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Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle listens during a special meeting of the Board of Trustees Wednesday at the Horace Mann Center.

Editorial: IG’s report on Westfield State pillories Evan S. Dobelle’s imperial presidency

Friday, August 1, 2014

August is the month when college kids and their families write big checks. Students from Massachusetts who attend Westfield State University this year, for instance, will pay around $22,000. If they read a new report from the state Inspector General’s office, Westfield State students may steam with anger as they part with hard-earned cash. The 60-page report from Inspector General Glenn A. Cunha is the most exhaustive accounting yet of former President Evan S. Dobelle’s well-known misuse of public funds. It methodically puts the lie to Dobelle’s claims that his lavish travel served the university. Investigators went line by line through travel expenses and contacted … 0

Editorial: Iraqi initiative at UMass helps bridge a gap

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

For the past five years the University of Massachusetts’ Civic Initiative of the Donahue Institute has taken part in a cultural exchange that brings Iraqi students to the campus for over a month in the summer. This year, 118 came to the United States thanks to the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, which contracted … 0

Editorial: Final push still needed to close digital divide

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We predicted 18 months ago that despite a hefty governmental outlay, five years would drag by before communities left behind in our Internet age won broadband access. We didn’t want to be right, but it looks increasingly doubtful the digital divide will disappear soon in rural western Massachusetts. Still, there is hope. A bill that passed muster July 24 in the Legislature’s conference … 0

Northampton BID must win over critics

Friday, July 18, 2014

By the numbers, the “no” votes won the day in 2009 when downtown Northampton property owners considered launching a Business Improvement District. But that didn’t scuttle the BID, because reluctant property owners could simply opt out. Since then, guiding this effort to polish Northampton’s commercial center has been … 0

Editorial: Pope shows compassion, needs to show action

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pope Francis met for the first time last week with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy. He conducted a private Mass with six victims — two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany — at his Vatican … 0

Editorial: Amid Amherst conflict, proper goal is healing

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We read through reporter Scott Merzbach’s story about an unusual Monday meeting in Amherst noticing first the things people disagree about. Later, we searched his account of the Amherst Regional School Committee meeting for points of agreement. We … 0

Editorial: Bike-sharing proposal may be mismatch for region

Monday, July 14, 2014

In urban areas, bike-sharing programs reduce traffic and pollution. People interact without windshields between them. Hearts beat, muscles pump and cities seem scaled for human use. Increased bicycle use does the world a good, but we question whether the Pioneer Valley is suited to the kind of bike-sharing … 0

Editorial: Football goes halfway on risks of concussion

Friday, July 11, 2014

The country’s most popular spectator sport is also one of the most dangerous. Both the National Football League and the governing body for college sports moved ahead this week with plans to address a top danger: concussion. The … 0

Editorial: ‘It’s in the mail’ promise gains luster in Northampton

Thursday, July 10, 2014

You gotta hand it to Eric Suher. The Pioneer Valley entrepreneur has built an empire that ranges from Northampton’s Iron Horse Music Hall to the Holyoke Country club, from the Die Cut Card Company mill building to Mountain … 4

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