Friday, December 24, 2010

Fox News

Top story disparages Umass undergrads and boxed story under it praises them. Fair-and-balanced indeed.

So almost 30 years ago I learned to grab a cheap headline by simply attending the venerable Amherst Select Board Monday night meetings to use the 6:15 Question Period as a bully pulpit.

And over the years, there would almost always be one of the five who would make the mistake of engaging me--His Lordship Mr Weiss (a signatory on the anti-Gateway petition) once referred to it as my "target practice".

Princess Stephanie has permanently squelched that possibility--with help from the new Open Meeting Law regulations-- by enacting a policy of not discussing anything at Public Comment that has not already been published in advance on the agenda. But obviously, you can still grab a cheap headline--and if it happens to be a slow news week in Amherst...

Amherst Media, formerly ACTV, did recently reair John Fox's full 11 minute diatribe last Monday night (missing half of it during the live broadcast) that in public speaking terms equaled 'War and Peace'--although obviously he's way more interested in war.

And you can certainly tell from his opening remarks that he is indeed a Washington lawyer. Sucking up to the Select Board and praising ARA chair John Coull who just happens to be Princess Stephanie's dad. Kind of like when a lawyer says "With all due respect" right before ripping into opposing counsel.

Although he did make an error of fact saying the Select Board works for "virtually nothing." They actually get paid a whopping $300 per year. In his 7-page diatribe to the Planning Board, extensively cited in this Select Board appearance, Mr. Fox trashes student undergrads:

"To put this in context of future undergraduate housing on Old Frat Row: for every 100 students, 52 can be expected to engage in Binge Drinking, and 28 can be expected to engage in Frequent Heavy Binge Drinking. In the case of 500 students, nearly 250 would be Binge Drinkers, and 140 would be Frequent Heavy Binge Drinkers."

Obviously statistics can be used in many ways: some skinhead member of the KKK, for instance, could easily use statistics showing racial or ethnic minority groups are disproportionately represented in the state and federal prisons, thus the ARA should ban minorities from applying for any housing erected on the Gateway.

The good news is because of the work of Campus and Community Coalition to End High-Risk Drinking This number of "frequent heavy binge drinkers" is actually down 20% from five years ago.

And as I recently highlighted, because of the economic impact of the fine increase to $300 for alcohol, nuisance house, and noise violations (at CCC urging) the rowdy, noisy party houses around Amherst have diminished.

But these NIMBYs will continue to make noise--lot's of it. And in a sense, it's the taxpayers who will pay that penalty.

Part two of his diatribe

And as previously mentioned:
Disclaimer: Although I'm a longtime member of the ARA, Umass graduate, currently a Continuing Education student and 5th generation Amherst resident, I speak here, as I always do, strictly for myself (and for the hard-pressed taxpayers of this town) using that cherished American ideal known as the First Amendment.


Anonymous said...

Fox is an asshole.

Anonymous said...

(Anonym)Ass is a foxhole.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful sentiment on Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

This blog has a strange unifying effect.

It rips people so badly, in such an over-the-top fashion, that one can't help but feel sorry for the targets, even if one completely disagrees with each target's point of view.

LarryK4 said...

At least I'm consistant

Anonymous said...

"that one can't help but feel sorry for the targets"

Feel sorry for the targets?!!?


You know they make chewable Prozac now, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey, angry guy with the Prozac obsession, you stay right by your computer, ok? Don't go out, don't do anything, just stay by your computer.

For the sake of the rest of us, just sit there and stare at the screen.

Until they're gone said...

You betcha.

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year to all those who were personally attacked on this blog this past year.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, especially all those Cowardly Anon Nitwits

Anonymous said...

That you so enjoy having with you.

That you could so easily prevent.

Without the anons, the comment section would become a vast wasteland.

LarryK4 said...

Said the Anon made comfortable by his Klingon cloaking device

Cinda said...

I fear what neighbors' reactions will be if UMass gives up this land donation effort and builds student housing on this site on its own.

By right UMass can build another ten-ish story South West or North Village(or even higher density)residential complex on this site with not much respect to town zoning bylaws.

But UMass is trying to help Amherst's tax base by donating this land and having a private developer build something that will have much lower density requirements than the land would today allow as UM property.

If i were an abutter with these two (private or UMass) development options, I don't think i'd sign a petition against the direction this is taking.

Roach patrol said...

One doesn't reason with roaches, Cinda. One crushes them under foot.


Nice and easy.

Ed said...

Cinda -- Unlike Southwest (which should never have had towers built on it) this is solid ground and they could build another five 22 story towers with 550 students in each for a grand total of 2,750 students.

But the bigger issue is what Mr. Fox's Neighborhood could come to be. A**holes like him have already made UMass a place where Massachusetts kids avoid and in the era of the internet, it won't be long before the rest of the country does likewise.

Then all you will have is a campus where all the students commute from somewhere else -- think traffic is bad *now* -- wait until then!!!!

0h - and as for UMass jobs -- can you say massive layoffs? The higher-ed bubble is about to burst anyway, and folks like Foxhole are going to ensure that Amherst takes a particuarly bad hit.

Just remember who did this to you...