Thursday, August 29, 2013

Update on Amherst College Youth Swimming Lessons

This is not a school-sponsored event
Greetings from the pool at Amherst College!
Classes are filling quickly so we've created a table below that indicates what is full, has limited space, or is wide open as of the time this email is sent.
If you have submitted your registration and we have NOT contacted you, you are registered for the day and time you requested.
"Limited" means that there are very few spots available so if you intend to sign up for one of these times, please indicate a second choice on your registration and we will contact you with what we can make work.
Please do not email requests to "reserve" spots - we can only register children when we have the paperwork and payment.
We hope school is off to a great start and we are looking forward to getting your children swimming soon!
Nick and Karin
Nick Nichols
Amherst College Swimming

Levels 1-2 Levels 3-6 Diving
W 2:45 Available Available Available
W 3:35 Available Limited Available
W 4:25 FULL Limited Available
S 9:00 Limited Limited Available
S 9:50 Available Limited Available
S 10:40 Available Available Available

The swimming lesson information sheet and registration form as well as the waiver which we have been asked to use by the College is available here: (
You can also find the forms (soon) online at

Welcome New Families & Kindergarten Families



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Boy Scouts Open House

-- Not a school-sponsored event -- 
Amherst Cub Scout Pack 515
OPEN HOUSE for potential new members, boys grades 1-5
Thursday, Sept 12, 4-5:30 pm, Masonic Lodge, 99 Main Street Amherst
Please feel free to come and meet the boys in the pack, and participate in some creative and fun activities
***  Pack 515 is an inclusive, friendly Pack that focuses on providing the boys with new experiences and challenges in an encouraging, supportive environment  ***
Pack meetings are the 1st Thursday evenings of each month, Den meetings are the  2nd
and 4th Thursday evenings of each month.  Further questions, contact Cubmaster Mary Wheeler at

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Calling All Gardeners
Crocker Farm Garden clean up and compost distribution
Wednesday August 28th 10:30am
Come help weed, turn and distribute compost in our lovely garden.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Amherst Ballet - Open House & Fall Classes

Not school sponsored

Amherst College Youth Swimming Lessons for Fall

This is not a school-sponsored event
Greetings from the pool at Amherst College! 
With summer coming to a close, it's time to get ready for fall swimming lessons. 
The swimming lesson information sheet and registration form as well as the waiver which we have been asked to use by the College is available here: (
You can also find the forms (soon) online at
As always, feel free to share the forms and the link. 

Hope to see you soon, Karin and Nick
P.S. Available slots fill quickly so please don't wait too long to enroll. 
Nick Nichols
Amherst College Swimming

This year's bus routes and schedules

Updated bus routes and schedules are now available on the ARPS web site:

See you all this week!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

Community Back to School Celebration - Wed Aug 28 5:00-6:30 pm

Back To School Celebration For The Kids And The Community That Supports Them!

In response to the Town's recommendation regarding safeguarding residents from the Triple E mosquito virus, Superintendent Maria Geryk has adjusted the fourth annual First Day Celebration start time to 5:00pm so guests can get home prior to dusk.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Town Issues Updated Eastern Equine Encephalitis Advisory

For Immediate Release

Contact:  John Musante, Town Manager (413) 259-3002

                 Julie Federman, Health Director (413) 259-3077

(August 13, 2013)  Our community has been identified by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) to be at “High” risk for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a rare but very serious disease transmitted through the bite of a very specific species of nighttime mosquito.  Town Manager John Musante and Health Director Julie Federman today urged Amherst residents to limit evening outdoor activities and take common sense precautions. 

Due to this situation, we have decided in consultation with town staff, DPH and the MA Mosquito Advisory Group to restrict outdoor activities in Town-owned parks, conservation areas (including Puffers Pond) and recreation areas from dusk to dawn when the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are active. This does not affect activities during daylight hours.

When going out after dusk and later, residents are advised to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks, and insect repellant, and to avoid areas where mosquitoes are prevalent such as swamps, fields, the Norwottuck Rail Trail and low lying areas.  At home, make sure your doors and windows have screens.

Information on how to choose and use a repellant safely are on the Town of Amherst website at . You can learn more about how to protect yourself at

Town staff will work closely with our partners to monitor changing environmental conditions and plan to provide regular updates in the coming weeks.

This ban will be lifted when we have the first frost which kills adult mosquitoes.


Amherst Health Department

Summer 2013

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

Frequently Asked Questions

August 13, 2013

1. What is Eastern equine encephalitis?

Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, is a virus that causes severe inflammation of the nervous system including the brain.  The disease occurs in humans and other animals, but is only transmitted by getting bitten by a certain type of mosquito; a human cannot get it from another person or animal.

2. Why the increased concern this summer regarding EEE compared to other years?

This summer a sample of mosquitoes collected in Amherst tested positive for the EEE virus.  Also, two horses on the Amherst – Belchertown border tested positive.  Although no humans have tested positive, this indicates an elevated risk to people.  EEE is a rare disease, but last summer there were 7 human cases and 8 animal cases in MA.

3. Who can get the disease and what are the symptoms?

 People of all ages are at risk for infection with the EEE virus, but people over age 50 and younger than age 15 are at greatest risk for developing severe disease.  Most people bitten by an infected mosquito will not develop any symptoms.  Severe cases of EEE infection begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting.  The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and coma.  Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die.  It takes 4-10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms of EEE.  There is no specific treatment for EEE. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses.

4. Can my dog or cat get EEE? How do I protect them?

Yes, dogs and cats can get the illness, but it is very rare.  Horses, llamas, deer and alpacas are susceptible.  So are birds such as ostriches, emus and pheasants and quail. There is a vaccine that is approved only for horses. The timing is important so speak with your veterinarian to schedule. Do not use insect repellents made for humans on your dog or cat.  They have different metabolism and the products can be toxic.

5.  Is there an EEE vaccine for humans? How do I protect myself from getting EEE?

There is no human vaccine for EEE.  The best way to protect yourself is to keep mosquitoes from biting you.  Reduce the chances of mosquito exposure by avoiding peak mosquito times between dusk and dawn and prevent mosquito bites by using repellent and wearing clothing to cover skin.  Please read insect repellent directions thoroughly to assure safe and effective use.

6. Why is the happening in our area?

Massachusetts has 51 types of mosquitoes, but not all carry disease.  Amherst has swamps that have red maple and cedar trees.  This is the habitat of the mosquito that keeps EEE circulating.  A different mosquito transmits West Nile Virus. This mosquito breeds in standing water such as what is found in urban environments such as around the house, in a bird bath, or catch basin where runoff water is found from a street.

7. The town’s risk level was raised. What does this mean?

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health decides when to raise the risk level for a city or town in the Commonwealth. They make this determination due to a number of factors that include looking at mosquito collection data, human clinical cases and veterinary reports.

     A risk level of High means the conditions are likely to lead to infection of a person with EEE are occurring in the area. This means people should adjust outdoor activity to avoid peak mosquito hours from dusk to dawn and avoid nighttime activities near freshwater swamps where EEE activity is most likely.

8. Is the town going to cancel or reschedule activities that are held after dusk?  Sporting events, for example?

Yes. At this time town sporting events will be rescheduled to finish before dusk. This decision is made based on the fact that mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and their habitats are near all of our playing fields.  Likewise, activities such as sitting on grass to watch a movie will be cancelled. This will continue until the first frost. 

5. Is the town suggesting residents stay inside after dusk?

No. We are advising that people consider what type of activity they are participating in and where.  Exercising at dusk in grassy areas has a higher risk for mosquito bites than a walk on pavement wearing long sleeves and pants.  If you choose to engage in activities after dusk, we hope you will take precautions to keep you and other members of your group safe by minimizing exposed skin, using repellents if you choose and being aware of the environment around you.

For more information:

 MA Department of Public Health web page at:

 Town of Amherst web page at:

 Amherst Health Department at 413-259-3077

Target Giving Away $5 Million to Schools -- Please Vote for Crocker Farm

Target is currently giving away $5 million to schools.

If a school receives 25 votes, Target will donate $25, and then $1 for each additional vote. Votes are done via facebook, and each person can vote once per week.   Schools can get up to $10,000 each.

This giveaway will last until Sept 21st or until $5 million has been donated, whichever comes first.
Last year, Target had a similar giveaway and all the money was donated in a few weeks. 

Please vote to support our school.