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Natalia Munoz

Natalia Muñoz: Puerto Rico’s long economic captivity

Monday, February 8, 2016

In 1898, the exhausted Spanish empire illegally gave away Puerto Rico to the United States at the end of the Spanish-America War. Gen. Nelson Miles, an architect of the massacre of indigenous peoples in the 19th century in this country, then invaded Puerto Rico and established a military outpost that led to the banishment of the Spanish language from the schools and a long list of other heinous crimes, some which have been corrected and others that have gone unchanged. Now, Congress debates whether to address the mammoth $72 billion debt Puerto Rico holds due to its own corrupt officials starting in the 1990s, the …

John Sheirer: Our parties, our race problem

Monday, February 8, 2016

Last month, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes popped up on Facebook to celebrate the great civil rights leader’s birthday. Now that we’re in Black History Month, I’m pleased to see more of his words making the rounds in social media. Unfortunately, along with King’s inspiring quotes, I’ve read many comments claiming that King himself was a Republican who would oppose today’s …

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 …

Pat Hynes: Memories of my Muslim friends

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Donald Trump’s odious, ugly American pledge to prohibit Muslims from entering our country stirred long-cherished memories of my Muslim and Arab students and friends. I am looking at two small cream-colored pillows nestled into corners of our living room chairs. They are embossed with arabesque designs on their …

John Stifler: Pride and prejudice are interwoven in Confederate flag

Thursday, January 21, 2016

About that flag: Aside from some Civil War re-enactors, I wonder whether any other Gazette reader besides me has spent a week in a cluster of tents on which my friends and I had painted large Confederate flags. …

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 …