Thursday, January 7, 2010

Slip sliding away

So it's January in the People's Republic of Amherst and it is of course freakin cold. So where's our skating rink at Kendrick Park???

Anyone remember those ill-fated attempts over the past few years that generated almost no results after plenty of DPW worker time expended? The Town Mangler is quoted in today's bricks and mortar media extolling the virtues of "mutual aid" in the God awful fires in Northampton, where AFD ended up as the first responder to the killer fire on Fair Street.


A few thousand expended for mutual aid assisting our real "Sister City" to the west on a public safety matter is one thing (especially when they reciprocate in a heartbeat). But the same amount expended for a half assed skating rink that nobody uses?

Last year around this time


Anonymous said...

Your criticism is perplexing. Money was NOT spent this year making an outdoor skating rink ("half-assed skating rink") are at Kendrick Park. Why can't you applaud the choice when you think it's the right one?

LarryK4 said...

Well my reliable sources tell me the Town Mangler is gearing up to attempt it, once AGAIN, this year.

And the problem is he can engage in a pissing contest with me over losing recreational items like this or Cherry Hill Golf Course--all at TAXPAYER expense.

Hey, a few thousand here and a few thousand there...

Anonymous said...

Then shut up for once and maybe he won't get in a pissing contest with you.

LarryK4 said...

But then would what would bring the likes of you to my blog????

Anonymous said...

Gotcha again Anonymous 12:59 PM and 4:58 PM (I assume you're one and the same shadowy person):

Larry doesn't care if you LIKE him; he doesn't care if you think he MAKES ANY SENSE; he only cares if you READ him.

But take heart: even people with the minimal intestinal fortitude to sign their own names (apparently the ultimate act of courage in the "wussosphere") have been sucked into the Larry Kelley Vortex of Provocation.

He's our local Venus flytrap.

Rich Morse

LarryK4 said...

Actually Mr. Morse, you're correct on two out of three: I don't care if he likes me, I don't care if he thinks I make sense, BUT I don't give a God damn if that Nitwit reads me or not.

Anonymous said...

Like all blowhards you like to hear yourself talk and think everyone should listen to you, but you loath to listen to anyone else.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah,ESPECIALLY when it's an Anon.

Realist said...

Oh for goodness sake...stop trying to psychoanalyze Larry Kelley!!! This is HIS blog, which means that it's HIS format, HIS rules, HIS content, HIS personality that predominates, etc., etc. You don't care for any of the above? Then GO ELSEWHERE!!! It really is that simple.

To stick around his blog AND continuously complain about him & his "ways" just tells me that you are either incredibly masochistic OR you possess the very quality that you are complaining about: eg you like to see your words in print but you haven't yet learned how to really LISTEN to anyone else. So stop wasting your - and our - time complaining about LK's personality, etc. and maybe "light a few candles" of your OWN instead (translation: stick to the issues at hand & stop trying to shoot the messenger). OR...take LK's blog out of your "favorites" category and go surf elsewhere. Simple.

LarryK4 said...

Could not have said it better myself. (After contemplating my navel and hugging a tree while whistling Kumbaya.)

Anonymous said...

Or Realist....maybe some people started reading this blog because they see the name "amherst" in it, and the man who writes it presents himself as a journalist. AND maybe those self-same readers don't have the free time Mr. K. seems to have in order to do this, so they do depned on reading others "reporting". So perhaps they come to this blog to try to get a differing viewpoint from the Gazette's minimal "reporting" and the AB regurgitation of the same.

AND when those readers see something that doesn't ring true, they comment. But get disparaged for being anonymous.

So you post as "Realist" but isn't that anonymous as well...since you're defending Mr. K. he won't make derogatory comments about your post.

Harry T.

LarryK4 said...

Well said (for an Anon).

Anonymous said...

This just in:

"Town Not Building Bowling Alley on Common"

It's about as relevant as your non-news about the skating rink, or lack there of.

Anonymous said...

Then let me add something that matters since fck face Larry wont:


"Keeping Amherst Affordable: The override debate"


"2. It's time for our town officials to acknowledge their on-going contribution to the fiscal deficit. The current wage contracts approved by them were done in a fiscally negligent and irresponsible manner.

In FY2010, Amherst gave $2,171,526 in raises and had only $1,459,084 in projected revenues to cover those costs.

Close to half of the estimated deficit of $4 million in FY 2011 will be used for wage increases that range from 3.5 percent to 7 percent.

This override is mainly to pay for wage increases and to maintain beauracracies.

3. The town employs approximately 920 employees. Ten earn between $100,000 to $157,000; 24 earn between $80,000 to $100,000; and 433 earn between $50,000 to $80,000



Can you say "vipers nest of corruption"?

And they (including Larry kelly) want to blackmail/steal money in contract give-backs from employee who make 30,000 a year?!!!?

Yeah, I knew you could.


Education Matters: Deep probing of schools needed


"As uncomfortable as it is to raise these tough questions about our school system (AND ESPECIALLY THE TOWN!!!), we strongly believe that a lack of public scrutiny by parents, community members and particularly elected officials and reporters has real and lasting consequences for our children and our community. We feel this failure to ask probing, uncomfortable questions about the unique ways we do education (AND "BUSINESS") in Amherst damages the quality of our schools and strength of our public institutions."

Keep up the good work, Kelley...

Fcking tool.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LarryK4 said...

The F word I can deal with (use it a tad too much myself) but I draw the line at the C-word (male or female version).

And, I commented on my friend and beleaguered Blogger Catherine Sanderson's blog last night chiding her for a "delayed lead" in her Bully column while extolling the virtues of Stan Gawle's, which fortunately had slightly better placement.

Anonymous said...

Ok then, without the offending slang:

Amherst board backs MMA proposals

Staff Writer

AMHERST - Three means of reducing costs for cities and towns being advocated by the Massachusetts Municipal Association recently won support from Amherst's elected officials.

The resolutions, which will be presented at the MMA's annual business meeting in Boston Jan. 23, are aimed at giving municipalities design authority over health insurance plans, asking the state to take action on its unfunded portion of the police career incentive pay program, otherwise known as the Quinn Bill, and opposing all future unfunded mandates from the state.

Though reining in the cost of health coverage to Amherst is important, and could have the greatest savings for the town, this resolution was the only one that didn't win unanimous support from the Select Board at its meeting Monday.

The resolution seeks to empower communities "to be able to change, update and modernize the design of municipal health insurance plans" without going through collective bargaining and "determine plans and change health insurance co-pays and deductibles at least up to the level of the co-pays and deductibles in comparable plans that the commonwealth offers to its own employees."

Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O'Keeffe said her board already advocated for this because it would require a specific health plan for union workers and other municipal employees.

Removing the terms of health coverage from contract negotiations, where it is often used as a bargaining chip, "would be quite a tool for us," said Town Manager Larry Shaffer.

But board member Diana Stein said she would not be comfortable imposing this on employees. "I'm not happy with this one," Stein said. "I think it's changing the nature of what a salary is."

Stein said it could raise the costs of co-pays and deductibles, thus reducing the amount of take-home pay for town workers.

While the town has committed to full funding of Quinn Bill payments, recently assured in exchange for police officers giving up their cost-of-living raises, the Select Board is standing behind the MMA resolution calling for changes to be made. This year, the state is only meeting 17 percent of its match for the program, instead of the 50 percent obligation.

The resolution asks that towns not be required to pay the state's share, unless it is collectively bargained, and seeks legislation that would limit payouts under the program.

Stein supported this measure, but said she would have liked to see language included asking for full funding of Quinn Bill payments from the state.

Finally, a resolution to eliminate unfunded mandates won support. This resolution reads, in part: "The cities and towns of Massachusetts call on the Legislature, governor and the state's administrative agencies to refrain from imposing any further unfunded mandates and requirements on cities and towns, as said mandates harm municipal budgets, adversely impact municipal service delivery, and increase reliance on the property tax."

Selectman Aaron Hayden said that unfunded mandates have the consequence of increasing local property taxes, which are a less progressive form of taxation than the state income tax.

Can you say "CRIMINAL"?

I knew you could.


Anonymous said...

They want a fight?!

Oh, they're gonna get a fight...

Count on it.


Mary E.Carey said...

What beautiful light in this photo, Larry!

LarryK4 said...

Thank Mary!
My new camera rocks!

Ed said...

Two questions:

First, if the town needed 8 firefighters to be properly staffed, and they sent them forward to Hamp, and wound up with 16 people they called in, 16 being twice the eight that they actually "need" for Amherst, why weren't the other 8 sent forward?

And second, if Hamp doesn't loose money on mutual aid ambulance calls to Amherst, because the costs are paid by insurance, how does the AFD loose money on them????

Anonymous said...

Ed, the town needs more than 8 to be "properly staffed." The firefighters have been pushing for a higher minimum for quite some time. The towns residents need to wake up to this issue. The statistics are shocking.

AFD loses money because when they have all the on duty staff out covering calls to Amherst, Hadley, Etc. we have to pay overtime for station coverage and WAIT for the firefighters/EMTs to leave their jobs or homes to get to the station. It happens much, much more often than Noho coming here.

Ed said...

People were dying in Northampton, there were no fires in Amherst, and Amherst needed to retain TWICE its earlier nighttime staffing that night?

Like I said, people were dying in Northampton. How many firefighting resources did the smaller towns keep in reserve and what did they send to the front to help?

And Amherst is different, because?

Anonymous said...

Ed, they weren't sent because Noho didnt ask for them. Just be thankful that for ONCE we had enough coverage in the stations for our own town. :)

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Anonymous said...

So the overpaid crybaby supt. of schools can't take the heat. Did he have to submit to a pre-employment physical to determine if he was medically capable of fulfilling the terms of his contract as any potential DPW employee would have to?