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Hampshire COG responds to state DPU’s denial of electricity aggregation project

Friday, October 2, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following commentary was written by the elected councilors of the Hampshire Regional Council of Governments. NORTHAMPTON — The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently editorialized that the Hampshire Council of Governments has “plenty of explaining to do” with regard to the recent decision of the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to deny 35 western Massachusetts municipal electricity aggregation petitions. The council sponsored the petitions in question. Our explanations follow. …

Editorial: Onus on Northampton Housing Authority directors to stabilize organization

Friday, October 2, 2015

Barely two months into her job running the Northampton Housing Authority, Executive Director Cara Clifford had fired employees without giving them due process, run afoul of the state’s Open Meeting Law, negotiated a $70,000 laundry contract in violation of competitive bidding rules and compromised tenant privacy by improperly disclosing personal information to the authority’s oversight board. “For me,” Clifford wrote in a guest …

Bill Newman: Innocence lost, decency found — thanks to Yogi Berra

Friday, October 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I miss Yogi Berra. A signed photograph of him, a Father’s Day gift from my wife Dale, hangs on a wall in my office, close to the one of Mickey Mantle, above the one of Bobby Kennedy, near the one of my late dad and our daughter Jo laughing together. 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

Cara Clifford: Working to build new legacy at Northampton Housing Authority

Monday, September 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Everyone seeks to leave a legacy, a memory of what they achieved, and an unambiguous testament that all the personal effort and sacrifices they put into their job, and that it meant something. Jon Hite left that legacy at the Northampton Housing Authority. That said, when …

Editorial: Why did group’s bid for municipal electricity plan come up short?

Monday, September 28, 2015

What is it about western Massachusetts and electrical power? Electrical rates are deeply embedded in the fight over the proposed natural gas pipeline through the region. It was last winter’s spike in electric bills that prompted the latest call by utilities for greater gas capacity in New England …

Alan Root: One way to honor service of late John Musante

Monday, September 28, 2015

AMHERST — John Musante set a high standard as Amherst’s town manager. Toward the end of his short life of 53 years, he demonstrated his creative skills by promoting teamwork to wrestle with many crisscrossing interests that resulted in a signed five-year contract for a medical center for …

Paul M. Craig: No matter what action we take, earth will continue to change

Sunday, September 27, 2015

To the editor: We can stop wasting time arguing whether human activity caused climate change. The one ineluctable regularity of earth’s climate is its continual change. From the beginning 4.6 billion years ago, the interplay of land, water, air and fire in gravitational and electromagnetic fields created the …

R. Allen Irvine: Hilltown churches to join forces for Syrian refugees

Sunday, September 27, 2015

To the editor: In addition to the benefit concert to aid Syrian refugees held Sunday in Northampton, another is planned next weekend. “Soup for Syria,” will take place in the Hilltowns Sunday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. at the Village Church on Main Street in Cummington. The event …

Michael Callahan: Offended by editorial’s mocking tone about beaver issue at lake

Sunday, September 27, 2015

To the editor: The Sept. 15 Gazette editorial regarding the Lake Fitzgerald beaver issue failed the public. In addition to incorrect information about the chain-link fence, the editor chose to mock the efforts of a committed group of Broad Brook Coalition and UMass volunteers, city officials and myself, …

John Bingham Munroe: Sad to hear about more shooting range controversy in ‘Burgy’

Sunday, September 27, 2015

To the editor: I speak as someone who grew up in Burgy years ago and still has a home on Village Hill Road near the area where there had been excessive gunfire at a nearby shooting range. I’m saddened by the news from friends and neighbors about the …

Editorial: In needed change, Hadley town manager gets more focused review

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hadley Town Administrator David G. Nixon’s job performance evaluation broke ground this year when Select Board members actually put their names on score cards along with poignant critiques of Nixon’s work. The evaluations provide more clarity and information than in years past and set benchmarks for the town …

Heidi Stevens: Overuse of natural areas near bike path in Leeds remains problem

Sunday, September 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Looking towards the spring of 2016 when bicyclists will be able to glide along a smooth, newly paved bike trail in Leeds, I can’t help but think about the rough 2015 summer season that Leeds neighbors endured due to abusive behavior of partyers in the conservation …

Clare Higgins: Perils of ‘shutdown’ mentality

Friday, September 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — If Congress can’t pass a budget by next Wednesday night, the federal government will shut down. Two years ago we went through the same drama. The fundamental job of federal legislators may not get done. “It’s déjà vu all over again,” as the late great Yogi …