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Opinion

Editorial: A day of lobbying, and tasting, seeks to advance farm economy

Monday, March 30, 2015

When hungry lawmakers browse the tables at Agriculture Day in Boston today, one of the cheeses they’ll sample hails from Grace Hill Farm in Cummington. It’s there on Potash Hill Road that Max and Amy Breiteneicher create Hilltown Blue by hand, using milk from grass-fed cows. On Ag Day, farm groups fill tables in the Great Hall and Grand Staircase area inside the Statehouse with tempting tastes created in Massachusetts. …

Kristin DeBoer: Safeguarding Valley lands that sustain us all

Monday, March 30, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This monthly column is produced by the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project (http://pvrp.weebly.com/). Today, Kristin DeBoer of the Kestrel Land Trust writes about conservation. AMHERST — Food, water and shelter are essential to life. We know this instinctively. Yet, too often, forests, farms and waterways that provide for these basic needs are taken for granted, perhaps because land conservation is mistaken as …

Joan Vohl Hamilton: Believes Awad would shine light on SHELD operations

Monday, March 30, 2015

To the editor: It’s ironic that the utility that lights South Hadley homes keeps its operations in the shadows. The South Hadley Electric Light Department, created to serve South Hadley and funded by ratepayers, has a current management that has shown a great reluctance to allow itself to be publicly scrutinized. For instance, the department has not been independently audited since the 1970s. …

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Donna and Peter Kenny: DPW, city employees did a great job clearing snow this winter

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: We agree wholeheartedly with a Southampton writer’s insightful response of March 12 to Jay Fleitman’s recent column about snow plowing. It is regrettable that Fleitman’s column possibly implies that his neighbors are unhappy with the snowplowing by the Department of Public Works. As two of …

Toni Hochstadt: Pleased Recreation Department is moving to Senior Center

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: I wish to thank the Northampton City Council and Mayor David J. Narkewicz for deciding to add the Northampton Parks and Recreation Department to the building which also houses the Senior Center at the corners of Conz and Smith streets in Ward 3 near downtown. …

George Ryan: President right not to recognize religious motivation of ISIS

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: I wish to respond to Peter Vickery’s March 11 column, “Calling out terrorism for what it is.” Vickery faults President Obama for failing to acknowledge the religious motivation of ISIS — a motivation he characterizes as an “honest one.” He also faults him for not …

Editorial: Shovel out or prepare to pay up

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One day this winter, a frail woman leaning on a walker inched her way down the middle of Northampton’s busy Conz Street. She had chosen the dangers of traffic over the risks of a sidewalk laden with ragged layers of snow and ice. It’s a choice nobody should …

Jim Foudy: Love the Olympics, wary of the price tag

Saturday, March 21, 2015

If you have wondered what’s really driving Boston’s bid to host the Summer Olympics in 2024, the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute provided the answer this week: money, and lots of it. Forget the rhetoric about the Olympics burnishing Boston’s international reputation. Boston business and construction industry leaders …

Catherine Etheridge: Expelling students for what they say is not the right lesson

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To the editor: University of Oklahoma President David Boren said, “I hope that students involved in this incident will learn from this experience and realize that it is wrong to use words to hurt, threaten, and exclude other people.” I’m wondering, then, why did he himself use words …

Editorial: Healthy Hampshire shines welcome light on challenges

Thursday, March 19, 2015

People living in the residential East Hadley Road neighborhood off Route 116 south of downtown Amherst face challenges in their daily routines that are not part of the lives of many other residents. Because of inconvenient bus schedules and tricky access to the nearby Norwottuck Rail Trail, a …

Kevin Lake: Visitors to Northampton’s wild lands should roam responsibly

Thursday, March 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Thanks to the work and dedication of countless volunteers and organizations, the city of Northampton has a wealth of permanently conserved open spaces that serve to protect natural systems while allowing for passive recreational use. These include areas of all sizes, in all areas of the …

Newton D. Bowdan: Israel should focus on more than spiritual aims in its defense

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To the editor: A March 10 letter writer in the Gazette was correct in saying that the United States does not have a state religion because one does not work for us. She then goes on erroneously to portray Israel as a religious state wanting to dispense with …

Genevieve Fraser: GOP senators letter to Iran likely an act of treason

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To the editor: The 47 GOP senators who tried to undercut the Obama administration’s nuclear deal by issuing a warning letter to Iran may have committed an act of treason under the Logan Act, a federal law prohibiting unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments. The Logan Act …