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Editorial: How compromise, in case of Amherst’s Sept. 11 flags, can be the better part of valor

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Compromise is a central tool in governing. Amherst’s Select Board used it five years ago to allow street displays of the American flag on Sept. 11, but only a certain “milestone” anniversary dates of the terror attacks. This week, that compromise came undone. This time, another mechanism of governing kicked in: simple fatigue. After yearly debates over flag displays — and yearly ridicule heaped on the town by conservative pundits, …

Editorial: UMass takes questionable stance on football player’s discipline case

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Alex Stolicny has no doubt about what happened early one morning last February. He was punched so hard in the mouth by a guy at a Hadley party that several teeth came out and he lost consciousness. That’s the story he has been telling since Feb. 21. It is the same account his school, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, considered when a student …

Editorial: All information needed to make right call on pipeline

Monday, August 31, 2015

As the debate rages over the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline project, the public keeps coming back to a central question: Does the region require more pipeline capacity to fill its need for fuel? Or might the region be able to heat its homes and businesses with power from other, less intrusive sources? The natural gas industry has long complained that Massachusetts’ (and …

Editorial: With American’s gun culture, time to say enough is enough

Friday, August 28, 2015

What began as a routine television interview became, in seconds, gruesome evidence of the intersection of narcissism, social media and the American gun culture. If any good is to come of Wednesday’s fatal shooting of two young journalists …

Editorial: Private investment pushes Amherst center changes

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The commercial transformation of downtown Amherst continues apace, though one high-profile project must still get right with history. We expect that it will — and that these ventures will add life to the town center without altering its character. Two decisions have just come down on One East …

Editorial: Cummington Fair does right by revisiting its guest list

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

With apologies made by two Cummington Fair officials, it’s time for the storied Hilltown event to kick off its 147th year today the way it should: proud of the rural traditions it celebrates and the sense of community it continues to build. It took courage for people within …

Editorial: Eyesores in Hadley will at last come down

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The town of Hadley showed great patience over the slow decay of buildings near the corner of Route 9 and Bay Road. In the end, it took local leverage to get something done. Robert Bolduc, the president of Pride Inc., is now pledging to demolish the former Aqua …

Editorial: Tapping senior voices gives Lathrop Community an edge

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

After a quarter century as part of the local “senior living market,” the Lathrop Community Inc. is looking at the next 25 years. The nonprofit group recently hired a Boston architectural firm to help it shape a $26 million expansion plan in Northampton and Easthampton. Even though details …

Editorial: New Amtrak route shows promise, but pieces still missing

Monday, August 24, 2015

Are these trains — Amtrak’s Vermonter and other north-south service — bound for glory? If so, wishing won’t make it so — and it may be time for officials to stop salivating over the potential for economic development. Only patient and continued public investment in routes, schedules and …

Editorial: State consumers win fight against outmoded utility fee

Monday, August 24, 2015

Thanks to new bipartisan legislation in Massachusetts, electricity customers who went in search of lower rates will be compensated for a jolt they didn’t see coming: being charged to seek a better deal for their families. The turnabout is a win for angry and confused consumers, but it …

Editorial: Independent review makes sense on Berkshire Gas moratorium

Friday, August 21, 2015

If you find yourself questioning the moratorium Berkshire Gas has in place forbidding new customers or expanded uses in parts of Franklin and Hampshire counties, including Amherst, Deerfield, Greenfield and Hadley, you’re not alone. Only the most naive would accept at face value the company’s explanation that it …

Editorial: Two Amherst leaders get a bit of homework

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Though schools don’t open until Sept. 2 in Amherst, two in the community are already getting their grades. While both did well, they have some homework ahead of them. The town’s manager and school superintendent this month received evaluations from the boards that oversee their performance, the Select …

Editorial: In different tragedies, victims and judges strive for justice

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In two hearings earlier this month, judges, lawyers, defendants and family members gathered in a Northampton courtroom for an all-too-familiar event: the sentencing of a person who had snuffed out the lives of others while driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The outcome of each …