February 28, 2017

posted Jul 10, 2017, 9:28 PM by Amherst Club
Lunch notes for Feb. 28, 2017
At Bistro 63, President Allen Hanson called the meeting to order on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. He especially welcomed members Rachel Mustin, Margot Atkinson and Nancy Brose.  Gigi Barnhill introduced her guest, Bonnie MacCracken and Rachel introduced her guest, Susan Davis.
*Allen announced the next brownbag lunch is to be at Miriam Dayton’s home on March 21st.  20 people attended the bag lunch at Paul Bacon’s last week!  (Let Allen know if you are willing to host a lunch.)
*Linda Honan reminds us of the bulb shows starting at Mt. Holyoke and Smith.  Also, the sugar shacks are in full maple syrup operation.
*Jean Miller has a friend looking for a good knee-replacement doctor.  Any thoughts?
*Bonnie Isman mentioned the author’s lecture tonight (didn’t get the details).
 *Phyllis Lehrer reminded us about the High School musical “Anything Goes” to be held this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
 *Gigi said that the Civics Fest to be presented by the League of Women Voters is coming up and our Club team needs another person.  Flo Stern and Gigi are signed up and Andrea Battle is to be a judge.
*Elsie Fetterman reminded those in Amherst who may be away March 28 for the Special Election to get an absentee ballot at town hall.
*Gigi told us that the Historical Society will hold its History Bites on Friday, March 10, 2017.  Kitty Florey will speak about her new book, “Amity Street”, set in the 19th Century….  Noon to 1:00 PM and bring a sandwich!
Our speaker was Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities Agency, Diocese of Springfield.  She told us about the Refugee Resettlement Project.
In December 2015 the US Council of Catholic Bishops reached out to this program.  It was looking to resettle 110,000 refugees in the country.  Northampton let it be known that it is an open and welcoming community, had the capacity and services to take a couple of refugee families.  The contract came to the local Project in December 2016.
The process works this way……
Everything begins overseas.  Refugees apply to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees and if selected go under the protection of the United Nations.
Then there can be 1 of 3 durable solutions.
1) return to country when safe    2) remain in country of 1st asylum   3) apply to be sent to another country which can take 18-24 months.
The US takes the largest number of refugees, 110,000 out of 65 million displaced people in the world.  Only 21 million receive refugee classification worldwide.
For Kathryns’ program 5 families were in the pipeline.  1 family came to Westfield (joining family already there) and 1 family came to Northampton.  She hopes that those affected by the President’s executive order will find a way to get here.
These refugees are fully vetted and are not the body of people to fear!  This refugee resettlement program is NOT the same as the sanctuary city designation.
Andrea noted that on Saturday, Grace Church is hosting a Sanctuary City discussion from 3-5:30.
Jacquie Price won the wine!  Andrea Battle won the $10.
Joan Hanson, scribe for the day