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Columns

John Montanari: The lot of the non-liberal in Valley

Monday, September 22, 2014

SHUTESBURY — It isn’t easy being a non-liberal in the Pioneer Valley. I know, world’s smallest violin and all. Hey, if I really didn’t like it, you might say, I could move to Texas or someplace. Never. The Valley is my home, and here I will stay. Still, you should try always being the one in every crowd with a different take on any given argument. You’ll begin to feel …

Marietta Pritchard: More than meets eye, sometimes, in a classified ad

Friday, September 19, 2014

AMHERST — It’s an old habit from working at a newspaper, looking at the classified ads in search of a possible story. The suggestion came early in my career from a much more experienced editor, who knew that within the cryptic prose of an ad there was often something else lurking — an intriguing human story, an economic trend. When I first joined …

Jonathan Kahane: A walker’s lessons along the Northampton bike path

Friday, September 19, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Much to my wonderment and occasional dismay, I have become a “regular walker” on the bike path in Easthampton as part of my daily exercise regimen. I surely have seen every possible form of human-propelled non-motorized conveyance and have crossed paths with a wide assortment of the human race. I have …

Jonathan Klate: Left cold by ice bucket challenge

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Essay: What we did on our summer vacations. … The nation’s smoldering seams of inequality, injustice, unequal treatment under the law and unresolved racism roiling our society-in-denial violently erupted, again. … Methane vents are fracturing the northern regions as the polar ice vanishes and the tundra … 4

Joseph R. Blasi: American labor must recover its lost fair share of economic gains

Sunday, August 31, 2014

For Labor Day, let’s talk bluntly about labor’s fair share of the profits and of the productivity of the economy. The hard truth is that labor, meaning the middle class, is not receiving its fair share. There is no clear-cut reversal of the middle class’s declining fortunes in …

In Close Proximity: In praise of a brilliant machine, the bicycle

Friday, August 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Perhaps you are counting on technological solutions to our environmental woes. So imagine an invention, a brilliant machine, that can transport people and their favorite belongings and their children and their groceries; that’s great for your health instead of causing asthma and obesity; that doesn’t emit … 3

Tarin Weiss: School start not about shopping

Friday, August 29, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Right now, in the world of K12 it’s all about “Back to School.” New clothes, new shoes, and new school supplies top the list of must-haves to prepare our children for … for what, exactly? If …

Don Robinson: The new world information order

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ASHFIELD — For those concerned about the health of democracy in America and around the world, this has been a deeply troubling summer. President Obama is faring reasonably well. He has had to defend himself against charges that he has not been nice enough to members of Congress, …

Frank Gatti, M.D.: Police must help protect mentally ill from needlessly violent deaths

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AMHERST — I just watched a video of the police killing of Kajieme Powell, age 25, in St. Louis on Aug. 19. He is the other police killing. He is the one thought to have been mentally ill and to have decided to die in the method known …

Kirk Whatley: Taking good with bad in state’s new gun legislation

Monday, August 25, 2014

HADLEY — According to Guns and Ammo magazine, Massachusetts rates fourth from the bottom of the barrel when comes to being “gun friendly.” On Aug. 13, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Massachusetts’ latest gun control law, the Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence. However, unlike past laws, …

Ralph J. Dolan: Finding compassion for those in flight from violence in other lands

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — What now, America? With waves of human beings streaming across your southern border seeking refuge, you are now reaping the bitter fruit of centuries of occupation, plunder, coup d’ etats, proxy wars, exploitation, enslavement, torture and …

Clare Higgins: Investing in right start for America’s children

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — We have a free public school system in our country that assures every child a seat. It doesn’t matter that the child just moved into the community, or has a special need, doesn’t speak English, or even that their parents don’t work. They don’t have to …

Adam Fisher: Honey, I sold the kids

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Children are darling. Children are dear. But children are also expensive, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which noted in its latest child-rearing guestimations that considering what we’ve invested, my three kids should be worth …