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Columns

What’s your elevator pitch?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Let’s say you step into an elevator, push the button for the 10th floor, watch the doors slide shut and cast a quick glance at the other passengers in the car. Lo and behold, you spot one of the Koch brothers! No, it’s the CEO of ExxonMobil! Or the CEO of TransCanada, the outfit behind the Keystone XL pipeline! Or maybe it’s President Obama himself! You swallow hard. This is … 0

Don Robinson column: Freedom Summer 1964

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The civil rights movement came to a head a half-century ago, during the summer of 1964. I was a graduate student and spent most of that summer in Mississippi. While largely a spectator, speaking to gatherings of white people (church groups, Rotary Clubs and the like), I saw enough to give me a sense of what was at stake. It had become clear … 0

Sara Weinberger: Loving our way out of Mideast war

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Two weeks ago, my daughter texted me, “What are you supposed to do when there is a siren?” Under ordinary circumstances, that would have been an odd question. My daughter, however, was texting from a hotel room in Jerusalem, where the sirens meant “Take shelter,” because Hamas was firing dozens upon dozens of long-range missiles at targets ranging from Eilat in … 2

John Scibak: MIAA fails test of educational priorities with refusal to fix game conflict with SAT date

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

SOUTH HADLEY — Which is it that matters most, academics or athletics? Last Saturday, Hopkins Academy in Hadley and Turners Falls High School were scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. in the Western Mass. Division 4 Baseball Championship … 0

Ray LaRaja & Wouter Van Erve: How representative, really, is Amherst Town Meeting?

Monday, June 9, 2014

AMHERST — A recent commentary here in the Valley lamented that Amherst Town Meeting is a rambling, unfocused mechanism that takes much longer than it should to make decisions. We agree that governing is not terribly efficient in … 5

John Sheirer: Right and wrong ways to back American troops, veterans

Sunday, June 8, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — During his Memorial Day visit with troops in Afghanistan, President Obama said, “When it comes to supporting you and your families, the American people stand united. We support you. We are proud of you. We stand in awe of your service.” The president has strong personal … 0

Bill Newman: The world of whistle-blowers, as seen through ACLU’s Baldwin Awards

Friday, June 6, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — In mid-May, Edward Snowden expressed regret that he could not be present with us at the ACLU of Massachusetts annual dinner in Boston, honoring whistle-blowers. On the video feed from Moscow he explained — with his … 0

Rich Szlosek: Twists and turns on Pleasant Street in Northampton

Thursday, June 5, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Having grown up on Northampton’s Pleasant Street, especially that section of it that was included in the old “Belt,” I have a special fondness for the thoroughfare. I recently attended a public forum on improving the … 2

Rob Crowner, Steve Randall & Larry Ely: Don’t agonize, solarize

Friday, May 30, 2014

AMHERST — Readers this column know we’re very concerned about our society’s ravenous appetite for energy, because of the inevitably diminishing supply of easily available fossil fuels and because of the effect of its consumption on the climate. We’d like to see more reliance on renewal energy from … 2

Jay Fleitman: Campuses are caving in to students unwilling to hear the views of others

Monday, June 2, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — The academic year is over and college students have graduated or left campus. The unfortunate mark left behind by this last school year was the controversy surrounding prominent commencement speakers who did not get to the … 5

Jonathan Klate: Sorrows of today’s ‘sea around us’

Sunday, June 1, 2014

AMHERST — Many of us will visit the seashore this summer, more conscious there of the rhythms of life’s arrivings and leavings, the ocean’s ceaseless in-drawing and out-flowing echoing our breathing, our sighs. Each wave swells with fullness, … 1

VA scandal fits established Obama narrative: skilled politician, lousy manager

Friday, May 30, 2014

We don’t normally expect our presidents to pay close attention to how long veterans are being asked to wait for care in the vast medical system run by the Department of Veterans Affairs. But we do expect presidents to appoint Cabinet officers and other aides who can run … 0

In light of possible Williamsburg school name change, Ralmon Jon Black tells of the educational marvel that was Anne T. Dunphy

Friday, May 30, 2014

WILLIAMSBURG — As Fran Ryan reported this week for the Gazette, the Anne T. Dunphy School will soon be back on line — virtually a new building, having undergone major renovations over an 18-month down-time. It will be … 0