A Look Back: Aug. 2


For the Gazette

Published: 08-01-2023 11:00 PM

50 Years Ago

■A private conservation group today offered Shepard’s Island, a 16-acre tract in the Connecticut River just east of Northampton, to the state Division of Fisheries and Game for use as a recreation-conservation area. The Connecticut River Watershed Council Inc., a four-state private group with headquarters in Easthampton, made the offer of the island in a letter to the Committee on Commerce and Labor.

■Paul D. Bixby, 31-year-old licensed electrician and father of two young children, has announced his Democratic candidacy for the School Committee, representing Ward 5. Bixby attended local schools and is a U.S. Army veteran. He is a member of the Hampshire County Democrats and the Bay State Village Association.

25 Years Ago

■With the calendar now flipped to August, the Taste of Northampton is on the horizon. The downtown food smorgasbord served up by 37 restaurants starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Organizers expect as many as 75,000 people to attend the Taste, which is in its 8th year.

■However great the odds, hundreds of aspiring young actors came out in droves Saturday for a casting call at Northampton High School for “The Cider House Rules,” a Miramax Studios project based on the novel by John Irving. The film company was looking for children between the ages of 4 and 16 for nine speaking parts, as well as several dozen non-speaking roles.

10 Years Ago

■Leaders of local gay organizations welcomed remarks by Pope Francis earlier this week about not judging gay priests as a significant change in tone from the head of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. “If a person is gay, seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said. “We shouldn’t marginalize people for this. They must be integrated into society.”

■If all goes according to plan, state Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg, D-Amherst, will become the next president of the state Senate, the first from western Massachusetts to take that role in 43 years. Rosenberg confirmed Wednesday he has what he termed the “overwhelming support of the Democratic caucus” to win the post when Senate President Therese Murray steps down 17 months from now.