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Opinion

Phyllis Woolf: Stop the ever-creeping insurance premium surcharges

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Your editorial of April 15 was a valuable piece, reminding us all of the new law mandating headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in use. Thank you for that. It also mentioned that, in addition to a $5 fine for breaking that law, private insurance companies will now be allowed to levy a new surcharge which may last up to six years. They will say …

Richard Prée: Carbon fee and dividend is market-based tool against climate change

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Each year since 1970 Earth Day, which was celebrated last week, has been a time to consider the precious goodness of our planet, and what we can do to protect this unique place in our known universe. With 7 billion humans on the planet, CO2 levels are steeply rising. We need to do all we can now to hasten the …

David Zimicki:

Sunday, April 26, 2015

To the editor: Of course, absolutely no one holds a gun to my head and forces me to read John Sheirer’s monthly column offering in the Gazette. I do so voluntarily. I own that it is a kind of masochistic hobby of mine. This writer, an ostensible spokesman of the co-exist/tolerance Left — does nothing but heap ridiculing, dismissive scorn on the views …

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Paul E. Cohen: Pedestrians, bicyclists can be more careful on roadways

Monday, April 20, 2015

To the editor: A letter in a recent Gazette about holding drivers accountable is correct, but — and it’s a very big but — I’ve been driving through Amherst for 44 years and I’ve seen two kinds of pedestrians and bikers. The first seem to have gotten the …

Jennifer S. Bixby: When winter fails to get the hint

Sunday, April 19, 2015

To the editor: Dear Winter ... I still care for you, but I thought I had made it clear that we’re on a break. We need some time apart. I’ve loved our time together — walking in the woods, skiing, sitting by the fire. You can be beautiful, …

Jane Harwood: ‘Flat adjectives’ just don’t cut it on a school sign

Sunday, April 19, 2015

To the editor: Regarding the “School hours run normal this week” sign at Northampton High School: A fellow letter writer comments that the adverbial use of “normal” is rare in formal English but not in speech. The sign is a sign and not speech. He also says there …

Jeff Dwyer: Writer questions city’s PILOT program for water, sewer funds

Sunday, April 19, 2015

To the editor: As a property and business owner in Northampton since 1971, I’ve watched water and sewer rates escalate without clear explanation from the Department of Public Works and now, the city. Since the City Council is the overseer of those rates, taxpayers are due a transparent, …

Mindy Domb and Laura Reischman: Drive collects nearly 33,000 diapers, many to thank

Sunday, April 19, 2015

To the editor: As the Amherst Area Diaper Drive concludes, the community has surpassed our original goal of 18,000 diapers and created a supply of diapers for the Amherst Survival Center’s Food Pantry to distribute to families in need. In the past six weeks, through a combination of …

Editorial: US should allow refinancing of college loans

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Millions of Americans who borrow money to pay for college are locked into relatively high interest rates that compound the growing problem of student debt. Legislation that Sen. Elizabeth Warren keeps introducing — and Republicans keep turning back — would provide relief. It isn’t a bailout or giveaway. …

Sara Weinberger: Why not activate your investments?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — When bothered by insomnia, I meet with my financial advisor. Discussions of indexes, hedge funds and equities lull me to sleep quicker than Ambien. The fancy graphs and charts he presents my husband and I with at each visit make no sense to me. I don’t …

Jeff Zesiger: Traffic light still causing backups on Damon Road

Friday, April 17, 2015

To the editor: I had time to wonder about the long line of cars on Damon Road as I sat waiting for the new light to turn at Industrial Drive. There may be an easy solution for the traffic that backs up there. The light is set to …

Peggy B. Anderson: Bicycle path signs near Notch cause confusion

Friday, April 17, 2015

To the editor: This time I am not writing about the things which are at the top of my list, such as our need to truly address climate change by not using dirty, fracked gas in new pipelines when we need to be addressing our energy needs via …

Carolyn Ahearn: Salaries of nonprofit executives serve to undermine their mission

Friday, April 17, 2015

To the editor: I am responding to an April 2 Gazette article detailing a Clinical and Support Options workers rally over contract negotiations in Northampton. Karin Jeffers, CSO’s president and chief executive officer, is quoted as saying, “We do feel we’ve given them a fair offer. We can’t …