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Columns

Adam Fisher

Adam Fisher: When healing does occur

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Last month’s disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the mudslide that decimated Oso, Wash., brought sorrow and confusion. As quickly as the search for meaning set in, so too did the words “healing” and “closure.” When retailed in the midst of crisis, these words strike me as uncaring, spoken by people who claim to know more than those grieving. The hope feels thin. And yet sometimes healing does seem possible. I first met Michael Erard several years ago after he hooked up with a veterans writing project hosted at the University of Massachusetts. A compact and gentle man at 72, Michael lives … 0

Steve Herrell: School start-time issue in Northampton will not just fade away

Monday, April 14, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — At the conclusion of a five-year effort involving hundreds of people in Northampton, including psychologists, parents, pediatricians, sleep experts and students, and after seven forums and countless speeches and editorials, the Northampton School Committee on June 13, 2013, passed this resolution: “The School Committee directs the superintendent to implement a later … 3

John P. DiBartolo Jr.: Finding shades of grey in a recent school late-start study

Monday, April 14, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I have been reluctant to publicly express my opinion on the late start issue given that so many friends whose opinions I respect seem to feel strongly that the start time at Northampton High School should be pushed back. People are entitled to differing views and I do not doubt that there are individual students who might benefit from a later … 3

John Sheirer: The myth of lazy people

Sunday, April 13, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Government benefits have long been stigmatized. When I was young, one family was teased because they were “on welfare.” I remember hearing a chorus of “Farewell, welfare!” when these kids trooped, heads down, off the school bus. I asked an older kid what “welfare” was. He … 2

John Paradis: Mr. Garand’s fearsome invention

Thursday, April 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I would surmise that few school children in our region have heard of Jean “John” Cantius Garand. I suspect few adults, too. But if you are of French-Canadian descent like me, or you worked in the … 0

Amy Pybus: Don’t let your kids be pushed around by the MCAS test, consider opting out

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Spring is finally here, that wonderful time that brings us crocuses, baby chicks, sunshine, fresh air and of course, standardized testing. When I got the notice from school that MCAS was approaching (“These tests are very important, have your child sleep and eat a good breakfast, … 0

Michelle McPherson: Rail trail’s despised ‘glassphalt’ surface doesn’t deserve its bad rap

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

AMHERST — The Norwottuck Rail Trail Rehabilitation Project now underway includes a range of updates for the bike bath that extends from Damon Road in Northampton to Station Road in South Amherst. The project is good news for … 2

Judson Brown: Lyrics with a lift: The eternal message in Bach’s Mass in B minor

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Latin words jump off the page: “bonae voluntatis,” as in “et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis” — or translated, peace on earth to people of good will. It is a statement from the Gloria … 2

Mitchell Chester & Richard Freeland: Why state is test-driving a new school achievement test

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

BOSTON — Massachusetts’s chief economic asset in the global economy is its unparalleled brain trust — the preparation and production of a highly educated citizenry and workforce. As a national leader in education, the Commonwealth has seen its elementary and secondary students rise to the occasion time and … 0

Jim Palermo: Don’t believe the spin on charter schools

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — Clare Higgins, whom I greatly admire, presented in her monthly Gazette column March 29 insights that invite a continuing conversation regarding the role of charter schools. Higgins may be correct when she states that charter schools … 1

Rev. Catherine A. Munz: The First Churches’ primary call is to serve, not conserve

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — On March 2, members of six local congregations charged into First Churches and worshiped together for the first time. There were children, music, ushers and greeters, and coffee and treats from all six congregations. Our preacher … 0

'If money is speech, Mr. Roberts, can you lend me a few sentences until payday?' Bruce Watson: A fly on the wall at the first session of Congress

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

MADISON: OK, settle down, gentlemen. We’ve got a Constitution, but the people want a Bill of Rights. Any of you want to spend another summer in Philadelphia? Then let’s get to work. HAMILTON: My committee drafted the basics, … 0

Pam Wilmot: McCutcheon decision lifting campaign donation caps a blow to democracy

Monday, April 7, 2014

BOSTON — The Roberts Court, in its 5-4 McCutcheon v. FEC decision last week, continued its drive to give Americans a government of, by and for big money. While doing so, it demonstrated once again just how out of touch it is with political reality. The court found … 0