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Opinion

Florence R. Sullivan & J. Camille Cammack: Testing our schools into the ground

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — Our schools’ testing season is once again upon us and with this new testing season comes new proposed federal regulations that seek to increase the already high-stakes nature of this testing. Testing has long been a part of education and schooling. But it is only since No Child Left Behind, enacted under George W. Bush, that large-scale testing has been so widely used in high stakes ways. Tests …

Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even it it didn’t earn that name technically

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Northampton Police and the Northwestern district attorney’s office will not charge two juveniles accused of writing anti-Semitic and racist graffiti with the commission of a hate crime, but that’s not the end of this story. Members of a community must never think a decision by law enforcement absolves them of their duty to deal with an act that might not legally qualify as …

Gordon Shaw: Why public investment is critical to Valley CDC project in Northampton

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As the Northampton City Council prepares to vote Thursday on approval of community preservation funds to develop affordable housing on the site of the former Northampton lumber yard, the Northampton Housing Partnership offers some context on whether this is an appropriate project to support. From the Partnership’s perspective, the charge to do so is critical, as articulated in Northampton’s Housing Needs …

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Katherine S. Newman & Jay Schafer: UMass taking serious steps to reduce textbook costs for students

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — We write in response to the Gazette’s editorial Jan. 20 entitled “UMass can do more to reduce book costs.” We think it is important for readers to know that the university has invested significant resources to address the issue of textbook costs and have made enormous …

Clare Higgins: Keeping it real about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday Monday. King, the non-violent revolutionary, now has a federal holiday. Speaker Boehner tweets, “Together, may we have the wisdom to follow Rev. King’s example & heed his call to service.” Sen. Rubio proclaims (via tweet) that “On this #MLKDay …

Nanny Vonnegut, Laurie Foley, Scott Prior: Scourge of heroin epidemic is upon us

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: As concerned parents, our hearts soared at the recent headline news: Hampshire County gets $550,000 to combat toll of addiction. Finally, opiate addiction is no longer a closeted issue and much needed help is on the way. Our hearts sank on further reading that the …

Joe Jewett: Time to take legal action against naysayers

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: Perhaps it is time to consider legal action against the deniers and naysayers on the issue of our deteriorating planet. By these I mean such as the Koch brothers, Sens. Inhofe and McConnell and Speaker Boehner. There are others of course who are heavily invested …

Charles Schmid: Time to clamp down on unruly drivers

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: I work in Northampton and drive through the city and have noticed something: you could be run down. While driving home one day I noticed some people would not cross when cars stop, as if afraid they would be run over. This is a major …

Paul DiLeo: Pipeline not the way to go on energy front

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: The writer of the Jan. 20 letter in support of the natural gas pipeline proposed to pass through western Massachusetts seems unaware that renewable technologies are being installed at a rapid and increasing rate: globally, nationally and locally. Concerns over siting of large solar arrays …

Rabbi Judy Weiss: Another way to lobby on climate change issue

Thursday, January 22, 2015

To the editor: Thank you for publishing Dr. Marty Nathan’s guest column (Jan. 16, “Must needed change be palatable?”) which rues the fact that some people think a “program for change to prevent climate disaster needs to be inexpensive and palatable enough to be acceptable.” In the best …

Cynthia Loring MacBain: Missing voices at King events in Northampton: those of African-American men

Thursday, January 22, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — I attended the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King celebration in Northampton this past Monday. The music composed and sung by Marcia Gomez was beautiful and moving. The panelists were all passionately committed to change. But there were voices I missed. Several times statistics were cited for …

Dr. David Gottsegen: Choices in primary care widen gateway to addiction

Thursday, January 22, 2015

By DR. DAVID GOTTSEGEN SOUTH HADLEY — The best way to address health problems is through primary prevention. Preventing the flu through hand washing and vaccines is preferable to treating people already sickened by the disease. It is better to prevent injuries from motor vehicle accidents by using …

Editorial: Big new home readied for freelance generation

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The phrase “rugged individual” isn’t just American lore. It describes a reality of the new economy. Consider the story of Click Workspace, an unusual Northampton nonprofit. Because of tight space at its Hampton Court home, the outfit has turned away people who want what it offers: shared work …