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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 …

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

James Ayres: Superheroes of everyday life in Hampshire County

Monday, May 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — So often, we imagine our superheroes as mysterious individuals, working alone, applying some unique and dazzling power to confront an imminent danger: a meteor or a runaway locomotive hurtling toward us, or maybe a treacherous villain bent on world domination. Our lone superhero rescues us with …

John Sheirer: Break out the media shovels, for it’s time to bury the lede about Hillary’s lead

Monday, May 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — “Burying the lede” (or “lead”) is a concept in journalism that involves not focusing on the most important aspect of a story at the beginning of a report. It’s a mistake most often made by inexperienced journalists. Sometimes a writer might purposely bury the lede to …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Pope Francis takes on climate change

Friday, May 8, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Get ready to cheer. Sometime this summer the Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ papal encyclical on the environment. This document, observers believe, will describe the current and future threats to our planet posed by climate change and show how vulnerable populations — especially the poor — …

John Paradis: Old enough to serve in the military, but not buy cigarettes? Why?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last March while in Washington, D.C., I visited the National Archives Museum and enjoyed seeing for the first time the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But what really intrigued me was an exhibit called the “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.” Located in a gallery …

Benjamin Spencer: Use Village Hill building to house Northampton’s Parks & Recreation Department?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

To the editor: The Northampton Parks and Recreation Department needs a new home. The Coach House at Village Hill Northampton needs an occupant. This is an opportunity to solve two problems at once. Community. Commerce. Culture. These are the words on the sign in front of Village Hill. …

Jonathan Kahane: Meanings both personal and global in living to 100

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — When I woke up one recent morning, it was my mom’s birthday – her 100th birthday! There were no parades, no TV personalities or cameras around to publicize the event, not even an article describing the accomplishment. Over the years I have seen these types of …

Rutherford H. Platt: Immersed in city while floating above: A Valley geographer explores NYC’s High Line

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NEW YORK — Manhattan on a busy weekday is not everyone’s idea of where to go for a tranquil spring stroll, but that is exactly what I did recently. Conveyed seamlessly to the city on a charter bus …

Margaret Christie & Philip Korman: Food consumers must play role in strengthening viability of community-supported agriculture

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DEERFIELD — Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a farm business model in which people share with the farmer the risks and benefits of growing food by buying shares of the farm’s potential harvest. The first CSA farms stated …

Ed Orzechowski: A Northampton native’s Rip Van Winkle experience: A look at city’s changes after 46 years away

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two years ago my wife Gail and I moved back to Northampton after being away for 46 years. We hadn’t gone far, less than an hour by car, and still visited often for the restaurants, shopping and shows. So we were familiar with the changes that …

Elizabeth Vierling: Will the fight for GMO labeling get the job done?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AMHERST — As a career educator, when I hear questions about “genetically engineered” plants (GMOs), I recognize how complex the issues are — and how difficult it is to sort out what our concerns should be. One is labeling. We can go to the grocery store, and increasingly …