Wednesday, April 30, 2014

If It Ain't Broke ...

Maurianne Adams, Phil Jackson, Rob Morra (Building Commissioner)

The Rental Bylaw Implementation Group heard a detailed report this afternoon from Building Commissioner Rob Morra on the implementation of the new Amherst rental registration and permit bylaw which went into effect January 1st

Originally it was thought the town had 1,570 rental properties that needed to comply, but after a mailing to all of them Morra reports a number of phone calls from homeowners who should not have been on the list.

After the dust cleared, about 1,300 properties remained.  So far just over 1,000 have paid the $100 fee, filled out the forms and received their permits.

18 have already gone before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a parking permit or to remove a "owner occupancy" condition on their original Special Permit and another 40-50 remain in the pipeline for Zoning hearings.

But that still leaves around 250 who are not in compliance and do not seem interested in coming into compliance.  Next week the town will send them a "more formal notice of violation" with a short two week time frame for coming into compliance.

If not, the Building Commissioner will issue fines which will be enforced by Eastern Hampshire District Court.

Morra reports that the 250 outliers are almost all "absentee owners" and that local well known landlords have been extremely cooperative, as has the Zoning Board of Appeals with rental housing related cases.  

Amherst police Chief Scott Livingtone has agreed to work with the town's Information Technology department to allow Noise and Nuisance tickets and arrests to be made available on the Amherst Rental Permitting page of the town website.  Morra hopes this will happen over the summer.

Currently the database only includes building code and zoning violations.  Considering the impetus for the entire permit system was the noxious influence party houses were having on neighborhoods it only makes sense to include police data.

 Vince O'Connor, a 40 year Amherst rental tenant

The Committee also heard from Town Meeting member Vince O'Connor, who filed a petition article (#42) to, "suspend the operation and enforcement of the bylaw" until after a new more inclusive committee is appointed by the Moderator consisting of 8 Town Meeting members -- four of them tenants (but one has to be an undergrad student) and four homeowners (at least one a rental housing owner).

In other words a do over.

O'Connor has now amended the article to take out, "suspend the operation and enforcement" of the bylaw and the new committee of eight would simply review the current Self-Certification Checklist and make suggestions to the Town Manager, Select Board and report to Town Meeting in the Fall.

Morra and three-out-of-four members of the Rental Bylaw Implementation Bylaw Group, while remaining polite, did not seem overly impressed with Mr. O'Connor's idea. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

You Can Always Go ...

 Children's Memorial Flag (in red)

Downtown Amherst is a tad more colorful at the moment with the bright red Children's Memorial Flag flying from the flagpole near Town Hall and the strip of lawn between the pole and the historic old brick building sprouting colorful pinwheels.

April is "Child Abuse Awareness Month," and the Northwestern District Attorney's office and the town are doing their part to make folks aware.  The same tagline used for terrorism probably applies equally well to suspected child abuse:  "If you see something, say something."

DPW workers forgot to take down one of the 25 or so commemorative flags that went up for a few days to remember Patriot's Day.   Probably because it blended in to the Bank of America color scheme.  Maybe after Labor Day they will forget to take them all down until, say, September 12.

 A lone commemorative flag in the heart of the downtown

The League of Women Voters book sale is coming to the town common this weekend, and workers have already erected the huge tent.  This annual event, marking its 66th year, predates the annual Farmers Market or weekly Sunday anti-war protests by decades. 

Amherst League of Women Voters subscribe to the Big Tent doctrine

 Sweetser Park fountain, bone dry

And while the Gazette certainly got all excited on Friday about Sweetser Park fountain bumbling again, it did not last long: the pump died.  DPW Chief Guilford Mooring said a new one should be installed by this coming weekend.

DUI Dishonor Roll

Tyler Chambers standing before Judge Payne

While rainy weather snuffed out the party scene over the weekend, at least one (alleged) drunk driver was a tad less impacted.  Must be the alcohol.

Just after midnight Friday into early Saturday morning police and AFD responded to a two car motor vehicle accident in East Amherst resulting in injuries. 

The truck driven by Tyler Chambers, age 25, crossed over the double center lines causing the crash that severed his front tire from the frame of the truck.

Undaunted (must be the alcohol) Mr. Chambers tried to flee the scene, but with only three tires hitting the road he did not make it very far.

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday Judge Payne entered a plea of not guilty, assessed a bar advocate fee of $250 and continued his case until June 9.

In another DUI case Laura Natario, age 23, took a standard 24D disposition for her arrest by UMPD back on 2/21/14 near the Mullins Center with plenty of pedestrians in the area.  She will lose her license for 45 days, be on probation for a year (with a $50/month fee), take an alchol education program, and pay $700 in fines.

 Laura Natario (left) Attorney Katz (right)

When Judge Payne asked her if she had her final drink at a public establisment or private residence she responded, "Public establishment."  When asked the name of said establishment Ms. Natario responded, "McMurphy's" in downtown Amherst.

Yes, the bar that brought us the Blarney Blowout.

McMurphy's downtown Amherst 3/10/12 10:45 AM

Monday, April 28, 2014

Town Meeting Omen

 Jones Library Director Sharon Sharry

The moderate surprise this evening at the kick off to the 256th Amherst Town Meeting was the Jones Library getting blow back over Article #6,  a $25,000 appropriation to couple with a state grant of $50,000 to fund a 2-year study to prepare for a major renovation of the building (possibly doubling in size).

The state grant application also requires a clause seeking possible site approval if an entire new building in a new location is called for.  Library Director Sharon Sharry told Town Meeting that site selection is an inherent part of the grant process but stated confidently, "If I were a betting person I would bet the library will stay right where it is."

 Pitched roof bombs patrons with snow and ice during winter

One town meeting member had tried to refer the article back to committee and another member tried to amend the motion to nix the clause referring to a new building on a new site.  But both motions were voted down on voice votes by a comfortable margin, and after about 45 minutes of discussion the main motion passed by the same comfortable voice vote.

Vince O'Connor, comeback kid 

The bigger surprise of the night was the resurgence of activist Vince O'Connor, who has been somewhat marginalized over the past few years.  His motion to add $125,000 to the Community Services budget to support Social Service agencies went against the recommendations of the Finance Committee, Select Board and Town Manager.

Town Manager and Amherst Select Board

Although the $125,000 was never in doubt since Article #21 coming up later in Town Meeting had that amount coming out of Free Cash for the same Social Service agencies.  The difference is by putting it in the General Fund budget as a line item, it comes out of taxation.

According to Town Meeting member Renee Moss, "Having this $125,000 as a regular line item does say as a town we are committed to this and proud of it."  Amherst is one of the very few, possibly only, municipalities in the Commonwealth to spend town tax money on Social Service agencies.

In his initial presentation O'Connor told Town Meeting that he would be moving to cut $200,000 from the Planning Department when their $327,729 budget line comes up for discussion. 

The last few years the town used Community Development Block Grant money (federal money) to fund the Social Service agencies, but last year Amherst lost its status as a "mini entitlement" community.

After about an hour of discussion O' Connor's motion passed on a recorded Tally Vote of 79 "Yes" to 74 "No."

O'Connor has a few expensive petition articles coming at the end of Town Meeting, including Article #37, a request to double the Community Preservation Act surcharge to 3%.  Amherst already has the highest property tax burden in the area.

And under Article #38, spending $750,000 to take by eminent domain 40 Dickinson Street, the old car dealership recently purchased by Amherst College. 

Too Many (Hair) Triggers?

"Sleepwalker," Wellesley College.  Photo courtesy

Last week during a Community Emergency Response Training class the instructor showed a five- minute dashcam video wherein a police officer perishes in the line of duty, right before your very eyes.

Before clicking play he informed us of the tragic outcome and asked if anyone wished to leave the room.  Nobody did.

I didn't think anything of it as the class was made up of 21 citizen volunteers from all walks of life including a few who are middle-school aged.  So his sincere offer to shield anyone who may be unduly traumatized by the clip struck me as common sense.

The video was indeed hard to watch, but drove home a vital safety lesson I don't think any of us will soon forget.

But I still wonder if rules and regulations need to be formerly enacted to ensure/mandate instructors -- especially college professors who are full-time professionals -- issue "trigger warnings" before making presentations. 

Academic freedom and the First Amendment aren't always pretty.  It's the price you pay for freedom, something we Americans take for granted.

Amherst, a "college town," already has enough problems with political correctness run amok.

Our High School was the only entity in history to cancel a performance of "West Side Story" due to alleged "racism."  And then, only five years later, became the only High School in the nation to allow minors to perform the decidedly R rated "Vagina Monologues," which uses the C-word as often as Valley Girls use the word "like."

Yet they now wonder why our high schools kids feel comfortable spouting the N-word.

Former Amherst Town Manager Larry Shaffer threatened to not issue a parade permit for the privately run July 4th Parade Committee because they would not allow anti-war protesters to march (or the Westboro Baptist Church had they applied).

Last week. to their credit, thousands of UMass students appeared at a rally to counter the Westboro Baptist Church picketing with their hateful signs.  But then a few hours later, some students shamefully heckled former Attorney General John Ashcroft trying to give a speech curtesy of the UMass Republican Club.

A few years ago five committee chairs sent a letter to the local District Attorney requesting an investigation of Amherst School Committee member Catherine Sanderson, concerned over the freewheeling discussion generated by her blog.

Last week on this blog, long time Amherst School Committee member Rick Hood (who formerly had his own blog) tried to stir up the trolls just so he could brand blogs as an electronic version of bathroom stall graffiti.

And we know in Amherst, town officials get overly excited about bathroom stall graffiti.

Interestingly Oberlin College, who seems to have started the hot potato rolling with a proposed passage in its Sexual Offense Resource Guide admits that, "anything can be a trigger."  Um, okay, then lets not discuss "anything."

Amherst Town Meeting starts tonight.  Perhaps before I give any of my usual, gasp, conservative minded (God, Mom, Apple Pie or the American Flag) speeches, I should issue a trigger warning.

Only in Amherst does common sense require such a preamble. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Daffodil Delight

And they're off!  11:30 a.m. Kendrick Park

Hundreds of runners and walkers of all ages, including a few dogs, turned out for the 4th annual Daffodil Fun Run Road Race to benefit Big Brother Big Sisters, a long-time iconic Amherst social service agency.

Back of the pack

Unlike yesterday, the rain held off for the pre-race festivities, sprinkled a bit as runners were lining up but then held off again for at least the time it takes for the average runner to complete the 3.1 mile course.

Last year 475 runners completed the course with the event raising a total of $40,000.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

April Showers

While police and fire personnel were probably doing a rain dance this morning other town officials were certainly hoping for sunshine as the soggy, still recovering,  town common hosted the 5th annual Sustainability Festival.

But the rains won out, reducing the crowds attending the town sponsored event -- especially compared to the Extravaganja festival a couple weeks ago, which of course was not a town sponsored event. 

The good thing about the rainy weather (besides bringing the flowers that bloom in May) is it inhibits outdoor partying, thus making a Blarney Blowout or Hobart Hoedown highly unlikely

Although the usual party house disturbances will probably still happen later tonight during the bewitching hours (10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.).

Friday, April 25, 2014

NIMBYs Noisy Distraction

172 State Street, North Amherst (under construction)

One of the advantages of ownership is not so much the ability to do whatever you want with your property -- especially in Amherst -- but certainly the 100% guaranteed right NOT to do something with it.

Like for instance, drilling into bedrock (not the town where the Flintstones resided).

 View from State Street (note soundproofing going up)

North Amherst residents around Puffer's Pond are in full attack mode targeting the renovations taking place at 172 State Street, where the new owners (who paid almost twice assessed value) are renovating both the house and barn across the street.

And yes it is a tad noisy, and probably dusty as well.  But once the work is done tranquility returns and the new and improved home will be paying considerably more in property taxes.

View from Mill Street

So if you really want to ensure nothing happens next door to you, then simply buy the property ... and do nothing with it.   Only don't use taxpayer money.

Blarney Blowout Repercussions

 Blarney Blowout:  2 of 53 arrestees

The justice system is methodically sorting out the 53 arrestees at the infamous Blarney Blowout, with a major offender striking a deal  last week and another one making an appearance on Wednesday for a pre trial hearing that I'm told will be disposed of on June 9 with a plea deal.

Since the six charges include both Misdemeanors and Felonies it will be interesting to see what the Judge decides.  Hopefully the $160,000 study/report from former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis will be available by then as well.

At the very least I hope the consultants have requested copies of all 53 "Statement of Facts" from the APD arrests on that deleterious day.

Stephen Gage, 20, acted as a ringleader, firing up a huge throng of students to assault highly outnumbered Amherst and UMass police officers with "rocks, ice chunks, beer bottles and beer cans."

Also notice that indeed pepper spray was used on Mr. Gage, but only to subdue him as he struggled with officers while resisting arrest.

Yes, the problem with Blarney Blowout (or Hobart Hoedown) is you get a huge crowd of 1,000s of hyped up students -- most of them under the influence of alcohol -- and then it only takes a few "agitators" like Stephen Gage to create a major riot.

Of course when Mr. Gage appears before the Judge on June 9 he will be standing with only his (expensive) attorney.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rescue Me

CERT team practicing leveraging and cribbing

Since the motto for the Amherst Community Emergency Response Team team seems to be, "Rescue the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time" I have to wonder what a specialized CERT team might have done if they were aboard that South Korean ferry last week where chaos and a bad decision led to the deplorable deaths of 300, mostly teen-aged high school students.

Last night the team -- and we are becoming a team -- took on the task of search and rescue.  Again the safety of the team comes first, so if the initial sizeup of the situation indicates a building too badly damaged to enter then you simply do not enter.

Even if victims are inside calling for help, the best you can do is try to keep them calm by reassuring them help is on the way. Rushing in where angels fear to tread can do more harm than good, adding to the burden of the professional first responders who are sure to arrive.

Upon entering a light or moderately damaged building CERT members (who always work in teams) leave a chalk mark on the exterior indicating time of entry.  Upon completing the search another notation is left to confirm what they found and that they made it safely out of the building.

CERT members cannot pronounce someone dead, but as part of a triage if all signs indicate death then you simply move on to try to help the living.  The injured need to be removed from unsafe conditions as quickly as possible.

Archimedes once said, "Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth."  Using the principles of a simple lever, large heavy objects can be moved.   Other team members use "cribbing" (wooden blocks) to place under the object to keep it raised off the victim.

Once the injured party is safely removed from the debris the team needs to carry them out of harms way.  A simple blanket carry allows up to six team members to assist, although in this case the load was not all that heavy.

Last night marked the half-way point for the CERT program and the enthusiasm level is still as high as it was on day one.

Instructor Michael Williamson confirmed he will be teaching another 6 week session in the Fall but will be offering a class introduction next Thursday in the UMPD community room.

If you're interested, email him at:  (before disaster strikes!)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DUI Dishonor Roll

Roadside memorial to Dan Haley, Rt. 116, Hadley

Last week marked the two year anniversary of the tragic death -- some would consider "murder" -- of Daniel Haley, 24, killed by wrong-way drunk driver Brittini Benton only a month before he was set to graduate from UMass with a degree in chemical engineering. 

For Benton it was her second offense at drunk driving.

 Click to enlarge/read

Last weekend (Easter Sunday morning no less) Amherst police arrested Jesse Bollinger, age 29, for allegedly drunk driving at around the same early hours of the morning that Dan Haley was killed.  It was also his second offense.  

He was arraigned In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Tuesday, and his case was continued until May 1st so he could hire an attorney. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The R Word


I guess if you say it often enough it becomes true to a lot of people.  Are the venerable Amherst schools guilty of "institutional racism?"  And by extension, the entire community.   Really? 

How about the black on white racism/bullying that occurred last January?  A regrettable incident the schools completely mishandled because it did not fit their politically correct concept of racism.

To this day the bullied white youth is still not back in school, while all three of his tormentors have been back almost since day one. 

Meanwhile, the teacher of color (Carolyn Gardner) who was targeted by alleged racist "threats" left in bathrooms has a full-time guard assigned to her while carrying out her duties on school grounds. 

Mr Hood laments an overly white Town Meeting but he fails to mention an even bigger demographic rift -- the age gap.  Amherst has the lowest median age in the state (22) because of "college aged youth," while Amherst Town Meeting could easily be mistaken for a senior center social.

The Amherst School Committee, of which he is a member, is 80% white.

Branding the public schools and the entire community "racist" because of the misguided attention seeking actions of a unknown perp is exactly the kind of overreaction the troll is seeking.

And trolls come in all colors.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Green Developments

Trolley Barn, Cowls Road, North Amherst

Resembling book ends, two three-story developments are almost in the same stage of completion. Amherst Office Park in South Amherst sports a new 30,000 square foot building and the 12,000 square foot Trolley Barn in North Amherst (on Cowls Road) both show off their vibrant green Zip system insulation on this perfect Spring day.

Amherst Office Park, West Street, South Amherst

Hard To Forget

Amherst's famous commemorative flags honoring Patriot's Day

If you were there as it happened or simply watched as the visuals first started rolling in, the scenes becomes permanently etched in memory:  those unmistakable sounds, smoke rising, chaos, people screaming, the wail of emergency vehicles reverberating off multi-story buildings, punctuated by a fear of the unknown.  Who did this and why?

For "college aged youth" currently attending our esteemed institutes of higher education in one of the best college towns in America, Patriots Day will forever be remembered, because last year terrorists unleashed death and destruction in the heart of Boston.

Especially since it occurred at an event that celebrates the triumph of the human spirit, in a sport many still consider "pure".

And in patriotic Massachusetts, where pretty much everyone considers Boston, "our fucking city."

So flying the commemorative flags in downtown Amherst to remind us all of the terror we endured that day is hardly necessary.  We remember.  We always will.

Just as flying those same commemorative flags on 9/11 is unnecessary if done simply to remind us of the horrific destruction unleashed on our homeland that awful morning.  How could any of us possibly forget?

But what if you were only 5-years-old and shell shocked adults sheltered you from the devastating images live streaming out of Manhattan, Washington D.C. and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania?

This coming September the incoming 5,000+ freshman at our Colleges and University will, for the most part, have been only five years old on the morning of 9/11/01 -- too young to remember the chaos, sorrow and sheer terror that covered our country like a coroner's sheet.

Induced by the worst attack on American soil in our entire fucking history.

The commemorative flags are not scheduled to fly in downtown Amherst until 2016, to remember the 15th anniversary.   And then not again until 2021 for the 20th anniversary, when the incoming freshmen classes will not even have been born on that ignoble day.

Thus, collectively, the malicious memory starts to fade -- like Pearl Harbor.  And then suddenly, some fine morning as we busily go about our daily routine, it happens.  Again.

Flying the commemorative American flags in downtown Amherst every 9/11, as we do every Patriot's Day (and Memorial Day), will serve to honor the memory of 3,000 slaughtered innocent Americans and to remind us that evil exists.  It will always exist.

And without vigilance, evil triumphs.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Farmers Market Marks The Big 43

Amherst Farmers Market Spring Street parking lot

The weekly Amherst Farmers Market opened for business Saturday, a sure sign spring has arrived.

As for Amherst institutions the weekly Sunday afternoon anti-war vigil in town center dates back a bit further, to 1966, but since they took a hiatus from 1973-1979 the Amherst Farmers Market 43 continuous years in operation sets them apart.

The Farmers Market seemed less crowded this afternoon than usual, but it may take a while for consumers to get used to them being back in operation after a l-o-n-g winter.

Also, some aficionados for locally grown food may have adopted All Things Local as their go to place since it opened last November.  And since it's a bricks and mortar operation, bad weather is never a concern.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Gimme Shelter

 New shelters have large signage and overhead lighting

The Amherst DPW has installed shelters to enclose the parking payment machines around town, making the system a tad more user friendly.  The town switched over to the machines (which take credit cards) in the winter of 2011, but to a rough start.

 All around DPW installing machines in the downtown on Thursday

The directions were a tad confusing -- especially since the machines do not spit out receipts -- and the tiny screens, which are not backlit, especially hard to read at night. 

The shelters cost $13,000 but since the system generates $8,500 per week in parking meter fees, they should pay for themselves in only a couple weeks.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Above All Else, Do No Harm

I think before the Community Emergency Response Team takes their final exam, the entire class will also swear allegiance to the Hippocratic Oath.

On Wednesday night the CERT team learned basic firefighting skills, and by basic I mean little fires.  But, like the mighty oak, many monster fires start with a combustion point not much bigger than an acorn.

And if you can get to it before it has a chance to feed, the voracious dragon is more easily slayed.

As a lightly trained volunteer the first thing a CERT member does is to sizeup the situation and decide if there is anything they really can do, safely, to help the scenario.

 Hadley fire 10/27/13.  Not your basic fire

First rule, Rule #1, is protect yourself, second rule is protect your family and third rule is to then help those in need, until the professionals arrive.

But only if you can do it without violating rules #1 and #2.

 Streaming Cinda

To drive home the point, powerfully, the class watched a five-minute film with a somber final scene.  The instructor asked before hand if anyone wished to leave the room.  Nobody did.

A police officer on a rural dirt road arrives on an accident scene involving a car and a farm truck, each vehicle coming to rest on opposite sides of the road.   A large body is laying face down halfway between them, directly in the center of the road, but partially obscured by what appears to be smoke.

The truck on the right has a diamond shaped placard attached, although due to heavy fog-like conditions which are getting noticeably worse, it's not easily discernible.

The officer radios dispatch to report the scene, requesting fire and EMS response with a push, and before getting out of his vehicle requests their estimated time of arrival.

He's told, "5-7 minutes." 

His dashcam records the officer quickly move to the victim in the road.   By now both are almost obscured by the mist and you can hear the officer say loudly as he kneels by the victim, "Are you okay?" No answer. 

Then a series of loud hacking coughs.  The officer is no longer kneeling ...

For the next few moments his personal microphone kicks on and off rhythmically, as the officer draws his final breaths.

A firetruck appears from the opposite direction, pulls up close to the scene and firefighters can be seen gearing up for what seems like agonizing minutes, but in fact was probably less than a minute. 

A couple firefighters run a hose to the truck and start spraying it down with water while others scoop up the officer on a portable stretcher.  The film ends.  They both died.

In fact the initial victim the officer desperately tried to save, giving up his own life in the process, was already dead.  The white "smoke" was deadly chlorine gas.

When I took the APD citizens police academy 15 years ago they had a newfangled LaserDisc that stored a 1,000 or more interactive training scenarios projected on a large screen to practice "shoot or don't shoot" situations.  

In the last scenario of three, I died (but took the perp with me).  I was so distraught I asked the instructor the next day what had I done wrong?  "Nothing," he responded. "There are 3 or 4 scenarios on that disc designed to ensure you die."

Thus sending a humbling message any professional first responder knows all too well, as they don't always have the luxury of abiding by Rule #1:  You can do everything right, tapping decades of skills and experience, motivated by the best of intentions ... and death can still win.


Aidan 1 Fire 0


Start of WBC protest 12:15 p.m. just after I was thrown off the median strip

While I completely understand the heavy-handed approach UMPD took with "protecting" the Westboro Baptist Church trolls yesterday, it was still a clear  infringement on the "freedom of the press" to report a newsworthy item (slow news day or not).

Amherst College can do whatever it damn well pleases with visitors, including the press, because it's private property.   The University of Massachusetts is a publicly funded institution which should value above all else, academic freedom -- which goes hand in hand with the First Amendment and freedom of the press.

The crowd that had gathered on the other side of Massachusetts Avenue outnumbers the WBC protesters 30-1, but other than being vocal did not represent any sort of threat.  And there were at least a dozen uniformed officers present to keep things from getting physical.

So why prevent reporters and photographers from crossing the street to interview the "church" members?  

The WBC performers wrap themselves in the freedoms represented by the American flag, perhaps why they use Old Glory prominently as a prop.  I find it disconcerting my rights guaranteed by that flag were infringed upon in order to overly protect these outliers. 

Of course I couldn't help but notice as they packed up to leave a few minutes before 1:00 p.m. they allowed the stars and stripes to touch the ground.

Red, White and Blue on green grass

Considering the disrespect shown by their signage, not overly surprising. 

DUI Dishonor Roll

Alcohol and driving don't mix

Police arrested Christine Cummings, age 23, on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. on Meadow Street in North Amherst for Driving Under the Influence with a .12% Blood Alcohol Concentration, 50% over the .08% state limit. 

Considering the time of day, on a busy weekend in Amherst (Extravaganja had attracted 6,000 to the town common) and that location near UMass where foot traffic is high, this could have been a lot worse.

Especially since Ms. Cummings first drew attention to herself by having an "extremely overloaded" vehicle. 

Police also arrested Eamon Connor, age 19, over the weekend with a BAC almost twice the state limit.  In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday (with his dad present) his case was continued to May 13 so he could hire an attorney.

Eamon Connor, 19


And Saturday afternoon at 2:45 p.m., right around peak moment for Extravaganja, police arrested Jeremy Lopez, 19, for DUI drugs (pot) about a mile away from town center.  

Belchertown Rd (Rt. 9) Saturday 2:50 p.m.