Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 47° | Lo 31°


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 bit frivolous, but anyone who knows children …

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 the Frost Library just after Thanksgiving, when the library was closed. Though library staff members …

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 lot of time. No longer. In a remarkable development that could strengthen the beleaguered dairy …

Editorial: Taking the bars of downtown benches

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Four benches in the public courtyard next to the Hampshire County Courthouse became user-friendly this week after practically screaming “don’t sit here” for about the past two years. Each of them had been outfitted with two silver metal bars that extended diagonally from the seat back to the …

Editorial: Lessons in a jar of peanut butter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A tiny girl gave the community an outsized lesson last week. Lavery Greenfield, 8, a third-grader at the Hatfield Elementary School, spearheaded a collection drive that contributed 1,009 pounds of peanut butter and jelly to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. She didn’t do this all by herself …

Editorial: Threats against schools demand full investigation

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Easthampton teenager now confined to her home knows better than anyone how seriously school authorities and police take perceived threats of violence. As they should. It is likely to come clear, in time, that the 18-year-old student who police say told classmates she wanted “to blow up …

Editorial: Cleanup in aisle two-niner

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An emotional support kitten maybe. But a 70-pound pig? We feel some sympathy for the Connecticut woman who claimed to need the company of a pot-bellied pig during a flight from Bradley International Airport last week. Now that just about everyone on the planet knows of her failed …

Editorial: Women’s accounts shatter Bill Cosby’s public image

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A decade ago, Bill Cosby reached an out-of-court settlement with a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her. That quieted the accuser, but the case raised questions about the conduct and character of one of America’s most respected entertainers and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, …

Editorial: Valley police departments, and public, gain through new mutual aid pact

Monday, December 1, 2014

People fleeing police should not be able to foil capture by crossing town lines. A new mutual aid agreement for the region will help officers bring suspects to account without confusion or delay, in the wake of a 2013 Supreme Judicial Court decision. Hampshire County is a jigsaw …

Editorial: Getting nowhere fast on state elevator safety

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Efforts by the state Department of Public Safety to guarantee elevator safety in Massachusetts remain stuck between floors, decades after this problem was identified. A new audit found that for the time under review, the percentage of elevators without timely inspections was higher than when officials confronted the …

Holidays a time to help less fortunate children

Friday, November 28, 2014

As we celebrate this holiday season, it is a time also to remember people who are less fortunate. There are many in the Valley who — because of illness, loss of a job, family circumstances — face a cheerless season without the generosity of others. Opportunities abound to …

Editorial: Food bank rethinks Thanksgiving table — to strengthen offerings all days of the year

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

In church basements around the Valley, those without enough means are enjoying traditional Thanksgiving meals today thanks to community volunteers and donations that make such feasts possible. Meanwhile, at dining tables around the Valley, other families who struggle to make ends meet may have found it more difficult …

Editorial: Another school struggles to overcome rape culture

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Must progress against rape on campus be so slow? As the White House pushes a sexual assault awareness campaign, does every college and university in the country have to go through its own spastic awakening? Events in Virginia …