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RUTHERFORD H. PLATT
A view along Manhattan's High Line, a linear greenway constructed atop old elevated rail lines.

Rutherford H. Platt: Immersed in city while floating above: A Valley geographer explores NYC’s High Line

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NEW YORK — Manhattan on a busy weekday is not everyone’s idea of where to go for a tranquil spring stroll, but that is exactly what I did recently. Conveyed seamlessly to the city on a charter bus from Amherst, I landed in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art at 10:30 a.m. with eight hours of freedom. Passing up …

Margaret Christie & Philip Korman: Food consumers must play role in strengthening viability of community-supported agriculture

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DEERFIELD — Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a farm business model in which people share with the farmer the risks and benefits of growing food by buying shares of the farm’s potential harvest. The first CSA farms stated in New England over 30 years ago and there are now over 6,000 CSA farms …

Ed Orzechowski: A Northampton native’s Rip Van Winkle experience: A look at city’s changes after 46 years away

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two years ago my wife Gail and I moved back to Northampton after being away for 46 years. We hadn’t gone far, less than an hour by car, and still visited often for the restaurants, shopping and shows. So we were familiar with the changes that had transpired over the decades. We grew up in Florence, in houses only a mile …

Andrew Morehouse: Faulty SNAP system hangs needy out to dry

Thursday, April 2, 2015

HATFIELD — Since last October, the state has seen an exceptionally sharp decline in the number of recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. This sudden drop in what was formerly known as food stamps is due primarily to a “business process redesign” implemented by the …

Robert Meeropol: The twining stories of Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg, my mother

Thursday, April 2, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — If Billie Holiday and Ethel Rosenberg were alive, they’d both celebrate their 100th birthdays this year. At first glance they may seem an unlikely couple, but a closer look reveals surprising parallels. They were both born …

Matt Curtis: Taking sides on charter school question not in students’ best interests

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FLORENCE — I would like to respond to misleading generalizations pertaining to charter schools recently presented by letter writers in the Gazette — and offer additional perspective. I suppose that one may argue that charter schools are “less public” than traditional public schools, but public charter schools are …

Alison H. Bowen: Is a new gas pipeline really the answer to high electricity costs?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

GOSHEN — National Grid customers read on the front page of the Gazette March 25 that electric rates will drop 26 percent as of May 1, pending DPU approval. This is good news, given the long, cold and expensive winter. Spokeswoman Danielle Williamson explained: “It’s not a shortage …

David Marks & Russ Nieman: Don’t orphan early education programs in Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Preparing children for a lifetime of learning requires access to high-quality early education and care programs, as well as a consistent and qualified workforce. Great educators are key to improving outcomes for children, but the existing career path for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With …

Kristin DeBoer: Safeguarding Valley lands that sustain us all

Monday, March 30, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This monthly column is produced by the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project (http://pvrp.weebly.com/). Today, Kristin DeBoer of the Kestrel Land Trust writes about conservation. AMHERST — Food, water and shelter are essential to life. We know this instinctively. Yet, too often, forests, farms and waterways that provide …

David Sullivan: Men must answer the call to help prevent violence against women

Monday, March 30, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The eighth-annual Massachusetts White Ribbon Day, held throughout our state earlier this month, is about ending domestic and sexual violence in our communities and making sure that men and boys understand they can be part of the solution. In the weeks and months that follow, our …

Clare Higgins: An investment we’ll never regret: better education for 4-year-olds

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I read something in the paper almost every week about pre-kindergarten as the key to school success. States like Oklahoma, Georgia and Virginia are offering free admission to pre-kindergarten to 4-year-olds. New York City started its program for 4-year-olds last September. Some of these programs are …

Larry Parnass: A Gazette humorist’s secrets revealed

Friday, March 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Gazette newsroom just isn’t the same these days without: a) An Air Force veteran proud of saying, “I served my country in Rome (pause) Rome, N.Y.” b) A skilled paginator who threw himself like an …

Don Robinson: How firm is the U.S.-Israel alliance today?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — “Netanyahu apologizes; White House Is Unmoved,” blared the headline in Tuesday’s New York Times. The victor in Israel’s parliamentary election had invited leaders of the Arab community to his official residence and told them he regretted remarks he had made on election day — Arab voters …