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Atty Bill Newman in his Northampton office

Bill Newman: Difficult vital decisions at life’s end

Saturday, August 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My mother was seated comfortably in a favorite chair by her bedroom window that overlooked the snow-dusted fields and stands of evergreens behind the Lathrop Community in Easthampton. The gentle late afternoon light of that warm-for-winter day filled the room. Her oncologist was seated on the hassock beside her — a woman doctor who was accomplished, kind, direct, …

Jeffrey Peterson: Smith Vocational — where the ‘skills gap’ gets closed

Thursday, July 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You may be seeing more and more of these kinds of help-wanted ads popping up across the nation: JOB DESCRIPTION: Someone highly skilled in manufacturing technologies, engineering, electricity, plumbing, automobile repair, animal science or health care. Must be hard working, reliable and able to adapt to ever-changing work environment. Salary: Up to $60,000 year to start. Qualifications: Diploma from a vocational/technical …

Paul Foster-Moore: Me and Enis was just talkin’

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

So I was driving down this country lane up north past lots of farms with my buddy Enis and we saw this huge Confederate flag plastered conspicuously on the side of a barn and so I asked my buddy, “Enis, is that the flag of the defunct, ill-conceived southern Confederacy?” “Yup,” he says …

Bill Eacho: Capitalism can stop climate change

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pope Francis has made it clear that all of us have a responsibility to be good stewards of this planet, and as such must address the challenge of climate change. Many frame this issue as capitalism vs. Christianity, as economic prosperity vs. morality. But it doesn’t have to …

David J. Narkewicz: Tax credit can do more to help state’s working families

Saturday, June 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Senate have put forth two separate proposals to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families in our state. This is an important step to address income inequality …

Jim Foudy: A pioneer of liberty: David Ruggles of Florence

Friday, June 19, 2015

FLORENCE — A small center for the display of early Florence history opens today on Nonotuck Street. It is a new focal point for the rich story of the village, and for the impact that strongly held values and beliefs can have on society. The David Ruggles Center …

Joe Blumenthal: The ‘war on drugs’ that cannot be won

Friday, June 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette’s editorial page Tuesday was devoted to the subject of society’s response to drug use and abuse. The editorial praised an exhibition at Forbes Library by a group of Northampton High School students and an anticipated emphasis by our new governor on treatment for drug …

Carroll: Reflecting on my father’s watch

Friday, June 19, 2015

When I was in my 20s, my father gave me his retirement watch, a Hamilton, with a warm and elegant face. It was an early electric model, and made symbolic sense since he retired from the power and light company. Before the electric company, he worked for a …

Lois Ahrens: Wanted: More justice in criminal justice system

Thursday, June 18, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On June 11, Vivian Poreda must have believed she was out of options to pay her mortgage when she attempted to hold up the Freedom Credit Union with a cap gun. She knew her family was at risk of losing their home. She was charged with …

Zac Bears: The right road to a ‘great’ UMass Amherst

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

AMHERST — It was almost impossible to escape the call for Massachusetts to “be great” during the campaign of now-Gov. Charlie Baker last fall. And Baker’s campaign slogan has followed him right through a rough winter and the …

Adam Fisher: The ties that really do bind

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Saturday, as I was weeding around a decorative rock that sits on what passes for a front yard here, I heard a woman’s voice behind me saying, “Good morning.” It was a tentative, polite voice …

What happened to the pot stigma?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Twenty years ago, drug dealers were seen for what they were ­— criminal and dangerous elements in our society. They were shunned by the mainstream. People who sold marijuana were considered losers, in the business of harming our children. Parents warned their kids to stay away from those …

Rebecca Rice: Juror No. 3 reflects on the case against Leo E. Fugler III

Friday, June 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The excused were giddy as schoolchildren on a snow day as they hurried out of the Hampshire County Superior Court, released from jury duty in the Commonwealth vs. Leo E. Fugler, III trial, grateful they won’t …