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Letters

Andrew Steinberg: Why this coming weekend in Amherst will be different from the same one in 2014

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

AMHERST — It is almost one year since that warm Saturday, March 8, when a large-scale disturbance was in stark contrast to Amherst’s image as an idyllic New England college town. There is no need to recount the day’s events. We are all too familiar with what happened. The consequences were significant. The costs to the town were monetary and a diminution of the public’s confidence. Similarly, attention to the …

Joe Henefield: Letter blaming President Obama for high energy prices incomplete

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To the editor: A letter from a Northampton resident in the Feb. 24 Gazette criticizing President Obama and liberals for high electricity prices left out some important words in his opening quote from the president’s question-and-answer session with the San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial board in February of 2008. The full clause is, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily …

Leslie Nyman: Amherst Farmers’ Market should include all area farmers

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To the editor: I was disturbed and saddened to read that the Amherst Farmers’ Market regularly excludes some area farmers because of fear of competition. I love the farmers market and go nearly every Saturday morning because it brings freshness and joy into my day. I’m pretty sure no one shops there because of the prices. They simply are not competitive in the …

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Thomas F. Plaut: Measles, measles vaccine and death

Friday, February 13, 2015

To the editor: A total of 503,000 cases of measles were reported during a single year (1962) of my pediatric residency. There were more than 400 deaths. I treated hundreds of patients in New York City and witnessed two deaths, one from pneumonia and the other from encephalitis. …

Adam J. Kolek: Just who wins with use of state, CPA monies?

Friday, February 13, 2015

To the editor: Easthampton City Councilor Daniel Hagan has been quoted as saying that “everybody wins” in a city project of renovations to privately owned local mill properties. Perhaps he should have been more specific. The project uses $7.55 million of state grants and CPA funds, all taxpayer …

Gretchen Armacost: A plea for tolerance on issues of science

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: How do we decide what we should believe? In a fascinating article, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” published in the New York Times Book Review, Jan. 9, 1997, evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin wrote, “when scientists transgress the bounds of their own specialty they have no …

Jody Nishman: No easy answers to issue of police shootings

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: Regarding letters about police brutality: As with many important issues, there seems to be a lot of polarization. Accusations of hostility and bias abound on both sides. Policing is an extremely difficult job, especially in today’s society. There are many police doing their jobs bravely, …

Nicholas G Reich, Krzysztof Sakrejda: Criticizes Gazette measles headline for down-playing risks

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

To the editor: We were disappointed with your banner headline “Measles outbreak unlikely here, experts say” (Feb. 7). This messaging works against the public health outreach that many front-line health care workers communicate every day to patients to protect our communities from disease outbreaks. Although Massachusetts overall has …

David Arrighi: Damon Road has turned into traffic nightmare

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

To the editor: I am done, finished and I quit traveling Damon Road. Recently, I have tried to navigate from Hadley to Southampton via Damon Road. I have tried three different time frames, morning, noon, and night only to get stuck in the traffic backup caused by the …

John A. Provost: Let’s not forget the benefit side of the cost-benefit analysis

Monday, February 9, 2015

To the editor: A recent letter to the editor concerning the local impact of the proposed affordable housing project at site of the former Pleasant Street lumber yard included an analysis of the potential consequences for the school budget. Assuming a per-pupil expenditure of $12,500 and an enrollment …

Casey Pease: Standardized testing in schools is bad idea

Monday, February 9, 2015

To the editor: While staying after school one day recently, I noticed one of my teachers had her head on her hands — looking completely exhausted. I asked her, “What’s wrong?” and she told me she didn’t know if she could do it anymore. The state standardized evaluations …

Christine Mulcahy: Federal education efforts should focus on the poor

Thursday, February 5, 2015

To the editor: Concerning the wire article Jan. 22 about senators grappling with student testing: The federal mandate to test American kids annually should be abandoned. The claim that our schools are failing is false. Test results are not helpful to teachers and the costs are wasteful. Corporate …

Martha Hanner: Don’t forget to shovel out that fire hydrant

Thursday, February 5, 2015

To the editor: In this snowy weather, don’t forget to dig out your neighborhood fire hydrant. I’ve seen many buried up to the flag on top. In an emergency, precious time could be lost while the fire department chops its way to the hydrant. Martha Hanner Amherst …