: …

Ann Hallstein: Letter-writer’s roster of Northampton downtown pioneers shows gender gap

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: A letter to the editor in the Nov. 15-16 edition of the Gazette caught my eye — and stirred my ire. Alan Scheinman, one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the BID, wrote in defense of his case, “Some people attributed the success of …

Editorial: Northampton BID’s fatal flaw found in court files

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Buried deep in files attached to Hampshire Superior Court Judge John A. Agostini’s order last week that the Northampton Business Improvement District halt its operations is a cry for help that went unanswered. It is contained in two emails sent by the Northampton city clerk to another city …

Joe Blumenthal: Thoughts on the demise of the Northampton BID

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nov. 12, 2014, was a sad day for downtown Northampton: Judge John A. Agostini ruled the Business Improvement District “null and void.” Thus ends a long and controversial chapter of our city’s history. The saga revolves …

Sara Weinberger: Looking for a common religious path in fractured world

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When religion makes the headlines, the focus is on extremism. Religious law is reinterpreted to justify the oppression of others. Religious leaders invoke their moral superiority to enter our bedrooms and condemn everything from homosexuality to birth control. The name of god is invoked to launch …

Ellen Putnam: Loves her Gazette, and ‘Tonight’s Sky’

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: I am often teased by my family for my cover-to-cover, vacation-pack-when-I’m-away reading of the Gazette. This approach has many benefits, however — among them, my daily enjoyment of Patrick Rowan’s “Tonight’s Sky,” found if one looks closely along with the weather forecast. It provides a …

Chris and DeAnne Riddle: Says investing in solar for house was worth it

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: Following up on a recent letter to the editor concerning solar power, I’ll pass on our experience with solar hot water and electricity. First, we got rid of our oil-fired furnace, and replaced it with a Daikin air-source heat pump, an efficient electrical unit that …

J.M. Sorrell: BID was not needed in the first place

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: With great interest, I have followed the development of the BID, the court case and the opinions pro and con. I was a condo owner in the BID district when it was formed. At a public hearing, I spoke clearly about my opposition to the …

Leonard A. Cohen: Lenient sentence in probation case suggests system is rigged

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: Regarding an article in the Nov. 14 Gazette, “Hatfield man gets probation in rigged hiring case,” how is it that William Burke gets a slap on the wrist for his involvement in a decade of illegal hiring practices at the state Probation Department instead a …

Adam Fisher: Addiction’s greatest enemy: the truth

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Last week, both of my sons attended a talk by former Boston Celtics player Chris Herren, a man who gave his first-person account of an addictive past — from alcohol to pills and on into the …