Around Amherst: Town marking Puerto Rican Heritage Day

Staff Writer
Monday, September 19, 2022

AMHERST — Singing and dancing and the raising of the Puerto Rico flag will take place as the town of Amherst, and the Amherst, Pelham and regional schools, celebrate Puerto Rican Heritage Day.

The event is set for Friday, Sept. 23, at 10 a.m. on the North Common in front of Town Hall, where Crocker Farm School Librarian Waleska Santiago-Centeno will be the keynote speaker.

As part of Latino Heritage Month celebrations running from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, the day will feature student performances and speakers, including Superintendent Michael Morris and Town Manager Paul Bockelman.

A proclamation of Puerto Rican Heritage Day, adopted this week, will be read by members of the Amherst Town Council.

Entertainment will include songs and dances by students, including Conjunto de Bomba at the high school, and performances by José Gonzalez and his trio. There will also be a reading of the children’s book “Alicia and the Hurricane” by author Lesléa Newman.

Marta Guevara, director of Student and Family Engagement for the public schools, will emcee the event.

Banned books reading

The Jones Library is holding a kickoff event for Banned Books Weeks on the front lawn at 43 Amity St.

Starting at 3 p.m. Saturday, state Rep. Mindy Domb and state Sen. Jo Comerford will be joined by local authors, elected officials, residents and local teens to read excerpts from their favorite banned books. 

The event aims to celebrate banned books and show support for libraries and intellectual freedom, with displays of banned and challenged books and information about them. Among the books on display will be novels by Salman Rushdie.

Typically held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week focuses on current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.

This event is free and open to the public, and is aimed at a teen and adult audience, due to the level of the materials that may be read. 

Farmers’ Market 50th

The Amherst Farmers’ Market celebrates its 50th anniversary on the Town Common Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In marking the milestone, Domb and Comerford will be joining the vendors and others to offer appreciation at 10 a.m.

The market, continuing weekly this fall, will feature numerous farmers selling produce and others with kitchen-to-table artisan products, as well as music.

ICMA conference

Brianna Sunryd, Amherst’s director of communications & civic innovation, will be leading a seminar at the International City/County Management Association’s annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, which runs Saturday through Sept. 21.

Sunryd and Jessica Grondin, the director of communications for the city of Portland, Maine, will describe how cities and towns can use communications and technology to reach and engage residents.

They will also discuss emerging practices and trends. Sunryd said this marks the first time she will be presenting in person at the conference, expected to draw more than 5,000 people from across the country and several international locations.

COVID vaccine clinics

Amherst is holding a COVID vaccine clinic for individuals 12 and over at the Bangs Community Center on Sept. 22.

The clinic will run from noon to 4 p.m., with walk-ins welcome. People are also able to sign up in advance through the town website.

The Pfizer Bivalent will be the vaccine provided.

Peace Development Fund staff

The Peace Development Fund in Amherst recently added two new staff members to its office.

Sophia Trifone will be overseeing the organization’s communications work, while Sonya Epstein will handle donor data management. The organization also added an executive assistant at its San Francisco office.


MONDAY: Town Council, 6:30 p.m.

WEDNESDAY: Budget Coordinating Group, 4:30 p.m.

THURSDAY: Board of Assessors, 9:30 a.m.; and Zoning Board of Appeals, 6 p.m.

FRIDAY: Public Art Commission, 2 p.m.