Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Editorials

Editorial: Electricity costs pinch New England, but relief may be on horizon

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A recent drop in gasoline prices helps only a little to buffer news that electricity costs will rise sharply this winter, making it more expensive to keep lights on in the darkest season and delivering a blow to households that heat with electricity. Given enough time, New England will be able to bring down electricity costs as new plants come …

Editorial: Tragedy of Ebola hits home in Hampshire County

Sunday, September 28, 2014

A local face was put on the terrible Ebola epidemic centered in West Africa with the news last week that a popular Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School drumming and dance teacher is grieving the deaths of his mother and two other relatives to the disease in his native Guinea. The virus …

Editorial: A roadside attraction bows out on Amherst Town Common

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The information booth on the Amherst Town Common will soon be gone. Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce Director Donald Courtemanche says the little yellow shack that provided information to visitors for nearly 50 years will be missed, but the mourning period will be short. He is probably right. Smartphones, after all, can provide …

Editorial: When a crowd helps tell Northampton’s story

Sunday, August 31, 2014

A project early last May in Northampton sent 100 people scurrying around the city with cameras. What they captured, in a 48-hour hunt for images of city life, hasn’t had time to cure, so these photographs can’t be …

Editorial: New UMass football coach Mark Whipple faces many challenges in his return

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mark Whipple begins his second era as the University of Massachusetts football coach Saturday afternoon just as he began the first in 1998 — leading a team for which there are low expectations because of recent poor play. To the surprise of many then, Whipple turned around a …

Editorial: Heavy hitters support later start for high schools

Friday, August 29, 2014

The American Academy of Pediatrics this week described an epidemic of “chronically sleep deprived and pathologically sleepy” adolescents and associated health problems. Mincing no words, the academy listed the consequences of teen sleep deprivation: higher rates of obesity, cardiovascular disease and metabolic dysfunction, increased anxiety and mood disorders, …

Editorial: Amherst Together stance on forum does more harm than good

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The woman hired to help Amherst heal its racial wounds said she and other school and town leaders pulled out of last week’s radio forum on the issue for fear that the gathering would feature “race-baiting,” fuel “sensationalism” and foster “insensitivity to the variety of voices and needs …

Editorial: South Hadley invests big in knowledge, community

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

This week, residents of South Hadley can see what $10.1 million will buy these days if they stroll along a crushed gravel walkway and enter the doors at 27 Bardwell St., where a new chapter is beginning for … 1

Editorial: Northampton mayor shows compassion for those in immigration limbo

Monday, August 25, 2014

While immigration reform eludes Washington lawmakers and the president, Northampton’s mayor took a stand last week that will help foreign-born individuals and families in the Valley feel less vulnerable. Mayor David J. Narkewicz agreed to sign an executive … 1

Editorial: SJC ruling shows need to reform pension law

Saturday, August 23, 2014

We are troubled by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling this week allowing a former high school teacher in Amherst to continue collecting his state retirement benefits. Justices followed a law that demands to be changed. The Legislature should adjust the statute so that teachers convicted of reprehensible …

Editorial: Casino vote challenge: sticking to the facts

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fair warning, voters of Massachusetts: As campaigns for and against casino gambling ratchet up in advance of a November ballot question, prepare to be smothered with arguments. The gambling industry spent millions to lobby lawmakers before the 2011 … 2

Editorial: Repeat violations suggest OSHA fines are toothless

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration says contractors working in a former Easthampton mill failed repeatedly to guard against workplace injuries. It’s good the agency is monitoring job sites, since more than 4,000 Americans are killed in …

Editorial: Two projects confront Amherst’s race problem

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The school year will begin in Amherst with new strategies to confront racial conflict and improve the town’s ability to provide equal educational opportunities. Steps taken by officials this summer seem reasonable, but even good ideas go off track. This work will continue to demand close attention and …