Area Briefs: Blessing on Mt. Tom, senior work-off program, Black Lives banner

  • After a Facebook post on Nov. 10, 2016, of hateful graffiti on Mount Tom, about 10 people came out the following day to remove the paint.

Published: 11/15/2016 9:51:42 AM
Episcopal Diocese to bless rocks at Mount Tom

EASTHAMPTON — In response to racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric that had been spray-painted on Mount Tom’s rocks, the Social Justice Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts will gather on top of the mountain to bless the space Saturday.

Mount Tom has been prone to graffiti. Last month, volunteers gathered to scrub away the paint with a biodegradable chemical. But shortly after October’s cleanup, new graffiti was written on the rocks. Many were hateful symbols and words. Some Easthampton residents hiked the mountain lsat week to wipe away the paint.

“Like the volunteers who wiped the words away with solvents this past weekend, we gather to cleanse the mountain with prayer,” the church’s press release states.

Those interested in joining church members can meet at 11:15 a.m. Saturday at Mt. Joe to Go on 500 Easthampton Road before hiking up Mount Tom. For more information, go to the Facebook event page for “Reclaiming the Space: Mt. Tom” at www.facebook.com/events/1807651036186064/

Amherst to mark Black Lives banner, rainbow flag

AMHERST — A ceremony to dedicate the installation of a Black Lives Matter banner and a rainbow flag will be held Sunday afternoon at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, 121 North Pleasant St.

The ceremony, beginning at 12:30 p.m., will demonstrate a commitment to overcoming injustice and inequality, said Joe Flueckiger, president of the board of trustees.

“During this time when people are divided, we aim to promote a message of unity,” Flueckiger said.

The Black Lives Matter had previously been displayed on the Unitarian’s building, but was stolen in September.

2017 tax work-off program to begin in Northampton

The Northampton Senior and Veteran Tax Work Off program is accepting applications for the next program year.

The program allows income-eligible seniors and veterans to earn up to a $1,000 abatement off their property taxes in exchange for volunteering in city departments and agencies.

The Senior Citizen Tax Work Off Program is open to seniors age 60 and older, who own property in and pay real estate taxes to Northampton. Income limits for the 2017 program follow the Massachusetts median income levels.

The Veteran Tax Work Off Program is open to veterans, regardless of income limits, who own property in and pay real estate taxes to Northampton.

Participants in either program must complete 91 hours of service in the program year. The 2017 program year runs from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31.

Interested seniors and veterans can complete an application online or pick one up in person at the Assessor’s Office, Senior Center or Veterans Services Office.

Applications for this program year will be accepted on a rolling basis, or until all spaces have been filled.

For more information contact the Senior Center at 413-587-1228 or Veterans Services at 413-587-1299. More information on the program can be found by visiting http://northamptonma.gov/1456/Senior-and-Veteran-Tax-Work-Off-Program




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