Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 28° | Lo 11°


Editorial: Lessons from a hateful crime in Northampton, even it it didn’t earn that name technically

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Northampton Police and the Northwestern district attorney’s office will not charge two juveniles accused of writing anti-Semitic and racist graffiti with the commission of a hate crime, but that’s not the end of this story. Members of a community must never think a decision by law enforcement absolves them of their duty to deal with an act that might not legally qualify as a hate crime, but is hateful and …

Non-violent civil protests always carry risks, rewards

Thursday, January 29, 2015

It’s a mistake for lawmakers angered by a recent I-93 blockade to crack down on civil disobedience, no matter how upset their constituents are. Nonetheless, two bills have been filed to toughen penalties for actions like those Jan. 15, when people protesting police violence chained themselves to concrete-filled barrels and obstructed the morning commute. That conduct is already illegal — and is why …

Closing time for the liquor license monopoly

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

No wonder some Northampton restaurateurs are protesting the city’s effort to obtain another five full liquor licenses. Existing license holders have reason to grumble not just about increased competition, but about what they see as a financial inequity. If the Legislature grants the city permission to expand the number of licenses from 40 to 45, new licensees will pony up $2,500 — vastly …

Editorial: What the CIA did in all of our names

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Central Intelligence Agency delivered cruel and usual punishment to people caught up its post-Sept. 11 dragnet, a long-awaited Senate report reveals. In dank holes around the world, people representing the U.S. government brutalized captives out of the …

Editorial: Toward a day when black lives really do matter in US

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

What’s in a hashtag? When it comes to the current furor over the killing of black men by police officers, the answer is nothing less than the history of racial violence in America and our failure to create …

Editorial: Low wage activists put the case to customers

Monday, December 8, 2014

Rallies and one-day strikes in 190 cities last week pressed the case that fast-food workers — there are 7 million of them in the U.S. — deserve a living wage. They are a long way from making it — and this should be everyone’s concern. The average fast-food …

Editorial: Proposed pay increases for state officials are excessive

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A special commission last week recommended pay raises ranging from 22 percent to 37 percent for the state’s top six elected officials, and a whopping 71 percent for the House speaker and Senate president. Those increases are too steep, especially when the state faces a projected $329 million …

Editorial: Citzens send a message about a basic injustice

Friday, December 5, 2014

Make that two grand juries, and two decisions, that confirm the belief among many that justice is far from color-blind in America. At protests across the country this week, including events in Amherst, people continued to decry the …

Editorial: Taking the bars of downtown benches

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Four benches in the public courtyard next to the Hampshire County Courthouse became user-friendly this week after practically screaming “don’t sit here” for about the past two years. Each of them had been outfitted with two silver metal bars that extended diagonally from the seat back to the …

Editorial: Lessons in a jar of peanut butter

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A tiny girl gave the community an outsized lesson last week. Lavery Greenfield, 8, a third-grader at the Hatfield Elementary School, spearheaded a collection drive that contributed 1,009 pounds of peanut butter and jelly to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. She didn’t do this all by herself …

Editorial: Threats against schools demand full investigation

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Easthampton teenager now confined to her home knows better than anyone how seriously school authorities and police take perceived threats of violence. As they should. It is likely to come clear, in time, that the 18-year-old student who police say told classmates she wanted “to blow up …

Editorial: Cleanup in aisle two-niner

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An emotional support kitten maybe. But a 70-pound pig? We feel some sympathy for the Connecticut woman who claimed to need the company of a pot-bellied pig during a flight from Bradley International Airport last week. Now that just about everyone on the planet knows of her failed …

Editorial: Women’s accounts shatter Bill Cosby’s public image

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A decade ago, Bill Cosby reached an out-of-court settlement with a woman who claimed he sexually assaulted her. That quieted the accuser, but the case raised questions about the conduct and character of one of America’s most respected entertainers and winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Today, …