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Editorials

KEVIN GUTTING
Daniel Okoroafor of South Hadley.

Editorial: 12 hours in jail that could have been avoided

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It would be simple to conclude that a judge misused his power in jailing Iheanyi Daniel Okoroafor, a 73-year-old African immigrant, for failing to pay a $508 debt. But closer examination reveals that the case is not so simple. While Judge Robert S. Murphy erred in putting him behind bars, Okoroafor also bears a measure of blame for a mess … 0

Editorial: No more hiring as usual at state probation office

Monday, July 28, 2014

The lesson in the guilty verdicts last week in the federal trial involving the state probation department’s rigged hiring scheme is this simple: Just because it has always been done this way doesn’t make it right. The case involved former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien and his deputies, Elizabeth Taveres and William Burke III. Burke, 70, a Hatfield resident, was a career employee of … 0

Editorial: Sloppy work or under staffing? Lax funeral inspections allow Ryder's alleged negligent operation to continue

Monday, July 28, 2014

As the families who did business with the now-shuttered Ryder Funeral Home transfer their funeral arrangements elsewhere, file lawsuits or search for missing funeral contract money, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office needs to step in and help state regulators sort out the mess. That’s because the state Division of Professional Licensure and Board … 0

wow not nice mayor. there goes my support for the next time ...(full comment)

'I committed no fireable offense' Unclear why Easthampton mayor's assistant Susan Giza, who surpassed 50 candidates for job, let go after 6 months

Obviously, there are pieces of this puzzle that we, the public, do not have. However, I can only imagine what a shock...(full comment)

'I committed no fireable offense' Unclear why Easthampton mayor's assistant Susan Giza, who surpassed 50 candidates for job, let go after 6 months

Not an easy task, but saving Amherst mural worth effort

Friday, July 25, 2014

An enormous painting of Emily Dickinson’s face, surrounded by colorful blossoms and flanked by other luminaries from Amherst’s past, gazes out from the back wall of the Carriage Shops in Amherst center. The poet’s image provides the centerpiece of the community-created mural framing the historic West Cemetery that … 0

Editorial: Immigrant children deserve safe harbor

Friday, July 25, 2014

The term “unaccompanied minors” sounds so clinical, it’s easy to distance from it. The phrase has been everywhere in the national media lately because of the unprecedented surge in the number of children fleeing Central American countries in … 4

Clare Higgins: Nation must abandon ‘War on Drugs’

Friday, July 25, 2014

I have been horrified by the newspaper headlines the last couple of weeks: Israeli children murdered, Palestinian children murdered in return. A plane shot out of the sky and hundreds of people dead, including eighty children. Seven hundred … 1

Editorial: No exit from I-91 project delays

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Does this sound familiar? It’s 5 p.m. After a hard day’s work, you’re heading out, looking to take a quick trip north up I-91 to home and a good meal. But as you approach the on-ramp at Exit … 1

Editorial: City streets offer feast for cops and poets alike

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From the shopkeeper unlocking her door in the day’s new light to the young women outside panhandling for cash, from the old guy enjoying a sidewalk cigarette to the Smithies laughing their way to the clubs, from the … 0

Editorial: At last, sweet changes for Pulaski Park

Monday, July 21, 2014

Last Friday afternoon, Northampton’s Pulaski Park looked like an OK place to be. A young couple sat on the grass in a shady spot under a tree. Two little kids zoomed down a slide, while a young woman, seated on a nearby bench, chatted on her phone. A … 0

Wishing that train would leave the station

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It’s standard procedure for a train approaching a railroad crossing to sound its whistle to alert the people who might be happening by. Too bad Pan Am Railways didn’t give similar consideration to the Northampton residents who recently … 1

Northampton BID must win over critics

Friday, July 18, 2014

By the numbers, the “no” votes won the day in 2009 when downtown Northampton property owners considered launching a Business Improvement District. But that didn’t scuttle the BID, because reluctant property owners could simply opt out. Since then, guiding this effort to polish Northampton’s commercial center has been … 0

Editorial: Pope shows compassion, needs to show action

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pope Francis met for the first time last week with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy. He conducted a private Mass with six victims — two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany — at his Vatican … 0

Editorial: Amid Amherst conflict, proper goal is healing

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We read through reporter Scott Merzbach’s story about an unusual Monday meeting in Amherst noticing first the things people disagree about. Later, we searched his account of the Amherst Regional School Committee meeting for points of agreement. We … 0