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Editorial: VA’s memo to hospital staff must read: No excuse to mistreat patients

Sunday, May 3, 2015

How did the psychiatric patient find himself on the floor late one night at the veterans hospital in Leeds? Was it because he threw himself there, as the registered nurse in charge of the shift told an officer with the VA’s police department? That was the official account for months. Then came a detailed report from the inspector general’s office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It provided a far …

Editorial: Court must consider children in its gay marriage decision

Friday, May 1, 2015

The gay marriage cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court make the clearest argument yet that the right to marry should be extended coast to coast. Why? It’s not just about adults and their rights; it’s about the kids. In a case that promises to be a turning point in American law and society, Michigan nurses April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are arguing …

Editorial: Finding common ground, one student to another

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Governments send ambassadors to understand their global neighbors. People go themselves. When they do, they often find — despite worries about the other — that many things connect them. This spring, students at two Valley schools have been visiting one another and getting acquainted, in an interaction that would be wholly unremarkable in most cases. But in this one, the institutions involved had …

Editorial: Solar project’s collapse comes at cost to Amherst

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The town of Amherst has missed an opportunity not only to be a responsible consumer of green energy, but to save taxpayers millions of dollars to power town and school buildings. That was the promise of its plan …

Editorial: Compromise necessary on legislative committee tussle

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four months into his Senate presidency, Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst is engaged in a very public power play with House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo over how legislative committees do their work. Essentially, Rosenberg wants to make it easier for bills that originate in the Senate to be …

Editorial: Mayor’s task: Settling waters at Northampton Senior Center

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This morning’s community meeting about use of the Northampton Senior Center should have happened months ago. If it had, Mayor David J. Narkewicz might not be heading into a bit of a storm today. It starts at 10 a.m. at the center at 67 Conz St. The city’s …

Utility regulators act quickly, but more education needed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Four months. That’s all the time it took the state Department of Public Utilities to eliminate an unfair rule that penalized electricity customers for switching to a competitive supplier that promised lower bills. The speed at which the state’s top utility regulators acted shows the power of protest. …

Editorial: Lessons in compassion from an exiled leader

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the Dalai Lama visits the Pioneer Valley in late October, college students and fortunate members of the public will get the chance to hear from a man for whom patience, compassion and joy are not abstract notions. For him and his followers, they are the keys to …

Editorial: Hadley must invest in larger police force

Thursday, April 23, 2015

‘It’s not good business.” That’s how the chairman of Hadley’s Finance Committee sees the practice of paying some police officers more in overtime than they earn in regular pay. Residents may have other words for it. As a Gazette story detailed Thursday, Hadley has long rung up deficits …

Editorial: The Big Data moment at UMass

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Within a week, the University of Massachusetts went big on Big Data. It outlined plans to create a Center for Data Science, raising $100 million to hire 40 faculty members in the next 10 years. And it elevated the “school” of computer science to a “college.” Both moves …

Editorial: The sickening cycle of domestic violence

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kristen Murray is lucky to be alive. As Murray told a judge last week, she thought her relationship with Kevin Pardee had ended. But early April 8, this former boyfriend showed up at her house in Easthampton. And a day that terrified her began. The account Murray provided …

Editorial: Why a new Hampshire College program might offer Conscience 101

Monday, April 20, 2015

In the annals of “doing good,” Hampshire College graduate Julie Schecter appears to have earned her wings. She and other trustees of a family foundation called SHIFT will give more than $2 million to the school. That’s good …

Editorial: US should allow refinancing of college loans

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Millions of Americans who borrow money to pay for college are locked into relatively high interest rates that compound the growing problem of student debt. Legislation that Sen. Elizabeth Warren keeps introducing — and Republicans keep turning back — would provide relief. It isn’t a bailout or giveaway. …