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Columns

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

Clare Higgins: Tough winter of 2015 issues call for community-mindedness

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It’s been a hard winter. Snow, cold, missed work, closed schools, exhausted snow and ice budgets (and exhausted plow drivers) ... the list goes on and on. While this has been hard on all of us, it has been an especially cruel winter for our friends and neighbors living with low incomes. Fuel assistance has been cut repeatedly at the federal level, from $5.1 billion in 2010 to …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Pat Hynes: A Vietnam War debt that remains unpaid

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Paris Peace Accords were signed Jan. 27, 1973, making possible a re-united Vietnam. The peace accords ended eight years of the American War (as it is known to the Vietnamese) and two prior decades of …

Joseph S. Larson: How an historic Amherst farmhouse won a new lease on life

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

AMHERST — In December 2013, University of Massachusetts administrators informed the Massachusetts Historical Commission of its intent to demolish the large historic farmhouse located at 809 North Pleasant St. in Amherst. The farmhouse is carried on UMass records …

Batya Bauman: What would Gandhi do on Groundhog’s Day?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

AMHERST — “Groundhogs” are woodchucks, so let us call them by their correct name. Some are rudely awakened prematurely from their hibernation by naughty humans this time of year. “Groundhog” Day occurs when woodchucks, at least in the …

John A. Provost: A public investment that pays off: schooling

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — A recent guest column concerning the local impact of the proposed affordable housing project at the site of the former Pleasant Street lumber yard included an analysis of the potential consequences for the school budget (Barry Roth, “Let’s calculate future costs of CDC project,” Jan. 31-Feb. …

Stan Schapiro: Affordable housing, and education, begins at home

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

To the editor: I am most taken aback by the guest column written by Barry Roth, “Let’s calculate future costs from CDC project.” Roth writes that the affordable housing project planned for the former Northampton Lumber location will likely house approximately 30 schoolage children who, at $12,500 per …

Jay Fleitman: Reading the tea leaves on Netanyahu’s visit to Congress

Monday, February 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, has extended an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress on his views of the negotiations between the Obama administration and the Iranian government over the Iranian nuclear program. Netanyahu has accepted. All …

Florence R. Sullivan & J. Camille Cammack: Testing our schools into the ground

Saturday, January 31, 2015

AMHERST — Our schools’ testing season is once again upon us and with this new testing season comes new proposed federal regulations that seek to increase the already high-stakes nature of this testing. Testing has long been a part of education and schooling. But it is only since …

Gordon Shaw: Why public investment is critical to Valley CDC project in Northampton

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As the Northampton City Council prepares to vote Thursday on approval of community preservation funds to develop affordable housing on the site of the former Northampton lumber yard, the Northampton Housing Partnership offers some context on whether this is an appropriate project to support. From the …

Barry Roth: Let’s calculate future costs of Pleasant Street project

Friday, January 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I am a longtime supporter of the Community Preservation Act and believe it serves a valuable function to enhance historical preservation, affordable housing, parks and recreation and open space. That said, I believe its funds would be used improperly as a down payment for the Valley …