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Columns

Rob Okun: The White Ribbon Day cause, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — Major league baseball beginning domestic violence prevention workshops at spring training. The White House launching the It’s on Us initiative to prevent sexual assault. Emma Watson and the United Nations spearheading the new HeforShe movement. Men promoting gender equality and decrying violence against women is “suddenly” the next new cause. Except it’s not. The issue is, though, finally getting sustained media attention. That’s good news. Consider: the international …

Cutting through static: A Hadley homeowner kicks tires on this year’s hefty electricity price hikes (COMMENTARY)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HADLEY — I’m pretty ticked off about my latest residential electric bill — partly because of what I owe, but mostly because of the actions of the Boston commissioners who are appointed by the governor of Massachusetts and his staff to regulate public utilities in the consumer’s interest. Recently, their actions have led …

Steve Herrell: Reset needed on later high school start time in Northampton

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Half of Northampton High School students fall asleep in class. No matter what the course, whether it be calculus or music theory, students don’t learn if they are asleep. In a well-done 2009 survey, under the auspices of the administration, 53 percent of students reported that they fall asleep in class “sometimes” or “often.” Fortunately, by this time, most Northampton school …

Jay Fleitman: A man, a shovel and a mound of snow that won’t go away

Monday, March 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — ISIS is rampaging through the Middle East. The mullahs of Iran are working towards nuclear weapons. Putin is taking territory from the Ukraine. Obamacare is turning our health care system inside out. In this column I want to consider something else important: municipal snow plowing. I …

Dennis R. Scribner: Webcams will help advance police work in Easthampton

Sunday, March 1, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — An Easthampton resident recently expressed concern over the Easthampton police department’s acquisition of two webcams donated by a local business owner. As an Easthampton detective, I would like to respond. First, the Easthampton Police Department is …

Katherine Appy: Tyranny of loudest voices hobbles public debate in Amherst

Sunday, March 1, 2015

AMHERST — In recent months, more than 50 people have spoken to me or others about running for a seat on the Amherst School Committee. In the end, only two were willing to run. Two of the four people who drew papers have dropped out. Now that I …

Clare Higgins: Tough winter of 2015 issues call for community-mindedness

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It’s been a hard winter. Snow, cold, missed work, closed schools, exhausted snow and ice budgets (and exhausted plow drivers) ... the list goes on and on. While this has been hard on all of us, it has been an especially cruel winter for our friends …

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 …

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 …

Don Robinson: Two new books tease out what freedom felt like for the enslaved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ASHFIELD — Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of two local scholars, authors of books that make major contributions to our understanding of what it has meant to be black in America. Barbara …

Jim Palermo: I’m still waiting for promised public records on use of standardized tests

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — In 1927, a standardized test, Stanford-Binet, identified people who could be forcibly sterilized in the United States, under a program of eugenics approved by the United States Supreme Court in Buck v. Bell. No less than the highly regarded Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes declared that …

William J. Mullin & Andrew Larkin: An exchange about impact of nuclear plant’s closing on a frozen Connecticut River

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: In this space, an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst responds to a guest column about ice formation on the Connecticut River. The author of that column, Andrew Larkin, then replies to Mullins’ points. AMHERST — Dr. Andrew Larkin’s interesting guest column …

Nancy Rexford & Kiki Smith: New reality, new ideas enliven Historic Northampton

Sunday, February 22, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Historic Northampton is very grateful to the Gazette’s Dan Crowley and to WHMP’s Bill Newman for helping us talk to the community about our financial difficulties — and to the Gazette for its editorial on our …