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Guest columnist Ken Rosenthal: Expensive obstacles for library contractor
06-19-2024 5:16 PM

By KEN ROSENTHAL

 The Jones Library in Amherst received just one unaffordably high bid for its renovation plans. It is now applying “value engineering,” hoping that a redesign and changes in materials will bring more bids at lower prices. That is an expensive effort...

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Amherst Historical Society enlists first executive director since 2011
06-19-2024 4:44 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — For the first time since 2011, the Amherst Historical Society will have an executive director overseeing the nonprofit’s work in the community, including maintaining and improving the 1750s-era Simeon Strong House at 67 Amity St.Liz Larson,...


Hampshire College to cut benefits as enrollment for next school year comes in below projections
06-19-2024 4:32 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

AMHERST — Responding to fall enrollment numbers that are lower than anticipated, Hampshire College plans to temporarily freeze retirement contributions and cut salaries for senior staff members next school year to meet the college’s operating budget...


Child porn case against former state police captain from Amherst inches ahead
06-19-2024 3:12 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

NORTHAMPTON — Legal proceedings in the case of a retired State Police detective captain accused of eight counts of possessing and distributing child sexual abuse material have moved slowly since charges were first brought.Francis Hart, 64, was...


Evan Naismith: Democrats must reclaim the Stars and Stripes
06-18-2024 7:57 PM

Two decades ago, Republicans harnessed American symbols to secure George W. Bush a second term, persuading voters that supporting him equated to backing the nation and its troops. Through ubiquitous stars and stripes branding, they cemented their...


Paul Kaplan: Kudos to Tolley Jones and others
06-18-2024 7:57 PM

I am writing to express my appreciation for columnist Tolley Jones, but also for all your regular columnists. Facing what we all know are limited resources, you consistently present compelling journalism on your opinion page. The latest example is...


Claire Cocco: Supporting our future leaders
06-18-2024 7:57 PM

Thank you to the Gazette for featuring the wonderful Amherst Regional High School graduating class of 2024 in your June 10 issue. The educators and clerical staff of the Amherst Pelham Education Association are excited to highlight the achievements of...


Amherst Regional School Committee looks to launch financial sustainability panel
06-18-2024 12:11 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — A fiscal sustainability committee that will undertake strategic planning and identify potential cost savings and new revenue sources for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Schools is being established by the Regional School Committee.Even though...


Columnist Razvan Sibii: Either respect U.S. immigration law or admit you don’t really care
06-17-2024 6:05 PM

By RAZVAN SIBII

Earlier this month, the White House put out a “Fact Sheet” meant to explain President Biden’s latest immigration-related executive action, which orders American authorities to drastically limit many immigrants’ ability to make their case for asylum...


Patricia Ramsey: What does a recession look like?
06-17-2024 6:04 PM

According to polls, the majority of Americans believe we are in a deep recession. Huh? What are they seeing?Do they personally know many people actively seeking employment and coming up empty? Do they see long lines at hiring events? Are they looking...


UMass launches task force in wake of spring protests, will also review police activity
06-17-2024 4:33 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

AMHERST — UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes has announced the creation of a Campus Demonstration Policy Task Force and an independent review of police activity on campus following events this spring that lead to more than 100 arrests on campus...


Janine Roberts: Unraveling my white supremacist history
06-16-2024 8:56 PM

By JANINE ROBERTS

There were rumors that my Roberts great-grandparents were enslavers in Culpeper County, Virginia. I began researching them before a 2023 southern road trip with a friend of 50 years, Delores Brown. Exploring Georgia, where she lived as a child with...


David Sloviter: Jones Library board must go
06-16-2024 8:54 PM

The board of the Jones Library must step down and take the director and the inept over-compensated fundraisers with them. The newest decision to use endowment funds money to make the proposed expansion work is irresponsible and inappropriate in the...


Guest columnists Austin Sarat and Sharon Sharry: Why Jones Library expansion remains best option
06-14-2024 3:52 PM

By AUSTIN SARAT and SHARON SHARRY

 The Jones Library trustees remain convinced that the proposed library renovation and expansion project represents the right vision for Amherst’s main library. This vision has been repeatedly endorsed by town residents and their government. Put...


Ginny Hamilton: Jones Library claims
06-14-2024 3:49 PM

Even with proposed cuts to the Jones Library renovation and expansion plans, the result will be a net-zero ready building. Plans remain in place to eliminate the fossil fuel HVAC system. Solar panels were not in the original bid documents; the...


Mary Sayer: Library or second Bangs Community Center?
06-14-2024 3:49 PM

When I read about the current plans for the renovation of the Jones library, it sounds more like the description of a second Bangs Community Center, a building with only a nod to history (front façade retained), a massed building at the back with...


Around Amherst: Plans to ‘art up’ utility boxes part of Electrify Amherst
06-14-2024 11:58 AM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — At a downtown intersection, portraits of and quotes by poets Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost are on a utility box, and in East Amherst center a Black Lives Matter theme is on a similar box.With the artwork done by artists in previous years...


Book Bag: ‘Sandwich’ by Catherine Newman; ‘The Man Who Loved Trees’ by Annaliese Bischoff
06-14-2024 11:28 AM

By STEVE PFARRER

SandwichBy Catherine NewmanHarperCollins In late 2022, Amherst writer Catherine Newman released her first adult novel, “We All Want Impossible Things,” after previously publishing a number of nonfiction titles, a middle grade novel, and quite a bit of...


The Beat Goes On: Jazz manouche and choro in Northampton, Pride music celebrations in Greenfield, and jazz in Amherst
06-13-2024 2:03 PM

By STEVE PFARRER

It was 20 years ago today … Well, maybe not exactly to the day, but Django in June, the annual Northampton celebration of the music created by the legendary Belgian-French guitarist Django Reinhardt, is marking its 20th anniversary this year.That’s no...


State auditor: UMass violated law in axing Advancement office last year
06-12-2024 4:54 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — University of Massachusetts officials violated provisions of the state’s Taxpayer Protection Act law when moving fundraising operations from the Advancement office to the private University Amherst Foundation, according to a final...


Juneteenth celebrations animate Amherst on Saturday, Wednesday
06-12-2024 4:53 PM

By SCOTT MERZBACH

AMHERST — Celebrations to mark Juneteenth, the day in 1865 when the last American citizens in Galveston, Texas were informed that slavery was abolished, are scheduled for both Saturday and on the federal holiday itself.Three years after June 19, also...

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