Saturday, October 23, 2010

Amherst dodges another bullet

Epilogue: So here it is 9:15 PM and my friends at the Springfield Republican still have not covered this rather important piece of news. Umass sent out perhaps 15,000 emails to staff and students yesterday and posted the potentially catastrophic news on their main website as did the town of Amherst at about 3:30 PM and it took both the Gazette and Republican till almost midnight to get it up on their websites. Inexcusable.

And only now at this late hour has the Gazette put up a "breaking" news story telling readers that boiling water is not necessary. It broke...a long time ago.

Town officials disappointed me a tad as well. They obviously knew I--the only reporter who took enough interest to show up-- was sitting out in the hallway waiting for the results, which they had around 1:15 PM.

I actually thought I heard clapping in the room about that time but it was muffled and a young college student who was waiting to report a stolen Mac laptop was distracting me. At 1:20 PM they send out the reverse 911 robocall from Town Manager John Musante saying the coast is clear. Info Tech Director Kris Pacunas had told me earlier that it only takes a few seconds to make that happen. Then at 1:31 PM the town website is updated with the news. SB Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe even emailed a few folks at 1:40 PM to give them the news. Meanwhile I'm pacing the hallway ten feet away worried I'll get a parking ticket. As Rodney Dangerfield would say, "I don't get no respect!"
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Liveblog: Arrived Police Station town center 11:45 AM

UPDATE: 1:47 PM Water tested safe. I'll drink to that!

12:04 We will know any minute now.

Town officials are hunkered down in the war room: new phones brought in, a couple hardwired computers (for Internet, since the anticipated results will be emailed). Stephanie O'Keeffe Select Board Chair and Town Manager John Musante just arrived. Guilford Mooring DPW Chief, has been here for a while. Fire and police officials of course (we are, after all, at the Police Station.) Kris Pacunas, Director of Technology.

12:17 PM Still waiting out in the lobby. Yeah, they threw me out of the war room.

12:24 PM Dave Ziomek, Conservation Chief, just left the room saying he was "the runner."

12:26 PM He just returned, and I asked if the "Results were in?". "No", he replied

12:47 PM Still nada. And my battery is running low. Wonder if they're serving coffee in there?

12:58 PM GRRrrrrrrr...

1:14 PM I just noticed the change the time on the town website to say after 1:00 PM for info up from 12:30 PM. Not sure what the hell is taking so long.

1:

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great work Larry!

Anonymous said...

yeah, thanks. Now I'm going off topic but is the link in the comments section in Amherst Bulletin (talkback) a fictious link or really at MA DOE? I'm not computer savvy enough to tell.

Anonymous said...

The water is fine...until Town Meeting starts and we'll start wondering what's in it again.

Anonymous said...

We all knew there was something up with the water for a while -- my bathroom smells like a pool room due to extra chlorine. Thanks for making them 'go public.'

By the way, the robocall from Musante was a nice touch, but mine started in the middle and had to recycle. Can you say, "mess up"?

Anonymous said...

Larry Kelley: Our Number One Source for News.

Anonymous said...

What. A. Loser.

Anonymous said...

from the official state education website:
http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/profiles/general.aspx?topNavId=1&orgcode=02100000&orgtypecode=5&leftNavId=122&

Anonymous said...

Mark Prince has joined the district as Director of Academic Effectiveness where he will assist the Administrative team in these areas along with NCLB (No Child Left Behind) requirements. Mark's credentials include experience as both a teacher and principal and most recently, a position with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as an Education Specialist where he concerned himself with emerging policy issues and State Performance Plan Indicators and regulations. He is a positive addition to the team. Please look for him at future Curriculum Sub-Committee and School Committee meetings.

Anonymous said...

"And from my standpoint as a black American, as far as I'm concerned, it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you. You will be lynched, destroyed..."


Wishing Mark Prince the very best.

Anonymous said...

BTW where are Hajji's note-books???

LarryK4 said...

Umm...sorry, you are speaking "in tongues".

Are you trying to tell me that Mark Price has rejoined the Amherst School system?

Anonymous said...

Mark has been hired by Northampton

Anonymous said...

Yeah and the Amherst KKKlan are ~still~ stalking him.


http://www.amherstbulletin.com/talkback/comment/?id=50762


Didn't they conspire to destroy his life once already?


How come that wasn't enough for you, blood sucking, ugly Amherst???

Anonymous said...

Never forget what they did to Dr. Rodriguez, EVER.


http://media.gazettenet.com/pdf/rodriguez_letter.pdf


Mr.Prince was merely their previous victim...

mox said...

the holy grail

http://www.youtube.com/user/Telavar#p/u/0/cqUwi5GxQ-c

Anonymous said...

Wow folks, have ANY of you talked to staff, parents at Wildwood???

This was not KKK etc, this was a problem of an administrator who did not do a good job.

so what you are defending is that if one is a minority, then one is entitled to do a BAD job????

goodness...what absurdity.

Anonymous said...

Rodriquez and Prince were both absolutely awful at their jobs...I don't care if they are black, brown, white, purple or pink. If you can't do your job you deserve to be out of that job.

Anonymous said...

Great work, Larry! You brought us another nonstory. Amherst almost boils water. It doesn't get any bigger than that. Consider yourself nominated for a Pulitzer.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I thought you would have a choice comment (can always rely on Cowardly Anon Nitwits for that.)

But the thing a reporter would not have picked up by simply doing a phone interview well after the event, is the tenseness on the faces of ALL the officials I observed up close and personal just before the results came in.

Anonymous said...

Yup! Cholera epidemic sweeping Haiti but you've got the real headline grabber.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like you care about Haitians.

Ed said...

Water doesn't boil in Haiti???

OK, maybe there is no chlorine bleach (two drops per quart will do the trick) but water doesn't boil there???

Come on now...

http://www.cdc.gov/cholera/prevention.html

LarryK4 said...

Actually spell check (which of course I do) would not have picked that up since the (wrong) word was spelled correctly.

That is why God invented Copy Editors.