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Don Schneier: Plenty of problems with Northampton BID

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: If, as the Gazette describes it in its Nov. 17 editorial, the BID was operating under a “legal cloud,” it was one of their own making, a product of overreach. But the problems were more than legal. They were moral: imposing an ethos of commercialism on citizens, requiring the constraint of conviviality by self-interested purposefulness. They were political: a conflation of plutocracy and democracy, as exemplified by …

Anne Perkins: Applauding whistle-blowing waitresses in Hadley

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: I am writing to applaud the waitresses who had the courage to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment at the Route 9 Diner. Sadly, whistle-blowers are rarely honored in our society. Although I personally do not know Marie Billiel, Jaime Young or any of the other nine women who described their experiences of harassment, what I read rings …

Meghan Sharick: Amherst adults not showing proper respect at meeting

Monday, November 24, 2014

To the editor: Respect: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important and should be treated in an appropriate way. Respect has been on the list of classroom expectations since kindergarten; respect is demanded of us from a very young age and should continue to be demanded of us as teenagers, young adults and adults. I attended a recent Amherst School …

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Penny Burke: BID’s demise a loss for Northampton’s art scene

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: Last week, I made an online comment in response to an article about the Northampton Business Improvement District and the mayor’s intention to convene a meeting of “downtown stakeholders.” I would like to share the comment with more Gazette readers and add a few remarks: …

Ann Hallstein: Letter-writer’s roster of Northampton downtown pioneers shows gender gap

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

To the editor: A letter to the editor in the Nov. 15-16 edition of the Gazette caught my eye — and stirred my ire. Alan Scheinman, one of the plaintiffs in the suit against the BID, wrote in defense of his case, “Some people attributed the success of …

Ellen Putnam: Loves her Gazette, and ‘Tonight’s Sky’

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: I am often teased by my family for my cover-to-cover, vacation-pack-when-I’m-away reading of the Gazette. This approach has many benefits, however — among them, my daily enjoyment of Patrick Rowan’s “Tonight’s Sky,” found if one looks closely along with the weather forecast. It provides a …

Chris and DeAnne Riddle: Says investing in solar for house was worth it

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: Following up on a recent letter to the editor concerning solar power, I’ll pass on our experience with solar hot water and electricity. First, we got rid of our oil-fired furnace, and replaced it with a Daikin air-source heat pump, an efficient electrical unit that …

J.M. Sorrell: BID was not needed in the first place

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: With great interest, I have followed the development of the BID, the court case and the opinions pro and con. I was a condo owner in the BID district when it was formed. At a public hearing, I spoke clearly about my opposition to the …

Leonard A. Cohen: Lenient sentence in probation case suggests system is rigged

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

To the editor: Regarding an article in the Nov. 14 Gazette, “Hatfield man gets probation in rigged hiring case,” how is it that William Burke gets a slap on the wrist for his involvement in a decade of illegal hiring practices at the state Probation Department instead a …

Michael Burkart: A sad history of institutional racism

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: In a letter published Nov. 4. about racism the author claimed that “racists exist in minority cultures as well.” I agree that prejudice exists across all groups, and any individual is able to exercise it. However, a key factor in the exercise of prejudice is …

Dave King: Here’s some good reasons to install solar

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: We have been getting a lot of inquiries about our solar energy installations from neighbors who are either sick of supporting corrupt, polluting industries, of sending money to foreign governments that hate us, or just want to save on their energy bills. So in the …

Casey Pease: Why did so many voters not bother to turn out?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

To the editor: The 2014 midterm elections saw the lowest voter turnout in 72 years. Only 36.4 percent of eligible voters voted, down 4.5 percent points from 2010. This was the lowest turnout since 1942, which makes sense because we were in the middle of World War II …

Kate Collins: We have leash laws for a reason

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

To the editor: My dog, Annie, is a timid little rescue dog. For six weeks, I’ve been helping her develop confidence in herself around other dogs and trust in me to keep her safe. On Nov. 4 at 4 p.m., Annie was attacked by a dog who was …