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Columns

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the stories and photos “totally excessive.” She wondered if a daily newspaper is the proper place to tell this story, which recounted a 90-year-old Northampton woman’s death after she decided, amid physical pain and a loss of independence, to stop eating and drinking. This reader also asked whether the series sends a dangerous …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

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, “It’s a (supply your own swear) blessing.” And often when what happened was not in …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The lives of the have-too-muches

Friday, September 12, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — No one in our household can figure out why a fat, glossy, intimidating magazine called Departures arrives in our mailbox every month. I told a friend we got this mysterious delivery quarterly and she asked me if the magazine was about death and dying. It is …

John Paradis: Chased into fall by a sense of dread

Thursday, September 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — What if everyone who meant something to you suddenly disappeared? Like a snap of your fingers. Poof. Gone. How would you process a world without the people you love? With anger? Hopelessness? Would your faith be undermined? This summer has been the summer of great misery. …

Gerald S. Budgar: Massachusetts needs to get in the swing of it, electorally speaking

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — As the nation begins gearing up for the 2016 presidential race, it appears that Massachusetts will sit on the sidelines without playing an important role in the excitement a presidential race can generate. In fact, once the race is set and the nominees chosen, about the …

Vijay Prashad: What President Obama should not do about ISIS

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A rational observer of United States intervention in the swath of land that runs from Libya to Afghanistan would come to a simple conclusion: U.S. military action leads to chaos. Examples are legion, but the two most dramatic …

Karen List: Young performers ‘rock on’ in Emily List’s name

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Weathervane Theater was closing last summer’s production of “Honk!” when Codey, one of its young actors, was diagnosed with sarcoma and started an aggressive treatment program. Codey was able to return to the theater between treatments, and Sarah …

Bruce Watson: Get your head (and your data) out of the cloud

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

LEVERETT — Recently the Internet, with its state-of-the-art, high-tech genius for dredging the depths of the human species, served up nude photos of celebrities. Of course, some of us remember the old days — when you’d shoot a roll of nude photos, mail a few to friends, put …

Ben James: Parenting in geological time: Answering a child’s questions about climate change

Monday, September 8, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I’m driving in the pickup truck with my 8-year-old. He’s worried. He has recently skimmed an article in a scientific journal about the earth’s gravitational force — how it is weakening — and he has worked …

John Sheirer: Why we must stop the excesses of this liberal president!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — My friends, like so many of you, I was appalled when our nation elected a liberal legislator from Illinois to the highest office in our land. I joined you in our chorus of protest because we … 9

Bill Newman: White America’s invisible injustice

Friday, September 5, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Here is what we know so far about police officer Darren Wilson fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown on Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, a minute or two after noon on Aug. 9. Officer Wilson is white. Michael Brown is African-American. Brown, and his friend Dorian Johnson, …

Rutherford H. Platt: The timeless moral compass of Jane Addams

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Jane Addams, who established Chicago’s Hull House 125 years ago this summer, may be the most important American woman that you have barely heard of. Addams has all but vanished from the pantheon of American history, though she …