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Editorial: Reason must guide shared use of former Northampton State Hospital land

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s clear that Northampton has a gem of a property in 282 acres off Burts Pit Road that formerly was part of the state hospital and which, for the past 25 years, has been used both for farming and recreation. That continued shared relationship is now under scrutiny triggered by passage of the first 25 years in a 99-year lease of the state land to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High …

Editorial: Don’t stick ratepayers alone with cost of electricity bill refunds

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Angry constituents who flooded state Sen. Donald Humason’s office this winter with phone calls had one simple message — help. They felt ripped off by their electricity companies for sending them large final bills after they switched to a competitive supplier. They were right to be angry. Many knew little or nothing about a rebilling charge until the mail came, and it’s clear …

Editorial: US steps up to address decline in honeybee numbers

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our Pioneer Valley, a region dotted with farms, orchards and fields, makes an idyllic vision, one that conjures up “the land of milk and honey,” words from the Old Testament. Those words can be taken literally since the region provides much in the way of fresh dairy products, fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers and, …

Editorial: Bernie Sanders for president? It’s not a laugh line

Friday, May 8, 2015

Fellow Americans, please join us in putting down the hammer, setting aside that big work project and telling those dirty dishes they can wait. Together, let’s climb to the nearest mountain top, drink in the latest news from …

Editorial: Amherst’s first economic development director will need room to move

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It’s quite a job description. Amherst’s town manager says the economic development director the town plans to hire within weeks — now that it has Town Meeting approval — will help shape a vibrant downtown, enliven outlying village centers, encourage creation of affordable housing, bring jobs and expand …

Editorial: Marathon bomber deserves sentence of lifelong punishment

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Life or death? Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who has already admitted guilt in the Boston Marathon bombing that left three dead and 264 injured, awaits his fate. A federal jury must now decide if Tsarnaev will be executed for his …

Editorial: Northampton parking study merits careful consideration

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A study examining the availability of downtown parking in Northampton finds that while the system is generally well-managed, there is room for improvement. The report released in April by Walker Parking Consultants, which has an office in Boston, …

Editorial: State’s early-retirement deal arrives with troubling costs

Monday, May 4, 2015

A deal Friday resolved disagreements between the state Senate and House over an early-retirement plan for state workers that Gov. Charlie Baker seeks to help close a budget gap. The compromise tweaks the Early Retirement Incentive Program the administration filed as “emergency” legislation because, well, there’s an emergency: …

Editorial: VA’s memo to hospital staff must read: No excuse to mistreat patients

Sunday, May 3, 2015

How did the psychiatric patient find himself on the floor late one night at the veterans hospital in Leeds? Was it because he threw himself there, as the registered nurse in charge of the shift told an officer with the VA’s police department? That was the official account …

Editorial: Court must consider children in its gay marriage decision

Friday, May 1, 2015

The gay marriage cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court make the clearest argument yet that the right to marry should be extended coast to coast. Why? It’s not just about adults and their rights; it’s about the kids. In a case that promises to be a turning …

Editorial: Finding common ground, one student to another

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Governments send ambassadors to understand their global neighbors. People go themselves. When they do, they often find — despite worries about the other — that many things connect them. This spring, students at two Valley schools have been visiting one another and getting acquainted, in an interaction that …

Editorial: Solar project’s collapse comes at cost to Amherst

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The town of Amherst has missed an opportunity not only to be a responsible consumer of green energy, but to save taxpayers millions of dollars to power town and school buildings. That was the promise of its plan …

Editorial: Compromise necessary on legislative committee tussle

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four months into his Senate presidency, Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst is engaged in a very public power play with House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo over how legislative committees do their work. Essentially, Rosenberg wants to make it easier for bills that originate in the Senate to be …