Wednesday, September 22, 2010

ARA update: Remembering George N. Parks

So like all Amherst Redevelopment Authority meetings these past six months, tonight was nothing but 'Gateway Project.' And once again Deputy Chancellor Todd Diacon and Executive Director of the Office of External Relations Nancy Buffone showed up to demonstrate the continuing commitment of our major partner, Umass.

But if I were a cub Collegian reporter covering tonight's meeting, my lead fact would be that Umass will have a celebration ceremony to remember/honor/commemorate Marching Band Director George N. Parks on October 16--'Homecoming Day'-- at the Mullins Center, which has a seating capacity of 10,000... so that may be big enough.

Runner up fact: Deputy Chancellor Diacon confirming that the $182 million for student housing announced today in the Springfield Republican will have no impact one way or the other on the Gateway Project.

The 1500 bed dormitory will be in the center of campus (thus tax exempt) and God only knows how long that will take to get built since it will be a public undertaking as opposed to the Gateway Project which, like the Isenberg School of Management addition/renovation mostly funded by Jack Welch, will be farmed out to the private sector.

And finally, the ARA is now going to hold off on rushing a Request For Proposals for a consultant on the Gateway Project as we wish to carefully absorb more public advice--besides just the immediate neighbors who have given us continuous input.

The Springfield Republican reports

George N. Parks Facebook memorial page: 10,000 friends and still growing!


Anonymous said...

It was Harold Alfond (of Dexter Shoe) that gave the money for the Isenberg School of Management at UMass building addition. That's why the building is named after him.

Gene and Ronnie Isenberg gave the multi-million dollar donation to have the school named after them.

LarryK4 said...

Must have been the $5 million Jack Welch Scholarship program for Isenberg students I was thinking about.

Thanks for the correction.

Anonymous said...

Off the subject Larry, but there once was a day when you would have been all over the following. What's happened?

"Per the newly adopted National Health Care Policy...the list of the initial changes that will go into effect on Thursday. (9/23/10)

...Children of parents with insurance will be allowed to remain covered under those policies until the age of 26.

How can Amherst not follow this law? Told by Central Office that this coverage will be enacted next summer. Possible legal action?"

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and there once was a time I would be "all over" the Regional School Committee for violating the new and only slightly improved Open Meeting Law last night by discussing and voting on a motion out of the blue (as in, not on the Agenda) to appoint Maria Geryk as permanent Superintendent.

Anonymous said...

"Actually, Larry, you know as well as anyone that the OML revisions do *not* require an AGENDA, but a list of topics. And there is a difference, until the AGO/Division of Open Government rule otherwise.

All the training provided so far by various people from the state to various audiences have said it's not impossible to address something that isn't on the list of topics. Given that the superintendent search is a constant topic, I find it really hard to imagine the *AGO* saying this was inappropriate.

Of course, the School Committee members themselves always have that power based on doing their work and their standard practices."

Yeah yeah, see... I don't have a problem with officials cramming stuff down tax-payer's throats, see... yeahhh yeahhh...


LarryK4 said...

All I know there Anon, is that when I went to the 8/30 Select Board meeting to request they fly the flags on 9/11 (a "constant topic" every late summer for nine consecutive years) Princess Stephanie said they could not vote on the issue because it was not on the agenda as a topic for discussion.

Anonymous said...

What part of the center of campus is the new dorm complex slated to be? I can't find anything about location.


LarryK4 said...

Orchard Hill I believe.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:46 here Larry, I was directing that at Brewer who is quick to (try to) put you in your place but doesn't say a GOD DAMNED thing in support of tax-payers who have a right, NO MATTER WHAT, to be involved in this...

After all, it's OUR money...


And fuck Hajji.

info said...

Larry it's Kathryn from Atlanta. Call me please sometime tomorrow or over the weekend.


Ed said...

Larry, you are wrong.

The Isenberg School of Management was named after GENE ISENBERG who is the man who donated the money for the addition - I have met him, he is a nice guy. Graduated from UMass back in the 1950s when you could actually get a good but affordable education out here.

As for the dorms, they are to be phase 2 of the North Project, and will be across Eastman Lane from the existing new (defective) ones.

Anonymous said...

"The money to pay for the search is not in the budget, said committee Chairman Rick Hood, and will be located by moving funds around."

Rick Hood you're a fucking liar and you know it.

Anonymous said...

"Fifteen-year teacher Joan Snowden said the schools have regained stability under Geryk, who she said is forming coalitions and working on improving curriculum and instruction."

Oh, she's forming coalitions alright.

Anonymous said...

"All the training provided so far by various people from the state to various audiences have said it's not impossible to address something that isn't on the list of topics." <--Not what the Town Clerk said to me yesterday, regarding another Town board.

Seems like it might be (and I don't think so) following the letter of the law. Definitely not following the spirit of the law.

BTW, I may think the profanity, but I don't write it. So sign me, Clean Words Anon

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace, Mr. Parks. Have fun listening to that wonderful marching band.

--Clean Words Anon

Anonymous said...

Clean Words Anon - I agree that seeing profanity in print is not the most pleasant thing but sometimes a good, juicy curse word is the only thing that can fully express the depths of one's anger. And there's a lot to be angry about in our town. When I saw that the search for a new superintendent was going to cost upwards of $19,000 and it was not in the budget but they were "going to move funds around," well, I had a few choice words myself that expressed exactly how I felt about that. All we can do is shake our heads and call these people what they are - assholes. We vote them in and then have to suffer the consequences, don't we.

Anonymous said...

Amherst is the ASSHOLE of Western mASSachusetts. Everyone who resides on a board, from town to library are corrupt, ASS LICKERS and BUTT BUDIES.

signed, foul mouthed nitwit