Down To Earth: Life after plastic (bags)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A friend of mine recently forgot his reusable bags when he dropped in at Stop and Shop. To make matters worse, he’d also forgotten about Northampton’s new plastic bag ban, which started January 1st. Then the person in line behind him lectured him on the merits of the ban. “Don’t give me that,” … 0

Brown/My Turn: Courting the U.S. electorate

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Say what you will about those placid Canadians, they’re a smart bunch when it comes to their national election cycle. It takes a mere two and half months. An independent, nonpartisan agency called “Elections Canada” sets the amount candidates are allowed to spend. This past year, the total was $21 million. By contrast, … 0

Wicks/My Turn: A welcome that’s no act

Monday, February 8, 2016

In late summer, I came to the Greenfield Community College campus to ask a few questions about an online course I was planning to take. But something changed during that visit. Surrounded by banners and posters proclaiming, “You Belong Here,” I felt myself say “yes, I do want to be here, not at home with my laptop.” Everything about that visit demonstrated inclusiveness, … 0

Diehl and Harper/My Turn: Our educational landscape

Monday, December 7, 2015

We are following closely the discussion about potential changes to the cap on charter schools. There is much room for debate about the value, impact, funding and accountability of charter schools, and we applaud the work of Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and our local legislative delegation in carefully … 0

Carter/Letters from inside: Transitioning to the real me

Friday, December 4, 2015

When I was a child I played with Barbie dolls and all my friends were girls. I had an automatic bond with everything feminine and beautiful. We had a gorgeous long hallway and every chance I got I … 0

In the Arena: Let’s not rush to judgment

Thursday, December 3, 2015

When Lyndon Johnson made his surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election in 1968, one network anchor reportedly remarked that he was so stunned he’d rather go home and wait until the next day to comment. I had sort of the same reaction to the recent controversy … 0

Hurlburt/Letters from inside: Finding my words

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I have been reading “Coming into Language” by Jimmy Santiago Baca, who learned to read and write while he was in prison and became a famous poet. I can truly identify with a lot of what he says. … 0

Longe/Letters from inside: We are not monsters nor animals

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Since I was a child I have suffered from depression and addiction. Twenty years of drug abuse have worn on me in ways I never would have imagined. No one told me when I first picked up that … 0

Perry/Letters from inside: ‘Jail became the new norm for me’

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

As I sit on the edge of my rack, head in hands, bare feet on cold floor, there’s a sour taste in my mouth from more than a decade of allowing the disease of addiction to rule my … 0

Aviles/Letters from inside: Don't be too quick to judge

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

When I was a year old, my family moved from Puerto Rico to Chicago. Growing up I didn’t really have a relationship with my father, but I looked up to my uncle, who was a well-respected and longtime … 0

Williamson/Letters from inside: Angry at myself and others

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

April Fools’ Day 2016 has a special meaning for me. It will be the day I am released from the Franklin County Jail after serving 23 months. The charge was assault and battery with a dangerous weapon resulting … 0

Kuntz/From the Inside: Rebuilding my life

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Sometimes I think about growing up with a crew of pretty hard-core guys and all our crazy brilliant exploits. On the South Shore we lived the salt life with a deep respect for the ocean, surfing in the … 0

Scrip for tax avoidance

Sunday, November 29, 2015

You’ve got to hand it to pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.: It’s managing to make Americans resent drug companies even more than they already did. The maker of Viagra and Lipitor is the latest to announce a merger that’s … 1