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Columns

Larry Parnass: Why the Gazette published a series on the planned death of Lee Hawkins

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Editors in the Gazette’s newsroom usually counsel reporters to “write tight” and respect readers’ time. Occasionally stories go long, though, and Laurie Loisel’s series last week about Lee Hawkins did. That brought some questions and complaints from readers. One reader told me she considered the amount of space dedicated to the stories and photos “totally excessive.” She wondered if a daily newspaper is the proper place to tell this story, which recounted a 90-year-old Northampton woman’s death after she decided, amid physical pain and a loss of independence, to stop eating and drinking. This reader also asked whether the series sends a dangerous …

John Paradis: 5 steps that help veterans make transition to civilian life

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The first thing I wanted to do when I returned from a deployment was hug my spouse and kids. It’s a scene I replayed in my mind every day I was away. Then I just wanted to sleep. Then eat a home-cooked meal. Other veterans want to go to their favorite place, perhaps …

Annie Turner: Will NFL’s baby steps against off-field violence gain traction?

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I had a pastor friend a number of years back who recounted how members of his congregation would speak of the death of an elderly person as “a blessing.” The pastor would then say of various life events, “It’s a (supply your own swear) blessing.” And often when what happened was not in …

Rich Szlosek: The Northampton ballplayer who went far: Stu Miller

Thursday, September 4, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Sunday afternoons were always the best time of the week when I was growing up in Northampton in the late 1940s. It seemed like there was always somewhere to go or something that had to be … 3

Steve Paul: A minnow’s swim beside Amazon.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Almost 20 years ago, during one of my brief but most notable periods of insanity, I bought a bookstore. Yes, I ventured into the bookselling business. I was floating on some years of experience as a book critic, …

Jay Fleitman: Rights and the Hobby Lobby case

Monday, September 1, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — A letter to the editor appealed to fellow Democrats to contribute to Democratic candidates for Senate outside of Massachusetts. The writer was concerned about the impact of a Republican-controlled Senate on the future of Supreme Court nominees. The recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby …

Jonathan Klate: Left cold by ice bucket challenge

Sunday, August 31, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Essay: What we did on our summer vacations. … The nation’s smoldering seams of inequality, injustice, unequal treatment under the law and unresolved racism roiling our society-in-denial violently erupted, again. … Methane vents are fracturing the northern regions as the polar ice vanishes and the tundra … 4

Joseph R. Blasi: American labor must recover its lost fair share of economic gains

Sunday, August 31, 2014

For Labor Day, let’s talk bluntly about labor’s fair share of the profits and of the productivity of the economy. The hard truth is that labor, meaning the middle class, is not receiving its fair share. There is no clear-cut reversal of the middle class’s declining fortunes in …

In Close Proximity: In praise of a brilliant machine, the bicycle

Friday, August 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Perhaps you are counting on technological solutions to our environmental woes. So imagine an invention, a brilliant machine, that can transport people and their favorite belongings and their children and their groceries; that’s great for your health instead of causing asthma and obesity; that doesn’t emit … 3

Tarin Weiss: School start not about shopping

Friday, August 29, 2014

WESTHAMPTON — Right now, in the world of K12 it’s all about “Back to School.” New clothes, new shoes, and new school supplies top the list of must-haves to prepare our children for … for what, exactly? If …

Don Robinson: The new world information order

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ASHFIELD — For those concerned about the health of democracy in America and around the world, this has been a deeply troubling summer. President Obama is faring reasonably well. He has had to defend himself against charges that he has not been nice enough to members of Congress, …

Frank Gatti, M.D.: Police must help protect mentally ill from needlessly violent deaths

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

AMHERST — I just watched a video of the police killing of Kajieme Powell, age 25, in St. Louis on Aug. 19. He is the other police killing. He is the one thought to have been mentally ill and to have decided to die in the method known …

Kirk Whatley: Taking good with bad in state’s new gun legislation

Monday, August 25, 2014

HADLEY — According to Guns and Ammo magazine, Massachusetts rates fourth from the bottom of the barrel when comes to being “gun friendly.” On Aug. 13, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Massachusetts’ latest gun control law, the Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence. However, unlike past laws, …