Around Amherst: Trolley service to end following Family Weekend

Staff Writer
Saturday, October 14, 2017

AMHERST — Trolleys that have served to ferry people to various events in Amherst will conclude their work Saturday as part of Family Weekend at the University of Massachusetts.

The Amherst Business Improvement District, which purchased two trolleys in 2013, is ending the transportation service, said Executive Director Sarah la Cour.

“They were just too problematic,” la Cour said.

She explained that the engine blew out on one of the trolleys, making it inoperable, and the other has needed extensive upkeep.

On the final day of service, families of UMass students will be able to ride the trolleys Saturday from 1:30 to 5 p.m. from the Campus Center Circle to downtown Amherst.

The BID acquired the used trolleys, one a 22-seater, the other a 33-seater, for $75,000, under former executive director Alex Krogh-Grabbe.

In addition to the maintenance demands, another issue was finding drivers for regular routes, la Cour said.

“We couldn’t be running a transportation company with everything else,” la Cour said.

But la Cour said there has been appreciation for having the trolleys during new student orientation at UMass, and it might be possible to continue a similar service, with the partnership of the university, by renting shuttles.

Both trolleys will eventually be sold.

ABC House walk and run

A benefit walk and run for the Amherst A Better Chance program, which will extend from Amherst center through the Amherst College sanctuary, is being held Saturday.

The 46th Annual Fall Foliage Walk/Run, starting on the Town Common, will raise money to support the living and school expenses for the scholars who live at the ABC House on North Prospect Street.

These young men of color, identified by the national ABC program for their leadership potential, attend Amherst Regional High School during their time in town.

The program has an annual operating budget of about $125,000.

Registration on Saturday begins at 9 a.m., with the run starting at 10:30 a.m. and the walk a short time later. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., entertainment, food and other family-friendly activities will take place on the Town Common.

Two tree plantings

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, the Second Saturday Tree Planting will be held at Kendrick Park at the northern end of downtown.

The new trees will replace several trees that have been lost over the past few years due he construction of the roundabout at Triangle and East Pleasant streets and other construction.

Oct. 28 from 9 a.m. to noon, the Amherst Neighborhood Tree Planting will be held with families on Stanley Street and Tamarack Lane.

Volunteers are welcome to participate in both plantings and should look for the yellow Department of Public Works truck to identify the specific locations.

Amherst Woman’s Club benefit

An author’s talk to benefit scholarships and community service activities put on by the Amherst Woman’s Club will be held Oct. 19.

Kathy-Ann Becker, author of “Silencing the Women: the Witch Trials of Mary Bliss Parsons”, will speak about “A Witch and the Politics of Accusation” at the 35 Triangle St. location at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and reservations can be made by calling 256-6118 or sending email to korugic@polysci.umass.edu.

Quilt returns to Senior Center

A quilt that has long hung in the Amherst Senior Center will soon be returned following a $250 refurbishment.

Senior Center Director Nancy Pagano said the quilt is special because elders began working on it before the center moved from the Oddfellows Hall on Kellogg Avenue to its current home at the Bangs Community Center in 1978.

“It’s an important historical item, but it was taken down because it wasn’t fireproofed,” Pagano said.

The quilt, which was also cleaned, should be back in place prior to a celebration Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. commemorating the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Council on Aging board. The Senior Center’s 50th anniversary takes place in 2018.

Dog bathing fundraiser

Area residents can raise money for the Dakin Humane Society through a “Bathe to Save” event at Steve Lewis Subaru on Route 9 in Hadley Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

People pay a fee to have their dogs cleaned in a motor coach by the Amos family of Australia.

The event will also include adoptable animals from Dakin, demonstrations by local police K9 units, music, food and local vendors.

Zero Waste launch event

A public education campaign to reduce waste and increase recycling in Amherst is scheduled to launch at a Friday event, and the public is invited.

The launch event is to take place at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 845 West. St. in South Amherst, from 7-9 p.m., following refreshments and a tour of the center from 6-7 p.m.

The town joined together with the Hitchcock Center, the Amherst League of Women Voters, and Sustaining Amherst to promote awareness of the environmental effects of overconsumption and improper handling of planetary resources, share information about how to minimize waste, convey information about present waste management efforts in town, solicit ideas on how to improve waste management practices in the community, and invite public participation in the Zero Waste Amherst public education campaign.

“It is important that we work together to find ways to reduce our waste for the long term good of the Town and the planet,” said Stephanie Ciccarello, Amherst’s sustainability coordinator.

The format for the evening includes brief presentations, group discussions and a short film. Participants will be asked how to best serve the goals of reducing waste in Amherst.

“Zero Waste communities in the U.S. and worldwide have dramatically reduced unnecessary consumption and the wasting of valuable resources,” said John Root, chairman of the town’s Recycling and Refuse Management Committee. “By aiming high, Amherst can also make significant progress towards reaching these goals. We welcome your ideas and energy!”

The event is free and open to the public. For information, please contact the Hitchcock Center for the Environment at 256-6006 or Cynthia Brubaker at 253-6679, or email the Recycling and Refuse Management Committee at rrmc@amherstma.gov.


MONDAY: Select Board, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

TUESDAY: Amherst School Committee, 6 p.m., high school library.