Spooky times: LSSE Annual Halloween Fest

Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

AMHERST — Children and families are welcome to downtown Amherst for an afternoon of Halloween activities on Sunday.

Leisure Services and Supplemental Education is sponsoring the annual Halloween Fest, which will include trick-or-treating at businesses beginning at noon, a pumpkin decorating contest at 12:45 p.m. and a costume parade starting at 1 p.m.

Nicole Abelli, LSSE's outreach camps and special events coordinator, said participants will be given information about the businesses where trick-or-treating is welcome.

Then, Abelli said, they are invited to the new pumpkin decorating event, with prizes, which will take place on the North Common. The parade will then start with a police escort on North Pleasant Street and Kellogg Avenue, ending at the Bangs Community Center.

The main event will be at the Bangs, which from 1:15 to 4 p.m. will house a carnival, haunted house, crafts room and entertainment space.

Admission is $5, which will allow children to participate in all activities and have refreshments, including popcorn, cotton candy, doughnuts and water.

The carnival will have more than a dozen games. “We're going to have a lot more games at the carnival,” Abelli said.

Also new is the monster mash dance contest, with children competing at 1:30 p.m. and adults at 2 p.m.

Fort River gets arts grant

Fort River Elementary School recently received a “Champion Creatively Alive Children” grant from Crayola and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, one of just 20 schools nationwide to be awarded the money.

The $3,500 grant, of which $1,000 will be used on Crayola products, is aimed at nurturing children’s creativity, critical thinking and communication skills.

With the money, art teacher Nicole Singer will coordinate a series of workshops for teachers, paraeducators and families to teach participants how to infuse art and artful thinking in their classrooms and homes.

Singer and Fort River principal Diane Chamberlain will share outcomes from their program through the association’s website and a special supplement in Principal Magazine that will help other schools develop better practices for arts education.

Drivers needed for meal deliveries

The Amherst Senior Center is seeking volunteers to drive meals to senior citizens throughout town.

Social worker Helen MacMellon said drivers are in demand for both the noontime meals prepared by Highland Valley Elder Services and afternoon meals made at the University of Massachusetts.

Anyone interested should call or email MacMellon at 259-3062 or macmellonh@amherstma.gov.

Rotary donations

The Rotary Club of Amherst has made $1,000 donations to organizations supporting hurricane relief and World Polio Day.

Rotary's board recently voted to make the contributions.

World Polio Day was marked on Tuesday, while the International Rotary Club will use the money as part of its efforts to aid hurricane victims.

Mistreatment alleged

A member of the town’s Public Shade Tree Committee expressed concern about the way she was treated while presenting a warrant article before the Select Board.

In a letter to the board following her Oct. 16 presentation on an article that would collect fines from those who cut down trees, Nonny Burack wrote “no resident of Amherst should be subjected to the televised mortification that I was; no town resident should dread appearing before you.”

Burack estimated that instituting non-criminal dispositions would collect about $15,000 in fines, observing that the money is needed to plant new trees, with public trees coming down quicker than they are going up.

But board member Jim Wald described the article as creating “imaginary financial benefits” and observed that he was taken aback by the proposal as an illegal and irrational way to direct fines to a town board. 

“I'm sorry, it's a very sloppy presentation, this is very confusing to us and surprising,” Wald said

Burack said in a phone interview Tuesday that she got a call from board member Andy Steinberg after delivering her letter that put her mind at ease about what had happened.

Retirees workshop

Career counselor Barbara Foster will lead a workshop for baby boomers who are often not retiring, but rather “rewiring,” when they leave full-time employment.

The workshop will be held at the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Participants will complete a series of exercises, do self-assessments and reflect and brainstorm to create an action plan to help them transition into their next chapter of life.

Pre-registration is required and can be done by visiting the library’s reference desk or by calling 259-3096.


MONDAY: Transportation Advisory Committee and Complete Streets/Traffic Calming Subcommittee, 4:30 p.m., conference room, Department of Public Works.

WEDNESDAY: Community Preservation Act Committee, 7 p.m., first-floor meeting room, Town Hall; Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.