Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More Beds Than A Barracks

 11 Phillips Street, Amherst (but touching UMass)

The crackdown continues on Phillips Street, the slummiest street in Amherst.  Over the weekend police busted 33 Phillips Street, arresting eight young men (including UMass party anthem "singer" Paul Markham) for rowdy behavior, and now 11 Phillips Street is in the crosshairs.

Of course both dwellings are owned by the "King of the Decadent Street", Stephan Gharabegian.  And yes, notice 11 Phillips is catagorized by our assessor as a "one family" dwelling, meaning only four (4!) unrelated housemates can set up shop under that particular roof.

From: McKay, Donald, Assistant Fire Chief
To: amherstac
Sent: Wed, Oct 31, 2012 1:51 pm
Subject: 11 Phillips St.


Larry,
              The following is the verbatim copy of the email I sent to the Building Commissioners office yesterday:            

At approximately 10:00 am today the Fire Department was contacted by APD Lt Ron Young who had concerns about the fire safety of the occupants residing at 11 Phillips St.

APD had obtained a criminal search warrant and discovered the fire safety concerns upon gaining entry to the residence. I responded and conducted a fire safety inspection.

My findings are as follows: The fire alarm system panel was in trouble and I question whether or not it was serviceable.  No permit has been issued for the new panel. I found a first floor pull station that had been activated and not reset.  I have no record of a fire department response to this address.

14 students in residence in the single family occupancy per APD. 1 bedroom with 2 beds on the 1st floor with 2 additional mattresses stored under each bed, 2 bedrooms with 2 beds each on the 3rd floor (# 7 & 8). Covered, disabled, or missing smoke detectors east and west bedroom, basement rooms 4, 5, 6, 9, 2nd floor rooms 7, 8, 3rd floor. Access to the fire alarm panel obstructed. Egress from the kitchen obstructed.

This spring and summer, Health, Fire, and Building inspected this residence on the 29th of June and the 17 of August.  Each inspection found the same number of bedrooms or possible bedrooms.  The owner did not allow us entry into most of the bedrooms as they were occupied and locked.

The students will not be allowed to sleep in the building until the fire alarm system is returned to service. I was able to make contact with the owner who was in New York and he did arrange to have the fire alarm system placed back in service.  I checked on this about 5:30PM last night.

Mike Roy is at the National Fire Academy this week but he and I have talked and upon his return we will issue fire safety violations to the owner.

Assistant Chief Donald R. McKay,
EMT-P, MPH Amherst Fire Department

A Pair No More

Constant companions for over a generation  (Camperdown Elm rt)

My site meter informed me an unusual number of folks had suddenly come here from a Google search for "Amherst College Elm tree" or close variations of that theme.  I was worried the majestic Camperdown Elm had taken a beating from super storm Sandy, but well before I arrived at the  part of Pratt Field the historic tree has occupied for over 100 years, I instantly knew what stimulated the sudden interest in an elm tree ... or lack thereof.

Now I'm told the whacked tree was a Hop Hornbeam.  And it was a beautiful specimen.

Now but a distant memory
 
Standing in the way of progress ... no more

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DUI Dishonor Role

 Drunk driver jumped curb, hit building, early Saturday morning

The name, address, age and link to a Facebook page I would love to lead with is Missing In Action because the perp managed to slink away -- even though the car rolled off on a front tire flattened by hurtling over a granite curb and hitting a proverbial brick wall.

Anyone who was out late Friday night knows how busy it was (mostly with college aged youths dressed up in Halloween costumes), even after the midnight hour, so I would image there were still a few pedestrians staggering home around 2:33 AM when the drunk driver lost control of his vehicle and slammed into the side of a brick building on Main Street.

After the crash two occupants tumbled out and were picked up and driven back to 675 Main Street by a person they had met earlier at a party on Hobart Lane.   Soon thereafter, someone from that Main Street address called authorities requesting medical attention for two college aged youths who had been "car crash victims".

Hmm...

Hobart Lane, a party house on lower Main Street and a drunk driver ... doesn't it all just fit?  Fortunately the only thing missing is a coroner's sheet.

You got away this time pal, and you probably have driven drunk all too many times before.  But your time is coming.  I just hope it happens before you kill someone.

#####

Cell phone callers reporting a yellow jeep that hit a utility pole at the new Atkins Corner roundabouts led police to the vehicle crashed a second time into a ditch on nearby Bay Road, South Amherst.  Arrested for DUI, driving while unlicensed, operating to endanger and leaving the scene of property damage:
Jeremy Carroll, 23 Hulst Road, Amherst, Ma, age 21

#####

Failing to stop at a stop sign around midnight Saturday, led to the arrest of James Ryan Macgregor, 819 Summer Street, Manchester, NH, age 19 for running the stop sign and DUI.
#####

And Friday around midnight police arrested Robert Danielson, 24 Hillcrest Rd, Burlington, VT, age 23 who appeared to have "blood shot, glassy eyes" and blew a .156% on the Portable Breathalyzer Test but later refused a breath test at APD headquarters.


Note high volume of ETOH (alcohol poisoning) AFD handled last weekend


Morning After Sandy

A house on Hillcrest (no injuries)
A storage shed on South East street exploded
Large branch on top of car East Pleasant Street
 
Large pine branch blocked E Pleasant Street at height of storm

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm Sandy Scenes

Transformer fire on Amity Street took out power all the way up to town center

As always a team effort between APD and AFD 

Pine trees uprooted and resting on power line South Pleasant Street
Flag on Town Hall took a beating
Playing football Community Field in the middle of the storm
UMass fields were well lit but nobody was playing

"We're Ready!"

David Ziomek, Town Manager John Musante, AFD Chief Tim Nelson


After conferring with Police, Fire, Dispatch, DPW, IT department, Schools, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, an our three institutes of higher education, Town Manager John Musante declared this morning  that the town is ready for superstorm Sandy barrelling our way.

At 8:30 AM he declared a state of emergency and all non essential town employees will go home at noon.  A reverse 911 call will go out shortly to roughly 9,000 subscribers (about 10% of them cell phones).  The Homeless Shelter at Baptist Church will be allowed to open at 5:00 PM today three days earlier than usual.

Generators at both Fire Stations, Police Station and all the schools have been tested and are ready to go.  While no building has been designated a "warming shelter" depending on the severity of the damage a "convenience center" may be established at one of the buildings with a generator for folks to charge their high tech gadgets.

With schools closed and many businesses closing early, there's nothing left to do now but wait.  And hope.

Town emergency memo

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Frightening Weekend Party House (s)

Hobart Lane late Saturday night.  

APD deployed the PTV (Personal Transport Vehicle) for the numerous alcohol related busts. Although kids kept referring to it as the "Paddy Wagon."

 33 Phillips Street:  come out come out wherever you are

Yeah, I guess that's the most frightening thing about my headline title:  the weekend is not even over yet and already there are enough party house contenders to bring on writers cramp from recording all the details.  With Halloween on a Wednesday the excuse to party with frightening vigor impacted this weekend, probably next weekend, and of course the actual "holiday" dead center between the two.

And now that UMass cancelled all classes Monday because of #Frankenstorm, that will -- for a tiny but destructive minority -- become yet another excuse to party all the time, party all the t-i-m-e.

But Paul Markham, Phillips Street most infamous resident, will probably not be in a celebratory mood.  Three weeks ago the young, white, hipster rap star wanna-be removed his childish ode to UMass "Welcome to the Zoo" from YouTube after garnering almost 100,000 hits and a plethora of negative comments.

 Next door to #33 Phillips

Hopefully it was something I said ...

Late last night after a patrol car spied two under aged residents consuming alcohol from an open container a black-and-white armada descended on #33 Phillips Street where police arrested 8 college aged youths, three of them for open container and underaged drinking and the other five (including Markham) for two usual town bylaw infractions, Noise and Nuisance ($300 each), as well as the unusual state charges of "keeping a noisy and disorderly house" and "disturbing the peace."

Which looks to me like officials are clearly sending a message to #33 Phillips Street.  Since Markham is tone deaf, no guarantee he will get that  message.

#####
 Town Center late last night.  Bars were very busy all night up to 1:00 AM closing


 Police arrested young man for causing a disturbance in town center late last night

Late Friday around midnight police were called to 985 North Pleasant Street and discovered about 100 youth milling about outside and another 50 in the house.  One young lad got things off to a bad start by being particularly uncooperative and attempted to flee on foot.  He then resisted arrest, assaulted an officer and broke his expensive flashlight.

 985 North Pleasant Street

Andrew DeAngelo, 44 Auriga St, Dorcherster, Ma, age 20 arrested for open container, underage drinking, A&B on an officer, resisting arrest, disorderly, and destruction of property.

Arrested for Noise and Nuisance:

April Dawn Huff-Ring, 6 Hathway, Arlington, Ma, age 21
Jonathan Weingart, 200 Hudson St, Northborough, age 22
Cathryn Alyse Carmichael, 62 Reardons Field Ln, Attleboro Falls, Ma, age  21
Daniel Harold Fenichel, 985 N Pleasant st, Amherst, Ma, age 21


Arrested for noise:
William Hickey, 182 Hollaston Ave, Arlington, Ma, age 22
Scott Baron, 3 Stonecleave Ln, Swampscott, Ma, age 22

Ownership card for 985 North Pleasant Street, Amherst
 #####

Around 1:00 AM early Saturday police busted up a loud party at 219 East Pleasant Street because of noise and "lots of people spilling into the street."

Arrested for noise:
Erik Doty, 26 Plain Rd, Hollis, NH, age 21
Nicholas Powers, 5 Nolan Ave, Milford, Ma, age 21
Cameron Smith, 11 Maple St, Upton, Ma, age 21
David Hoch, 219 East Pleasant, Amherst, Ma, age 21

#####
And a party weekend would not be complete without an apartment complex joining in the fray: 1:10 AM Salem Place Condos lower Main Street. Loud noise and stereo. "Clearly unreasonable" according to APD first responder.

And the reporting party said they had warned the residents earlier to quiet down or they were going to call the police.

Arrested for Noise: Ashley Ann Zimmerman, 120 Curtis Ave, Attleboro, Ma, age 20 Kelly Elizabeth Marsh, 7 Ward Ln, Medway, Ma, age 20 Deryn Lee O'Brien, 652 Lynn Fells Parkway, Melrose, Ma, age 20
#####


Which leads me to me to just one more, exceedingly sobering thing.
An old friend and long-time Amherst resident forwarded me an email response she received just this morning that left her in tears, from a 26 year old, Chinese-born American woman serving in Afghanistan as an occupational therapist.

Hello XXX,
Thank you so much!!! I just got your box of goodies and we love them. The cookies are all gone. 
I have 10 soldiers (wounded) with me from a smaller military location of only 200-300 total soldiers.  A few days ago they were under attack and many were injured.  According to them, they do not have hot showers and food most of time. Their living condition is similar to a 3rd world country ... if not worse.
They loved your cookies and some of the younger soldiers (18-20yr) cried while they were eating them.
You made my day with all the sweet and lovely reading materials. I gave them to the soldiers who needed them more.  
I am really proud to be an American and really proud of myself and the job I do here. God placed me in this location.  This job allows job me to assist others, while giving me a bigger dream and better appreciation of life and freedom.
Thank you for being my supporter and friend. Please, pray for our Soldiers
 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Deja vu Day

Kira sprints to finish Larch Hill XC Classic this morning 

Alfred Hitchcock said the secret to suspense was to place likable characters in harms way, where the viewing audience knows full well the danger about to descend while the unsuspecting players haven't got a clue.

We all remember the moment we first heard the chilling news that a plane just barrelling into the North Tower, or that shots had been fired on the presidential motorcade.

This morning was a compelling reminder of what my entire family enjoyed the morning of the storm last year: running in the Larch Hill Country XC Classic at Bramble Hill Farm across the street from our house.

Yes, weather reports had warned a storm arrival was imminent, underscored by coagulated clouds of gray overhead -- just like today -- but we were lost in the pleasure of seeing old friends and engaging in a fun, family, fitness oriented activity.

Until loud snapping sound from broken branches filled the air, and eerie blue lights from dying transformers illuminated the night sky.

Tonight when I flip on a light switch and the usual happens, I will also remember.  And be thankful.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is Amherst Ready?

 Dirt spot behind Town Hall where generator will, eventually, go

Well, no.   

Communications command-and-control are vital in an emergency, which is why the military always targets it on the first strike.  Last year the freak Halloween storm dealt a devastating blow to communications capabilities by taking out the power region wide.

Since the exceedingly rare municipal downtown WiFi is centered in Town Hall and all the emitters run off the power from streetlights, the Internet died (at least our little piece of it).  The town had talked about outfitting Town Hall with a generator well before the storm struck and the 20/20 hindsight brought on by the massive power outage pushed an $85,000 appropriation through Joint Capital Planning Committee and then Town Meeting approval.

Thus the money was available to spend as of July 1st, start of the new fiscal year.  But as of this morning we have a dirt spot where the new generator is supposed to be. And high up on the top of Town Hall a new more powerful Cisco WiFi emitter has been installed, but without a generator will be useless should the power go out.
 Cisco WiFi emitter high atop Town Hall

In the immediate aftermath of the storm last year AFD Chief Nelson was charged with writing up an assessment of how well the town handled it and what steps needed to be taken to improve response for the next one. Number one on the "Action Item" list was the Town Hall generator.

#####


Filed under the "it could be worse" category:  AFD Central and North Stations both have generators and WiFi, the water treatment plant and major water wells,  and of course Amherst Police Department at 111 Main Street has an emergency generator so the Community Room can and will serve as an Emergency Operations Center.


Town Manager John Musante seated left, Chief Scott Livingstone standing
Last year the EOC was activated for Hurricane Irene (which became a Tropic Storm on hitting New England).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Drastic Measure

 A mountain of beer

Everyone -- except maybe for the culprits causing the chaos -- seems to agree the rowdy behavior bringing down the quality of life in neighborhoods around Amherst is not getting any better.

Noise and nuisance beat on unabated, cars continue to be piloted by drivers under the influence even after a young man was killed by a drunk driver going the wrong way on a state highway last spring, and UMass is still reeling from an alleged gang rape.

And the common denominator is of course alcohol -- or I should say, too much of it.

In this ultra PC Happy Valley, the term "bully" is negatively applied more frequently than sunscreen on a hot summer day at Puffers Pond.  But the term "bully pulpit" is a positive one.  A politician using their office to communicate standards of behavior expected of the populace at large.

Our Select Board has used their bully pulpit all too infrequently on this matter, and even then only to applaud ineffective Public Relations -- almost comedic schemes -- promoted by UMass to address the serious problem of off campus student behavior perpetrated by a distinct minority of their clientele. 

A decade ago, after a particularly violent Hobart Hoedown caught APD off guard and resulted in injured officers and two patrol cars with over $10,000 in damages (Chief Scherpa had them parked in front of police headquarters for a week so the whole world could see), I asked Governor Romney to mobilize the national guard the following weekend.

Not that I thought state and local police could not handle things, but simply to send a message loud and clear that maintaining public order is job #1 for government, be it local state or federal.

It's time for our local Select Board to send a stern wake up call.  As liquor commissioners the Select Board can shut down all liquor sales for up to three days "in cases of riots or great public excitement."

Amherst Attorney Peter Vickery suggested it earlier this month in a letter to the Select Board requesting they invoke the measure around this coming St Patrick's Day considering the debauchery of last year's infamous Blarney Blowout.

And attorney Vickery followed it up with a letter to UMPD Chief John Horvath the day after UMass hosted a public forum on reigning in rowdy behavior (where, unknown to us all, they were in the middle of the alleged gang rape investigation).

Letter to UMass Chief Alcohol Sales

Halloween is coming up fast and is sure to be one of the top party events of the year -- probably both on Wednesday as well as the weekend(s).  If the Select  Board suspended the sale of alcohol on Tuesday and Wednesday it would have a lesser impact on law abiding mature citizens who handle alcohol with respect and as such probably do not drink heavily in the middle of a work week.

A brief 48-hour prohibition on Halloween would send a loud message to everyone, and put purveyors of alcohol on notice that the irresponsible freewheeling party days of yore are over.


Peter Clark DJ Facebook page

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Smoke and Mirrors and Math

Yet another front page, above the fold puff piece 

So once again the Amherst Bulletin is acting as stenographer/cheerleader for the Amherst Regional Public School administration by failing to point out the recently released, expensive, $5,000 study on the high cost of education (irony alert!) in Amherst failed to point out a rather obvious factor:  high administration costs.

And it's not too difficult to uncover that smoking gun.  According to the Mass Department Of Education website, Amherst "administration" costs are at $735 vs state average of $447, or 60% higher than state average.  And pesky critics have been pointing that out for years.

When the Amherst School Committee first discussed the exceedingly high per-pupil cost ($17,116 vs state average $13,361) some on the committee suggested perhaps other cities and towns had different financial reporting criteria to the state DOE, so perhaps some hidden costs that are not reported could be a factor in making Amherst appear high.

The $5,000 consultant report makes no mention of that, so it sounds like an "apples to apples" comparison confirms Amherst is indeed exceedingly high compared to other cities and towns (higher than two-thirds of comparative cities and towns used by the consultant).

The consultant, however, does the next best thing:  praises the town for "A historic value for education here and that's a wonderful thing." Easy for her to say since she does not live and pay our high tax rate. 

Funny, I can't ever remember running into a taxpayer who cheers our exceedingly high cost of education, which directly leads to our exceedingly high property tax rate.

And it's not like the academic results are something to applaud either.  According to the DOE, Amherst elementary schools (currently a "level 2" category) failed to measure up in 9-out-of-10 areas targeted for improvement.  Ouch!

Yes, Amherst teachers at an average annual salary of  $66,484 are a little over the $63,000 state average and the student/teacher ratio is lower at 10-1 (not the 1-10 the Amherst Bulletin reported) vs state average of 13.9-1.

But clearly a 5% above-average salary and 39% lower student/teacher ratio does not  account for an overall 28% increase over state average in per-pupil costs. 

Rather than throw teachers under the bus, ARPS administration needs to take a lesson from AA:  first step is to admit there's a problem.  Or as Pogo would say, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Can I bill the School Committee $5,000 for this report?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Nuisance Party Poster Boys

A proud Peter Clark

UPDATE:  Friday, Oct 25.  Peter Clark took down his Facebook business page but not personal one.

#####

One major reason I think UMass pampers the hard core student party culture living off-campus is the simple fact Peter Clark and Emerson Rutkowski are still students in good standing. 

The first major incident of violence towards our police department occurred at the very beginning of the semester last year.  September 9, 2011 to be exact.  Peter Clark was the party DJ.  He was proud enough to use it for a cover photo on FAH-Q Facebook page for his DJ business, even after the extensive negative press.

Currently he uses a photo from one of the three recent Townhouse (where he lives) riots.

Because of the notoriety I first bestowed upon Peter Clark, the Amherst Bulletin and Daily Hampshire Gazette gave him a front page platform to air his cocky, immature party hardy philosophy to the masses.

And that was quickly followed up by the King of Juvenile, Bar Stool Sports, making him out to be a modern day James Dean (although "without a cause" certainly fits).

When he and stooge sidekick Emerson Rutkowski were driving neighbors crazy in a residential neighborhood in South Amherst and the household garnered repeated noise/nuisance tickets as a result, they formed a Facebook page called "F_ck The Fines!"

This kid is worse than a serial repeat offender, because he's actually proud of it.  And as a "professional" DJ, he profits by it.  Fast forward to early Friday morning: Peter Clark and  Emerson Rutkowski were arrested yet again for Noise and Nuisance violations at their Meadow Street Townhouse apartment.

And it sounds like the cop could also have thrown in a charge of resisting arrest or assault on an officer.

At the very least, this makes three arrest incidents in just the past 18 months.  So if Umass really wants to show they are cracking down on the rowdy behavior terrorising our neighborhoods, then they they need to do what our military does in the "War On Terror":  take out the ringleaders.

And for the lowly likes of Peter Clark or Emerson Rutkowski, you don't need an expensive drone strike. Just expel them.  Peter Clark famously stated, "As long as I’m here, there will always be a party to go to."

Well, the flip side to that ...


#####

No surprise APD broke up a major party on Hobart Lane the night of 10/12/12

DUI Dishonor Role

 You drink and drive, innocent people die


Getting hard to keep up with all the Party Houses and DUI arrests when a mega story like gang rape sweeps everything aside.  Common denominator is of course alcohol.  Yes, a legal although regulated  product that produces profits like there's no tomorrow.

Of course the downside is for some people -- like a UMass student a couple of weeks away from graduation last spring -- there will never be another tomorrow.

#####

1:19 AM early Saturday morning police pulled over a driver in front of Presidential Apartments near UMass for a "defective license plate".  He blew a .08% BAC and was arrested for DUI:

Glenn Jacob Esienhard, 207 Roberts Road, Ardmore, MA, age 22

1:36 AM early Sunday morning police were called to the half-way point on the steep side of The Notch in deep South Amherst near the Norwottuck Gun Club entrance for a "single vehicle rollover".  After the car stopped sliding, the occupant pulled himself out and was trying to enlist bystanders (who stopped to help) into flipping the car back over on its wheels so he could flee the scene.   Arrested for DUI:

Alex Carlton Koblinski, 72 N. Main St, So. Deerfield, MA, age 22

1:18 AM early Monday police were called via cell phone over a "road rage" incident.  Arrested for DUI:

Francis Vanasse, 91 No Main St, Belchertown, MA, age 29


Monday, October 22, 2012

A Growing Spotlight

Chief John Horvath, on the job less than a month, standing in the hot seat

A grim faced line of state officials -- including Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy, UMPD Chief John Horvath and District Attorney Dave Sullivan -- entered the conference room at UMPD headquarters about 20 minutes late for the 1:00 PM news conference, if indeed a 1:00 PM event was ever officially acknowledged as actually happening.

 Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy "with a heavy heart" addresses the crowd  

But obviously enough media got wind of it as two or three dozen reporters, photographers and videographers were present for the presentation.  The Chief would not discuss specifics of the gruesome case --whether alcohol was involved, who signed in the perpetrators at the dorm, how well the victim knew them, etc.


 Print, radio, TV, and web based journalists.  And it's only the begining

But he did confirm the arrest of four males, none of them UMass students, for the most heinous crime of gang rape, although nobody dared used that term.  And he praised the swift joint investigation of UMPD and State police, while DA Sullivan promised justice would be meted out.
 District Attorney Dave Sullivan


And while the Chief did acknowledge UMass reported 13 sexual assaults last year and 12 the year before, he did say firmly: "This doesn't happen on the UMass campus," referring of course to gang rape.

It did, however, (allegedly) happen.  And it's going to be a very long time before anyone forgets that.

Enku Gelaye UMASS Dean of Students



UMass official statement regarding the alleged gang rape.

The (Springfield) Republican reports



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Raw Sunday report with a (very) delayed lead

 51 Phillips Street (Sunday morning) note stolen sign

Just some of things I'm working on for tomorrow's start of the news cycle.  Cruising about late Friday and Saturday nights listening to the scanner confirms a bevy of "Party Houses of the Weekend" will rear their ugly chimneys at tomorrow morning's APD press briefing that condenses a weekend of controlling chaotic activity into tidy public log entries.

Poetic irony of course is 51 Phillips Street will make the list.  Yes, the address I posted a photo of last week because of beer debris on the roof and Cowardly Anon Nitwits have been complaining about in comments ever since, because the house was not actually cited for anything ... (except existing on a street the Amherst Redevelopment Authority consultant deemed "decadent.")

Sure enough APD was called there, 51 Phillips Street, for a noise complaint around 9:00 PM last night (so early I was not even in my car) and residents were cited for Noise and/or Nuisance violations.  Tomorrow at the APD press briefing I will get the details as to whether folks were arrested or simply cited civilly, but if I had to guess, probably arrested.


A DUI arrest showed up fairly early last night: a motorcyclist was pulled over on the access road from Mill Valley Estates leading into East Hadley Road early last night, about a quarter mile from my house. 

Officers arrested the driver, a young black male, and Ernie's towing carted off the motorcycle.  You drink and drive they tow your vehicle (and put you in jail).

Friday night one ranking member of APD was on taxi patrol, pulling them over left and right for sudden inspections.  Sounds like a few did not pass and received citations or had to be towed.  The Amherst Select Board has on their agenda Monday night a discussion about taxi regulations, so chances are they will hear a full report on what happened Friday night.
 
 167 College Street, late Friday night

Around midnight Friday police descended on 167 College Street for a large party.  You may remember this address from last year where a major brawl occurred that resulted in stabbings.

Interestingly Amherst College issued a public statement saying none of the students involved were from Amherst College (the property borders the campus and Amherst College police had to help back up APD in dealing with the melee).

Which leads me to me to just one more, exceedingly sad and no less shocking, thing.  According to reliable sources, UMass/Amherst will issue a public statement at UMPD HQ tomorrow @ 1:00 PM  concerning the arrest of four individuals for the most heinous crime to occur on campus in my exceedingly l-o-n-g memory:  gang rape. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Foilage Fun: for a good cause

 107 Runners Line Up (walkers left earlier)

As they have done for 41 years, hundreds of folks from all walks of life converged on the historic Amherst town common and then headed out for a scenic 5K jaunt under picture perfect skies, all to benefit the Amherst A Better Chance program that allows inner city minority youth the benefits so many of us take for granted:  a good education.

The morning mist lifted to unveil a beautiful fall day
View looking east
Jada crosses the line (ahead of Mom and dog, Jake)
Paul Wiley presents Jada with award for "youngest runner."