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John Sheirer of Northampton.

John Sheirer: Our parties, our race problem

Monday, February 8, 2016

Last month, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. quotes popped up on Facebook to celebrate the great civil rights leader’s birthday. Now that we’re in Black History Month, I’m pleased to see more of his words making the rounds in social media. Unfortunately, along with King’s inspiring quotes, I’ve read many comments claiming that King himself was a Republican who would oppose today’s liberals. King generally kept his political affiliation neutral, but calling him a Republican is simply ridiculous. King voted for John Kennedy in 1960 and encouraged people to vote against Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964. He supported Planned Parenthood, unions, non-violence and an increased minimum wage, among other liberal causes. How would those …

Bill Newman: Whose free speech display of Black Lives Matter banner on City Hall?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Shortly after the Black Lives Matter banner was raised at Northampton City Hall on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the president of a city police union, denying any connection, requested that Mayor David Narkewicz fly a banner recognizing National Peace Officers Memorial Day in May. Other banner and flag-flying requests no …

Lissa Pierce Bonifaz: Standardized tests got you down? Consider opting out

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Amherst Regional school system was recently notified that its students would take two high-stakes, standardized tests this spring. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) for third to sixth grade will be augmented with items from another standardized test, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC). The state …

Karl Meyer: All pumped up about a river ‘asset’ that’s on the market

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Ever dreamed of owning your own bank? I got a deal for you! Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project is for sale again, along with the Turners Falls canal and dam — and a string of assets down in …

Bill Newman: What’s in a name? On protecting even racist trademarks and the court of public opinion

Thursday, December 31, 2015

This column tells the story of the ongoing battle between the United States government on one side and the curious combination of the Washington Redskins football team and a group of 20-something musicians called The Slants on the …

Greg Snedeker: Arguments for pipeline need grow more specious by the day

Thursday, December 31, 2015

In light of FERC’s acceptance of Tennessee Gas Pipeline’s application, it might be useful to bring recent news of Kinder Morgan’s finances into focus. The sudden collapse of Kinder Morgan’s stock price and subsequent dividend cuts should not be a surprise. Shale gas companies have been over-producing gas …

Marty Nathan: Why the ‘road through Paris’ goes on in climate fight

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Working with environmentalists this fall I was not thrilled with the phrase used in reference to the COP21 Paris Climate Talks. Friends spoke to me of a “road through Paris,” indicating that the expectations for the international gathering of 195 countries should not be too high, that the …

Julie Hudson: Misguided bill would dampen state’s solar energy goals

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Why would our legislators threaten the future of solar power? Massachusetts has been a leader in renewable energy with a goal of reaching 1,600 megawatts of installed solar — or enough to power roughly 8 percent of homes in the state by 2020. As of November 2015, we …

Joseph Tarantino: Of liberals, Trump supporters and ordinary Germans

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It’s clear from her Dec. 21 Gazette column that Sara Weinberger and I have something in common: neither one of us likes Donald Trump. While neither of us wants to see him elected President, Weinberger admits that she is out of sorts because of Trump’s popularity. Like everyone …

Clare Higgins: A look back at 2015, in the nick of rhyme

Friday, December 25, 2015

A New Year dawned in the hills of western Mass, with the Pioneer Valley wondering — what would come to pass? What about this governor, a Republican (déjà vu)? And our new Senate president, now our go-to. How will they manage? A honeymoon, a clash? Will there be …

Kathryn R. Eiseman: Why I chose to be an ‘intervenor’ in pipeline approval process

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A simple step each of us can take to oppose the Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline: file online as an intervenor in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission proceeding by the Jan. 6 deadline. You do not need to live along the proposed route to intervene; you just …

Don Robinson: The clarion call to politicians: Serve Earth’s constituency

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I must confess that my mind has strayed far from Christmas this season. I have been distracted, not just by the din of commerce at the malls, and not just by the noisy clamor of the 2016 presidential campaign. I’ve been thinking about politics and culture, and how …

John O. Fox: Taking stock of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s philanthropy

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The latest Silicon Valley venture? It is Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, will give 99 percent of their Facebook stock to a limited liability company that eventually would transfer some or all of the stock to charities of their choosing. The prospect …