Monday, March 4, 2013

Party House of the Weekend

 62 Summer Street, North Amherst

This time we have a repeat offender, although the first offense was 18 months ago so the new regulations being promulgated by the Safe & Healthy Neighborhood Working Group would not kick in. 

The SHFNG will put forth a rental registration permit system so that a property attracting multiple noise or nuisance tickets over the course of a year could not only bring a $300 fine to the owner, but also the loss of their rental permit.

The current Noise/Nuisance by-law already has a provision for fining a landlord on the 3rd offense in a calender year and Chief Livingstone recently told the Amherst Zoning Board that it was sure to happen this Spring, as some of the usual suspects have two violation each.

But when the new rental registration/permit system goes into effect, the town will have f-a-r bigger and f-a-r sharper teeth to enforce the peace. 


Amherst police responded to a call for "four to five gunshots in the area" of North Amherst just after midnight early Sunday morning.  Upon arriving at 62 Summer Street "Loud music and yelling heard."  The gunshots turned out to be fireworks. 

Although, tenants were -- for the most part -- cooperative, police did make one arrest:

Colin Murphy, 24 Eden Street, Charlestown, MA, age 19 for Disorderly Conduct,  and using a False Liquor ID card.


Dr. Ed said...

"Mistaking" gunshots for fireworks in a call to the police?!?!?!

It strikes me that someone else ought to be receiving some sort of legal paperwork, or at the very least a strongly-worded conversation about how one ought not do this sort of thing.

I suspect that the APD responds to a report of gunshots quite differently to that of a loud stereo -- as they should, recent events in Newtown, CT coming to mind.

My guess is that the entire department "dropped everything" and every officer on duty drove there at high speed -- as would be appropriate if they had an "active shooter" whom they needed to kill in order to save as many innocent lives as possible.

But does anyone remember Amadou Diallo, the unarmed man shot 41 times by the NYPD? If the APD is told that someone there is shooting a gun, they will respond quite differently than if they are told that there are drunken kids being loud, and a tragedy can result from this sort of thing. And they are driving those cruisers, albeit with lights & sirens on, a lot faster than they ought to and it really is only a matter of time until there is a really bad fatal accident involving a cruiser.

Reporting gunshots took the lower priority noise complaint to the top of the agenda -- and expedited the resolution of the caller's problem. But someone needs to explain to that person that one simply does not do that sort of thing.

If I am not mistaken, "filing a false public report" is a more serious criminal offense than a violation of the Amherst noise ordinance.

Larry Kelley said...

I think the person would have to know the report is false in order to be charged with "filing a false report."

And I'm sure at the time they honestly thought the sounds came from gunfire.

APD doesn't want to start criticizing Reporting Parties so as to give a disincentive to make reports.

It could cause someone to think twice about calling in a report on something that could potentially be extremely serious.

Dr. Ed said...

I disagree -- I am not saying that the person should be criminally charged but there ought to be some accountability for this.

Otherwise everyone will be reporting gunshots at loud parties and then what?

I also think there are issues of prejudice here, and I am reminded of a different issue of prejudice nearly a decade ago now, just before the Iraq war. There was some sort of fight over the Amherst Public Access Channel and there was UM Professor of Food Science whose name I can't remember -- a man born in Iraq and who had obtained all his degrees there.

Someone called the FBI and reported him as a terrorist -- and the FBI couldn't ignore this so they sent an agent and a UMPD Detective over to essentially ask him if he was a terrorist and he said "no" and that was the end of it -- he said that they were polite and all.

But then this became a major civil rights issue with Eunice Torres (then Human Rights Director) and the UM Faculty Union and others being really upset with all of this in the hysterical way that can only happen in a place like Amherst. And the then-chief of the UMPD (Barbara O'Connor) made an interesting point -- the person that people ought to be upset with was the person who made the false report to the FBI.

The FBI quietly said the same thing -- "we had to check it out" -- and while I do not believe there was any prosecution of the individual, the community's action made it very clear that such things are not appropriate.

Dale said...

Being a avid target shooter, and having launched a couple of fireworks in my younger days I will say the two can be confused if you don't know the difference. Now if this was party was in July I would definitely say fireworks. But we are talking March here most people that do light off fireworks don't usually do it now. I don't know how the report was placed, but if it were me I would have told the police that there was a loud party going on, and I hear what sounds like gunfire, but could be fireworks. This way the police are not walking into a situation knowing there is something going on other than loud people and music. Huge difference Ed!

Anonymous said...

If the fireworks were really reported as gunshots, then the people of Amherst have a much greater concern than partying college students which is their safety, seeing as it took police close to 30 minutes to respond to the call.

Anonymous said...

I saw everything take place. The police officer said that someone reported fireworks going off. I do not know where the report of gun shots is coming from. That is inaccurate.

Anonymous said... the hysterical way that can only happen in a place like Amherst.

What kind of hysteria are you talking about, Ed? Maybe something like this?

"Otherwise everyone will be reporting gunshots at loud parties and then what?"

Larry Kelley said...

According to the CAD the call was dispatched at 12:22:57 AM and the first officer arrived at 12:32:45 AM.

Or, only 10 minutes.

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 2:59 PM

The CAD also states "According to one RP ..." So you may not have been the only person calling in the noise complaint.

Anonymous said...

You are a whiny old man with a mediocre blog. Try fixing your unorganized links by making sure they don't overlap with your background fill. A spell check would do wonders as well champ. I'm predicting your next blog post: "College students continue to party"

Anonymous said...

Hey mister I think that you kinda complain too much about college parties and college students. Funny thing however to mention; you have very unorganized links and a messy blog page as well as a lack of proper spell check in some of your articles. I think your next article will be something along the lines of "College students continue to party"

Anonymous said...

Yo dawg I heard you like to criticize college students negatively so you should do a criticizing blog of college students in your criticizing blog of college students. Yo dawg you could call it "College students continue to party"

Larry Kelley said...

You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really sick and they won't take him.

And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them.

And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out.

They may think it's an organization.

And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out.

And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

Anonymous said...

If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.

Larry Kelley said...

Bad boys, bad boys ... whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you.

Anonymous said...

This behavior will not change at all by the new permit system because the new permit system does nothing to limit noise and these are noise complaints. Permits will not be revoked because students have parties, nor should they. Students not landlords need to be fined for this behavior if they disturb their neighbors. This is not something landlords can control.

Larry Kelley said...

You better learn. Soon.

Anonymous said...


If you owned this house how would you control the behavior of these students?

Larry Kelley said...

Two strikes and you're out. Because, soon enough, the third strike will be on the owner.

Anonymous said...

If only eviction was that easy. It's very hard to evict people in Massachusetts, especially when you are dealing with issues other than nonpayment of rent.

Larry Kelley said...

Doesn't seem to be stopping Jamie Cherewatti with evicting all the folks at Echo Village Apartments.

Anonymous said...

As your own blog post states:

Up to a judge to decide. Not up to the landlord.

Larry Kelley said...

Glad you're paying attention.

My point is that Mr. Cherewatti moves pretty quickly when it comes to ousting low-income Section 8 tenants from his property, but does nothing when his tenants at rowdy Party Houses routinely disrupt neighborhoods all over town.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, he is not "evicting" the Section 8 tenants -- I think you will find that he is raising the rent above what Section 8 will pay and that is something else.

A nuance of distinction, but legally, a very big one.

Larry Kelley said...

Last week at the somewhat public meeting the tenants said they were given "eviction notices."

Anonymous said...

The article in the newspaper said that all the tenants had received eviction notices with an additional note that they were free to reapply to rent there, at a higher rent.

As a previous poster mentioned, it is EXTREMELY difficult to evict tenants in MA. It will probably take several months for Cherewatti to get them all out. Then I am sure he will fill it with students!

The Cherewatti name is mud in my book. I know, free market and everything. But still, does he really have to pack it with students and throw out the nice community of families that is living there now? I predict that in the long run, he won't make any more money renting to students than if he had allowed the families to stay. The extra cost of maintenance alone will eat into his profit. Cherewatti has no conscience, no soul, no feelings. What a sorry excuse for a human being.

Anonymous said...

I think Larry's last few comments portray just how sane he is...

Anonymous said...

He can't pack it with students as each unit can only have 4 inhabitants. Second, school doesn't start again until September, so he's not exactly dumping people out and rushing students in. He spent a lot of money and he has a right to get a return on his investment. That's what free market means.