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Dr. Newton Bowdan: Medical marijuana not ready for prime time

Thursday, December 18, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Shortly before Thanksgiving I attended a meeting at a Northampton school. The subject was “Medical Marijuana.” I put the term in quotes because marijuana is marijuana, just as insulin is insulin. Whether marijuana is “medical” or “recreational” depends on the use to which it is put. What appalled me was that only one person on the panel, Paul McNeill, a coordinator for the Northampton Prevention Coalition, which …

Lynn Pasquerella: College students on holiday face an in-between world

Monday, December 15, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — This time of year, I make a point of looking out my office window. Here at Mount Holyoke College, I have a good view of the local bus stop. At the end of the semester, I like to spend a few moments watching students board buses as they head home for winter break. I see a couple of things. They …

Sara Weinberger: Why a 1948 statement has never become dated

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The frenetic pace of holiday preparations, as well as feelings of rage and powerlessness over a seemingly endless wave of state-sanctioned police brutality, seem to be holding many of us hostage these days. It’s not surprising that few people noticed an important day that came and went last Wednesday. Human Rights Day commemorates the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human …

John Paradis: Is it time for a military draft in the US?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Thomas Jefferson believed a democracy can survive only with the aid of an enlightened electorate. What then would our founding fathers now say about the lowest voter turnout in 72 years in the midterm general election …

Burton Novak: The party season is here. Is your excuse ready?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

HOLYOKE — It began innocuously enough — an artfully designed long and narrow rectangle fluttering gracefully down through the mail slot in our front door. I saw it happening, in slow motion, like a train wreck. It came to rest on the welcome mat and just lay there, …

Ann Burke: Northampton’s downtown, now at a crossroads, needs to pull together

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

SPRINGFIELD — I congratulate the Northampton community for its efforts to pick up the pieces after the unfortunate loss of the Business Improvement District and for looking to develop a sustainable downtown model. Listening to comments at the packed meeting of property owners last week at the Hotel …

Kayla Strom: How US biofuels make for a hungrier world

Monday, December 8, 2014

BURLINGTON, VT. — On Nov. 27 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency further postponed a decision regarding the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard to 2015. The standard is intended to set an annual level for the amount of biofuel blended in gasoline. However, until the EPA decides, fuel producers are …

John Sheirer: ‘Amnesty’ wrong word for Obama order on immigration

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Since President Obama announced his executive actions on immigration, the word “amnesty” has been flying around more frequently than flakes in a New England snowstorm. Social media and the news are full of rants about “Obama’s amnesty.” All of this ignores a basic fact: The president’s …

Bill Newman: The next challenge for downtown Northampton

Friday, December 5, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The place was packed. Every seat was taken. It was standing room only. Three weeks ago a Superior Court judge killed the Northampton Business Improvement District. The rationale? The city failed to check the signatures required …

H. Patricia Hynes: Renewables are ready for the day in the sun

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — An energy revolution is underway in Massachusetts, with western Massachusetts at the heart of it. Towns from the Berkshires to the Connecticut River Valley are setting records for the number of homes and businesses enrolled in …

David Sloviter: Let's not build One East Unpleasant Street

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

AMHERST — In its consideration of the proposal to redevelop the Carriage Shops property, the town of Amherst is heading for disaster and the Planning Board and town government seem to be doing everything possible to insure this happens. We are at a point in the process where …

Jay Fleitman: The message of the midterm elections

Monday, December 1, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I was reassured by the results of the 2014 midterm elections. After the 2012 election cycle, in which the electorate returned President Obama to the White House and gave the Democrats a few more seats in the Senate, I began to wonder if the conception of …

Cindy Beal & Lynne Marie Wanamaker: It’s never too late to report sexual assault

Friday, November 28, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — We were appalled to see a misinformed opinion piece by Christine Flowers in the Nov. 21 Gazette. Christine Flowers’ guest essay — “Cosby accusers waited too long” — stands as a worst-case example of what not to say when someone takes the courageous step of disclosing …