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Editorial: Why mayor’s search for next Northampton fire chief started and ended inside department

Friday, July 3, 2015

Those who know best what it takes to be a fire chief agree: Duane Nichols, who has devoted his whole adult life to serving the Northampton Fire Rescue Department, earned the right to succeed Chief Brian Duggan. Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz named him to the job Wednesday. Easthampton’s fire chief, David Mottor, recalls Nichols’ focus and professionalism during the department’s most severe recent test — the 2009 fires set …

Editorial: Governor sets right tone with broad addictions fight

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker during his first six months in office has declared war on the scourge of opioid and opiate addiction in Massachusetts, and reducing the epidemic of related deaths is a top priority for his administration. The recommendations issued last week by the governor are a forward-looking, comprehensive blend of approaches, combining prevention, education, prescription monitoring reforms, increased access to treatment, and …

Editorial: Finding the right punishment for the driver who killed Edward and Brittany McGrath

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Edward and Brittany McGrath died together 10 months ago while riding a motorcycle. Services for them were held soon after, celebrating their lives and accomplishments. But on Tuesday, heart-wrenching stories about them were in the air again, this time in a Northampton courtroom. Grief over their deaths, due to another man’s apparent decision to drive in a heroin stupor — a criminal act …

Editorial: Russell P. Sienkiewicz was right chief for the time in Northampton

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

When former Northampton Mayor Mary L. Ford tapped a low-profile 38-year-old lieutenant in the detective bureau to be police chief in 1994, she surprised many by passing over two higher-ranking and better-known members of the department. “He will have the confidence of the whole force,” she said Feb. …

Editorial: Serving local audience is vital part of WMUA’s mission

Monday, June 29, 2015

Two weeks before WMUA went on the air, President Harry S. Truman upset his Republican challenger to hold on to the White House. A world war had just ended and a cold one lay ahead. Babies were booming. …

Editorial: When equality is victor, every American benefits

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jurists and legal scholars will continue to disagree about whether the 14th Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses provided the correct foundation for the Supreme Court to outlaw state bans on same-sex marriage. Friday’s landmark decision came …

Editorial: New Hadley police chief takes charge of overtime problem

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It’s good to see that Hadley Police Chief Michael Mason, who is trying to solve a long-time money problem, has a lot of heads nodding in agreement. The new chief told members of the Select Board last week …

Editorial: Reason prevails with high court decision that preserves Obamacare

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Do no harm. That’s a medical principle, not a legal one. But in its 6-3 decision Thursday, the Roberts court saw through a politically motivated attack on the Affordable Care Act. It found that a system that extended health insurance to millions is operating as legislation meant it …

Editorial: Second legal front opens in case against William W. Ryder

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Grieving families began filing lawsuits just weeks after the state closed the Ryder Funeral Home a year ago. This week, grand jurors sitting in Northampton, having heard of the fraud and malpractice William W. Ryder is alleged to have perpetrated for more than a decade, opened a second …

Editorial: ‘Family Fourth’ goes down to wire in Northampton

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Organizers of the Northampton Family Fourth Celebration, just days from their party, are struggling to hit a fundraising goal. The music is booked and fireworks ordered. All that’s needed are clear skies and a few thousand dollars. Priscilla Ross, the group’s chairwoman, said that if there is going …

Editorial: Shutesbury solar project deserves complete consideration

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Last week, some of the people of Shutesbury rose up to express concern about a planned solar farm on 30 wooded acres off Pratt Corner Road. Shutesbury, to a large extent a bedroom town of well-educated employees of local colleges, is often seen as a politically progressive place. …

Editorial: State must bolster staffing for funeral home inspections

Monday, June 22, 2015

Until practice catches up with promises, customers of funeral home services in Massachusetts need to guard themselves and their families against fraudulent conduct that can turn a difficult time into a horrendous one. While steps have been taken …

Editorial: Easthampton teen Bryan Delaney is tops in making right decisions

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bryan Delaney of Easthampton is off this fall to study communications at Ithaca College. He’ll be no rank beginner. Delaney, 18, used what seems to be a natural ability to connect with people while studying at Easthampton High …