Saturday, February 9, 2013

"Shelter In Place"

Amherst Town Hall closed at High Noon Friday, but the work had just begun for DPW, Police/Fire/Dispatch 

Town Hall after the storm. By the next morning about two feet of the white stuff had fallen
DPW parking lot the morning after. All hands on deck, all night long. A remarkable job done.
Amherst Police Department was not inundated with calls as everyone took the Governor's advice and stayed in although Dispatch fielded numerous calls concerning the driving ban.
Truck vs tree around 3:45 PM Friday
Amherst Fire Department Central Station: only sign of life in town center overnight or this morning.  Make sure you clear fire hydrants and vents near your house!
AFD Central around 11:00 PM last night with nearly white out conditions
Amherst Town Center 8:30 AM cleared but abandoned
Town Center looking North
Peoples Bank, American Legion, Town Center
Bank of America town center (closed)
Amherst Coffee closed
UMass Amherst closed
The Dickinson Homestead: the quiet helps Miss Emily work
Taylor Davis Landscaping crew helping to fight drifting snow in town center
Almost home. Car blocked Jeffrey Lane stuck in snow overnight
Buried by Nemo. These cars will take a while to dig out
East Pleasant near Kendrick Park looking south toward town center. Easy to share the road with no traffic
Bramble Hill Farm South Amherst 3:00 PM today. Dog says, "What, are you crazy?"


Anonymous said...

A large snow pile at Umass blocking the Mass Traveler traffic cam view:

Anonymous said...

never mind- I think the snow pile is actually snow on the camera???

DaveMB said...

Is that fire in the bed of the crashed truck?

Dr. Ed said...

If Mitt Romney had declared Martial Law -- which is essentially what Deval Patrick has done in closing the roads except to those whom the police think should be able to use them -- there would be screams of Fascist and worse from all quarters. But because he has the right color skin, the right party affiliation, and is from the left, Deval Patrick likely will be praised for doing it.

By contrast, Paul LaPage -- the Populist/Libertarian/Conservative REPUBLICAN of Maine simply said "we have police cars getting stuck" and "if you get stuck, plan to be there a LONG LONG time before help arrives."

Those who sacrifice liberty for safety neither deserve nor will enjoy either....

Larry Kelley said...

No, glare from AFD truck emergency lights. My iPhone does not do well with certain light sources near or after dusk.

And I shot it through my windshield as my driver window was frozen and would not go down.

Anonymous said...

Larry, what were you doing on the roads during a mandatory driving ban? Oh yea I forgot. The rules don't apply to you.
And Ed, once again you prove what an idiot you are.

Dr. Ed said...

One other thought -- where is the ACLU?!?!?!?

They freak out over "racial profiling" --- believing (incorrectly or not) that the police are such racist boors that they deliberately pick out the minority drivers for ticketing, arresting and the like.

But now the police are given sole discretion as to who has a legitimate "allowed" "right" to be driving and who does not -- with penalties of up to a year in jail --- and this is OK?

In other words, the police allegedly can't be trusted with the discretion of whom to stop when everyone can use the roads, but they can be trusted when the use of the roads essentially is at their sole discretion?

If Charlie Baker had done this (and he wouldn't have), the ACLU and all of its affiliated supporters (e.g. most of Amherst) would be screaming about the racist nature of him doing so and how he has enabled the racist police to target minorities, etc, etc, etc.

Now personally, I am reminded of a point a police officer made to me when the issue of "racial profiling" once arose some time back -- stand beside the road some night, not directly under a streetlight but some place dark where passing motorists wouldn't see a parked police car, and try to even see anything inside the darkened interior of the vehicles flying by you.

That convinced me, and as to Rap & Hip/Hop Music -- last I checked, the primary market demographic was middle-class White Male teenagers -- this is whom the recording companies sell the most of it to, which means that the folks most likely listening to it are....

And when some of the tenured usual suspects up in the UM AfroAm Dept started accusing UMass of "racial profiling" in writing parking tickets, I had to wonder exactly how it would be possible to even determine the race of the person who wasn't in the -- by definition -- unoccupied vehicle.

Furthermore, while police officers have been known to both "plant" evidence, as cruisers increasingly have tamperproof cameras that record everything that happens when the "blues" are on, and the officer can't edit/erase/stop the recording, the drugs and other assorted contraband that they find in the vehicle of the minority driver really were there.

And furthermore, even if the evidence is excluded at trial under Prouse and the officer lacking "probable cause" to look, it doesn't mean it wasn't there. The officer(s) abuse of discretion was in picking this particular vehicle to look for it in -- the guilty man goes free for the greater good of preventing officers from doing such things in the future.

Hence, if one believes that "racial profiling" occurs, to the extent that one believes it occurs, it is only an abuse of the discretion of which vehicle to stop and which vehicle to look for drugs & such inside of. The contraband the officer finds (e.g. Heroin), the right of the operator to drive (e.g. suspended license), or the impairment of the operator (e.g. OUI) are all objective, provable facts.

By contrast, what Deval Patrick has done is given the officer the discretion to determine who is allowed to drive. There are no objective, provable facts -- the officer is given total discretion as to what an offense is!

Hypothetically -- two drivers on the road for the exact same reason: Cute White female driver "OK, you can drive"; Black male driver "you are under arrest." If one believes cops are racist, this is what Deval Patrick has enabled them to do. Yet because he's Black himself, it isn't racism. How very logical...

Anonymous said...

And I think only one moron got pulled over during the storm.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 3:58 PM

Media was exempt from the ban.

Besides, that particular photo was shot before the ban took effect (so don't bitch at the driver of the truck).

Dr. Ed said...

Second try -- Larry, you are not "media."

The Mass State Police have a definition of "media" -- employed on a regular basis by a recognized media outlet. "Employed" means you are being paid. Blogs are not "recognized media outlets" which means your blog isn't media.

QED, you are not media.

Furthermore, and this is why I think Deval Patrick should be impeached for this, the word "media" does not appear in the First Amendment.

Norm Sims once told me that journalists only have the rights that any citizen has -- to be places, ask questions and request documents -- and that they are using their rights as a citizen to obtain information.

Just because the cops know you doesn't give you any special right to be on the road. Would they say the same thing to a UMass student out taking pictures? He/she/it would have every bit as much right to as you did/do.

And if either of you slide into a snowbank and block a road, the ambulance will be equally impeded.

Larry Kelley said...

Not that I read it often but the last I looked the Huffington Post was pretty much a blog.

And I did not see any State cops out in Amherst last night.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry -- the MSP issues the media credential that all cops in the state recognize. These are only issued to those who are "regularly employed full time devoting a significant portion of employment time police news for Daily Newspapers, Television Stations or Networks, Radio Stations, News Magazines, or News Gathering Agency."

This somehow, umm, isn't on their website anymore (although it once was) and it might be in part because of the issue with the Boston College student newspaper which went national with the Student Press Law Center (SPLC) and is here:

Here is what the BC paper said about it:

So Larry, unless someone else is paying you to work full time to write this blog, you aren't media as police officers define it and committed a felony (punishable by up to a year in jail) driving around getting your pictures.

The fact that officers who personally knew you chose not to arrest you is irrelevant -- I ran into this with the Minuteman which isn't why the paper failed (UMass shut it down) but it is why I don't have my own blog. I'm not going to cover stuff without the legitimate piece of plastic -- I learned an awful lot nearly dying at Hobart.

Larry Kelley said...

I would be willing to bet the Gazette or Republican or Collegian reporters are not carrying around MSP ID cards.

Hmm ... maybe that's why their coverage of the storm's impact on Amherst was so lacking.

I would also be willing to bet not a single person in the state was arrested for violating the ban.

Anonymous said...

Dr Ediot,
Are you sure you didn't major in Drama? Nobody cares about Deval's skin color, and Larry wasn't given any special treatment last night. I know others who were out who weren't stopped. If you weren't being stupid they didn't care.
Mountain....molehill...get a life.

Walter Graff said...

I drove yesterday morning from NY through Connecticut where all roads were officially closed by the state. I then rode through Mass to South Deerfield during the "ban". I even stopped to help a cop whose car was stuck at one point on the way and saw plenty of others doing their job.

Along the way I passed large highway plows stuck in the snow. And a slew of private plow trucks stuck too. I actually had to get off 95 at one point because it was impassable in Fairfield only to find CT15 was plowed and had a nice lane to drive in. I even stopped at a rest stop to top off and get a snack.

The bans intent was to keep people off the road so that they could be cleaned. It worked. Other than some tractor trailer trucks , workers in pickups, plows, and a sprinkling of regular old cars, this gave both states time to clear the road although I have to say Conn. was terrible. When I hit the Mass. line the roads were spotless.

You would not have gotten pulled over if you were on the road. But if you got into an accident then you wold have been fined. And if something happened to you on the roadway, the state would not have been liable.

It was no conspiracy or 'Marshall law" just a way to keep the morons off the road.

Dr. Ed said...

Folks, you fail to understand why the UMass Students fail to observe the Amherst noise ordinance, and then say that any reasonable person would have ignored Deval Patrick's travel ban order. In other words, you will ignore laws, but get upset when others do likewise -- can you say "H-Y-P-O-C-R-I-T-E"?

Perhaps the alcoholics can ignore that pesky little rule against OUI? What is the difference? (The sanctions for the travel ban actually were more severe than for OUI.)

You would not have gotten pulled over if you were on the road.

1: Exactly how is a "reasonable person" supposed to know that?

2: How is this different than the drunk's (accurate) perception that he/she/it will not get pulled over if on the road?

3: If cops are racists targeting minorities (and I do not believe they are), exactly what would prevent them from stopping all the Black & Hispanic drivers?

4: Do you park your vehicle the way you are supposed to park it, or wherever you damn well please? When traffic is backed up, do you wait in line, or do you instead drive down the sidewalk? Are you one of those schmucks who drives across the lawn when exiting the July 4th fireworks?

Silly me, I presume that the laws mean what they say -- that we are a country of laws -- and not one where the cops just decide do do whatever they damn well please, enforce or not enforce which ever laws they wish, with the populace supposed to try to figure out which ones are which.

But if you got into an accident then you wold have been fined.

On what basis? And on what basis other than existing ones such as bald tires, reckless driving, etc.?

And would it not be relevant as to why I had gotten into the accident?

And if something happened to you on the roadway, the state would not have been liable.

Ever hear of "Sovereign Immunity"? The state is only liable for what it chooses to be liable for under its tort claim act, and even then with limits set so low that it isn't cost-effective to sue in most cases. (This is why I am writing a book about UMass rather than suing it.)

Notwithstanding the above, there is a big difference between saying "at your own risk" and "in violation of law."

If the concern was liability, all Deval Patrick would have had to say was "the roads will be officially closed as of 4PM, if you choose to drive, we aren't responsible if you get hurt, and expect to wait a very long time for help to arrive."

And as to racism, I ask again what people would be saying had Charlie Baker done this. We would be hearing endless sob stories about how the racist cops harassed Blacks & Hispanics.

Anonymous said...

Super fun for the whole family!

Anonymous said...

surprised that in the center of Amherst on Main Street, there is still only one lane of traffic because of the giant pile of snow in front of the police station. No police are out directing traffic, but hopefully the snow will be moved before tomorrow morning's commute.

Anonymous said...

Larry, are you SERIOUSLY comparing your blog to the Huffington Post? Seriously??? Your ego is even more inflated than I ever imagined.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, because they cover Amherst sooooo well.

If a tree falls in the forest and a blogger is not there to cover it, it does not make a sound.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Larry, you are so don't get the point! The point is that the Huffington Post is aren't.

Larry Kelley said...

Says a Cowardly Anon Nitwit. Lots of credibility there, eh?