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Columns

Jeffrey Peterson: Smith Vocational — where the ‘skills gap’ gets closed

Thursday, July 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You may be seeing more and more of these kinds of help-wanted ads popping up across the nation: JOB DESCRIPTION: Someone highly skilled in manufacturing technologies, engineering, electricity, plumbing, automobile repair, animal science or health care. Must be hard working, reliable and able to adapt to ever-changing work environment. Salary: Up to $60,000 year to start. Qualifications: Diploma from a vocational/technical high school. College degree optional. The ads …

Paul Foster-Moore: Me and Enis was just talkin’

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So I was driving down this country lane up north past lots of farms with my buddy Enis and we saw this huge Confederate flag plastered conspicuously on the side of a barn and so I asked my buddy, “Enis, is that the flag of the defunct, ill-conceived southern Confederacy?” “Yup,” he says …

Jason Johnson: The ills that Lake Warner suffers

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HADLEY — Lake Warner is approximately a quarter mile from the Connecticut River in Hadley. It is a 68-acre, freshwater lake and wetland ecosystem undergoing “eutrophication.” Eutrophication describes intensifying enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem with chemical nutrients, typically containing nitrogen or phosphorus or both. It is measured using several diagnostic tools such as transparency, dissolved oxygen and the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus …

Thondup Tsering: A global leader for peace, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, turns 80

Sunday, July 5, 2015

AMHERST — Today, Monday, is the 80th birth anniversary of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. Tibetans and their supporters will be celebrating and rejoicing this special occasion with great fervor. Already we have seen several mega-celebrations in India. Even Tibetans in occupied Tibet, despite the Chinese ban, …

Bill Newman: Work still needed to ensure full LGBT equality

Saturday, July 4, 2015

America is a freer country today than it was before June 26, 2015, the day that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. Since 2011, with the demise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gays and …

Steve Randall: The shape of class in America

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The market system has built-in mechanisms to ensure that employees’ total compensation does not “get out of hand” (from the capitalists’ viewpoint) … and that employees will dutifully take the command and direction of their bosses at work. The critical key to both these constraints on employees is …

Jody Kasper: In modern policing, officers must be far more than ‘enforcers’

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following are excerpts from Jody Kasper’s remarks upon taking office Tuesday as chief of the Northampton Police Department. NORTHAMPTON — Over the past few weeks, when news of my selection as police chief became public, …

Stan Rosenberg: How Bay State helps lead the US, once again

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BOSTON — In one historic 48-hour burst last week, the Supreme Court affirmed what we here in the commonwealth know well: Massachusetts is a trailblazer for equal rights and social justice in the country and the world. On Thursday, the court upheld the Affordable Care Act, a law …

Amy Wasserman: Despite programs, some local students not getting enough to eat

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PELHAM — One recent morning as I was writing a check out to the middle school for a coming field trip, it occurred to me that the Pioneer Valley Chinese Immersion Charter School is paying for radio advertising and building a huge addition to accommodate more grades. How …

Clare Higgins: Obamacare’s Republican roots

Friday, June 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON— The Supreme Court has spoken – and Obamacare lives! Chief Justice Roberts, no friend of the president, wrote the majority opinion that allows the Affordable Care Act to stand. There has been the hope for repeal on the right, and a single-payer system on the left, but …

Adam Fisher: The idea of racial reconciliation in America

Thursday, June 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Here’s another column about racism you do not need to read. In the emotional tsunami that rose up after June 17 fatal shooting of nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, …

Don Robinson: The person we are looking for as president

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ASHFIELD — Campaign 2016 is still in its early stages. People like Donald Trump and Lincoln Chaffee are throwing their hats into the ring. Pundits are assessing the chances of candidates like Rick Santorum and Martin O’Malley. Before the winnowing gets serious, we need to ask ourselves fundamental …

Bill Eacho: Capitalism can stop climate change

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pope Francis has made it clear that all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards of this planet, and as such must address the challenge of climate change. Many frame this issue as capitalism vs. Christianity, as economic prosperity vs. morality. But it doesn’t have to …