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Florence R. Sullivan & J. Camille Cammack: Testing our schools into the ground

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — Our schools’ testing season is once again upon us and with this new testing season comes new proposed federal regulations that seek to increase the already high-stakes nature of this testing. Testing has long been a part of education and schooling. But it is only since No Child Left Behind, enacted under George W. Bush, that large-scale testing has been so widely used in high stakes ways. Tests …

Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even it it didn’t earn that name technically

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Northampton Police and the Northwestern district attorney’s office will not charge two juveniles accused of writing anti-Semitic and racist graffiti with the commission of a hate crime, but that’s not the end of this story. Members of a community must never think a decision by law enforcement absolves them of their duty to deal with an act that might not legally qualify as …

Gordon Shaw: Why public investment is critical to Valley CDC project in Northampton

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As the Northampton City Council prepares to vote Thursday on approval of community preservation funds to develop affordable housing on the site of the former Northampton lumber yard, the Northampton Housing Partnership offers some context on whether this is an appropriate project to support. From the Partnership’s perspective, the charge to do so is critical, as articulated in Northampton’s Housing Needs …

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Joshua Goldstein: Time is now to act on carbon dioxide emissions

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: A state carbon fee and rebate bill, SD285 by Sen. Michael Barrett, has been introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. Now is the time to contact your state representative and senator to ask them to co-sponsor this bill. It would charge a fee to pollute the …

Kayla Werlin: Teens who lashed out need help to grow

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: They say that if your only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail. I guess since all I know how to do is teach high school, I view the sad case of the 14- and 15-year-old vandals (no — I correct myself …

Mark Moriarty: Changing a school’s schedule should not be rushed

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: A community member’s recent letter regarding the Amherst Regional Middle School schedule shift incorrectly states that the local teacher’s union has a deadline mandate causing the schedule change process to be rushed through to the superintendent. The deadlines in question are in the negotiated contract, …

Jeannette Tokarz: SolarizeMass program in Amherst a success

Monday, January 26, 2015

To the editor: A year ago this week, Amherst residents filled Town Hall to attend Solar 101 and Meet the Installer Night, the inaugural event in the Solarize Amherst campaign. Attendance was unprecedented with over 40 homeowners submitting an application to “Go solar” that night. From that auspicious …

Susan Adelson: Sherman Avenue action should be treated as hate crime

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: I am concerned about the recent anti-Semitic vandalism in Northampton. I have read some people’s responses that since no Jews were believed to live on Sherman Avenue and no particular individuals appear to have been targeted, the incident is not of great significance. Two teenage …

Editorial: Finding right balance on social media’s time and attention demands

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From baby boomers to Gen-Xers and millennials, we as a nation are attached — some would say addicted — to our technology. At Northampton High School, students have become so absorbed with portable electronic devices at lunchtime that there’s not a lot of interaction among students. One NHS …

Bernie Bachand: Please don’t degrade our police and military

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: My message is to all those who have nothing better to do but decide to protest alongside of the Ward 7 councilor against the men and women in blue. You can bet on one thing: Despite this, if you were in harm’s way, they would …

Editorial: A court case offers lessons in gun safety

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three years after being acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury is back before a judge. The issue again is gun safety. Fleury is a private citizen now and deserves his day in court. He hasn’t had a chance to present a defense, or to …

Mehammed Amadeus Mack: On the plight of French Muslims

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — While French Muslims are not and should not be the only lens through which we observe the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, they will likely feel the consequences of the events in an especially acute way. The events could not have come at a more …

Maria José Botelho: Textbooks, even cheaper ones, are not the answer

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — I appreciate that the Gazette editors (“UMass can do more to reduce book costs,” Jan. 20) took notice of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s recent contract with the online vendor Amazon. As a professor at the …