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Five College Area News

Amherst opposes pipeline on principle

AMHERST — At the final session of Town Meeting on Wednesday, members went on record as being overwhelmingly opposed to the controversial Tennessee Gas Pipeline project that would run through western Massachusetts. The 134-7 vote on Article 30, stating that the town is opposed to the pipeline, came despite a moratorium on new natural gas customers or expanded use by current customers made by Berkshire Gas Co. in March due to what the company claims is an insufficient supply of natural gas to New England. 0

UMass fundraising effort exceeds $300M goal ahead of schedule

AMHERST — The $300 million UMass Rising fundraising campaign at the University of Massachusetts has exceeded its goal more than a year ahead of schedule, the UMass Amherst Foundation Board announced this week. “We have truly received exceptional and broad-based support in our drive to propel UMass Amherst to new heights,” said Robert Epstein, campaign co-chair. “The $310 million that we have raised to date for the Commonwealth’s flagship campus reflects the passion and pride that our university inspires. The future is limitless when we 0

Armed Forces Appreciation Day at Look Park on Saturday

NORTHAMPTON — A daylong event Saturday intended to pay tribute to area veterans and their families is expected to draw hundreds of people from throughout the state. The Veterans Council of Northampton hopes to lure people to its Armed Forces Family Appreciation Day at Look Park with the promise of free food, games for children and live music — not to mention educational tables representing a host of organizations whose mission is to support and assist veterans. In the end, the day is about showing 0

UMass creates ‘Honors-to-Honors’ scholarship program for transferring community college students

AMHERST — The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has announced Honors-to-Honors, a new scholarship program that provides additional funding to honors graduates of the state’s 15 community colleges who are accepted into the university’s Commonwealth Honors College, to help them complete their bachelor’s degrees. For many in-state students, the scholarship awards are expected to nearly eliminate their loan obligations. The program provides a special $6,000 annual scholarship in addition to need-based aid from federal and state sources. To be eligible, students must be Massachusetts residents and either 0

UMass Amherst research assesses wage theft in Massachusetts residential construction

AMHERST — New research published by the University of Massachusetts Amherst Labor Center asserts how the illegal theft of workers’ wages, especially those of undocumented immigrant laborers, has reached epidemic levels in the residential construction industry in Massachusetts. In the working paper “The Epidemic of Wage Theft in Residential Construction in Massachusetts,” Tom Juravich, professor of sociology, with research assistants and co-authors Essie Ablavsky and Jake Williams, present three case studies examining the subcontractors for one of the nation’s largest homebuilding companies, regional drywall-hanging companies 0

Rosenberg pipes up about gas, pipeline

NORTHAMPTON — A proposed agreement between Berkshire Gas and the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. should be the subject of a public hearing, in Western Massachusetts, by the state’s Department of Public Utilities, according to a letter sent to the agency by Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg on Monday. “This agreement will have a significant impact on the region, and I think it’s critical that we ensure that the public is engaged in this process” said Rosenberg, the Amherst Democrat, in a statement released by his 0

Proposed law would protect pregnant workers

Everyone appreciates mothers on Mother’s Day, but proponents of a bill now making its way through the Legislature aim to extend that to protect the rights of pregnant workers. The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Proponents say existing protections for pregnant employees, mainly in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, are insufficient and wrong-headed. “Pregnancy is not a disability, it is a natural act that happens to many women in their lifetime, it shouldn’t need to 0

UMass Amherst Hosts Annual Native American Powwow Saturday

AMHERST — Native American music, dance and culture will be the focus of the annual powwow today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Curry Hicks Cage at the University of Massachusetts. The powwow brings people together to reflect on the importance of family, friends, community and community partners, and provides an opportunity to give thanks and honor the traditions of their ancestors. The powwow will feature Native American drum groups Urban Thunder, Eastern Sons and Rez Dogs, storytelling with Larry “Spotted Crow” Mann, 0

McGovern doles out $1.7M to UMass food programs

AMHERST — Food-related programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will receive $1.7 million of federal dough from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Congressman Jim McGovern announced at an event on campus Wednesday. The money will be directed to programs detecting harmful bacteria and minerals on food, developing a new safer type of food packaging and working with Massachusetts farmers to produce different crops popular with immigrant groups in the state. “I’m proud to be a strong supporter of science and research and of this 0

Peregrine falcons return to UMass nesting site

AMHERST — For the first time in a dozen years, a new pair of young peregrine falcons has nested on the top of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The nesting site lost the pair that had been there for more than a decade when the male died in January and the female never returned. That pair produced 34 chicks. The library mounts a camera 12 feet out from the nesting site nearly 30 stories above the ground so that 2