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Columns

Jason Johnson: The ills that Lake Warner suffers

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HADLEY — Lake Warner is approximately a quarter mile from the Connecticut River in Hadley. It is a 68-acre, freshwater lake and wetland ecosystem undergoing “eutrophication.” Eutrophication describes intensifying enrichment of an aquatic ecosystem with chemical nutrients, typically containing nitrogen or phosphorus or both. It is measured using several diagnostic tools such as transparency, dissolved oxygen and the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus present. Freshwater wetlands are often described as the “kidneys of the planet.” They filter impurities and toxins that make our rivers and lakes cleaner. Wetlands provide habitat for a multitude of plants, insects, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. Wetlands are systems where the process known as primary production transfers solar and …

Lily Wallace: Radio station WMUA should recommit itself to benefiting students

Monday, July 27, 2015

AMHERST — Tensions between the students who run WMUA, the student radio station of the University of Massachusetts, and members of both the non-student volunteer DJ and listener community exploded in April when student leadership voted to dismiss longtime host Max Shea for violating the station’s anti-harassment and discrimination policies. Since then, elected …

Marty Nathan, MD: Given climate change, the band cannot just play on.

Monday, July 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Every summer I have the inestimable privilege of spending a week or so on an island in the Bay of Fundy, watching tides rise and fall 25 feet twice a day. I avoid the news, telling friends that I am “cleansing my soul” of the responsibilities and tragedies of life in the fast-paced, complicated United States. I couldn’t escape it this …

Christine M. Flowers: Jenner’s dignity dimmed by cheesecake poses in magazine

Monday, June 8, 2015

So apparently we’re all supposed to be inspired by the Person Formerly Known as Bruce Jenner. We’re supposed to clean up our language so that the correct pronouns are used, we’re supposed to marvel at the “beauty” of that Annie Liebowitz cover, we’re supposed to avoid sexist speculation …

Jeanne Shumway: Don’t cram middle schoolers into Amherst Regional High School

Sunday, June 7, 2015

AMHERST — The Gazette’s brief editorial Thursday was disappointing: not for what it says, but for what it ignores. It rather gushingly praises a proposed change in the basic structure of education in the Amherst regional schools which would house all secondary grades (7-12) in the high school …

John Sheirer: Youth isn’t wasted on the young

Sunday, June 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Commencement ceremonies are a way of life around here this time of year, with our excellent colleges, universities and many fine high schools. Those ubiquitous ceremonies raise an inevitable question about our youth: How will these capped-and-gowned youngsters carry our world into the future as we …

Carl Doerner: Waiting for true account of Robert F. Kennedy’s killing 47 years ago

Thursday, June 4, 2015

CHARLEMONT — June 6 marks the anniversary of the 1968 assassination of Robert Kennedy in the kitchen of a Los Angeles hotel. The man convicted of the shooting, Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan, remains in prison. That Sirhan shot at …

Marty Nathan: The $5.5 billion pipeline dinosaur that should never come to life

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Psychological warfare is being waged in Massachusetts towns as natural gas local Distribution Companies (LDCs) declare moratoria on new subscribers until the building of Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED, also known as the Tennessee Gas) …

Kathryn Eiseman: Hearing offers residents chance to sound off on pipeline proposal

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CUMMINGTON — Gov. Charlie Baker and his administration need to hear from opponents of the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct (NED) pipeline en masse. There are numerous policy decisions being made and proceedings underway at the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities that will have a direct impact on …

Richard M. Clifford Sr.: Taking stock of the way three friends, lost too soon, lived their lives

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2 tells us, “There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under Heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die.” In the past two and a half years I have lost …

Questioning the moderator — an exchange between Southampton officials on May 19 Town Meeting

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is an exchange between Gary R. Swanson, chairman of the Southampton Board of Assessors and a former Town Meeting moderator, and Robert Floyd, the current moderator, over handling of the May 19 meeting. At the May 19 Southampton annual Town Meeting, Moderator Robert Floyd …

Michael Engel: A fresh look at an American epithet: the ‘s-word’ — for socialism

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: Michael Engel, a professor emeritus of political science at Westfield State University and former Easthampton selectman and bookshop owner, is the author of a new book on socialism. The “s-word” — socialism — is and always …

In sifting through corporate pitches, it pays to consider the fine print

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mark Zinan: In sifting through corporate pitches, it pays to consider the fine print …