Helen Thelen , Stephanie O'Keeffe, Alisa Brewer, Kevin Joy. Friday
So the trials and tribulations of the July 4’th Parade in the People’s Republic of Amherst is starting to resemble an old Buck Rogers movie serial with every week a new cliffhanger ending to the ongoing sad saga.
At last week's Select Board meeting (out of nowhere) former Lordship Gerry Weiss issued a public “plea” for the private Parade Committee to relent “just this year” and allow “free speech” in the Parade line of march so that the town could allow Police and Fire vehicles so that retiring police chief Charlie Scherpa and Fire Chief Keith Hoyle could lead the parade as Grand Marshals.
I asked the previous week: why can’t the town—just this year--allow the Parade Committee their First Amendment right (upheld by a 9-0 Supreme Court decision) to decide "what not to say" and allow town equipment so that two retiring chiefs with over 75 years of service could be publicly thanked by the people--especially children--in the community?
On Friday Princess Stephanie and Alisa Brewer (one shy of a Select board quorum) came to the VFW to press the issue with the July 4’th Parade Committee. No shots fired, but no treaty signed.
Interestingly last Monday Alisa Brewer said the town’s 250’th Parade Committee had created a superb float that would be in the Hadley 350’th Parade this coming Saturday and the Amherst July 4’th Parade.
Hmmm…even if the float is built with all volunteer labor and donated materials it is still town property. But town officials are allowing this vehicle in the July 4’th Parade even though enforcing a ban on police and fire vehicles unless the Committee surrenders their principals?
Oh, I forgot: the town’s 250’ th Parade is being held to a totally different set of standards than is the private July 4’th Parade.