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Columns

Rutherford H. Platt: Loss of Northampton Business Improvement District will cost city and residents

Monday, November 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The demise of Northampton’s downtown Business Improvement District (BID) due to a lawsuit by dissident property owners is astounding and inexplicable. Why would the plaintiffs incur legal fees presumably far exceeding the cost of BID assessments to which they object? Why did the city not “verify” the petition signatures in the first place, or when called into question by the plaintiffs? Have any signatures actually been proven to …

Christine M. Flowers: Cosby accusers should have spoken up sooner

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I know that the nuns who had custody of my conscience for 12 long years will be hanging their heads about this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that you can actually be too compassionate. While it’s always good to reach out to the suffering, there are times when you have to say, “Sorry, but you waited too long. I can’t help you …

Joe Blumenthal: Thoughts on the demise of the Northampton BID

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nov. 12, 2014, was a sad day for downtown Northampton: Judge John A. Agostini ruled the Business Improvement District “null and void.” Thus ends a long and controversial chapter of our city’s history. The saga revolves around the question of how we care for our precious downtown. Forty years ago it …

Samuel VanSant Stoddard: Easy, progressive voters. You’ll get your chance next time

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In recent years, Democrats have taken righteous solace in the knowledge that when more Americans vote, they win; a week ago they experienced the other side of this truism: Democratic voters are unreliable. In 2012, after the nation’s …

Peter Vickery: When it comes to Ebola, it’s not paranoia if the virus reaches you

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AMHERST — The Ebola outbreak reminds us that there are always a few self-appointed experts quick to offer medical diagnoses and prescriptions, despite the absence of symptoms and their own lack of scientific credentials. I refer, of course, …

In Close Proximity: To frack or not to frack?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

AMHERST — The Sept. 27/28 Daily Hampshire Gazette story “Rate shock” reported that our greater region’s supplier of gas and electricity, National Grid, would increase its electricity rates “by 37 percent over last winter’s rates starting in November....” The story explains that: “The spike is a result of …

Jasper Lapienski: Blue-state revolt: Why he’s glad he voted for Evan Falchuk

Monday, November 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Baker, 48.5 percent. Coakley, 46.6 percent. Falchuk, 3.3 percent. I’m not a Republican, but results like these make me smile: Thanks to the courage and principle of over 71,000 fellow Massachusetts voters, Democrats have been firmly put in their place by democracy. I assure you, I …

John Sheirer: When polar winds blow through Facebook pages

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A recent Pew Research Center study showed that 44 percent of liberals have blocked or unfriended someone on social media for political reasons, compared to 31 percent of conservatives. Some folks are heralding the study as proof that liberals are intolerant. But that interpretation misses an …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: News value and climate change

Friday, November 7, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The photograph was striking. There on the front page of the New York Times on Nov. 3 were two Kenyan runners about to cross the finish line at the New York Marathon. The two were in full stride and those cheering them on were visible on …

Rich Szlosek: Did FDR have a PR presence in Northampton?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — When I was a preschooler, I had a dentist named Dr. Williams. His office was in his house on Elm Street not far from Smith College. The story is that there was a tropical fish tank …

Paul Newlin: Answers to Whately’s town building needs require help from all

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WHATELY — For the past three years, the Whately municipal building committee has been trying to solve two problems. The first concerns our town offices. They are split between different buildings, making communications among departments inefficient. They are …

Jay Fleitman: Let’s exercise caution on Ebola by acknowledging what we don’t know

Monday, November 3, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — It was the spring of 1980 and I was an intern in my first year of training working in our hospital intensive care unit. We had a young man and a user of intravenous drugs being supported by mechanical ventilation because of an extensive pneumonia that …

John Bos: Where men help men face the ‘Big C’ in Northampton

Sunday, November 2, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — We call it the “Big C” (along with some other things) in our weekly men’s support meetings at Cancer Connection just across Locust Street from Cooley Dickinson Hospital. Founded in 2000, the nonprofit Cancer Connection is at heart a “living room” where each Wednesday at noon …