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Rutherford H. Platt: A nuclear theater of the absurd

Friday, August 28, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Doctors Andrew Larkin and Ira Helfand in their columns marking the 70th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima (Gazette, Aug. 6) remind us once again that this planet remains on the slippery slope to self-annihilation. Amid a whirlwind of competing threats — climate change, natural disasters, economic instability, epidemics, racism, and the international immigration crisis — it is so easy to ignore that we remain on …

Vijay Prashad: Why the Iran nuclear deal is essential

Thursday, August 27, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Why anyone would oppose the Iran deal bewilders the imagination. Short of this deal lies a war with Iran. If the West wants a war with Iran, then the deal is a terrible idea. If the West does not wish a war against Iran, the deal is necessary. Iran’s nuclear program was built on the U.S. government’s Atoms for Peace project …

Don Robinson: Jimmy Carter, the lion of Camp David

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ASHFIELD — Jimmy Carter’s announcement that he has cancerous tumors in his brain provoked deep feelings around the world and across this country. The news stirred personal memories as well. In the fall of 1975, when he declared his candidacy for president, his staff planned a visit to Northampton around Thanksgiving (he was still in the low single digits in the polls). They …

Jim Foudy: Grow Food Northampton plants seeds of inclusion

Friday, July 17, 2015

FLORENCE — Build it and they will come. Well, they will if they know about it and feel welcome. That was the challenge Grow Food Northampton faced after opening its organic community garden plots. Organizers looked around and saw mostly white, native English-speakers working the soil. Information sheets …

Maria Geryk: The Amherst regional school consolidation question

Friday, July 17, 2015

Over the past several years, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District has been operating with state funding that has been stagnant at best, and declining at worst. In addition, enrollments have been declining steadily over the past several years, a trend which is seen across the state and is …

Adam Fisher: A big political idea from the Big Sky country

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With 481 days to go before the presidential election and roughly 30 declared and possible candidates in the running, my internal Gallup Poll has already chosen a favorite. If the election were held today, I would vote for Montana. It’s not as if I know a …

Reader comments: On that rebel flag in Williamsburg

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following reader comments address the decision of a Williamsburg company, CRD Metalworks, to display a replica of the Confederate flag on its building and to fly the banner on a flagpole in response to calls to remove the flag from the South Carolina statehouse. Sending …

A teacher’s voice

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Think for a moment about what motivates you to be fully engaged when completing a task or learning something new. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Now think about a task that you do not find engaging, or that causes …

John Sheirer: Where slaves left their imprint, vital lessons for today

Monday, July 13, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — My wife and I recently visited South Carolina and walked directly by Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. To be honest, I didn’t notice this particular church. Charleston is rich in historic buildings and beautiful landmarks. Another nearby church made a bigger impression because dozens of children …

Ramesh Ponnuru: Education anxiety may shape the 2016 campaign

Monday, July 13, 2015

College, once a sure ticket to the middle class, is causing a lot of anxiety these days. People are concerned about its cost, about low graduation rates and about the poor employment prospects of some graduates. Hillary Clinton complained about the burden of student debt in a speech …

Alan Vogel: Muffled voices at UMass radio station

Friday, July 10, 2015

LEEDS — I’ve been a member of the ACLU since 1970, having attended and graduated from college during a time of significant change and upheaval. A time when ideas and opinions were freely expressed and no opinion or idea was off limits. Unpopular, yes. Infuriating, absolutely. I never …

John Paradis: Flag down on this play

Thursday, July 9, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — I was driving downtown last Saturday morning, running an errand. Fourth of July was on my mind, and as I passed the crosswalk on South Street by Pulaski Park, I noticed something that immediately got my attention. A woman was walking up the steps from the …

Andrew G. Reiter: Unintended consequences in Confederate flag’s forced retreat

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — Less than a week after the tragic mass shooting in Charleston, major retailers in the United States, including Amazon, Google Shopping, Wal-Mart, Sears, the online auction site eBay and the online marketplace Etsy, have all banned the sale of Confederate flag merchandise. Target pulled its …