The Lehrer Report: April 5, 2024

Published: 04-04-2024 6:24 PM

Garden report: The forsythia branches bloomed in my house and a crocus bloomed in the front yard.


Monday, April 8 is bound to be cloudy and rainy. Why? Because the solar eclipse is scheduled. How many astronomical events have we missed because of the weather? Several.

However, the UMass College of Natural Sciences and the astronomy department will distribute solar shades beginning at 11 a.m. on April 8 at two locations on campus while supplies last: UMass Amherst Sunwheel and Metawampe Lawn. UMass astronomers will speak about the phenomenon at both campus viewing locations. The peak of the eclipse will be at 3:28 p.m., and the event will conclude at 4:30 p. m. If the weather cooperates, I will be there.


Bruce Penniman of Amherst sent an email about a recital by internationally acclaimed organist Nathan Laube on the South Congregation Church’s 1896 Casavant organ. The concert will be held Sunday, April 7 at 3 p.m. at the church on the South Amherst Common. Admission is free, but donations will be appreciated; $20 per person is suggested, he wrote. E-mail or call 253-2977 for reservations.

The concert is part the church’s 200th Anniversary Celebration Arts and Social Justice Series.


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Orchard Valley neighbor John Dobrydnio sent me a email saying he just released a song, “Memphis Rain,” that is available on all digital platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, etc. He wrote, “Jacqueline Wallace was kind enough to lend her wonderful vocal talents to the song. And for another Amherst connection it was produced by Doug Hewitt at his Motif Music Recording Studio on Potwine Lane. ”

Johnny D & The Moonlighters is the name of the band.


Kelley Jewell, development manager at the Amherst Survival Center, sent me an email about Empty Bowls, the annual fundraiser for the center. It will be held Saturday, April 6 from noon until 4 p.m. at the center. Area restaurants donate soups and local artists donate hand-crafted bowls. Tickets are $50 with the bowl and $30 without.


Joyce and Allan Austen of Amherst sent me a postcard depicting skyscrapers in Panama. They wrote, “We went from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and back and back again to the Caribbean and only found skyscrapers.”

The only difference between Panama and New York City skylines is the palm trees in Panama.


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