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Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even it 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 them of their duty to deal with an act that might not legally qualify as a hate crime, but is hateful and …

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 barrels and obstructed the morning commute. That conduct is already illegal — and is why …

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 number of licenses from 40 to 45, new licensees will pony up $2,500 — vastly …

Editorial: Is fuller train service for Valley really around the corner?

Monday, December 22, 2014

The promise of faster and more direct rail travel through the Valley arrives next week. On Monday, officials celebrated with a ceremonial run from Springfield to Greenfield and whistle-stop speechmaking. The promise, though, is only partially fulfilled. The large second piece of the puzzle is the creation of …

Editorial: For Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, increased scrutiny now a fact of life

Thursday, December 18, 2014

On the eve of the biggest vote of his life, state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg has found himself facing questions about his least favorite topic: his personal life. Rosenberg has been able to avoid such questions for a long time. He is known for taking tough assignments in the …

Editorial: Meaningful work can be undertaken at any age — as these seniors show

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

People at any age can be valued and valuable. They can be contributing members of a community doing worthwhile work. Society sometimes forgets this. In Amherst, 87-year-old Shirley Whittemore has been indulging her longtime passion for doll-making by setting up a veritable doll factory in her living room. …

Editorial: Is it time to retire English lord as college’s human mascot?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Amid their frantic end-of-semester studying, some students at Amherst College found time for good-natured pranks with a serious message. Students want to replace the college mascot, Lord Jeffery Amherst, with the mighty moose. Their rather elaborate pranks included placing a life-size metal moose sculpture in the foyer of …

Editorial: Barstow farm project rewrites dairying economics in Hadley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Since 1806, members of the Barstow family have risen to long days working land on a rise just east of the Connecticut River in Hadley. In all that time, despite the coming of industry and waves of tech revolutions, one thing remained constant: Milking cows takes people a …

Adam Fisher: A 91-cent gift that never lost its value

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Like ivy on some campus dormitory, the Christmas lights have begun to creep up and around the houses in my Northampton neighborhood. Their jolly colors whisper of long traditions — of giving, of neurotic shopping and …

Global pact on climate leaves an ocean of ‘ifs’

Monday, December 15, 2014

The climate deal struck in Peru this weekend fixes a fatal flaw in an earlier international agreement. Is it a true breakthrough, though, or a future footnote to the calamity residents of a warming planet failed to prevent? …

Editorial: Neighbors have clear stake in Valley CDC’s Pleasant Street project in Northampton.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Productive public discussions are exploring details of the Valley Community Development Corp.’s proposed housing and retail project for Pleasant Street in Northampton. Though not always easy, these sessions are well worth the effort if what comes of them …

Editorial: Enriching opportunities for community college students

Monday, December 15, 2014

There was a time when Emmanuel Morales did not imagine he would design his own education at Hampshire College in Amherst, where he is studying the “intersection of civil liberties and technology.” Morales, 22, told the Gazette in a story published this week that he grew up in …

Editorial: Ebola crisis eases but far from over

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Ebola crisis has dropped from the top of the national news broadcasts and fallen off the front pages of newspapers, but the deadly disease is still raging in West Africa with Sierra Leone now the country hardest hit as medical personnel get a handle on the virus …