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Crazy theories abound about Islamic State in the Middle East

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

While much of the world grows increasingly concerned about the threat posed by the Islamic State, a surprisingly large number of people in the Muslim world are convinced we are all being deceived. With great confidence, they claim that ISIS, as the group is also known, is not what it purports to be. The Middle East’s blast furnace of conspiracy theories is overheating, working overtime to mix small pieces of …

Editorial: Ken Burns again tells America its history

Monday, September 29, 2014

In a black and white photo that appeared in the Gazette on May 19, 1981, a group of young independent filmmakers — Larry Hott, Buddy Squires, Amy Stechler, Ken Burns and Roger Sherman — are shown in their office at 25 Main St. in Northampton. The furniture looks scruffy and mismatched, there’s a …

In Close Proximity: Car ownership — but who owns whom, exactly?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The contemporary world is one of restless mobilities, radically morphing physical landscapes, baroque technologies, new forms of governance and subjectivity, and onerous inequalities. The automobile provides vivid insight into all five phenomena as well as into their relationship. — “The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality,” by Catherine Lutz, American Ethnologist, (2014) AMHERST — In their famous community study of Muncie, …

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Great invitation to community members. I now live in Florida and, so, cannot attend the games of my granchildren anymore. You made...(full comment)

Elizabeth Rockett Volkmann: Let yourself get bitten by the Northampton High soccer bug

Editorial: Climate marchers make point that nations are not heeding

Monday, September 22, 2014

Today in New York City, leaders from around the world gather at the United Nations to see what can be done to prevent carbon pollution from ruining the planet. There is new evidence this week of both the …

Carol Fusia Campbell: NFL’s Goodell squandered opportunity

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: I love the game of football. That’s probably no surprise. I grew up around the sport. My father was a football coach and our family lived, breathed and ate football. But I am sickened by the Ray Rice situation. I am sickened that there is …

Kevin Collins: Not all Amherst Town Meeting members bother to vote

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: As we head into fall Town Meeting in Amherst, we face more decisions on zoning. Zoning votes are special because they require a two-thirds majority to pass. Sometimes, a majority may vote in favor of a proposed article, but it will fail because it did …

Robert Greeney: This Amherst resident favors the middle road

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: When in doubt I favor the middle road. I do not want to stop growth and development. I do not want to promote growth and development. I imagine this town collectively deciding the best way to interface with growth at UMass and manage initiatives from …

Richard S. Stein: How about charging people for using plastic bottles and bags?

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: There have been several letters concerning the bottle bill and the desirability of requiring deposits on items like water bottles as well as soft drink and other beverage ones. As a person concerned about the use of polymers to make bottles for the past 60 …

John Coull: Where’s the peer pressure against drinking in Amherst?

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: This is what we hope for: that more mature and moderate students will instill some of their common sense into others and draw them away from alcohol-fueled gatherings that can morph into dangerous mob events. But what about the adult stakeholders? Why aren’t downtown merchants, …

Michael Seward: Financing of Eric Lesser’s state Senate campaign did not get attention it needed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: Eric Lesser’s victory in the Democratic primary for the First Hampden-Hampshire State Senate District was a bad day for democracy and demonstrated the failure of the press to adequately inform the electorate. Despite spending more than three times as much as the candidate he narrowly …

James B. Winston: Memorial a fitting tribute to those who made downtown Northampton strong

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: The Eva Trager Memorial, located on Main Street in downtown Northampton, recognizes citizens who have made a significant impact on the vitality of downtown Northampton. On a recent Friday, six people — Al August & family, Christina Cavallari, Bill Nagle, Kay Sheehan, Norman Winston and …

Tom McBride: Opponents of The Retreat did not serve Amherst’s interests

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: There was nothing honorable about what those who fought The Retreat development in North Amherst did. I’m a believer in a free-market system which 20th century economist Milton Friedman was an advocate of. You can micromanage economic development, but this is swimming upstream. Friedman believed …

Dennis Helmus: Tree canopy, green spaces would suffer under Northampton’s ‘infill’ proposal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: Thank you for your editorial Sept. 2 supporting the importance of an urban tree canopy and noting the loss of 500 public shade trees and calling upon the city of Northampton to “preserve and protect its tree canopy and waste no time doing so.” As …