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Sara Weinberger: Really, America? Too afraid to do the right thing?

Friday, November 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I remember as a child on Yom Kippur watching those in my synagogue beating their chests with clenched fists as they chanted an alphabetized list of transgressions, ranging from gluttony to gossip. When I became too cool to sit next to my parents, my friends and I stood in the back of the sanctuary, mockingly punching each others’ chests, chuckling as we recited this alphabet of evil deeds. What I remember most was the transgression corresponding to the letter “x.” Each year, when we made it down to “x,” we would point to the word that sent us into “preadolescent” giggles — “xenophobia.” Each year we wondered what the meaning of this strange …

Michael Dover: My mother, the refugee — and lessons from her life

Friday, November 27, 2015

LEVERETT — “Frances, do you remember the time we were all lined up against a wall to be shot?” I was in my early 20s and at an afternoon family gathering. As we sat on the patio chatting, my aunt — my mother’s older sister — asked my mother this question. I’d known …

Sean Glennon: Count me deflated by NFL’s apparent war on Tom Brady

Friday, November 27, 2015

FLORENCE — The shift in perspective isn’t something fans of professional football ever need to think about. It’s annual, inevitable, encoded in our body clocks. Just as piles of Thanksgiving leftovers disappear from refrigerators in daring midnight raids. Just as the dying season’s stubborn oak leaves partner with cold wind to spin and …

Clare Higgins: Righting a wrong in the state’s income tax rate

Friday, October 23, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You may have noticed people with clipboards at farmers markets or grocery stores. They are looking for signatures on an initiative petition to make a crucial change to our tax system through an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution known as the Fair Share amendment. In April, …

Mardelle Shepley: No place at the inn for boomers — at least not the right kinds of places

Thursday, October 22, 2015

ITHACA, N.Y. — The sixth leading cause of death in Massachusetts is Alzheimer’s disease, which inflicts progressive memory loss, immobility and compromised immune systems on its victims. And as more aging Baby Boomers succumb, we have to ask …

Philip Korman & Margaret Christie: In pursuit of affordable food

Thursday, October 22, 2015

SOUTH DEERFIELD — In July, CISA launched SNAP and Save, a program that matches purchases made using food stamp benefits at 12 farmers’ markets in Hampshire and Hampden counties. This program, shaped in partnership with Healthy Hampshire and …

Lucas Krupinski: Amherst would save even more on solar by paying its own way

Thursday, October 22, 2015

AMHERST — On Tuesday, Oct. 27, Amherst will hold its second informational meeting about the town’s plan to go solar. While that is a laudable goal, it’s equally important we make certain we’re getting the best deal we …

Don Robinson: Are today’s Republicans truly conservative?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ASHFIELD — The right wing of the Republican Party, led by Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and radio host Rush Limbaugh, calls itself “conservative.” In the realm of political terminology, this is one of the great train robberies of American history. What is most obvious about the current …

Carol B. Smith, Stephen Philbrick & Monica Moran: Time for faith community to confront domestic and sexual violence

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

HUNTINGTON — What guidance do Christian teachings offer to victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence? How can the Bible offer comfort, and even point the way to finding safe refuge and healing? Today, many women who identify as Christian stay silent about abuse — often with …

Todd Thompson: Looking Northampton City Council’s ‘gift horse’ in mouth

Monday, October 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Northampton City Council President Bill Dwight was quoted in this past weekend’s Gazette saying the city’s single tax rate is a “substantial gift” to commercial property owners, that the rents they charge are too high and …

Jim Foudy: Leaders must get Northampton Housing Authority back on track

Friday, October 16, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The scale of the management trainwreck at the Northampton Housing Authority under new executive director Cara Clifford continues to unfold. This week a housing authority personnel committee held grievance hearings for two of the five employees fired by Clifford in August, four weeks after she started …

Anne Vaillant: Willful ignorance: Our appalling lack of research about gun deaths in the US

Thursday, October 15, 2015

“My weapon is the question.” — Jorge Ramos, reporter for Univision SOUTHAMPTON — I applaud the Gazette for printing the Associated Press article by Mike Stobbe headlined “Lobbying, threats squelch gun studies” (Oct. 12)., But I was also …

Rob Kusner: Life is good on new Norwottuck trail in Valley

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

AMHERST — It was the spring of 2007. U.S. Rep. John Olver was on the phone, asking me to help lead a renovation project, an offer I couldn’t refuse. After more than eight years of hard work, through twists, turns and reversals, it’s satisfying to report wide acclaim …