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Opinion

Editorial: Online voter registration removes barrier, but more can be done

Monday, July 6, 2015

Over the course of this year’s annual Town Meeting season, many residents once again experienced our version of grassroots democracy and the power of the ballot box. The vote is a powerful tool for making decisions that influence the shape of our government as well as our lives now and for the future. Unfortunately, there are too many people who don’t seem to see this. The number of citizens willing …

Jay Fleitman: The court decision that pushed back on centralized governmental power

Monday, July 6, 2015

Big headlines followed recent Supreme Court decisions on King v. Burwell, which allowed for continued federal subsidies of health insurance policies under Obamacare, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which created a national right for same-sex marriages in the U.S. Hidden by the public glare of these two rulings were other decisions by the court which speak to the nature of American society. One such …

Jonathan Klate: When rights are extended, what’s there to lose?

Monday, July 6, 2015

To the editor: Same-sex marriage is protested by some heterosexuals with the argument, whether based upon religious conviction or anything else, that their own rights are diminished by its legality, that they are losing a privilege they have enjoyed. This is a general sentiment commonly expressed by some members of majority groups when a minority group acquires a status or power that the …

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Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School changes graduation requirements

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

Byron Coley: A call to fight changes at radio station WMUA

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

To the editor: I read last week’s articles on the recent turmoil at WMUA with interest. Having been on the air at the station in the 1970s, and then doing underwriting with them in the 1990s, I felt as though I had some skin in the game. Over …

Jody Kasper: In modern policing, officers must be far more than ‘enforcers’

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are excerpts from Jody Kasper’s remarks upon taking office Tuesday as chief of the Northampton Police Department. NORTHAMPTON — Over the past few weeks, when news of my selection as police chief became public, …

Editorial: Finding the right punishment for the driver who killed Edward and Brittany McGrath

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Edward and Brittany McGrath died together 10 months ago while riding a motorcycle. Services for them were held soon after, celebrating their lives and accomplishments. But on Tuesday, heart-wrenching stories about them were in the air again, this time in a Northampton courtroom. Grief over their deaths, due …

Editorial: Russell P. Sienkiewicz was right chief for the time in Northampton

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When former Northampton Mayor Mary L. Ford tapped a low-profile 38-year-old lieutenant in the detective bureau to be police chief in 1994, she surprised many by passing over two higher-ranking and better-known members of the department. “He will have the confidence of the whole force,” she said Feb. …

Stan Rosenberg: How Bay State helps lead the US, once again

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BOSTON — In one historic 48-hour burst last week, the Supreme Court affirmed what we here in the commonwealth know well: Massachusetts is a trailblazer for equal rights and social justice in the country and the world. On Thursday, the court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a law …

Caitlyn Shea Butler: Clarke school’s impact felt in Northampton community

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To the editor: A June 24 article in the Gazette describes Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech’s new relationship with Fontbonne University in St. Louis for their master’s of education of the deaf (MED) program. With many changes at Clarke in recent years, I think that it is …

Don Schneier: Can capitalism be moral force in fight against climate change?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To the editor: In his June 24 guest column in the Gazette, Bill Eacho ignores the fact that capitalism is an application of a species of morality usually called “egoism,” according to which one should act only in one’s self-interest. Capitalism is therefore inherently antithetical to what he …

Osa Flory: Online voter registration makes its grand debut

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To the editor: On June 23, Secretary of State William Galvin announced the launch of online voter registration, allowing Massachusetts citizens with signatures on file with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to fill out paperless voter registration applications over the Internet. On this same day, members of the …

Bill Diamond: Let’s expand solar power that can be sold to grid

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To the editor: If you have solar cells on your home or business, “net metering” gives you a credit for electricity you don’t use and feed back to the grid. This makes it much more affordable to install solar. Right now, the existing caps on solar net metering …

Jesse Schwalbaum: Differing viewpoints no longer welcome at UMass radio station WMUA

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To the editor: I’m not sure it is advisable to judge the motives and rationale of the University of Massachusetts students at radio station WMUA who forced the ouster of a community DJ (Max Shea) and the long-time station adviser (Glenn Siegel). Especially since the students who manage …