Tuesday, May 24, 2016

There Goes The Beer Money

APD & AFD on scene West Cemetery yesterday for intoxicated mid-40s male

Amherst police arrested five homeless individuals -- Mark Jarrott, Angel Rivera, Matthew Roy, Paul Scace, and Troy Ward -- on Friday night behind the Jones Library on "open container" town bylaw violations.

 Mark Jarrott stands before Judge O'Grady

Click to enlarge/read

Now on any warm fall or spring semester weekend on the outskirts of UMass, it's not unusual for APD to make two or three times that number of arrests for the same infraction.  But kinda of a big difference between college aged youths and these gentlemen, who are pretty much repeat offenders. 

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday all five had their charges converted from criminal to civil and were assessed the town's $300 bylaw fine fee.  They were, however, credited $90 for "time served," three days at the Hampshire County House of Correction.

Usual suspects at Strong House Historical Garden

See The Light

I'm going to have to start a "stupid criminal of the week" series.  Sean Dowers takes the time to dress up like a Ninja, uses burglary tools to neutralize a back door lock under cover of darkness, but then turns on the lights in a closed storefront business with lots of windows.

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Sean Dowers, age 22, stands before Judge William O'Grady

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday Dowers was assigned a public defender ($150 charge assessed) and had his case continued until next month. He was released on $250 bail taken out of the original $1,000 bail posted for his release.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Soaring Sunday

Design Building

As much as I'd love to show aerial shots of construction projects going up in the downtown by private sector taxpaying entities, I can't shoot what doesn't exist.

 Crotty Hall

But there's plenty of construction going on at our favorite institutes of higher education, with UMass in the lead by a l-o-n-g shot.  Of course they are also a lot bigger by a long shot than Amherst or Hampshire Colleges.

 Ye Old Chapel
 UMass South College
UMass Science Building
 Amherst College Greenway Dorms
Hitchcock Center Living Building.  On Hampshire College property

Slow Ride, Take It Easy

Corner of Rt 9 and South Pleasant Street opposite Town Common

When those ubiquitous white tents pop in town center like mushrooms on a moist summer morn you know the last of our institutes of higher education is jettisoning their graduates off to the real world,  while sending Amherst into summer mode.

 Boltwood Avenue, other side of Town Common

And since this is their 195th such occasion you know I can only be talking about Amherst College, our number one landowner, number one taxpayer, and an entity so enthralled with our little college (before we had any) town, they named themselves after us.

 Main quadrangle this morning

Lord Jeffery Inn, Boltwood Avenue

Of course they caved to pressure brought by rebellious students last winter, a movement that is now ABD (All But Dead), and announced they would be changing the name of the Lord Jeff to something that could not trigger a reaction, but they have yet to announce what that name will be.

Maybe someday I'll have to change the name of my blog.

 Only in Emilyville.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

A Room For Miss Emily

Dickinson Homestead:  Centerpiece for the Dickinson Historic District

Throughout history -- from whale oil lamps to modern electric LEDs -- there's no greater power on earth than the bond between a parent and a child, a special luminescence that shines brightly generation in and generation out, regardless of what fancy name you give to each succeeding generation.

At the sacred Dickinson Homestead Museum a tangible display of that special relationship between a father and his gifted daughter will soon see the light of day after 100 years of storage, to allow exotic plants to grow in spite of winter's icy grasp.

A small glass enclosed conservatory that Edward Dickinson built for both Emily and Lavinia will be meticulously reconstructed in its original location jutting off the southeast portion of the beautiful brick building -- perhaps the first of its kind in Amherst.

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 Pretty safe bet this will gain a "Certificate of appropriateness"

Edward Dickinson also demonstrated his love of family by ensuring after being "called back" they would spend eternity, forever, together.

 Note worn spot in front of Miss Emily
Amherst Town Meeting just approved $190K (with Amherst College providing matching funds) for a sophisticated fire suppression system for The Evergreens next door

Support For Aisha Grows

Aisha Hiza (left), Vira Douangmany Cage (right)

Amherst School Committee member and candidate for Ellen Story's 3rd Hampshire District state legislature seat Vira Douangmany Cage has come out in full public support for Aisha Hiza, the single mom summarily banned from ALL Amherst Regional PUBLIC School property by Superintendent Maria Geryk for actively advocating on behalf of her bullied child.

 Click to enlarge/read

Ironically, and even more tellingly, Vira Douangmany Cage is Chair of the School Equity Task Force subcommittee.

And one thing for sure lacking in this deleterious debacle is "equity."

Friday, May 20, 2016

Unsung Heroes Week

Who ya gonna call?
DPW at Kendrick Park assisting with the undergrounding of electrical wiring 

When APD or AFD needs to get somewhere to assist a citizen in the middle of a raging snowstorm it's the DPW plow driver who provides an invaluable assist. Or sands the roads immediately after a structure fire where the water runoff has turned a street into glare ice.

When trees came crashing down in the midst of a late October snowstorm taking out power and blocking roads and driveways, the DPW tree division provided a priceless assist.

And if God forbid a man made or natural disaster should befall the heart of our downtown, in addition to police and fire personnel who speed towards the disaster you would also see those distinctive yellow trucks heading into the fray.

Which is why the Department of Homeland Security now designates DPW Departments as "First Responders", something a minority of us in the know folks have always considered them to be.

Yet I never knew there was a "National Public Works Week," but I'm digging it!