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Opinion

Katie Allan Zobel: A hearty thanks to Valley Gives honors

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I have been struggling to find a way to thank 14,189 people. This is the number of people who gave so generously to local nonprofits during Valley Gives Day. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it. Yes, the massive numbers of thank-you notes are daunting, but what is even more challenging is figuring out a way to say thank you that expresses the kind of …

Claire Streeter: A father who tried once before to quit — and must again

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Daddy: I’m writing to talk to you about something extremely important to me, and I’m not sure how to say it in person. I’m writing to talk to you about stopping smoking. I know you’ve been smoking since you were 15. Daddy, I’m worried about you. Smoking is really bad — from the tar in it, to the millions of …

Kristin Carter:

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Mom: Do you really know just how bad smoking is for you? Not only will it kill you, it is a habit that will cost you a lot of money each year. It affects your hygiene, causing bad breath and smelly clothes. It also causes tons of health problems such as lung cancer — especially if you are a heavy …

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Maureen & John Sheehan: Grants in Tara’s name continue to support those with eating disorders

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: This was the first year we did not sponsor the Run/Walk for Tara on Nov. 11, Tara’s birthday. We were pleasantly surprised by many people who still sent us cards, letters and donations to the Tara Fund, which supports eating disorders programs. Some people even …

Joseph Tarantino: On the virtues of minding one’s own business

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: A recent letter condemning the use of remote car starters as a destructive and unnecessary luxury captured my attention. As a native of Northampton I amuse myself by regularly reading the letters to the editor by increasingly self-righteous liberals who know better about just about …

Ron Loescher: Amherst College Vespers again hits a high mark

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: My wife Nancy and I always love to attend the Amherst College Vespers. The “lessons and carols” speak deeply to us and it seems to initiate the Christmas season in a very special way. Because of some family infirmity with mobility, I slipped into Johnson …

Ellenor M. Rennell: Let’s give a president and ballplayer their due in Northampton

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: In response to a recent letter, I think that it would be wonderful to have a statue of President Calvin Coolidge and a baseball field named after Stu Miller here in Northampton. The Munro family lived across the street from me. It was always exciting …

John Diaz: Is Smith College president really saying all lives don’t matter?

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: So the Smith College president, Kathleen McCartney, felt it was necessary to apologize for pointing out the obvious that “All lives matter” because it might offend someone? The amount of white-guilt felt by so many on the left for things they had no part of …

Tracey A. Putnam Culver: Where is taxpayer outrage over high state salaries?

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: A recent article in the Gazette listed the highest state employee earners. These are state employees whose salaries are paid for with our tax dollars. All of these top wage earners are University of Massachusetts employees. UMass is a state school, funded by our tax …

Judy Markland: Elevator inspection schedule should consider extent of use

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: We in Whately were surprised to read your editorial “Getting nowhere fast on elevator safety” (Dec. 1), pointing out that the inspection backlog hasn’t decreased — surprised because our one-story church lift is inspected once a year like clockwork. Probably we shouldn’t be surprised. The …

Max Page: A question to ponder on issue of UMass football

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: Four years ago, when the UMass administration decided to spend tens of millions of dollars moving our football team up to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the big-time college league, we were all told it was partly to help us gain entrance into the American Association …

Joseph Manning: Hippopotamus for sale? It happened 50 year ago

Friday, December 12, 2014

To the editor: In the Gazette on Dec. 8, an article from 50 years ago appeared in the “A Look Back” column. I quote: “The humane instincts of three Smith College girls today posed them with something of a dilemma — a 4,000-pound dilemma! The three, Ann Longfellow, …

John Paradis: Is it time for a military draft in the US?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Thomas Jefferson believed a democracy can survive only with the aid of an enlightened electorate. What then would our founding fathers now say about the lowest voter turnout in 72 years in the midterm general election …