Friday, August 28, 2009

Drowning in quicksand.


Blogger's annual fight for flags fails
By SCOTT MERZBACH
Staff Writer

Friday, August 28, 2009

AMHERST - Commemorative American flags are not expected to fly over Amherst's streets Sept. 11, despite an appeal from an Amherst blogger who wants the Select Board to change its policy governing their use.

Larry Kelley, a Town Meeting member from South Pleasant Street, told the Select Board this week that it should have the 29 flags fly every Sept. 11.

"History will always remember what happened on 9/11, and I think the town should remember it," Kelley said.

Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O'Keeffe told Kelley that the issue could be considered at the board's next meeting, on Monday, but only if another board member asked for a new vote. This did not happen.

"I had asked Select Board members to let me know by 9 this morning if they wanted to have this issue put on Monday's agenda," O'Keeffe said in an email Thursday. "None did."

Kelley's request came even though the Select Board last year approved a policy that will allow the commemorative flags to fly every three years, meaning the next time they will be up is in 2011, the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. This compromise idea was offered by former Chairman Gerry Weiss.

O'Keeffe has said she personally supports having flags fly every year Sept. 11, but understands this is not a sentiment shared by everyone.

"Last year we made a multi-year decision supported by a majority of the Select Board," O'Keeffe said.

Kelley pointed out that Aaron Hayden, who joined the board in November, has not been able to vote on the topic. On Kelley's blog, he refers to O'Keeffe's decision to leave the matter off the next agenda as a pocket veto.

During the public comment period, Ernie Dalkas, of East Hadley Road, talked about the recent injury suffered by Joshua Bouchard, an Amherst Regional High School graduate, who lost a leg in Afghanistan. Dalkas said this illustrates how Sept. 11 is still being felt.

Kelley said the date that 3,000 Americans were killed in new York, Washington and Pennsylvania remains important.

"Now you can't look down at a nine and an 11 without it striking at your soul," Kelley said.

O'Keeffe said the town annually commemorates the day by having a ceremony at the downtown fire station, which board members and others attend to reflect on the loss of lives.

On Sept. 10, 2001, the board set Patriots' Day, Memorial Day, Flag Day through Bunker Hill Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, and, every four years Inauguration Day, as the only days the commemorative flags can go up.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Larry, do you know a place where I can buy a large flag to hang in my store window on 9/11. Maybe others will follow suit. Amherst hasn't stopped individuals from flying the flag yet.

LarryK4 said...

There's still time, so I would say the net is your best bet.

Anonymous said...

On Sept. 10, 2001, the board set

Patriots' Day,
Memorial Day,
Flag Day through Bunker Hill Day, Independence Day,
Labor Day,
Veterans Day, and, every four years Inauguration Day

If the board had received the PDB that said OBL determined to strike in the United States, then maybe they would have had the foresight to make a different decision.

Since then, the board decided to fly flags on 9/11 once every three years. One in three years is a stupid policy and god knows where that comes from but it is there and if it doesn't change this year, it's because Larry Kelly didn't bring it up with sufficient notice.

And this kind of stuff, "Amherst hasn't stopped individuals from flying the flag yet" just makes you guys look like powerless victims. Get a wahmbulance.

LarryK4 said...

Oh, I've brought it up every year since 9/11, so they certainly have had "sufficient notice" that this would come up yet again.

I believe last year when they came up with the stupid policy of once every three years (because one-third of Amherst Town Meeting voted for the flags) I mumbled into the microphone "see you next year" as I left the witness stand.

Anonymous said...

As somebody who is a card carrying LIBERAL who loves to fly the the flag, I am offended by the constant drum beating that only you conservatives honor the flag.

LarryK4 said...

Well then I guess you are cut from a far different liberal cloth than the Amherst Select Board.

(Damn, I didn't know LIBERALS got cards!)

'bach said...

let me tell you a little something about powerless victims of amherst politics....

send me the whambulance, please.

LarryK4 said...

Staffed by 72 virgins.

'bach said...

tramps please

'bach said...

just 2 will be fine

Anonymous said...

Dear 'bach,

Please continue your whining. It's really quite entertaining.

'bach said...

gladly

'bach said...

i like a commenter on t.d.'s blog who stated

"just one more reason to avoid that shit hole called amherst"

'bach said...

my favorite quote...

When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign, that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

Sam said...

If you are interested in purchasing a large flag try Sentry Uniform in Chicopee. They may have them:
http://www.sentryuniform.com/

Ed said...

If Century doesn't, they can order. They are the folks we got the UMass (yes, UMass) flags from.

Great people to work with. Also lowest price, cheaper than internet.

From 202 in South Hadley, take 33 toward Chicopee, turn left off that between the Knights of Columbus (on right) and WalGreens (on left) and they are about a mile or so down that road on the left.

Ed said...

Correction, yes it is Sentry.

Dan said...

"On Kelley's blog, he refers to O'Keeffe's decision to leave the matter off the next agenda as a pocket veto."

On a tangent from the whole issue of whether the flags should be flown or not, is anybody else amused by the idea that a blogger has posted an article to his blog which, in the text of the article, cites a comment that said blogger posted on said blog.

Seems kinda "meta-" to me.

Dan said...

Correction, the above should have included a question mark, not a period.

LarryK4 said...

I call that "behold the power..."

Damn, there I go quoting myself on my own blog (that gets 200 hits per day vs the Gazette that prints over 20,000 copies per day.)

Any other question Nitwit?

Dan said...

"Any other question Nitwit?"

Well, since you left it open for me to ask:

I haven't been reading this blog for a LONG time, however I've noticed a certain fondness on your part for the word "nitwit". I feel like in most of the posts I've seen since I've started reading you've used the term at least once or twice in either the main message or in the comments section (for a good example, note your response to my off-topic-but-ultimately-rather-harmless post). Is there a particular reason which you enjoy using this term as opposed to others? How long has this word been a personal favorite of yours? Do you find it to be particularly convincing when it comes to showing people the folly of their ways? Do you feel that it's usage can sometimes lead to more trouble than it's worth, inspiring bored readers of your blog to write unnecessarily long diatribes in which they question your use of the word "nitwit"?

Feel free to use "nitwit" or any other appropriate words as many times as needed in your response.

Oh, also, did you notice that the clock tower works again? Way to go LK!

Ed said...

Actually, the more I think about it Larry, the point is moot for a very different reason - the presumption that the downtown business district will remain as such.

If the town is successful in closing Lincoln Avenue (and I don't think they realize just whom they are going to be pissing off as Lot 71 is Whitmore) then what they will accomplish - what they intend to accomplish - is making University Drive the new downtown.

And with declining local off campus student enrollment and less spending money, the stores in the current business district will become vacant. The essentials, gas, grocery & post office, already are on U-Drive

Ed said...

One more thing - lots of the people who use Lincoln Ave are coming from either South Amherst or Belchertown, they go through the traffic light at Amherst College and then onto Lincoln. Pushing them through downtown involves FOUR MORE traffic lights and isn't going to happen, they instead are going to find it quicker to drive 3-5 extra miles (and create extra pollution) to come in Bay Road to Route 9.

Which is the Hadley Business District. And when they need to purchase something, they will stop at the familiar. And Downtown Amherst no longer is...

This will put Hastings out of business, take out a couple of the resturaunts, as well as all of the "impulse" stores. The places with destination appeal (Vanna's) might make it, but little else will.

I don't know if the Chamber of Commerce realizes just how stupid this decision is.

LarryK4 said...

Actually Anon 2:15 AM I usually tie the word Nitwit with the words Cowardly Anon, like this:

Cowardly Anon Nitwit!

Yes, I did notice the clock was working (and the UN flag also came down to half staff/)

Anonymous said...

"Cowardly Anon Nitwit!"

Cowardly = Someone who is not acting like a thin-skinned bully that challenges people to come down to his studio and fight.

Anon: Someone that's not a publicity seeking narcissist.

Nitwit: Someone who's not a know-it-all closed to any ideas but his own.

Source: Webster's Dictionary of Larry

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I guess that makes you a Hero.

Anonymous said...

Hero = Someone who is a glutton enough for punishment that s/he will come back to this blog in the hopes of politely sharing ideas.

Anonymous said...

"I've noticed a certain fondness on your part for the word "nitwit"...Is there a particular reason which you enjoy using this term as opposed to others?"

I think it's because "pinhead" is already taken. Larry's an O'Reilly wannabe you know. He's schooled himself on the technique of resorting to insult when not adequately able to utilize reason to challenge the integrity of an opposing opinion... which readers of this blog know is quite frequently.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed his tendency to avoid discussing ideas and instead resort to name calling.

Attacking the person to avoid the idea is standard O'Reilly operating procedure.

Anonymous said...

Heard a rumor there is a private citizen who will be raising American Flags thru town the midnight hours of Sept 10....

Anonymous said...

As usual, the angry blogger doesn't get it. It's not that the rest of the town doesn't feel the same pain. They just don't need the flags to remember.

As for this nonsense:
"Oh, I've brought it up every year since 9/11, so they certainly have had "sufficient notice" that this would come up yet again.

I believe last year when they came up with the stupid policy of once every three years (because one-third of Amherst Town Meeting voted for the flags) I mumbled into the microphone "see you next year" as I left the witness stand."

Unfortunately, the rest of the Town does not pay close attention to everything the angry blogger says.

As for the 200 hits per day... this has been covered in the past. It's like Dilbert or News of the Weird. Time to accept that there is no "power of the blog." It's just amusement for many of us.

And I still think it's great that few of the "anonymous cowardly nitwits" have resorted to childish name calling. You go people!

By the way: Bully: browbeat: discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate.... Hmmm.
Dave

LarryK4 said...

"Unfortunately, the rest of the Town does not pay close attention to everything the angry blogger says."

Hmmm...But YOU certainly seem to "Dave".

Anonymous said...

Yes "LarryK4"
Some of us do, but like I said "It's like Dilbert or News of the Weird. Time to accept that there is no "power of the blog." It's just amusement for many of us."
There is no place else we can go to hear a "grown-up" threaten anonymous people, ridicule them and others, etc. It's not that it influences our thinking. It's just inexpensive entertainment.
Well, off to read the comics, and then the Onion.
Thanks,
"Dave"

LarryK4 said...

"It's not that it influences our thinking."

Hard to influence that which does not exist.

Anonymous said...

Already there are generations of people who don't regard Pearl Harbor day with much significance - 9/11 will eventually get to that point - either that or simply be overshadowed by some eventual terrorist plot much grander.

So sure, fly some flags if you want.

LarryK4 said...

And if YOU happen to be a casualty of that "much grander" terrorist plot would your loved ones not want the town, city, state or country to remember?

(Even if you are a Nitwit.)