Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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We have discarded many things from the middle ages. We no longer travel in wagons pulled by oxen. We have nearly universal literacy. So why do "landlords" still think that they are lords? Why do they consider it their prerogative to rule over and humiliate their tenants. Power corrupts. They actually treat their tenants like they are subhuman. If you think state housing authorities are bad, try corporate landlords. I actually called my local fire department to ask if they had any objection to tenants having a potted plant in the front yard. They said, "No, as long as it is not blocking access to the building". When I confronted our maintenance men with this information, they said, "When you have a house of your own, you can have a potted plant". Then they threw all my flower pots (three) into the dumpster. We need a state that recognizes all its citizens as human beings. We need a state that is willing to help redress the unbalance of power between landlord and tenant. - When the middle class gets sick enough of the bankers, and they join forces with the working class, maybe we can elect another FDR. ...(full comment)

Home rules: Easthampton Housing Authority official, tenants at odds over American flags, flowers, barbecue grills

Apparently she only approves of speech she likes. ...(full comment)

Kate Collins: How come nobody will take my speech as payment?

Burning a flag is speech. Wearing an offensive tee-shirt is speech. Picketing is speech (it's also peaceful assembly). Copulating in front of a camera is speech. Taking out an ad in a newspaper is speech--so is purchasing time on television or radio. In the United States, "speech" takes many forms. So, yes, I would say that Chief Justice Roberts does understand something you apparently do not. Best you stick to reading Shakespeare rather than reciting him. You might learn something. ...(full comment)

Kate Collins: How come nobody will take my speech as payment?

Where is the recovery? That is the real problem. We want to see the economy grow for everybody. ...(full comment)

Student volunteers focus attention on wage inequality issues for women during Arts Night Out in Northampton

This is a great article, but *please* at least copy edit and fact check. It's "Fun Home" not "Fun House." ...(full comment)

Amherst is ground zero for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

Hi Tom, If you look on the town website, you will see that there were a series of cancelled zoning board meeting in February and March. ...(full comment)

Robin Morris: ‘Mountaintop removal’ underway beside Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

There are a few things left out of Robin's letter that are of note: - The meeting was originally scheduled in February and the neighborhood was notified via certified letter. However, the meeting was cancelled due to bad weather. The neighbors were not notified of the cancellation, the next cancellation, or the rescheduled hearing dates. - The letter noted that there would be modifications to existing structures and the construction of a detached garage. The letter did not have any information about the extensive modifications to the property that are currently underway, which are being done in order to accommodate an in-ground pool and hot-tub. - When drilling started, most people in the neighborhood agreed that while annoying, it would probably be short, since the notice said the plans only accounted for modifications to existing structures on private property. When we found out drilling would occur for at least a month, THIS was the point where people became concerned. - Although many people work 9-5 jobs outside of their home, there is a significant number of people who are self-employed or retired who live in the neighborhood and conduct business from home. The noise has a disproportionate effect on the quality of life and quality of business for those people. What happened was an unfortunate confluence of poor weather, rescheduling, a lack of notification, and a lack of due diligence on the part of the town, which is due in no small part to the vague and weak town noise bylaws (which, of course, contain numerous mentions of loud noises that occur due to parties, but none for construction on private property where noise levels routinely exceed 90 decibels for hours on end.) The neighbors don't necessarily fault the owner or the construction company. What this situation has brought to light is the incredibly poor methods currently in place to notify residents of construction at this scale. It also draws attention to the weak and ineffectual noise bylaws the town has in place. It also makes one consider how or whether the zoning board considers the effects of construction on small businesses or residents. Given the age we live in, it would seem reasonable that the town would be able to directly notify abutters when meetings are postponed or cancelled due to weather, rather than relying on the passive method of the town website. The internet makes this possible. I do, however, encourage commenters to take a drive by Puffer's to hear it for themselves, and then decide if they could work and conduct their daily lives with 8 hours of 65-95 decibels of noise, and to consider for themselves if the construction taking place is within the guidelines of "modifications to existing structures and construction of a detached garage," or if it's more extensive than that. Pine Street isn't under construction today, so getting here should be easy! ...(full comment)

Robin Morris: ‘Mountaintop removal’ underway beside Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

What an amazing story. What a strong and loving heart Marty Nathan must have. She remained focused on the light even through an experience of extreme adversity. It is unfortunate that some people, possibly like the previous commenter, seem to have to struggle all their lives against the dark and angry demons that they were brought up with. ...(full comment)

Local doctor says man accused of gunning down three in Kansas Sunday conspired in death of her husband in 1979 'Greensboro Massacre'

WE NEED YOU to come to Hadley Town Meeting @7:00pm May 1 to vote yes! If we don’t get the support we need then it’s all over for North Hadley Pond. Your vote makes the difference. Only your vote can save Lake Warner. ...(full comment)

Editorial: North Hadley dam repair plan best bet for community

I agree. Attend the meeting, or live with the consequences. Can you prove the weather was bad enough to cancel the meeting? If so, do it. ...(full comment)

Robin Morris: ‘Mountaintop removal’ underway beside Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

Sorry, Robin, but you and your upset neighbors should have read the legal notice and gone to the meeting. That's why the applicant had to spend money and send you all letters. ...(full comment)

Robin Morris: ‘Mountaintop removal’ underway beside Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

Pathfinder, you're right. For so many years that word was a standard term for something positive in reference to this issue and I think I wrote it with that in mind. But the bar has been raised. Society, and especially people at that rally are embracing and celebrating diversity. I should have picked a better word. ...(full comment)

More than 1,000 support gay community at UMass rally, countering five from Westboro Baptist Church

What would be really great would be for the city of Nton to give the Round House to the LGBT community for a gay/sexual minorities museum/education center. We don't need any more skating rinks, canoe ramps, organic playgrounds or bike paths. Lets honor the gay history of Nton. Stand up Mayor Nark and be counted on the right side of this issue. ...(full comment)

More than 1,000 support gay community at UMass rally, countering five from Westboro Baptist Church