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Editorial: Is fuller train service for Valley really around the corner?

Monday, December 22, 2014

The promise of faster and more direct rail travel through the Valley arrives next week. On Monday, officials celebrated with a ceremonial run from Springfield to Greenfield and whistle-stop speechmaking. The promise, though, is only partially fulfilled. The large second piece of the puzzle is the creation of regular commuter runs on top of the infrequent Amtrak service that kicks off Monday. Not only haven’t the puzzle pieces for commuter …

Editorial: For Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, increased scrutiny now a fact of life

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the eve of the biggest vote of his life, state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg has found himself facing questions about his least favorite topic: his personal life. Rosenberg has been able to avoid such questions for a long time. He is known for taking tough assignments in the Legislature, including work on redistricting and the new casino law. He’s a policy wonk, not …

Editorial: Meaningful work can be undertaken at any age — as these seniors show

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

People at any age can be valued and valuable. They can be contributing members of a community doing worthwhile work. Society sometimes forgets this. In Amherst, 87-year-old Shirley Whittemore has been indulging her longtime passion for doll-making by setting up a veritable doll factory in her living room. She made 80 dolls this year for children in foster care. Dolls might sound a …

Editorial: Is it time to retire English lord as college’s human mascot?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amid their frantic end-of-semester studying, some students at Amherst College found time for good-natured pranks with a serious message. Students want to replace the college mascot, Lord Jeffery Amherst, with the mighty moose. Their rather elaborate pranks included placing a life-size metal moose sculpture in the foyer of …

Editorial: Barstow farm project rewrites dairying economics in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Since 1806, members of the Barstow family have risen to long days working land on a rise just east of the Connecticut River in Hadley. In all that time, despite the coming of industry and waves of tech revolutions, one thing remained constant: Milking cows takes people a …

Adam Fisher: A 91-cent gift that never lost its value

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Like ivy on some campus dormitory, the Christmas lights have begun to creep up and around the houses in my Northampton neighborhood. Their jolly colors whisper of long traditions — of giving, of neurotic shopping and …

Global pact on climate leaves an ocean of ‘ifs’

Monday, December 15, 2014

The climate deal struck in Peru this weekend fixes a fatal flaw in an earlier international agreement. Is it a true breakthrough, though, or a future footnote to the calamity residents of a warming planet failed to prevent? …

Editorial: Neighbors have clear stake in Valley CDC’s Pleasant Street project in Northampton.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Productive public discussions are exploring details of the Valley Community Development Corp.’s proposed housing and retail project for Pleasant Street in Northampton. Though not always easy, these sessions are well worth the effort if what comes of them …

Editorial: Enriching opportunities for community college students

Monday, December 15, 2014

There was a time when Emmanuel Morales did not imagine he would design his own education at Hampshire College in Amherst, where he is studying the “intersection of civil liberties and technology.” Morales, 22, told the Gazette in a story published this week that he grew up in …

Editorial: Ebola crisis eases but far from over

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Ebola crisis has dropped from the top of the national news broadcasts and fallen off the front pages of newspapers, but the deadly disease is still raging in West Africa with Sierra Leone now the country hardest hit as medical personnel get a handle on the virus …

Editorial: What the CIA did in all of our names

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Central Intelligence Agency delivered cruel and usual punishment to people caught up its post-Sept. 11 dragnet, a long-awaited Senate report reveals. In dank holes around the world, people representing the U.S. government brutalized captives out of the …

Editorial: Toward a day when black lives really do matter in US

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What’s in a hashtag? When it comes to the current furor over the killing of black men by police officers, the answer is nothing less than the history of racial violence in America and our failure to create …

Editorial: Low wage activists put the case to customers

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rallies and one-day strikes in 190 cities last week pressed the case that fast-food workers — there are 7 million of them in the U.S. — deserve a living wage. They are a long way from making it — and this should be everyone’s concern. The average fast-food …