Thursday, March 24, 2011

Shock and awe campaign

A couple hours after hearing Chief Livingstone report on the effectiveness of the bylaw fine increase for noise and alcohol violations, Select Board Chair Stephanie O'Keeffe floated another potentially potent weapon in the war on inappropriate behavior: license review.

After all, she points out, the Amherst Select Board members are all duly sworn in by the state as "liquor commissioners" so perhaps it's time to hold businesses responsible for activities that promote bad behavior.

Ten years ago when bars (the same two she is now referencing, one of them under different management) flagrantly violated the new controversial smoking ban and were laughing off $50 tickets for infractions, the Select Board threatened to suspend common victullar (food handling) or liquor licenses to those businesses not getting the message.

Compliance quickly followed and is now the accepted norm statewide.

The Bully comes out swinging


Anonymous said...

fuckin booze nazi's

Anonymous said...

This is just complete B.S. The problems are coming from parties, not from bars. Harrass local businesses, very smart.

LarryK4 said...

Well I'm sure Judie's Restaurant, immediate neighbor to Stacker's Pub, felt a bit harassed when they called Amherst Police at 10:00 AM to request crowd control.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Amherst isn't used to customers. Everyone go back to sleep.

LarryK4 said...

Certainly not for a large number of them seeking copious amounts of alcohol at 10:00 AM

Anonymous said...

Laary, you aren't referring to St. Patrick's Day weekend I hope. That isn't typical. And if my neighbors want to have an occasional loud pary, and they alert me beforehand, I am fine with that.

Because someday I might want to have one.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I am. And I'm Irish as they come.

Glad you are not my neighbor.

Anonymous said...

Please understand that in Sleepyville everyone's supposed to go to bed at 8:00 PM. The bars only serve warm milk.

Anonymous said...

this discussion brings up the perennial issue of amherst's personality disorder. the battle between townie and "invader."

sorry amherst but we can't have the benefit of the five colleges (still thinking umass would make better farm land) without the burden of thousands of the self absorbed idiots attending these schools.

property owners and businesses making money off these little a-holes (generalizing here) have to give up any hope of a nice, sleepy, community where the only thing one can hear is the chirping of birds and the hum of electric cars.

still, as a native of amherst i don't recall this noise and damage problem being quite this bad even in the eighties when i was a wild eyed townie drinking my own body weight in whiskey. i was an a-hole too once.

i'm not at all suggesting the problem be ignored. what i am saying is that i think the first step is recognizing the problem lies at the feet of the prevailing self indulgent society fostered by the "if it feels good, do it" baby boomers running the schools and raising these little darlings, and with the residents of amherst who fail to realize you reap what you sow. we can't plow over umass (pity) but some mia culpa is in order as is some level of acceptance. the town has a history of puting residents and townies second to the interests of investors/land developers and the colleges.

i believe one of larry's recent posts sited roughly half of the properties in town are rental. if i am recalling this correctly that puts residents/townies at a disadvantage. there are more of "them" than of "us."


Anonymous said...

I had the same reaction as Ms. O'Keeffe when downtown that Saturday. What the hell is going on here and why is it going on at this hour of the day? There can't be a St. Patty's day celebration in the night time hours of that weekend? Kegs and Eggs? Come on. Bad messages all around.

Anonymous said...

This happens every weekend night. One Saturday morning and everyone is in an uproar...Shaffer started cutting public safety and this board has continued the cuts. News to the selectboard, your police dept is grossly under staffed and over worked!!!

LarryK4 said...

Yes, I could not help but notice last week the bricks-and-mortar media did the traditional puff pieces on APD and NPD hiring new officers.

Beleaguered Amherst hired THREE and Hamp hired NINE.

Hmm...what's wrong with that math. Maybe they could have done a tad more background to explain total department strength with the new hires, population served, the demographic of that population, number of calls handled, department strengths ten years ago, etc

And yes, the same can be said for AFD.

Anonymous said...

The Select Board has no authority to do anything here.

What they SHOULD look into is the enormous amount of underage patrons at the Monkey Bar. It boggles my mind how they haven't yet raided that place or cracked down. Literally 50% of the patrons are under 21.

Why don't you look into this Larry?

Also, you should do a video blog, go out one night in Amherst and catch the madness!

Anonymous said...

The point here folks, is about town businesses sponsoring a SPECIFIC event that encourages irresponsible drinking in the daytime (beginning at 10 AM) hours in our downtown; when children and families are out and about, regular townspeople trying to shop, go out to eat, etc. It isn't about the typical, weekend night, past children's bedtime and evening dining hours shenanigans that go on. That's a separate issue, related only in that you would THINK that the businesses in question, who must know about the strain that excessive student partying puts on town resources and neighborhoods, would be a little more sensitive and civic minded rather than wanting, only, to cash in on a "drinking holiday" that would otherwise fall during Spring Break week. If these things aren't occurring to them on their own, then I think this is exactly the kind of thing that The Select Board has the right to question.

We shouldn't have to rely only on more tax payer supported police who basically serve as drunk herders in our downtown. We need to have some common sense policies with buy in from the businesses that nurture (which was clearly the case in this instance) the drunkenness to begin with.

Anonymous said...

combined umass and apd have over 120 officers

case closed

LarryK4 said...

Yes Gerry, but they have different missions and a different beat.

Although they have been working more and more closely these past few years and are planning joint patrols over the next couple months (along with assist from State police)

And last I looked, UMass had NO fire department.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious. What's different about the missions, exactly? And why such a different beat, especially now that UMASS has opened the door for anyone but Freshman to live off campus? Their students are in our neighborhoods. Shouldn't their "beat" naturally get extended, given that reality.

And, out of curiosity, what is the population of Amherst, including students? And how does that 120 officers per capita, rank compared to other communities with similar populations. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

The national average is 2.02 officers per/1000 residents. Amherst population 37,000+ looks like there should be 74 officers not 42.