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

Clare Higgins: Why these remain taxing times

Friday, April 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Are we overtaxed here in Massachusetts? For many years we were known as “Taxachusetts” and there certainly are some who think that is still true. Of course, the cost of living is high is our state. We have the fifth-highest transportation costs, the fourth-highest utility costs and the fifth-highest health care costs, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research. This winter certainly pushed the high cost …

Marty Nathan: It ought to be a law, and can: carbon fee and rebate

Thursday, April 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Most of the climate news from the oceans and the Arctic and California has been grim, with changes occurring around the world even faster than climate scientists had predicted. But this month, as my mixed-religious family prepared to celebrate Passover and Easter, the two holidays of hope, there was a glimmer of optimism that we might be able to transform our …

Don Robinson: Hillary Clinton on my mind

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

ASHFIELD — Why, despite all her “baggage,” does Hillary seem so right this time? The campaign is in its early stages. It is 19 months until Election Day 2016, 21 months till Inauguration Day 2017. In politics, “a week is an eternity,” as sage old Howard Baker used to remind us. So much hangs on Clinton’s health; whom the Republicans select as their …

Rape defendant needs rehab

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Now that the trial of Emmanuel Bile has ended and along with it the daily parade of front-page stories, I would like to reflect on another tragedy: the prison systems in the United States. This young man needs rehabilitation, but is not going to get it …

John Paradis: There’s still time to honor service of Vietnam veterans

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Nine days after his 18th birthday, Lenny Desrochers from Granby, 5 foot 7 and 130 pounds, arrived at Da Nang on Dec. 9, 1966. He was assigned to Delta Company, First Battalion, Fifth Regiment, First Marines, and was stationed at Quang Tri. For 13 months in …

Max Page & Dan Clawson: Build the public schools that Holyoke’s young people deserve

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

AMHERST — Let’s be clear: No one in their right mind thinks all is well in the Holyoke schools. Holyoke’s young people are not getting the same life chances that kids get in Newton, or Longmeadow, or Lexington. Yes, the teachers in Holyoke have struggled valiantly and helped …

William Diehl & Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias: On early ed, let’s not lose ground

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As educators working under the banner that “everyone is a learner,” recent guest columns in the Gazette on the vital importance of investing in early education programs drew our attention. We applaud Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to invest an additional $105 million in K-12 schools, and …

Sophie Glading-DiLorenzo, Emme Hutchins, Reilly Griffin, Mark Grabiec Jr. & Cassie Bills: Northampton High School sign earns its keep

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This commentary was submitted by five seniors at Northampton High School: Sophie Glading-DiLorenzo, Emme Hutchins, Reilly Griffin, Mark Grabiec Jr. and Cassie Bills. NORTHAMPTON — As Northampton High School students, we were concerned and upset by an article, “As LED sign technology grows, Northampton eyes new …

Jay Fleitman: Let citizens decide health care spending

Monday, April 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last Feb. 1, Medicare began to pay for lung cancer screening. This involves an initial low energy CAT scan and then subsequent CAT scans on a yearly basis. This is very much like screening for breast cancer in women using mammography, both procedures looking to identify …

Greg Thielmannis: Imperfect Iran nuclear deal better than nothing

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Iran and its six negotiating partners have, at long last, agreed on the key parameters of a final deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. On the basis of the understanding announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, the parties will have three months to fill in the technical details. This …

Joseph Tarantino: Republicans (and I’m one) should have avoided ‘religious freedom restoration’ quagmire

Friday, April 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I have a question for my fellow conservatives. How does Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Law help cut taxes? If this embarrassing and unnecessary controversy is not part of the solution then it’s part of the problem. As Republicans, we’re supposed to be the ones adept …

Andrew Morehouse: Faulty SNAP system hangs needy out to dry

Thursday, April 2, 2015

HATFIELD — Since last October, the state has seen an exceptionally sharp decline in the number of recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This sudden drop in what was formerly known as food stamps is due primarily to a “business process redesign” implemented by the …

Robert Meeropol: The twining stories of Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg, my mother

Thursday, April 2, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — If Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg were alive, they’d both celebrate their 100th birthdays this year. At first glance they may seem an unlikely couple, but a closer look reveals surprising parallels. They were both born …