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Shawn Adams, of Pelham, holds her cat "Pippin" at her house in Pelham, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014.  Pippin went missing for six months and was hit by a car Dec. 17, which left the cat a brain injury.

Shawn Adams: The cat who came in from the cold

Sunday, December 21, 2014

PELHAM — For many, this time of year is a time of memory. Looking back on the past year, we reflect on the significant events that have shaped our lives. Some of these memories can be full of joy, and others of loss. About three days ago I was standing on my deck looking out over the trees that surround my home in Pelham and I uttered a small prayer. “Pippin,” I asked, “why did you leave me? Come home.” Pippin is the name of my cat, adopted seven years ago from the animal shelter in Springfield. I am biased, as all animal-lovers are, yet …

Katie Allan Zobel: A hearty thanks to Valley Gives honors

Friday, December 19, 2014

To the editor: I have been struggling to find a way to thank 14,189 people. This is the number of people who gave so generously to local nonprofits during Valley Gives Day. I get a hand cramp just thinking about it. Yes, the massive numbers of thank-you notes are daunting, but what is even more challenging is figuring out a way to say …

Claire Streeter: A father who tried once before to quit — and must again

Friday, December 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Dear Daddy: I’m writing to talk to you about something extremely important to me, and I’m not sure how to say it in person. I’m writing to talk to you about stopping smoking. I know you’ve been smoking since you were 15. Daddy, I’m worried about you. Smoking is really bad — from the tar in it, to the millions of …

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John Paradis: Is it time for a military draft in the US?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Thomas Jefferson believed a democracy can survive only with the aid of an enlightened electorate. What then would our founding fathers now say about the lowest voter turnout in 72 years in the midterm general election …

Editorial: Ebola crisis eases but far from over

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Ebola crisis has dropped from the top of the national news broadcasts and fallen off the front pages of newspapers, but the deadly disease is still raging in West Africa with Sierra Leone now the country hardest hit as medical personnel get a handle on the virus …

Julia Persinger: Call on Congress to reauthorize wind-energy tax credits

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To the editor: In regards to a recent letter in the Gazette about switching to renewable energy, it’s great to see individuals taking the initiative to fight climate change. I know I plan to make that switch when I purchase a home, and having people lead the way …

Roger Herman: Why America is crying over death of Michael Brown

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To the editor: Ben Boychuk’s guest column comments in your Dec. 3 issue are full of misconceptions about the Michael Brown killing. I would like to address two of them. Boychuk mentions the misdeeds of “the ones doing the crying.” My experience is that the people who are …

John Diaz: How about more conservative cartoons in pages of the Gazette?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To the editor: I’m sure everyone who reads the Gazette knows it’s a liberal newspaper, like most of them. But do your editorial cartoons have to be hugely biased to the left also? Ninety-nine percent of your editorial cartoons seem to be bad-mouthing the police, Republicans, the military, …

Alden E. Bacon: Williamsburg cemetery board explains removal of flags

Thursday, December 11, 2014

To the editor: After a critical letter appeared in the Daily Hampshire Gazette about the Village Hill Cemetery in Williamsburg, the cemetery association felt a response was in order. This year the cemetery has a new board of directors and a new superintendent. Together, we are trying very …

Burton Novak: The party season is here. Is your excuse ready?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HOLYOKE — It began innocuously enough — an artfully designed long and narrow rectangle fluttering gracefully down through the mail slot in our front door. I saw it happening, in slow motion, like a train wreck. It came to rest on the welcome mat and just lay there, …

Editorial: What the CIA did in all of our names

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Central Intelligence Agency delivered cruel and usual punishment to people caught up its post-Sept. 11 dragnet, a long-awaited Senate report reveals. In dank holes around the world, people representing the U.S. government brutalized captives out of the …

Ann Burke: Northampton’s downtown, now at a crossroads, needs to pull together

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SPRINGFIELD — I congratulate the Northampton community for its efforts to pick up the pieces after the unfortunate loss of the Business Improvement District and for looking to develop a sustainable downtown model. Listening to comments at the packed meeting of property owners last week at the Hotel …

Editorial: Toward a day when black lives really do matter in US

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What’s in a hashtag? When it comes to the current furor over the killing of black men by police officers, the answer is nothing less than the history of racial violence in America and our failure to create …