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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

Clare Higgins: Obamacare’s Republican roots

Friday, June 26, 2015

NORTHAMPTON— The Supreme Court has spoken – and Obamacare lives! Chief Justice Roberts, no friend of the president, wrote the majority opinion that allows the Affordable Care Act to stand. There has been the hope for repeal on the right, and a single-payer system on the left, but it’s Obamacare for the win. Elements of the Affordable Care Act are derived from two sources, both Republican in origin. Richard Nixon …

Adam Fisher: The idea of racial reconciliation in America

Thursday, June 25, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Here’s another column about racism you do not need to read. In the emotional tsunami that rose up after June 17 fatal shooting of nine black members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, a friend of mine sent me a proposal. The Rev. Emmett Coyne, a …

Don Robinson: The person we are looking for as president

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

ASHFIELD — Campaign 2016 is still in its early stages. People like Donald Trump and Lincoln Chaffee are throwing their hats into the ring. Pundits are assessing the chances of candidates like Rick Santorum and Martin O’Malley. Before the winnowing gets serious, we need to ask ourselves fundamental questions. What are the demands of this office? What qualities, what experience should we be …

James Ayres: Superheroes of everyday life in Hampshire County

Monday, May 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — So often, we imagine our superheroes as mysterious individuals, working alone, applying some unique and dazzling power to confront an imminent danger: a meteor or a runaway locomotive hurtling toward us, or maybe a treacherous villain bent on world domination. Our lone superhero rescues us with …

John Sheirer: Break out the media shovels, for it’s time to bury the lede about Hillary’s lead

Monday, May 11, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — “Burying the lede” (or “lead”) is a concept in journalism that involves not focusing on the most important aspect of a story at the beginning of a report. It’s a mistake most often made by inexperienced journalists. Sometimes a writer might purposely bury the lede to …

Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: Pope Francis takes on climate change

Friday, May 8, 2015

HAYDENVILLE — Get ready to cheer. Sometime this summer the Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ papal encyclical on the environment. This document, observers believe, will describe the current and future threats to our planet posed by climate change and show how vulnerable populations — especially the poor — …

John Paradis: Old enough to serve in the military, but not buy cigarettes? Why?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Last March while in Washington, D.C., I visited the National Archives Museum and enjoyed seeing for the first time the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But what really intrigued me was an exhibit called the “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.” Located in a gallery …

Benjamin Spencer: Use Village Hill building to house Northampton’s Parks & Recreation Department?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

To the editor: The Northampton Parks and Recreation Department needs a new home. The Coach House at Village Hill Northampton needs an occupant. This is an opportunity to solve two problems at once. Community. Commerce. Culture. These are the words on the sign in front of Village Hill. …

Jonathan Kahane: Meanings both personal and global in living to 100

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WESTHAMPTON — When I woke up one recent morning, it was my mom’s birthday – her 100th birthday! There were no parades, no TV personalities or cameras around to publicize the event, not even an article describing the accomplishment. Over the years I have seen these types of …

Rutherford H. Platt: Immersed in city while floating above: A Valley geographer explores NYC’s High Line

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NEW YORK — Manhattan on a busy weekday is not everyone’s idea of where to go for a tranquil spring stroll, but that is exactly what I did recently. Conveyed seamlessly to the city on a charter bus …

Margaret Christie & Philip Korman: Food consumers must play role in strengthening viability of community-supported agriculture

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

DEERFIELD — Community supported agriculture (CSA) is a farm business model in which people share with the farmer the risks and benefits of growing food by buying shares of the farm’s potential harvest. The first CSA farms stated …

Ed Orzechowski: A Northampton native’s Rip Van Winkle experience: A look at city’s changes after 46 years away

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — Two years ago my wife Gail and I moved back to Northampton after being away for 46 years. We hadn’t gone far, less than an hour by car, and still visited often for the restaurants, shopping and shows. So we were familiar with the changes that …

Elizabeth Vierling: Will the fight for GMO labeling get the job done?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AMHERST — As a career educator, when I hear questions about “genetically engineered” plants (GMOs), I recognize how complex the issues are — and how difficult it is to sort out what our concerns should be. One is labeling. We can go to the grocery store, and increasingly …