Around Amherst: Procession returns for Memorial Day ceremony


Staff Writer
Published: 5/26/2022 9:00:56 AM

AMHERST — A ceremony to honor those from Amherst who died in service to the United States takes place Monday morning at War Memorial Pool.

For the first time since 2019, a brief parade will precede the annual Memorial Day event, starting at 9 a.m., stepping off from the Town Common and going through downtown Amherst before getting to the pool’s site at Community Field.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman will be the master of ceremony at the event, while local historian Robert Romer will be the guest speaker. The latest work by Romer, a retired Amherst College physics professor, is “I am a Bitter Enemy to Slavery,” a profile of Christopher Pennell, an Amherst College student in the early 1860s who left his studies to fight for the Union during the Civil War.

The Amherst High School Chorale is expected to perform, while members of the American Legion and VFW, along with police and firefighters, will be among those participating.

Powwow returns

The Odenong Powwow, celebrating Indigenous cultures and Native American communities of the region, takes place Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days, at the Amherst Regional High School gymnasium.

Being held for the second time, the festival will include traditional and contemporary Native American crafts and Indigenous food available for purchase, and intertribal and competitive dancing and Eastern social songs and stomp dance exhibition that can be viewed.

The powwow was created to support and raise visibility of Indigenous in the region and “to educate and build relationships with non-Native people by allowing them to see and interact directly with members of living, dynamic Indigenous cultures.” 

Swim team celebrated

The Hurricanes Athletic Boosters are holding a summer kick-off party June 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Drake in downtown Amherst to honor the high school’s state champion girls swim team.

Music and raffles will be part of the event, which is free to attend.

Rental registration fees

Fees for registering and obtaining a rental permit have been increased by the Town Council, the first adjustment since the program was implemented in 2014.

For a property with a maximum of six apartment units, with at least one unit occupied full time by the owner, the fee will remain $100. For all other parcels, no matter how large or small, the annual fee is rising to $250.

There will also be a $150 per-inspection fee imposed on properties.

The changes are part of updates being considered for the bylaw that could include more regular examinations of properties. Currently, a self-certification checklist is used by property owners to show their sites are in compliance with the bylaw.

Solar Bylaw Working Group takes shape

Bockelman is recommending to the Town Council the appointment of the first four representatives to the Solar Bylaw Working Group.

Those being named are Janet McGowan for the Planning Board, Dwayne Breger for the Energy and Climate Action Committee, Laura Pagliarulo for the Conservation Commission and  Jack Jemsek for the Water Supply Protection Committee.

Appointments for the two residents and the Board of Health representative will be coming next.

Gift to Whole Children

Steve Lewis Subaru in Hadley recently donated $35,000 to Whole Children, a Hadley-based program of Pathlight that offers after-school, weekend and vacation enrichment programs for children of all ages and abilities, particularly those with disabilities.

The donation came from the 2021 Subaru of America Share the Love Event in which a local nonprofit organization can benefit.

Carrie McGee, director of Whole Children, said in a statement that the donation was appreciated. “The pandemic has left people with disabilities more isolated than ever, and Whole Children classes have been a crucial lifeline for many,” McGee said.

“We want the children and families that Whole Children serves to have the best opportunities possible, right here in our home community no matter what’s happening in the world,” said Joe Clark, general manager of the dealership.

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