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Not an easy task, but saving Amherst mural worth effort

Friday, July 25, 2014

An enormous painting of Emily Dickinson’s face, surrounded by colorful blossoms and flanked by other luminaries from Amherst’s past, gazes out from the back wall of the Carriage Shops in Amherst center. The poet’s image provides the centerpiece of the community-created mural framing the historic West Cemetery that fans out beyond it, the burial ground for Dickinson and her family, as well as early town settlers, farmers, mill workers, servants, … 0

Immigrant children deserve safe harbor

Friday, July 25, 2014

The term “unaccompanied minors” sounds so clinical, it’s easy to distance from it. The phrase has been everywhere in the national media lately because of the unprecedented surge in the number of children fleeing Central American countries in hopes of finding refuge in the United States. We prefer the word, “children.” It is children who are traveling thousands of miles through dangerous terrain, … 0

Nation must abandon ‘War on Drugs’

Friday, July 25, 2014

I have been horrified by the newspaper headlines the last couple of weeks: Israeli children murdered, Palestinian children murdered in return. A plane shot out of the sky and hundreds of people dead, including eighty children. Seven hundred deaths in Gaza, a third of them children. And thousands of children have lost their lives in the Syrian war. Closer to home, we see … 0

Tubing tragedy a reminder of any river’s dangers

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Family and friends of 24-year-old Molly Dowd of Brattleboro, Vermont, are in mourning after the young woman’s body was pulled from the Deerfield River Tuesday. Her death offers a tragic reminder of the dangers present in any body … 0

Editorial: Leading way forward for Valley’s critical nonprofits

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The new leader of Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity was 13 when the national group formed a chapter here two decades ago. Megan McDonough of Colrain became an adult as this important nonprofit found its footing and base … 0

Editorial: Unanswered questions in Amherst school attack

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Even close readers of the news are likely puzzled by a reported setback — yes, another one — in race relations in the Amherst schools. There’s a reason for that confusion. And a remedy. Amherst school officials need to explain more fully what happened to a white student … 0

Editorial: Girl Scout Lyndsey Pisano makes inspirational use of yesterday’s music

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Seventeen-year-old Lyndsey Pisano of South Hadley didn’t invent the idea, but she took the revelation that familiar music can bring Alzheimer’s patients to life and ran with it, making some veterans at the Soldiers Home in Holyoke very happy. Pisano spent hours compiling 1,000 songs from earlier eras … 0

Editorial: Native artifacts should be public treasures

Friday, July 4, 2014

Members of a Deerfield farm family are asking University of Massachusetts researchers for more information about — and the return of — Native American artifacts dug up from their property. While the question of who owns the artifacts may take time to sort out, we hope that the … 0

Editorial: Finding right words to define patriotism

Thursday, July 3, 2014

At dusk Friday, unless a storm interferes, fireworks will color the sky over Amherst to celebrate the day, 238 years ago, when 56 people at the Second Continental Congress signed a document declaring the 13 “united States of America” independent of a despotic king. “To prove this,” their … 0

Editorial: Much to like in a state budget that aids higher ed and communities and improves child protections

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Kudos to the state Legislature for delivering on time to the governor a balanced budget for the fiscal year that began Tuesday. We urge Gov. Deval Patrick, who must act on the $36.5 billion spending plan by July 10, to leave intact critical increases for higher education, substance … 0

Editorial: Corporations can now also be religious people

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that corporations are entitled to exercise free speech by giving buckets of money to candidates — delivering a body blow to a precious thing, our democracy. The court opened another front in the culture wars this week by extending corporate liberties to … 0

Editorial: A solar solution for the former Belchertown State School?

Monday, June 30, 2014

More than 20 years have passed since the closing of the Belchertown State School in 1992. Since then more than half a dozen proposals have trumpeted visions for reclaiming the central campus and empty buildings on more than 80 acres. But one by one, these proposals proved more … 0

Editorial: Let the people speak, regardless of school panel’s time limit

Friday, June 27, 2014

To hear a group of Amherst Regional High School teachers talk about the racial tensions that have roiled their school and community is to believe something inspiring may emerge from a dispiriting series of events, including harassment that prompted teacher Carolyn Gardner to leave in May. The incidents … 0