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Editorial: Spate of break-ins may shift security stance in Amherst

Saturday, August 1, 2015

While the pace of life in Amherst slows considerably each summer, recent break-ins have people on edge — and rethinking their need to protect themselves and their property. So far, the amount of cash and belongings taken has been relatively small. What’s unnerving is the number of break-ins. Over one weekend in mid-July, 10 businesses or residences were broken into on Main and College streets. Amherst police say all available …

Editorial: Probe into fatal F-15 crash brings only some answers

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eleven months after Lt. Col. Morris M. Fontenot died aboard his F-15C Eagle, certain facts are known about his last minutes. But an investigation into the Westfield-based pilot’s crash last August in rural Virginia cannot satisfy the critical question: Why? Answers may never come. While the commander of the Barnes Air National Guard Base says he hoped a report by the Air Combat …

Editorial: Let’s stop playing games with state’s sales tax holiday

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Will they or won’t they? It’s the annual teasing of the Massachusetts public with our Legislature debating the OK for a sales tax holiday. We doubt very much that lawmakers will say “no” to suspending the 6.25 percent sales tax for a weekend, despite professed misgivings or hesitation about opting out this year. After all, it’s more than a question of a short …

Editorial: State retreats from tuition plan

Friday, June 19, 2015

A college education can be expensive, no matter how you slice it. In Massachusetts, that cost just got higher at the state’s flagship public university and others in the system as the University of Massachusetts board of trustees voted to increase tuition by 5 percent and tack on …

Editorial: Unused for 20 years, Old Chapel at UMass finally getting deserved attention

Friday, June 19, 2015

As multi-million dollar fancy new buildings have popped up all around the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus in recent years, one small building overlooking the Campus Pond has been crying for attention. After 20 years, that cry is finally being answered. UMass officials are moving ahead with plans …

Fighting for justice does not mean forsaking integrity

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

“I identify as black.” With this pronouncement on NBC’s “Today” program, former Spokane NAACP leader Rachel Dolezal tried closing the door on the controversy that’s thrust her into the national spotlight. Identifying internally as black, however, doesn’t allow someone to deliberately mislead the public about one’s race. That’s …

Editorial: Sean Dunphy leaves legacy as visionary public servant in Northampton

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sean M. Dunphy, who died Saturday at the age of 74, is remembered by many for his nearly six years as mayor of Northampton during the 1970s when he modernized city government and helped guide the transformation of …

Editorial: Northampton teen task force gathers own testimony on opioid crisis

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A year after former Gov. Deval Patrick assailed the widespread abuse of heroin and opioid painkillers, Northampton teens have assembled a photographic report on how it affects their community. Their project, on view at the Forbes Library through June 29, puts faces on an abstract public health crisis. …

Editorial: Jody Kasper is best choice as next Northampton chief

Friday, June 12, 2015

As he ponders whom to name as Northampton’s new police chief, Mayor David J. Narkewicz finds himself in an enviable position: Both of the top candidates for the post have strong track records in law enforcement, years of …

Editorial: A new day dawns for Amherst municipal solar project

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Amherst’s fight to go big with solar power went into overtime, and resulted this spring in what referees might call a no-decision. It’s good to see that now, just three months after a lawsuit against a solar venture was dismissed, the town wants back into the game. The …

Editorial: Legislature must face reality of marijuana legalization

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Massachusetts in all likelihood by the end of 2016 will legalize marijuana for recreational use. At issue is the best process to ensure that the drug will be properly regulated once existing criminal penalties are lifted. Four states — Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington — and the District …

Editorial: New law adjusts balance between security, individual freedom

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The decision by Congress to rein in at least a portion of the snooping powers contained in the 14-year-old Patriot Act exposes a conundrum for many Americans. Many are willing to give up a little liberty — as one Northampton resident told the Gazette this past week — …

Editorial: Arcadia sanctuary, rail trail earn their places on Valley’s map

Monday, June 8, 2015

See them again, or for the first time. The Norwottuck Rail Trail is back in mint condition after a two-year construction project and $3.7 million federal investment. And the current issue of Yankee Magazine hails the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Easthampton and Northampton as the “Best Birdwatching” location …