Thursday, March 15, 2012

A stitch in time...

 APD in riot gear. Townhouse Apartments 3/10/12 
Even the Amherst Bulletin is aroused!

While the $10,000 state grant to the Amherst Police Department for party control, compared to their $4 million annual operation cost may not sound like much, it comes at a critical time for our beleagured officers of the law:  Spring.

Although, considering the level of drinking and debauchery on display this past weekend for the "Blarney Blowout," they could have put it to good use a little sooner.
McMurphy's, Stacker's Saturday 3/10/12 10:45AM  Tommy Devine vid

But with that other day of debauchery--the Hobart Hoedown--looming on the near horizon, APD could use all the extra help they can muster.  Too bad the  Amherst Fire Department, equally overburdened by party revelry, could not benefit by a temporary grant (or permanent increase in staffing).

AFD & APD respond to ETOH (passed out) student 3/10/12 4:00 PM


Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, we've got to stamp this out! A lot of people peacefully standing in a line. For shame!

LarryK said...

No, no, it wasn't all that peaceful.

Three arrests for open container violations from that line and one incident of drunken fighting.

Anonymous said...

Sheesh, Larry. You really need to get a life!

LarryK said...

Give voice to the voiceless. Can't ask for a better life.

Anonymous said...

You are obsessing over these college kids standing in a line outside a bar. Did you ever think that at some point you are the one who looks like a fool?

LarryK said...

No, I don't. And up until now nobody has even suggested it.

And you're a Cowardly Anon Nitwit, so you don't count.

Anonymous said...

LarryK said...

Cowardly Anon Nitwit said...

3 arrests for drinking and a fist fight. Assuming a large fist fight, let's say 10 people for the fun of it, translates into 0.00052% of students causing trouble of a population of about 25000. Assuming more realistically the fight occurred between two individuals the truer percentage of students the town likes to stereotype off of falls more in line with 0.0002%.

Troubling odds indeed.

LarryK said...

I think you have to look at the big picture, which includes all the party houses cited that night (at least one of them owned by the same entity that owns McMurphy's and Stacker's), the AFD being overwhelmed by ETOH students very late that night.

Three emergency medical calls had to be handled by other fire departments located further away.

And the general unattractiveness of kids urinating and vomiting on folks lawns.

One high ranking public safety officer told me about going through town center with his family on Saturday late morning and drove by a drunk college student urinating on the somewhat new fence in front of the Emily Dickinson museum.

Great advertising for the town, eh?

Cowardly Anon Nitwit said...

Even including those calls I can almost guarantee with 100% certainty that constitutes such a small part of the population of students. I can also guarantee the crazy "fly the American flag 5 times a year you're a militaristic neo-con!" reputation of the town is worse than some drunk idiot peeing at 1 am. What the town gets in exchange for dealing with such a tiny population of trouble makers are two reputable colleges, a nationally ranked research university, and plenty of economic growth. I understand the resentment towards idiots like that, I despise them as they belittle my college degree and give townsfolk stereotypes that aren't truly reflective of me. I am, along with a growing chunk of student population, growing agitated with the town treating us all with one knee jerk NIMBY reaction that we can't help to change.

Ed said...

I think you have to look at the big picture

No Larry, it is *you* who are missing the ultimate big picture -- that of just how small the Amherst jail is. I have never seen it, and have never gotten the same number twice, but there has to be an official number of how many prisoners they are permitted to have in there, and my guess is that it is under 30.

After a rash of suicides in the 1980s, Massachusetts has very strict standards on municipal lockups and I would be very surprised if that didn't include maximum capacity.

One high ranking public safety officer told me about going through town center with his family on Saturday late morning and drove by a drunk college student urinating on the somewhat new fence in front of the Emily Dickinson museum.

And what did he do? Keep going, which is what I suspect, or tell his wife that "I really have to do something about this" and ask her to come back for him in 10-15 minutes? And I don't care if this was an AFD guy - there is a lot to be said for the older male saying something like "son, exactly what do you think you are doing?"

And I say again, if the cops weren't bullying thugs -- which is what they are to students (and what I am putting in my dissertation) -- then we would have people like me going to the same young man and saying "what the f*** do you think you are doing?"

It is called "peer standards" except in Amherst you have lost the peers.

And where are the public toilets?
Where is the town's demand for adequate toilet facilities in bars? We know that the same volume of beer that goes in is going to come out, we know how much beer people sell, we need to demand toilet facilities for the same quantity of urine.

The town is licensing people to sell a product (beer) without having enough toilet facilities -- and the financial costs to bar owners for toilets both their own and to support a public one, are shifted to social costs of kids urinating on lawns.

What about a surcharge on alcohol licenses to support a public toilet facility? I am probably *the* most conservative person in this town and I think that is fair.

Ed said...

One other thing -- how many arrests were there for open container violations in the 1970's?

And how did the town ever survive without that ordinance?

It did, didn't it?

LarryK said...

And in the 70s and early 80s before the crackdown on drunk driving and before the National Minimum Drinking Age Act (21) was enacted (1984), drunk driving accident rates were as out of control as a drunk driver.

Anonymous said...

hey larry, do us all a favor and shut the fuck up.

LarryK said...

"You can't handle the truth!"

Ed said...

OK -- if drunk driving in the 1970s was "out of control" then cite your stats.

But how does this relate to pedestrians? And how did the town deal with the issues you raise -- neither involving vehicles now or then -- back in the 1980s when the drinking age was 21?

LarryK said...

"Alcohol-related traffic fatalities per vehicle miles driven has also dropped dramatically -- from 1.64 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 1982 down to 0.56 in 2005 (the latest year for which such statistics are available)."

Ed said...

Larry there are three problems with that statistic you cited.

First, it accounts for neither number of vehicles nor median miles driven per year.

Second, that is a national statistic not relevant to a specific town.

And third, I was talking about pedestrians who aren't driving anyway. Are you going to show fatalities per pedestrian mile walked?

I am no fan of these drunken louts, but facts do matter...

LarryK said...

100% of drunk drivers start off as pedestrians.

Ed said...

100% of drunk drivers start off as pedestrians

And 100% of Amherst townies are hypocritical schmucks seeking to hold the young adults of today to a standard that they neither were held to in their youth nor would have tolerated being held to.

The extent to which alcohol was consumed on this campus and in this town in the 1970s and 1980s makes the UM undergrads of today look like members of the Womens Christian Temperance Union.

No one wants to talk about this, but as the university expanded in the 1970s, the kids who came out here as students remained in the town, many working for the university, others with assorted jobs, nonprofits and grant funded stuff related to what they had studied at the university.

And these are the people who largely control the town today. And they are upset about people doing things less obnoxious then they, themselves, did at age 20.

If we want to say that UMass is bringing in more undergraduates than the community can support, I would agree. But that means less jobs, less money for the merchants, even less beer sold with the 1.5% tax going to the Town.

No one wants to say that.

You want the money the students bring, but you don't want them to behave the way that you did when you were students. Right.

And then something like this. I have lost the last scintilla of respect I had for the townie argument, it is nothing more than all the stuff done a century ago to prevent Catholic churches & schools from being built -- by people who just didn't like Catholics.

Ed said...

I will be out of this town when the big riot happens -- and it will be soon -- and then when you all go to the General Court for reconstruction assistance, I will ask "exactly why are we subsidizing a university located 2 hours from where our kids live, 2 hours from anywhere they want to be (city, beach, ski slope), in an area where their only recreational opportunity is to drink & fight, in a community that so clearly detests them?"

And it may not even take a riot. The higher ed boomlet is imploding, and kids (OK, their parents) no longer see the college degree as the ticket to the good job. There are already 17,000,000 college graduates doing jobs that only require a high school education, and people know that.

Larry, what is going to happen when the hated students simply don't show up some fall?

LarryK said...

An end to my popular "Party House of the Weekend" reports I assume.

Anonymous said...

Oh no...we've lost the last scintilla of Ed's respect. THE VERY LAST SCINTILLA. Surely the Perfect Storm he's been predicting---UMass riots, dwindling enrollment, rogue asteroids, dogs and cats living together---cannot be far off. And Ed, with his uncanny foresight, will be safely far away when the storm hits, gloating that "I warned them, I warned them, and then I withdrew my LAST SCINTILLA of respect, and now they drown in their own townie ignorance."

Cowardly Anon Nitwit said...

Larry, you're a smart man with an enjoyable blog, why do you bother approving posts along the line of Ed's or Anon's "STFU!"

Either way, I do not see the fairness in some of your statements, given the overall small percentage UMAss needs 9-1-1 coverage as opposed to some of the private schools and the disproportionate anger towards the school felt. Even if we did look at the big picture the blame is still unfair, and dollar for dollar it is less efficient than other alternatives.

In addition I believe the noise violations should be reduced but handed out more often. It is not the price, but the officers and the way they act which undermines the town effort.

Shelley said...

Moved to Amherst in 1960, at the age of 6, living very close to UMass, before the building of Fraternity and Sorority Park. Fraternities at one end of the street, and sororities at the other, and about the loudest noises hear were the roars from the football field where there now is a parking lot, and the pleges doing their running and singing in the dawn hours. I guess the differences may be accounted for by alcohol being allowed on campus, and the general social atmosphere not revolving so much around it.
There was a Homecoming parade, Winter Carnival with a snow sculpture contest, and the Greeks at UMass engaged with the community in a positive way. My friends and I, at age 8,9,10 would go and help stuff the toilet paper into the chickenwire framing the guys at the end of my street built. They hosted a party for the neighborhood kids at Christmas. When had the chickenpox and couldn't go, they sent one of the brothers to my house to deliver a Christmas present, in person. They treated the town residents like they belonged to our neighborhood. As in... Neighbors. Not as a yard to use for a public urinal.
Perhaps the difference it the size of residence halls in Southwest. I recall reading about overcrowding and what the consequences are for antisocial behavior. It certainly seems the case.
I went to the Univ. of Vermont in the mid 70's. Smaller campus, and the Fraternities there had more of the alcohol problems that are present here, but they were confined to the house, not spilling out all along the blocks between downtown and the campus.
Civility and respect go two ways. When I sit on my porch til 3 a.m. to keep the vandals away, it works, and (most) of the rowdies quiet down. But there are those who stagger drunkenly in my direction, and loudly yell, asking if I want to Parrrrrrty???
Excuse me?