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A young man is loaded into the paddy-wagon after police forcibly dispersed a crowd from behind an Amherst residence near the corner of North Pleasant St. and Fearing St., on Saturday afternoon, March 8th.

Editorial: Fix for ‘Blowout’ demands determined follow-through

Friday, September 19, 2014

Driven by memories of mayhem, a special report ordered up by the University of Massachusetts calls on the school to confront its failure to control student alcohol abuse. UMass must move swiftly on multiple fronts, it says, including a look at “the effectiveness ... of laws prohibiting underage alcohol use in residence halls.” That report has been on a shelf …

High-profile NFL must react decisively to off-field violence

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The National Football League fumbled its handling of high-profile cases of players accused or convicted of domestic violence or child abuse. The league, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell, has been ineffective and indecisive, and its punishment of those players has been lax, inconsistent and seemingly driven by public opinion and concerns raised by corporate sponsors. The NFL needs to do an about-face and …

On school grounds, safety matters more than pet access

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Amherst Superintendent Maria Geryk was right to ban dogs — unless they stay in the car — from school property during school hours. No matter how passionately dog owners vouch for their pets’ good behavior, there’s always the risk that an animal will lose control and injure someone. Geryk needs to make sure children under her watch are protected. Even if they don’t …

Editorial: Northampton business owners get cold shoulder on rail project

Friday, August 8, 2014

Work to improve a railroad crossing in Northampton this weekend will force detours and delays. Some disruption is of course inevitable with big road projects. For travelers, it’s part of the cost of progress — and the pain is temporary. Those who manage projects like this must limit …

Editorial: New land trust shapes new solution

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The new Amherst Community Land Trust is counting on public support. Organizers are passionate about making housing more affordable in Amherst. We hope they succeed in bringing this innovative concept to life. The nonprofit trust would assist a prospective buyer by stepping in as a partner to buy …

Editorial: Domestic violence must not be treated as private matter

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A terrible irony clouds the domestic violence bill awaiting Gov. Deval Patrick’s signature. The legislation and its welcome reforms were sparked by the August 2013 stabbing death of Jennifer Martel at the hands of Jared Remy. It might …

Editorial: What’s good for MicroCal is good for Northampton

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

With only around 30 businesses in Northampton employing more than 50 workers, it’s never good news when a major firm leaves. This was the case with MicroCal, which provides 40 jobs in Northampton, the majority of its 62-job …

Editorial: Amherst cemetery’s ‘meadow’ needs a little clipping

Monday, August 4, 2014

The “meadowfication” of the Amherst cemetery where poet Emily Dickinson found her final rest provides a case study in what happens when high concept meets weedy reality. The way a swath of West Cemetery has been allowed to grow isn’t a terrible idea. But the concept — like …

Editorial: IG’s report on Westfield State pillories Evan S. Dobelle’s imperial presidency

Friday, August 1, 2014

August is the month when college kids and their families write big checks. Students from Massachusetts who attend Westfield State University this year, for instance, will pay around $22,000. If they read a new report from the state … 1

Editorial: Iraqi initiative at UMass helps bridge a gap

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

For the past five years the University of Massachusetts’ Civic Initiative of the Donahue Institute has taken part in a cultural exchange that brings Iraqi students to the campus for over a month in the summer. This year, …

Editorial: Final push still needed to close digital divide

Thursday, July 31, 2014

We predicted 18 months ago that despite a hefty governmental outlay, five years would drag by before communities left behind in our Internet age won broadband access. We didn’t want to be right, but it looks increasingly doubtful the digital divide will disappear soon in rural western Massachusetts. …

Editorial: 12 hours in jail that could have been avoided

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It would be simple to conclude that a judge misused his power in jailing Iheanyi Daniel Okoroafor, a 73-year-old African immigrant, for failing to pay a $508 debt. But closer examination reveals that the case is not so …

Editorial: No more hiring as usual at state probation office

Monday, July 28, 2014

The lesson in the guilty verdicts last week in the federal trial involving the state probation department’s rigged hiring scheme is this simple: Just because it has always been done this way doesn’t make it right. The case involved former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien and his deputies, Elizabeth …