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Editorial: Easthampton mayor, in glide path to second term, should articulate goals for city

Thursday, October 8, 2015

As Easthampton Mayor Karen L. Cadieux closes out her first term, a second awaits on a silver platter next month. Why? She’s running unopposed. That may say something good about the job she’s done so far as only the city’s second mayor. But the lack of contest may not be in her long-term best interest — or that of the city. Competition can keep an elected leader sharp, focused on …

Editorial: Rosenberg’s take-away from DC trip key for pipeline foes

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

State Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst delivered a message to federal regulators when he visited Washington, D.C., last week — there is deeply rooted opposition to the Northeast Energy Direct project that would send a natural gas pipeline through western Massachusetts. Just as significant for pipeline foes is Rosenberg’s take-away from the D.C. trip — that given the right mix of …

Editorial: Deadly attack on Kunduz hospital needs full accounting by US

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

It is too soon to label as a war crime the U.S. airstrikes that hit a hospital in northern Afghanistan Saturday, killing 19 people, including three children. But only a full and frank accounting of this tragedy stands a chance of lifting the specter of heinous misconduct by U.S. forces. After losing 12 …

Editorial: A chance for compromise in Dunkin’ Donuts flap

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

At a recent meeting in the Williamsburg Town Offices, residents came out in droves to pan a plan to construct a Dunkin’ Donuts franchise at 142 Main St. in Haydenville, the site of a now-closed bank. But instead of declaring war against it, residents should see this as …

Editorial: Your donations to United Way improve lives of our Valley neighbors

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The stories told by the United Way of Hampshire County in its annual report are compelling. They are about our neighbors — people struggling with the loss of a job, an illness, or reduced independence that comes with aging — who need a helping hand from the community. …

Editorial: Onus on Northampton Housing Authority directors to stabilize organization

Friday, October 2, 2015

Barely two months into her job running the Northampton Housing Authority, Executive Director Cara Clifford had fired employees without giving them due process, run afoul of the state’s Open Meeting Law, negotiated a $70,000 laundry contract in violation of competitive bidding rules and compromised tenant privacy by improperly …

Editorial: Belchertown police chief Francis Fox Jr. leaves without reprimand

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

For the second time this year, Francis Fox Jr. is walking away from a conflict without people “making any determination of wrongdoing.” The first time, Fox came out on top. That occurred when a Granby police officer recognized …

Editorial: Local bank reaches for growth, safety

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Shortly after Easthampton Savings Bank announced a deal last December to expand by buying a northeast Connecticut bank, its leader told the Gazette that “banking is a low-margin business” in which size matters. “Bigger, all other things being equal, is typically better because you obviously make more money …

Editorial: MGM’s disappearing tower shakes casino confidence

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Now you see it. Now you don’t. A 25-story glass-faced tower featured prominently in MGM’s winning bid to build a Springfield casino. But, alas, it will cost too much, MGM said last week as its chief pleaded for …

Editorial: Why did group’s bid for municipal electricity plan come up short?

Monday, September 28, 2015

What is it about western Massachusetts and electrical power? Electrical rates are deeply embedded in the fight over the proposed natural gas pipeline through the region. It was last winter’s spike in electric bills that prompted the latest call by utilities for greater gas capacity in New England …

Editorial: In needed change, Hadley town manager gets more focused review

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hadley Town Administrator David G. Nixon’s job performance evaluation broke ground this year when Select Board members actually put their names on score cards along with poignant critiques of Nixon’s work. The evaluations provide more clarity and information than in years past and set benchmarks for the town …

John Musante hit high mark in his service to Amherst

Friday, September 25, 2015

Things people said about John P. Musante, following his death Sunday, could be bundled into an job description for a municipal leader, though an ambitious one. Wanted: a savvy and experienced executive who is patient, good with other people’s money, calm and resourceful. A good listener and collaborator, …

Editorial: Preparing in Northampton for effects of climate change

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Northampton residents next week have the opportunity to tackle a huge issue — the impact of global warming — in a way that makes a direct connection with their community today and tomorrow. The city’s Planning & Sustainability department is conducting a three-day exercise — using outside experts …