Sunday, May 17, 2009
Slow news day
So my Amherst “Institutional Memory” is like a point-and-shoot digital camera. There’s rock solid “optical zoom” and beyond that (pushing the envelope) enhanced, slightly blurry, “digital zoom”.
I realized this when I stretched my older Kodak camera to the limit to get a recognizable photo of former Select Board Czar Ann Awad (at the time an AMHERST town official) w-a-y off in her South Hadley garden, and it came out blurry.
Fortunately she has an oversized distinctive body, instantly recognizable (even from a good distance) and yeah; you don’t even want to see the few I did not publish.
My “institutional memory” (‘optical zoom’) dates back to 1982 the year I opened my small business in what was then called “The Dead Mall” in bucolic Hadley, the next town over.
Wal Mart moved in a dozen years or years ago after I relocated to my hometown ‘The People’s Republic of Amherst’ and these days that “dead mall” is about as lively as you can get.
But for pre-1982 events I rely on “old timers” I trust and—God forbid—the Gazette, and sister publication Amherst Bulletin. And of course the Amherst Record (a 200+ year old publication killed by the Amherst Bulletin)
Got an email this afternoon from a fellow Town Meeting member about a water outage at Puffton Village, the second one this year. But by the time I got there on my bike it was already repaired. The joys of dealing with the private sector.
My slightly foggy (“digital zoom”) memory reminds me that Puffton Village was constructed in the late 1960's early 1970’s in response to the dramatic growth of Umass/Amherst and received a pass from the Zoning Board of Appeals or Planning Board.
BUT, the Zoning Variance was only good for 25 or 30 years and the complex was originally envisioned as “temporary housing” and upon expiration the buildings would be terminated. So you can imagine the original infrastructure was not exactly constructed to the highest standards.
WELL of course once the vital housing owned by Steve Puffer, a famous long-time Town Meeting member, came into being and served a purpose (not to mention generated lots of money) …