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Fanny Rothschild: Stop Retreat. Get a lawn sign

To the editor:

The “Stop the Retreat” campaign is just getting started so please don’t take down your red signs. And when I say “campaign,” I mean the Save Historic Cushman members are at work on ways the whole town, university and surrounding communities can plan together what we want our environs to look like, feel like and generate in terms of revenue.

As we all address the possible construction of a 700-student housing development in Cushman, we’re on the path to planning together the landscape of all of Amherst. Please encourage our Select Board and town planners to take a breath and slow down so that we can make our next moves carefully and thoughtfully, with input from experts and laypeople alike.

Some Amherst residents criticize Save Historic Cushman for disregarding the taxes that the project will generate. We are indeed in favor of increasing tax revenues from the development of Amherst land; we simply want to be part of the planning. What we do not want is more taxes generated at the expense of our small town lifestyle, or for over-burdened town services (like ambulance and road repair) ironically to eat up more revenue than whatever taxes this exclusive, private student housing development might bring in. If supporters of The Retreat are so confident in this additional tax revenue, where are the figures and balance sheet?

So we’re busy now joining with other citizen groups in town. Such comprehensive networking and collaborations are having the wonderful impact of bringing neighbors together across Amherst and from nearby towns. Keep an eye on our website and Facebook page so you too can participate. You can start by signing up to obtain a red sign at www.savehistoriccushman.com. Simply click on the words at center of the web page that proudly declare “Get a Lawn Sign.”

Fanny Rothschild

Amherst

What exactly is "historic" about Cushman. What happened there? Is it the train depot that is long gone? Is it the Keet estate, that is now low income housing? Is it Whittemore's store. Nope, that's gone, too. The answer is that Cushman is just a neighborhood with some precious people who think it's cute to call their neighborhood "historic".

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