Around Amherst: June is now LGBTQ Pride month

  • Rep. Mindy Domb speaks at ribbon-cutting for Mill Street bridge reopening. —Submitted Photo

Staff Writer
Friday, June 07, 2019

AMHERST — Amherst’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equal rights and opportunities for all residents is embedded in a proclamation recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month, adopted by the Town Council this week.

District 2 Councilor Patricia DeAngelis and District 3 Councilor Evan Ross brought forward the proclamation, with both expressing publicly the importance of having town leaders on board with its contents.

DeAngelis said she came out when she was 30 and faced opposition from both her family and friends. Now, 43 years later, she can reflect on challenges her family has gone through, including her son having to constantly explain to friends and teachers in school that he had two mothers.

Ross, an LGBTQ elected official, said the proclamation takes on even more meaning this year, as this month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City. Those riots set the stage for the gay rights movement.

The proclamation also recognizes the important contributions of LGBTQ residents to the town’s history, culture, economy and civic life, states Amherst will have vigilance against continued oppression and discrimination against the LGBTQ community, and opposes any political efforts to overturn achievements.

Bridge reopens

A North Amherst bridge closed to vehicles for the past seven years that recently reopened to vehicles was dedicated this week.

Town and state officials and construction workers formally cut a ribbon at the Mill Street bridge, located immediately below the Puffer’s Pond dam.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said it is a beautiful bridge following the $2.1 million reconstruction of the 1906 structure.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Guilford Mooring said the bridge is the first element finished in the Puffer’s Pond 2020 plan, which includes a series of other improvements, including making State Street a one-way road between Sand Hill Road and the railroad underpass and restricting parking to one side of the road.

State Rep. Mindy Domb, who was joined by State Sen. Jo Comerford at the event, said it was “phenomenal” to stand on the pedestrian and bicycle path next to the road to enjoy the water pouring over the dam. “This is a perfect way to start the day,” Domb said.

Cuppa Joe

Bockelman will hold a Cuppa Joe with Paul meeting June 14 from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Jake’s at the Mill on Cowls Road.

The public is welcome to drop in and offer comments on town affairs and ask questions, Bockelman will be joined by Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek.

Retirement party

The Friends of the Amherst Senior Center will fete retiring Senior Center Director Nancy Pagano with a party June 14 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Bangs Community Center.

Pagano, who began her municipal tenure in 1972 as the program director for the senior center, is expected to depart this summer once her successor is selected.

Puffer’s Pond fundraiser

The Friends of Puffer’s Pond, which has put on an annual pancake breakfast to support efforts to care for the conservation area for 28 years, is adjusting its fundraising this year.

Instead of holding the breakfast at Mill River Recreation Area, the group is suggesting people make donations directly to the Kestrel Land Trust online at kestreltrust.org. All donations should be designated for efforts to protect the pond and the surrounding network of trails.

For those who still want the experience of a breakfast, several restaurants and stores, including Atkins North, Black Sheep Deli, Bruegger’s Bagels, Cushman Cafe, Henion Bakery, the Lone Wolf and Jakes at the Mill, will offer a donation to the Friends groups as a percentage of sales from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Dog training equipment

Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog recently provided new training equipment, including patrol harnesses, for the Amherst police K-9 program.

The donation comes after earlier providing vests for the dogs.

“Massachusetts Vest-A-Dog has been an incredible partner for law enforcement” Police Chief Scott Livingstone said in a statement. “This top-of-the-line equipment now available for our K-9 teams will allow them to train more effectively.”


MONDAY: Town Council public forum on capital improvement program, 6:30 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

TUESDAY: Finance Committee, 9:30 a.m., and CDBG Advisory Committee, 7 p.m., both at Town Room, Town Hall; Public Shade Tree Committee, 5:30 p.m., and Agricultural Commission, 7 p.m., both at First Floor Meeting Room, Town Hall.

THURSDAY: Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.