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A black bear visits Lynne Bertrand's Williamsburg home this week.

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had lost his glasses and was fumbling around in the kitchen to make a sandwich. He was inexplicably thick for a spring bear, …

Rev. Peter Kakos: What if the Valley were fracked?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With the necessary attention being paid to the proposed pipeline of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing that would snake its way through our Commonwealth, let’s imagine the plight of our beloved Valley were we the site for invasive extraction. The immediate effect would be coping with continual, sizeable tremors caused by the subsequent earthquakes, as basement-rock twists and tilts. If …

Rekha Basu: Progressives, like libertarians on right, forcing party soul-searching

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every presidential election cycle, the tension between moderate and evangelical conservative voters in the Republican Party becomes the subject of hand-wringing speculation: Could a moderate seeking the Republican nomination win in an early voting state like Iowa, where evangelicals dominate? Could an evangelical candidate win the general election? But the real story shaping up this election cycle is from the other party, where …

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 …

Jay Fleitman: The incredible Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two stories about Hillary Clinton blend in time and implication. The first was of her keeping her emails from her time as Secretary of State on a private email server in her home, and of her wiping clean the server of 30,000 emails that Congress asked …

Barry Hirsch, M.D.: What patients should know about medical pot dispensaries

Monday, May 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The coming of a marijuana dispensary to Northampton raises serious concerns for me as a physician. I was educated and trained to use specific medications, at specific doses, for specific conditions based on pre-marketing studies done by drug companies and post-marketing studies performed by physicians. Once …

Jenny A. Daniell: Who is the real eco-terrorist, Berkshire Gas or pipeline critics?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

LEVERETT — In an April 25 article published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Christopher Farrell, a spokesperson for Berkshire Gas, accused opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline of “eco-terrorism.” We’ve been looking for the eco-terrorists, and so far, we haven’t had much luck. And now, Farrell has apologized. …