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Columns

GORDON DANIELS
Don Robinson for Op-Ed page mug

Don Robinson: Debating issues of day remains citizen’s true calling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ASHFIELD — This is a tale of American democracy at work on two extreme levels. On the first Saturday in May, Town Meeting in Ashfield was asked to decide whether to mount a preschool for all children in the nine-town regional school district of which Ashfield is a part. Meanwhile staff-members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (not the senators themselves) decided to prepare the final version of legislation authorizing …

J.M. Sorrell: Never more proud to be of Irish heritage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Never have I been more proud to be Irish than on May 22. The Irish people — urban and rural alike — voted for marriage equality. In a country where close to 90 percent of the population is Catholic and goes to Mass every Sunday, they have demonstrated that love and an innate sense of fairness supersede oppressive doctrine. I was …

Jane Lyons: The long wait for what’s right — child welfare on margins in Massachusetts

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HADLEY — It just hit me. If a person went to a hospital emergency room and wasn’t treated for days or months, we would all be outraged. If there were inadequate numbers of staff to treat us, or a family member or friend, we would demand that the hospital be equipped to do its job. We would demand that well-trained medical professionals be …

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had …

Rev. Peter Kakos: What if the Valley were fracked?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With the necessary attention being paid to the proposed pipeline of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing that would snake its way through our Commonwealth, let’s imagine the plight of our beloved Valley were we the site for invasive extraction. The immediate effect would be coping …

Rekha Basu: Progressives, like libertarians on right, forcing party soul-searching

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every presidential election cycle, the tension between moderate and evangelical conservative voters in the Republican Party becomes the subject of hand-wringing speculation: Could a moderate seeking the Republican nomination win in an early voting state like Iowa, where evangelicals dominate? Could an evangelical candidate win the general election? …

Adam Fisher: Douglas M. Hughes’ air mail message of protest

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I wonder if Hillary Clinton or Rand Paul or Jeb Bush or Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz will show up tomorrow. May 21 is the day when Douglas M. Hughes is due back in a Washington federal court, accused of various offenses related to his April …

Christopher W. Norris: Mutual aid critical piece of emergency response in cash-strapped communities

Monday, May 18, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — Last month I saw a report on a local TV news station regarding the Southampton Fire Department not responding to an emergency medical call and having to rely on a neighboring community for assistance. The report was critical of the department and its personnel. I want …

Sara Weinberger: Putting one’s faith into action

Sunday, May 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I first met Michael Kane when we joined a group organized by Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton to raise funds for humanitarian relief for victims of the genocide in Darfur. Today, Michael and I are once again working with communities of faith, this time to spread …

Jim Foudy: Marty Meehan ready to write next chapter for UMass

Friday, May 15, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — For the first time, the five-campus University of Massachusetts system will be led by an alum. I have seen a lot of presidents come and go — seven in the last 25 years. The eighth, Marty Meehan, may well prove to be the best of the …

Jim Palermo: Beware of the corporate fix for our schools

Friday, May 15, 2015

SOUTHAMPTON — Why are politicians falling over themselves proposing ways to “improve” our schools, while paying almost no attention to the basic reasons so many of our students are not able to attain their full potentials? The answer is simple: Money. Or, more specifically, the opportunity for corporate …

Lester J. Hartman, MD: Old enough to know better about tobacco’s effects on health

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WESTWOOD — First, I would like to thank Lt. Col. John Paradis, a Gazette columnist, for his service to this great nation and for defending the rights of all Americans. In my family, three generations of men served …

Steven W. Hawkins: Reparations long time coming for victims of Chicago police torture

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

While the nation watches as the city of Baltimore awaits justice from the investigation of the role of Baltimore police in the death of Freddie Gray, Chicago has just made history in holding police accountable for abuse. From 1972 to 1991 over 100 people, nearly all African-American men, …