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Marion W. Copeland: Headline not fair to those non-human animals

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: While I have no argument at all with Marilyn Marks’ Nov. 17 guest column, the choice of a headline — ”Naming all the animals of racism” — seems totally inappropriate to me. The only animal I know that has anything to do with racism and certainly with “racial microaggressions” is the human animal. The headline itself strikes me as a speciesist microagression, all the more egregious because …

Hill Boss: Students at Smith show contempt for value of free press

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is dead at Smith College — or at least it was one day last week. When the students at a rally held on an open campus prevented media coverage of an event Nov. 18 they indulged in the same sort of ugly censorship so often used by racist Southerners in the 1960’s and …

John Zokowski: President Obama failing at duty to keep America safe

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: Politics aside, the first and foremost responsibility of the president of the United States is to do all that he or she can do to protect the United States of America. President Obama is sworn to preserve, protect and defend our country against all enemies, foreign and domestic. If there is even an infinitesimal chance that there is a terrorist …

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Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School changes graduation requirements

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Lynne Bertrand: What spring can reveal if we remember to look, listen

 Philip Fitz: Gov. Baker should not stall on accepting refugees

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: We as a nation cannot fail the Syrian refugees like we did the Jewish refugees fleeing Germany just before the start of World War II. I can appreciate Gov. Charlie Baker’s caution about the screening process for entering Syrian refugees, but that should not just …

Nancy Hamel: Amherst schools must retain the system’s best teachers

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: Just thinking: Amherst has one of the largest school administrations. How could a district so top heavy that it even pays someone to attract teachers to the system not manage to retain one of its best, beloved teachers, Anita Cooper? It’s unbelievable that a system …

Lawrence Siddall: What has happened to phrase ‘You’re welcome’

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: I am sure you have noticed, as I have, that over the past several years more people are saying “Thank you” in response to a “Thank you.” This is especially evident in radio and television interviews. Even interviewees from around the world have been caught …

Lilly Lombard: Volunteers help Northampton find some blessed ‘re-leaf’

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: This October, 73 citizen volunteers — over a third of whom were ​children and teens — joined Northampton’s ambitious effort to reverse decades of public tree canopy decline by planting 80 street trees. This is nearly triple the number of trees the city has historically …

Perplexed by calls to hire based on race or gender

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

To the editor: Recently, you had a reader write in and state that the new town manager of Amherst “should be a woman or person of color.” I’m confused, isn’t hiring someone because of their skin color racism? Isn’t not hiring someone because of their sex, sexism? The …

Jeff Schrenzel: Social work is much more than ‘doing good’

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: I am writing about the Gazette’s Nov. 10 article, “Life As A Do-Gooder,” about social worker Jay Pasternack. While I commend Pasternack on his long career doing social work, it should be noted your title is a bit misleading. Social work is more than “doing …

Chet Cramer: Preserve prime agricultural land for farming, not commercial use

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: I often travel Meadow Street in North Amherst. Recently I have been very bothered by signs on parcels of land on the east side of the street, between Route 116 and the Waskiewicz family’s J & J Farms, offering the land for sale for commercial …

Sidney Moss: Reasons aplenty to vote Sanders for president

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: In response to a recent letter-writer who believes Bernie Sanders’ view of government is in line with the Founding Fathers, I appreciate his readiness to vote for Sanders. I admire Sanders because of his long-earned history as a fighter for social justice and fairness in …

Kristen Mokrzecki: Remember the children when crafting refugee policies

Monday, November 23, 2015

To the editor: We are heartened to discover that our government has created policies for allowing refugees to enter the United States, and are pleased to hear that we will be accepting 10,000 refugees from Syria. The government has created a uniform procedure for accepting and relocating refugees, …

Trish Duffy: Buy a green light bulb in support of veterans

Sunday, November 22, 2015

To the editor: It is very heartwarming to see coverage in the paper in appreciation and thanks to our veterans from so many people. I’d like to see these people and others continue their support year-round by supporting the Green Light of Hope (www.greenlightavet.com). I am very surprised …