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Susan Adelson: Sherman Avenue action should be treated as hate crime

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: I am concerned about the recent anti-Semitic vandalism in Northampton. I have read some people’s responses that since no Jews were believed to live on Sherman Avenue and no particular individuals appear to have been targeted, the incident is not of great significance. Two teenage girls are suspected of just wanting to do something of shock value. What if instead of “Jews” the word “Muslims” had been …

Bernie Bachand: Please don’t degrade our police and military

Sunday, January 25, 2015

To the editor: My message is to all those who have nothing better to do but decide to protest alongside of the Ward 7 councilor against the men and women in blue. You can bet on one thing: Despite this, if you were in harm’s way, they would be between you and the people trying to harm you and give you every protection …

Nanny Vonnegut, Laurie Foley, Scott Prior: Scourge of heroin epidemic is upon us

Friday, January 23, 2015

To the editor: As concerned parents, our hearts soared at the recent headline news: Hampshire County gets $550,000 to combat toll of addiction. Finally, opiate addiction is no longer a closeted issue and much needed help is on the way. Our hearts sank on further reading that the grant recipients would prioritize further assessments, data collection and broad development of strategies above timely …

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Emily Starkweather: Appreciation for Amherst police officers’ ‘respect for black life’

Friday, January 16, 2015

To the editor: I have respect for the work that police officers do. But police, all police, need to stop defending themselves and admit that their fellow officers across the country have gotten away with murder. That’s the way the system has been set up and it’s time …

Alex Kent: Let’s have thicker skins about editorial cartoons

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To the editor: A letter-writer wonders (Jan. 10-11 Gazette), “Is it possible for this liberal newspaper to print an occasional editorial cartoon that doesn’t demonize America or our police officers.” My question in response: Are America and its police officers’ feelings so weak, so fragile and so easily …

David E. Schneider: Amherst school’s proposed schedule changes needs closer look

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To the editor: A proposal to change significantly the curriculum and schedule of the Amherst Regional Middle School is being rushed to the superintendent to meet a deadline mandated by the teachers’ union. A laudable desire to improve students’ learning motivates the proposal. Nevertheless, there are important details …

Steve Brown: How to help everyone deal with trauma in a world full of it

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To the editor: I attended Calvin Terrell’s presentation on Sunday for Amherst Regional Middle School parents, where he modeled the presentation he originally did for students that stirred controversy. My seventh-grader found his talk moving and powerful. I understand other children found it distressing, even overwhelming. As a …

Kate Queeney: Story mischaracterized Columbine massacre cause

Thursday, January 15, 2015

To the editor: I did not attend Calvin Terrell’s Jan. 11 presentation for Amherst parents, but one passage in your coverage of this event disturbed me. After describing Terrell’s use of a school shooting scenario, the article says he “... explained that the shooting was a progression in …

Michael Burkhart: Something has changed since Ferguson shooting

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the editor: The police in Ferguson, New York City, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Springfield are not out of control. They are not stopping affluent or wealthy whites, interrogating them, arresting them, or shooting them. Police do not stop 13- and 14-year-old white teens in white neighborhoods, search …

Rachel & Pam Hannah: Gazette wrong to publish guest columns questioning statements by City Councilor Alisa Klein

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the editor: We are writing to address our outrage over the Gazette’s decision to run guest columns critical of Alisa Klein, the Ward 7 city councilor who courageously spoke out at the Black Lives Matter protest in November. We stand in solidarity with Klein’s statements and applaud …

John Montanari: Free speech is the fight that should bind us all

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the editor: Since last week’s shootings in Paris, the civilized world has rallied under the banner “Je suis Charlie Hebdo” — as well it should, as the attacks on the French satirical newspaper represent an assault on the free speech that we regard as a fundamental right. …

Jean Grossholtz: ‘People’s congress’ should be built on by all in Valley

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the editor: Thanks for informing your readers about the “people’s congress” meeting dreamed up by local organizers and other passionate believers in justice. This congress was designed to provide an alternative to the hoorah visited on the U.S. Senate and House and to allow local community to …

Mike Kirby: Klein speech hurt Northampton and police

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To the editor: City Councilor Alisa Klein read a controversial speech before the Nov. 25 demonstration on the steps of City Hall. In the audience were quite a few Northampton police officers trying to keep order under difficult circumstances. Did she think about their feelings when they were …