Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 84° | Lo 58°


Editorial: A fragile optimism dawns for redevelopment of former Belchertown State School site

Thursday, May 28, 2015

If a project advances, a piece of ground in Belchertown will go from restricted living to assisted living. That may not sound like a big change, there’s a world of difference, more than 20 years after the human warehouse known as the Belchertown State School closed. Still, Kirk Stephens, a member of the Belchertown Economic Development & Industrial Corp., has a lot of reasons to be only “guardedly optimistic” about …

Editorial: When the call to teach runs in the family

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Talk about your teachable moments. This time it was a teacher — well, a future teacher — whose eyes were opened. Through high school and college, Alicia Lopez says she had resolved not to follow her parents into a career in education. Lopez did know she wanted to find a job in which she could help people. Important work, in other words. After …

Editorial: Northampton pool could keep YMCA team in the swim

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News about the fate of the Hampshire Regional YMCA swim team didn’t emerge until the end of a recent meeting between Y leaders and team parents, further evidence that the organization’s leaders could use a lesson in the importance of clear communication. But when a member of the audience pressed the point in the meeting’s final question, Andy Pollock, chairman of the Y …

Editorial: Reason must guide shared use of former Northampton State Hospital land

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s clear that Northampton has a gem of a property in 282 acres off Burts Pit Road that formerly was part of the state hospital and which, for the past 25 years, has been used both for farming and recreation. That continued shared relationship is now under scrutiny …

Editorial: Don’t stick ratepayers alone with cost of electricity bill refunds

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Angry constituents who flooded state Sen. Donald Humason’s office this winter with phone calls had one simple message — help. They felt ripped off by their electricity companies for sending them large final bills after they switched to a competitive supplier. They were right to be angry. Many …

Editorial: US steps up to address decline in honeybee numbers

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our Pioneer Valley, a region dotted with farms, orchards and fields, makes an idyllic vision, one that conjures up “the land of milk and honey,” words from the Old Testament. Those words can be taken literally since the …

Editorial: Historic Northampton dig offers look at living history

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today, toss household trash out your back door and the health board might visit. At 58 Bridge St. in Northampton, authorities are on the lookout for a serial litterer. It’s a bit of a cold case — and …

Editorial: Calculating what nonprofits bring to life in Northampton

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

It is a fair but difficult question: To what degree should nonprofits in Northampton be asked to pay for city services? It is fair because they benefit from things like police and fire protection and more generally from calling a vibrant city their home. It is difficult because, …

Editorial: Removal of old rail ties first step in cleanup

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Load by load, old railroad ties that pose a fire hazard are being hauled away in Northampton and Holyoke, days after a Northampton lawmaker called for the state Department of Transportation to act. Now that it has acknowledged …

Editorial: State should join movement to protect pregnant workers

Monday, May 18, 2015

One by one, states across the country are doing the right thing by codifying into law protections for pregnant woman and new mothers in the workforce. It’s time for Massachusetts to join the fray. A movement is afoot to compel employers to make reasonable — in most cases, …

Editorial : Putting human face on ravages of drug addiction

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The parents of a Granby teen recently showed the courage it will take for society to come to grips with the public health threat presented by drug addiction. Richard Hooper faced a nightmare April 24 when he found his son on a computer looking up prescription pills he’d …

Editorial: Time to find a future for a landmark Northampton Catholic church

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wheels turn slowly at the Vatican, but decisions do come. And this month, five years after Northampton parishioners filed an appeal in Latin to save St. Mary of the Assumption Church, they lost. The Apostolic Signatura ruled the Springfield Diocese followed church law when it closed both the …

Editorial: Between the lines on a case involving False Claims Act

Friday, May 15, 2015

No, no — and no. Evan S. Dobelle, who played loose with money that belonged to Westfield State University and to Massachusetts taxpayers, sent a recent message through one of his lawyers that contains at least three questionable assertions. We’ll take them one by one. Dobelle, the former …