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Editorial: Sales pitches tool up on need for natural gas pipeline

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Every campaign season, interests from outside Massachusetts pony up to buy messages that mold public opinion. It is the American way in modern politics and it isn’t limited to issues decided on Election Day. Some campaigns, like the effort to build a new pipeline across Massachusetts, face different deadlines. Pipelines connect dots on a map. Before taking on faith messages from a new campaign called the Coalition to Lower Energy …

A band of environmentalists keeps watch over watershed

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

People build sheds to protect things. But a natural feature known as a watershed deserves its own safeguarding. One all-volunteer group devoted to doing that for a sprawling area — 665 square miles in Massachusetts and Vermont — just marked its 25th year. The roughly 100 members of the Deerfield River Watershed Association pursue quiet goals that don’t often earn headlines. But their …

Northampton city government reorganization deserves support

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The City Council is considering a major reorganization of municipal government in Northampton — likely the most exhaustive in its 360-year history — prepared by Mayor David J. Narkewicz. This review to determine the most effective management approach for the 21st century was required by the charter voters adopted in 2012. The plan proposed by Narkewicz contains a host of sensible steps — …

Editorial: The youngest Nobelist brings the wisest world view

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

‘Who is Malala?” That is what the man with a gun asked young women riding in the back of a pick-up that moments before had been bouncing along rough roads in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. No one answered but glances gave them away. He raised his pistol and fired. …

Editorial: Land stewards in Hadley help preserve forests, views

Monday, October 13, 2014

Members of the Scott-Agassiz family were well aware of the value of the land they tended for generations in North Hadley: It was priceless. They also knew that no matter what the deed for the property said, the land didn’t really belong to them. They were stewards of …

Editorial: Find right tone, tactics for policing in our times

Monday, October 13, 2014

The message from a veteran law enforcement official was unambiguous: Due to persistent challenges, and the rise of technologies like social media, police officers must do their work differently to remain relevant in the 21st century and serve …

Editorial: Anti-bullying lesson backfires in Amherst

Friday, October 10, 2014

Great teachers challenge students, but there is a big difference between awakening minds and saying things so shocking a good message gets lost. That appears to have happened last week in Amherst when a consultant made middle-schoolers run …

Editorial: Luck, timing help prevent a tragedy in Easthampton

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The column of wind that barreled across the west side of Mount Tom early Wednesday wasn’t a tornado, but these winds, known as microbursts, can be just as destructive. No one who lives near Mountain Road needs to be told that. Bryan Lamore, who was motoring up the …

Editorial: Misty day brings close to state horse racing

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

When thoroughbred racing ended at the Three County Fair in 2006, horse owners shook their heads. The loss of even small yearly venues like the Northampton track made it harder to sustain their business. The closing of Suffolk …

Editorial: Reforms must help protect funeral home customers

Monday, October 6, 2014

As the debacle swirling around the now defunct Ryder Funeral Home reached its peak last spring, several funeral home directors interviewed by the Gazette lamented the black eye given to an industry built on community trust. When that trust is jeopardized, as was the case with William W. …

Editorial: UMass football’s return to Amherst shows both promise and peril

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The return of UMass football to McGuirk Stadium in Amherst had the trappings of a joyful homecoming: The smell of sausages and cigars mingling in the autumn air, the laughter of returning alumni and new students, the ka-ching …

Editorial: Two recent bicycle accidents offer reminder on need for safety measures

Friday, October 3, 2014

A pair of bicycle accidents last week involving Northampton High School students are a reminder that safety measures help minimize injuries. A 14-year-old girl suffered a concussion Sept. 23 when she collided with a minivan in front of her home on Prospect Avenue, and a boy riding in …

Editorial: Police informant program gets needed review at UMass

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A tragedy befell the University of Massachusetts Amherst community last Oct. 4. That is when Eric L. Sinacori, 20, a UMass junior who aspired to be a physical therapist, died of acute heroin poisoning, according to his death …