Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 61° | Lo 43°


Utility regulators act quickly, but more education needed

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Four months. That’s all the time it took the state Department of Public Utilities to eliminate an unfair rule that penalized electricity customers for switching to a competitive supplier that promised lower bills. The speed at which the state’s top utility regulators acted shows the power of protest. The agency had been inundated with phone calls and letters from hundreds of angry electricity customers. Lawmakers were weighing in. While governments …

Editorial: Lessons in compassion from an exiled leader

Friday, April 24, 2015

When the Dalai Lama visits the Pioneer Valley in late October, college students and fortunate members of the public will get the chance to hear from a man for whom patience, compassion and joy are not abstract notions. For him and his followers, they are the keys to fulfilment and, in some cases, survival. The exiled religious leader of Tibet has scheduled appearances …

Editorial: Hadley must invest in larger police force

Thursday, April 23, 2015

‘It’s not good business.” That’s how the chairman of Hadley’s Finance Committee sees the practice of paying some police officers more in overtime than they earn in regular pay. Residents may have other words for it. As a Gazette story detailed Thursday, Hadley has long rung up deficits in police overtime — to the tune of nearly a quarter million dollars over four …

Editorial: Shovel out or prepare to pay up

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One day this winter, a frail woman leaning on a walker inched her way down the middle of Northampton’s busy Conz Street. She had chosen the dangers of traffic over the risks of a sidewalk laden with ragged layers of snow and ice. It’s a choice nobody should …

Editorial: Healthy Hampshire shines welcome light on challenges

Thursday, March 19, 2015

People living in the residential East Hadley Road neighborhood off Route 116 south of downtown Amherst face challenges in their daily routines that are not part of the lives of many other residents. Because of inconvenient bus schedules and tricky access to the nearby Norwottuck Rail Trail, a …

Editorial: Proposed records reform gives citizens their due

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Transparency in civic life isn’t a partisan issue. This month, Gov. Charlie Baker demanded it of leaders of Boston 2024, the private group trying to bring the Olympics to Massachusetts. And he pledged in January that the Massachusetts Health Connector would be straightforward about the costs of administering …

Editorial: Task force right approach for body work oversight

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The raid and subsequent closure of two body work businesses in Northampton last month shined a light on a corner of the underground economy that mistreats employees and can involve the trading of sexual contact for money. When businesses prey on the most vulnerable, they must be stopped. …

Editorial: Bringing a proven tool to state’s opioid epidemic

Monday, March 16, 2015

The heartbreaking story Joyce Sabin Rescia carries with her every day comes with many morals, including this one: If there is a simple way to save a life, why not take it? Rescia lost her son Matthew to a heroin overdose in 2000 when he was 18. She’d …

Editorial: The meaningful life that Juanita Nelson made

Friday, March 13, 2015

The following editorial appeared this week in The Recorder. ‘Your life is your action” could be said to have been Juanita Nelson’s credo. Nelson, who died at 91 this week and who spoke those words some 35 years ago, had a life full of action, much of it …

Editorial: Help us find our first ‘Person of the Year’

Friday, March 13, 2015

Stories in the Gazette and on GazetteNET often introduce readers to local people who go out of their way to make life better for others. What they do is newsworthy because it builds community and solves real problems. These are life’s clutch hitters. With a new award, run …

Editorial: Amherst College links its investments to greater environmental good

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Amherst College trustees are backing up a pledge to make the college more environmentally responsible by putting its investments on the line. In a recent vote, trustees promised not only to take major steps to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions on campus, but will urge its endowment fund …

Editorial: Many questions remain over prospect of 2024 Boston Olympics

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Though the possibility of staging the 2024 Summer Olympics in Boston is more than nine years away, sides already are forming over the wisdom of bringing arguably the world’s highest-profile sporting event to Massachusetts. Clear answers are needed about the liability facing the state’s taxpayers before the commitment …

Editorial: Anti-Blarney Blowout strategy shows merit in first test

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Many people deserve credit for Saturday’s peaceful reprise of the Blarney Blowout. They include University of Massachusetts officials who took smart steps to prevent unruly crowds, police officers who provided a ubiquitous but restrained presence, Amherst town officials …