Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?
Feb06

Between the Lines: Is Science Under Attack?

The Trump administration’s order that all presentations and publications by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency be vetted by political appointees before their release to the public sent a shot of pain down my neck.Doug Ericksen, the EPA’s communications director during the transition, explained the policy in a Jan. 24 NPR interview. “We’ll take a look at what’s happening so that the voice coming from the EPA is one that’s going...

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Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time
Jan24

Stagestruck: Changing Lives, One Play at a Time

When I was in California last month, I saw two plays by a small, adventurous professional theater company in Berkeley that I’d never heard of. They’re called Shotgun Players, and they’ve gone straight to the top of my Bay Area must-see list.The shows I saw were riveting, in quite different ways, but more than that, the company’s core mission and key policies are, for me, what theater is – or should be – all about. In addition to...

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Stagestruck: Defying God … and Trump
Jan09

Stagestruck: Defying God … and Trump

Partway through last Friday’s performance at West Springfield’s Majestic Theater, something unscripted, overdue, and quite wonderful happened.The show was Peter Shaffer’s brilliant examination of genius and envy, Amadeus. The title refers to Mozart, but the protagonist, if we can call him that, is Antonio Salieri, a man blessed by fortune but despised, as he sees it, by God. Court composer to Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, he is the...

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Backtalk: Cheers to good reporting on charter schools, the environment and fake news
Jan09

Backtalk: Cheers to good reporting on charter schools, the environment and fake news

Love for the Advocate Cheers to the Valley Advocate writers and staff for excellence in informative journalism covering topics with both local and universal appeal. Particularly notable in recent months was the “Extra Credit on Question 2 — Follow the Money” article by Hunter Styles that ran under the Between the Lines banner in the Nov. 3 issue. Mr. Styles’ piece brought into focus the out-of-state interests and national debate...

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Astrology: Leos should forgive all bad drivers and tech support people
Jan09

Astrology: Leos should forgive all bad drivers and tech support people

ARIES (March 21-April 19): In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is a huge holy tree that links all of the nine worlds to each other. Perched on its uppermost branch is an eagle with a hawk sitting on its head. Far below, living near the roots, is a dragon. The hawk and eagle stay in touch with the dragon via Ratatoskr, a talkative squirrel that runs back and forth between the heights and the depths. Alas, Ratatoskr traffics solely in...

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