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Opinion

Ed Gregory: A very special, and sluggish, delivery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You’ve heard the phrase “snail mail.” Well, believe it! I recently purchased a relatively expensive book online from Northampton and arranged for delivery to my home in Greenfield. Big deal, right? You bet it is! I offer the following authentic tracking data of the item from the Florence post office. Before reading the account, keep in mind that Florence is only 20.7 miles from Greenfield; about 25 minutes …

Michael Goldman: A cross-country ski destination of the heart

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FLORENCE — I can understand the practicality of cross-country skiing. I mean, if the neighboring village were running low on a crucial medicine, or if the tribe were running out of meat and the nearest caribou herd were five miles away, I would be the first to don my skis. But to flail across an icy lake, parts of my body soaked in …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, the University of Massachusetts …

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Thomas F. Plaut: Measles, measles vaccine and death

Friday, February 13, 2015

To the editor: A total of 503,000 cases of measles were reported during a single year (1962) of my pediatric residency. There were more than 400 deaths. I treated hundreds of patients in New York City and witnessed two deaths, one from pneumonia and the other from encephalitis. …

Adam J. Kolek: Just who wins with use of state, CPA monies?

Friday, February 13, 2015

To the editor: Easthampton City Councilor Daniel Hagan has been quoted as saying that “everybody wins” in a city project of renovations to privately owned local mill properties. Perhaps he should have been more specific. The project uses $7.55 million of state grants and CPA funds, all taxpayer …

Editorial: Lawmakers take bipartisan approach to closing state budget gap

Thursday, February 12, 2015

It is never good news when the state must make adjustments mid-year to fix a budget shortfall. Still, there are encouraging signs in the approach taken by Gov. Charlie Baker to plug an estimated $768 million hole in the state budget for the year ending June 30, and …

John Paradis: Enduring love across the decades. Yes, it’s possible

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Tomorrow is the feast of St. Valentine, the third-century martyr who, according to history and legend, was persecuted, tortured and ultimately beheaded by the Romans for proselytizing and for performing secret Christian marriages. Another tale says he was killed because the Emperor Claudius didn’t want young …

Doug Hall: Obama budget for 2016 a step in the right direction

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 2, President Obama released a budget outline for fiscal year 2016 that should be widely popular with the American people. The $4 trillion proposal is only a starting point for lengthy budget negotiations in the Republican-controlled Congress; however, it does provide important detail about …

Barry Hirsch: Let’s be real about Obama-Netanyahu fracture

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Fleitman’s column Feb. 3 defending Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the Congress attempts to portray a U.S. president who has repeatedly missed clear opportunities to shape a more stable Middle East and has consistently disrespected Netanyahu. Most of us know there is not much in …

Editorial: Cybercrimes a reminder that online convenience comes at a price

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

A year ago, the FBI told leaders of health care companies they were not doing enough to safeguard consumer information, including Social Security numbers. Now comes word that Anthem, the country’s second-largest health insurer, failed to protect a database with information on 80 million people. This is grievous …

Gretchen Armacost: A plea for tolerance on issues of science

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: How do we decide what we should believe? In a fascinating article, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” published in the New York Times Book Review, Jan. 9, 1997, evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin wrote, “when scientists transgress the bounds of their own specialty they have no …

Jody Nishman: No easy answers to issue of police shootings

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: Regarding letters about police brutality: As with many important issues, there seems to be a lot of polarization. Accusations of hostility and bias abound on both sides. Policing is an extremely difficult job, especially in today’s society. There are many police doing their jobs bravely, …

Nicholas G Reich, Krzysztof Sakrejda: Criticizes Gazette measles headline for down-playing risks

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: We were disappointed with your banner headline “Measles outbreak unlikely here, experts say” (Feb. 7). This messaging works against the public health outreach that many front-line health care workers communicate every day to patients to protect our communities from disease outbreaks. Although Massachusetts overall has …