around amherst

Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 08, 2017

AMHERST — When visitors come to downtown Amherst Monday morning, they will be greeted by a series of parking changes that will include new pay-by-license plate machines, a mechanism to use smartphones to pay for parking and higher rates for spaces closest to restaurants and shops.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said employees in the Department of Public Works and collectors office on Sunday will be doing the work necessary to overhaul the system for the 635 public parking spaces in downtown.

In September, the Select Board adopted a series of recommendations from the Downtown Parking Working Group that will create three distinct parking zones in downtown and increase the cost of parking from 50 cents an hour to $1 an hour at 324 metered spaces.

The changes are aimed at creating regular turnover of prime parking spaces. 

The work on Sunday will include activating and testing the new machines that have already been placed in parking lots and the Boltwood parking garage, and placing new stickers on all existing meters to reflect the various adjustments.

In addition, for the first time next week, people will be able to use the ParkMobile app with their smartphones. ParkMobile is already used at the University of Massachusetts and in the city of Northampton.

Two forums

The Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main St., is hosting two forums Sunday afternoon.

Nonviolent direct action as a means of creating social change will be the topic of a forum that marks the anniversary of the 2016 presidential election.

“One Year Later: Stepping Up Our Game,” will feature presentations and panel discussions from 2 to 4.30 p.m.

“There are myriad ways to creatively and nonviolently engage in resisting corporate greed, environmental destruction, racial injustice and the range of violations of human rights we are currently witnessing, and the event is designed to explore them,” Georganne Greene, a member of the Rising Together affinity group, said in a statement. Rising Together is one of the event sponsors.

University of Massachusetts sociology professor Stellan Vinthagen, inaugural chair of the Study of Nonviolent Direct Action and Civil Resistance program at UMass, will provide historical context and core principles of nonviolent civil resistance action. Three additional panelists with nonviolent direct action experience locally, nationally and internationally will also be part of the conversation. They are Micah Lott, a Northern Arapaho man from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Vivienne Simon, legal advisor for the Sugar Shack Alliance, and Paki Wieland, a Northampton activist and member of CODEPINK.

Also at 2 p.m. is a forum put on by the Health Care Committee at the Jwish Community of Amherst.

Speakers will include State Senator Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton,  UMass economics professor Gerald Friedman, labor organizer Jon Weissman and League of Women Voters Health Care Committee Chairwoman Dr. Jackie Wolf.

Historical house tour

Some of the oldest homes in Amherst will be on display as part of the Amherst Historical Society’s annual House Tour Saturday.

The event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., gives visitors a chance to see the sites where Irish immigrants, early merchants, children of emancipated slaves and poets, including Robert Frost, made their homes.

The homes this year are in a downtown neighborhood that recently became Amherst’s second Local Historic District.

“We are excited that so many homeowners in the newly established North Prospect-Lincoln-Sunset Historical District have graciously opened their doors to share the history of their homes with the community, and assist the Amherst Historical Society in raising both awareness of our local history and funds to support the Simeon Strong House,” Peggy Matthews-Nilsen, chair of the House Tour Committee, said in a statement.

Tickets are available at A.J. Hastings on South Pleasant Street and the Hadley Garden Center on Route 9. For more information, visit www.amhersthistory.org or call 256-0678.

Warren to talk

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren will be the guest speaker at the The Black Sheep's monthly free community dinner.

Warren, mayor of Newton, will discuss single-payer health care, economic inequality and the need for free public universities at the 79 Main St. restaurant.

The dinner starts at 7 p.m., with Warren’s talk to begin 30 minutes later.

Women’s club

Eileen Claveloux, author and curator of “Klausland: The Life and Work of Klaus Postler,” will provide an overview of the artist’s involvement in the Mail Art Movement during a talk at the Amherst Woman’s Club, 35 Triangle St., Monday.

The event is free and refreshments will be served.


MONDAY: Jones Library trustees, 4 p.m., Goodwin Room, Jones Library; Select Board, 6 p.m., band room, middle school; Finance Committee, 6:45 p.m., and Town Meeting, 7 p.m., both at middle school auditorium.

WEDNESDAY: Select Board, 6 p.m., band room, middle school; Town Meeting, 7 p.m., middle school auditorium.

THURSDAY: Zoning Board of Appeals, 4:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall; Select Board, 6 p.m., band room, middle school; Town Meeting, 7 p.m., middle school auditorium.