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Amherst council approves mandatory rental inspection program
04-11-2024 6:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — The town is moving ahead with a revised residential rental property bylaw that will replace the current complaint-driven inspection system with a requirement that all rental homes be inspected once every five years, despite objections from a...

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Amherst officials cool to bid to double spending hike for regional schools
04-11-2024 6:33 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A request for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns of the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget for the regional schools is being met with a lukewarm response and skepticism...


In federal lawsuit, teacher accuses Amherst schools of violating civil rights, other district policies
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A special education teacher who previously led the teachers union has filed a federal discrimination and defamation lawsuit against the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools, its current interim superintendent and its former leaders.An...


Around Amherst: Education foundation funds array of projects
04-11-2024 6:31 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Special programs and projects outside of school budget funding are being supported with $24,594 in grants from the Amherst Education Foundation, which is in its 30th year of helping educators at the four Amherst and Pelham elementary schools...


WMass on display in new movie trailer for Annie Baker’s ‘Janet Planet’
04-11-2024 6:30 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Mount Pollux in Amherst and The History of Women Mural in Northampton are among area locations visible in a trailer released for “Janet Planet,” the feature film directorial debut by playwright Annie Baker that is expected to hit theaters on...


April is a theatrical month: Latinx Theater Symposium and Shakespeare on tap at UMass
04-11-2024 6:28 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

April is shaping up to be a busy month for the University of Massachusetts Theater Department, beginning with a symposium that honors Latinx theater and closing with a fresh interpretation of a classic Shakespeare comedy.On April 8-9, theater...


Susan Tracy: Support Ukraine funding
04-11-2024 6:26 PM

When Congress returns next week, funding for military aid to Ukraine will be on the table in the House. However, if Speaker Mike Johnson brings Ukraine aid up for a vote which will pass, the MAGA Republicans have threatened his tenure as...


Smart search shirt: AHRS invention group’s garment will report rescuers’ vital signs and location
04-11-2024 6:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Often during search-and-rescue efforts, emergency personnel in the field prioritize helping those lost, trapped or otherwise in trouble, rather than focusing on their own safety and well-being.Understanding the risks they take, a group...


Amherst police chief finalists stress anti-racism cred, discuss other issues in separate meetings with public
04-11-2024 6:22 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Both Chelmsford Police Lt. Todd Ahern and Amherst interim Police Chief Gabriel Ting are citing their lived experiences, as well as their significant service to public safety, as reasons they should become the next police chief of the Amherst...


Amherst councilor mulls restrictions on public comment
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — An Amherst councilor may seek to place some restrictions on how public comments are made at Town Council meetings, such as requiring advance sign-up for those participating remotely, as a way of combating potential hate speech.At a Town...


Small towns wary of Amherst Regional committee’s school budget ask
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Skepticism and uncertainty from officials in Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury over Amherst Regional School Committee’s appeal for nearly $1 million more from the four member towns is prompting the convening of a four-town meeting next month...


School backers press council for boost to Amherst regional budget
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Parents, educators and members of the Regional School Committee are making direct appeals to the Amherst Town Council to support a $35.75 million fiscal year 2025 budget that is nearly $1 million above the financial guidance provided by...


The love behind a perfect match: Pet rescue organization using AI to help rehome pets
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

No dog trainers, behaviorists and even an psychic animal communicator could prevent Melissa Bekisz’s two dogs from fighting.The New York resident inherited her ex-partner’s 4-year-old Australian shepherd Marjoram after he moved out. Marjoram began...


‘Sport court’ eyed for Amherst recreational sites
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A dedicated outdoor fitness space could be added to the town’s recreational sites through support from a national initiative that would provide grant money to cover most costs of its installation.The Amherst Recreation Commission recently...


Veteran West Roxbury community booster will lead Amherst Area Chamber
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A Belchertown resident with experience in promoting economic development, leading community events and building coalitions begins his tenure as executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce this month.Jacob Robinson, most...


Popular Jones Library tours to continue in April
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

AMHERST — The popularity of recent tours giving the public peeks into all areas of the Jones Library, including some places set aside only for staff, is prompting the Jones Library Capital Campaign to continue the initiative through mid-April.More...


Survival Center’s Empty Bowls event helps fulfill aid mission
04-04-2024 6:25 PM

AMHERST — Ceramics students in an art class at Amherst Regional High School are among the professional and amateur artists whose bowls will be available for the Amherst Survival Center’s largest annual fundraiser, the Empty Bowls event, taking place...


A stuffie bond: Arts collaboration brings high schoolers, kindergartners together in Amherst
04-04-2024 6:19 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

Featuring a horn extending from its violet-colored head and a lower body resembling that of a lobster, with elements of a dolphin and turtle thrown in for good measure, the creature is quite a sight in its doll-like form.“It flies. It has wings,”...


Letter: Unlocking the potential of public higher education
04-04-2024 6:17 PM

In response to the recent article about the Amherst Town Council’s resolution supporting the Cherish Act, [”Despite doubts, Amherst Town Council backs bill boosting higher ed spending,” Gazette, March 8], the council’s endorsement of the Cherish Act...


Dave King: Cease-fire resolution passed in the UN!
04-04-2024 6:17 PM

For those of us concerned about the ongoing mayhem in Palestine, these past months have been agonizing. How can one live in security without thinking of others being shelled, shot and tortured? How can one eat a bite of food without thinking of our...


Guest columnist Shalini Bahl-Milne: Beyond empathy — A compassionate approach to polarizing issues in Amherst
04-04-2024 5:02 PM

By SHALINI BAHL-MILNE

The recent Amherst Town Council meeting exposed deep rifts within our community over a resolution concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These divisions highlight the formidable challenges we face when approaching complex issues: We often...

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