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Columns

John Musante & Kumble Subbaswamy: Let’s keep positive town-gown momentum going

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AMHERST — In 2013, when Amherst Town Meeting agreed to match the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s commitment of $30,000 for a consultant to aid in the development of a shared economic development and housing vision, an historic process was begun. This collaborative effort marked the first time the campus and the town thoughtfully considered each other in the planning and growth of their physical spaces. The Town Gown Steering Committee, …

Clare Higgins: Why these remain taxing times

Friday, April 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Are we overtaxed here in Massachusetts? For many years we were known as “Taxachusetts” and there certainly are some who think that is still true. Of course, the cost of living is high is our state. We have the fifth-highest transportation costs, the fourth-highest utility costs and the fifth-highest health care costs, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. …

Marty Nathan: It ought to be a law, and can: carbon fee and rebate

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Most of the climate news from the oceans and the Arctic and California has been grim, with changes occurring around the world even faster than climate scientists had predicted. But this month, as my mixed-religious family prepared to celebrate Passover and Easter, the two holidays of hope, there was a glimmer of optimism that we might be able to transform our …

Don Robinson: Hillary Clinton on my mind

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ASHFIELD — Why, despite all her “baggage,” does Hillary seem so right this time? The campaign is in its early stages. It is 19 months until Election Day 2016, 21 months till Inauguration Day 2017. In politics, “a week is an eternity,” as sage old Howard Baker used …

Tom Weiner: Of veterans and the American peace movement

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I recently attended an extraordinary panel presentation at Smith College entitled “Understanding and Healing War’s Deepest Wounds” and featuring three outstanding men — Edward Tick, Robert Meagher and Mark Nickerson. Each has made a noteworthy contribution to the vexed issue of caring for returning veterans. Each …

Christine Clarke: Agricultural success in Valley starts with healthy soil

Monday, April 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Eighty years ago, on April 14, 1935, an ominous wall of blowing sand and dust swept across the Great Plains on a day that came to be known as Black Sunday. During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl days saw huge dust storms ravage the Midwest because …

Sara Weinberger: Why not activate your investments?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — When bothered by insomnia, I meet with my financial advisor. Discussions of indexes, hedge funds and equities lull me to sleep quicker than Ambien. The fancy graphs and charts he presents my husband and I with at each visit make no sense to me. I don’t …

Jim Foudy: They call it ‘smart growth’ for a reason — and Amherst should take note

Friday, April 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In Northampton and Amherst this year the topics of smart growth and community gateways — and how they intersect — have generated debate. Smart growth principles encourage development in already urbanized areas. The idea is to concentrate housing, commerce, jobs and transportation while leaving land open …

Jay Vinskey: The bonsai trees of King Street shouldn’t look that way

Thursday, April 16, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Having worked to maintain the city’s “Tree City USA” designation as a member of the former Northampton Tree Committee and landscape architect, I was disheartened to notice the widespread hacking that occurred to the trees at …

Jay Ambrose: The Clinton saga: fascinating to watch, hard to endure

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

If we Americans were not participants in our democracy, not people deeply affected by political outcomes, just spectators taking in the show, you could not ask for anything much more fascinating than the Clinton saga. The story has been funny, sometimes sad, sometimes dramatic, always engrossing, starting, of …

Adam Fisher: Finding uplift in a Depression-era voice

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In an age of too much information and too little to show for it, it is hard to know who’s wearing the white hats — you know, the good guys, the credible guys, the guys and …

Mark Zinan: In search of the real Rand Paul

Monday, April 13, 2015

SUNDERLAND — In case you hadn’t heard the news, Republican Sen. Rand Paul is campaigning for president. During the past week, Paul received the same mega-publicity typically reserved for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (HRC) latest book tour or her six month faux-Hamlet pondering, to run or not run. Huge …

John Sheirer: Pushing the boundaries of belief

Sunday, April 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — To commemorate Easter in the context of current politics, a progressive Christian friend of mine recently posted a picture on Facebook that depicts Christ’s crucifixion with the fake Fox News headline: “Socialist Hippie Executed.” My friend noted that she thought long and hard about whether or …