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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 land to Smith Vocational and Agricultural High …

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 …

Editorial: US steps up to address decline in honeybee numbers

Friday, May 22, 2015

Our Pioneer Valley, a region dotted with farms, orchards and fields, makes an idyllic vision, one that conjures up “the land of milk and honey,” words from the Old Testament. Those words can be taken literally since the region provides much in the way of fresh dairy products, fruit, vegetables, plants, flowers and, …

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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: Institute honoring Kennedy pushes needed civic agenda

Friday, April 3, 2015

Because he tried but failed to attain the presidency, the late Edward M. Kennedy never had to plan a building to house his political legacy. In Kennedy’s final years, though, a wooden model of something akin to presidential library sat on the senator’s dining room table. This week, …

Bill Newman: Between the lines on marathon bombing case’s death penalty option

Friday, April 3, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The guilt-innocence phase, the first part, of the trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is drawing to a close. Final arguments are scheduled for Monday. After Monday’s arguments, Tsarnaev will come face to face with the possibility of being executed by the United States government. …

Editorial: Private transactions now under watchful eye at Northampton Police Department

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Without investing a minute of an officer’s time, the Northampton Police Department is helping people be confident that commercial transactions begun online conclude safely. Anyone who wishes can now designate the department’s business-only parking lot at 29 Center St. as a meeting place with someone met at an …

Editorial: Sessions helping veterans come all the way home

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Dating the start of American intervention in Vietnam is complicated. Officially, the U.S. is now marking the 50th anniversary of the war, based on the March 8, 1965, deployment of 3,500 Marines to Da Nang. According to U.S. government timelines, the CIA sent agents inside North Vietnam in …

Editorial: Hadley diner’s wounds entirely self-inflicted; AG sends message on sexual harassment

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Though it went out of business Monday, the Route 9 Diner in Hadley still has something to teach the restaurant trade: If you subject workers to sexual harassment, you’ll pay a price. That’s the message restaurant managers anywhere should take from the state attorney general’s decision to go …

Editorial: A day of lobbying, and tasting, seeks to advance farm economy

Monday, March 30, 2015

When hungry lawmakers browse the tables at Agriculture Day in Boston today, one of the cheeses they’ll sample hails from Grace Hill Farm in Cummington. It’s there on Potash Hill Road that Max and Amy Breiteneicher create Hilltown Blue by hand, using milk from grass-fed cows. On Ag …

Editorial: Banning sale of e-cigs to minors is right step

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Let’s get real: Adults who smoke bubble gum- and banana split-flavored electronic cigarettes and use a Batman holster to carry them around are few and far between. The makers and sellers of e-cigarettes know full well the population …

Editorial: First up, an Olympics of public skepticism on the 2024 Games

Friday, March 27, 2015

The state placed a help-wanted ad this week related to having Boston host the Olympics in 2024. The help that’s needed: an independent accounting of how the games would affect the state and its capital city. We’re glad officials see the need for answers. Boston 2024, fresh from …

Editorial: Open Meeting Law worth the hard work it requires

Thursday, March 26, 2015

It’s not shocking that several public officials stood up at a public meeting to complain that the state’s Open Meeting Law is cumbersome and confusing. What is shocking is that they derided it as “unfair and undemocratic” and claimed that a request for meeting minutes is tantamount to …

Editorial: Rule exposes electricity ratepayers to unfair double whammy

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Electricity customers knew last fall they’d pay more for power this winter. But as rates kicked up by nearly a third and some sought relief by switching suppliers, another expense caught them by surprise — making this a tough winter both inside and outside for ratepayers. Help may …