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Next 5-story building cleared to rise in downtown Amherst
04-18-2024 7:14 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A five-story mixed-use building to be attached to the historic Hastings building at 45 South Pleasant St. can move forward following final site plan review and special permit approvals from the Planning Board.Board members unanimously...

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Amherst regional superintendent candidate stresses inclusion, broad expertise
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Editor’s note: The first of three finalists for the job of superintendent was interviewed last week. Stories about visits of the other two finalists will appear when they interview the week of April 22.AMHERST — A strong work ethic, an ability to...


Frontier’s response to alleged sexual misconduct draws ire
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Several parents and community members criticized the Frontier Regional School District on April 9 for its lack of communication over alleged sexual misconduct on campus during school hours in March.Speaking during public comment at...


Three Amherst Regional Middle School counselors absolved of Title IX offenses
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Even with complaints that their actions and behavior, including intentional misgendering students were likely offensive, three counselors at the Amherst Regional Middle School have been cleared of violations of the federal Title IX law in...


Amherst requests state grant to develop Puffer’s Pond improvement plan
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Puffer’s Pond improvement plan, with recommendations for enhancing both the dam and the dike surrounding the body of water, could be developed through funding from a state grant program.Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek announced to the...


Around Amherst: Sustainability Festival camping out on Common Saturday
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Family fun, education and entertainment are expected to be part of the Amherst Sustainability Festival, being held for the 12th time on the Town Common on Saturday.Running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the festival will have a number of vendors,...


Shutesbury Elementary School principal leaving in June after 10 years
04-18-2024 7:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

SHUTESBURY — After 10 years as principal at Shutesbury Elementary School, Jacqueline Mendonsa is leaving the position at the end of June to relocate to the Boston area.“It is very hard for me to put into words my true love and appreciation for our...


Charles LaPiene: Peace at last
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

Now that the Easthampton City Council and three other local municipalities have called for a Gaza cease-fire, Hamas is sure to heed their pleas. We should be hearing soon that Hamas has pulled out, stopped their shooting, and all the hostages have...


Peter M. Haas: A scary national program
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

Recent Republican initiatives reveal an insidious systematic and escalating grand campaign aimed at a demographic transformation and even ethnic cleansing in the United States. It is becoming increasingly clear that the conservative republicans are...


Dr. L. Ricard: A monumental lack of vision
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

The arrogantly ugly Ideal Moving and Storage facility built alongside the bike path is a monument to the breathtaking lack of vision of the town of Hadley for permitting such a monstrous structure. How could the town of Hadley foist such a hideous...


Jimmy Burgoff: Speed kills
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

It has become even more evident recently how careless so many local drivers act. As a driver of a big truck it always amazes me that I get cut off at speed, have to deal with cars that put on their turn signal as they’re starting to turn, and wait at...


Judy Gutlerner: An investment in joy
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

As a retired performing arts teacher, it is always disheartening to learn that whenever there is a budget crisis such as in Northampton , the arts are the first to be cut. Missing from the ongoing discussion is the positive affect a performance has on...


Marie Lane: The emperor has no clothes
04-18-2024 7:20 PM

On the very same day that Karen Bercovici’s guest column was published, the WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health) files were leaked. These internal messages point to the lack of scientific evidence for the gender-affirming care...


Guest columnist Gary Michael Tartakov: What antisemitism is not
04-18-2024 7:19 PM

By GARY MICHAEL TARTAKOV

 I have been a Jew for 83 years. Though I’ve only known it for around 78. My parents explained it to me at Christmas in 1945, as the reason that I was not going to get a Christmas tree, like my playmates, in Los Angeles. It was at the end of the...


Crocker School kids draw on historical picture books for library banner project
04-18-2024 7:19 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An unfolded brown paper bag is being transformed, through use of crayons, pencils and paint markers, into a banner showcasing an acclaimed American naturalist, artist and academic.“I think Anna Comstock was very impressive in her work,” says...


Blue envelope program offered for Massachusetts drivers on autism spectrum
04-18-2024 7:19 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

BOSTON — Massachusetts State Police have begun implementing a program to improve interactions with people on the autism spectrum, building upon legislation that won Senate approval in January and remains before a House committee.Participating drivers...


Belchertown Select Board gives Saunders earful over state funding
04-18-2024 7:19 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — A week after the town’s school system laid off 17 staff members due to funding woes, the Select Board had a simple message for state Rep. Aaron Saunders during a recent meeting — help us.Saunders, D-Belchertown, however, was not brimming...


Earth Matters: Why opposites attract: The magnetism between two things isn’t always fully explicable; sometimes it just feels right
04-18-2024 7:18 PM

By RACHEL QUIMBY

One of my favorite books from childhood is P.D. Eastman’s “Big Dog, Little Dog,” the story of two bipedal pooches who are best friends. But Fred is tall, and Ted is short; Fred drives slowly and Ted drives fast; Ted plays the tuba, and Fred plays the...


New fed rules may force Mass. action on PFAS
04-18-2024 7:18 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

Nearly 200 water systems across Massachusetts — including towns, schools and hospitals — will likely need to take some action to comply with new federal limits on “forever chemicals” in drinking water, state regulators said last week, a potentially...


Amherst set to start work on trail system at old Hickory Ridge Golf Course
04-18-2024 7:16 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Construction of a new trail system on portions of the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course, including a loop trail for recreation and a north-south trail that will provide a more direct connection for East Hadley Road residents to Pomeroy...


ValleyBike Share readying to roll again: Eight-town e-bicycle network gears up for relaunch
04-18-2024 7:16 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — About 500 electric-assisted bicycles at 78 stations in eight area communities could be returning later this spring as ValleyBike Share gets ready to relaunch with a new vendor.Amherst last week became one of the final communities to enter...

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