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David Marks & Russ Nieman: Don’t orphan early education programs in Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Preparing children for a lifetime of learning requires access to high-quality early education and care programs, as well as a consistent and qualified workforce. Great educators are key to improving outcomes for children, but the existing career path for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With an average annual salary range of $21,000 to $25,000 and a turnover rate of 30 percent in our early learning and out-of-school …

Kristin DeBoer: Safeguarding Valley lands that sustain us all

Monday, March 30, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This monthly column is produced by the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project (http://pvrp.weebly.com/). Today, Kristin DeBoer of the Kestrel Land Trust writes about conservation. AMHERST — Food, water and shelter are essential to life. We know this instinctively. Yet, too often, forests, farms and waterways that provide for these basic needs are taken for granted, perhaps because land conservation is mistaken as …

David Sullivan: Men must answer the call to help prevent violence against women

Monday, March 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The eighth-annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day, held throughout our state earlier this month, is about ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities and making sure that men and boys understand they can be part of the solution. In the weeks and months that follow, our personal, professional and public efforts will influence the social norms for our culture among men …

Steve Smith: A few days in Selma

Monday, March 16, 2015

WORTHINGTON — Fifty years ago this month I made my first and only visit to Selma, Alabama. I was only there for a few days and, although I am now far from that place and time, I am certain that I could return today and retrace my steps …

John Gerber: New life for an old school — the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass

Friday, February 27, 2015

AMHERST — One of the most exciting programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst today is an undergraduate major that serves the citizens of Amherst and surrounding towns by growing food, growing community and “growing” new farmers. As local and regional food production expands in New England, so …

John Paradis: Proposed state law takes aim at ‘stolen valor’

Thursday, March 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I was a big Brian Williams fan. I found him to be a likeable, regular kind of guy and I admired the way he projected respectability when delivering the “NBC Nightly News.” I was — and still am — a big fan of Robert McDonald, the …

Marty Nathan: Consider the real cost of plastic bags

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Many images stay in my mind from the nine months that my husband and I lived in Ethiopia, most of them evoking warmth and longing and some awe: generous, handsome men and women; wild mountains sloping into Rift Valley lakes; exotic birds and hippopotami; hand-made houses …

Peter Vickery: Calling out terrorism for what it is

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AMHERST — There is a difference between good and evil. It is strange to have to make this assertion in response to a writer whose honorific is “Reverend,” but these are strange times. In a recent guest column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, the Rev. Peter Kakos defends …

Priscilla Ress: Eversource not to blame for wholesale electricity cost increase

Monday, March 9, 2015

Having read the March 4 commentary titled, “Cutting through the static,” we feel it’s important to address the concerns raised for the benefit of all our customers. As with all regulated electric utilities in Massachusetts, Eversource no longer generates electricity. This major change in our industry dates back …

John Sheirer: What Obamacare is, and isn’t — despite what they say

Monday, March 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last month, I wrote about a Facebook discussion in which I was called a baby-killer for being pro-choice. Ever the glutton for punishment, I recently engaged in a discussion of Obamacare on Facebook. Guess what? I was called a baby-killer for being pro-Obamacare. A guy just …

Kirk Whatley: Superintendent should order reset on Hadley baseball coach’s removal

Monday, March 9, 2015

HADLEY — With spring somewhere around some corner, folks in Hadley are looking forward to another successful run by the town’s Hopkins Academy baseball team. Make that, “Western Massachusetts Division IV Champion Hopkins Baseball Team.” The prospects for another solid season seem realistic. A large number of returning …

Zach Dietz: Later start time at Northampton High School can be achieved without cuts

Friday, March 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Students at Northampton High School, where I am a student, deserve a later start time. School presently begins at 7:30 a.m. and busing starts at 6:35 a.m. That’s why I wanted to address the Feb. 27 article, “Later start at Northampton High unlikely because of cost.” …

Bill Newman: When law enforcement bends rules on interrogation

Friday, March 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — After almost 40 years as a civil rights attorney, nothing that law enforcement does to shred constitutional guarantees should surprise me. But a news report this week made me flinch. The Chicago police, America has learned, …