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Robin Morris: ‘Mountaintop removal’ underway beside Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

Thursday, April 17, 2014

AMHERST — While the inhabitants of North Amherst were looking fearfully to the east, where the threat of the Retreat loomed, we were blind-sided by an attack from the west. Back in February, residents of the Puffer’s Pond neighborhood received an abutter’s notice, informing us of a meeting to approve renovations by new owners to the old house beside the pond. The meeting, however, took place on a snowy night in February, so no one went. The next notice informed residents that the requests had been approved. It’s reasonable to improve an old house, and no one desires excessive regulation of private land, but this one “renovation” has taken the neighborhood by storm. Those of … 2

Jackie Brousseau-Pereira: A call for united effort to improve Easthampton

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — As others have recently pointed out, Easthampton’s municipal budget will be challenging for the coming year. This has been the case in most communities in the Commonwealth, particularly since the economic crisis began in 2008. State tax revenues are down as a result of lost jobs and decreased corporate profits. Cities and towns have not seen increases to their property tax … 1

Adam Fisher: When healing does occur

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Last month’s disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 and the mudslide that decimated Oso, Wash., brought sorrow and confusion. As quickly as the search for meaning set in, so too did the words “healing” and “closure.” When retailed in the midst of crisis, these words strike me as uncaring, spoken by … 0

John Hornik & Judith Cameron: We must not conflate mental illness, gun violence

Monday, March 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One child or teen dies or is injured from guns every 30 minutes. More children and teens die from guns every three days than died in the Newtown massacre. The number of children under five killed … 5

Paul Garvey: A snowbird’s report on spring baseball.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Some might be green with envy to be gathered under the Florida sun to watch spring baseball. On St. Patrick’s Day, the Florida home of the Red Sox went that shade to celebrate baseball and this holiday. Twenty-six Northampton-area folks got together the day … 0

Michelle Geoghegan: A funding crisis in Easthampton schools

Sunday, March 30, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — The futures of our children in the Easthampton public schools are fragile and seemingly on the verge of collapse. Over the past several years, access to a quality education that continually expands and improves the minds of our children and their prospects has decreased to the … 1

Clare Higgins: Fairness, charters and education dollars

Friday, March 28, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — This week the Massachusetts Legislature was unable to come to agreement on an education reform bill that would have done a number of things to improve elementary and secondary education. The main sticking point seems to be the provision that would lift the cap on charter … 1

Jon Weissman: A free trade pact’s sorry numbers

Thursday, March 27, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — New evidence of the Korea Free Trade Agreement’s damaging record provides the latest reason why Congress should not delegate away its constitutional trade authority and allow the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be “fast-tracked” into place. Rather, Congress must retain its full power to chart a new course … 0

Don Robinson: Why democracy is under siege around the globe

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

ASHFIELD — Towns here in western Massachusetts will soon be gathering for annual Town Meetings. Citizens themselves (not representatives) will adopt budgets for schools, roads, libraries and local government, and levy taxes on themselves to pay for them. Town meeting day is not always a happy time. Quarrels … 0

Elizabeth Goitein: Unraveling motives in the CIA-Senate spat

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On the surface, the battle between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA looks to be a classic he said/she said story. Did the CIA improperly monitor computers used by committee staffers as they investigated the agency’s earlier torture program, as Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., alleges? Or did … 0

Marty Nathan: A bus commuter hopes for change

Monday, March 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — On a recent Wednesday afternoon I packed away my computer and told my Latina colleagues in our clinic in Springfield’s North End that I was off to take the bus home to Northampton. Though only one or two said it, their looks read equally, “You what?” … 0

Ralph Dolan: Taking control of the end of one’s life

Sunday, March 23, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — It’s too bad that human existence has need of a word like suicide. How pleasant a world it would be if suicide never happened because all of us were “sane” and all our circumstances throughout life … 3

Chris Matera: Northampton forests are prized natural assets that must be protected

Thursday, March 20, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Wake up and do not drink the Kool-Aid, Northampton. Mayor David Narkewicz is allowing aggressive commercial logging of Northampton’s most precious and important publicly owned drinking water supply protection forests. He is also either wittingly, or … 2