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Valley Bounty: From seed to vase: At Passalongs Farm and Florist in Florence, Adrienne Bashista grows and designs custom floral arrangements
06-21-2024 10:32 AM

By JACOB NELSON

“In a different life, I think I would have been an artist from the beginning,” says Adrienne Bashista, owner of Passalongs Farm and Florist. “I wasn’t forbidden from a career in art, it just didn’t occur to me. But now in my 50s, I’ve realized what I...

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Don Ogden: No time for third party now
06-17-2024 6:04 PM

Olin Rose-Bardawil’s recent column “Americans want more than two choices” [Gazette, June 14], concerns something I have pondered many times in the past. I have supported third-party candidates, sometimes criticized by Democrats for my position. That...


Celebrating Sojourner Truth, with modern elements: Florence performance mixes arias, history and AR
06-13-2024 2:09 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Sojourner Truth has long been a symbol of a strong Black woman: a straight-talking, formerly enslaved woman who remade herself as an ardent abolitionist and women’s rights activist, a preacher, and a riveting speaker who wowed audiences with her wit...


Lawrence Pareles: Biden leads with heart and soul
06-10-2024 6:24 PM

As we look ahead to the November elections, I want to express my appreciation for President Joe Biden's efforts to heal and rebuild America. In these times of extraordinary challenges, his calm and wise leadership is inspiring. He stands as a beacon...


Guest columnist Valle Dwight: True inclusion is still a dream for people with disabilities
06-08-2024 7:01 AM

By VALLE DWIGHT

 I first wrote about our son Aidan on these pages when he was 18 months old, some 26 years ago. He was diagnosed with Down syndrome, and I wrote then about the fears and joys and unknowns we were facing. I remember being so anxious about what he would...


Arts Briefs: A Sojourner Truth biographer comes to the Valley, a new take on a noted play, and more
06-06-2024 3:36 PM

Truth biographer comes to townFLORENCE — Historian Nell Irvin Painter, the author of an acclaimed biography of Sojourner Truth, will visit the town where the famed abolitionist once lived to talk about her newest book and about some of the ideas that...


June Bedell: What school budget cuts mean to fourth grader
06-05-2024 4:39 PM

I am a 10-year-old kid in fourth grade, who goes to Jackson Street School, and I am against the budget cuts. Kids have so much drama and things to deal and worry about, in life and adding this extra thing to put on their shoulders is not right. Us...


Guest columnist Mariel E. Addis: Unconditional love and no questions asked
05-31-2024 2:28 PM

By MARIEL E. ADDIS

 I wrote a piece about my bestie Samuel a while ago. Samuel is my now 6-year-old black cat; I adopted him back in 2018 from the T.J. O’Connor Shelter in Springfield at 9 weeks of age. He came to live with me one week to the day before I underwent...


Across the great white north: New children’s book chronicles epic Alaskan trip by dog sled
05-30-2024 3:03 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

Crossing the snowy wastes of Alaska in deep winter, when the temperature is plunging past 40 below zero, might not be everybody’s cup of tea.But for Marla BB, it was a little bit of paradise — a three-week sojourn with her own Alaskan sled dogs,...


Bill Arnold: Decaying bike path
05-28-2024 4:21 PM

Recently, I rode my bike on our decaying bike path from Florence onto Hadley’s and Amherst’s well-maintained paths. The surface of our path is mostly cracks and bumps, while our neighbors’ are smooth. I’ve learned that a new vendor for Valley Bike has...


Elaine Kersten: Shameful
05-28-2024 7:18 AM

Shame on those UMass faculty and librarians who voted ‘no confidence’ in Chancellor Javier Reyes.Elaine KerstenFlorence


Columnist Richard Fein: Famine — What it is and what you can do about it
05-27-2024 9:44 AM

By RICHARD FEIN

This column is about famine and its consequences for human beings. The last paragraph will indicate what you and I can do to alleviate the suffering.Humanitarian organizations use a multi-level scale for determining degrees of food insecurity. For the...


Guest columnist Stephen Harding: Blooming wisteria still can’t be trusted
05-27-2024 9:43 AM

By STEPHEN HARDING

 I have wisteria plants on my property. My mother planted it (or rather, had me plant it), probably close to 20 years ago. Wisteria is supposed to be a very beautiful plant, although a bit on the on the invasive side. For almost all of those 20 years,...


John Eckstein: This country is culturally America
05-23-2024 7:51 PM

Razvan Sibii’s thoughtful column questioning referring to this country as “America” raised interesting points for me when I read it this morning [“Should ‘America’ be a synonym for USA?” Gazette, May 21]. While viewing the recent biographical film on...


Mary Ingari: South Hadley no confidence vote
05-23-2024 7:51 PM

I was dismayed to read about a no confidence vote that the leadership of the South Hadley Education Association brought to the School Committee meeting against the principal of Mosier Elementary School principal [“Union takes no-faith vote in...


Marc Lussier: Fund the schools
05-19-2024 1:33 PM

Austerity. This is what you as a city are proposing. Do more with less. You are proposing this for a cohort of students who did not receive a year of education. Let's be real: Zoom school was a failure for most.What is weath? Money sitting in an...


Scott Brown: Road to ruin for Northampton schools
05-17-2024 8:01 PM

Many thanks to Lander-Grinspoon Academy for its brutal candor. In a recent recruiting missive, the private day school did a very 2024 thing and said the quiet part out loud: “As the Northampton public school system is introducing inevitable budget...


Kate Todhunter: Gratitude for NHS event with Holocaust survivor
05-14-2024 4:55 PM

I would like to publicly express my gratitude to Professor Henia Lewin, as we marked Yom HaShoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Last April 11th, during Genocide Awareness Month, Northampton High School junior Maayan Seltzer organized a schoolwide event...


Sam Hopper: Mayor’s budget role not dictated by Northampton charter
05-14-2024 4:55 PM

I have a deep appreciation and respect for people engaging in the democratic process, having had the honor of serving constituents in western Massachusetts as a legislative staffer. In my role of connecting people with their government, I witnessed...


Connected through art: Rocky Hill Cohousing community participates in art exchange with group from Australia
05-10-2024 2:59 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

Residents of the Rocky Hill Cohousing community are no strangers to working on art projects together.But, for the Global Art Project for Peace, they’re taking another step — exchanging artwork with a group in another country.“We’ve done other art...


Tony Giardina: Faith and inclusion
05-09-2024 5:26 PM

I am writing in response to MarielAddis’ column “Under seige from all sides,” [Gazette, April 18] where the writer bemoans Pope Francis’ recent remarks questioning gender theory and “sex changes” as “grave threats” to humanity today. Like all...

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