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Columns

Christine Clarke: Agricultural success in Valley starts with healthy soil

Monday, April 20, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Eighty years ago, on April 14, 1935, an ominous wall of blowing sand and dust swept across the Great Plains on a day that came to be known as Black Sunday. During the 1930s, the Dust Bowl days saw huge dust storms ravage the Midwest because of years of overplanting, poorly managed crops and severe drought. During that massive storm in 1935, people were forced to crawl on …

Sara Weinberger: Why not activate your investments?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — When bothered by insomnia, I meet with my financial advisor. Discussions of indexes, hedge funds and equities lull me to sleep quicker than Ambien. The fancy graphs and charts he presents my husband and I with at each visit make no sense to me. I don’t know the difference between bonds and stocks, between the DOW and the S&P 500. Honestly, …

Jim Foudy: They call it ‘smart growth’ for a reason — and Amherst should take note

Friday, April 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In Northampton and Amherst this year the topics of smart growth and community gateways — and how they intersect — have generated debate. Smart growth principles encourage development in already urbanized areas. The idea is to concentrate housing, commerce, jobs and transportation while leaving land open for agriculture, recreation or scenic enjoyment. Both Amherst and Northampton have adopted those concepts. For …

Bill Newman: When law enforcement bends rules on interrogation

Friday, March 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — After almost 40 years as a civil rights attorney, nothing that law enforcement does to shred constitutional guarantees should surprise me. But a news report this week made me flinch. The Chicago police, America has learned, …

Rob Okun: The White Ribbon Day cause, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — Major league baseball beginning domestic violence prevention workshops at spring training. The White House launching the It’s on Us initiative to prevent sexual assault. Emma Watson and the United Nations spearheading the new HeforShe movement. Men promoting gender equality and decrying violence against women is “suddenly” …

Cutting through static: A Hadley homeowner kicks tires on this year’s hefty electricity price hikes (COMMENTARY)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

HADLEY — I’m pretty ticked off about my latest residential electric bill — partly because of what I owe, but mostly because of the actions of the Boston commissioners who are appointed by the governor of Massachusetts and …

Steve Herrell: Reset needed on later high school start time in Northampton

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Half of Northampton High School students fall asleep in class. No matter what the course, whether it be calculus or music theory, students don’t learn if they are asleep. In a well-done 2009 survey, under the auspices of the administration, 53 percent of students reported that …

Jay Fleitman: A man, a shovel and a mound of snow that won’t go away

Monday, March 2, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — ISIS is rampaging through the Middle East. The mullahs of Iran are working towards nuclear weapons. Putin is taking territory from the Ukraine. Obamacare is turning our health care system inside out. In this column I want to consider something else important: municipal snow plowing. I …

Dennis R. Scribner: Webcams will help advance police work in Easthampton

Sunday, March 1, 2015

EASTHAMPTON — An Easthampton resident recently expressed concern over the Easthampton police department’s acquisition of two webcams donated by a local business owner. As an Easthampton detective, I would like to respond. First, the Easthampton Police Department is …

Katherine Appy: Tyranny of loudest voices hobbles public debate in Amherst

Sunday, March 1, 2015

AMHERST — In recent months, more than 50 people have spoken to me or others about running for a seat on the Amherst School Committee. In the end, only two were willing to run. Two of the four people who drew papers have dropped out. Now that I …

Clare Higgins: Tough winter of 2015 issues call for community-mindedness

Friday, February 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It’s been a hard winter. Snow, cold, missed work, closed schools, exhausted snow and ice budgets (and exhausted plow drivers) ... the list goes on and on. While this has been hard on all of us, it has been an especially cruel winter for our friends …

Ed Gregory: A very special, and sluggish, delivery

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — You’ve heard the phrase “snail mail.” Well, believe it! I recently purchased a relatively expensive book online from Northampton and arranged for delivery to my home in Greenfield. Big deal, right? You bet it is! I offer the following authentic tracking data of the item from …

Michael Goldman: A cross-country ski destination of the heart

Thursday, February 26, 2015

FLORENCE — I can understand the practicality of cross-country skiing. I mean, if the neighboring village were running low on a crucial medicine, or if the tribe were running out of meat and the nearest caribou herd were five miles away, I would be the first to don …