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Screen-grab from the Northampton, Mass., Open Checkbook website, April 17,2014

Editorial: The ‘open checkbook’ way brings transparency to Northampton, Amherst

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The recent addition of Open Checkbook to Amherst and Northampton municipal websites is a big win for government transparency. Open Checkbook databases provide anyone with an Internet connection the ability to see how governments are spending tax dollars — down to the penny. Sorry, but it doesn’t mean you can write yourself a check. By reviewing data organized by municipal … 0

Editorial: Don’t let the fireworks fizzle in Northampton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July. What could be simpler or more patriotic? The first Fourth of July celebration came in 1776 at the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. We can thank John Adams for the fireworks idea. John Adams wrote his wife, Abigail, on July 3, 1776, saying that “the … 0

EDITORIAL: Jennifer Martel’s legacy

Monday, April 14, 2014

It’s not often a legislative body passes a bill unanimously, but the Massachusetts House did so last week when lawmakers, in a 142-0 vote, backed an overhaul of state domestic violence laws. The proposal is considered the most sweeping legislation affecting the way law enforcement responds to domestic violence in a decade. Its … 0

What would be really great would be for the city of Nton to give the Round House to the LGBT community for...(full comment)

More than 1,000 support gay community at UMass rally, countering five from Westboro Baptist Church

Thank you for an actual intelligent response .Very unlike some of the guilt trips letters people have been writing, saying I wrote...(full comment)

Stephanie Pick: Aging parents letter shows lack of understanding

Editorial: Fast action from the Legislature on ‘Peeping Tom’ law

Friday, March 14, 2014

We commend the Massachusetts Legislature for its swift action to close a loophole in the state’s Peeping Tom law. Legislators could take a cue from that high-profile case and move other issues of public importance to the fast … 0

Editorial: The entrepreneurial spirit

Thursday, March 13, 2014

If rookies can benefit from great coaches, so too can budding entrepreneurs from great mentors. A four-year-old regional program called Valley Venture Mentors is being recognized by the state for success in helping early-stage entrepreneurs in western Massachusetts … 0

Editorial: OUI in Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse’s car

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Normally, what a politician’s relatives do isn’t the public’s business. Except when the activity includes illegal behavior in a city-owned car. Nicholas Duclos, cousin of Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, was arrested early Saturday morning in Northampton after reportedly driving a car on the Northampton bikepath. This incident is … 0

Editorial: Taking care of pets

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The late Mahatma Gandhi had it right. He once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” Here in western Massachusetts, many people are living up … 0

Editorial: Ending ‘Blarney Blowout’ mayhem in Amherst demands tougher sanctions

Sunday, March 9, 2014

“We need to be very clear about the consequences for any disruptive behavior that may occur this weekend.” That was the preamble to a letter sent last week to all undergraduates by a University of Massachusetts Amherst official. … 2

Editorial: Northampton opens new front in war on tobacco illnesses

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Northampton Board of Health continues its exemplary leadership in protecting nonsmokers from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and keeping young people from using tobacco products. For the past 20 years, Northampton has been in the vanguard of Massachusetts communities imposing smoking bans in public places. The … 1

Editorial: Questions linger in wake of fatal Amherst apartment complex fire

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Investigations of fatal fires are always gut-wrenching affairs, but when the cause cannot be determined, as in the case of the Amherst apartment complex blaze that killed a University of Massachusetts student last year, it is even worse. … 0

Editorial: An Amherst landmark, the Carriage Shops, faces change

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Amherst waits with bated breath to learn whether local property owner Jerold Gates can put a deal together to sell the Carriage Shops building on North Pleasant Street to a developer, who would tear it down and construct housing units. Gates says it is no surprise that he … 0

Editorial: A writer’s largesse returns dividends to local bookstores

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

James Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in the United States. In the latest Sunday New York Times Book Review, his name appears seven times on various lists, including No. 1 on the Combined Print and E-Book list and No. 1 for Print Hardcover. He even appears … 4

Editorial: Art from troubled Uganda arrives in Amherst

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tonight in a performance at the University of Massachusetts, young people from Uganda will share the joy of East African dance and song. Back home, official Uganda continues to target homosexuals. The nation’s president last week signed a … 0