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Guest columnist Marietta Pritchard: Birthdays to remember
05-23-2024 7:52 PM

By MARIETTA PRITCHARD

Nothing surprises me more than the advancing ages of our sons. Your own age is a given, and somehow you get used to it, and in my case at least, tend to anticipate the next annual changeover. I think of myself now as 88, although that won’t officially...

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Civil War tablets honoring Amherst veterans help open high schoolers’ eyes to unsung Black history
05-24-2024 2:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — African American soldiers from Amherst who served in the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment and 5th Calvary were among those who arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation and to announce that...


Around Amherst: UMass, town advocacy could boost Palmer train stop
05-24-2024 2:35 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An effort to bring a train platform to Palmer could mean the return of passenger rail service to Amherst, which lost its direct to access to trains when the Springfield to Greenfield Knowledge Corridor tracks opened at the end of 2014.Anne...


Adam Siegel: Hastings store extinction is forever
05-23-2024 7:51 PM

Walking into the new Amherst College Store downtown, I'm reminded of the old Saturday Night Live skit, "Scotch Boutique." There, a family, led by John Belushi, put its life savings into a mall store that sells only scotch tape (all sizes). When a...


Arts Briefs: The Paradise City Arts Festival returns to Northampton, the MIFA Victory Players perform in Holyoke, and more
05-23-2024 2:41 PM

Paradise by the fairground lightsNORTHAMPTON — One of the area’s largest artistic celebrations returns this weekend, as some 220 artists and craftspeople gather at the Three County Fairgrounds for the Paradise City Arts Festival.The biannual festival,...


Earth Matters: Biodiversity crisis in our backyard: The science behind saving habitat for wildlife
05-23-2024 2:36 PM

By KARI BLOOD

One of the reasons many of us love living in the Valley is being able to see wildlife around us. But those sightings will become increasingly rare if humans don’t take bold steps to slow the loss of species around the world. Scientists are sounding...


Water, sewer rates may rise in Amherst
05-23-2024 11:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An average Amherst homeowner’s annual water and sewer bills will rise by about $57 if water and sewer rate increases proposed by Town Manager Paul Bockelman are implemented by the Town Council, Based on projections included in a May 14 memo...


Paul Siqueira: UMass no confidence vote a ‘shameful proceeding’
05-22-2024 4:38 PM

I was a participating member of the UMass Faculty Senate vote of no-confidence in the Chancellor Javier Reyes on Monday. I entered the meeting with an open mind and a desire to hear from both sides of opinion that would frame the vote. Instead, I have...


Herman signs on as Amherst-Pelham Regional superintendent
05-21-2024 4:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A superintendent for the St. Croix, Virgin Islands Department of Education has reached terms of a contract and will be the next superintendent for the Amherst, Pelham and Amherst-Pelham regional schools beginning July 1, earning $176,500 in...


UMass faculty, librarians vote no confidence in chancellor over protest breakup
05-20-2024 8:28 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Nearly 500 members of the faculty and librarians are expressing no confidence in the leadership of University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes stemming from the breakup of a pro-Palestinian encampment on May 7 that led to the arrests...


Jones Library trustees to ask state for 6 more months to find contractor for expansion project
05-20-2024 5:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Jones Library trustees are appealing to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to extend the deadline for awarding a general contractor bid for the $46.1 million renovation and expansion of the 43 Amity St. building.Trustees on...


New Orleans educator named to head Amherst’s The Common School
05-20-2024 5:24 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A New Orleans educator will be the new head of school at The Common School following a national search by the school’s trustees.Emily Waterfield, who most recently was administratively supporting a network of schools serving 6,800 students,...


Columnist Razvan Sibii: Should ‘America’ be a synonym for the ‘United States of America’?
05-20-2024 5:21 PM

By RAZVAN SIBII

A little more than a year ago, after I published a column about the most toxic myths surrounding the issue of immigration, I received an email from a reader that took me to task about my use of the word “America” to refer to the United States of...


Adelyn Tease, Julius Cosby, and Sam Schmeiser: We need to raise the minimum wage
05-20-2024 5:20 PM

We want to address the issue of income inequality because it impacts a lot of people. Many people who only get paid the minimum wage have to work multiple jobs at a time and often can’t spend as much time with their families as they want. Inflation...


Brooks Ballenger: Our confused view of immigrants
05-20-2024 5:20 PM

The recent Gazette article on the difficulties immigrant doctors face in getting licensed to practice, reminded me of our national confusion about immigration. There’s a serious shortage of doctors and nurses in the U.S., yet when qualified people...


Playground creativity: New outdoor learning area at Wildwood school adds to recess options
05-20-2024 2:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Soft musical sounds emanate from a red oil barrel, perched on the hillside high above the playground at Wildwood School, as children at recess strike it with the attached drumsticks — and even climb atop it on occasion.“I like that you get...


Amherst Planning Board member pens letter calling for town-UMass housing committee
05-19-2024 11:01 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Continued worries about single-family homes being turned into student rentals in Amherst is prompting a Planning Board member to draft a letter to University of Massachusetts Chancellor Javier Reyes appealing for creation of a committee,...


Amherst Regional’s track project likely in council’s lap
05-17-2024 4:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Town Council is likely to determine the scope of renovations to the Amherst Regional High School track and its interior field after the Regional School Committee this week deferred the final decision on the project to Amherst’s elected...


Rattling those musical bones: Folk/blues veteran Chris Smither releases his 20th album ahead of 80th birthday
05-17-2024 2:22 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

When Chris Smither found his live gigs shut down during the worst months of COVID-19, he figured it might at least be a good opportunity to write some new songs — something the veteran folk/blues singer and guitarist admits is not the easiest process...


Lora Wondolowski: Condemning the UMass response to student protests
05-17-2024 2:11 PM

The Peace Development was founded in Amherst in 1981 by anti-war activists as a means for supporting the peace movement. As an organization rooted in support of grassroots organizing we are deeply troubled by the mass arrest of peaceful protesters at...


Around Amherst: High school sleuths point out $2M mistake in town budget
05-17-2024 11:43 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Members of Sunrise Amherst recently uncovered a $2 million discrepancy in the fiscal year 2025 municipal budget when it was released on May 1, showing how the same vehicles for various departments were listed for purchase two years in a row...

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