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Opinion

Workers from WMECO work to remove a snapped off utility pole that is dangling by wires on Mountain Road Thursday. REBECCA EVERETT

Cutting through static: A Hadley homeowner kicks tires on this year’s hefty electricity price hikes (COMMENTARY)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HADLEY — I’m pretty ticked off about my latest residential electric bill — partly because of what I owe, but mostly because of the actions of the Boston commissioners who are appointed by the governor of Massachusetts and his staff to regulate public utilities in the consumer’s interest. Recently, their actions have led to more money than usual being picked …

Andrew Steinberg: Why this coming weekend in Amherst will be different from the same one in 2014

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

AMHERST — It is almost one year since that warm Saturday, March 8, when a large-scale disturbance was in stark contrast to Amherst’s image as an idyllic New England college town. There is no need to recount the day’s events. We are all too familiar with what happened. The consequences were significant. The costs to the town were monetary and a diminution of …

Editorial: Catholic schools’ merger a test for new Springfield bishop

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Last week’s announcement by Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield that Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic high schools will merge is welcome news for the future of parochial education in the Valley. Both schools in recent years have been uprooted from longtime homes. After Holyoke Catholic’s buildings in Holyoke were condemned, …

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Ed Gregory: A very special, and sluggish, delivery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You’ve heard the phrase “snail mail.” Well, believe it! I recently purchased a relatively expensive book online from Northampton and arranged for delivery to my home in Greenfield. Big deal, right? You bet it is! I offer the following authentic tracking data of the item from …

Michael Goldman: A cross-country ski destination of the heart

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FLORENCE — I can understand the practicality of cross-country skiing. I mean, if the neighboring village were running low on a crucial medicine, or if the tribe were running out of meat and the nearest caribou herd were five miles away, I would be the first to don …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a …

Don Robinson: Two new books tease out what freedom felt like for the enslaved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ASHFIELD — Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of two local scholars, authors of books that make major contributions to our understanding of what it has meant to be black in America. Barbara …

Jim Palermo: I’m still waiting for promised public records on use of standardized tests

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — In 1927, a standardized test, Stanford-Binet, identified people who could be forcibly sterilized in the United States, under a program of eugenics approved by the United States Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell. No less than the highly regarded Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that …

Editorial: Iranian student policy a test of UMass campus loyalties

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The law that tripped up University of Massachusetts officials this month, resulting in what one professor somewhat hysterically called “billions of dollars in bad press,” is known as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012. The part of it that applies to schools like …

Mary Balfour: Let the woman raise those chickens in her yard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: It’s true that I don’t know all the facts but it seems a shame that a Southampton resident must get rid of her chickens based on a judge’s ruling. Assuming that they are confined to her property — what’s the big problem? The Pioneer Valley …

Gretchen Fox: Boutilier is the right choice for Amherst Housing Authority

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: TracyLee Boutilier is an outstanding candidate running for a seat on the Amherst Housing Authority Board in the town election March 31. The board provides housing for low- and moderate-income residents using state and federal funding. Although the town has made some small headway in …

Joseph Tarantino: Liberals can blame themselves for high electricity rates

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: In January 2008 Barack Obama reportedly told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle, “Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” For those who wanted Obama to be president and who are now complaining about our electricity rates, I offer a few …

Lawrence Siddall: Apartment building going up in Amherst misses the mark

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: The apartment building under construction on the corner of North Pleasant and Triangle streets in Amherst is a huge disappointment. Architecturally it is not displeasing, but it is much too large for the building site. Having such a large structure abut a park it took …