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Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even it it didn’t earn that name technically

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Northampton Police and the Northwestern district attorney’s office will not charge two juveniles accused of writing anti-Semitic and racist graffiti with the commission of a hate crime, but that’s not the end of this story. Members of a community must never think a decision by law enforcement absolves them of their duty to deal with an act that might not legally qualify as a hate crime, but is hateful and …

Gordon Shaw: Why public investment is critical to Valley CDC project in Northampton

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As the Northampton City Council prepares to vote Thursday on approval of community preservation funds to develop affordable housing on the site of the former Northampton lumber yard, the Northampton Housing Partnership offers some context on whether this is an appropriate project to support. From the Partnership’s perspective, the charge to do so is critical, as articulated in Northampton’s Housing Needs …

Claudia Lefko: A neighborhood residents says questions about Valley CDC project deserve answers

Friday, January 30, 2015

By CLAUDIA LEFKO NORTHAMPTON — Where is reasonable discourse? Am I to believe that if I have questions about the affordable housing project proposed by the Valley CDC that I am on the wrong side of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as cited by former Mayor Clare Higgins in her column last Saturday? Did King have an opinion about “infill”? There are legitimate …

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Don Robinson: It’s time to revisit America’s experiment with democracy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ASHFIELD — On Thanksgiving Day, my column was devoted to the proposition that America’s constitutional system needs fundamental reform. Anyone arguing for reform faces two tasks: first, to show that present arrangements are not working (there is little dispute about that); and second, to offer an alternative that …

Editorial: A new leader for Hadley’s police department

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Michael Mason, Hadley’s new police chief, knows his department well. He joined the force as a rookie in 2000. Over the last 15 years Mason, who is 36, worked his way up from dispatcher to sergeant while getting …

Grant Milner: Thanks to a true dog-lover

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: On Dec. 26, my friend and companion, a 14-year-old fox terrier, escaped from her boarding home on Ryan Road in Florence. I am writing to thank Gary, a Good Samaritan, for rescuing Kelsey and transporting her to safety at the Valley Veterinary Clinic in Hadley. …

James Lowenthal: Not all LED lights are created equal

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: Thanks to Rudy Perkins for his article (“In the glow of a lighting innovation from Denmark,” Jan. 7) calling for energy-efficient LED street lighting, especially when they’re actively controlled to turn off when no one is there, as is being done in “smart cities” projects …

Montserrat Archbald: How do I hate Keystone XL? Let me count the ways

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

To the editor: Building the Keystone XL Pipeline is a very bad idea. This pipeline would facilitate the extraction of tar sands oil, a low-quality product whose production causes even more pollution than conventional oil. According to the State Department, the pipeline would increase climate pollution by 27.4 …

Paul M. Craig: What minimum wage changes can accomplish

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To the editor: Do minimum wage laws reveal a structural fault in American capitalism? What fault are minimum wage laws meant to correct? How do we determine what an appropriate minimum wage should be? How many burgers must be sold at the drive-through window to make that job …

Robin MacRostie: It’s vital that we save ‘meandering jewel’ that is Lake Warner in Hadley

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

To the editor: I write in support of restoring the $125,000 to fix the Lake Warner dam at North Hadley Pond. I wouldn’t have known that the earmark was vetoed if I hadn’t run into some Friends of Lake Warner at Whole Foods the other day. You may …

Editorial: Chilling news warns that oceans also marred by human touch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The journal Science last week published alarming research from a team of five scientists suggesting Earth’s oceans could be on the verge of “a major extinction pulse,” a catastrophe the likes of which has not been seen in marine species. The dense, five-page article — in which footnotes …

Adam Fisher: Reflections on my mother’s life

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I suppose that since she was graduated from Smith College here in Northampton and because she married one of her Smith College professors, there is some local relevance to the death of my mother, Helen White …

Susan Maguire: Urges more nuanced thought about police

Monday, January 19, 2015

To the editor: As a resident of Northampton and Ward 7, I am concerned with the very broad brush with which City Councilor Alisa Klein spoke about police and the criminal justice system. In no way can I argue that racism does not exist in the hearts of …