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Opinion

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The black history pigeonhole

Friday, February 12, 2016

I have always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with Black History Month. While I believe deeply in the need to honor and celebrate the black experience in America, I have had questions about why this is supposed to occur during the shortest month of the year. The black experience in the United States — including enslavement, resistance, struggle, courage, discrimination, perseverance, art, music, literature, faith, athleticism, leadership, pain and triumph — cannot be reduced to 28 days per year and then neatly tucked away. I have also felt that Black History Month was embedded in white history year and that February’s Black History Month gave schools, colleges, and universities license to go back to the …

Editorial: ‘Pause’ in final mile broadband funding by state should be brief

Friday, February 12, 2016

The “final mile” push for broadband Internet in 32 unserved communities in western Massachusetts was never going to be quick and easy. The geographical and population issues that discouraged private cable companies from offering service present the same challenges to others who try, be they private, public or something in between. Those challenges may pale in comparison to what the effort faces on …

Joseph Madenski: ‘Tiny house’ creator in Hadley needed to follow the same rules as everyone

Friday, February 12, 2016

To the editor: I have been reading articles in the Gazette and letters to the editor regarding the “tiny house” located on East Street in Hadley. I commend the young woman who created it for investigating a more inexpensive lifestyle. According to the articles, she had help from parents and this was related to her studies at Mount Holyoke College. I am a …

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Chris and DeAnne Riddle: Let’s rename Amherst ‘Hitchcock, Massachusetts’

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: Now that we all agree that Lord Jeffery Amherst’s life does not warrant his serving as the mascot for Amherst College sports, maybe the same logic would suggest we change the name of the town and the college. We suggest Hitchcock, Massachusetts, and Hitchcock College. …

Paul Redstone: Moved by NHS student’s guest column on racism

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: I would like to thank Northampton High School student Zion Barbour for the guest column “Waking up to racism’s wounds” (Gazette, Jan. 27). It is an excellent thought-provoking discussion highlighting individual responsibility in the face of injustice in our society. His remarks make clear that …

Jim Cahillane: Northampton of today owes a lot to Ralph Levy

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

To the editor: I was saddened to read of Ralph Levy’s death. Ralph was a longtime proponent of civic improvement in our home city of Northampton. In 1955 he knocked on my parents’ front door to ask me to join him and other young men in forming a …

Editorial: After Iowa it’s a marathon for presidential candidates

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The lesson from the first 2016 presidential voting at the Iowa caucuses Monday is that candidates now must run a marathon to win the nomination because there is no clear front-runner in either party. While attention will be focused for the next six days on New Hampshire, which …

Bess Hepner: Celebrated at Smith, but for contributing what to the world?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Smith College students hear about Rally Day their first year. It’s when alumnae are honored and set an example for the graduating class. As a senior at Smith, this is a day I have been looking forward to. I am excited like many of my classmates to wear …

Editorial: Rosenberg sets down marker on improved higher ed funding

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In all his years representing Amherst, a call to do right by public higher education has always ranked high for Stanley C. Rosenberg. This week, he recommitted to the cause. In perhaps his strongest criticism yet of Gov. Charlie Baker, Rosenberg declared he will fight as Senate president …

J.M. Sorrell: My Ellen Story story

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We must never underestimate how our actions of assistance may greatly influence someone’s life. As state Rep. Ellen Story heads towards retirement, I want to express my gratitude for Story’s intuitive and strategic support at a pivotal moment in history — and for me. My first formal meeting …

William Knightly: Quabbin doesn’t need rattlers but Bunker Hill might

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

To the editor: I can just imagine that the good people of Dana, Prescott, Greenwich and Enfield would be thrilled to know that the state Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has “hatched” a plan to breed and raise 150 timber rattlesnakes until they are good and strong and …

David Furlong: Bernie, The Donald and me: A Valley entrepreneur’s encounters with two presidential candidates

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

When I was a lad of 19, I liked woodworking, so I made use of my father’s machines in the basement by making wooden toys. Soon I needed to find a market for my wares, so in the …

Jonathan Klate: Leftists in the attic, and Hedda Hopper too

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

This is a story at once personal, historical, and allegorical. The acclaimed movie “Trumbo” provides dramatic illumination of a sordid period in American history, when free and loyal citizens were persecuted by the government for thought crimes and …