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Shavahn Best: Listen to nature singing ‘No Retreat!’

To the editor:

Doesn’t Nature Earth get a vote? The current debate regarding the proposed “retreat” in Cushman Village leaves out nature’s voice entirely. All anyone has to do is to walk around the meandering, tree-lined streets or a little off-road into the woods to hear the resounding “No Retreat!” being sung in harmony by birds, butterflies, coyotes, salamanders, frogs and by the wind through leaves on trees, bushes and vines. Nature has everything to lose if it is replaced by the man-made, concrete, toxic and deafening kind of development being proposed. Not only is the proposed retreat out of place in this rural part of town — might as well build the next Disneyland or casino here — but all of the supposed advantages to the town of Amherst, its citizens and UMass students, from such a project, is a complete ruse.

The only beneficiaries of such a project are those whose primary motivation is (huge) monetary profit. Furthermore, to present this debate as one in which the non-supporters are somehow averse to “change” or growth is similarly short-sighted and erroneous. If student housing is the primary motivation, then please, by all means, build student housing on campus so students can actually walk to their classes, and to the state-of-the-art recreational facilities on the west side of campus. Perhaps then we can have a debate about actual progressive change for the town — one that necessarily includes nature’s voice.

Shavahn Best


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