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Opinion

Editorial: First up, an Olympics of public skepticism on the 2024 Games

Friday, March 27, 2015

The state placed a help-wanted ad this week related to having Boston host the Olympics in 2024. The help that’s needed: an independent accounting of how the games would affect the state and its capital city. We’re glad officials see the need for answers. Boston 2024, fresh from awarding its leaders big salaries to pursue the Olympics bid, is feeling the heat of public doubt and has reiterated pledges the …

Clare Higgins: An investment we’ll never regret: better education for 4-year-olds

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I read something in the paper almost every week about pre-kindergarten as the key to school success. States like Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are offering free admission to pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds. New York City started its program for 4-year-olds last September. Some of these programs are full day and some are half day. Some are full year and some follow the …

Larry Parnass: A Gazette humorist’s secrets revealed

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette newsroom just isn’t the same these days without: a) An Air Force veteran proud of saying, “I served my country in Rome (pause) Rome, N.Y.” b) A skilled paginator who threw himself like an aggrieved terrier at blank pages. c) One architect of the Gazette News Quiz. d) The …

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State Sen. Eric Lesser: Finding solutions to the opioid abuse epidemic

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

BELCHERTOWN — One of the most urgent problems facing our community is substance abuse, and in particular, opioid addiction. Nearly 1,000 people in Massachusetts died of unintentional opioid overdoses in 2013, more than double the number of motor vehicle deaths and a 46 percent increase over the previous …

Renee Wetstein: A2Z’s new owners will continue tradition created by the Finns

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To the editor: I am so thrilled that A2Z Science and Learning Store on King Street in Northampton will continue to flourish with a planned succession to energetic, smart owners like Andre and Devon Boulay. Jack and Priscilla Finn are truly too good to be true. They are …

Milton Hanzel: Gazette’s auto column should include gas mileage information

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To the editor: I notice that with the recent drop in gas prices, the auto of the week column in the Gazette offers gas mileage information less often. I suggest that the paper consider requiring this information for any profile of an auto in this space. I know …

Mitchell Sieser: AP report on Boris Nemtsov murder biased against Putin

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To the editor: The March 4 Associated Press report on the assassination of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov employs a series of biased interview quotes and historical distortions that serves to demonize Vladimir Putin as his martyred political enemy is raised to the status of political sainthood. The article …

Trish Farrington: Amherst League of Women Voters will host candidates night

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

To the editor: Amherst town elections are March 31. As usual the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a Candidates Night for the community to get acquainted with the candidates, to hear their ideas and to get our questions answered. What’s not so usual, however, is the league …

Editorial: Task force right approach for body work oversight

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The raid and subsequent closure of two body work businesses in Northampton last month shined a light on a corner of the underground economy that mistreats employees and can involve the trading of sexual contact for money. When businesses prey on the most vulnerable, they must be stopped. …

Adam Fisher: What would (a female) Jesus do?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Having been forced by his own father, a Presbyterian minister, to memorize great hunks of the Bible by candlelight, my father came to abominate religion. He took pleasure in jousting with the theologically informed since he …

Barbara Burkart: Why Amherst voters should elect Vira Douangmany Cage

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

To the editor: I’m writing to invite Amherst voters to join me March 31 in voting for Vira Douangmany Cage for Amherst School Committee. Vira is a passionate advocate for social justice and for ensuring there are opportunities for all children to learn and grow. Her commitment to …

Paul Cherulnik: Standardized testing is an important tool for educators

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

To the editor: As someone who retired after a career of over 30 years in education, I don’t know what to make of the continuing debate over standardized testing in the public schools. Slogans like “more learning, less testing” and “learning facts is not education” baffle me. For …

Howard Gold: Will the city fine itself for not clearing snow off its sidewalks?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

To the editor: A few days ago, on a cold and clear day, I was jogging along North Street in Northampton, grateful for the many homeowners who had left their sidewalks clear and dry. The one exception was the long stretch of sidewalk adjacent to the Bridge Street …