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Opinion

David Marks & Russ Nieman: Don’t orphan early education programs in Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Preparing children for a lifetime of learning requires access to high-quality early education and care programs, as well as a consistent and qualified workforce. Great educators are key to improving outcomes for children, but the existing career path for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With an average annual salary range of $21,000 to $25,000 and a turnover rate of 30 percent in our early learning and out-of-school …

Editorial: Hadley diner’s wounds entirely self-inflicted; AG sends message on sexual harassment

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Though it went out of business Monday, the Route 9 Diner in Hadley still has something to teach the restaurant trade: If you subject workers to sexual harassment, you’ll pay a price. That’s the message restaurant managers anywhere should take from the state attorney general’s decision to go after the diner for not halting what the office calls a decade in which women …

Editorial: A day of lobbying, and tasting, seeks to advance farm economy

Monday, March 30, 2015

When hungry lawmakers browse the tables at Agriculture Day in Boston today, one of the cheeses they’ll sample hails from Grace Hill Farm in Cummington. It’s there on Potash Hill Road that Max and Amy Breiteneicher create Hilltown Blue by hand, using milk from grass-fed cows. On Ag Day, farm groups fill tables in the Great Hall and Grand Staircase area inside the …

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Ann M. Hennessey: Proud to live in community that values arts for education

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: My family and I went to a wonderful performance of “Godspell” at Northampton High School earlier this month. Directors Cate Damon and Beau Flahive and the roughly 60 NHS students — actors, musicians and behind-the-scenes “ninjas” — put on a remarkable and professional performance. Congratulations …

Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters …

Editorial: Grieving military families find solace with new bond

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The ceremony marking the formation of the first-ever western Massachusetts chapter of American Gold Star Mothers served as a powerful reminder that the pain of seemingly distant wars is felt every day in the hearts of our Pioneer …

George Danziger: CPA panel should dismiss Coolidge Park condos request

Thursday, March 26, 2015

To the editor: It is shocking that the Community Preservation Committee would entertain the idea that public funds be used to repair Coolidge Park Condominium’s private property. The comparison to prior Community Preservation Act funding for First Churches and Historic Northampton repairs is bogus. The First Churches is …

Editorial: Banning sale of e-cigs to minors is right step

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let’s get real: Adults who smoke bubble gum- and banana split-flavored electronic cigarettes and use a Batman holster to carry them around are few and far between. The makers and sellers of e-cigarettes know full well the population …

Doug Roosa: All shook up over folly of deferred road maintenance

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

FLORENCE — The first orange traffic barrel to cover a pothole landed in my neighborhood the other day. Nothing special about this hole: It’s only one of several dozen that have appeared in recent weeks, half of which …

Cara Henderson: Dissatisfied with Northampton enough to say ‘you’re fired’

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To the editor: This is a journal entry I wrote a number of months ago, “Northampton, you’re fired.” When I was young I enjoyed skipping around town, hanging out, getting food, window shopping, as well as being a patron over the years. There have always been buskers, disabled, …

Donald W. Torrey: Families of ‘dreamers’ broke the law by coming to U.S.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To the editor: I’d like to respond to the Gazette’s March 10 editorial about “dreamers.” First, their parents broke our laws by coming here illegally. The editorial failed to mention that everything the family and their children did was against the current law. In fact the writer praises …

Jeff Lamoureux: UMass basketball needs to shake up its entire coaching staff

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To the editor: UMass basketball needs to retool its coaching staff. If it means starting with the head coach, so be it. No team should go backwards as bad as the team has in the second half of the last two seasons. I always thought you were supposed …

Jean Fay: School children can’t be placed into bar graphs and pie charts

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

To the editor: A recent letter writer questioned the continuing debate over standardized testing in public schools. I don’t disagree that some form of assessment is necessary. I speak as someone with 17 years of experience in an elementary school setting, with 14 of those years in a …