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Columns

Florence R. Sullivan & J. Camille Cammack: Testing our schools into the ground

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — Our schools’ testing season is once again upon us and with this new testing season comes new proposed federal regulations that seek to increase the already high-stakes nature of this testing. Testing has long been a part of education and schooling. But it is only since No Child Left Behind, enacted under George W. Bush, that large-scale testing has been so widely used in high stakes ways. Tests …

Gordon Shaw: Why public investment is critical to Valley CDC project in Northampton

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As the Northampton City Council prepares to vote Thursday on approval of community preservation funds to develop affordable housing on the site of the former Northampton lumber yard, the Northampton Housing Partnership offers some context on whether this is an appropriate project to support. From the Partnership’s perspective, the charge to do so is critical, as articulated in Northampton’s Housing Needs …

Barry Roth: Let’s calculate future costs of Pleasant Street project

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I am a longtime supporter of the Community Preservation Act and believe it serves a valuable function to enhance historical preservation, affordable housing, parks and recreation and open space. That said, I believe its funds would be used improperly as a down payment for the Valley CDC project at a former lumberyard on Pleasant Street. The proposed project, to its credit, …

Let the conversation begin

Thursday, January 29, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — The show must go on, as they say — until it’s gone on long enough. On Jan. 14, the student-run Project Theatre group at Mount Holyoke College canceled its annual production of Eve Ensler’s play “The Vagina Monologues,” opting instead to write and produce a …

Mark Zinan: The lighter side of a personal darkness

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SUNDERLAND — Anxiety, biologists inform us, is the human evolutionary psyche on super alert to the physical dangers of the pre historic world. Beware the leopard, tiger and shark. For millions of people, in our relatively physically safe …

Tynan Power: Time to face facts on anti-Semitism here in Valley

Monday, January 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last week, the Gazette reported on vandalism at and near residences on Sherman Avenue, which included anti-Semitic graffiti. (“Northampton teens face charges after vandalism with swastikas,” Jan. 21). The article reported that the perpetrators, girls aged 14 and 15, were not yet being charged with a …

Mehammed Amadeus Mack: On the plight of French Muslims

Sunday, January 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — While French Muslims are not and should not be the only lens through which we observe the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, they will likely feel the consequences of the events in an especially acute way. The events could not have come at a more …

Maria José Botelho: Textbooks, even cheaper ones, are not the answer

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — I appreciate that the Gazette editors (“UMass can do more to reduce book costs,” Jan. 20) took notice of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s recent contract with the online vendor Amazon. As a professor at the …

Katherine S. Newman & Jay Schafer: UMass taking serious steps to reduce textbook costs for students

Friday, January 23, 2015

AMHERST — We write in response to the Gazette’s editorial Jan. 20 entitled “UMass can do more to reduce book costs.” We think it is important for readers to know that the university has invested significant resources to address the issue of textbook costs and have made enormous …

Clare Higgins: Keeping it real about Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Friday, January 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday Monday. King, the non-violent revolutionary, now has a federal holiday. Speaker Boehner tweets, “Together, may we have the wisdom to follow Rev. King’s example & heed his call to service.” Sen. Rubio proclaims (via tweet) that “On this #MLKDay …

Dr. David Gottsegen: Choices in primary care widen gateway to addiction

Thursday, January 22, 2015

By DR. DAVID GOTTSEGEN SOUTH HADLEY — The best way to address health problems is through primary prevention. Preventing the flu through hand washing and vaccines is preferable to treating people already sickened by the disease. It is better to prevent injuries from motor vehicle accidents by using …

Don Robinson: It’s time to revisit America’s experiment with democracy

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

ASHFIELD — On Thanksgiving Day, my column was devoted to the proposition that America’s constitutional system needs fundamental reform. Anyone arguing for reform faces two tasks: first, to show that present arrangements are not working (there is little dispute about that); and second, to offer an alternative that …

Adam Fisher: Reflections on my mother’s life

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I suppose that since she was graduated from Smith College here in Northampton and because she married one of her Smith College professors, there is some local relevance to the death of my mother, Helen White …