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Mary Clare Higgins during a press conference held in her office Thursday afternoon.

Clare Higgins: Thankful for a simple thing: clean water

Friday, November 21, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Did you know that last Wednesday was World Toilet Day? Yes, there is such a day and it’s actually serious business. About 35 percent of the people on our planet have no toilets or latrines. That’s 2.5 billion people! And 1.8 billion people drink water contaminated by feces, causing an estimated 2,200 children to die every day from diarrheal illnesses. Non-existent toilets, open running sewerage, contaminated drinking water …

Editorial: President Obama breaks logjam on immigration reform

Friday, November 21, 2014

President Obama made good Thursday not only on his pledge to address the nation’s broken immigration system but on this country’s duty to show compassion for those whose dreams brought them here. That is America’s story, after all. It is no surprise Obama’s action enrages Republicans in Congress. That they claim his executive …

Editorial: Open minds key to Amherst development

Thursday, November 20, 2014

In town-gown relations, as in real estate, three factors matter most: location, location and — you guessed it — location. Nowhere is that more evident than in the latest arguments over proposals to bring University of Massachusetts students and year-round Amherst residents out of their separate spheres and into closer proximity downtown. This month, consultants hired by the university and town proposed a …

Editorial: Northampton must pay piper on salary if it wants to attract good leaders

Friday, November 7, 2014

Steps to modernize Northampton government won unanimous backing in the City Council this week. Now, the panel should support pay changes to ensure skilled leaders can be recruited to serve city taxpayers. There are reasons the mayor of …

Editorial: Renewables a key part of region’s energy future

Thursday, November 6, 2014

When it comes to New England and energy, the second shoe has dropped. The first was a 37-percent rate increase for National Grid’s electricity customers. That move is adding a big expense to commercial and residential budgets now and for the coming year, with costs expected to rise …

Editorial: Clear value in public airing of Amherst teacher’s complaint

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The case of Carolyn Gardner, the former Amherst Regional High School teacher, is a sad chapter in Amherst history — and one many in town may want to move on from. But there can be no moving on until some things are resolved. Gardner is the math teacher …

Editorial: Allegations of sexual harassment at Hadley diner warrant outside review

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The co-owner of a Hadley restaurant did the right thing to promise action against the overt sexual harassment endured for years by female employees. After accounts of the harassment mounted online last week, in posts by former wait staff at the Route 9 Diner, this note appeared on …

Editorial: Election Day: When Massachusetts citizens help set government’s course

Monday, November 3, 2014

Every Election Day, 13 hours of polling help write history for residents of Massachusetts. While polls attempt to predict outcomes of tight contests, they can all be proven wrong if citizens exercise their right to speak back to government through the ballot. From 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. …

Editorial: Tax relief that does more than reduce figures on bill

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In his inaugural address for his second term, Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz pledged “to ensure that Northampton remains affordable to those of every generation and on every rung of the economic ladder — particularly our seniors and veterans.” He promised to work with the City Council to …

Maura Healey clear choice for state attorney general

Friday, October 31, 2014

Democrat Maura Healey deserves election Tuesday to continue the aggressive activism of the Massachusetts attorney general’s office that has been a hallmark of her former boss, Martha Coakley, who is stepping down to run for governor. The attorney general’s office under Coakley has had a high national profile …

Martha Coakley committed to making government work

Friday, October 31, 2014

Both major-party candidates for governor of Massachusetts present strong resumes of public service. Charlie Baker led two high-level departments for the Weld and Cellucci administrations and Martha Coakley pursued wrongdoing as attorney general and earlier as the Middlesex district attorney. Baker and Coakley have campaigned hard and well …

Editorial: Questions 1,2 & 4: No. Yes. Yes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Question 1 on the Nov. 5 ballot asks voters to repeal a provision that would annually adjust the gas tax based on the Consumer Price Index. It is important to note that until 2013, when legislators increased the …

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 …