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On Saturday, I got up at the crack of noon to take another crack at the COVID-19 vaccine sites. According to reports, they were officially available for my group, Phase 3. After shooing the cat off the bed, finding my slippers and logging on, it was 12:05 p.m.. Every appointment was taken, w…

This is the last in a sequence of four columns about this political moment and the possibility of a reckoning within both the Republican Party and the citizenry as a whole. I have emphasized the importance of achieving – ultimately – a meaningful solidarity across the populace.

Early this month, a stealth group of about 100 Republicans "met" on Zoom to discuss forming a new political party. Nice idea. Noble, even. Imaginative. Maybe even inspiring.

I hear calls for “healing” on the part of some of the elected spreaders of the nest of falsehoods that led to the act of Insurrection against the Congress of the United States on Jan. 6. I am sickened. Particularly galling is the thought that a number of police and/or military (active or res…

My most recent columns have focused on the extraordinary polarization of our nation, the potential for unity and the need ultimately to reach an unprecedented level of solidarity among the citizenry. While both political parties share responsibility in this endeavor, I have stated clearly th…

One of them campaigned for income supplements for veterans of the American Revolution. Another came into prominence for vetoing an inflated street-cleaning contract in Buffalo, New York. A third boasted of not being a Julius Caesar nor a Napoleon, but a “plain Hoosier colonel, with no more r…

One of them campaigned for income supplements for veterans of the American Revolution. Another came into prominence for vetoing an inflated street-cleaning contract in Buffalo, New York. A third boasted of not being a Julius Caesar nor a Napoleon, but a "plain Hoosier colonel, with no more r…

The events of the past year have been historic, particularly for Black Americans. We’ve celebrated the election of our country’s first Black, South Asian and female vice president, but we’ve also been harshly reminded that in the pursuit for racial equity and justice, there is still a steep …

In December of 2019, right before the pandemic moved across the globe, I completed a book about the many significant challenges we face here and in all countries. In nearly every sector of society – but especially in politics, technology, capitalism and resource use – we have huge problems.

This week, a discredited Congress (13% confidence rating, according to Gallup) examines the behavior of a discredited former president (61% disapproval rating, according to the Quinnipiac poll) in an impeachment trial that will shape the future of the American presidency (39% confidence rati…

As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available we know many residents are eager to receive the vaccine. This is for good reason as the vaccinations offer an effective way to protect not just the person who gets the immunization, but our communities in general. Once enough people get v…

Massachusetts is one of four commonwealths in the Union. An Old English term, “commonwealth” denoted a community of individuals bound together for the common good. While the second half of the word comes from the old definition of wealth which indicated well-being, rather than financial rich…

On Jan. 22, more than 700 members of the Salem State University community attended the 31st Annual MLK Convocation and keynote by renowned educator, scholar and social activist Dr. Angela Y. Davis. The presence of a public intellectual of Dr. Davis’ stature marked a momentous occasion for Sa…

When 22-year-old poet Amanda Gorman stepped onto the inaugural platform and told the world, “We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside,” many of us were transfixed. Her words, simple yet powerful, were like breaths of fresh air to ou…

Fourth in a weekly series of articles about young Nathaniel Hawthorne, written by Rae Padilla Francoeur in conjunction with The House of the Seven Gables. Find the first two stories in the series at salemnews.com.

COVID-19 has taken a toll on too many people’s lives and too many people’s livelihoods. Politicians are calling for billion to trillion-dollar relief plans. However, these plans will never be enacted if a budget allocating these funds is never passed.

Editor’s Note: The following are excerpts of President Joe Biden’s inaugural address, delivered at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

For four years, the United States under President Donald Trump has been bedeviled by unsolved mysteries. Inquiries have been opened and never satisfactorily closed. Doubts exist where none are justified, and legitimate doubts have never been allayed.

Millions of Americans last week watched in horror as a violent insurrection took place in the nation’s capital as Congress was in session. The rioters, who believed the “Big Lie” that Trump won the presidential election, brought weapons and zip ties on the hunt for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Vice…

There are many dangers ahead for that great survivor of American politics, Joe Biden. There is a deadly virus that is rampaging across the land even as it is mutating, economic challenges, a wealth and privilege gap that is widening, potential troubles with Iran, allies wary of America's com…

Kudos for Arnold Schwarzenegger. He spoke up when too many other Republicans cowered behind lies, afraid of their voters and the truth.

A few days ago, shortly after the unprecedented invasion of the United States Capitol by a horde of unrestrained Trump supporters, Twitter announced that it was banning President Donald Trump from Twitter. After more than 36,000 tweets in four years, with 88 million followers, Trump was toss…

In his Dec. 31 Salem News column “The pandemic lets us see society,” Watson used a word that jumped out at me. Can you spot it? He was summing up the Trump presidency:

We got lucky on Wednesday, Jan. 6, the afternoon that a mob forced its way into the Capitol building. By “we,” I mean the nation and all its citizenry, Republican and Democratic alike.

Second in a weekly series of articles about young Nathaniel Hawthorne, written by Rae Padilla Francoeur in conjunction with The House of the Seven Gables.

Viewers across America and throughout the world watched with horror and disillusionment Wednesday, Jan. 6, as a Trump-inspired insurrection resulted in the takeover of the U.S. Capitol and temporary disruption of the final step in the national election process. If you remember where you were…

Last fall, some schools across the nation opened their doors for the first time in months. Amidst uncertainty about what the new school year would bring, and with many experts projecting a resurgence of pandemic numbers, safety protocols were implemented, masks were worn, and hand sanitizer …

On March 17 I awoke in a vacation rental in Florida. My friend and I had changed our airline reservations and were leaving Florida four days earlier than our original departure date. President Trump had halted air traffic from Europe the previous week, colleges were closing campuses and goin…

Part I in a weekly series of articles about young Nathaniel Hawthorne, written by Rae Padilla Francoeur in conjunction with The House of the Seven Gables.

On Dec. 16, the city launched the Salem Skipper, an on-demand rideshare transportation service. The Skipper is intended to be a fast, easy and affordable way to travel throughout the community. The city has partnered with Via, an on-demand transit provider, to provide the service, which will…

Sometimes the job of a columnist is to offer answers and opinions, but in the current world what I am most filled with are observations and questions.

In 2001, The conservative icon and activist Grover Norquist stated that; “My goal is to cut government in half in 25 years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Sadly, it seems the COVID-19 pandemic has given him and his ilk an opportunity to achieve that goal.

Pop into any gift shop near a tourist lake, and you will see a pillow embroidered with this truth: If you're lucky to live by a lake, you are lucky enough. Now that the holiday gift season is over, I have my own version: If you were lucky enough to get a copy of the new book "The Glorious Am…

It’s been a few months since the race equity task force in Salem was created. When asked if I would consider joining, it was easy for me to say yes. However, what was not so easy was how I could help address racism, a made-up phenomenon designed years ago and to this day is deeply rooted in …

Here's another reason to hedge your bets by using the "Happy Holidays" greeting at this season: Monday is Forefathers' Day. Deride its importance at your own peril, and at the peril of your country.

The Massachusetts Republican Party appears to have reduced its relevance with a fringe strategy closely tied to President Trump that didn’t work and is not likely to work in the future. The party might find better voter alignment and support closer to the middle of the road.

Polio no longer stalks children in this country, but in the early 1950s, outbreaks caused more than 15,000 cases of paralysis each year. Until smallpox officially was declared eradicated around the globe in 1980, the devastating disease wiped out about 3 of every 10 people who contracted it.…

When Chris Kennedy of Little Rock, Arkansas put up his annual yard display of festive December holiday decorations, he didn’t expect to receive hate mail from Santa Claus. Why? Because he dared to put up a black Santa.

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