Thursday, June 5, 2014
One Million Down ...
So I should have stayed up a little later last night because sometime just before midnight the milestone one millionth visitor came a calling. Not that my sitemeter gives me their email so I can award him/her a prize.
Over the past seven years I have tried to cover the stories that my friends in the bricks and mortar media may have missed, or to cover them in a way that offers more of the backstory.
Living here all my life and having operated a small service-oriented business for 28 years gives me Google-like institutional memory and a fairly extensive list of ultra-reliable sources.
Sources who trust my use of "off the record," knowing that North Koreans could hold a flamethrower to my head and I would never give them up.
If you looked at my widget for "popular posts" (which is continuously updated real time) four months ago, six of the top ten stories had nothing to do with "rowdy student behavior."
Cowardly Anon Nitwits constantly accuse me, a proud UMass grad, of being "anti-student" where all I ever write about is the tiny minority of students who screw up.
So I kind of liked that I could respond with, "60% of my top ten stories have nothing to do with students behaving badly." Well unfortunately, that is no longer the case. This year's Blarney Blowout -- not exactly a "tiny minority" of students -- pushed not one, but two new posts into the top ten.
Now 60% of my "popular posts" do involve student bad behavior (4 of them specifically related to Blarney Blowout).
But I take great journo pride in the two stories that were pushed out of the top ten:
The potentially catastrophic basement fire at a Hobart Lane (students) apartment that exposed a (well known) landlord coverup of shoddy conditions -- including orchestrated violations of the bylaw restricting one family units to no more than four unrelated tenants.
A case that came at just the right time to help pass the Amherst Rental Registration & Permit Bylaw last year, the most important piece of legislation enacted by Town Meeting in a generation.
And the other case that you have also read about here more than any other media outlet: A working class family unfairly sanctioned by an overly PC Amherst School system. A sad story that is still ongoing.
I hope to be around to bring you a conclusion.