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J.M. Sorrell: Never more proud to be of Irish heritage

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Never have I been more proud to be Irish than on May 22. The Irish people — urban and rural alike — voted for marriage equality. In a country where close to 90 percent of the population is Catholic and goes to Mass every Sunday, they have demonstrated that love and an innate sense of fairness supersede oppressive doctrine. I was not surprised by the vote or the …

Jane Lyons: The long wait for what’s right — child welfare on margins in Massachusetts

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

HADLEY — It just hit me. If a person went to a hospital emergency room and wasn’t treated for days or months, we would all be outraged. If there were inadequate numbers of staff to treat us, or a family member or friend, we would demand that the hospital be equipped to do its job. We would demand that well-trained medical professionals be …

Lynne Bertrand: A spring visitor in Williamsburg comes bearing a reminder

Friday, May 22, 2015

WILLIAMSBURG — A black bear materialized yesterday in the yard, a sudden presence in the shadows at the river out back. He ambled up the hill and past the house, giving off the appearance of someone who had lost his glasses and was fumbling around in the kitchen to make a sandwich. He …

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

Rape defendant needs rehab

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Now that the trial of Emmanuel Bile has ended and along with it the daily parade of front-page stories, I would like to reflect on another tragedy: the prison systems in the United States. This young man needs rehabilitation, but is not going to get it …

John Paradis: There’s still time to honor service of Vietnam veterans

Thursday, April 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Nine days after his 18th birthday, Lenny Desrochers from Granby, 5 foot 7 and 130 pounds, arrived at Da Nang on Dec. 9, 1966. He was assigned to Delta Company, First Battalion, Fifth Regiment, First Marines, and was stationed at Quang Tri. For 13 months in …

Max Page & Dan Clawson: Build the public schools that Holyoke’s young people deserve

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

AMHERST — Let’s be clear: No one in their right mind thinks all is well in the Holyoke schools. Holyoke’s young people are not getting the same life chances that kids get in Newton, or Longmeadow, or Lexington. Yes, the teachers in Holyoke have struggled valiantly and helped …

William Diehl & Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias: On early ed, let’s not lose ground

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — As educators working under the banner that “everyone is a learner,” recent guest columns in the Gazette on the vital importance of investing in early education programs drew our attention. We applaud Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to invest an additional $105 million in K-12 schools, and …

Sophie Glading-DiLorenzo, Emme Hutchins, Reilly Griffin, Mark Grabiec Jr. & Cassie Bills: Northampton High School sign earns its keep

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: This commentary was submitted by five seniors at Northampton High School: Sophie Glading-DiLorenzo, Emme Hutchins, Reilly Griffin, Mark Grabiec Jr. and Cassie Bills. NORTHAMPTON — As Northampton High School students, we were concerned and upset by an article, “As LED sign technology grows, Northampton eyes new …

Jay Fleitman: Let citizens decide health care spending

Monday, April 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last Feb. 1, Medicare began to pay for lung cancer screening. This involves an initial low energy CAT scan and then subsequent CAT scans on a yearly basis. This is very much like screening for breast cancer in women using mammography, both procedures looking to identify …

Greg Thielmannis: Imperfect Iran nuclear deal better than nothing

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Iran and its six negotiating partners have, at long last, agreed on the key parameters of a final deal regarding Iran’s nuclear program. On the basis of the understanding announced in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Thursday, the parties will have three months to fill in the technical details. This …

Joseph Tarantino: Republicans (and I’m one) should have avoided ‘religious freedom restoration’ quagmire

Friday, April 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I have a question for my fellow conservatives. How does Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Law help cut taxes? If this embarrassing and unnecessary controversy is not part of the solution then it’s part of the problem. As Republicans, we’re supposed to be the ones adept …

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 …