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Columns

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the stories and photos “totally excessive.” She wondered if a daily newspaper is the proper place to tell this story, which recounted a 90-year-old Northampton woman’s death after she decided, amid physical pain and a loss of independence, to stop eating and drinking. This reader also asked whether the series sends a dangerous …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

Annie Turner: Will NFL’s baby steps against off-field violence gain traction?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I had a pastor friend a number of years back who recounted how members of his congregation would speak of the death of an elderly person as “a blessing.” The pastor would then say of various life events, “It’s a (supply your own swear) blessing.” And often when what happened was not in …

Marty Nathan: One climate marcher’s dream: an Environmental Marshall Plan

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The author wrote this essay on the bus returning to Northampton from the People’s Climate March in New York City Sept. 21: The sun is setting, my feet hurt and my back is aching. I am …

Sarah Metcalf: Ed Cotton would have been marching for the trees

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One of the many burdens laid on us by the threats of climate change is a sense of helplessness. How cheering and energizing, then, it was to march on Sept. 21 with roughly 400,000 people who not only demand action, but are ready to take it …

Crazy theories abound about Islamic State in the Middle East

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

While much of the world grows increasingly concerned about the threat posed by the Islamic State, a surprisingly large number of people in the Muslim world are convinced we are all being deceived. With great confidence, they claim that ISIS, as the group is also known, is not …

In Close Proximity: Car ownership — but who owns whom, exactly?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The contemporary world is one of restless mobilities, radically morphing physical landscapes, baroque technologies, new forms of governance and subjectivity, and onerous inequalities. The automobile provides vivid insight into all five phenomena as well as into their relationship. — “The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality,” …

Clare Higgins: The cost of not paying to protect children

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jeremiah Oliver is dead — his remains found months after the reports of his disappearance. The system that has been established in our state to protect children failed him. Months went by with no signs of this little boy. Finally, his body was discovered on the …

Clare Higgins: 'There's no prohibition against soaking people with low incomes' Why the Massachusetts casino law needs to be repealed

Monday, September 29, 2014

I’ve been known to buy a lottery ticket or two (or three…). When I was an underpaid early childhood educator, I would sometimes buy a scratch ticket. Only the $1 tickets and probably not more than once or …

Wikipedia grows up on campuses

Friday, September 26, 2014

A trusted bromide in academia is that you become a better student when you become a teacher. Something like that is happening at Wikipedia. The Internet encyclopedia has grown explosively since its creation in 2001, but it quickly earned a reputation as a Petri dish for misinformation. That’s …

Michael Carolan: A profound silence at the People’s Climate March

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — My daughter was going to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City with my friend and me. Until she decided she had too much homework. While I understood, I thought she was a perfect …

Don Robinson: Our Constitution — and a president’s war against ISIS

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ASHFIELD — Among reasons for President Obama’s declining approval numbers, his abuse of the Constitution’s war powers does not loom large. But as we head back into war in Iraq and environs, it behooves us to pay attention …

Bruce Watson: Here comes Ol’ Man Winter

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

LEVERETT — Another winter looms. Or perhaps winter no longer looms — it lurks, it swears, it stands just up the road waving its middle finger. In the wake of last year’s record-crappy winter, which iced major organs and saw thousands hospitalized with frostbitten despair, many are wondering: …