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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

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 and neighbors living with low incomes. Fuel assistance has been cut repeatedly at the federal level, from $5.1 billion in 2010 to …

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 the Florence post office. Before reading the account, keep in mind that Florence is only …

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 my skis. But to flail across an icy lake, parts of my body soaked in …

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 …

Jim Foudy: How the late David Carr both analyzed and embodied modern media

Friday, February 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It is hard to lose a hero. New York Times media reporter David Carr was one of mine and his passing last week at 58 leaves a big hole. I considered his Media Equation column a must-read. He wrote about publishing, television and the impact of …

Forget it, liberals: Warren is not running for president

Friday, February 20, 2015

Sorry to break the bad news to all you dreamy-eyed liberals, but it’s time to stop wishin’ and hopin’: Elizabeth Warren isn’t running for president. Really and truly. Progressive Democrats have bombarded her office with postcards, signed online petitions and stood in the snow waving signs to get …

Malcolm X as relevant now as at his death 50 years ago

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fifty years ago, on Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X was brutally murdered in New York City. With his assassination, the United States missed a chance to fully address some of the racial issues that persist to this day. …

Andrew Larkin: Riddles of a frozen Connecticut River

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last fall I wrote on this page that the Connecticut River might freeze this winter because of the closing of the nuclear reactor in Vernon, Vermont, and the loss of its thermal pollution of the river. …

Tracey Belliveau: My father’s hospice care at Northampton VA came with compassion — and cats

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — “I’ve got bad news.” This was the beginning of a phone conversation with my 91-year-old father, Robert L. Belliveau, from his bed in Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Doctors would not be able to operate on his failing …

Adam Fisher: A scholar who moves like a moth to hypocrisy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My friend Brian Victoria, a Zen monk and author of “Zen at War,” is a pain in the patoot. But because he is a pain in the patoot, I know him as a friend I value …