Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Preaching to the Choir (especially in Amherst)


State Senator Stan Rosenberg has an uncharacteristic slip up in today’s well placed (break page, above the fold) Gazette article finally getting around to covering the controversy of the 'Vote No on Question One' propaganda night coming up “live” at ACTV studios tomorrow night.

Cut to the close: “This is a very, very serious matter. If people speak, it has some very significant weight.” Rosenberg said. Damn, that's a lot of very's.

So then are you saying Stan, that us lightweight voters should only hear from heavyweights like yourself?

Yeah, yeah we know
As usual, a blog covered it first

Monday, September 29, 2008

Working

My Backyard 10:00 AM

A Mile down the road 3:45 PM
video

Sunday, September 28, 2008

By any other name...


The question is not what would Amherst be like without Umass but what would Umass be like without Amherst? There’s a move afoot to drop the 01002 location from the Flagship University because it makes Umass sound to provincial.
The Boston Globe reports

Even though Umass is currently the second largest landowner in town (all of it tax exempt).

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks in bucolic Amherst over a generation ago I remember my mother—a staunch Irish Catholic –becoming horrified at a family gathering when a relative asked my slightly older sibling, what he wanted to be when he grew up.

“A Redman!” he almost shouted. My mother assumed he was talking about those marauding Indians from a John Wayne movie. But he was referring to Umass basketball; a moniker changed in 1972 to “The Minutemen” which is of course is fine by me.

I also remember hiking from High Street on cold winter Friday nights to sneak into The Cage to watch “The Redmen” at work. The advantage of being a pint-sized 8-year-old is you can insinuate yourself fairly easily into a general admission crowd and sneak by ticket takers.

So I have always lived in the shadow of Umass, even back when it did not cast such an overpowering shadow. I remember when the Southwest was simply a rolling open field where we neighborhood kids would play “capture the flag”.

All relative, I suppose; because back in the 60’s when only a few thousand students attended Umass Amherst townie population was a lot smaller as well. And as the University grew, so did the population of Amherst.

All us blue-collar townie kids wanted to get a job at Umass, many of them—fast approaching retirement age—still work there. I remember the water crisis from 25 years ago, although a tad differently than reported in the press recently. A town employee forgot to prime one of the main pumping stations so when the kids returned there was no water.

And the huge library that was to be a symbol (like the World Trade Center Twin Towers) of a proud flagship. Then the bricks started falling. The Collegian on April Fools Day issued a spoof article saying engineers forgot to calculate the weight of books and now the Library was sinking. The AP picked up the story, and to this day it is an Urban Myth.

Because of the University one cannot help but get involved in current political issues. In the late 60’s and early 70’s it was of course Viet Nam—the Mother of All issues. In the 80’s streaking and disco (politics took a back seat) in the 90’s nothing, and now--sort of--the Iraq War.

Amherst benefits greatly by the presence of the flagship, but suffers financial hardship as well. The University has a police department (with more staff and better funded than the town’s) but no Fire Department thus relying completely on the town’s annual $5 million operation. And of course our Police Department also spends about 25% of its time dealing with students.

About ten years ago Umass removed Amherst from their logo, now they want to go one step further and pretend the town doesn’t exist. Okay, next time somebody on campus calls 911 and requests help the dispatcher should say very slowly “Well what Umass is this: Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, Worcester, or that provincial one out there in the sticks of Amherst?”

Would Umass still smell as sweet without Amherst? Hell no, that stinks!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Freedom of speech: for whom?


UPDATE: 5:15 PM: Naturally the McCormic campaign jumped on this journalistic travesty:

For A Fair and Balanced Panel Discussion on ACTV

The Amherst Bulletin announced yesterday that the Amherst
Community Television station will be hosting a free campaign appearance for the well-heeled state senate incumbent at the expense of his opponent. State Senator Stanley Rosenberg has been invited to be a panelist on a program about Ballot Question 1, to be taped and aired in the run-up to the upcoming election, in which he is facing an opponent, Keith McCormic, who was not invited to appear on the panel. McCormic is considered to be an expert on Ballot Question 1, and will be speaking at a Ballot Question 1 event in Boston on October 4th at Faneuil Hall.

Also, all three panelists are known to oppose Ballot Question 1. For the cable access station to advertise this program as an opportunity for voters to learn about the issues involved is misleading at best, since only one side of the arguments will be presented.

The Bulletin article neglected to mention that the panel discussion is being orchestrated by the League of Women Voters, which, as an organization, is opposed to Ballot Question 1 on the statewide level.

There are two responsible things for ACTV to do: 1) Make the discussion fair and balanced, by inviting speakers (including McCormic) who are in favor of Ballot Question 1; or 2) Bill the event as a slanted panel that will give the arguments against Ballot Question 1. Because if the bias is allowed to go forward unchecked, the impartiality of the station could be called into question. After all, 95.4% of ACTV's revenues come from the Town of Amherst, and most of the rest come from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which Rosenberg has actively increased funding of during his tenure on Beacon Hill.
##################################################################

Original Post 3:30 PM So the Amherst July 4’th Parade Committee endures years of bureaucratic bullying from the Amherst Select Board, Town Manager, the Amherst Democratic Town Committee and the League of Women Voters to allow any-and-all “opinion/protest” into the private celebratory parade, yet the People’s Republic of Amherst now excludes dissenting opinion/speech on Ballot Question One--the one that would significantly reduce the supply of pork to the public trough.

ACTV is the town of Amherst. They receive $250,000 annually from Comcast –a small slice of overall revenues from Amherst subscribers (5%)—and if they went dark tomorrow that money would be diverted to the town’s General Fund. So it is Amherst tax money.

President Reagan killed the FCC “fairness doctrine” in 1985. Ironically that damn Republican opened the door for folks like ACTV to get away this unfair and unbalanced coverage of a major political ballot question.

State Senator Stan Rosenberg is slated to speak at the Panel Discussion with two other opponents of the ballot question. Keith McCormic, his opponent in the state senate election, champions passage of Question 1.

Talk about a stark difference! Yet Mr. McCormick is being denied a seat at the table.

What are they afraid of?


Amherst Bulletin 9/26/08:

Amherst panel talk takes up Question 1

A panel discussion of ballot Question 1, concerning the repeal of the state income tax, will be taped in front of a live audience Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the ACTV studio at 246 College St. The panelists are State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg; Pam Schwartz, Western Massachusetts coordinator for the Coalition of Our Communities; and Tim Sheehan, Fort River Elementary School grade 4 teacher at and President of the Amherst-Pelham Teachers Association.

The program is free and open to the public. Parking is limited and the studio seats 50, so residents are advised to arrive early. For information call 253-0633.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No, they didn't serve donuts


Amherst PD, with help from Amherst FD and the Sheriff's Department hosted a burgers and dogs cookout (using no town tax dollars) this afternoon for a bevy of local seniors. SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) is one of those things that in the cold Republican business world would be called a "strategic alliance".

For Info click here

Monday, September 22, 2008

Those darn Professors!



UPDATE: (3:00 PM) So one of the Anon's comments got me thinking and I need to link to a Republican article so it is easier to do as an update rather than in comments:

Well, Anon (and I get the impression you were on the receiving end of that originalemail—so why the Hell did you not tip me?)…I’m a tad bummed that the good chaplain had a SOM (School of Management) email address—but hey, even pro business folks could use salvation.

And the good chaplain teaches about homelessness, eh? I did note another interesting article in today’s Republican (by veteran reporter Mike Plaisance) about getting out the homeless vote. And why do I get the impression that most of them would end up voting the Democratic slate?

Let em eat cake--as long as they vote Democratic


UPDATE: 3:15 PM. So my friends at the Umass Republican Club just joined the party:

From: "UMass Republican Club"
Subject: Obama forces derailed at UMass Amherst
Date: September 23, 2008 2:50:11 PM EDT

Thanks to quick maneuvering and relentless media pressure from the Massachusetts Republican Party and the UMass Amherst Republican Club, UMass Amherst has become one campus where university-sanctioned political bias will not go unanswered.

We direct your attention to the following news story and we encourage you to contact our Chancellor (chancellor@umass.edu) or University President (presidentwilson@umassp.edu) with your inquiries.

http://news.bostonherald.com/news/regional/general/view/2008_09_23_UMass_chaplain_fails_in_effort_to_boost_Barack_Obama_s_chances/

The story has also received front-page attention from the influential Drudge Report: http://www.drudgereport.com

Thank you,

Brad DeFlumeri

Vice President, UMass Amherst Republican Club

(Original Post 10:00 PM, 9/22/08) So I guess nobody will be shocked by the revelation that an unnamed Umass History professor would reward students with two credits for hustling in New Hampshire for the new messiah, Democrat Barack Obama.

Funny, you never hear these sleazy PC missteps attributed to the Isenberg School of Management or those brainy Polymer Science and Engineering folks.

On Sunday night (so it was not on company time) a bevy of writers with Umass connections—most notably Pulitzer Prize winner Madeleine Blais now teaching in the Journalism Department; and as described in a radio commercial for a local restaurant as the “bad ass Puerto Rican poet” and current professor in the Department of English Martin Espada performed at a fancy wine-and-cheese event at the Hotel Northampton raising $26,000 for Obama.

In Monday’s Daily Hampshire Gazette Ms. Blais, who helped organize the affair, boasted:” We’re going viral," she said. "It's beginning to look like a populist uprising."

Hmmm…if that’s the case--then why are his poll numbers not moving on up?

The Boston Globe Reports (based on AP story)

Speaking of "going viral." Yikes!


An oldy but a goody


And who could forget this display?

Politically active indeed!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Let the sun shine!


So today’s Sunday Republican struck me—journalistically speaking—as a tad schizophrenic. The awesome editorial from Editor in Chief Larry McDermott championed the Open Meeting Law (bureaucratic political nitwits otherwise known as the Boston City Council wants the state legislature to exempt them from OML because they love to do their duty under cover of darkness).

Larry's editorial


Yet in the same edition we also had a story by staff writer Stephanie Barry about a “retreat” of the Springfield School Committee with new Superintendent Alan Ingram and a quorum of that committee.

According to Barry’s article: Member Michael P. Rodgers said after the retreat that the dialogue was long overdue. He also commended Ingram for uniting committee members.

"He has a calming effect," Rodgers said. "A unified School Committee will result in a unified school system."


Sounds to me like a violation of the Open Meeting Law.

Stephanie's story


Chilling effect, indeed. And I thought Amherst officials were whacked.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Final loose end

Click to read: note the RETURN ADDRESS 11:45 AM

10:00 AM
I stopped into the Town Clerk's office on the way to the Jones Library where I am at the moment keeping my darling daughters occupied, to inquire if Mr. Hubley resigned his Town Meeting seat yet (I had asked to be informed when it came in--but Public Documents Law does not allow for asking in advance for a document).

Sure enough, Mr. Hubley did indeed resign his seat as of 8/31 (no mention in his resignation letter of stalking, harassment or aliens flying black helicopters).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Going green...or brown


Thursday 10:30 AM

So….Kendrick Park is much too good for the Amherst Pelham Boy Scouts to use for selling Christmas trees—a sixty year tradition—but, the Town Manager allows a patch of weeds, errrr—I mean wheat (maybe he figured they would use it for beer and give him a glass).

Memo to Happy Heads: come harvest your wheat.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And they're off!

Click photo to read

No it doesn’t surprise me that Aaron Hayden would get out the first piece of Select Board campaign literature, arriving at my humble abode yesterday on primary election day that voters seemed not to care about in the least.

What does surprise me—but only a little—is the Registrar of Voters predicting a 90% turnout on November 4! Amherst has always turned out in droves every 4 years for the Presidential election, even though Massachusetts is never in doubt and the highest federal office in the land has no impact on the town.

But come spring, for the annual local election that has everything to do with running our $60+ million operation, we get a 15% turnout. Only in Amherst.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mixed message

So I’ve given up being concerned that an X-President (or current one) has suddenly died when I spot Amherst College’s majestic flag on Chapel Hill at half-staff.

Last night, coming home from those pesky uptown public meetings with a full moon as a direct backdrop, a steady breeze and powerful illumination from below, Old Glory was a stirring sight indeed—especially in THAT mournful position.

Yet last week on 9/11 Amherst's most prominently placed flag was not at half-staff as ordered by the President of the United States--as opposed to President of the College. Nor was it properly displayed on Memorial Day, December 7, or Peace Officers’ Day (May 15).

I just assumed it was to mark the passing of literary genius David Foster Wallace, an Amherst College graduate and former visiting professor. But according to their Intranet Announcements:

In Memoriam: Stephen L. Clark '75
The Johnson Chapel flag has been lowered to half-staff in memory of Stephen L. Clark '75. Clark, who passed away Thursday, Sept. 11


David Foster Wallace would probably love the irony: Amherst College forgets to fly the flag at half-staff last week on 9/11 to mourn 3,000 Americans; but remembers to do it now in honor of an employee who just passed away…on 9/11.

With all the best intentions

Even in Massachusetts

Monday, September 15, 2008

Preaching to the unconverted


The Amherst Select Board sponsoring an ‘Open Meeting Law’ forum is kind of like allowing the fox to teach hens how to lay eggs. At her reelection victory speech on ACTV in 2006 Anne Awad bragged that her regime is into open government as evidenced by the Select Board sponsorship of the Open Meeting Law seminar. Of course she neglected to mention her violation of that very law less than a year after that seminar.

Let’s hope the Regional School Committee takes notes (the 8 of 9 who voted in favor) concerning a “retreat” where presumably they will go off in the woods somewhere --out of the public eye--and perform a giant joint treehug while singing Kumbaya.

Unfortunately I have an Amherst Redevelopment Meeting (although it does not show up on the town website) tonight at 7:15 so I’m pretty tied up.

I would also love to start attending more Select Board meetings, as my name seems to keep popping up during Question Period and in the middle of public discussions. And what the heck is this untimed item presented by Chairman Weiss: Agents of the Select Board???

Do they get a badge and uniform?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fire in the hole!


What you don’t hear on this Saturday morning AFD training scene is the beep, beep, beeping of oxygen tanks signally their precious commodity is almost gone, or the awful crackling of fire consuming everything in its path. But the smell was almost the same –somehow different from a campfire or burning brush or even an old backyard chicken coop.

Perhaps it’s simply the rugs, curtains, paneling, books and all those everyday essentials that make a home a home, suddenly vaporized. Call it the essence of those who lived there--or God forbid--are still there when the beast comes calling.

Thank God for trained firefighters.
video

He looks familiar...


Yeah, Senator Kerry must be getting a tad spooked by his first primary challenge ever as a US Senator as he managed to find The Big E last night (his aides probably used Map Quest)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why I don't show off



Not that he was showing off of course:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bully the blogger

Bully version of bet (pretty clear to me)

My original version: even clearer


So retired professor Ackerman, obviously with lots of time on his hands, must have been one of those professors who let the grad students do all the research. If he had bothered d to read two paragraphs beyond the lead of Scott’s Merzbach's article from LAST YEAR he would have discovered the $10,000 challenge was in the form of a bet. One the town manager did not have the chutzpa to take.

And if he just stayed at the Select Board meeting for another half-hour he could have asked me directly about it since I was on the agenda for the 9/11 flag issue at 7:05 PM.

That would be the 5’th time I have attempted to make that kind of wager with a town official. The other times it related to Cherry Hill revenue prediction and if any of the officials taken those bet I would have won—or I should say local charities would have been enriched.

In fact if Mr. Ackerman, also an Amherst Bulletin columnists--so you would think he knows how to research and corroborate material--had read the online Amherst Bulletin version of the story, I added a comment where I would give the Town Manager two-to-one odds, or $20,000.

I guess maybe His Lordship the Select Board Chair set a strange precedent by publicly whipping and trying to silence my blog (so I must be doing something right). So now we get social activists trying to get the Select Board to collect on bets that were never taken. Only in Amherst.
video

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/11 Deja vu

video
Sorry this is a tad long and slightly rambling, but I knew acting Select Board Chair Alisa Brewer would allow me pretty much free reign. Had 'His Lordship' been there I would have honed it down to only three minutes.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The People's Republic WILL remember

The original page one story 9/11/01 was below the fold, but prominent enough to get the A.P.'s attention as it went out over the national wire around dawn. Here we are seven years later and it's above the fold. Go figure.


UPDATE: 10:30 Am: Love the photo the Republican website is now using. It's funny because this same photographer took a photo of my daughter Kira a couple weeks back at the Westfield fair that made the Front page of the Republican. And I instantly remembered him from this photo shoot from 4 or 5 years ago (but he did not remember me)

Today (7 years later) Front Page Spfld Republican article


9:45 PM


So with relatively little discussion the Select Board voted 2-1 with 1 absent (and 1 relocated to South Hadley) to allow the 29 commemorative flags to fly on 9/11 for the first time in five years.

Ms. Brewer sort of tried to make a deal with me (what the Hell am I the official flag spokesperson?) to accept His Lordship’s compromise allowing the flags to fly once every three years but I made no promises. My main goal was to get them up every 9/11, so at least they are guaranteed to fly this Thursday.

As expected Alisa Brewer and Stephanie O’Keeffe voted “yes” and Diana Stein voted “no”.

From Stephanie’s blog illuminating their Select Board packet for this evening:
• A written statement submitted by Gerry Weiss (who will not be present at the meeting) about the commemorative flag issue, recommending that they be displayed on September 11th every three years beginning this year, as a compromise measure reflecting the one-third of Town Meeting members (and the assumption that they represent one-third of the community) who voted to support urging the Select Board to display the flags annually on that date

Details of the Amherst Fire Department’s September 11th ceremony plans at Central Fire Station, involving assembling at 9:55 a.m., ringing a bell, lowering the flag to half staff, a minute of silence, prayer by a chaplain, “Amazing Grace” played by a piper, ringing a bell and raising the flag

an unprecedented historical tragedy

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hope springs eternal...even in Amherst

 Commemorative flags in town center

Yeah, they too remember (lousy bastards)

9/10/01: The Eve of Destruction

So now it turns out 'His Lordship' Select Board Chair Gerry Weiss will not even be present on Monday night for the 9/11 flag issue (7:05 pm). Fair enough. But to go one stunningly further he actually supports flying the flags this year, and again three years from now (the 10’th anniversary) because Town Meeting voted by a two-thirds majority AGAINST flying the 29 flags on 9/11. Thus leaving a small plurality of one-third in favor of doing the right thing. So to honor the wishes of that one-third he will allow them to fly once every three years.

Hmmm. Why not fly one-third of them every year? Or should John Kerry have become Co-President in 2004 because he garnered half the vote?

Most stupid political reasoning I have ever heard! But what the Hell—this is The 'People’s Republic of Amherst'--where the American flag never wins, so I will take it.


Monday's upcoming SB meeting courtesy of Select Person O'keeffe (who will be there)


http://stephanietownmeeting.blogspot.com
Thursday, May 17, 2007
With apologies to the Bard

This session was much ado about nothing.

Article 39: Commemorative Flags. Petitioner Larry Kelley made – let’s face it – a stunningly thoughtful and moderate presentation about the first and nearly-final casualties of September 11th, and how they were both gay men, and how broad the diversity was of innocent lives lost on that day. He said that that is what the flag stands for – not militarism or the war in Iraq, but the people of the U.S. He noted the contrast of the Select Board’s unanimous vote to fly the rainbow flag for the anniversary of the gay marriage decision, and how they then unanimously voted to take no position on this proposal to fly the commemorative flags at half-staff every 9/11, and said that the two people he had previously referenced might have found that ironic.

Gerry Weiss said the Select Board would let Town Meeting decide. Anne Awad talked about being on the Board when 9/11 occurred, and all the various flag flying requests the board gets, and all the various tragedies that could be marked. She said that the main Town flag is lowered to half-staff on 9/11 and that it is a somber event. She said the commemorative flags seem more celebratory, and more suitable for Fourth of July. She urged members to oppose the article.

A couple of members spoke to the multitude of tragedies all over the world and throughout history, including those perpetuated by town namesake Lord Jeffery Amherst. One suggested voting against the article in favor of establishing a committee to more broadly honor all such events, and another just wanted it defeated.

A member speaking in support said the red flag stripes denote American blood shed for this country’s freedom. Another suggested that dates for commemorating other tragedies be brought forth as well. Another said that he regarded the article as a call for a day of reflection for a tragic event that affected all of us. Another said that we shouldn’t do what our government has done and link that event to the war.

A member made a motion to refer the article to the Human Rights Commission, not as a way of defeating it, she said, but as a way of reshaping the article in a way that would be less inclined to divide the meeting.

There was a standing vote on the motion to refer. It failed, and I apparently didn’t write down the totals. I voted against referral.

Someone asked what the six holidays are for which the commemorative flags are flown, and if any of those had them at half-staff. The answer to the latter was no, and to the former was: Patriots Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Veterans Day.

There was a tally vote on the article – 41 Yes and 96 No. I voted Yes.

This was the third issue of the night that made my brain hurt, and all for different reasons.

First of all, I love the flag, and I have none of the compunctions about it that many do. My personal patriotism isn’t contingent on who occupies the White House or the state of our foreign policy. I recognize that many don’t feel that way.

You get an article like this, and no matter how thoughtfully it was presented, and how thoughtfully it was both supported and objected to, it becomes bigger than the specific issue at hand. It becomes an issue of all the various ways people feel about the flag and the country. It becomes a mutual provocation. It becomes a test. Its significance gets blown out of all proportion by those on both sides of the vote.

I didn’t really like the article. To me, it felt vaguely like using the 9/11 tragedy to provoke an expected reaction. So for a while, I thought I might oppose it. But I also think that people are terribly intolerant of more traditional and optimistic opinions of the flag, and I’m tired of that. How come being progressive and open-minded only applies to that with which you agree?

So I went back to logic similar to that which I used in supporting the resident alien voting article: it is important to some, and should be of little consequence to others. I don’t need to have commemorative flags at half-staff downtown to mark my 9/11 remembrance, but it doesn’t hurt. If you strip away all the overwrought Amherst stuff that becomes part and parcel of this article, it is really saying, “Should we fly flags downtown every year on 9/11?” And to that, I say – “Sure! Why not?” To me, answers to “why not” were not compelling, but of course, I was in the minority.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Keystone School Committee (Only in Amherst)


Stiletto-like fingernails slowly descending a large old style blackboard, a formal Catholic “High Mass” all in Latin, or a speech by Al Gore on Global Warming. Hmmm, I’m trying to think of what could be worse than attending a “retreat” of the Amherst Regional School Committee???

It would of course be 'Saturday Night Live' skit material if not for the fact that these duly elected regional officials consume the vast majority of Amherst’s $60+ million budget.

But not a single one of them came to office in an election that drew over 50% of the voters (at least in the case of Amherst School Committee members).

Kathleen Anderson definitely has a racial Great Oak log on her shoulder--but she wears it ever so prominently. So it was not big surprise she would boycott a retreat run by a white male. Of course you have to wonder if she ever requires emergency medical care or the services of the police does the responding public servant have to be a black female?

Dr. Merzbach, the most famous baby doctor in Amherst, delivered most of the townies I know. He was a white male--and I’m sure he gave boys, girls, Jews, Gentiles and People of Color the same equal, professional care.

When I call 911 with an emergency I don’t want the dispatcher to ask what race, creed, or color I am. Just do your damn job.

Even the crusty Gazette published an editorial today suggesting the retreat was a bad idea. Maybe they recognized themselves where a committee member said the local media looked the other way regarding retreats even though they are a clear violation of the Open Meeting Law.

So yeah, if they have this "retreat" I will be there. And I only hope the facility has wireless Internet and plenty of aspirin.

The Bully does its job

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A (tax-exempt) house with a view



So in addition to a $375,000 annual salary and company car Dr. Holub, the new Umass Chancellor, gets to live in this fine house with what he described as having a great view. Indeed.

Chancellor Holub also told the 400 folks attending the Community Breakfast that his wife could not attend because she was busy enrolling their two young daughters into the fine Amherst school system.

This year Amherst taxpayers will expend $14,410 per child to finance the public schools. Dr. Holub’s two children will be joining the estimated (by our Finance Committee) 50-60 other children coming from Umass tax-exempt housing (probably not nearly as nice as the Chancellor’s House), or an impact of almost $1 million dollars.

Amherst taxpayers also fund ($4.8 million) the busiest Fire/EMT department in the state with the Fire Chief estimating Umass accounts for about one-quarter of the their calls, or an impact just over $1 million dollars.

Hey, a million here and a million there—pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Even though Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee is one of the largest employers in that region (with all those economic spin off benefits) they recently agreed to a $1 million payment-in-lieu-of-taxes to the host city.

Hmmm…

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A simple request







From: David Miller
Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 8:58 PM


Subject: Fw: 9/11 American Flag


Greetings All..

Normally I don’t send emails asking you to forward them to other people - but this message is an exception to the rule ! This message makes good sense and is a very special tribute to people who remember the tragic 9/11 incident at the Trade Center in New York - however, if you disagree to forward this email - this is your God given privilege - but I hope you will read the info below!

Many of us across the country are receiving a request to join a FLY THE FLAG campaign - and we are asking you to pass this message on to your family and all those others you may have listed in your address book. We further ask you to forward this message IMMEDIATELY - We only have little more than one week and counting to get this word out all across this great land and into every community in the United States of America. If you forward this email to your friends, your friends will send it on to their friends and we will have passed this request to thousands and thousands of people ! Get the idea ??

THE PROGRAM: On Thursday, September 11th, 2008, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States . Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this seventh anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms. In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly enough, many of those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.

Action Plan:

So, here's what we would like you to do ..

(1) Forward this email to everyone you know (unlimited number - your choice). Please don't be the one to break this chain. Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.

(2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11. Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day.

Very simple request, but very important to remember those who endured the pain of 9/11. If you decide to participate, please accept the appreciation of many people who have received this message from others before you. Thank you for your participation and may God Bless You and may God continue to bless our United States of America!

Dave Miller from Niceville, Florida