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Editorial: To the end, Evan S. Dobelle remains tight with a dime

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When president of Westfield State University, Evan S. Dobelle showed a preference for having other people pick up the tab for his personal travel, expensive meals and visits to the Bohemian Grove in California. That’s why he no longer works in Westfield. A development last week suggests Dobelle doesn’t like to pay for legal help, either. Two law firms representing him in a federal lawsuit he brought in 2013 against the school and state officials filed motions to withdraw as counsel because of “fundamental disagreements” and an “irretrievable breakdown” in relations. Oh, and Dobelle doesn’t pay his legal bills. Not surprisingly, no longer having very patient lawyers to litigate his case, Dobelle announced, through one …

Editorial: Worthington deserves answers about its fire service

Friday, February 27, 2015

Volunteer firefighters are a proud bunch for good reason. They train on their own time to protect lives and property. They miss family meals on cold winter nights. Not enough people in small Hampshire and Franklin county towns are willing to join these crews; those who do perform a vital public service. From raw recruits on up to chiefs, these people form an …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a civil rights lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, the University of Massachusetts …

Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even if it didn’t earn that name technically

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Northampton Police and the Northwestern district attorney’s office will not charge two juveniles accused of writing anti-Semitic and racist graffiti with the commission of a hate crime, but that’s not the end of this story. Members of a community must never think a decision by law enforcement absolves …

Non-violent civil protests always carry risks, rewards

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It’s a mistake for lawmakers angered by a recent I-93 blockade to crack down on civil disobedience, no matter how upset their constituents are. Nonetheless, two bills have been filed to toughen penalties for actions like those Jan. 15, when people protesting police violence chained themselves to concrete-filled …

Closing time for the liquor license monopoly

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No wonder some Northampton restaurateurs are protesting the city’s effort to obtain another five full liquor licenses. Existing license holders have reason to grumble not just about increased competition, but about what they see as a financial inequity. If the Legislature grants the city permission to expand the …

Editorial: Super Bowl deflated by NFL’s lengthy probe

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The National Football League’s prolonged investigation of under-inflated footballs allegedly used by the New England Patriots in their 45-7 AFC championship victory has cast an unnecessary cloud over this year’s Super Bowl. The delay in resolving the controversy, …

Editorial: Early warning helps region prepare for a storm’s blast

Monday, January 26, 2015

By the time you read this, a winter storm packing an historic punch will be raging outside. Roads will be deserted — given the state-ordered travel ban that began at midnight Monday. Most people will be hunkered down …

Editorial: Finding right balance on social media’s time and attention demands

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From baby boomers to Gen-Xers and millennials, we as a nation are attached — some would say addicted — to our technology. At Northampton High School, students have become so absorbed with portable electronic devices at lunchtime that there’s not a lot of interaction among students. One NHS …

Editorial: A court case offers lessons in gun safety

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three years after being acquitted of involuntary manslaughter, former Pelham Police Chief Edward Fleury is back before a judge. The issue again is gun safety. Fleury is a private citizen now and deserves his day in court. He hasn’t had a chance to present a defense, or to …

Editorial: Big new home readied for freelance generation

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The phrase “rugged individual” isn’t just American lore. It describes a reality of the new economy. Consider the story of Click Workspace, an unusual Northampton nonprofit. Because of tight space at its Hampton Court home, the outfit has turned away people who want what it offers: shared work …

Editorial: A new leader for Hadley’s police department

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Michael Mason, Hadley’s new police chief, knows his department well. He joined the force as a rookie in 2000. Over the last 15 years Mason, who is 36, worked his way up from dispatcher to sergeant while getting …

Editorial: Chilling news warns that oceans also marred by human touch

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The journal Science last week published alarming research from a team of five scientists suggesting Earth’s oceans could be on the verge of “a major extinction pulse,” a catastrophe the likes of which has not been seen in marine species. The dense, five-page article — in which footnotes …