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Columns

In Close Proximity: Car ownership — but who owns whom, exactly?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The contemporary world is one of restless mobilities, radically morphing physical landscapes, baroque technologies, new forms of governance and subjectivity, and onerous inequalities. The automobile provides vivid insight into all five phenomena as well as into their relationship. — “The U.S. Car Colossus and the Production of Inequality,” by Catherine Lutz, American Ethnologist, (2014) AMHERST — In their famous community study of Muncie, Indiana, culture during both the Roaring Twenties and the 1930s depression, Robert and Hellen Lynd documented the emotional and economic dependence of Americans on the automobile. Indeed, in all but three of the deepest depression years, car ownership continued to rise. “I’ll go without food before I’ll see us go without the …

Clare Higgins: The cost of not paying to protect children

Monday, September 29, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Jeremiah Oliver is dead — his remains found months after the reports of his disappearance. The system that has been established in our state to protect children failed him. Months went by with no signs of this little boy. Finally, his body was discovered on the side of the road, wrapped in a blanket and stuffed in a suitcase. His mother …

Clare Higgins: 'There's no prohibition against soaking people with low incomes' Why the Massachusetts casino law needs to be repealed

Monday, September 29, 2014

I’ve been known to buy a lottery ticket or two (or three…). When I was an underpaid early childhood educator, I would sometimes buy a scratch ticket. Only the $1 tickets and probably not more than once or twice a year. Of course I never won much. The New York State lottery used …

Sara Weinberger: A visit to family home the Holocaust took away

Sunday, August 17, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — I spent the evening of July 31 at Logan Airport, waiting to fly to Krakow, Poland, to join my daughter on a journey to discover my deceased mother’s past. My mother, Irena Schenker, grew up in a country that would lose about 3 million of its … 7

Marietta Pritchard: First that and now this? When bad things come in multiples

Friday, August 15, 2014

AMHERST — Despite his education in a rational tradition, my father was slightly superstitious. He didn’t like spilled salt, he spoke of omens and he had, so he believed, a lucky necktie. Immediately after the first few times …

Marc Warner: Planned $2.25 million rail underpass in Northampton wastes public money

Friday, August 15, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — About 10 years ago, nationwide attention turned toward a planned bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island in Alaska. To the construction companies that would build it, and the Alaska congressmen who pushed for federal funding, the bridge seemed like a great idea. To pretty much everyone … 3

Mordechai Kamel: Critics apply a double standard when assessing Israel’s defense

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — I must comment on Howard Friel’s guest column Monday, “On Israel’s asserted right of self-defense,” and will begin with a question that Amos Oz, one of the founders and leaders of the Israeli Peace Movement for … 1

Bruce Watson: Marking history with a Hallmark sentiment

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LEVERETT — Hey there History! Happy anniversaries! With a second Cold War looming and an umpteenth Iraq War on hold, history is haunting us this summer. And because our past is now cluttered with wars, battles and other earth-shaking events, this strange summer has also seen a strange …

Jody Young: Time for Northampton to ban the plastic bag

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — What do the American communities of Nantucket, Great Barrington, Brookline, Manchester by the Sea, Albany, Austin, Seattle, Honolulu, Maui, Berkeley, Long Beach, Malibu, San Francisco, and even Los Angeles have in common? They’ve all instituted bans … 1

Sarah Buttenwieser: Why midwife Judie Brock’s reputation preceded her

Monday, August 11, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Judie Brock was the first midwife to catch a baby at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in 1982. Her ability to assist families with the birth of their children was part of a watershed for women having babies …

John Sheirer: The wisdom (or lack thereof) of taking President Obama to court

Sunday, August 10, 2014

To the editor: Those of us fortunate enough to experience the blessings of the Norwottuck Rail Trail need to exercise common sense in its use. The trail is inherently multi-use, frequented by individuals and groups, of commuters on bikes, dog walkers, bird watchers and runners. To ensure a …

Howard Friel: On Israel’s asserted right of self-defense

Sunday, August 10, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Was 9/11 a criminal act or an act of war justifying the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq? Similarly, are actions against Israel by militants in Gaza criminal acts or acts of war justifying the habitual Israeli invasions and shelling of Gaza? These are not legalistic … 2

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Let’s all act to help fix problems in a broken world

Friday, August 8, 2014

HAYDENVILLE — This summer I went hiking in Scotland for several weeks. During that time, I did not hear news of any kind — except for who won the World Cup. Then, on my flight home from London to Boston, I sat next to a woman who recounted …