Around Amherst: Tibetan flag to fly for a week

Staff Writer
Thursday, March 08, 2018

AMHERST — A Tibetan flag will begin flying Saturday as part of a weeklong display to mark the 59th anniversary of the Tibetan National Uprising, when 1.2 million Tibetans were killed.

But even though the Select Board agreed to raise the flag on the pole below the United Nations flag for seven days, from March 10 until March 17, it turned down a request from the Tibetan Community of Western Massachusetts to have the flag up for 59 days, or one day for each year the Dalai Lama has been in exile.

Thondup Tsering, a representative of the Tibetan community from Amherst, said having the flag fly for 59 days would properly mark the anniversary.

Chairman Douglas Slaughter said the Black Liberation Movement flag flies for the month of February as long-standing tradition, the Puerto Rican flag for several days in November, and others by request.

The U.N. flag lies year-round based on a 1973 Town Meeting action, on a pole separate from the one on which the American flag flies.

Select Board member Connie Kruger said she may want to have a policy.

“I would like to standardize it to a week, except for Black History Month,” Kruger said.

Select Board member Alisa Brewer said the practice for now is a week, but that can be changed on request.

“It’s not unreasonable to ask,” Brewer said, noting that the town granted an exception for a memorial flag to recognize Child Abuse Awareness Month in April 2011.

A daylong fast and prayer vigil to mark the Tibetan anniversary will be held Saturday from 10 am. to 5 p.m. at First Churches on Main Street in Northampton.

Candidates forum

A forum for all those running for townwide offices at the March 27 election takes place at the middle school auditorium March 15 at 7 p.m.

Candidates will state their positions and answer questions at the event that is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Amherst.

Absentee ballots

Absentee ballots for the March 27 town election are now available at the town clerk’s office at Town Hall.

Voters can request ballots if they will not be at their polling place in town due to being away from Amherst, a physical disability or a religious belief.

The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is March 26 at noon.

Schools benefit gala

“Champions for Our Schools” is the title for this year’s Amherst Education Foundation gala, which will take place at the Student Union Ballroom at the UMass March 17 from 6-9 p.m.

The event will celebrate the school leaders in the four towns that make up the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District and Union 28, including high school principal Mark Jackson, middle school principal Patty Bode, Summit Academy principal David Slovin, Fort River principal Diane Chamberlain, Wildwood principal Nick Yaffe, Crocker Farm principal Derek Shea, Pelham Elementary principal Lisa Desjarlais, Leverett Elementary principal Margot Lacey and Shutesbury Elementary principal Jackie Mendonsa.

Previous galas have recognized former State Rep. and School Committee member Ellen Story and music teacher David Ranen and other music educators.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased online at amhersteducationfoundation.org.

The foundation provides grants, including $30,000 this school year, for training teachers, equipment and new programs.

Representative’s public events

The public is invited to two events this month in which State Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose will meet with constituents from the 3rd Hampshire District.

Goldstein-Rose, who last month unenrolled as a Democrat, will hold a monthly question-and-answer session at the Bangs Community Center, Room 101, March 12 from 6-7 p.m.

His monthly “Politics and Pastries” event will be held at Share Coffee, 17 Kellogg Ave., on March 15 from 7-8 p.m.

Community campaign at UMass

Employees and retirees at the University of Massachusetts recently donated $451,000 to local, national and global nonprofit organizations through the UMass Amherst Community Campaign.

This amount surpassed the campaign goal of $435,000, and was also higher than the previous year.

Top local charitable organizations were the Amherst Survival Center, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, United Way of Hampshire County, Doctors Without Borders and the Dakin Humane Society.

“Supporting nonprofit organizations means helping communities to thrive, and when our community thrives, we all benefit,” Willie Hill Jr., director of the Fine Arts Center and campaign chairman, said in a statement.


TUESDAY: Disability Access Advisory Committee, 11:30 a.m., Stavros conference room, 210 Old Farm Road; Amherst School Committee, 6 p.m., high school library.

WEDNESDAY: Munson Building Trustees, 6:30 p.m., 1046 South East St.