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Public schools to distribute bumper stickers



Staff Writer
Thursday, December 29, 2016

AMHERST — Eurostyle bumper stickers for vehicles that will allow parents and teachers to show pride in Amherst’s public schools are being distributed.

Containing the letters ARPS and the words Amherst Regional Public Schools, written in both English and Spanish, the oval stickers were recently given out to parents, guardians, teachers and staff and were the idea of Michael Morris, the district’s interim superintendent.

“From a majority of conversations, parents are excited to be in the district, people have value in the schools and they say that we don’t do enough to celebrate all the good that happens here,” Morris said.

Morris said he then decided to look into ordering the stickers, which come in both maroon and white, the school’s colors.

Morris added that he hopes these will have some benefit to improving education and the school climate.

“The intangible piece is that we have wonderful teachers and students, and a way to celebrate this excellent organization,” Morris said.

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Winter equipment sale

A two-day winter gear sale put on by the Amherst Historical Society will be held in early January at Crocker Farm Elementary School, 280 West St.

The sale, which benefits the society and Crocker Farm’s Parent-Guardian Organization, takes place Jan. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. znd Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Items available will be both new and used downhill and cross-country skis, figure and hockey skates, snowboards and snowshoes, clothing, gloves, boots and helmets.

The sale will help the society do outreach and education, and maintain the 1759 Simeon Strong House on Amity Street.

Organizers will also be accepting lightly used winter sports equipment to resell, either as donations or on consignment, on Jan. 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Crocker Farm.

For more information, contact Bonnie MacCracken at info@amhersthistory.org or 687-9493.

Beacon Communities of Boston, which is planning the mixed-use North Square at the Mill District, will be seeking use of a local property tax incentive program before moving forward with the more than $40 million project.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman recently told the Select Board that Beacon is requesting to take advantage of a provision that allows the Select Board to enter into agreements for special tax assessments on properties that feature low- and moderate-income affordable housing.

The project includes 130 residential apartments, of which 26 will be affordable, 22,000 square feet of commercial space and 299 parking spots. Tax relief incentives come by phasing in the higher taxes that would be collected from the increase in assessed property value over a period of up to 10 years.

Beacon is seeking a comprehensive permit under the state’s chapter 40B affordable housing law for the project, which would be built on 5.3 acres of vacant industrial land owned by W.D. Cowls.

The Zoning Board hold its third hearing on the project Jan. 5, and could also meet again later in January, Bockelman said. A decision has to be made by mid February.

Nomination forms

Residents are beginning to pick up nomination forms to run for townwide office at the March 28 town election.

In addition to incumbent Select Board members Connie Kruger and Andy Steinberg, others who have taken out papers include Jennifer Page, 291 Potwine Lane, for a three-year position on the School Committtee, Kitty Axelson-Berry, 89 Stony Hill Road, and Terry Johnson, 15 Teaberry Lane, for two three-year seats as trustees for the Jones Library, and Lee Edwards, 5 Wildwood Lane, and Edwin Wilfert, 43 Gray St., for the one, two-year seat available as a trustee.

Candidates for townwide seats have until Feb. 7 to submit forms with signatures from 50 registered voters. People interesting in running for Town Meeting have to turn in nomination forms with one signature.

Meetings

TUESDAY: Recycling and Refuse Management Committee, 5 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Jones Library Trustees, 9:15 a.m., Goodwin Room, Jones Library.

SATURDAY: Four Town Meeting, including Amherst Select Board, Finance Committee and School Committee, 10 a.m., middle school library.