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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 at Smith College on Oct. 23, Amherst …

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: The Big Data moment at UMass

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Within a week, the University of Massachusetts went big on Big Data. It outlined plans to create a Center for Data Science, raising $100 million to hire 40 faculty members in the next 10 years. And it elevated the “school” of computer science to a “college.” Both moves will help the university gain visibility as a training ground for data scientists and as …

Editorial: Transparency should be hallmark of ed reform

Monday, March 9, 2015

Jim Palermo had a plan, and it was a reasonable one. The retired Southampton resident wanted to test the veracity of a report about a little-known standardized test that showed exciting results for students in this state. The run-around he got after a straightforward request to see the …

Editorial: Missouri police department let race overrule rights

Friday, March 6, 2015

People know when they are treated unfairly. We learn that early. African-American residents of Ferguson, Missouri, knew something was wrong in their community long before teenager Michael Brown was shot last August. This week, the Justice Department agreed. …

Editorial: Harsh winter a clear sell for added fuel assistance

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Of all the responsibilities lawmakers carry, protecting the most vulnerable should be near the top. That’s why, as the region began another harsh winter month, the state’s two Democratic U.S. senators did the right thing in making a case for the release of home-heating assistance. It’s sad they …

Editorial: Catholic schools’ merger a test for new Springfield bishop

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Last week’s announcement by Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of the Diocese of Springfield that Cathedral and Holyoke Catholic high schools will merge is welcome news for the future of parochial education in the Valley. Both schools in recent …

Editorial: To the end, Evan S. Dobelle remains tight with a dime

Sunday, March 1, 2015

When president of Westfield State University, Evan S. Dobelle showed a preference for having other people pick up the tab for his personal travel, expensive meals and visits to the Bohemian Grove in California. That’s why he no longer works in Westfield. A development last week suggests Dobelle …

Editorial: Worthington deserves answers about its fire service

Friday, February 27, 2015

Volunteer firefighters are a proud bunch for good reason. They train on their own time to protect lives and property. They miss family meals on cold winter nights. Not enough people in small Hampshire and Franklin county towns are willing to join these crews; those who do perform …

Editorial: Amherst arrestee’s cellphone video offers chilling view of police conduct

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Before Thomas C. Donovan’s cellphone video went dead March 8, it captured an alarming sequence of events: Donovan backing up. Police officers coming toward him. Donovan asserting his right to record police conduct. An officer knocking the phone from his hand. Another officer stomping on it. In a …

Editorial: Iranian student policy a test of UMass campus loyalties

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The law that tripped up University of Massachusetts officials this month, resulting in what one professor somewhat hysterically called “billions of dollars in bad press,” is known as the Iran Threat Reduction and Syrian Human Rights Act of 2012. The part of it that applies to schools like …

Editorial: Welfare reform major test for Rosenberg’s Senate leadership

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

One of the first major tests on which the Senate presidency of Stanley C. Rosenberg will be judged is reform of the state’s welfare and job training programs. The Amherst Democrat announced last week the “WorkFirst Initiative” designed …

Editorial: Ruling in embezzlement case offers new chance for justice

Monday, February 23, 2015

A judicial ruling last week raised questions about the handling of a long-running embezzlement case by the Northwestern district attorney’s office. Prosecutors should give deep thought to their next move. The case involved Northampton resident Nancy Whitley, who with her former wife and business partner, Heather Whitley, proposed …