Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 79° | Lo 59°


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 — remains bottomless. That driver, James W. …

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. 21, 1994, in announcing her choice of city native Russell P. Sienkiewicz to replace the …

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. Elbowing its way in on Nov. 21, 1948: an upstart medium, television. In its 65 …

Fighting for justice does not mean forsaking integrity

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“I identify as black.” With this pronouncement on NBC’s “Today” program, former Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal tried closing the door on the controversy that’s thrust her into the national spotlight. Identifying internally as black, however, doesn’t allow someone to deliberately mislead the public about one’s race. That’s …

Editorial: Sean Dunphy leaves legacy as visionary public servant in Northampton

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sean M. Dunphy, who died Saturday at the age of 74, is remembered by many for his nearly six years as mayor of Northampton during the 1970s when he modernized city government and helped guide the transformation of …

Editorial: Northampton teen task force gathers own testimony on opioid crisis

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A year after former Gov. Deval Patrick assailed the widespread abuse of heroin and opioid painkillers, Northampton teens have assembled a photographic report on how it affects their community. Their project, on view at the Forbes Library through June 29, puts faces on an abstract public health crisis. …

Editorial: Jody Kasper is best choice as next Northampton chief

Friday, June 12, 2015

As he ponders whom to name as Northampton’s new police chief, Mayor David J. Narkewicz finds himself in an enviable position: Both of the top candidates for the post have strong track records in law enforcement, years of …

Editorial: A new day dawns for Amherst municipal solar project

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amherst’s fight to go big with solar power went into overtime, and resulted this spring in what referees might call a no-decision. It’s good to see that now, just three months after a lawsuit against a solar venture was dismissed, the town wants back into the game. The …

Editorial: Legislature must face reality of marijuana legalization

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Massachusetts in all likelihood by the end of 2016 will legalize marijuana for recreational use. At issue is the best process to ensure that the drug will be properly regulated once existing criminal penalties are lifted. Four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — and the District …

Editorial: New law adjusts balance between security, individual freedom

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The decision by Congress to rein in at least a portion of the snooping powers contained in the 14-year-old Patriot Act exposes a conundrum for many Americans. Many are willing to give up a little liberty — as one Northampton resident told the Gazette this past week — …

Editorial: Arcadia sanctuary, rail trail earn their places on Valley’s map

Monday, June 8, 2015

See them again, or for the first time. The Norwottuck Rail Trail is back in mint condition after a two-year construction project and $3.7 million federal investment. And the current issue of Yankee Magazine hails the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton and Northampton as the “Best Birdwatching” location …

Editorial: Lending a bit of art to best seats in the house

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The 15 metal benches newly decorated with colorful, whimsical designs on Main and Pleasant streets in Northampton are the work of the Northampton Youth Commission, which led the charge to beautify downtown for a variety of reasons. The commission, made up of more than two dozen city youth, …

Editorial: An old idea in South Hadley can get better with time

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A major project under consideration for two decades in South Hadley won’t be hurt by the six months or so that it will take to allow more public comment, despite claims to that effect. After deciding last year to build a new headquarters on Old Lyman Road, commissioners …