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Editorial: Northampton pool could keep YMCA team in the swim

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

News about the fate of the Hampshire Regional YMCA swim team didn’t emerge until the end of a recent meeting between Y leaders and team parents, further evidence that the organization’s leaders could use a lesson in the importance of clear communication. But when a member of the audience pressed the point in the meeting’s final question, Andy Pollock, chairman of the Y board, sent a message that was unequivocal …

Editorial: Reason must guide shared use of former Northampton State Hospital land

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

It’s clear that Northampton has a gem of a property in 282 acres off Burts Pit Road that formerly was part of the state hospital and which, for the past 25 years, has been used both for farming and recreation. That continued shared relationship is now under scrutiny triggered by passage of the first 25 years in a 99-year lease of the state …

Editorial: Don’t stick ratepayers alone with cost of electricity bill refunds

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Angry constituents who flooded state Sen. Donald Humason’s office this winter with phone calls had one simple message — help. They felt ripped off by their electricity companies for sending them large final bills after they switched to a competitive supplier. They were right to be angry. Many knew little or nothing about a rebilling charge until the mail came, and it’s clear …

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

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Amherst Select Board candidates debate The Retreat student housing project

Editorial: Hadley video archive of public meetings must be preserved

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Hadley is rightly proud of its history. Hopkins Academy, the town’s public school, celebrated its 350th anniversary last year. Some of the best alluvial soils known to agriculture are warming for a new growing season. Off a busy commercial strip, common spaces on West Street sweep with a …

Editorial: Renowned architect to leave her artistry in Northampton

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The selection of Maya Lin as the architect for a $100 million redesign of the Neilson Library at Smith College promises a remarkable educational experience as the project unfolds during the rest of this decade. Smith will remake …

Editorial: Requiring headlights in rain a simple way to increase road safety

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Some new laws make you scratch your head and ask — “Why?” Others make you wonder: “That’s not a law already?” The motor vehicle law that went into effect April 7 requiring drivers in Massachusetts to turn on headlights whenever windshield wipers are needed falls into the latter …

Wait for timely care still too long at local VA

Monday, April 13, 2015

A year after a federal audit found that the VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System had one of the nation’s longest average wait times for new patients, the latest VA data shows the system still has plenty of work to do. As the Gazette reported last week, the …

Editorial: Ratepayers get a reprieve in Northampton, but fixes must still be funded

Sunday, April 12, 2015

It took just hours last week for people upset about a sewer and water rate increase to get what they wanted: mercy from City Hall. Rates already higher than some neighboring communities will not rise, Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz announced Friday. But this isn’t over. Northampton is …

Editorial: Road warriors attack Northampton’s rough ride

Friday, April 10, 2015

Northampton Mayor David J. Narkewicz ramped up the rhetoric last week. “I am officially declaring war on potholes,” he said. “I’m launching a major pothole blitz.” As in any war, going into battle takes people, money and material. …

Editorial: Bystanders play key role in countering sexual assault

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The news that Rolling Stone magazine had retracted its article about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity prompted some skeptics to assert that we’ve all been fooled again. “Americans have been living through an enormously sensationalized college rape hoax,” Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan …

Editorial: Making new cultural connections in downtown Amherst

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Creative thinkers in Amherst have come up with a plan that could prove mutually beneficial to two beloved institutions in town: the Jones Library and the Amherst History Museum. The two, located side-by-side downtown, are considering joining forces. It’s a natural partnership that could be a home run …

Editorial: A very antique roadshow celebrates Valley’s lost dinosaurs

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

When he was a teen growing up in Deerfield more than 200 years ago, Edward Hitchcock was stricken with an illness that affected his eyesight. The malady sidelined his dream of studying astronomy. Instead, Hitchcock trained his curiosity on the local natural world. He looked straight ahead and …

Editorial: In UMass rape cases, plea deal may be best for all

Monday, April 6, 2015

After a week of brutal testimony, Hampshire Superior Court jurors last week said they believe the former University of Massachusetts student who said she’d been raped by four teenage men in her dorm room while she was incapacitated …