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Opinion

Katie Allan Zobel: A hearty thanks to Valley Gives honors

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I have been struggling to find a way to thank 14,189 people. This is the number of people who gave so generously to local nonprofits during Valley Gives Day. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it. Yes, the massive numbers of thank-you notes are daunting, but what is even more challenging is figuring out a way to say thank you that expresses the kind of …

Claire Streeter: A father who tried once before to quit — and must again

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Daddy: I’m writing to talk to you about something extremely important to me, and I’m not sure how to say it in person. I’m writing to talk to you about stopping smoking. I know you’ve been smoking since you were 15. Daddy, I’m worried about you. Smoking is really bad — from the tar in it, to the millions of …

Kristin Carter:

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Mom: Do you really know just how bad smoking is for you? Not only will it kill you, it is a habit that will cost you a lot of money each year. It affects your hygiene, causing bad breath and smelly clothes. It also causes tons of health problems such as lung cancer — especially if you are a heavy …

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Adam Fisher: A 91-cent gift that never lost its value

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Like ivy on some campus dormitory, the Christmas lights have begun to creep up and around the houses in my Northampton neighborhood. Their jolly colors whisper of long traditions — of giving, of neurotic shopping and …

Paul M. Craig: Time to devise a much better unified health ssytem

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

To the editor: Single-payer health care would make a smaller, more efficient government; a more productive workforce; the end of personal financial ruin from unpayable medical bills; some reduction in anthropogenic global warming; and reduced demand on the VA system. Correctly structured, it should have significant bipartisan support. …

Global pact on climate leaves an ocean of ‘ifs’

Monday, December 15, 2014

The climate deal struck in Peru this weekend fixes a fatal flaw in an earlier international agreement. Is it a true breakthrough, though, or a future footnote to the calamity residents of a warming planet failed to prevent? …

Lynn Pasquerella: College students on holiday face an in-between world

Monday, December 15, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — This time of year, I make a point of looking out my office window. Here at Mount Holyoke College, I have a good view of the local bus stop. At the end of the semester, I like to spend a few moments watching students board …

David J. McCutcheon: Police visit about shoveling sidewalks could have been avoided

Monday, December 15, 2014

To the editor: On the Friday after Thanksgiving, some of my family members were still at my home winding down for their trip home, while a few had already left. This being a day of heavy traffic, concern filled my wife and children as a Northampton police officer …

Noreen Beebe: Pro-life movement comes from stance of love

Monday, December 15, 2014

To the editor: In recent letters to the editor two women working for an abortion rights fund depict pro-life advocates as developing a culture of shame in regards to unplanned pregnancy. They claim we are people who are “icy cold” when reacting to a person close to us …

Anthea Spirko: A loose pig makes bad travel companion

Monday, December 15, 2014

To the editor: In a recent newspaper there was an article about a 70-pound pot-bellied pig brought onto a plane by its owner as emotional support. There are many problems with that. Passenger Rob Phelps told the Gazette: “It was a relatively short flight, but not with a …

Mallorie Chernin & Paul Sorrentino: Vespers program’s side benefit: Help for survival center

Monday, December 15, 2014

To the editor: On Dec. 7, Amherst College held its annual Vespers. As always, we appreciate the many community members who join us for the “Festival of Lessons and Carols.” At the end of the program, people had the opportunity to give a donation to support the vital …

Sara Weinberger: Why a 1948 statement has never become dated

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The frenetic pace of holiday preparations, as well as feelings of rage and powerlessness over a seemingly endless wave of state-sanctioned police brutality, seem to be holding many of us hostage these days. It’s not surprising that few people noticed an important day that came and …

Editorial: Neighbors have clear stake in Valley CDC’s Pleasant Street project in Northampton.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Productive public discussions are exploring details of the Valley Community Development Corp.’s proposed housing and retail project for Pleasant Street in Northampton. Though not always easy, these sessions are well worth the effort if what comes of them …