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Editorial: Sen. Markey zeroes in on proposed fracked gas pipeline motives

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

If the calls are growing for greater transparency — let’s make that honesty — regarding the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline proposal and who will benefit from an enlarged natural gas supply, it’s because more and more people are connecting the dots as the companies involved race to get permits and permissions. This time it was U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, Massachusetts’ junior senator, who is the latest to call into question …

Editorial: Protecting biodiversity makes no exceptions, even for rattlesnakes

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Since Colonial times, it’s been people versus timber rattlesnakes in Massachusetts. Today, as the state moves anew to preserve this endangered species in the face of public opposition, it’s science versus emotion. At a forum Feb. 23 in Orange, wildlife officials will work to explain their modest plan to place one to 10 young timber rattlesnakes each year, starting in two or three …

Editorial: Finding right way forward in fight against Islamic State

Monday, February 8, 2016

No American should ignore the threat posed by a small number of radical Islamists to our country and western nations. Out of the ruins and power vacuum of the Iraq war, a significant new foe, the Islamic State, is extending its influence. But even if citizens wanted to ignore what’s happening, it would be hard. That’s because Republican candidates for president compete to …

Editorial: Felony prosecution shifts ground under Cosby’s decades of denial

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The first time Andrea Constand’s name was typed into legal documents involving Bill Cosby, for a 2005 federal lawsuit, the matter was settled quietly. Cosby paid money and apologized. Now, in an unexpected development, the entertainer with deep …

Editorial: Free expression is solution to problems, not the cause

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The new year brings a heightened sense of possibility, a wash of new ideas, a hope rooted in the freedom to think in fresh ways. As we enter 2016, however, a countervailing force threatens that renewing energy — a push to clamp down on free expression. Last year, …

Editorial: An Easthampton champion keeps giving

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

James P. Sullivan never wanted recognition for all he did for Easthampton. But two years after his death, as his generosity is felt anew, his example he set as a public citizen is worth celebrating. In his will, Sullivan left about $30,000 each to Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary and …

Editorial: A high-tech case for the claim: ‘Build it and they will come’

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

When he starts work Monday, Amherst’s first economic development director will find a project all teed up and ready for him to take a swing: improving Internet speeds downtown. The Amherst Business Improvement District is right to argue that to successfully recruit high-tech companies — a sought-after bunch …

Editorial: A fight to verify what’s true amid explosion of Big Data — and how a UMass prof aims to help

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How big is Big Data? Companies that track it keep having to add zeros to the total out there, buckets of zeroes. One expert predicts the volume of digitized data will increase 4,300 percent each year by 2020. Already, there are far more bits of information than people …

Editorial: College endowments key tool in fight against carbon pollution

Monday, December 28, 2015

One of the world’s top climate scientists got a jump on the “what now?” debate following an historic agreement to curtail fossil fuels use. While still in Paris, Hans Schellnhuber likened the fossil-fuel divestment movement to the 19th century drive to end slavery. He is right about that. …

Editorial: US consumers outmaneuvered by consumer contracts that bar lawsuits

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A slick legal move is letting finance companies sue Americans with no fear of return fire. Though the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has fined two big debt-collection companies for improper practices, a sea change in lending has stripped consumers of rights many take for granted. That is, …

Editorial: Yes, Virginia, the spirit of Santa Claus remains alive

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Among the most enduring editorials in American journalism is the New York Sun’s reply to a letter received from an 8-year-old girl named Virginia O’Hanlon asking, “Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?” In an editorial first published on Sept. 21, 1897, and starting in …

Editorial: UMass asserts its command over radio station’s future

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A tumultuous 2015 for a University of Massachusetts radio station appears likely to spill over into the new year. An announcement last week that university officials plan a major restructuring at WMUA — one that will shift control to students and away from community members — has produced …

Editorial: Clean energy future may dawn for shuttered Holyoke coal plant

Monday, December 21, 2015

Owners of the former Mount Tom coal power plant should embrace a recently completed study on reuse of the site, which closed in 2014. If they do, the Route 5 property in Holyoke could see a future that includes solar energy production and public access to the Connecticut …