Scott Merzbach, DailyHampGazette

Scott Merzbach


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Recent articles by Scott:

Exit 19 detour in Northampton to last two to three weeks

NORTHAMPTON — All vehicles traveling north on Interstate 91 and getting off at Exit 19, whether continuing straight onto Damon Road or turning left to head to downtown Northampton, will soon be detoured over the Coolidge Bridge into Hadley.With the... → Read More

Rare books, imprints damaged in Jones Library water leak

AMHERST — Rare volumes written by lexicographer Noah Webster, poets Helen Hunt Jackson and Julius Lester and geologist Edward Hitchcock are among items in the Jones Library’s special collections department damaged this week by a malfunctioning... → Read More

Jones Library renovation costs pegged at $14.4 to $16.8 million

AMHERST — Amherst would have to spend at least $14 million to fully repair the Jones Library, based on estimates library trustees have received for making the 48,000-square-foot building fully handicapped accessible and “like new,” according to a... → Read More

Water quality testing to begin in Fort River

AMHERST — A group advocating for protecting the Fort River and the habitat surrounding the 15-mile long tributary of the Connecticut River, where several swimming holes are used throughout the summer, is beginning water quality tests this month.The... → Read More

Groups call for $2.7M cut to Amherst police budget

AMHERST — A call for cutting $2.7 million from the Amherst Police Department budget, which is more than half the money it would receive in the next fiscal year, is being made to the Town Council and Finance Committee by two newly formed groups.The... → Read More

Amherst town manager to UMass: Reopening plan comes with dangers

AMHERST — Reopening residence halls at the University of Massachusetts this fall, and not holding students living off campus to the same standards of behavior as those in dormitories, could create safety issues for Amherst residents during the... → Read More

Hadley police investigating jet ski thefts

HADLEY — Three jet skis, valued at between $17,000 and $19,000 apiece, were reported stolen from the dock area at Sportsman’s Marina Friday morning, according to Hadley Police.Police Chief Michael Mason said Monday that the investigation began Friday... → Read More

Florence resident and Amherst teacher building anti-racism curriculum

NORTHAMPTON — As the Black Lives Matter movement continues and discussions about systemic racism take place across the country, a Florence resident who teaches in the Amherst public schools is creating a curriculum that explores race and racism in the... → Read More

Amherst to provide $250K in emergency rental assistance

AMHERST – Income-eligible residents who have lost earnings or have seen their wages drop during the coronavirus pandemic can get short-term emergency rental assistance.The Amherst Municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund and town on Tuesday announced... → Read More

Amherst begins conversation on policing

AMHERST — Police patrols in Amherst are much more frequent at its apartment complexes and in lower-income neighborhoods than in more affluent areas of town, based on observations one resident has made.“Amherst is policed differently depending on where... → Read More

Three finalists named for Hadley town administrator

HADLEY — Three candidates, all with extensive experience in town government in Massachusetts, will be interviewed this week to become Hadley’s third permanent town administrator. The finalists to replace David Nixon, who departs at the end of the... → Read More

Amherst Media project gets favorable reviews in planning board session

AMHERST — Town planners are giving favorable feedback to a new building that would house the headquarters for Amherst Media on a portion of the historic greenscape in front of the Henry Hills House on Main Street.At the first hearing on site plans for... → Read More

‘Haiku in Hadley’greets travelers on the rail trail

HADLEY — Small signs featuring brief, three-line poems, aiming to convey, through words, the transition of spring into summer, are greeting bicyclists, walkers and joggers along the Norwottuck Rail Trail.For Wanda Cook, Hadley’s first poet laureate,... → Read More

Plainfield board chairman to resign after voters nix police raises

PLAINFIELD — An annual Town Meeting decision to take away proposed salary increases from the police chief and two officers, despite being recommended to voters by town officials, is prompting the resignation of the Select Board’s chairman.In a letter... → Read More

Report calls for wage-theft safeguards after Amherst construction workers went months without pay

AMHERST — A report released by the University of Massachusetts Labor Center this week is calling for stronger wage-theft protections across the state, and more avenues for holding developers responsible for such incidents, following an investigation... → Read More

Amherst Town Council denounces anti-Asian bigotry

AMHERST — Anti-Asian rhetoric, including references made by President Donald Trump about the origins of COVID-19, and people of Asian descent facing harassment, assaults and scapegoating during the pandemic, are being called out by the Amherst Town... → Read More

Change ‘isn’t cheap’: Amherst to invest $80K to confront systemic racism

AMHERST — Ongoing efforts by Amherst officials and employees to work with residents and others to identify and deal with systemic racism in the community will be supported through this year’s municipal budget.Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced to... → Read More

High E. coli levels prompt closing of Puffer’s Pond in Amherst

AMHERST — Puffer’s Pond, which opened for swimming only two weeks ago, is closed again after high levels of E. coli bacteria were found in the water.Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek said Wednesday that water samples taken Monday came back from the... → Read More

UMass opening, students’ return troubles Amherst Town Council

AMHERST — With a larger-than-ordinary number of college students remaining in town for the summer, and the possibility that more students will choose off-campus accommodations in the fall, Amherst officials are preparing for potential public safety... → Read More

Dog park construction to begin in Amherst

AMHERST — As soon as town and state officials are certain that work will not interfere with the habitat for a threatened bird species, construction on Amherst’s first dog park is expected to begin.Assistant Town Manager David Ziomek recently informed... → Read More