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Editorial: How compromise, in case of Amherst’s Sept. 11 flags, can be the better part of valor

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Compromise is a central tool in governing. Amherst’s Select Board used it five years ago to allow street displays of the American flag on Sept. 11, but only a certain “milestone” anniversary dates of the terror attacks. This week, that compromise came undone. This time, another mechanism of governing kicked in: simple fatigue. After yearly debates over flag displays — and yearly ridicule heaped on the town by conservative pundits, …

Editorial: UMass takes questionable stance on football player’s discipline case

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Alex Stolicny has no doubt about what happened early one morning last February. He was punched so hard in the mouth by a guy at a Hadley party that several teeth came out and he lost consciousness. That’s the story he has been telling since Feb. 21. It is the same account his school, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, considered when a student …

Editorial: All information needed to make right call on pipeline

Monday, August 31, 2015

As the debate rages over the proposed Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline project, the public keeps coming back to a central question: Does the region require more pipeline capacity to fill its need for fuel? Or might the region be able to heat its homes and businesses with power from other, less intrusive sources? The natural gas industry has long complained that Massachusetts’ (and …

Editorial: Ed Porter closes nearly four decades of helping disabled in western Massachusetts

Thursday, July 23, 2015

In stepping down as executive director of what is now known as the United Arc after almost 40 years, Ed Porter leaves some very big boots to fill. It is understandably hard to replace somebody who has been on the job for roughly four decades. In Porter’s case, …

Editorial: Ending the summer drought in children’s nutrition

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Through the school year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture sends resources into every county in the country to help poor children get enough to eat. Its National School Lunch Program last year enrolled 21.5 million young people for free or reduced-price meals. But every summer, the school cafeterias …

Editorial: Rosenberg trial document release sheds light on grim chapter in US legal history

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A long-awaited document related to the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg is now public. And while the jigsaw puzzle of the couple’s guilt or innocence isn’t fully together, there is more reason than ever to question whether both husband and wife engaged in conspiracy to commit espionage, …

Editorial: The challenge of change at Cooley Dickinson in Northampton

Friday, July 17, 2015

A little over a year into her leadership at Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Joanne Marqusee is showing a deft hand at reforming practices that compromise care. When asked recently whether her management overhaul is complete, she said no. Change must be ongoing, she told members of the Gazette’s editorial …

Editorial: UMass team harnesses science to protect biodiversity

Friday, July 17, 2015

As scientists make clear in a new University of Massachusetts report, it is hard to predict precisely how the climate will change by century’s end. There are too many variables. But they can fashion projections showing a range of things that could happen. None of them are good …

Editorial: DA’s push to try Tsarnaev again needs rethinking

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The decision by Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan to bring Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to trial in state court for a crime he’s already been convicted and sentenced to death for in federal court is misguided. Ryan seeks to try Tsarnaev on charges connected to the …

Editorial: Profit on Caret’s condo rightly raises eyebrows

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Higher education faces many problems, not least of which is the cynicism-breeding practice of rewarding administrators with excessive salaries and perks while simultaneously pricing students out with hikes in fees, tuition and an array of new costs. Here’s just the latest, local example: the $289,000 profit made by …

Editorial: Region is still seeking its Massachusetts miracle

Monday, July 13, 2015

A new report makes clear that the state has shaken off the Great Recession. Despite two recent rough winters that put economic activity on ice at times, numbers cited by Daniel Hodge and Robert Nakosteen in the MassBenchmarks Journal show strong and steady growth. Sixty-thousand jobs were created …

Editorial: Switching standardized testing yardsticks must bring right results

Friday, July 10, 2015

The teachers, students and parents who have packed hearing rooms to call for a reduction in standardized testing make a compelling case. Putting too much emphasis on test results, they say, squelches creativity in the classroom, ignores the individuality of students and punishes districts with a large percentage …

Editorial: Applause for Amherst’s move to enhance public arts

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

People entering the repurposed police headquarters in Cambridge, which houses a variety of social service groups, can look up and see stunning stained-glass panels at the top of the walls shimmering with hand-blown glass roundels wrapped around found objects. The artwork is called “A Long Story.” In the …