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Sunderland contractor fined over asbestos abatement violations at UMass
07-12-2024 5:32 PM

Staff Report

AMHERST — A Sunderland contractor is facing a state fine of almost $30,000 for violations that occurred during asbestos abatement work at the University of Massachusetts, authorities announced Friday.The state Department of Environmental Protection...

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Herrell’s Ice Cream to open pop-up shop in North Amherst this summer
07-12-2024 10:11 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Herrell’s Ice Cream, a mainstay on Old South Street at Thorne’s Marketplace in downtown Northampton, will be opening a pop-up shop in the North Square at the Mill District in North Amherst by the end of July, with plans to have a permanent...


Around Amherst: Crocker Farm earns national Welcoming Schools Seal
07-12-2024 7:30 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Crocker Farm School’s Amherst Early Education Center recently became one of 35 schools across the country to earn the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Seal of Excellence, where work over the past three years is honoring family...


Valley Bounty: Rising from the ashes: One year after tragic fire, J & J Farms in Amherst enters new chapter with community backing
07-11-2024 1:27 PM

By JACOB NELSON

For over two decades, J & J Farms stood alone as the last dairy farm in Amherst. Many other small New England dairies shuttered as the economy shifted even more in favor of mega-dairies, but the Waskiewicz family held on, milking cows while also...


Very cool: Splash pad back in action at Amherst’s Groff Park
07-11-2024 11:08 AM

AMHERST — The splash pad at Groff Park is reopened after repairs were completed Wednesday afternoon by the Department of Public Works.The repairs were finished after a replacement motor that had been ordered arrived in town.While the spray park is...


Cost-saving push for Jones project keeps library entrance but scraps other interior preservation
07-11-2024 10:49 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Upon completion of the $46.1 million expansion and renovation of the Jones Library in 2026, the building’s main entrance, with the formal staircase rising three floors and Philippine walnut and mahogany woodwork gracing the walls, would...


$2M in historic tax credits for Jones Library expansion off the table
07-11-2024 8:19 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Around $2 million in historic tax credits sought for the $46.1 million expansion and renovation of the Jones Library will not be available after the project was deemed ineligible by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, whose staff are...


Area Briefs: Meet the new Amherst school superintendent; Jurassic Deerfield workshops; Walking tours of William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington
07-10-2024 7:45 PM

School superintendentto attend Cuppa Joe eventAMHERST — Town Manager Paul Bockelman will be joined by new Schools Superintendent E. Xiomara Herman during a periodic Cuppa Joe with Paul event Friday.The event, in which people can chat about town- and...


Jeff Clark: We need energy permitting reform
07-10-2024 6:00 PM

The article “Energy bill doesn’t address siting fears” by Scott Merzbach in the Gazette’s July 6 edition does not accurately state the positive aspects of the governor and Legislature’s effort to reform the permitting process for renewable energy and...


Cool relief out of commission: No joy at Amherst spray park
07-09-2024 7:01 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Groff Park on Mill Lane, usually filled with children playing and families gathered during the warm weather, was nearly empty Tuesday afternoon, as the town’s only splash pad and the park’s restrooms remained closed with temperatures...


Alternatives sought as reparations funding from cannabis tax dwindles in Amherst
07-09-2024 1:03 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A plan to provide $2 million over 10 years toward municipal reparations initiatives, such as programs for youth or first-time homebuyers, could be stymied by the anticipated drying up of tax revenue associated with cannabis sales in Amherst...


Pakistani scholars in UMass program revel in multi-layered learning
07-08-2024 5:29 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Being on the University of Massachusetts campus for nearly a month, her first experience outside her native Pakistan, Mahan Aslam has found Americans courteous in not bothering her when she’s not wearing a traditional headscarf.“In the U.S.,...


Four arrested in UMass protest crackdown take diversion program
07-08-2024 4:30 PM

Staff Report

BELCHERTOWN — Four people arrested during the breakup of a pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of Massachusetts campus in May agreed to dispositions Monday in Eastern Hampshire District Court in which they will enter a four-month diversion...


Rich and Sue Cairn: What is the future of environment worth?
07-08-2024 4:15 PM

Joe Biden has done far more for the environment than any previous president. He secured many billions to transition to renewable energy, with good jobs in the U.S. He protected millions of acres of habitat. He is rebuilding federal agencies decimated...


Amherst firefighters raise alarm over 2-person response to night blaze
07-08-2024 2:15 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A late-night fire in downtown Amherst, during which only one career firefighter/paramedic was available to extinguish the blaze, is prompting the union representing town firefighting staff to renew its longstanding appeal for enhanced...


$1.4M coming to region for trail work in six communities
07-07-2024 2:01 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

NORTHAMPTON — More than $1.4 million in MassTrail state grants are heading to six communities in the region for projects ranging from an accessible trail system at the former Hickory Ridge Golf Course in Amherst to additional work on a sensory trail...


Danny Torres: Blame Putin, not NATO
07-06-2024 8:18 PM

I read David Kotz’s recent column because I disagree with him [“Understanding the Ukraine War,” Gazette, June 26]. I assume he understands the war in Ukraine as a proxy battle between the American and Russian empire. America represents the liberal...


David Glassberg: Trust the process
07-06-2024 8:18 PM

Biden won the Democratic nomination for president in 2020 because Democrats believed that, among all the candidates running in the primaries, he had the best chance of defeating Donald Trump. This year, Democrats held no meaningful primary elections...


Nina Scott: Thank you, Steve Pfarrer
07-06-2024 8:18 PM

I saw with regret that features writer Steve Pfarrer was retiring after many, many years of service to the Gazette and the arts communities. I do not begrudge him his retirement in any way, but I shall miss his writing very much. Thank you, Steve, and...


Amherst Regional board backs Welcoming Schools program to support LGBTQ+ students
07-05-2024 2:51 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Welcoming Schools, a bias-based bullying prevention program aimed at supporting LGTBQ+ students and families, is being recommended for adoption at the Amherst Regional schools.More than a year after reports surfaced of mistreatment and...


Around Amherst: First standalone restroom coming to Kendrick Park
07-05-2024 9:07 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Downtown Amherst’s first standalone restroom could soon be installed at Kendrick Park, close to a playground that opened in August 2021 as a way to activate the 3.3-acre common at the north end of downtown.The Planning Board recently...

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