Letter: Amherst Bulletin Headline Claims Jones Repairs Will Be Too Expensive. That Is Neither Correct nor Appropriate


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I find the May 31, 2024 Amherst Bulletin main headline to be
disingenuous. One normally expects the contents of the front page of a
newspaper to be straight news unless otherwise indicated. Labeling the
repair option for the Jones Library as “no-bargain” is an opinion, not
a fact. That the Bulletin has taken an editorial position of support
for the library expansion from the start is well known. Fair enough,
but the place for opinions such as that is the editorial page, not the
front page.

The article contents are slanted toward the expansion project. The
only people quoted in the article are supporters of the project. No
one that is opposed to the project is mentioned, much less quoted. The
figures quoted for repair versus expansion are deceptive. The figure
given for the repair option is for every possible need, while the
figure for the expansion doesn’t include things like furniture.

The misleading statement that the expansion was “supported by a nearly
two-to-one margin in a November 2021 referendum” is once again trotted
out. Actually, only twenty two percent of the town’s registered voters
and eight percent of the town’s residents voted in favor of the
project. One hundred percent of us will have to pay for it. One
hundred percent of us will have to continue to ride on pothole riddled
streets. One hundred percent of public school students will suffer
from staff layoffs in the schools. One hundred percent of firefighters
will have to struggle to get equipment in and out of the main fire

The Jones Library is a wonderful institution that has suffered years
of demolition by neglect. It’s time to begin to remedy that situation.
Editorializing on the front page of the newspaper isn’t helping.

Lou Conover

Lou Conover is a resident of Amherst.

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