Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Editorial: Missouri police department let race overrule rights

Friday, March 6, 2015

People know when they are treated unfairly. We learn that early. African-American residents of Ferguson, Missouri, knew something was wrong in their community long before teenager Michael Brown was shot last August. This week, the Justice Department agreed. It ordered the city to overhaul its law enforcement system — top to bottom — or face a civil rights lawsuit. The Justice Department’s findings explain why black residents of Ferguson erupted …

Editorial: Harsh winter a clear sell for added fuel assistance

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Of all the responsibilities lawmakers carry, protecting the most vulnerable should be near the top. That’s why, as the region began another harsh winter month, the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators did the right thing in making a case for the release of home-heating assistance. It’s sad they have to lobby at all, but in recent years this additional set-aside money — $34 …

Editorial: Catholic schools’ merger a test for new Springfield bishop

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Last week’s announcement by Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield that Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic high schools will merge is welcome news for the future of parochial education in the Valley. Both schools in recent years have been uprooted from longtime homes. After Holyoke Catholic’s buildings in Holyoke were condemned, …

Editorial: To the end, Evan S. Dobelle remains tight with a dime

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When president of Westfield State University, Evan S. Dobelle showed a preference for having other people pick up the tab for his personal travel, expensive meals and visits to the Bohemian Grove in California. That’s why he no longer works in Westfield. A development last week suggests Dobelle …

Editorial: Worthington deserves answers about its fire service

Friday, February 27, 2015

Volunteer firefighters are a proud bunch for good reason. They train on their own time to protect lives and property. They miss family meals on cold winter nights. Not enough people in small Hampshire and Franklin county towns are willing to join these crews; those who do perform …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a …

Editorial: Iranian student policy a test of UMass campus loyalties

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The law that tripped up University of Massachusetts officials this month, resulting in what one professor somewhat hysterically called “billions of dollars in bad press,” is known as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012. The part of it that applies to schools like …

Editorial: Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One of the first major tests on which the Senate presidency of Stanley C. Rosenberg will be judged is reform of the state’s welfare and job training programs. The Amherst Democrat announced last week the “WorkFirst Initiative” designed …

Editorial: Ruling in embezzlement case offers new chance for justice

Monday, February 23, 2015

A judicial ruling last week raised questions about the handling of a long-running embezzlement case by the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Prosecutors should give deep thought to their next move. The case involved Northampton resident Nancy Whitley, who with her former wife and business partner, Heather Whitley, proposed …

Rev. Peter Kakos: Use of word ‘terror’ is about more than semantics

Monday, February 23, 2015

FLORENCE — Those who criticize President Obama’s intentional avoidance of the word “terrorists” to describe ISIL (choosing instead to say “Islamic extremists”), have at the least done us a service by raising a crucial point: How we describe our enemy has consequences. Words matter, for they not only …

Editorial: State must clear backlog in food stamps applications

Sunday, February 22, 2015

An essential piece of the nation’s safety net — food assistance to low-income individuals and families — may be fraying in Massachusetts. Though the Bay State was once one of the fastest to process applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, it is now among the slowest, data …

Editorial: Workers shoulder burden of two employers’ fraudulent actions

Friday, February 20, 2015

Two legal actions this week targeted Valley employers with track records of paying themselves first. In both cases, it has been workers — at the former Northampton Motor Classics LLC and at the Chang & Sons Enterprises farm in Whately — who suffered. That is the picture painted …

Editorial: Those who opt out of measles vaccine take unnecessary risks for all

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Receiving confusing, misleading, or outright untrue information from the government — and corporate America — over the years has left many people cynical. In the health field in particular, public trust has been shattered time and again by misjudgment. Consider the act of prescribing the devastatingly dangerous Thalidomide …