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So for those of you new to the People's Republic of Amherst (living here less than 20 years and probably still pronouncing the h in Amherst) this inside joke references one of the first things I experienced as an 'Only in Amherst' event dating back to the late 1980s.
The spotted salamanders crossing bucolic Henry Street in the far reaches of North Amherst during that time of year when they get, umm, horny (early April) were getting squished by the ever-so-occasional auto. The town installed "Salamander tunnels" so the critters could safely cross under the road (Hell, at Hampshire College you would be awarded a degree for that).
But of course nobody told the Salamanders about the tunnel--even in Amherst town officials do not speak or write Salamander and do not have a Star Trek universal translator to communicate with them.
Thus to this day volunteers go out to this site in early April at dusk with flashlights to assist the little critters crossing the street.
Do-gooders herding salamanders into an expensive tunnel: Only in Amherst.
Yes, the NEW YORK TIMES (actually) reported
To this day Henry Street is not exactly "busy". Obviously the NY Times, as they say in journalism, "phoned in" this story.
And of course some of you townies will remember that then Select Board Chair (Umass History Professor) Richard Minear the year before spearheaded the socialistic takeover of the Cherry Hill Golf Course for the most money this town has ever paid out for such a heavy handed taking. And the only time the town used an obscure provision in the law making that taking "referendum proof" by the taxpayers.