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Columns

Matt Curtis: Taking sides on charter school question not in students’ best interests

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

FLORENCE — I would like to respond to misleading generalizations pertaining to charter schools recently presented by letter writers in the Gazette — and offer additional perspective. I suppose that one may argue that charter schools are “less public” than traditional public schools, but public charter schools are certainly not privatized in any accurate sense of the word. Public charter schools remain under governmental control. Charter schools are not inherently …

Alison H. Bowen: Is a new gas pipeline really the answer to high electricity costs?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

GOSHEN — National Grid customers read on the front page of the Gazette March 25 that electric rates will drop 26 percent as of May 1, pending DPU approval. This is good news, given the long, cold and expensive winter. Spokeswoman Danielle Williamson explained: “It’s not a shortage of natural gas that makes the price higher. It’s pipeline capacity constrictions. There’s enough natural …

David Marks & Russ Nieman: Don’t orphan early education programs in Massachusetts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Preparing children for a lifetime of learning requires access to high-quality early education and care programs, as well as a consistent and qualified workforce. Great educators are key to improving outcomes for children, but the existing career path for our early educator workforce is unsustainable. With an average annual salary range of $21,000 to $25,000 and a turnover rate of 30 …

Adam Fisher: A scholar who moves like a moth to hypocrisy

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My friend Brian Victoria, a Zen monk and author of “Zen at War,” is a pain in the patoot. But because he is a pain in the patoot, I know him as a friend I value …

Peter Vickery: Free speech offers the best route to truth

Monday, February 16, 2015

AMHERST — Two recent letters to the editor of the Gazette suggest taking legal action against people who challenge the prevailing consensus on climate change. A Florence resident wrote that Sen. James Inhofe, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, all of whom were lawfully elected, should …

John Paradis: Enduring love across the decades. Yes, it’s possible

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Tomorrow is the feast of St. Valentine, the third-century martyr who, according to history and legend, was persecuted, tortured and ultimately beheaded by the Romans for proselytizing and for performing secret Christian marriages. Another tale says he was killed because the Emperor Claudius didn’t want young …

Doug Hall: Obama budget for 2016 a step in the right direction

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — On Feb. 2, President Obama released a budget outline for fiscal year 2016 that should be widely popular with the American people. The $4 trillion proposal is only a starting point for lengthy budget negotiations in the Republican-controlled Congress; however, it does provide important detail about …

Barry Hirsch: Let’s be real about Obama-Netanyahu fracture

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Jay Fleitman’s column Feb. 3 defending Netanyahu’s decision to speak to the Congress attempts to portray a U.S. president who has repeatedly missed clear opportunities to shape a more stable Middle East and has consistently disrespected Netanyahu. Most of us know there is not much in …

P. Craig Browning: Amid all the snow, an appeal from a power chair user: Help us get through

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — It seems that nearly every year someone in the area media notes all the wheelchairs out in the middle of the road and wonders why that’s the case. Well, here’s one man’s view of that issue. …

Guest column: What would Confucius say about lack of trust in US government?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — In the widely revered “Analects of Confucius,” one of his disciples asks him about the essence of good government. Confucius replies as follows: “The requisites of government are that there be a sufficiency of food, enough military equipment, and the confidence of the people in their …

John Sheirer: Diving into the online abortion debate

Sunday, February 8, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I recently immersed myself in a week-long discussion of abortion while visiting the comment section of a conservative website. I was nearly the only pro-choice voice to stay in the discussion while surrounded by a dozen or so pro-life people, which is fine because we can …

Bill Newman: A Guantanamo prisoner’s own story

Friday, February 6, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — United States government officials arrange for proxy jailers in a foreign country to arrest a man, who is then held incommunicado, interrogated and tortured. Although our government determines that the factual basis for its requested detention …

Karen Ribeiro, Sarah Partan & Madeleine Charney: Valley chapter of ‘Mothers Out Front’ targets climate change

Thursday, February 5, 2015

AMHERST — The Pioneer Valley chapter of Mothers Out Front would like to thank Scott Merzbach for his Gazette article on Jan. 22. We appreciate the additional invitation from the Gazette to elaborate on our work. Mothers Out Front is a rapidly growing community of mothers and others …