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Hampshire College begins an Ethics and the Common Good Program this fall.

Editorial: Why a new Hampshire College program might offer Conscience 101

Monday, April 20, 2015

In the annals of “doing good,” Hampshire College graduate Julie Schecter appears to have earned her wings. She and other trustees of a family foundation called SHIFT will give more than $2 million to the school. That’s good in itself, but this is a gift meant to keep giving. Here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this effort will help guide …

Christine Clarke: Agricultural success in Valley starts with healthy soil

Monday, April 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Eighty years ago, on April 14, 1935, an ominous wall of blowing sand and dust swept across the Great Plains on a day that came to be known as Black Sunday. During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl days saw huge dust storms ravage the Midwest because of years of overplanting, poorly managed crops and severe drought. During that massive storm in …

R.H. Mathews: Story could have used a more accurate headline

Monday, April 20, 2015

To the editor: A recent Gazette article reporting a grant to the University of Massachusetts Amherst had a headline stating “McGovern doles out $1.7M to UMass food research.” I believe a more accurate statement would be something like the following: “U.S. taxpayers provide $1.7M for UMass food research.” R.H. Mathews Amherst …

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James Lowenthal: Valley should adopt Vision Zero initiative to prevent traffic deaths

Sunday, April 12, 2015

To the editor: There is plenty of blame to go around in the case of Chloe Rombach, the pedestrian struck and severely injured in a Northampton crosswalk last December. I don’t want to demonize the driver, who surely is traumatized too. But the news that she will not …

John Sheirer: Pushing the boundaries of belief

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — To commemorate Easter in the context of current politics, a progressive Christian friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook that depicts Christ’s crucifixion with the fake Fox News headline: “Socialist Hippie Executed.” My friend noted that she thought long and hard about whether or …

Editorial: Ratepayers get a reprieve in Northampton, but fixes must still be funded

Sunday, April 12, 2015

It took just hours last week for people upset about a sewer and water rate increase to get what they wanted: mercy from City Hall. Rates already higher than some neighboring communities will not rise, Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced Friday. But this isn’t over. Northampton is …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Armenian genocide: the truth that won’t stay told

Friday, April 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As soon as the calendar turned from 2014 to 2015, I knew that my April column would be devoted to the 100th anniversary of the start of the genocide of the Armenian people — and I began to dread what that would involve. I knew I …

Editorial: Road warriors attack Northampton’s rough ride

Friday, April 10, 2015

Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz ramped up the rhetoric last week. “I am officially declaring war on potholes,” he said. “I’m launching a major pothole blitz.” As in any war, going into battle takes people, money and material. …

William L. Schenker: South Hadley Electric is in good hands on eve of election

Friday, April 10, 2015

To the editor: For 38 years, I have had the opportunity to work with and observe both management and line personnel at South Hadley Electric Light Department in action, especially during events of natural disasters such as thunderstorms or heavy snowfalls. South Hadley can be proud of their …

Christine Archambault: SHELD commissioner urges residents to vote for change

Friday, April 10, 2015

To the editor: During the past year I have had the privilege to serve as a commissioner on the South Hadley Electric Light Board. This has been both challenging and rewarding. I was elected on the idea of transparency. I feel that we are on our way to …

Diana Stein: Cartoonist’s goal seems to be ridding US of ‘uppity blacks and women’

Friday, April 10, 2015

To the editor: Gary McCoy’s cartoon of March 31 is both racist and sexist. He has drawn a group of public officials being swapped to the terrorists by Uncle Sam. His point is that the U.S. shouldn’t have swapped five members of the Taliban to get back one …

Jon Lackman: Take it easy about NHS sign’s language use

Friday, April 10, 2015

To the editor: “School hours will run normal this week” appeared recently on Northampton High School’s LED sign, a letter writer reported ruefully. This adverbial usage of “normal” is rare in formal English but not in speech (“talk normal”) and there is a tradition of granting leeway to …

Rape defendant needs rehab

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Now that the trial of Emmanuel Bile has ended and along with it the daily parade of front-page stories, I would like to reflect on another tragedy: the prison systems in the United States. This young man needs rehabilitation, but is not going to get it …