Naturalization ceremony set for July 4 in Northampton

NORTHAMPTON — July 4 will mark a joyful and momentous occasion for 52 immigrants who will be sworn in as U.S. citizens in a downtown ceremony.

At 11 a.m., the Center for New Americans and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will host the 14th Annual Naturalization Ceremony on the grounds of the Hampshire County Courthouse at Main and King Streets.

As in past years, US magistrate Katherine Robertson will preside. Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra is scheduled to speak to New Americans and singer Evelyn Harris will sing the national anthem.

The Center for New Americans, an English-language school and immigration resource center in Northampton, said at least three of the immigrants who will become citizens next Monday have used the center’s naturalization services and “are delighted to swear allegiance to the United States surrounded by their community of friends, family and supporters.

The ceremony will be broadcast on WTCC, the radio station of Springfield Technical Community College, and afterward, the Northampton Chapter of the League of Women Voters will register new citizens to vote.

In case of rain, the ceremony will move inside the courthouse.

Safety of children in summer

The Northwest District Attorney’s Office has launched a new public awareness campaign to provide safety tips for children during the hot summer months.

“We don’t want the summer to lead to avoidable tragedies. We hope this campaign will remind people to take proper safety precautions,” District Attorney David Sullivan said in a statement. “Water and heat can cause accidents and vigilance is key to child safety.”

The child death review team assesses whether the child deaths could have been prevented. The DA’s office said the team identified open windows, bodies of water and hot cars as particular hazards for children during the summer months.

The campaign is timed to educate parents and other caregivers ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend.

There are four brochures available on the DA’s office website,, covering car, water, window and sleep safety. To request a poster-sized version to hang in a public place, use the website’s “Send Us a Note” feature at

“We know that water and heat sometimes intersect in dangerous ways for children and we want to remind people to be vigilant,” said Assistant District Attorney Linda Pisano, chief of the fire fighting unit. child abuse, in a statement. “There have been cases of children drowning in swimming pools because locks have failed or a door has been left open. We feel compelled to raise awareness of these dangers which can lead to unnecessary tragedies.

Tips include opening windows top-down, rather than bottom-up, and using stops to prevent them from opening more than four inches; use active prompts like leave a bag or food in the back seat to avoid forgetting a child in the car; install pool drain covers and regularly check locks on pool fences; and keeping in mind the risks below the surface of natural water bodies.

The prosecutor’s office recommends against co-sleeping with babies and says babies should be placed on their backs to fall asleep.

Collection of hazardous waste

The Town of Northampton will hold its annual household hazardous waste collection on Saturday July 16th and pre-registration is required by July 9th.

Pickup will be in the Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School parking lot, 80 Locust St., from 9 a.m. to noon. To pre-register, go to or call (413) 587-1570.

Accepted items include “products with labels indicating the need for special handling or disposal…as well as rechargeable, ‘button’ and other non-alkaline batteries, fluorescent bulbs, ballasts and thermostats and mercury thermometers,” according to an announcement from the Department of Public Works.

“The city will cover the cost of disposal of up to 25 gallons or pounds of materials for city households,” the DPW statement read. “Residential attendees will be charged a disposal fee for any material over this amount. Disposal fees will also apply to fluorescent bulbs ($1.00-$2.00 each), antifreeze ($4.00/gal) and ballasts ($3.00 each).

Attendees will select a 30-minute window for an appointment. Small businesses and organizations can participate for a fee.

Ammunition, cosmetics, products containing asbestos, water-based paint, medical waste and smoke detectors are among the prohibited items. You will find lists of acceptable and prohibited items at

Brian Steele can be contacted at [email protected]

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