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Columns

Lynn Pasquerella: College students on holiday face an in-between world

Monday, December 15, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — This time of year, I make a point of looking out my office window. Here at Mount Holyoke College, I have a good view of the local bus stop. At the end of the semester, I like to spend a few moments watching students board buses as they head home for winter break. I see a couple of things. They always have so much gear: enormous suitcases, …

Sara Weinberger: Why a 1948 statement has never become dated

Monday, December 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The frenetic pace of holiday preparations, as well as feelings of rage and powerlessness over a seemingly endless wave of state-sanctioned police brutality, seem to be holding many of us hostage these days. It’s not surprising that few people noticed an important day that came and went last Wednesday. Human Rights Day commemorates the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human …

John Paradis: Is it time for a military draft in the US?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Thomas Jefferson believed a democracy can survive only with the aid of an enlightened electorate. What then would our founding fathers now say about the lowest voter turnout in 72 years in the midterm general election in November? I imagine “disgust” would not be too strong a word. I imagine it …

John Paradis: Young people who don’t grab headlines are showing us a better way

Thursday, November 13, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I think we can all pretty much agree that there is nothing better than overturning cars, tearing down street signs, throwing gas bottles and jumping off roofs and banging on cars. Hey, the Blarney Blowout at University of Massachusetts last March and the Keene, New Hampshire, …

New VA leader focused on reform

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

At last, America’s military veterans seem to have a Secretary of Veterans Affairs who gets it. VA Secretary Robert McDonald, the former chairman, president and CEO of Proctor & Gamble who came to the VA just three and a half months ago, has made clear in his words …

Marty Nathan: A new air war with an old side effect: massive pollution

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I was digging compost and wheelbarrowing it past my backyard chickens to the front yard vegetable garden when I found myself thinking the same thoughts I shared on these pages in 2011. Then I had pondered …

Madeleine Blais: My (somewhat faked) Thanksgiving with the Admiral and Swabby

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AMHERST — It was one of those cheerfully rigged contests: if you entered, you won. Cooked up by a TV show in western Massachusetts during the fall when I was in the sixth grade, the competition was a …

Samuel VanSant Stoddard: Easy, progressive voters. You’ll get your chance next time

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In recent years, Democrats have taken righteous solace in the knowledge that when more Americans vote, they win; a week ago they experienced the other side of this truism: Democratic voters are unreliable. In 2012, after the nation’s …

Peter Vickery: When it comes to Ebola, it’s not paranoia if the virus reaches you

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

AMHERST — The Ebola outbreak reminds us that there are always a few self-appointed experts quick to offer medical diagnoses and prescriptions, despite the absence of symptoms and their own lack of scientific credentials. I refer, of course, …

In Close Proximity: To frack or not to frack?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

AMHERST — The Sept. 27/28 Daily Hampshire Gazette story “Rate shock” reported that our greater region’s supplier of gas and electricity, National Grid, would increase its electricity rates “by 37 percent over last winter’s rates starting in November....” The story explains that: “The spike is a result of …

Jasper Lapienski: Blue-state revolt: Why he’s glad he voted for Evan Falchuk

Monday, November 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Baker, 48.5 percent. Coakley, 46.6 percent. Falchuk, 3.3 percent. I’m not a Republican, but results like these make me smile: Thanks to the courage and principle of over 71,000 fellow Massachusetts voters, Democrats have been firmly put in their place by democracy. I assure you, I …

John Sheirer: When polar winds blow through Facebook pages

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A recent Pew Research Center study showed that 44 percent of liberals have blocked or unfriended someone on social media for political reasons, compared to 31 percent of conservatives. Some folks are heralding the study as proof that liberals are intolerant. But that interpretation misses an …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: News value and climate change

Friday, November 7, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The photograph was striking. There on the front page of the New York Times on Nov. 3 were two Kenyan runners about to cross the finish line at the New York Marathon. The two were in full stride and those cheering them on were visible on …