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David Marks & Russ Nieman: Don’t orphan early education programs in Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Preparing children for a lifetime of learning requires access to high-quality early education and care programs, as well as a consistent and qualified workforce. Great educators are key to improving outcomes for children, but the existing career path for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With an average annual salary range of $21,000 to $25,000 and a turnover rate of 30 percent in our early learning and out-of-school …

Editorial: Hadley diner’s wounds entirely self-inflicted; AG sends message on sexual harassment

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Though it went out of business Monday, the Route 9 Diner in Hadley still has something to teach the restaurant trade: If you subject workers to sexual harassment, you’ll pay a price. That’s the message restaurant managers anywhere should take from the state attorney general’s decision to go after the diner for not halting what the office calls a decade in which women …

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 …

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Editorial: Reading between the lines in Republican budget plans

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Republicans now hold the gavels in Congress. Budget plans outlined last week by House and Senate committees offered the first look at how the party will administer the nation’s finances. Not surprisingly, these plans showcase the party’s vision of limited government. Between the lines, they show contempt for …

John Boothroyd: Amherst has done its share to provide affordable housing

Saturday, March 21, 2015

To the editor: Katherine Appy’s concerns about a lack of candidates for seats on the Amherst School Committee, expressed in a March 2 guest column, should run much deeper. We try to accommodate public opinion at the expense of common sense. Character assassinations are used all too often …

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 …