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A black bear visits Lynne Bertrand's Williamsburg home this week.

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 was inexplicably thick for a spring bear, …

Rev. Peter Kakos: What if the Valley were fracked?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — With the necessary attention being paid to the proposed pipeline of natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing that would snake its way through our Commonwealth, let’s imagine the plight of our beloved Valley were we the site for invasive extraction. The immediate effect would be coping with continual, sizeable tremors caused by the subsequent earthquakes, as basement-rock twists and tilts. If …

Rekha Basu: Progressives, like libertarians on right, forcing party soul-searching

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Every presidential election cycle, the tension between moderate and evangelical conservative voters in the Republican Party becomes the subject of hand-wringing speculation: Could a moderate seeking the Republican nomination win in an early voting state like Iowa, where evangelicals dominate? Could an evangelical candidate win the general election? But the real story shaping up this election cycle is from the other party, where …

Hi Lynne -- How did I miss this the first time around? (Thsi time via Chris.) My very bad -- would Miley...(full comment)

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

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 …

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 …

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 …