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Atty Bill Newman in his Northampton office

Bill Newman: Whose free speech display of Black Lives Matter banner on City Hall?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shortly after the Black Lives Matter banner was raised at Northampton City Hall on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the president of a city police union, denying any connection, requested that Mayor David Narkewicz fly a banner recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day in May. Other banner and flag-flying requests no doubt will follow. We’ve been down this …

Lissa Pierce Bonifaz: Standardized tests got you down? Consider opting out

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Amherst Regional school system was recently notified that its students would take two high-stakes, standardized tests this spring. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for third to sixth grade will be augmented with items from another standardized test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC). The state …

Bess Hepner: Celebrated at Smith, but for contributing what to the world?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Smith College students hear about Rally Day their first year. It’s when alumnae are honored and set an example for the graduating class. As a senior at Smith, this is a day I have been looking forward to. I am excited like many of my classmates to wear my gown for the first time. Even more, I am excited to leave campus at …

Adam Fisher: Of candidates and fish tales

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

On Jan. 4, the Gazette ran a front-page picture of presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders as he made a weekend appearance at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The candidate was shown surrounded by galvanized, sign-waving supporters whose placards read, …

Sara Weinberger: Time to get tough on mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses

Sunday, January 17, 2016

In 1999, Sharanda Jones was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and six counts of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and aiding and abetting. A jury found her guilty of only the conspiracy count. The two people arrested with Sharanda have been …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: We must be better than this

Friday, January 15, 2016

With the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday approaching, I have been thinking about what the Rev. Dr. King would have to say about today’s Black Lives Matter movement. Dr. King fought for the civil rights and civil liberties of black lives and was keenly aware of white privilege. …

Cynthia Loring MacBain: What a compassionate nation should ask its political candidates

Friday, January 15, 2016

The abortion issue entered this presidential race with a video of Planned Parenthood executives discussing payment for aborted fetus tissue. Since the facts emerged that the video was doctored, the furor has died down and media interest has waned, but the calls for ending funding for Planned Parenthood …

Claudia Lefko: The two-way street of any great radio station

Friday, January 15, 2016

I had a commitment at the University Massachusetts on Thursday. I arrived a bit early and took the opportunity to go to the WMUA office to turn in our mugs. We got them maybe five years for our pledge to the station. No one was in the office …

Eve Vogel: Let’s not lose neighborhood elementary schools in Amherst

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Public deliberation over the possible consolidation of the Amherst elementary schools into a single pre-kindergarten and Grade 1 school and a single Grades 2-6 school has been rushed and deeply inadequate. It has become clear that the Amherst school administration is interested in “grade reconfiguration” even if it …

Lucy Van Atta: Oh, the joys of hoofing it in the Valley

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

I have, in a sense, “come home.” My grandmother, Lucy Murphy Hickey, grew up in Framingham, in the early 1900s, and I grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut from the 1960s and on. In 2008, my husband and I bought a house in Northampton. I spent four years as …

Tom Gardner: The burden of Southern history

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I want to congratulate the young Andrew Morey from Easthampton for his decision to take down the Confederate battle flag after learning of its hurtful symbolism to so many. When I was his age, I found myself also reconsidering the meaning of a flag I had grown up …

Natalia Muñoz: What’s up with the Hillary Haters Club?

Monday, January 11, 2016

My social media is awash with hard-charging conversations between Sen. Bernie Sanders supporters and me, a Loud & Proud Hillary Girl. The back-and-forths go something like this: In an opinion column from Salon, the writer stated: “I still …

John Sheirer: The Sanders-Clinton conundrum

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I’m a fan of Bernie Sanders. He brings energy to the campaign beyond the conventional candidates. And Sanders has championed several core liberal issues, especially income inequality, tax fairness and college costs. I’ll gladly vote for him if he wins the nomination, and I respect and share his …