The Lehrer Report: Feb. 16, 2024

Published: 02-15-2024 8:29 PM

Reminder: Monday, Feb. 19 is a holiday, Presidents’ Day. Town offices, public libraries and schools will be closed. It’s also a public school vacation week.


Condolences to the family and friends of Ed Wilfert of Amherst.The Historical Society remembered him at their annual meeting Sunday. He received the Conch Shell award one year for his historical research and work in creating a historical district.

I knew Ed for decades because we attended all the history bites talks the society offered. However, he was also a familiar face at the Amherst Farmers Market. Every Saturday he would help John Spinetti pack up his booth. He would also come to the Sunset Farm booth and chat. He always wore a sweater vest and a hat. He didn’t drive but rode his bicycle everywhere.

He was very smart, had a dry wit and a great smile.


Amherst Regional High School alum Andrew Starr sent me an email about Michael Mann, a 1984 ARHS grad. Mann is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a renowned climate scientist who was partly responsible for one of the most consequential graphs in climate science, a chart showing the dramatic rise in average global temperature that occurred after pre-industrial times. It was called the “hockey stick.” He won a defamation case in D.C. Superior Court this week against two conservative writers who made false claims about his work and was awarded $1 million in punitive damages, according to the email.

The class of 84 is holding its 40th reunion this summer.

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Arcadia Players will present a chamber music concert with Monica Jakuc Leverett, fortepiano; Emlyn Ngai, violin; and Alice Robbin, cello, Sunday, Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Hadley. For tickets, visit or call 586-8742.


The Amherst League of Women Voters, of which I am a member, continues the Judy Brooks Conversation Series with a program featuring entrepreneurs from the Black Business Association of Amherst Area. The panel discussion will be held online Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. Visit to register.

The entrepreneurs include Babatunde Ajao, founder of True Given; Monica Cage, owner of Crowned by Cage; and Alysia Bryan, owner of Carefree Cakery. They will discuss the ways that the BBAAA has helped their businesses survive and thrive.


I drove by the University Drive Post Office and noticed there was no drive-up mailbox. Any ideas?


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