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Susan Rees: Fund our public schools
04-11-2024 4:17 PM

It is mind-boggling that in a region that holds some of the finest and affluent colleges in our nation, our public schools are in such dire financial shape. Clearly, we in western Massachusetts value education, yet we are on the brink of decimating...

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Michelle Valois: The arts celebrate what makes us human
04-10-2024 5:40 PM

Nearly everyone turns to the arts in times of joy and times of sorrow: the song you danced to at your wedding; the poem that helped you through the loss of a friend; the film or play or book that made you laugh or cry or think. Nearly everyone turns...


Patrick Gabridge: EVs fire no more dangerous than gas-powered vehicles
04-08-2024 6:05 PM

While I certainly appreciate coverage of the local fire departments, as well as of the changes we're seeing towards EVs in the transportation sector, the article about firefighters prepping to deal with potential fires in EVs was oddly inflammatory...


The Beat Goes On: Cloudbelly celebrates a new album in Northampton, Brazilian sounds come to Amherst, and more
04-04-2024 3:32 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Just days after former folk and Americana performer turned indie-pop singer Caroline Rose played in Florence, Cloudbelly, the Valley indie folk band led by singer-songwriter Corey Laitman, is set to showcase songs from a new album that has a...


Richard Cooper: Community behind our students
04-03-2024 4:25 PM

I am writing to share an uplifting story of community generosity and support. In 2021, I introduced donation containers at the checkout registers of my two stores, Cooper’s Corner in Florence and State Street Fruit Store in Northampton, urging...


Isaac Luria: Achieving a just peace requires strategy, not just cathartic moral outrage
03-29-2024 4:01 PM

As the Gazette covered on March 23, activists calling for a cease-fire in Gaza are pressuring leading pro-peace Congressman Jim McGovern to return contributions from Jewish peace organization JStreetPac. This is odd as JStreet has called for a...


Art is a vehicle for change: Power of Truths Festival returns to Florence to illuminate history of injustice, April 5-6
03-28-2024 3:43 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Can the arts help us reexamine our past and come to terms with injustice? Can music, film and other mediums become instruments for social change by helping us look differently at our history and our beliefs?Those are questions the Power of Truths Arts...


Arts Briefs: Rising indie pop star Caroline Rose comes to Florence, UMass Amherst hosts a literary festival, and more
03-28-2024 12:24 PM

Hot tickets at BombyxFLORENCE — Indie pop singer and songwriter Caroline Rose, who’s gained increased attention and acclaim from the national music press in the last several years, is coming to the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity for two shows, April...


David Arbeitman: A second Trump term?
03-27-2024 3:01 PM

If you’re as horrified as I am that Donald Trump could become our next president, I urge you to work now to ensure that never happens. Instead of being paralyzed by feelings of dread, I recommend acting together to protect our freedoms, including...


Cynthia Schaedig: Take care of the city’s dying trees
03-26-2024 3:27 PM

I am responding to the March 21 letter to the editor titled “City trees, city responsibility.” I agree with the writer, but perhaps the solution lies with the City Council rather than just the Department of Public Works. When I purchased my house in...


Columnist Richard Fein: Too many realities that can’t be ignored
03-24-2024 11:18 AM

By RICHARD FEIN

This column is about Israel, especially in the context of its war against Hamas in Gaza. I am an ardent supporter of Israel who believes that it is necessary to look at all the facts, not just those that make me comfortable.Some facts: Israel has been...


Summer Cable: It is Smith College's duty to financially support the city
03-24-2024 11:17 AM

In July of 2023, outgoing UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswammy committed to pay $5.5 million to the town of Amherst over the next five years to help support its infrastructure, including the public schools. Similarly, Amherst College has...


The Beat Goes On: A post-Mardi Gras show in Florence, a popular area band celebrates its newest album in Amherst, and more
03-21-2024 2:10 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Mardi Gras took place last month, but you can catch some of its flavor at the Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity on March 24 at 4 p.m. when Jon Cleary & The Monster Gentlemen come to the Florence venue — with the Soggy Po Boys opening the show.Cleary has...


Rich Geidel: Time to get serious on climate crisis
03-18-2024 4:48 PM

To those of us commuting to work in SUVs daydreaming of a warming future where Northampton resembles West Palm Beach, you’d better think again.The March 8 Living on Earth podcast details new science showing that the Gulf Stream will collapse within...


Alan Kanner: It’s official!
03-18-2024 4:48 PM

There are now two major party candidates for the U.S. presidency in 2024. One candidate is running for president. The other candidate is running for king.Alan KannerAmherst


Tom Bassett: Who can UMASS play with?
03-18-2024 4:48 PM

Amid all the world strife, playing can be a stress-buster. Whether it’s participation in an outdoor game like ultimate or baseball, or an indoor game like cards or a board game, usually you need to find someone to play with you. You can be a spectator...


Caroline Johnson: LGBTQ and the vibrance of female identity
03-08-2024 1:37 PM

I care deeply for, and try to be an ally to, my family, friends, and neighbors who identify as trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive; I also identify as a feminist. I was hit hard by a recent guest column in the Gazette [“LGBTQ and the erasure of...


Julie Zuckman: Why is there no natural history museum at UMass?
03-07-2024 2:43 PM

 Regarding the story “Without natural history space, collections in limbo” [Gazette, March 2], there was at least one previous somewhat recent effort to start a proper natural history museum at UMass. About 25 years ago then-UMass biology professor...


Darleen LaFond: Enjoyable comics page
03-04-2024 1:03 PM

I was pretty excited the other day when we were treated to some much better comics than we usually have in the Gazette. I was also pretty disappointed to find out it was just a mistake.Now we are back to the usual poor quality comics, or as we used...


Catherine Kay: The other names on the ballot?
03-03-2024 12:06 PM

In response to questions I’ve seen in this newspaper and on social media, I’d like to offer some information about races on this year’s presidential primary ballot. Every four years (coinciding with the presidential primary) Massachusetts voters who...


Julie Zuckman: Landlines don’t always work
03-01-2024 3:00 PM

Regarding the article “Dial ‘A’ for Anachronism” [Gazette, Feb. 27], readers would probably like to know that while it’s true that landlines need very little electricity to function, this only applies to old phones. Cordless landline phones don’t work...

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