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Smith College invests wisely in improved pedestrian safety

Monday, June 1, 2015

Every few months, travelers along Elm Street near Smith College witness seasonal migrations. Before holidays and at semester’s end, it’s common to see Smith students trundling along a narrow sidewalk, or in the street itself, tugging wheeled suitcases on their way to the bus station. By this Thanksgiving, the walk should be far safer, thanks to a $1.5 million project to rebuild sidewalks along the eastern edge of the campus, …

Editorial: After 24 years, Family Fun gets packing

Monday, June 1, 2015

The nationally known Family Fun magazine is off to join its new clan. After its founding nearly a quarter century ago in Northampton, the publication will move to New York City to be in closer creative contact with other Meredith Corp. publications devoted to home topics — Family Circle, Parents and American Baby. The move closes the chapter on Disney Publishing Worldwide’s once-vigorous …

Editorial: A tale of colossal fraud in world’s biggest sport

Friday, May 29, 2015

Just the beginning. That’s how the U.S. attorney general describes the fraud case the government opened Wednesday against officials within FIFA, the Zurich-based group that oversees the world’s most popular sport. While this effort to root out long-rumored corruption faces long odds, it is a righteous quest. The World Cup should not be hosted by the country willing to fill the most suitcases …

Editorial: State’s early-retirement deal arrives with troubling costs

Monday, May 4, 2015

A deal Friday resolved disagreements between the state Senate and House over an early-retirement plan for state workers that Gov. Charlie Baker seeks to help close a budget gap. The compromise tweaks the Early Retirement Incentive Program the administration filed as “emergency” legislation because, well, there’s an emergency: …

Editorial: VA’s memo to hospital staff must read: No excuse to mistreat patients

Sunday, May 3, 2015

How did the psychiatric patient find himself on the floor late one night at the veterans hospital in Leeds? Was it because he threw himself there, as the registered nurse in charge of the shift told an officer with the VA’s police department? That was the official account …

Editorial: Court must consider children in its gay marriage decision

Friday, May 1, 2015

The gay marriage cases now before the U.S. Supreme Court make the clearest argument yet that the right to marry should be extended coast to coast. Why? It’s not just about adults and their rights; it’s about the kids. In a case that promises to be a turning …

Editorial: Finding common ground, one student to another

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Governments send ambassadors to understand their global neighbors. People go themselves. When they do, they often find — despite worries about the other — that many things connect them. This spring, students at two Valley schools have been visiting one another and getting acquainted, in an interaction that …

Editorial: Solar project’s collapse comes at cost to Amherst

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The town of Amherst has missed an opportunity not only to be a responsible consumer of green energy, but to save taxpayers millions of dollars to power town and school buildings. That was the promise of its plan …

Editorial: Compromise necessary on legislative committee tussle

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Four months into his Senate presidency, Stanley C. Rosenberg of Amherst is engaged in a very public power play with House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo over how legislative committees do their work. Essentially, Rosenberg wants to make it easier for bills that originate in the Senate to be …

Editorial: Mayor’s task: Settling waters at Northampton Senior Center

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This morning’s community meeting about use of the Northampton Senior Center should have happened months ago. If it had, Mayor David J. Narkewicz might not be heading into a bit of a storm today. It starts at 10 a.m. at the center at 67 Conz St. The city’s …

Utility regulators act quickly, but more education needed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Four months. That’s all the time it took the state Department of Public Utilities to eliminate an unfair rule that penalized electricity customers for switching to a competitive supplier that promised lower bills. The speed at which the state’s top utility regulators acted shows the power of protest. …

Editorial: Lessons in compassion from an exiled leader

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the Dalai Lama visits the Pioneer Valley in late October, college students and fortunate members of the public will get the chance to hear from a man for whom patience, compassion and joy are not abstract notions. For him and his followers, they are the keys to …

Editorial: Hadley must invest in larger police force

Thursday, April 23, 2015

‘It’s not good business.” That’s how the chairman of Hadley’s Finance Committee sees the practice of paying some police officers more in overtime than they earn in regular pay. Residents may have other words for it. As a Gazette story detailed Thursday, Hadley has long rung up deficits …