Letters: What Do You Think?

Higgins; Coakley; Burns

Comments (2)
Thursday, October 29, 2009


In September, 2007, I heard Senator Obama give a primary campaign speech in Peterborough, N.H. I concluded he was "world-class" and I worked on his campaigns. Although he hasn't yet solved the economic crisis, health care, the environment, two wars, etc., most people in Northampton would say I got it right.

Now I'm supporting Mayor Higgins. In her own way she is world-class. She is what every city wants in a mayor: someone with a deep understanding of the substantive issues, the budget, the process, who can work with the Council and have a conversation with the community while making hard decisions that inevitably make some people unhappy. She secured an A+ rating for our long-term bonds. She created a city website so the community could review meeting minutes and budgets and learn about boards and commissions. Northampton won the Common Cause "Campaign for Open Government" E-Government award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She led the recent tax override effort, preventing the dismissal of many teachers and policemen. She kept the affordable housing at Meadowbrook Apartments from being turned into condos. Forty percent of all open space in Northampton was acquired during her administration. Northampton is the envy of mayors near and far. That it's a wonderful town is no accident. We have a great mayor. Let's keep her.

Joel Spiro


After reading "Legalize It," Oct. 15, 2009, I expect people will take time accepting policies legalizing marijuana. Reasonable people may disagree about restraining pot smoking in public through city ordinances. It should depend on what trends take hold. Restricting people from drinking alcohol in public is often wasted effort, but drunk people can ruin a place. I may be undisturbed by a person smoking pot on the street, but if the impulse of a town's people is to avoid that, so be it.

The article unfairly faults Martha Coakley, a United States Senate candidate for whom I have volunteered. I choose politicians who seem least likely to be corrupt and most likely to oppose predatory lending and industry scamming. I accept a history of enforcing laws from a chief administrator of a law enforcement agency. Coakley is running for a non-law enforcement position now and people should examine her positions at

Ian Stone


Ken Burns' personality has nothing to do with the fact that he brings history alive to tens of thousands of adults and children both in the Valley and nationwide. Isn't James Heflin's column [Art in Paradise] in the October 15th Advocate a little bit like condemning Michael Moore's film work because Michael is overweight? I think that film critics (no matter what their expertise) should evaluate the facts and content of a film and not base their criticism on whether?they like?or dislike the personality of the director.

B. Lally
West Springfield


Comments (2)
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Mr. Spiro, I didn't know that most of us in Northampton were looking to you to get it right for the presidential election. Everyone I know voted for Obama on what he said himself about restoring democracy and inclusiveness to this nation that Bush had compromised. Those of us supporting Bardsley have seen Higgins acting as the 'decider" as Bush, with the same rationale for her dismissal of the public as "Its my turn" (until Im not re-elected). Bush was "world class" too. Fortunately Clare Higgins will not have that responsibility "in her own way." I have seen you sitting next to Lisa Baskin, Higgins campaign manager, for many of the debates. You must have peeked at her notes.
Posted by kenneth mitchell on 10.28.09 at 16:17
What a bunch of hogwash. The same candidates want relection. For what??? It doesnt matter which party, just blame it on someone else. Some candidates have been in office for quite awhile. Why should we reelect you when your prior terms are trash. All of the mayors should have seen some of this coming but kept on spending. No rainy day fund set. Most of the politicians this year have failed miserably but want are relection vote. What I look for in candidates is how they run their office and help the people, not run their mouths with to many empty promises. Most of you did not look ahead even though you said you did. You knew you were not getting as much funds back as usually just by the Fed and State budget shortfalls. Not as much in the coffers through the year has been said and said. But everyone was hopin for a money tree to grow. Dont say you were blindsided and did not know. I do not see any maturity or experience in many of the candidates this week. No explanation on how they will deal with the various situations just bluster promises that do not mean anythin as they were not fullfilled in your prior years. All of the mayors and other offices need to sit down with the voters and try to understand them and get ideas on what we can do with the present situations. Some of you do, most do not. PLease dont walk over us. We put you in office, we can vote you out. Dont come kissin babies and shaking hands to try and get elected if you did not fullfil you promises you made to us. Voters are getting tired of false promises!!
Posted by Robert on 10.31.09 at 21:52



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