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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: Lending a bit of art to best seats in the house

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The 15 metal benches newly decorated with colorful, whimsical designs on Main and Pleasant streets in Northampton are the work of the Northampton Youth Commission, which led the charge to beautify downtown for a variety of reasons. The commission, made up of more than two dozen city youth, …

Editorial: An old idea in South Hadley can get better with time

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A major project under consideration for two decades in South Hadley won’t be hurt by the six months or so that it will take to allow more public comment, despite claims to that effect. After deciding last year to build a new headquarters on Old Lyman Road, commissioners …

Editorial: Shifting use of classroom space makes sense for Amherst school

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Do the math, as they say. The Amherst Regional High School can accommodate 1,725 students. But fewer than 1,000 are enrolled this year. Nearby, the Amherst-Pelham Regional Middle School is home to under 500 students — all of whom could move over to classes at the high school …

Editorial: Remove access barrier to new Registry services at Hadley AAA

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Gov. Charlie Baker came to Hadley last week to celebrate a public-private partnership that started under his Democratic predecessor, but which fits his political views. Since 2009, people have been able to renew drivers’ licenses and register vehicles …

Smith College invests wisely in improved pedestrian safety

Monday, June 1, 2015

Every few months, travelers along Elm Street near Smith College witness seasonal migrations. Before holidays and at semester’s end, it’s common to see Smith students trundling along a narrow sidewalk, or in the street itself, tugging wheeled suitcases on their way to the bus station. By this Thanksgiving, …

Editorial: After 24 years, Family Fun gets packing

Monday, June 1, 2015

The nationally known Family Fun magazine is off to join its new clan. After its founding nearly a quarter century ago in Northampton, the publication will move to New York City to be in closer creative contact with other Meredith Corp. publications devoted to home topics — Family …

Editorial: A tale of colossal fraud in world’s biggest sport

Friday, May 29, 2015

Just the beginning. That’s how the U.S. attorney general describes the fraud case the government opened Wednesday against officials within FIFA, the Zurich-based group that oversees the world’s most popular sport. While this effort to root out long-rumored corruption faces long odds, it is a righteous quest. The …

Editorial: A fragile optimism dawns for redevelopment of former Belchertown State School site

Thursday, May 28, 2015

If a project advances, a piece of ground in Belchertown will go from restricted living to assisted living. That may not sound like a big change, there’s a world of difference, more than 20 years after the human warehouse known as the Belchertown State School closed. Still, Kirk …

Editorial: When the call to teach runs in the family

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Talk about your teachable moments. This time it was a teacher — well, a future teacher — whose eyes were opened. Through high school and college, Alicia Lopez says she had resolved not to follow her parents into a career in education. Lopez did know she wanted to …

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 …