It’s time again for the annual Advocate tradition of giving halos to the good and horns to the bad. The year 2019 closed out the decade with some highs, with local activists going down to the border and speaking out on climate issues, residents in Longmeadow saying no to a destructive pipeline project — and just last week — Trump finally getting IMPEACHED! There were also dastardly deeds done, including derogatory remarks by Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno and his ongoing absence for certain sectors of the city, allegations of wage theft by IHEG owner Eric Suher, and attempts by the federal government to completely remove any environmental regulations on the books. Also check out our In Memoriam page featuring some we said goodbye to this year, including Frances Crowe and Michaelann Bewsee.

This necessarily incomplete list goes over our highlights. Have one of your own? Let us know in our Back Talk section by emailing And here’s to a great 2020! — Dave Eisenstadter

Our president. Graphic by Jennifer Levesque

HORNS — Donald Trump: Donald Trump’s grotesqueness is so far beyond the pale that he probably needs something more than horns to symbolize it. Multiple snake heads? Miniature smokestacks spewing filth? The latter would be an appropriate way to represent the assault his administration has waged against the environment and its indifference to climate change, as well as the never-ending stream of juvenile insults that pours from his mouth and his Twitter account. Trump’s bigotry, misogyny, ignorance, and congenital lying are showcased day after day; so too his bottomless corruption, narcissism, and hatred of immigrants, at least those with dark skin. His nods to white nationalism, his relentless attacks on the media, and his refusal to use his office as anything more than a platform to preach to his base and attack his enemies have also been well documented. But perhaps what’s most disturbing about Trump is how readily his debased behavior has become normalized, through the efforts of his propagandists on Fox “News,” the spinelessness (and cynicism) of Republican legislators who enable his actions, and the sheer exhaustion he generates through his nonstop shtick. Trump has done great damage to democratic norms and the tenets of basic decency in this country, and it’s frightening to imagine what this wannabe dictator will do if he gets four more years in the White House. — Steve Pfarrer

HALO – Valley Activists at the U.S.-Mexico border: According to the U.S. government’s own data, more than 1,100 children have been taken from their parents since the summer of 2018 when the Trump administration supposedly ended its family separation policy. In May 2018, just as the zero-tolerance policy was taking effect, the Department of Homeland Security estimated that more than 26,000 migrant children would be separated from their families over the course of that summer. Repulsed at the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border and the heartless treatment of asylum seekers, activist groups from western Massachusetts have traveled down South to help migrants in whatever capacity they could. Serving Asylum Seekers, made up of about a dozen people including parishioners of the First Congregational Church of West Brattleboro, will provide asylum seekers with food, clothing, water, and basic life necessities on a trip to Brownsville, Texas, next month. Former Daily Hampshire Gazette editor Kathleen Mellen traveled to the border last year with New York-based activist group Grannies Respond and a group of nearly 200 people drew international attention — CBS, Al Jazeera, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) — about the horrors at the border. Rabbi Justin David of Congregation B’nai Israel in Northampton traveled down to the United States-Mexico border to witness firsthand the effects of U.S. immigration policies on people attempting to gain entry into the country. — Luis Fieldman

Michele Marantz speaks to a special Town Meeting in Longmeadow on Aug. 20, 2019. Chris Goudreau photo

HALO — Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group and Longmeadow voters: The Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group receives its first ever halo for their activism against Columbia and Tennessee Gas’ gas pipeline project, a portion of which would have impacted the town of Longmeadow with a proposed metering station at the Longmeadow Country Club. A halo as well goes to the more than 250 Longmeadow residents who voted to establish a bylaw this year that disallows the metering station in the residentially zoned area nearby to Wolf Swamp Road Elementary School. Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group founder Michele Marantz, submitted the bylaw change to a Town Meeting vote, where it was nearly unanimously approved. — Chris Goudreau

Yes on 2 advocates on election night in Greenfield.

HALO — The city of Greenfield (and City Councilor Rudy Renaud): It took two years to happen, but Greenfield was finally able to pass its Safe City Ordinance this year, which prohibits Greenfield officials, including law enforcement, from inquiring as to or taking law enforcement action based on an individual’s actual or perceived immigration status. It is an important and hard-fought accomplishment, given that opponents of the measure forced a re-vote multiple times, even going as far as to bring the matter — which had already been approved overwhelmingly by a City Council including several members who ran on its passage — before the voters. Those voters came through, delivering a solid majority for immigrant rights. The effort is also a testament to Greenfield City Councilor Rudy Renaud, who put the resolution forward in 2017, when it failed, and brought it back again this year. — Dave Eisenstadter

HORNS — FedEx & the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut: Prior to the Trump administration’s tax cut, FedEx paid $1.5 billion in taxes. After the tax cut, FedEx was owed money by the government. When the corporate tax rate was lowered from 35 percent to 21 percent, it was sold on the empty promise that there would be more productivity in U.S. companies by re-investing in employees and company equipment. Is anyone surprised this didn’t happen? Instead, companies like FedEx largely rewarded its shareholders and the nation’s top 1 percent keep getting bloated. Why did I single out FedEx? Founder Fred Smith was the architect of the tax cut bill. Trump promised to eliminate the nation’s deficit, but did anyone actually believe that? The sad answer is yes, and even sadder is that the nation’s federal budget deficit has come close to topping $1 trillion. So much winning. — Luis Fieldman

Maana Daud holds an anti-gun violence sign.

HALO — Youth activists: Youth activists in the Pioneer Valley and across the world should be commended for their work organizing for causes, whether that’s climate change, an end to gun violence in the United States, or advocating for homeless youth. The three young activists I spoke to in October for a cover story titled, “Youth activists in the Valley make their voices heard,” are not only looking to be part of a solution to wide ranging societal problems, but are also working to improve the communities that they live in here in western Massachusetts. Maana Daud, a 19-year-old Springfield resident and member of the Pioneer Valley Project, is an advocate for gun reform, 20-year-old Greenfield resident Timothy Rivers is working to give homeless youth a voice, and Kala Garrido is a 15-year-old sophomore at Hampshire Regional from Haydenville who played a key role in organizing climate youth strikes. And of course, there’s 16-year-old Swedish climate activist and Time’s Person of the Year 2019 Greta Thunberg, who inspires people around the world to let their voices be heard. — Chris Goudreau

Gina Napolitano of Connecticut is a 2016 alumna of the MacDuffie School in Granby and is a rising senior at Wheaton College. Photographed Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Northampton.

Gina Napolitano of Connecticut is a 2016 alumna of the MacDuffie School in Granby and is a senior at Wheaton College. Photographed Saturday, July 13, 2019, in Northampton.

HALO — Gina Rose Napolitano and age-of-consent activists: Napolitano testified this year before the state Legislature that when she was a student at the MacDuffie School in Granby, she had a sexual relationship with a teacher at that school — Caleb Parsons. However, though she described the relationship as damaging to her, she said she was told it was legal, given her age of 16. The hearing at which she testified was for legislation filed by Sen. Joan Lovely (D-Salem) that would raise the age of consent from 16 to 19 for sexual contact between educators and students of the same school district. Consent is one of the most important issues society faces, and sadly our laws are woefully unacceptable. Bravo to Napolitano for her bravery in coming forward with her story to help change them. — Dave Eisenstadter

HORNS — U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell: In a year in which any number of Republican legislators should be fitted with horns, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could be given the largest pair (save for Trump). In 2016, McConnell broke over two centuries of Senate tradition by refusing to allow hearings for moderate judge Merrick Garland, former President Barrack’s nominee for a vacant Supreme Court seat. Since then, the senator has worked tirelessly to fill courts across the U.S., including the Supreme Court, with ultra-conservative judges, a good number of them clearly unfit for their posts, such as Justin Walker, appointed in October as a district court judge in Kentucky — by a coincidence, McConnell’s home state! — despite being rated “not qualified” by the American Bar Association. Meantime, Moscow Mitch has tried to halt efforts to protect U.S. elections from foreign interference, pushed for more tax cuts for the wealthy, bottled up House-approved bills on issues such as gun control and health care, and openly declared that Trump will be found innocent in his upcoming impeachment trial in the Senate. He is a shameless, slimy ward healer who would cut his grandmother’s throat for a political advantage — a perfect symbol of the corruption, mendacity and anti-democratic principles that define today’s Republican Party. — Steve Pfarrer

YOSHITAKA HAMADA Eric Suher stands behind the podium during the City of Northampton License Commission meeting at the City Council chambers in the downtown Northampton Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014. - Yoshitaka Hamada | Daily Hampshire Gazette

YOSHITAKA HAMADA Eric Suher stands behind the podium during the City of Northampton License Commission meeting at the City Council chambers in the downtown Northampton Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014.

HORNS — Eric Suher: Landlord and head of Iron Horse Entertainment Group (Iron Horse, Pearl Street, Calvin Theater, the Basement, Mountain Park), Eric Suher has long been criticized for his inattention to his properties. In June, an NEPR report looked into allegations of violations against his workers, including improper payroll deductions (also known as wage theft), late paychecks, and failure to post required materials informing workers of their rights. Attorney General Maura Healey is now looking into those claims. Suher, notorious for not returning phone calls from media outlets, barely addressed the accusations, continuing a legacy of disengagement from the community. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — Voices From Inside: Women of the creative writing group Voices From Inside say that, through prose and poetry, they can express experiences that are often too difficult to talk about. Voices From Inside is made up of women who are incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, and many remain involved with the group as facilitators once released from prison. For those incarcerated, it is a valuable space where they can share their writings without fear of judgment or criticism. All writings are considered fiction, creating a trusting environment where poems can address often personal topics in creative fashion. In November, members of Voices From Inside put on a theatrical performance at the Shea Theater in Turners Falls that delved into the hardships of motherhood while incarcerated and how women post-incarcerated can often feel voiceless. — Luis Fieldman

Domenic Sarno. Kevin Gutting photo

HORNS — Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno (and his communications director): In 2017, the Valley Advocate placed Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno in purgatory. On one hand, he’s played an important role in helping the city transform with the creation of MGM Springfield, the Chinese Rail Company, and Union Station. But this year, good actions by Sarno couldn’t make up for the bad. From racially charged language against youth bicyclists in the city to being a complete no-show when it came to the mayoral election as well as his past incendiary actions such as attempting to strip a church’s tax exempt status for offering sanctuary to an undocumented woman, Sarno’s horns have been a long time coming. An added bonus is that his press secretary Marian Sullivan went on an alleged drunken incident at MGM Casino and sought the police commissioner and MGM’s president to bail her out. Sarno’s response was to give her paid administrative leave (tantamount to vacation time in our opinion). She has since resigned. — Chris Goudreau

HORNS — U.S. Congressman Richard Neal: Yes, he did eventually come around on impeachment, and he did eventually ask for Trump’s tax returns, but the longtime Democratic congressman from Springfield sure took his time about both of them. To top it off, great pieces by David Daley earlier this year pointed out how Neal spends campaign money lavishly to reward big donors and the part that Neal played in working to sabotage a free tax file system for those who make less than $66,000 per year. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — U.S. women’s national soccer team: It’s hard to imagine a better sports story in America this year than the U.S. women’s national soccer team (USWNT) capturing the World Cup in summer. The team’s 2-0 victory over The Netherlands, before a worldwide audience that watched the televised game in France, capped a brilliant series for the 23-member American team, which blitzed through a number of other opponents to win the team’s fourth World Cup since 1991. But the players came to represent more than sports: They earned accolades for speaking out not just about pay inequities between male and female U.S. athletes but for women across all walks of life. Chants of “Equal Pay!” could be heard in the huge, 60,000-seat stadium in Lyons, France during the World Cup final. The U.S. team also became a symbol of diversity, with several LGBTQ members, including outspoken co-captain Megan Rapinoe, who publicly sparred with Donald Trump over her announcement that she would not visit the White House if the team were invited there. The USWNT then received a ticker-tape parade in New York City to welcome them back to the U.S., where thousands of fans turned out to cheer the women for their win, their joie de vivre and their demands for pay equity. — Steve Pfarrer

Bella Vendetta, (her stage name, she does not like to use her last name in the media for safety reasons)  the manager of Club Castaway in Whately.

Bella Vendetta, the manager of Club Castaway in Whately.

HALO — Bella Vendetta: Instrumental in making Club Castaway into a strip club with LGBTQ performers, Bella Vendetta has helped to create an oasis of inclusivity in Whately. Under previous ownership, her vision of having queer nights and trans nights fell on deaf ears. New owners Nicholas Spagnola and Julius Sokol, both of Boston, however, embraced her idea. Nights dedicated to often excluded groups weren’t enough for Vendetta. She hosts stripper training classes for new and experienced dancers as well as burlesque classes. After the closing of Diva’s Nightclub in 2016, the area lacked an LGBTQ-friendly night club. Bella made sure to change that. — Luis Fieldman

HALO — Former Valley Advocate staff: It’s now more than 45 years since the first edition of the Valley Advocate was published and during the almost half a century between then and now there have been writers, editors, publishers, and other Advocate staff that have passed the torch of the Valley Advocate to newer generations to deliver groundbreaking investigative journalism, in-depth news, music and arts coverage, local reviews, and plenty of halos and horns over the years. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of the Valley Advocate during the many years of its existence. — Chris Goudreau

HORNS — Chicopee and Springfield Police: There’s a difference between releasing public information and publicly shaming people who have been arrested. Unfortunately, Chicopee Police’s use of its Facebook account often falls into the latter category — publishing addresses and mugshots of arrested people who have yet to be convicted of a crime and doing little when commenters ridicule them. In Springfield, several scandals swirled around the department as its commissioner, John Barbieri, retired early this year and was replaced by current commissioner Cheryl Clapprood. Among those scandals was the indictment of 14 officers in a 2015 barroom brawl and an ongoing federal police brutality case against former narcotics detectives Gregg Bigda and Steven Vigneault. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — A Positive Place and Project LIFE: Since 1991, A Positive Place has provided free services to HIV positive patients in western Massachusetts. In the Valley Advocate’s May cover story, “Who Gets To Be Cured of HIV?: Equitable access at issue on the brink of a scientific breakthrough,” A Positive Place director Betsy Shally-Jensen stated that there’s a lot more than just funding when it comes to treating HIV/AIDS patients, but due to racist policies, there are many more people who are HIV positive who are black or Latinx. But because of A Positive Place and Holyoke-based Project LIFE (Live, Inspire, Further, Educate), an advocacy and education organization for HIV/AIDS patients, those living with HIV or AIDS have access to the services that these great organizations provide. — Chris Goudreau

Avery Sharpe, here in his home in Plainfield, has composed a new album, “400,” that marks the infamous anniversary of the introduction of slavery into the future United States.

Avery Sharpe, here in his home in Plainfield, has composed a new album, “400,” that marks the infamous anniversary of the introduction of slavery into the future United States.

HALO — Avery Sharpe: Veteran jazz bass player and composer Avery Sharpe, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has written a number of pieces over the years that invoke the achievements of famous African American figures, such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth and 1936 Olympics star runner Jesse Owens. But on his newest album, 400, released this year, Sharpe, who lives in Plainfield, offered a musical distillation of four centuries of African American experience: from arrival in the North American colonies as slaves, to emancipation, to the emergence of the Harlem Renaissance, to the struggles of the Civil Rights era. The hour-long composition, played by a small ensemble with some vocal accompaniment, mixes elements of spirituals, gospel, blues, ragtime, and other idioms, all of it filtered through the prism of modern jazz to tell the story of the continued pursuit of justice for blacks. It’s a great piece of music and a great piece of history. — Steve Pfarrer

HORNS — Big tech: Facebook is refusing to take down political ads that contain lies, even though it has been reported the company played a major role in allowing false information to be distributed during the run up to the 2016 election. Google, Facebook, and Amazon are all facing scrutiny of being monopolies (which for all practical purposes they are). Uber’s recklessness in its pursuit of driverless car research (revealed in reports this year) led to the death of a woman in Arizona. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — Nancy Pelosi: Shockingly, we’re giving a halo to Nancy Pelosi this year, who after a prolonged aversion to impeachment managed to get nearly her entire caucus on board for the final vote and has repeatedly pinged Trump and his policies in the media, much to Trump’s chagrin. Also, she’s shepherded an impressively progressive agenda through the House, though nearly all of it has been blocked in the Senate. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — Adam Schiff: Directly in the eye of the impeachment hurricane as the House Intelligence Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-California) led the fact-finding portion of the impeachment inquiry and led it steadfastly through constant interruptions from his Republican colleagues, stonewalling from the White House, and Presidential Tweets meant to demean him (“Shifty”? Really? That’s the best he’s got?). Yet Schiff remained level-headed and cool as ever, calling witness after witness before his committee to establish the uncontested narrative that Trump used his office to illegally withhold military funding for Ukraine in order to help him in the 2020 presidential campaign. Republican’s aren’t even contesting the facts; they have just attacked the process and Democrats. Never mind that Republicans held all three branches of government for two years and could have investigated Joe Biden and his son years ago. Never mind that Trump is the prince of corruption. For Schiff, his job was to bring witnesses forward to share their story and he did so with calmness and never stooped to pathetic levels of name-calling and conspiratorial blabberings Republicans have resorted to in contempt of their sworn constitutional oaths. — Luis Fieldman

Tara Bernier, left, office manager for The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice in Northampton and program coordinator Miranda Groux prepare for a talk by journalist Amy Goodman at John M. Greene Hall on Thursday, March 21. The Resistance Center has published three editions of a report questioning whether military recruitment in high schools is appropriate. Kevin Gutting photo

HORNS — Military recruiters in high schools: The Resistance Center for Peace and Justice shined a light on the presence of military recruiters in high schools by completing a report that they said showed those recruiters oversell military work by emphasizing financial and travel incentives while downplaying the risks of psychological disorders, job insecurity, and sexual trauma. Resistance Center Executive Director Jeff Napolitano said it best: “This is not about being in opposition to the military. It isn’t even about being anti-war. Why are we allowing the military, which is a pretty serious thing, to solicit children in a vulnerable environment, in an unsupervised space? In a place of learning, of all places.” — Dave Eisenstadter

Alex Weck, a RAD of Springfield project manager, works with Dwight Griffin to change a tire on a bike.

Alex Weck, left, organizes Springfield bicycle meet-up groups. Here he works with Dwight Griffin to change a tire on a bike. Carol Lollis photo

HALO — Springfield bike park advocates: Cities aren’t the safest place to ride bicycles, which is why a group in Springfield called 413 Bikelife, made up of teens and young adults who share a love of cycling, has been pushing for the creation of a bike park — a place where skateboarders could also find a home. Though some city and police officials have expressed support for the general concept, bicyclists have said they’ve gotten a cold shoulder from Mayor Dominic Sarno, who has complained about bicyclists and dirt bike riders riding recklessly and disrupting traffic in the city, calling them “miscreants” in a Facebook post earlier this year. Bicycle advocates, while acknowledging some riders cause problems, say Sarno’s comments seemed racially charged and far too broad-brush. Nevertheless, advocates like Alex Weck, who organizes bicycle meet-up events for youth, say they’ll keep pushing for a park: “The creation of a safe space for young people to go to ride is absolutely necessary,” says Weck. — Steve Pfarrer

HORNS — Gas companies: The Valley Advocate reported on the state of gas infrastructure in Massachusetts in a cover story titled, “Could it happen here?: Gas explosion in Merrimack Valley hangs over new pipeline efforts,” this past October, and the results weren’t great at all. Not only do we have an aging infrastructure prone to leaks, but there are better, greener alternatives that are ready to be explored so long as we have the gumption as a state and in our individual communities to pursue more sustainable forms of energy. Special horns go to Tennessee Gas and Columbia Gas for their proposed pipeline project that would impact communities in the Valley. — Chris Goudreau

Alissia Julia Rose in a Bard Class room at the Care Center where she will be attending classes this fall.

Alissia Julia Rose in a classroom at the Care Center where she will be attending classes this fall. Carol Lollis photo

HALO — The Holyoke Care Center: Established in 1986, the Care Center in Holyoke has long worked to get high school dropouts, many of whom dropped out due to becoming pregnant, their high school equivalency. Just a few years ago, the center launched the Bard MicroCollege Holyoke program, an associate’s degree program that operates within the community organization. So at this point the Care Center works to get participants college degrees, as well. Current students as well as graduates of the program spoke to Advocate reporter Maureen O’Reilly earlier this year about the step up the programs at the school have given them. — Dave Eisenstadter

HORNS — Amazon and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo: After failing to shakedown New York City taxpayers for $3 billion in incentives to build a second headquarters in Queens, the retail behemoth decided to open 350,000 square feet of office space in Midtown Manhattan anyway for more than 1,500 employees without the public financing they had conditioned with the Queens project. One of the largest retailers in the world, whose owner is worth over $100 billion, was demanding New York taxpayers fund their project. Insane, really. Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves his own set of horns for lashing out at politicians and activists who campaigned against the Queens project and for siding with Amazon once again after the announcement of the Manhattan offices. Calling it crumbs compared to the Queens project, which would have supposedly added 25,000 jobs over 10 to 20 years, Cuomo still harbored resentment towards his constituents for speaking out about a massive corporation attempting to essentially extort them. Queens residents made it clear that it is wildly irresponsible to subsidize Amazon. State Senator Michael Gianaris, on the other hand, stood up for his fellow New Yorkers. “Fortunately, we dodged a $3 billion bullet by not agreeing to their subsidy shakedown earlier this year,” he said. — Luis Fieldman

HALO — Native Americans serving in the military, and a documentary film about them: One of the most disgraceful chapters in U.S. history concerns the treatment of Native Americans. From seizing their land, to penning many Indians on reservations, to forcing their children to live in American homes and attend American schools to “Christianize” them, European settlers and their descendants destroyed much of Native American culture. So it seems nothing short of astonishing to learn that a higher percentage of Native Americans serve in the U.S. military than any other ethnic group in the country. In “The Warrior Tradition,” a documentary by Florence filmmaker Larry Hott that aired nationally this fall, over 20 Native American veterans explain why they have served, finding honor in tribal traditions of protecting their land and their people and following in the footsteps of their ancestors. It’s a great story about finding dignity in their lives and moving beyond bitterness despite having been terribly wronged in the past. — Steve Pfarrer

Photo courtesy Bridge 4 Unity

HALO — Bridge 4 Unity: A couple of years ago, a group of Leverett residents had the idea to engage in a face-to-face political dialog with people from a conservative area of Kentucky. The successful dialogues, called Hands Across the Hills, this year led to an expansion of those dialogues into the topic of race, and grew to include a lowcountry region of South Carolina inhabited primarily by African Americans. The dialogues featuring black, white, and indigenous people discussing the heated topic of race present a different and needed approach to deal with the fraught issue. — Dave Eisenstadter

HALO — Mayoral candidates in Springfield who ran against Domenic Sarno: Mayoral candidates Yolanda Cancel and Jeffery Donnelly had long odds against becoming mayor of Springfield against longtime incumbent mayor Domenic Sarno. Neither won election for mayor, but the fact that they decided to run against a mayor with years of experience and political connections, and more than $169,000 in campaign funds, takes no small amount of courage. While Mayor Sarno was absent from events that allowed residents and activists to ask questions impacting the city, Cancel and Donnelly were present to let Springfield residents know where they stand on issues such as gun violence, education, and Sarno’s divisive comments over the years. — Chris Goudreau

HORNS — Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt: Like any number of his appointees and associates, Trump’s first picks for head of the EPA and the Interior Department — Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke, respectively — were forced to resign under a cloud of ethics scandals. Their replacements — Andrew Wheeler at EPA and David Bernhardt at Interior — have mostly been able to avoid the spotlight, which makes them more dangerous than their predecessors. Both have continued the administration’s full-bore assault on the environment and public lands, from slashing myriad air and water pollution regulations to relentlessly pushing oil and gas development and weakening protections for wildlife. Not surprisingly, Wheeler and Bernhardt have both brought extensive experience as lobbyists and lawyers for the fossil fuel industry to their new jobs, and both these environmental “stewards” have rejected the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change threatens the planet. This isn’t a case of Nero fiddling while Rome burns: it’s Nero actively fueling and fanning the flames. — Steve Pfarrer

HALO — Journalists: It isn’t easy being labeled the “enemy of the people” by the leader of the free world, even if said leader winds up being the third American president ever to be impeached. It doesn’t help when economic realities make gathering and publishing news difficult. At the same time, the fourth estate’s dogged pursuit of the truth, not only of Trump’s many lies and misdeeds — including the poor treatment of migrants at detention centers at the border — but also scrutinizing powerful interests across the board, allows us to stay informed. In particular, DigBoston Editor-in-Chief Chris Faraone has been bringing attention to the fading of local journalism and sounding the alarm that we need journalists paying attention to every community. The Advocate is proud to be a part of this group! — Dave Eisenstadter