Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Opinion

GORODN DANIELS
Atty Bill Newman in his Northampton office

Bill Newman: Difficult vital decisions at life’s end

Saturday, August 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My mother was seated comfortably in a favorite chair by her bedroom window that overlooked the snow-dusted fields and stands of evergreens behind the Lathrop Community in Easthampton. The gentle late afternoon light of that warm-for-winter day filled the room. Her oncologist was seated on the hassock beside her — a woman doctor who was accomplished, kind, direct, …

Editorial: Spate of break-ins may shift security stance in Amherst

Saturday, August 1, 2015

While the pace of life in Amherst slows considerably each summer, recent break-ins have people on edge — and rethinking their need to protect themselves and their property. So far, the amount of cash and belongings taken has been relatively small. What’s unnerving is the number of break-ins. Over one weekend in mid-July, 10 businesses or residences were broken into on Main and …

Thomas Weiner: Defend Planned Parenthood from baseless accusations

Thursday, July 30, 2015

To the editor: It is essential that women have access to the services of Planned Parenthood. Trying to dismantle this organization is a way to deny women basic rights. It must not be allowed to happen through trickery and deceit. Thomas Weiner Northampton …

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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

Editorial: Needed reform would ease access to public records

Friday, July 24, 2015

A group representing municipal officials is using scare tactics to water down or kill a much-needed reform to Massachusetts’ public records law. Lawmakers should see the lobbying effort for what it is — a crusade to put bureaucratic convenience ahead of the public’s right to know how their …

Mary L. Ford: The modern-day health miracle known as Medicare

Friday, July 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I’m fed up with citizens complaining that government is a problem, not a solution. I want my children and nieces and nephews to know that because of Medicare, my generation as we grow old does not have to turn to them to cover hospital bills and …

Eva Hudlicka: A plea to CSO management: Build consensus with staff

Friday, July 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — There is a better way! For three days this week, clinicians from Clinical & Support Options (CSO) went on strike to demand living wages and reasonable working conditions. CSO is a regional, nonprofit community mental health agency, providing outpatient and crisis services. The decision to strike …

Pete and Lene Mc Lean: Worthington bridge problem must be addressed now

Friday, July 24, 2015

WORTHINGTON — The closure of the bridge on Sam Hill Road here in the town of Worthington must be addressed. This past winter, and the mud season that followed, were among the worst that many residents of this community have ever experienced, mainly due to the closing of …

Editorial: Ed Porter closes nearly four decades of helping disabled in western Massachusetts

Thursday, July 23, 2015

In stepping down as executive director of what is now known as the United Arc after almost 40 years, Ed Porter leaves some very big boots to fill. It is understandably hard to replace somebody who has been on the job for roughly four decades. In Porter’s case, …

Lissa Pierce Bonifaz: A pox on both of your standardized tests

Thursday, July 23, 2015

AMHERST — When it comes to the question of standardized testing in our schools, we should listen to the educators. At a recent forum in Springfield, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education presented only two options: MCAS or PARC. The special education teachers who spoke at …

Don Robinson: ‘Amazing Grace’ in Charleston

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ASHFIELD — “We the people … in order to form a more perfect union … do ordain and establish this Constitution.” For the American constitutional project to succeed, we need a national culture that shares fundamental values. On the Fourth of July weekend the Gazette published an article …

Editorial: Ending the summer drought in children’s nutrition

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Through the school year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sends resources into every county in the country to help poor children get enough to eat. Its National School Lunch Program last year enrolled 21.5 million young people for free or reduced-price meals. But every summer, the school cafeterias …

Norman Spencer: Many layers to issue of driver-bicyclist courtesy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

To the editor: I offer an alternative perspective to the inherent conclusions in a reader’s July 17 letter about the bicyclist whose request for room for a lane change was ignored by a driver. I have been bicycling and have been a driver on this area’s streets for …

Lorna Ritz: Why has Amherst let Mt. Pollux go to seed?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

AMHERST — Neighbors, students, community members and tourists regularly used to visit Mt. Pollux Conservation Area in South Amherst more often than not for its beauty and solitude, but now have remorse for what once had been the “jewel of the town.” Mt. Pollux has steadily gone wild; …