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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

Clare Higgins: An investment we’ll never regret: better education for 4-year-olds

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I read something in the paper almost every week about pre-kindergarten as the key to school success. States like Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are offering free admission to pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds. New York City started its program for 4-year-olds last September. Some of these programs are full day and some are half day. Some are full year and some follow the school calendar. From the federal government and …

Larry Parnass: A Gazette humorist’s secrets revealed

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette newsroom just isn’t the same these days without: a) An Air Force veteran proud of saying, “I served my country in Rome (pause) Rome, N.Y.” b) A skilled paginator who threw himself like an aggrieved terrier at blank pages. c) One architect of the Gazette News Quiz. d) The …

Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters were being driven “in droves” to the polling places, he had said. The comment, an …

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, …

Rob Okun: The White Ribbon Day cause, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — Major league baseball beginning domestic violence prevention workshops at spring training. The White House launching the It’s on Us initiative to prevent sexual assault. Emma Watson and the United Nations spearheading the new HeforShe movement. Men promoting gender equality and decrying violence against women is “suddenly” …

Cutting through static: A Hadley homeowner kicks tires on this year’s hefty electricity price hikes (COMMENTARY)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HADLEY — I’m pretty ticked off about my latest residential electric bill — partly because of what I owe, but mostly because of the actions of the Boston commissioners who are appointed by the governor of Massachusetts and …

Steve Herrell: Reset needed on later high school start time in Northampton

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Half of Northampton High School students fall asleep in class. No matter what the course, whether it be calculus or music theory, students don’t learn if they are asleep. In a well-done 2009 survey, under the auspices of the administration, 53 percent of students reported that …