Opinion

Columnist Rev. Andrea Ayvazian: The co-op at the heart of the community

06-14-2024 3:53 PM

By THE REV. ANDREA AYVAZIAN

It was in 1998 when a small group of visionary folks who care about healthy food, supporting local farms and farmers, and building community started meeting in each other’s living rooms to discuss the idea of creating a food co-op in Northampton. The...


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Guest columnists Austin Sarat and Sharon Sharry: Why Jones Library expansion remains best option

06-14-2024 3:52 PM

By AUSTIN SARAT and SHARON SHARRY

 The Jones Library trustees remain convinced that the proposed library renovation and expansion project represents the right vision for Amherst’s main library. This vision has been repeatedly endorsed by town residents and their government. Put...


Ginny Hamilton: Jones Library claims

06-14-2024 3:49 PM

Even with proposed cuts to the Jones Library renovation and expansion plans, the result will be a net-zero ready building. Plans remain in place to eliminate the fossil fuel HVAC system. Solar panels were not in the original bid documents; the...


Mary Sayer: Library or second Bangs Community Center?

06-14-2024 3:49 PM

When I read about the current plans for the renovation of the Jones library, it sounds more like the description of a second Bangs Community Center, a building with only a nod to history (front façade retained), a massed building at the back with...


Guest columnist Harriet Diamond: How Cottage St. lost its vibe

06-13-2024 7:19 PM

By HARRIET DIAMOND

 I am writing as a member of the Cottage Street Tenants’ Association of Eastampton. We formed this group in response to sudden unreasonable rent increases of 25-125% for studio spaces. Riverside Industries owns the building at One Cottage Street and...


Guest columnist Eric Cochrane: More housing not the enemy

06-13-2024 7:19 PM

By ERIC COCHRANE

 Several years ago at a cafe in Amherst, I overheard a mom of two former classmates rant about Pioneer Valley kids moving to New York City. She added that she grew up there and moved away when she turned 18, complaining about how terrible and smelly...


Columnist Olin Rose-Bardawil: Americans want more than two choices

06-13-2024 7:18 PM

By OLIN ROSE-BARDAWIL

As the 2024 election has heated up, I have noticed increased discussion of the role of independent and third-party candidates in American politics.As many know, these conversations have emerged in light of Robert F. Kennedy’s independent campaign for...


Columnist Tolley M. Jones: Will there be time?

06-12-2024 5:44 PM

By TOLLEY M. JONES

A year ago, my dearest friend Kirsten’s life abruptly and shockingly ended. A year ago she came into my car as I drove in terror to her house, to say goodbye to me when I was not ready, nor prepared, to say goodbye to her. A year ago this week, we...


Guest columnist Pamela Schwartz: Northampton must pull together to fix fiscal foundation

06-12-2024 5:43 PM

By PAMELA SCHWARTZ

 My two terms serving as Northampton’s Ward 4 city councilor that began 15 years ago left me with a lasting impression: Local governing is hard work and never harder when times are tough.My life as a proud parent of now three grown children who went...


Eric Derman: Multi-use pickleball courts?

06-12-2024 5:41 PM

Given that the public tennis courts at the JFK Middle School are in deplorable condition, is there any reason why the proposed six pickleball courts at Ellerbrook Field cannot be designed as tennis/pickleball courts?While $350,000 is publicly...


Shelly Berkowitz: See the light on school budget before it’s too late

06-12-2024 5:41 PM

Many excellent letters and columns recently published in the Gazette “crunch the numbers” and show existing, plausible solutions to fully funding our Northampton public schools. What I feel compelled to add here are the human costs of not doing so.I...


Leslie Nyman: Thank you J.M. Sorrell

06-12-2024 5:41 PM

The June 5 column by J.M. Sorrel [“Antisemitism accelerant”] is the first intelligent, factual discussion I have read in a long time that addresses so much misinformation about the hot-button words apartheid, genocide, Palestine, Israel. There is no...


Columnist Karen Gardner: Convicted felon for hire

06-11-2024 6:44 PM

By KAREN GARDNER

This is Rod Serling calling, is that you, Karen? Yes, Rod, it’s me. I wasn’t expecting to hear from you, as I’m always the one calling you. What’s up?Remember how I’ve told you in the past that I would no longer let your thoughts invade my brain? Yes,...


Guest columnist Khadene Harry-Stoby: No summer break for mental health

06-11-2024 6:41 PM

By KHADENE HARRY-STOBY

 As summer break arrives, the joyous anticipation of freedom from school routines fills the hearts of adolescents. Yet, amid the excitement lies a poignant reality: Mental health concerns do not take a hiatus when classrooms empty and textbooks gather...


Phyllis Muldoon: Yet another injustice

06-11-2024 6:38 PM

I had to put the paper down when I read about Aidan being told not to come back to sing his heart out [“True inclusion is still a dream for people with disabilities,” Gazette, June 8]. What cruelty. You couldn’t drag me to this concert of Queen songs...


Letter: Your Voice Is Needed Now

06-11-2024 6:38 PM

My dear, fellow Americans! The time is now. You must speak. Russia has moved war ships to Cuba. Call your representatives. Call the White House. Demand that we stop the escalations in the war with Ukraine (proxy for war with Russia). Is it OK with you...


Dr. Constance Lentz: Forest-derived biomass is a burning health issue

06-11-2024 6:38 PM

As a physician who has spent 30-plus years practicing in the Pioneer Valley I saw many patients suffer and die from lung disease. Wood burning was often a factor, and one of the questions I’d ask of a patient with a respiratory illness was whether...


Guest columnist Joan Vohl Hamilton: Girl Scouts lead the way

06-10-2024 6:26 PM

By JOAN VOHL HAMILTON

 The decision by Boy Scouts of America to change its name to Scouting America intrigued me. This decision is, in part, to include girls and young women.A recent Associated Press article mentioned girls who have achieved the “vaunted Eagle Scout rank”...


Guest columnist Cathy Schoen: Jones Library cuts will come at high cost

06-10-2024 6:25 PM

By CATHY SCHOEN

 When I voted to support the Jones Library expansion project in December 2023, I was assured there was high confidence in the $46 million total estimate and that trustees would be able to close the $7 million gap that remained to pay for their share...


David Schmidt: The unasked and unanswered question

06-10-2024 6:24 PM

In the ongoing debate about the Amherst Jones Library renovation, the Jones Library director has repeatedly asserted that renovation without expansion will cost more than the proposed expansion plan. This cost anomaly only exists because the town...



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