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Columns

Rutherford H. Platt: Loss of Northampton Business Improvement District will cost city and residents

Monday, November 24, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The demise of Northampton’s downtown Business Improvement District (BID) due to a lawsuit by dissident property owners is astounding and inexplicable. Why would the plaintiffs incur legal fees presumably far exceeding the cost of BID assessments to which they object? Why did the city not “verify” the petition signatures in the first place, or when called into question by the plaintiffs? Have any signatures actually been proven to …

Christine M. Flowers: Cosby accusers should have spoken up sooner

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I know that the nuns who had custody of my conscience for 12 long years will be hanging their heads about this, but I’ve come to the conclusion that you can actually be too compassionate. While it’s always good to reach out to the suffering, there are times when you have to say, “Sorry, but you waited too long. I can’t help you …

Joe Blumenthal: Thoughts on the demise of the Northampton BID

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Nov. 12, 2014, was a sad day for downtown Northampton: Judge John A. Agostini ruled the Business Improvement District “null and void.” Thus ends a long and controversial chapter of our city’s history. The saga revolves around the question of how we care for our precious downtown. Forty years ago it …

Marietta Pritchard: A class reunion worth attending

Friday, October 17, 2014

TO OUR READERS: Starting Nov. 14, Marietta Pritchard’s monthly column moves from the editorial page to a new home in Hampshire Life. AMHERST — I’m not usually enthusiastic about class reunions, and in fact, I’ve managed to avoid all but a few of my own over the years. …

Beth Choquette, Mandy Gerry & Michaela O’Brien: The making of a playground

Thursday, October 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Bridge Street School started the year last month with a lot to be excited about: new staff, reinvigorated district leadership under our Superintendent John Provost and Chromebooks for students to share and learn basic computing …

Joe Gannon: Goodness vs. greatness in local responses to Middle East conflict

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette carried a story Oct. 4 about the City Council condemning the vandalizing of an Israeli flag hoisted outside a local synagogue. “The resolution characterizes the vandalism as expressions of contempt and implicit and actual violence,” the Gazette reported, “that are the opposite to the …

Adam Fisher: Security and the self: To inform or not to inform

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — My overstuffed basement is not a place I willingly visit, but with the recent kerfuffle about a “confidential [drug] informant” program at the University of Massachusetts, I felt compelled to go. Down in that basement somewhere, …

Pat Hynes & Frances Crowe: While citizens embraced ‘Silent Spring,’ a poisonous war raged on

Monday, October 13, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Rachel Carson’s ground-breaking book “Silent Spring, published in September 1962, ignited modern U.S. environmentalism and resulted in new laws for environmental and public health protection in the United States. Two days before it came out, President Kennedy signed his approval for the so-called “rainbow herbicides” (Agents …

John Sheirer: The proud liberal legacy in America

Monday, October 13, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — One of the strangest aspects of political discussions these days is that the word “liberal” gets tossed around as an insult. Some people even believe that calling someone a liberal automatically wins an argument. They don’t …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The President Obama disappointment index

Friday, October 10, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — Seminary professor Tod Bolsinger defines good leadership as “disappointing your people at a rate they can tolerate.” As the pastor of a lively, growing and sometimes hard-to-manage church, I find myself reflecting on that definition frequently because I know I often disappoint my congregation — and …

John Paradis:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Sitting in a community recreation hall outside Baltimore, Maryland, last month, my father, a World War II and Korean War veteran, dined with 67 other New England veterans of his generation following a day in Washington, D.C., as part of a national program called “Honor Flight.” …

Editorial: High court’s non-decision blows away gay-marriage bans

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sometimes less can be more — at least for the Supreme Court. By declining to take up gay marriage this term, the court opens the door to such unions in 60 percent of the country, for the first time bringing this overdue liberty to a majority of gay …

Jim Palermo: The over-reaching of the super-rich

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — Most Americans applaud the brave people in Hong Kong who are protesting against the Chinese government, demanding the right to democratic elections. At the same time, however, many of us who claim to love democracy are content to let our cherished form of government be eroded …