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FILE - This Aug. 14, 1935 black-and-white file photo shows President Franklin D. Roosevelt signing the Social Security Bill in Washington. These are complicated times in the affairs of Washington and the nation, with death stars everywhere and all of them a struggle to comprehend. The partial government shutdown, the debt limit squeeze just around the corner, sequestration, how they fit with the health care law, how they don’t _ it just goes on. When Roosevelt set up public pensions in 1935, he didn’t call it the Happy Retirees Act or the Justice for Deserving Seniors Act or the Golden Years Contentment Act. He called it the Social Security Act. In those apparently more serious and less pandering times, perish the thought of a No Child Left Behind Act. (AP Photo, File)

Richard W.Tracy: Full-page ad on Social Security office off-base

Friday, August 15, 2014

To the editor: I was intrigued by the full page political ad in the Aug. 1 Gazette which brought up an issue that needs to be discussed widely in all sections of our society today. But the view expressed is a very small snapshot of the issue. The number of people under the age of 65 using Social Security is … 3

Tor Krogius: Curious use of phrase for war in Iraq

Friday, August 15, 2014

To the editor: I recently read a column in your paper that said, “Barack Obama came to office in economic turmoil but at the end of a successful war in Iraq.” I was surprised to read this characterization of the war in Iraq. If I were ever to assume the office of president I would hope that fate not send me such an … 0

Charles Schmid: Some questions about Comcast in Easthampton

Friday, August 15, 2014

To the editor: Comcast may take over in Easthampton and this might be good. After reading the Gazette article about the switch I liked that they would give older people a discount. Being 60 that interested me. But it said nothing about Internet connection, which Charter has. Having to work makes it hard to ask that question if you can’t be at the … 0

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Patricia Holland: Kimball retiring from Jones Library; will be missed

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To the editor: Oh, no. On Friday, Aug. 1, Tevis Kimball is retiring from the Jones Library. Tevis has been the curator of Special Collections there for some 15 years and was acting director of the Jones in 2010 and 2011. Of course, her magnificent museum display of … 0

Rosemary Kofler: Friends of Senior Center thanks Iraqi students

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To the editor: The Friends of the Amherst Senior Center extends praises and thanks to the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program and the 24 undergraduate students who came to Amherst. Not only did the students enthusiastically offer their assistance at the Senior Center by delivering meals to home-bound … 0

Wesley Blixt: Comparison in history for migrant children crisis

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the editor: The good folks who are pitching a fit over the placement of “migrant minors” in our communities are no better than the “good folks” who declined to give refuge or sanctuary to the Jews and others who fled the Nazis. I am aware that this … 0

Melissa Tardiff: Urges Sen. Stanley Rosenberg to support protection for animals

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the editor: I’m watching closely to see the fate of an important animal protection bill that state Sen. Stanley Rosenberg will be a key decision-maker on, and I hope he does the right thing. Senate Bill 2232 would finally ban locking pigs and calves used by the … 2

Jesse Docter: Antibiotics fed to animals fuel public health crisis

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the editor: One of the most dangerous public health crises in our nation can be quickly and easily resolved through executive action. Antibiotic-resistant infections kill 23,000 people each year. Antibiotic resistance is often attributed to over-prescription by our doctors. While this has certainly played a role in … 0

Gwen Agna: New play spaces will soon rise at Jackson Street School in Northampton

Monday, July 28, 2014

To the editor: As many of you have seen, our beloved and iconic wooden structure at Jackson Street School is now completely removed. We are saddened but also have wonderful memories of the years of play and community-building that this playground provided both our school and families in … 0

Kristepher Severy: Castigates Gazette for 'propaganda'

Thursday, July 24, 2014

To the editor: The Gazette’s July 8th article “Downtown Beat” ignored the many homeowners and residents who are opposed to increased police presence downtown, and such bland treatment of such a serious matter amounted to passive propaganda for … 0

David West: Four points made about immigration crisis

Thursday, July 24, 2014

To the editor: I was thinking about the immigration problems we are having and have the following observations. 1. People who say put them on a bus and send them back are just ignorant. No one and no … 4

Jasmine Caruk: Looking for action from Rosenberg on animal bill

Thursday, July 24, 2014

To the editor: People who care about animals across the state are waiting to see what Massachusetts senators do about bill S. 2232, a measure to help protect newborn calves and mother pigs from harsh confinement. I personally … 7

Nancy Felton, Joel Dansky: Peace Vigil’s film series on the move

Thursday, July 24, 2014

To the editor: Those of you who keep an eye out for political/cultural events in the Valley may have noted the absence of the Northampton Peace Vigil’s fabled film series these past few months. The film screenings — free, accessible, open to the public, discussion to follow — … 0