Monday, April 16, 2012

Hot Time in the town

 UPDATE Wednesday morning:

The Gazette jumped all over the Puffers Pond Patriots Day trashing fiasco although, strangely, did not quote from the original email I first posted below which was sent to the Select Board, Town Manager, Conservation Director and anybody who is anybody in town government.  Story will no doubt be above-the-fold Front Page article in tomorrow's Amherst Bulletin, which does not hide behind a paywall.

Original Post:
In addition to the major disturbance at Townhouse Apartments on Meadow Street profiled in the post below, alcohol related incidents kept Amherst police on the go all over town--but particularly so in immediate neighborhoods around UMass: Fearing Street, Hobart Lane, Phillips Street, and North Pleasant Street.

In all Amherst Police issued seventeen $300 noise tickets ($5,100), twenty five $300 open container/underage drinking tickets ($7,500), and eight $100 possession of under one ounce marijuana tickets ($800) for a grand total of $13,400 in civil fines.

And most troubling of all, arrested two individuals--one male, one female--for the criminal offense of Driving Under the Influence.

By now you have probably read in the Main Stream Media about the tragic death of a 24 year old motorcyclist from Amherst hit by a driver going the wrong way on RT116 near UMass very early Saturday morning.

I have no confirmation (yet) that it was alcohol/drug related, but I've driven that route a thousand times and can't understand how you end up going the wrong way on such a well signed state highway in good weather conditions.
RT116 Amherst/Hadley: Note yellow lines, sign in center divider and another sign on right

Amherst Fire Department was also scrambling to deal with high call volume--so much so that we had to rely on mutual aid six times for an ambulance.  Note high number of ETOH (passed out drunk) calls that tied up our highly trained EMERGENCY first responders:

Oddest event of the weekend?  An 18-year-old arrested for "disorderly conduct" after urinating in the living room of a Meadow Street apartment.  He was, amazingly, drunk. Well in that case, not so odd.

Subject: Events at Puffers Pond on Monday, April 16th, 2012

I am a resident who lives near Puffers Pond and I was just made aware of the mess that was left by students this evening.  Luckily a few individuals cleaned-up after the students, but this is above and beyond having fun.  One of the 'clean-up crew' had shared these images with me and honestly, they made me sick.  I am not sure who or what department they should be forwarded to, for something to happen - so that this does not occur again!

Once again year round residents left to clean up after college aged youths


Editors Note:  UMass is now the largest employer in Western Massachusetts and has been Amherst's largest employer for over 100 years.  Every September Amherst is blessed to have thousands of exuberant new consumers flock to the University for the first time.  99% of UMass students are industrious, mature, decent individuals driving on the road to success.  It's the 1% you read about here.  And they need to change their act.


Class of '89 said...

Well stated in the end Larry, I respect your respect for the university.

LarryK said...

And just in the interest of transparency: I am a proud graduate of the University.

"You were. You are. UMass." (Although I will not be purchasing the license plate because somebody decided to edit out Amherst.)

Anonymous said...

My children have had the unfortunate opportunity to see so many (student) neighbors peeing in their yards that it's just not shocking anymore. I believe it is a sexual offense when my kids see men whip it out. But how could police ever catch those 30-second incidents?

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, be childish to the end. let me ask you a question. Does it have a Corsair on it? The Mascot of UMass-Dartmouth. Does it have a lighthouse? The symbol of the UMass-Boston Beacons. No, it has the Minuteman, symbol of UMass-Amherst.

LarryK said...

Ummm, you posted your Comment on the wrong post. A few more down is the UMass license plate fiasco.

But since you mention it, did it ever occur to you that perhaps a statistically significant number of folks who graduated from UMass Amherst were not sports fan-boys?

Anonymous said...

I am more a minuteman than I am an Amherst resident, sports or not. I never identified with the town or felt particularly welcome.

LarryK said...

I remember when they were called the "Redmen".

Obviously something is wrong with the entire License Plate program since it failed so miserably the first few times it was tried (without Amherst then as well).

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:13:

What can we do to make YOU feel more welcome in Amherst? Is there still time left?

Larry, what can we do to roll out the red carpet properly for these fine young people? Apparently, providing them with educational credentials is simply not enough.

Anon 9:10 am:

I'm sorry, but apparently there is no way for the police to enforce that norms of basic human decency, such as not urinating on someone's property, will be observed.

Yes, Mr. Minuteman, there are people who actually leave their own homes on weekends during the school year to live elsewhere,
because of the late night noise and hooliganism.

I know, I know: the standard student response is "Well, what did they expect?" Let the buyer of real estate close to a state university beware.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:19,

Why are you jumping all over anon 2:13. He/she just stated an opinion about the license plate and that they did not feel particularly connected to the town of Amherst but did feel more connected to the school What is so wrong about that? I get that. We don't really go out of our way to welcome the students, which is just fine. This student was just acknowledging the facts of the situation. When I was in college (many decades ago) I also felt much more connected to my school and not so much to the town the school was in. It's not a big deal. Calm down already.

Anonymous said...

This isn't necessarily a buyer beware situation. It's about being a good neighbor and acting like an adult. UMass doesn't have enough housing for all of it's students. At one time you couldn't live off campus unless you were a senior. Last year they didn't have enough housing for the incoming freshmen class. This has lead to houses being purchased in typical family oriented neighborhoods by landlords who don't live near by. Some of them care about how their tenants behave, and some don't. But this is more about the students understanding that they have a responsibility just like anyone else, to be kind neighbors, which also means not having 200 people at your house (many of whom you don't know), behaving in a manner that isn't appropriate. Yelling and loud music at 2 a.m. isn't o.k., just like it wouldn't be o.k. for your neighbors to start using a chainsaw next to your bedroom window at 5 a.m. either. This is about respect, which is earned, not automatically given.

John Anon 3:16 said...

I must comment on something that confuses me, particularly anon 3:19. The presence of the town in no way contributes to the education on campus, not at UMass. To be honest I wish I was in another town less politically hostile towards those with other views (particularly anything non-left) and to a relevant city. The majority of news about Amherst outside the valley occurs because of UMass, and many times students ever hear of the town is during the application process.

It is a wonderful town, but it is time to stop pretending that Amherst is NYC or even Worcestor, or that the things it offers couldn't be offered elsewhere to the same degree or even in a better way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:21 pm:

If the idea of moving to places like Orono, Storrs, or Knoxville pleases you, be my guest.

There are two other colleges in town and two others nearby. It's a rather unique situation. I am sure that there are other students who think those resources might contribute to their education.

My guess is that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere more tolerance for the behavior we have been faced with here.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ed, good thing that AFD isn't 911 for UMASS and that the police can handle all of those really simple calls. Great to know that the cops can handle chest pain, heart attacks, overdoses, respiratory emergencies, and car accidents. We should get rid of all of the paramedics.

Anonymous said...

The mess that the over 1,000 students left at Puffer's Pond should be the straw that broke the camel's back for this town. What is wrong with these kids???? I was throughly disgusted by the pictures in the Gazette this morning. Where do these kids come from that they think it's ok to leave the beach area looking like it did? I just don't get it. Do they behave this way because their parents never made them clean up after themselves. It's time that our Town Manager and Select Board did something about this. I admit I don't know what they can do but I certainly hope there is NEVER a repeat of the trash left at Puffer's Pond.

Anonymous said...

I suppose some college student will write in and say we should expect college kids to trash our beach at Puffer's Pond. After all isn't that what college is for? Isn't every American kid expected to go to college so they can drink until they puke and riot and then leave their trash all over the place.

College is difficult. It really makes the kids focus and work hard, so they need to be able to blow off the steam. We all know that life after college is simply a walk in the park, no worries, no hard work, no real need to blow off the steam. That's why none of us out of college are puking and peeing in the streets.

I can see that these college kids who trashed Puffer's are really learning how to party, which is a good thing.

After all, there is a lack of jobs in our country and we sort of need people to help us thin the herd to take the pressure off those college kids who are actually going to college to learn. Yep, going to college to deepen your alcoholic tendencies may actually help society.

Rehab centers need patients.

My only question to all of the brilliant students who do puke and piss in our streets and leave the pond completely trashed is why are you spending so much money to learn how to party when any idiot could the same thing for about 20 bucks?

Anonymous said...

A lawn company doing Spring cleanup on a lawn bordering Puffers (on Monday) deposited all the lawn debris into the pond.

What message did that send to the students present about keeping the pond and beach area clean?

The water there is gross enough without yard debris added!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to read Ed's excuse for this boorish behavior.

Anonymous said...

Hi, its me, Drunk, and my girlfriend, Skanky.
Yes we’re mostly UMass students and yes were at Puffers Monday and were like getting sick of being prejudiced against by the town of Amerst!
First, we get kicked out of the dorms on account of Skanky’s rescue service dog getting denied somebody’s pizza crust, and we might of even been homeless if it wasn’t for this cool rentail dude we found on the housing board.
So low and behold the dude owns a house—GET IT PEOPLE?—HIS HOUSE—R IGHT?—HE OWNS LIKE THIRTY OF THEM—JEALOUS NOW YOU ARE?—in this neighborhood where if we can’t find our car outside Stackers now we can walk home, and we don’t even complain about the lawn mowers going off on the weekend or the brats on their tricycles getting in our way going to Liquors 44 and all—were all like okay live and let live—but then there was my birthday party and some cop gets all up in Skanky’s grill and you now how that turns out.
So we try to do the right thing right—THE RIGHT THING!!!!—where nobody get’s a freaking noise ticket so we go to a public place to party, that cesspool Puffers, and for all you wusses complaining about dudes peeing on your lawn, well me and Skanky walk right into the waters to relieve ourselves so you don’t have to look at our genies and your like STILL NOT HAPPY.
I mean WHAT DO WE HAVE TO DO? I’m telling you, seven more years and when I get my BS I am outta here! BLOWING THIS BAGEL JOINT! SIANOROW! AREEVADURC HY! SO LONG AMERST! (Less of course Skanky's mom and the rentail dude finish what they started--she moves up from Paterson and man all bets r off 4 Amerst!)
Your neighbors,
Drunk and Skanky

Confused in Chicago said...

Um, what Drunk & Skanky? I hope you were drunk when you wrote that, otherwise what was the excuse for... I'm not sure. I'm more insulted that was your best insult against me than by the insult itself.

Anonymous said...

That may be the most honest comment from a UMass student in the history of this blog.