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Editorial: No more hiring as usual at state probation office

Monday, July 28, 2014

The lesson in the guilty verdicts last week in the federal trial involving the state probation department’s rigged hiring scheme is this simple: Just because it has always been done this way doesn’t make it right. The case involved former Probation Commissioner John O’Brien and his deputies, Elizabeth Taveres and William Burke III. Burke, 70, a Hatfield resident, was a career employee of the department who worked for many years … 0

Editorial: Sloppy work or under staffing? Lax funeral inspections allow Ryder's alleged negligent operation to continue

Monday, July 28, 2014

As the families who did business with the now-shuttered Ryder Funeral Home transfer their funeral arrangements elsewhere, file lawsuits or search for missing funeral contract money, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office needs to step in and help state regulators sort out the mess. That’s because the state Division of Professional Licensure and Board … 0

Not an easy task, but saving Amherst mural worth effort

Friday, July 25, 2014

An enormous painting of Emily Dickinson’s face, surrounded by colorful blossoms and flanked by other luminaries from Amherst’s past, gazes out from the back wall of the Carriage Shops in Amherst center. The poet’s image provides the centerpiece of the community-created mural framing the historic West Cemetery that fans out beyond it, the burial ground for Dickinson and her family, as well as … 0

Editorial: Mount Tom coal-fired power plant signs off

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Competition within the energy industry this week brought a headline environmentalists wanted for years: The coal-fired Mount Tom plant is no longer producing electricity and emitting carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. At least in one respect, this market … 3

Editorial: The educator behind the name of Anne T. Dunphy

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

When an educator manages to fire students up about learning, those students are changed forever. That kind of transformation inspires fierce loyalty. This might explain why from New Hampshire to Northfield to Hilltowns closer to home, there is … 3

Editorial: Crucial moment for Pope Francis to undo wrongs on clergy sex abuse

Monday, June 2, 2014

As he takes on the issue of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis must break with the past and move to resolve, once and for all, a scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church for years. The new pope … 1

Editorial: Review essential to rebuild community trust in Afiya House after Northampton stabbing

Friday, May 30, 2014

The May 17 stabbing of a staff member at Afiya House on Jackson Street in Northampton has focused attention on a program that since August 2012 has offered short-term respite care for people experiencing emotional distress or another … 3

Editorial: Transparency on state job openings

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

‘ In the era of transparency, what’s the problem?” That’s what state Rep. John W. Scibak, D-South Hadley, asked when speaking about the bill he’s filed in the Massachusetts House on behalf of constituent Thomas McGee of Hadley. The bill requires all state agencies to post their jobs … 1

Editorial: Jared Remy still doesn’t get it: It wasn’t his victim’s fault

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The words Jared Remy spoke in a Woburn courtroom Tuesday were exceptional not because he’s the son of a well-known Red Sox announcer, but because they made plain the attitude of men who inflict violence on the women … 1

Editorial: Rescue at the ready, thanks to new technical team

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The newly formed Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team stands ready to save people in new ways from tough spots. The region is fortunate to have a dedicated crew like this — the largest of its kind in the … 0

Editorial: First step: save lives with Narcan

Monday, May 26, 2014

When Gov. Deval Patrick took aim at opioid addiction two months ago, wider use of Narcan topped his list of emergency actions — and for good reason. The substance, if administered in time to people overdosing, saves lives. … 0

Editorial: Why drivers must respect rail crossings

Monday, May 26, 2014

Collisions involving cars and trains are rare in the Valley, but given the number of unguarded crossings and the public’s daredevil ways, they do happen. A driver was lucky last week to walk away from a crash in … 0

Editorial: An Amherst teacher’s unhappy retreat

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Racial tension has held the Amherst Regional High School in its grip since fall. Math teacher Carolyn Gardner, in her first year, has been targeted repeatedly by anonymous racist and otherwise hostile incidents and students clashed during the … 0