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New cafe offers free coffee, with a catch

A new coffee shop has opened in Amherst, but it’s different from every other coffee shop in town. And that makes some people uncomfortable. It’s called Shiru Cafe, and it’s occupying the same space on Boltwood Walk that Share and Rao’s did previously. It opened Dec. 3, and is a part of a chain that operates coffee shops in Japan and India. The first Shiru Cafe in the U.S. opened 10 months ago in Providence, near Brown University, and the one in Amherst is the second. A Shiru Cafe is due to open in New Haven in February, and later …

19

As council convenes, unity and tribalism

At its first meeting Monday night, Amherst’s new Town Council had difficulty getting beyond the tribalism that characterized its creation. Several councilors, in their opening statements, promoted a “spirit of unity” (Andy Steinberg) and “reaching across the aisle” (Dorothy Pam). That spirit prevailed in the selection of a president, but when it came time to choose a vice president, the old familiar divisions resurfaced. Shortly after being chosen as the first Town Council president, Lynn Griesemer called the group “13 very independent people all committed to moving Amherst forward.” This was an intentional yoking in one sentence of two buzzwords …