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Editorial: Probe into fatal F-15 crash brings only some answers

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eleven months after Lt. Col. Morris M. Fontenot died aboard his F-15C Eagle, certain facts are known about his last minutes. But an investigation into the Westfield-based pilot’s crash last August in rural Virginia cannot satisfy the critical question: Why? Answers may never come. While the commander of the Barnes Air National Guard Base says he hoped a report by the Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board could deliver a …

Editorial: Let’s stop playing games with state’s sales tax holiday

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Will they or won’t they? It’s the annual teasing of the Massachusetts public with our Legislature debating the OK for a sales tax holiday. We doubt very much that lawmakers will say “no” to suspending the 6.25 percent sales tax for a weekend, despite professed misgivings or hesitation about opting out this year. After all, it’s more than a question of a short …

Editorial: Sensible Boston mayor makes right call on 2024 Olympics bid

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It might have been fun. But oh, the sticker shock. The demise of Boston’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics shows that people can love the spirit of the games and want great things for their state without losing their sanity. When it came time for Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to place a bet on behalf of his city before knowing the stakes, …

Editorial: Switching standardized testing yardsticks must bring right results

Friday, July 10, 2015

The teachers, students and parents who have packed hearing rooms to call for a reduction in standardized testing make a compelling case. Putting too much emphasis on test results, they say, squelches creativity in the classroom, ignores the individuality of students and punishes districts with a large percentage …

Editorial: Applause for Amherst’s move to enhance public arts

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

People entering the repurposed police headquarters in Cambridge, which houses a variety of social service groups, can look up and see stunning stained-glass panels at the top of the walls shimmering with hand-blown glass roundels wrapped around found objects. The artwork is called “A Long Story.” In the …

Editorial: Unsealed court documents vindicate Bill Cosby’s accusers

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The allegations of sexual assault surrounding Bill Cosby were obscured by the haze of time. The events took place so many years, if not decades, ago. And one of Shelburne’s most famous residents was steadfast in his denials. …

Editorial: Attack on area homelessness will include more than veterans

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz has signed a pledge to ensure that all veterans have housing by the end of this year. But that is far from the end of the story. The pledge Narkewicz signed is one part of a much larger effort under a federal initiative …

Editorial: Online voter registration removes barrier, but more can be done

Monday, July 6, 2015

Over the course of this year’s annual Town Meeting season, many residents once again experienced our version of grassroots democracy and the power of the ballot box. The vote is a powerful tool for making decisions that influence the shape of our government as well as our lives …

Editorial: Year ahead will decide fate of Hatfield Center School

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It has been 35 years since Hatfield children walked from final classes at the town’s Center School and 10 years since residents faced up to the fact that the handsome brick building at 58 Main St. has been orphaned by change. So what to do? Last October, a …

Editorial: Why mayor’s search for next Northampton fire chief started and ended inside department

Friday, July 3, 2015

Those who know best what it takes to be a fire chief agree: Duane Nichols, who has devoted his whole adult life to serving the Northampton Fire Rescue Department, earned the right to succeed Chief Brian Duggan. Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz named him to the job Wednesday. …

Editorial: Governor sets right tone with broad addictions fight

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker during his first six months in office has declared war on the scourge of opioid and opiate addiction in Massachusetts, and reducing the epidemic of related deaths is a top priority for his administration. The recommendations issued last week by the governor are a forward-looking, …

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 …

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. …