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Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The black history pigeonhole

Friday, February 12, 2016

I have always had a somewhat ambivalent relationship with Black History Month. While I believe deeply in the need to honor and celebrate the black experience in America, I have had questions about why this is supposed to occur during the shortest month of the year. The black experience in the United States — including enslavement, resistance, struggle, courage, discrimination, perseverance, art, music, literature, faith, athleticism, leadership, pain and triumph — cannot be reduced to 28 days per year and then neatly tucked away. I have also felt that Black History Month was embedded in white history year and that February’s Black History Month gave schools, colleges, and universities license to go back to the …

John Paradis: Taking control of our last years

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last fall, a friend recommended the book, “Being Mortal,” by noted Boston surgeon Atul Gawande. Looking at how Americans approach aging and end of life, Gawande’s book denounces the often extreme and frequently unnecessary life-sustaining measures that the medical world often takes: breathing machines, feeding tubes and an array of painful and invasive treatments. He proposes a significant overhaul of our approach to …

Jim Palermo: Lifting the veil on charter school statistics in Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The charter school debate has taken on new urgency now that Gov. Charlie Baker prioritized lifting the cap on charter schools during his State of the Commonwealth Address. He bolstered his endorsement by stating that Brooke Charter Schools in Roslindale, Mattapan and East Boston had higher scores on the English and Math PARRC Exams than those in the eight traditional public school districts …

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: CISA’s 2016 resolution: Local food for all

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By February, many of us have already forgotten our New Year’s resolutions, especially in today’s world of ever-scrolling Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s hard to get traction to make big change. At CISA, our 2016 resolution is to ensure more people have more access to local food, a …

Natalia Muñoz: Puerto Rico’s long economic captivity

Monday, February 8, 2016

In 1898, the exhausted Spanish empire illegally gave away Puerto Rico to the United States at the end of the Spanish-America War. Gen. Nelson Miles, an architect of the massacre of indigenous peoples in the 19th century in …

John Sheirer: Our parties, our race problem

Monday, February 8, 2016

Last month, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes popped up on Facebook to celebrate the great civil rights leader’s birthday. Now that we’re in Black History Month, I’m pleased to see more of his words making the rounds in social media. Unfortunately, along with King’s inspiring quotes, …

Bill Newman: Whose free speech is on display in Black Lives Matter banner on City Hall?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shortly after the Black Lives Matter banner was raised at Northampton City Hall on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the president of a city police union, denying any connection, requested that Mayor David Narkewicz fly a …

Lissa Pierce Bonifaz: Standardized tests got you down? Consider opting out

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Amherst Regional school system was recently notified that its students would take two high-stakes, standardized tests this spring. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for third to sixth grade will be augmented with items from another standardized …

Bess Hepner: Celebrated at Smith, but for contributing what to the world?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Smith College students hear about Rally Day their first year. It’s when alumnae are honored and set an example for the graduating class. As a senior at Smith, this is a day I have been looking forward to. I am excited like many of my classmates to wear …

J.M. Sorrell: My Ellen Story story

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We must never underestimate how our actions of assistance may greatly influence someone’s life. As state Rep. Ellen Story heads towards retirement, I want to express my gratitude for Story’s intuitive and strategic support at a pivotal moment in history — and for me. My first formal meeting …

David Furlong: Bernie, The Donald and me: A Valley entrepreneur’s encounters with two presidential candidates

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

When I was a lad of 19, I liked woodworking, so I made use of my father’s machines in the basement by making wooden toys. Soon I needed to find a market for my wares, so in the …

Jonathan Klate: Leftists in the attic, and Hedda Hopper too

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

This is a story at once personal, historical, and allegorical. The acclaimed movie “Trumbo” provides dramatic illumination of a sordid period in American history, when free and loyal citizens were persecuted by the government for thought crimes and …

Won-Ho Lee: I asked my peers: Would you trade privacy for security against terrorism?

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

We are a species instinctively dominated by fear — seeing it as an indicator that action needs to be taken. In modern society, one topic instills insecurity around the globe: terrorism. We are constantly combating extremist organizations originating in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria and other countries. These organizations we …