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John Paradis

John Paradis: Taking control of our last years

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Last fall, a friend recommended the book, “Being Mortal,” by noted Boston surgeon Atul Gawande. Looking at how Americans approach aging and end of life, Gawande’s book denounces the often extreme and frequently unnecessary life-sustaining measures that the medical world often takes: breathing machines, feeding tubes and an array of painful and invasive treatments. He proposes a significant overhaul of our approach to aging and dying. His book, now an international best seller, is essential reading for anyone involved in providing care for senior citizens. The book has inspired a much-needed discussion around the country and, I’m glad to see, here locally in the Valley, too. This past month, I attended two of four meetings …

Jim Palermo: Lifting the veil on charter school statistics in Massachusetts

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The charter school debate has taken on new urgency now that Gov. Charlie Baker prioritized lifting the cap on charter schools during his State of the Commonwealth Address. He bolstered his endorsement by stating that Brooke Charter Schools in Roslindale, Mattapan and East Boston had higher scores on the English and Math PARRC Exams than those in the eight traditional public school districts …

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: CISA’s 2016 resolution: Local food for all

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

By February, many of us have already forgotten our New Year’s resolutions, especially in today’s world of ever-scrolling Facebook and Twitter feeds. It’s hard to get traction to make big change. At CISA, our 2016 resolution is to ensure more people have more access to local food, a campaign we are calling “Local Food for All.” With the help of our community, partners …

Gary Michael Tartakov: Parsing the phrase that inflames: ‘Black Lives Matter’

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

It seems clear to me that those repeating the phrase “Black Lives Matter” — like those who raised it on City Hall in Northampton — intend its meaning to be inclusive not exclusive. So we need to consider …

Global climate change touches down in an Alaskan native village

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

In the small town of Newtok, Alaska, a Yupik village of about 350 people, children once played on endless fields of frozen permafrost. Now, they splash in salt water pools and teeter on boardwalks as the permafrost below thaws and the Ninglick River chips away at the community. …

The millennial work ethic

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dear previous employer, You may think that you have gotten the best of me, but you have not. I am a millennial. You may think that you have put me in a bad spot, but you have not. I am a millennial. You may think that you can …

Jay Fleitman: Off debate stage, GOP candidates come more fully to life

Monday, February 1, 2016

I am writing this column on the day before the Iowa caucuses and it is being published after those results are in. On both sides of the aisle, the televised candidate debates will have had a major impact on the results of the voting. These debates serve our …

Renee Moss: Lives of the ‘Bigs’ and ‘Littles’

Sunday, January 31, 2016

When you were a kid, was there an adult in your life — someone besides your mom or dad — who was a mentor? Perhaps it was a teacher, coach, librarian or scout leader, or someone who shared your passion for piano or model airplanes. If you were …

Ramon S. Torrecilha: Why new Westfield State president sees a ‘pivotal time’ for school

Friday, January 29, 2016

It was my privilege on my first day as the new president of Westfield State University to attend Gov. Charlie Baker’s first State of the Commonwealth address. Gov. Baker spoke to the importance of education at every level, …

Rutherford H. Platt: A triumph of American legislative bipartisanship turns 25

Thursday, January 28, 2016

On a recent frosty morning on my way into the medical office building at 190 Nonotuck St. in Florence, I encountered a woman trying to help her elderly blind mother into a wheelchair outside the building’s main entrance. It was challenging enough to help the older woman out …

Don Robinson: A novelist’s entrancing tale of liberty unbound

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Every once in a while, an amazing work of imagination forces us to think anew about how toxic effects have spread throughout our culture and what we must do to atone for them. The 2013 movie, “Twelve Years a Slave” was such a work. This Christmas our nephew …

Zion Scott Barbour: Waking up in Northampton to racism’s wounds

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day “Black Lives Matter” banner-raising was supposed to be a huge step forward in equality in Northampton. Sadly many, including myself, feel as if the people of Northampton didn’t even lift their …

Marian Kelner: Trickle-down at the bird feeder and other politically squirrely behavior

Monday, January 25, 2016

For many winters I have spent considerable mental energy trying to figure out — as tens of millions are probably doing at this very moment — how to keep squirrels from dominating the bird feeder. Day after day, I have watched from the sidelines as dominant squirrels arrived …