Thursday, September 2, 2010

Will Amherst remember?



UPDATE: 7:15 PM. Okay, so I was wrong. Never bet on Amherst to do the right thing. Tonight the illustrious Select Board voted 3-2 against flying the American flags in the downtown this September 11. Mr Wald and Ms. Brewer voted in favor. O'Keeffe, Hayden and Stein voted no.

And in fact, they made the current once-every-three-year policy even more restrictive by voting to fly them only once every five years.

The Springfield Republican reports

The Amherst Bulletin 9/11/08
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10:30AM

So when the sound and the fury subsides the Amherst Select Board tonight will, inevitable, do the right thing and allow the 29 commemorative flags to fly in the downtown this year to remember our most tragic losses on 9/11.

I say this knowing Chair Stephanie O'keeffe is a politician first but a flag lover second and would never go on record voting against the American flag. Seasoned Select Board member Alisa Brewer is one-for-one voting to fly the flags annually, and obviously rookie member Jim Wald, a historian by trade, will support it since the only reason it's on the brief agenda tonght is because he requested it; otherwise, as Stehanie said on Monday"'the policy (not flying them this year) would stand."



The Springfield Republican reports (as usual, Comments are the best)

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'll be there. We need the flags.

How about setting up an email account here so we can reach you?

LarryK4 said...

amherstac@aol.com

Anonymous said...

Hi Larry,

A bit off topic but do you know if the town is footing the bill for this gentleman's legal defense (see last paragraph)? How
can one find out?


"In papers filed with the court Tuesday, Pourinski and South claim bus driver Robert Valle struck Abraham twice. A bus driver for 39 years, Valle, of Granby, subsequently retired.

Valle drove "negligently and carelessly," Pourinski alleges, and the town "was negligent in its retention, training and supervision" of him.

The collision was witnessed by Abraham's mother, Zulma Zavala, and sister, Gabriela Espinoza Zavala. His father, Abraham Espinoza, arrived at the crash scene a short time later. Each suffered "emotional distress" as a result, according to Pourinski.

Read about how police deal with the emotional stress of investigations here:

--The lead investigator in the Espinoza case speaks

Springfield attorney Carol Sakowski Lynch represents Valle and the town of Amherst, and in court filings denies each of the claims."


Thanks Larry,


Bernard Thompson

LarryK4 said...

My reliable sources told me at the time (when I pissed off the DA by posting that both State PD and Amherst PD accident reconstruction teams concluded it was an "accident" W-A-Y before she issued her 'official' ruling that it was an "accident'), that he was a conscientious driver and the result was simply a "horrible accident".

So even if the town is footing his legal bills I would not have a problem with that. Do you?

Anonymous said...

We tried.

LarryK4 said...

'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Thanks for trying.

Anonymous said...

How did we go from once every three to once every five? What the hell happened?

LarryK4 said...

Ask Princess Stephanie, it was her motion (and she was the deciding vote)

Anonymous said...

So does this mean that the flags will NOT fly next year, on the tenth anniversary?

What did you do to these folks tonight, Larry?

LarryK4 said...

Miscalculated I guess.

No, they will fly next year as part of the old agreement but then Stephanie's folly kicks in and they will fly on the 15th, 20th, 25th anniversary, etc.

As a former PR flack for the auto industry she is well aware of the media's fascination with anniversaries that fall on round number years.

Anonymous said...

In short, you blew it. Mr. Weiss, whom you disparage regularly, suggested that the flags fly once every three years to reflect that you got 1/3'd of Town Meeting to vote with you. But you wouldn't settle for that so you overplayed your hand by arguing that this was "a dreadful compromise".

The Missouri Compromise, "don't ask, don't tell", the designated hitter in one major league in baseball but not in the other: THOSE are dreadful compromises.

What's unfortunate is that you've been making a lot of sense on this blog lately, on the "mosque" issue at Ground Zero, etc.

On behalf of others in town who want the flag to fly as much as possible, don't do us any more favors.

Your misreading of town politics and town political figures happens on a regular basis (see bravado on the Charter). This was yet another example.

LarryK4 said...

All or nothing!

Why not every 5 years for Memorial Day?

Two years ago, before His Lordship Mr. Weiss's dreadful compromise, they were scheduled to fly NEVER.

So I'm still ahead of the game, Nitwit.

Anonymous said...

Lesson Number One, Grasshoppah.

There are very few outright victories in politics.

So stop pissing away the one qualified win that you have.

LarryK4 said...

Remembering 9/11 should not be considered "politics".

Anonymous said...

Stephanie O'Keeffe: float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

Larry Kelley walking right into the rope-a-dope.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah I'm sure her Dad, who spoke in favor of the flags, calling the compromise "silly" is real impressed with her about now.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie's a grownup - she's not changing her mind to suit Dad.

Anonymous said...

maybe those complaining should be the ones to come forward with the request next time. it seems they all think it is a personal response to you, so they should fix the problem themselves.

Anonymous said...

March 1, 1971, now there's a date Amherst would love to commemorate...

Anonymous said...

I confess to not knowing the history on this, other than that it's been an ongoing debate. But one thing I haven't heard, either on this blog or in the Springfield Republican piece, is the counter-argument. Did any of the Select Board who voted against flying the flags annually offer any reasons? Are they concerned about cost, or is their objection that it would be somehow inappropriate, or what? I'm always wary of forming an opinion in a situation like this without hearing what the opposition's position actually was.

LarryK4 said...

Well Mr. Hayden thought they were celebratory and 9/11 in nothing to celebrate.

In my presentation I clearly pointed out the flags now fly every Memorial Day and that is a day of mourning not one of celebration so either let them fly every 9/11 or remove Memorial Day as one of the allowed days.

Diana Stein said they could not be put at half staff, although on the morning of 9/11/01 Dave Keenan figured out a way to do that.

Stephanie just seems to like milestone anniversaries. I wonder if she only celebrates her birthday or marriage anniversary once every 5 years.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to change the subject but what was this guy smoking?


http://www.amherstbulletin.com/story/id/95991/


Anyone?

Anonymous said...

Why not expand the memorial day concept to include civilians who have died on American soil as a result of an act of war? This would include the 9/11 victims and the Ok City victims, and any others who gave their lives as victims of such terrorist attacks.

Larry: there's a new cause for you. Go petition the US govt to expand the Memorial Day.

Uncle Sam said...

Hey Larry, new topic: why didn't you break the story about the $700,000 surplus that Amherst reported on the Gazette today.

Slow on the draw on the biggest story of the day.

You're too emotionally attached to be a reporter. Get some distance on this flag thing.

LarryK4 said...

Actually the Springfield Republican broke that story on August 30th.

Pay attention nitwit.

Anonymous said...

You not covering the coke dealer school van driver story makes YOU the nitwit, Larry.

Tom Porter said...

What a disgraceful vote, but completely in character. I will stand with you at the town center and hold up a flag on 9/11 ... and again on 11/3.

LarryK4 said...

Thanks Tom.

Anonymous said...

"Hey Larry, new topic: why didn't you break the story about the $700,000 surplus that Amherst reported on the Gazette today."


Also, how necessary was the override?

LarryK4 said...

Do the math: The Override for FY11 was $1.6 million, BUT now they have an excess of $700,000 from FY10 that carries over so the Override should only have been for just under $1 million.

Strangely enough, I went on record very early in the process (due to the pointed questioning of prosecutor Rich Morse) saying I could probably support an Override just under $1 million.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

While I rarely see eye to eye with you on subjects, this is one where I whole heartedly agree. Why not also encourage our local business owners to display a flag inside their windows or outside their shops to offset the pig-headed select board members who cannot see that this is not in support of war or conflict but a memorial to those lost in a horrific attack on the principals that this country was founded on. That the majority of this town can't see beyond their nose appalls me. I guess education and ignorance can survive together. My 2 cents.

K

LarryK4 said...

Over the past 30 years of actively expressing my opinion about a few things I can honestly say I have never had so many folks come up to me in a public place for the first time to say "I've never agreed with you in the past but on this 9/11 flag issue I do."

Anonymous said...

"Strangely enough, I went on record very early in the process (due to the pointed questioning of prosecutor Rich Morse) saying I could probably support an Override just under $1 million."


Actually I remember that.


Nice call Kelley...

Anonymous said...

Lsarry Kelley, the Charlie Brown of Amherst. Lucy got you sgsin. Thanks for dressing like a ten-year-old.

LarryK4 said...

And thanks for the anonymous on topic, ad hominem attacks that really move the discussion forward.