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Columns

Clare Higgins: Do we pass Hubert Humphrey’s moral test of a society?

Friday, May 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Hubert Humphrey: “It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” I have been thinking about this quote since I read news coverage of the rally …

Don Robinson: Debating issues of day remains citizen’s true calling

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

ASHFIELD — This is a tale of American democracy at work on two extreme levels. On the first Saturday in May, Town Meeting in Ashfield was asked to decide whether to mount a preschool for all children in the nine-town regional school district of which Ashfield is a part. Meanwhile staff-members of the Senate Armed Services Committee (not the senators themselves) decided to …

J.M. Sorrell: Never more proud to be of Irish heritage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Never have I been more proud to be Irish than on May 22. The Irish people — urban and rural alike — voted for marriage equality. In a country where close to 90 percent of the population is Catholic and goes to Mass every Sunday, they have demonstrated that love and an innate sense of fairness supersede oppressive doctrine. I was …

Elizabeth Vierling: Will the fight for GMO labeling get the job done?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AMHERST — As a career educator, when I hear questions about “genetically engineered” plants (GMOs), I recognize how complex the issues are — and how difficult it is to sort out what our concerns should be. One is labeling. We can go to the grocery store, and increasingly …

Jay Fleitman: The incredible Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two stories about Hillary Clinton blend in time and implication. The first was of her keeping her emails from her time as Secretary of State on a private email server in her home, and of her wiping clean the server of 30,000 emails that Congress asked …

Barry Hirsch, M.D.: What patients should know about medical pot dispensaries

Monday, May 4, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The coming of a marijuana dispensary to Northampton raises serious concerns for me as a physician. I was educated and trained to use specific medications, at specific doses, for specific conditions based on pre-marketing studies done by drug companies and post-marketing studies performed by physicians. Once …

Jenny A. Daniell: Who is the real eco-terrorist, Berkshire Gas or pipeline critics?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

LEVERETT — In an April 25 article published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Christopher Farrell, a spokesperson for Berkshire Gas, accused opponents of the Kinder Morgan pipeline of “eco-terrorism.” We’ve been looking for the eco-terrorists, and so far, we haven’t had much luck. And now, Farrell has apologized. …

Bill Newman: The wait for full marriage equality

Friday, May 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — No one outside Northampton City Hall on the evening of Nov. 18, 2003, will forget the celebration. People hugged and cheered. Balloons floated. Signs were hoisted. Rainbow flags were waved. And Rachel Maddow spoke. Earlier that …

Samrat Upadhyay: Impermanence and suffering in Nepal

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Images coming out of Nepal’s devastating earthquake on Saturday reminded me of another earthquake of similar magnitude that occurred 81 years ago. That earthquake of 1934, or nabbey salko bhuichalo, as it was referred to throughout my childhood in Katmandu, had acquired an air of a legend, delivered …

David E. Sullivan & Ruth Ever: Prom and graduation parties that go too far

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Parents play a major role in their child’s decision to drink or not drink alcohol. As we enter prom and graduation season, the Northwestern district attorney’s office is partnering with local substance abuse prevention coalitions, like the Easthampton Healthy Youth Coalition, to promote a clear message: …

Mark Zinan: Out standing in their field: the GOP’s 2016 contenders

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

SUNDERLAND — With the first presidential primary a mere nine months away, Republican contenders are lining up in droves in their quest for the highest political office. While the Democratic Party has chosen to live or die with …

John Musante & Kumble Subbaswamy: Let’s keep positive town-gown momentum going

Sunday, April 26, 2015

AMHERST — In 2013, when Amherst Town Meeting agreed to match the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s commitment of $30,000 for a consultant to aid in the development of a shared economic development and housing vision, an historic process was begun. This collaborative effort marked the first time the …

Clare Higgins: Why these remain taxing times

Friday, April 24, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Are we overtaxed here in Massachusetts? For many years we were known as “Taxachusetts” and there certainly are some who think that is still true. Of course, the cost of living is high is our state. We have the fifth-highest transportation costs, the fourth-highest utility costs …