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Screen-grab from the Northampton, Mass., Open Checkbook website, April 17,2014

Editorial: The ‘open checkbook’ way brings transparency to Northampton, Amherst

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The recent addition of Open Checkbook to Amherst and Northampton municipal websites is a big win for government transparency. Open Checkbook databases provide anyone with an Internet connection the ability to see how governments are spending tax dollars — down to the penny. Sorry, but it doesn’t mean you can write yourself a check. By reviewing data organized by municipal … 0

Editorial: Don’t let the fireworks fizzle in Northampton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. What could be simpler or more patriotic? The first Fourth of July celebration came in 1776 at the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. We can thank John Adams for the fireworks idea. John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, saying that “the … 0

EDITORIAL: Jennifer Martel’s legacy

Monday, April 14, 2014

It’s not often a legislative body passes a bill unanimously, but the Massachusetts House did so last week when lawmakers, in a 142-0 vote, backed an overhaul of state domestic violence laws. The proposal is considered the most sweeping legislation affecting the way law enforcement responds to domestic violence in a decade. Its … 0

Editorial: Northampton’s watershed logging is sound

Friday, March 28, 2014

From one end of New England to the other, municipalities have adopted forestry management plans that involve logging public land. The idea isn’t new, nor, when done properly, is it bad for a forest. On the contrary, scientists who study forests and soil believe that maintaining a healthy, … 4

Editorial: Amherst voters opt for steady leadership of top board

Thursday, March 27, 2014

As many expected, Andrew Steinberg and Constance Kruger handily beat Helen Berg and John Boothroyd on Tuesday to win seats on the five-member Amherst Select Board held by two two-term veterans. Stephanie O’Keeffe and Diana Stein did not … 1

Editorial: The First Churches and an historic bargain with a stained-glass window

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

History comes at a steep cost to the First Churches in Northampton. The church took out an $800,000 loan a few years ago to cover the expense of a roof repair after a capital campaign fell short. Each … 0

Editorial: Scott Brown takes his next Senate campaign north

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Republican Scott Brown burst onto the national political scene in January 2010 with a stunning win in a special election for the U.S. Senate seat held for 47 years by Democratic icon Edward M. Kennedy. Now with a move north to challenge Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire, Brown … 0

Editorial: Dogged, and handcuffed, over a dog license in Belchertown

Monday, March 24, 2014

Sylvia Buzzell’s encounter with the criminal justice system this month offers a cautionary tale. It also raises questions about how a relatively minor matter can result in a young mother being handcuffed and taken away under arrest, as … 1

Editorial: Two parades, both Irish

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Guess what? Gay people marched in Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade last Sunday. Just not with permission from parade organizers. Gay people will also march in the Holyoke St. Patrick’s Parade this weekend — with the blessing of … 0

Editorial: State helps families put food back on the table

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It isn’t fraud to want to protect children from going hungry. When Congress passed a new five-year farm bill last month, it cut roughly $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Even so, … 0

Editorial: Finding a different ending to riotous Amherst partying

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The University of Massachusetts is taking a bold step to hire former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis to scrutinize all aspects of March 8’s Blarney Blowout. That fiasco, which police say drew 10,000 unruly revelers to various outdoor … 0

Editorial: Inside women’s financial lives

Monday, March 17, 2014

Talk alone won’t solve a family’s money problems. But letting a shadowy and overlooked topic like this up into the light helps people understand the challenges they face, and that they are not alone. The recent premiere of … 0

Editorial: Amherst schools take steps to heal racial divides

Sunday, March 16, 2014

We don’t live in a post-racial society. It’s important to acknowledge this. If a problem is not recognized, it cannot be addressed. That is why we are glad to see Amherst address racism in its schools, and we encourage other communities to take action. Racism isn’t just Amherst’s … 1