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Columns

Ed Gregory: A very special, and sluggish, delivery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You’ve heard the phrase “snail mail.” Well, believe it! I recently purchased a relatively expensive book online from Northampton and arranged for delivery to my home in Greenfield. Big deal, right? You bet it is! I offer the following authentic tracking data of the item from the Florence post office. Before reading the account, keep in mind that Florence is only 20.7 miles from Greenfield; about 25 minutes …

Michael Goldman: A cross-country ski destination of the heart

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FLORENCE — I can understand the practicality of cross-country skiing. I mean, if the neighboring village were running low on a crucial medicine, or if the tribe were running out of meat and the nearest caribou herd were five miles away, I would be the first to don my skis. But to flail across an icy lake, parts of my body soaked in …

Don Robinson: Two new books tease out what freedom felt like for the enslaved

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ASHFIELD — Black History Month is a good time to celebrate the achievements of two local scholars, authors of books that make major contributions to our understanding of what it has meant to be black in America. Barbara Krauthamer teaches at the University of Massachusetts. Recently she published (with co-author Deborah Willis) a …

John Paradis: Enduring love across the decades. Yes, it’s possible

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Tomorrow is the feast of St. Valentine, the third-century martyr who, according to history and legend, was persecuted, tortured and ultimately beheaded by the Romans for proselytizing and for performing secret Christian marriages. Another tale says he was killed because the Emperor Claudius didn’t want young …

Doug Hall: Obama budget for 2016 a step in the right direction

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 2, President Obama released a budget outline for fiscal year 2016 that should be widely popular with the American people. The $4 trillion proposal is only a starting point for lengthy budget negotiations in the Republican-controlled Congress; however, it does provide important detail about …

Barry Hirsch: Let’s be real about Obama-Netanyahu fracture

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Fleitman’s column Feb. 3 defending Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the Congress attempts to portray a U.S. president who has repeatedly missed clear opportunities to shape a more stable Middle East and has consistently disrespected Netanyahu. Most of us know there is not much in …

P. Craig Browning: Amid all the snow, an appeal from a power chair user: Help us get through

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It seems that nearly every year someone in the area media notes all the wheelchairs out in the middle of the road and wonders why that’s the case. Well, here’s one man’s view of that issue. …

Guest column: What would Confucius say about lack of trust in US government?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In the widely revered “Analects of Confucius,” one of his disciples asks him about the essence of good government. Confucius replies as follows: “The requisites of government are that there be a sufficiency of food, enough military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their …

John Sheirer: Diving into the online abortion debate

Sunday, February 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I recently immersed myself in a week-long discussion of abortion while visiting the comment section of a conservative website. I was nearly the only pro-choice voice to stay in the discussion while surrounded by a dozen or so pro-life people, which is fine because we can …

Bill Newman: A Guantanamo prisoner’s own story

Friday, February 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — United States government officials arrange for proxy jailers in a foreign country to arrest a man, who is then held incommunicado, interrogated and tortured. Although our government determines that the factual basis for its requested detention …

Karen Ribeiro, Sarah Partan & Madeleine Charney: Valley chapter of ‘Mothers Out Front’ targets climate change

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AMHERST — The Pioneer Valley chapter of Mothers Out Front would like to thank Scott Merzbach for his Gazette article on Jan. 22. We appreciate the additional invitation from the Gazette to elaborate on our work. Mothers Out Front is a rapidly growing community of mothers and others …

Alan Scheinman: Don’t let City Hall gamble with future of Northampton’s downtown

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — When I came to the Valley in 1961, Holyoke was a thriving city. High Street in Holyoke was a far better and more popular place than Main Street in Northampton. Back then, if you predicted Holyoke in its present economically depressed state, you would have been …

Jesse Schwalbaum: Singing the blues for a lost WMUA radio program

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

AMHERST — With all of the crazy things going on in the world right now — the slow and relentless extinction of civilization, the erosion of social and political justice, the disappearance of the idea of a thinking, feeling person not incessantly interacting with technological devices — the …