Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Rain
59°
Rain
Hi 62° | Lo 53°

Opinion

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the stories and photos “totally excessive.” She wondered if a daily newspaper is the proper place to tell this story, which recounted a 90-year-old Northampton woman’s death after she decided, amid physical pain and a loss of independence, to stop eating and drinking. This reader also asked whether the series sends a dangerous …

Editorial: Electricity costs pinch New England, but relief may be on horizon

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A recent drop in gasoline prices helps only a little to buffer news that electricity costs will rise sharply this winter, making it more expensive to keep lights on in the darkest season and delivering a blow to households that heat with electricity. Given enough time, New England will be able to bring down electricity costs as new plants come online, experts in …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

About Letters »

The Gazette encourages letters and guest columns from readers. Please send letters of up to 350 words or guest columns of up to 750 words by email to opinion@gazettenet.com or by U.S. mail to Opinion, Daily Hampshire Gazette, 115 Conz St., Northampton MA 01060.

All letters and columns must be signed, with a return address and a phone number where we can reach you between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to confirm authorship. Addresses and phone numbers are not published. Letters should be of general interest and in good taste. We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject submissions. Writers are limited to one letter in a 30-day period.

For more information, visit our Help Center.

Great invitation to community members. I now live in Florida and, so, cannot attend the games of my granchildren anymore. You made...(full comment)

Elizabeth Rockett Volkmann: Let yourself get bitten by the Northampton High soccer bug

Richard S. Stein: How about charging people for using plastic bottles and bags?

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: There have been several letters concerning the bottle bill and the desirability of requiring deposits on items like water bottles as well as soft drink and other beverage ones. As a person concerned about the use of polymers to make bottles for the past 60 …

John Coull: Where’s the peer pressure against drinking in Amherst?

Monday, September 22, 2014

To the editor: This is what we hope for: that more mature and moderate students will instill some of their common sense into others and draw them away from alcohol-fueled gatherings that can morph into dangerous mob events. But what about the adult stakeholders? Why aren’t downtown merchants, …

Michael Seward: Financing of Eric Lesser’s state Senate campaign did not get attention it needed

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: Eric Lesser’s victory in the Democratic primary for the First Hampden-Hampshire State Senate District was a bad day for democracy and demonstrated the failure of the press to adequately inform the electorate. Despite spending more than three times as much as the candidate he narrowly …

James B. Winston: Memorial a fitting tribute to those who made downtown Northampton strong

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: The Eva Trager Memorial, located on Main Street in downtown Northampton, recognizes citizens who have made a significant impact on the vitality of downtown Northampton. On a recent Friday, six people — Al August & family, Christina Cavallari, Bill Nagle, Kay Sheehan, Norman Winston and …

Tom McBride: Opponents of The Retreat did not serve Amherst’s interests

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: There was nothing honorable about what those who fought The Retreat development in North Amherst did. I’m a believer in a free-market system which 20th century economist Milton Friedman was an advocate of. You can micromanage economic development, but this is swimming upstream. Friedman believed …

Dennis Helmus: Tree canopy, green spaces would suffer under Northampton’s ‘infill’ proposal

Sunday, September 21, 2014

To the editor: Thank you for your editorial Sept. 2 supporting the importance of an urban tree canopy and noting the loss of 500 public shade trees and calling upon the city of Northampton to “preserve and protect its tree canopy and waste no time doing so.” As …

Editorial: AG’s lawsuit puts $342,639 price on Ryder’s betrayal of consumers

Sunday, September 21, 2014

More than five dozen people who lost roughly $342,000 paid in advance for services with the now-closed Ryder Funeral Home have reason to hope they may see at least some of their money. The state attorney general’s office …

Marietta Pritchard: More than meets eye, sometimes, in a classified ad

Friday, September 19, 2014

AMHERST — It’s an old habit from working at a newspaper, looking at the classified ads in search of a possible story. The suggestion came early in my career from a much more experienced editor, who knew that within the cryptic prose of an ad there was often …

Karl W. Ryavec: ISIS problem just part of larger crisis in Mideast

Friday, September 19, 2014

To the editor: The decision to attack ISIS was made under the pressure of a mass feeling that ISIS must be punished for its execution of two Americans. If the attacks continue for a prolonged period several problems arise: constitutionality of the action; the attacks helping enemies of …

Jonathan Kahane: A walker’s lessons along the Northampton bike path

Friday, September 19, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Much to my wonderment and occasional dismay, I have become a “regular walker” on the bike path in Easthampton as part of my daily exercise regimen. I surely have seen every possible form of human-propelled non-motorized …