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Columns

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: A bushel and a peck of good things for Valley’s farm economy

Thursday, October 23, 2014

SOUTH DEERFIELD — We’ve always felt that how we feed each other is the true measure of any culture or community. We know that our faith in the importance of locally grown food and strengthening the local food economy is widespread in the Pioneer Valley. More and more people are invested in supporting local farms and ensuring that good food is available to everyone in our region. As the nation …

Don Robinson: The party Obama can’t attend

Thursday, October 23, 2014

ASHFIELD — Why, despite his substantial achievements and exemplary personal character, has President Obama become such a toxic presence for Democrats as they approach the mid-term elections? Among the many roles that a president plays, he is the leader of his party. Period. For better or worse, he stands before the nation as the person principally responsible for his party’s record. His approval …

Bruce Watson: A handy guide for disgusted voters

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LEVERETT — With another damn election coming up — on a Tuesday again, like who has any free time on Tuesday? — your League of Disgusted Voters has no choice but to offer another damn voting guide. I mean, it’s not like other countries are stupid, right? Some vote on Sunday, some on Saturday, so what’s with this Tuesday thing? In November, no …

Annie Turner: Will NFL’s baby steps against off-field violence gain traction?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I had a pastor friend a number of years back who recounted how members of his congregation would speak of the death of an elderly person as “a blessing.” The pastor would then say of various life events, …

Marty Nathan: One climate marcher’s dream: an Environmental Marshall Plan

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

EDITOR’S NOTE: The author wrote this essay on the bus returning to Northampton from the People’s Climate March in New York City Sept. 21: The sun is setting, my feet hurt and my back is aching. I am …

Sarah Metcalf: Ed Cotton would have been marching for the trees

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One of the many burdens laid on us by the threats of climate change is a sense of helplessness. How cheering and energizing, then, it was to march on Sept. 21 with roughly 400,000 people who not only demand action, but are ready to take it …

Crazy theories abound about Islamic State in the Middle East

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

While much of the world grows increasingly concerned about the threat posed by the Islamic State, a surprisingly large number of people in the Muslim world are convinced we are all being deceived. With great confidence, they claim that ISIS, as the group is also known, is not …

In Close Proximity: Car ownership — but who owns whom, exactly?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The contemporary world is one of restless mobilities, radically morphing physical landscapes, baroque technologies, new forms of governance and subjectivity, and onerous inequalities. The automobile provides vivid insight into all five phenomena as well as into their relationship. — “The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality,” …

Clare Higgins: The cost of not paying to protect children

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jeremiah Oliver is dead — his remains found months after the reports of his disappearance. The system that has been established in our state to protect children failed him. Months went by with no signs of this little boy. Finally, his body was discovered on the …

Clare Higgins: 'There's no prohibition against soaking people with low incomes' Why the Massachusetts casino law needs to be repealed

Monday, September 29, 2014

I’ve been known to buy a lottery ticket or two (or three…). When I was an underpaid early childhood educator, I would sometimes buy a scratch ticket. Only the $1 tickets and probably not more than once or …

Wikipedia grows up on campuses

Friday, September 26, 2014

A trusted bromide in academia is that you become a better student when you become a teacher. Something like that is happening at Wikipedia. The Internet encyclopedia has grown explosively since its creation in 2001, but it quickly earned a reputation as a Petri dish for misinformation. That’s …

Michael Carolan: A profound silence at the People’s Climate March

Thursday, September 25, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — My daughter was going to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City with my friend and me. Until she decided she had too much homework. While I understood, I thought she was a perfect …

Don Robinson: Our Constitution — and a president’s war against ISIS

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ASHFIELD — Among reasons for President Obama’s declining approval numbers, his abuse of the Constitution’s war powers does not loom large. But as we head back into war in Iraq and environs, it behooves us to pay attention …