Tuesday, June 17, 2008
ACLU spanks Amherst, again
The American Civil Liberties Union has yet again taken issue with overbearing heavy-handed (Only in) Amherst town officials: last March Middle School officials tried to suppress an unflattering student newspaper article, and now it’s the threat by Amherst Town Manager Larry Shaffer to “take over” the July 4’th Parade.
After the town abandoned the Parade in 1976, a private all-volunteer committee revived it immediately after 9/11 to honor and commemorate public servants—police, fire, ambulance, active military and veterans.
The parade is promoted as a celebration—a birthday bash for the United States of America.
Since its rebirth however, the private committee has endured constant criticism from a narrow (minded) group of individuals who wish to display their political propaganda at the private group’s expense.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a private committee could selectively squelch messages they deem inappropriate.
Three years ago the Amherst Select board, under former Czar Anne Awad, drew a reprimand from the District Attorney for violating the Open Meeting Law by using emails to plot the demise of the Parade.
So this heavy hitter coming down on the side of the private July 4’Th Parade Committee should end the controversy.
Ultra-liberal Amherst doesn’t want to get into a fight with an organization many folks consider their bedfellow. Besides, when the town loses in Federal Court, they will have to reimburse ACLU legal expenses.
Republican (newspaper that is, gets the scoop