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Elysse Link: PVTA, municipalities should make clearing bus stops a priority

Thursday, March 5, 2015

To the editor: Every winter I’m appalled at the condition of the bus stops in Amherst and Northampton. Several times I’ve inquired about who is responsible for shoveling and upkeep at the stops. I’m told by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority that it’s the town’s responsibility. Then the town tells me it’s PVTA’s job. Many of the people who rely on public transportation to get basic necessities like food are …

Barbara Magnuson: South Hadley Electric Light urged to stay in the Falls area

Thursday, March 5, 2015

To the editor: The officers and members of the South Hadley Democratic Town Committee wish to add our voices to the community concerns about South Hadley Electric Light Department’s proposed move from its historic location in the South Hadley Falls area to a location on Old Lyman Road that the utility reportedly purchased about 20 years ago. At the committee’s Jan. 15 meeting, …

Editorial: Harsh winter a clear sell for added fuel assistance

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Of all the responsibilities lawmakers carry, protecting the most vulnerable should be near the top. That’s why, as the region began another harsh winter month, the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators did the right thing in making a case for the release of home-heating assistance. It’s sad they have to lobby at all, but in recent years this additional set-aside money — $34 …

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Don Robinson: Two new books tease out what freedom felt like for the enslaved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ASHFIELD — Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of two local scholars, authors of books that make major contributions to our understanding of what it has meant to be black in America. Barbara …

Jim Palermo: I’m still waiting for promised public records on use of standardized tests

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — In 1927, a standardized test, Stanford-Binet, identified people who could be forcibly sterilized in the United States, under a program of eugenics approved by the United States Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell. No less than the highly regarded Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that …

Editorial: Iranian student policy a test of UMass campus loyalties

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The law that tripped up University of Massachusetts officials this month, resulting in what one professor somewhat hysterically called “billions of dollars in bad press,” is known as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012. The part of it that applies to schools like …

Mary Balfour: Let the woman raise those chickens in her yard

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: It’s true that I don’t know all the facts but it seems a shame that a Southampton resident must get rid of her chickens based on a judge’s ruling. Assuming that they are confined to her property — what’s the big problem? The Pioneer Valley …

Gretchen Fox: Boutilier is the right choice for Amherst Housing Authority

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: TracyLee Boutilier is an outstanding candidate running for a seat on the Amherst Housing Authority Board in the town election March 31. The board provides housing for low- and moderate-income residents using state and federal funding. Although the town has made some small headway in …

Joseph Tarantino: Liberals can blame themselves for high electricity rates

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: In January 2008 Barack Obama reportedly told the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle, “Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” For those who wanted Obama to be president and who are now complaining about our electricity rates, I offer a few …

Lawrence Siddall: Apartment building going up in Amherst misses the mark

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the editor: The apartment building under construction on the corner of North Pleasant and Triangle streets in Amherst is a huge disappointment. Architecturally it is not displeasing, but it is much too large for the building site. Having such a large structure abut a park it took …

Editorial: Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One of the first major tests on which the Senate presidency of Stanley C. Rosenberg will be judged is reform of the state’s welfare and job training programs. The Amherst Democrat announced last week the “WorkFirst Initiative” designed …

William J. Mullin & Andrew Larkin: An exchange about impact of nuclear plant’s closing on a frozen Connecticut River

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this space, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst responds to a guest column about ice formation on the Connecticut River. The author of that column, Andrew Larkin, then replies to Mullins’ points. AMHERST — Dr. Andrew Larkin’s interesting guest column …

Editorial: Ruling in embezzlement case offers new chance for justice

Monday, February 23, 2015

A judicial ruling last week raised questions about the handling of a long-running embezzlement case by the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Prosecutors should give deep thought to their next move. The case involved Northampton resident Nancy Whitley, who with her former wife and business partner, Heather Whitley, proposed …