The Town Meeting Thank You Party is coming

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Friday, February 15, 2019

AMHERST — An event to celebrate the work put in by members of Town Meeting in Amherst, which dissolved last May upon the creation of the new form of government, will be held later this month.

The Town Meeting Thank You Party is scheduled for Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Munson Library, 1046 South East St., with anyone who served on the town’s representative body welcome to attend.

Janet McGowan, one of the organizers, said the party will be a gathering to talk, listen to music, make collage art and share food.

“Amherst is a great place to live and we wanted to recognize, thank and celebrate the many, many people who have contributed so much to our town by serving on Town Meeting,” McGowan said.

McGowan is joined by Meg Gage, Jacqueline Maidana and Adrienne Terrizzi on the steering committee for the event, which will include music by the Irish Seisiun players from the Harp, an art table for children, a special emcee and cake.

A special recognition will be given to moderators, members of the Town Meeting Coordinating Committee and long-serving members.

“For hundreds of years, ordinary citizens have deliberated, discussed, argued and voted on town bylaws, budgets and resolutions,” McGowan said. “We also have developed Amherst’s national and foreign policies.”

For more information and to RSVP, call, email or text McGowan at 413-336-2500 or janetmcgowan30@comcast.net.

Black History Month dinner

The Amherst Survival Center is holding its annual celebration of Black History Month Tuesday at noon at 138 Sunderland Road.

Local cooks are contributing their favorite dishes, including West African peanut stew, corn pudding, Jamaican-style jerk beef stew, African rice and beans, collard greens and yassa poulet

Musical entertainment will be provided by the Amherst Area Gospel Choir.

Executive Director Lev Ben-Ezra invites the community to help celebrate and honor contributions of black Americans.

“The food is guaranteed to be delicious, and the music, rich,” Ben-Ezra said.

Coming during school vacation week, Tracey Levy, the center’s program director, said families with children are welcome, as well.

School project forums

Listening sessions related to submitting a new application to the Massachusetts School Building Authority to construct a new elementary school will be held later this month and in early March.

Though not official district meetings for the Town Council, information gathered from the public will be used in advance of its April 1 vote on the application. The Amherst School Committee has already endorsed pursuing state funding.

The sessions will be held Feb. 27 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Bangs Community Center and 7 to 9 p.m. at Wildwood Elementary School, Feb. 28 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Fort River Elementary and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Jones Library’s Woodbury Room and March 6 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Crocker Farm Elementary and 7 to 9 p.m. at the high school library.

Sanctuary discussion

A presentation on the work of the Pioneer Valley Workers Center, including its efforts to prevent the deportations of Lucio Perez and Irida Kakhtiranova, will be held Monday.

The Amherst Woman’s Club is hosting Andrea Schmid, lead organizer for the worker’s center, who will address its mission, efforts to build the power of low-income workers and immigrants and ways community members can get involved.

Perez is in sanctuary at the First Congregational Church in Amherst, while Kakhtiranova is in sanctuary at the Unitarian Society of Northampton. 

The event at the 35 Triangle St. site, beginning at 1:30 p.m., is free and open to the public, with refreshments to follow.

Crop losses loans

A Hadley farm and a Belchertown farm received loans from the Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture’s Emergency Farm Fund due to crop losses and excessive rainfall last summer.

Twin Oaks Farm in Hadley and Phoenix Fruit Farm in Belchertown were among six farms getting $65,000 in loans.

CISA Executive Director Philip Korman said the fund reopened because of the record-setting rainfall.

“This damaged crops and reduced yields throughout our region, which caused financial hardship for many farmers,” Korman said.

Other loan recipients were Chamutka Farm in Whately, Dave's Natural Garden in Granby, and Freeman Farm and Windy Ridge Farm, both in Heath


TUESDAY: Public Shade Tree Committee, 5:30 p.m., First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.