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Rutherford H. Platt: Loss of Northampton Business Improvement District will cost city and residents

Monday, November 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The demise of Northampton’s downtown Business Improvement District (BID) due to a lawsuit by dissident property owners is astounding and inexplicable. Why would the plaintiffs incur legal fees presumably far exceeding the cost of BID assessments to which they object? Why did the city not “verify” the petition signatures in the first place, or when called into question by the plaintiffs? Have any signatures actually been proven to …

Don Schneier: Plenty of problems with Northampton BID

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: If, as the Gazette describes it in its Nov. 17 editorial, the BID was operating under a “legal cloud,” it was one of their own making, a product of overreach. But, the problems were more than legal. They were moral: imposing an ethos of commercialism on citizens, requiring the constraint of conviviality by self-interested purposefulness. They were political: a conflation …

Anne Perkins: Applauding whistle-blowing waitresses in Hadley

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: I am writing to applaud the waitresses who had the courage to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment at the Route 9 Diner. Sadly, whistle-blowers are rarely honored in our society. Although I personally do not know Marie Billiel, Jamie Young or any of the other nine women who blogged about their experiences of harassment, what I read …

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Picking up the pieces after BID lawsuit ruling

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Five years of operation. Five years of legal challenges. That was life as the Northampton Business Improvement District knew it, and that life is over. A judge last week ruled the city of Northampton committed a kind of original sin while processing the group’s application. It failed to …

Emma Ayres: My abortion story — Why this health option for women must be a right, not a privilege

Friday, November 14, 2014

AMHERST — I entered Planned Parenthood. Was patted down by the security guard. Admitted to the waiting room. Called into the clinic. Put on a flimsy pastel hospital smock. Treated by professional and compassionate people. Blood work done. Cold lubed-up ultrasound. Asked if I was sure this was …

Editorial: Signs of bipartisanship hopeful on Beacon Hill

Friday, November 14, 2014

In the 10 days since Republican Charlie Baker was elected governor, signs are hopeful that he will follow through on his pledge of bipartisanship in working with an overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature. Three days after the election, Baker spent …

Editorial: NFL settlement with players lifts veil on extent of football injuries

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In many American households, Sunday has traditionally been given over to church, family supper and football. Or — with the decline in religious attendance and the rise of pizza delivery — just a whole lot of football. It’s …

John Paradis: Young people who don’t grab headlines are showing us a better way

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I think we can all pretty much agree that there is nothing better than overturning cars, tearing down street signs, throwing gas bottles and jumping off roofs and banging on cars. Hey, the Blarney Blowout at University of Massachusetts last March and the Keene, New Hampshire, …

Michael Burkart: A sad history of institutional racism

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: In a letter published Nov. 4. about racism the author claimed that “racists exist in minority cultures as well.” I agree that prejudice exists across all groups, and any individual is able to exercise it. However, a key factor in the exercise of prejudice is …

Dave King: Here’s some good reasons to install solar

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: We have been getting a lot of inquiries about our solar energy installations from neighbors who are either sick of supporting corrupt, polluting industries, of sending money to foreign governments that hate us, or just want to save on their energy bills. So in the …

Casey Pease: Why did so many voters not bother to turn out?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: The 2014 midterm elections saw the lowest voter turnout in 72 years. Only 36.4 percent of eligible voters voted, down 4.5 percent points from 2010. This was the lowest turnout since 1942, which makes sense because we were in the middle of World War II …

Editorial: Sentence for probation trio should send strong message

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A judge in Boston Thursday will impose sentences on three high-ranking officials convicted of public corruption. They worked in the state’s probation department, where for many years what mattered most for applicants was not what you knew but who you knew. A jury sent a message in July …

New VA leader focused on reform

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

At last, America’s military veterans seem to have a Secretary of Veterans Affairs who gets it. VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the former chairman, president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble who came to the VA just three and a half months ago, has made clear in his words …