Saturday, March 7, 2015

Blarney Blowout 2015

Sagacious Fade user figured it out well before noon

UPDATE Sunday afternoon:

Ultra-reliable source confirms the total number of Law Enforcement Officers involved with snuffing out the Blarney Blowout yesterday was 225.

Since the Western Mass Mutual Aid regional agreement calls for the "host community" to cover the bill for a "pre-planned event," UMass has graciously stepped up to accept full responsibility, rather than the town of Amherst.

Classy move UMass/Amherst!



#####

A sea of uniformed officers strategically stationed in all the usual trouble spots snuffed out the Blarney Blowout.  Decisively. With very few arrests and NO violence.

 Brisk start to the morning

The main difference this year was advance planning, a seemingly endless supply of police personnel and of course THE WEATHER.  Townhouse Apartments, ground zero the last few years for rowdy behavior, remained a cold barren tundra.

 Hard to miss contingent of state and local PD at Townhouse and North Village Apartments
Hobart Lane
Lincoln Avenue/Fearing Street intersection near UMass Southwest
Puffton Village

Police also blocked off the main entrances to these trouble spots and allowed only residents entry.  A modus operandi that was also used at North Village, Puffton Village, Phillips Street, Nutting Ave and of course Hobart Lane.

Phillips Street

 No guest policy at UMass and no visitor parking at apartment complexes kept down the crowds

The MSP helicopter paid a visit bright and early to North Amherst and maintained a highly visible -- and auditory -- presence.

 MSP Air One

The Mullins Center concert attracted thousands of students off the streets so that too was a BIG help.

  Long line of students waiting to get into Mullins Center concert 11:30 AM

And yes, maybe having the half dozen downtown bars not open until 4:00 PM also contributed since it certainly kept college aged youth from swamping town center like they did in previous years.

Long line waiting for Stacker's to open at 4:00 PM

Girl Scouts cookies for sale town center

Equipment:
UMPD Incident Command vehicle set up at Puffton Village Apartments
 
APD Personal Transport Vehicle 
 Mass Fire Services Special Operations vehicle staged at Wildwood School

Many police vehicles staged at Wildwood School 

 
The price tag for all the additional personnel and equipment plus the free concert at the Mullins Center is indeed sizable. But the damage done last year to the town, University and student body is incalculable.

Whatever the cost for today ... it was worth it!


53 comments:

Anonymous said...

The concert is not a taxpayer cost. It comes out of the student activities fee.

Anonymous said...

I would be interested to know the cost. It must have been over 50,000 dollars I would guess. Who pays for that?

Very good job by everyone involved today.

Anonymous said...

Great job so far by police! Let's hope the students stay under control tonight.

Anonymous said...

Peasant!

Anonymous said...

It was worth it? I would be willing to bet the cost (not necessarily what was spent) would have been far better off had it gone to your magical south Amherst fire station. Oh wait, toot the horn that sounds loudest. Hypocracy at its finest.

Larry Kelley said...

Public Safety departments have been shafted in this town for the past generation.

If APD simply had adequate staffing levels we could have avoided the last three Blarney Blowouts.

Anonymous said...

"incalcuable" haha ya right your worse than bill o reilly

Anonymous said...

The cost would have been better off paying for food for starving Ethiopians, too, Anon 7:51 pm, you moron, but that, like the South Amherst fire station, was not the choice we were presented with today.

Anonymous said...

Oh, we had a choice, eh? I think some spent too much already (dumbass commissioner report that said NOTHING) to NOT spend a bit more to say "at least we tried" burn in hell Amherst. I say you are the morons. Enjoy your tax hikes. "This" is what you get in return. It'll never go away now... You've set a new standard.

Anonymous said...

And learn how to write, anon 9:27. Did you not learn about "run-on" sentences in your shitty Amherst public school edumacation?

Anonymous said...

Damn first one got moderated. Re:10:33

Anonymous said...

Is living in 1984 worth it? Walking around outside, I thought I was in North Korea, not North Amherst.

Larry Kelley said...

And when was the last time you were in North Korea?

Anonymous said...

I think they've found the right approach.

Work with the bars to open later.

Prevent students from congregating.

Provide an alternative activity.

Follow the same plan next year and snow or no snow it should work out well. It's just something that will have to be budgeted for.

Larry Kelley said...

Vigilance is key.

Like with any awful event the memory will fade over time. A few years later somebody will think the countermeasures are too expensive ...

Anonymous said...

Blogger Larry Kelley said...

If APD simply had adequate staffing levels we could have avoided the last three Blarney Blowouts.


This is not true.

Problems at the last 3 Blarneys had nothing to do with inadequate police staffing. There were plenty of police on the scene in 2014 and 2013.

What was significantly different this year:

1. Landlords and student residents took strong steps to keep non-residents out of off-campus apartment complexes. There were police out on the streets, but it was the landlords and even the students who live there that decided not to make their residences ground zero for Blarney.

2. There was an alternative entertainment activity, so when students were turned away from the complexes they had somewhere to go.

3. Strict guest and parking restrictions on campus made UMASS less of a destination for non-students looking for a weekend party.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, that too.

Walter Graff said...

Blowout was a great success as it should be. It is a great day for the students to celebrate St Pats. I saw many students walking the streets from one destination to another in Amherst, many enjoying the concert on campus, and in all of this I still saw every fifth kid walking around with a case of beer off campus so the drinking was still a big part, but controlled. Providing things to do helped a great deal this year, as did the inability to congregate. The snow had a tremendous effect (more than anyone gives credit) as it meant kids could walk the tight maze to the next destination, but couldn't veer off-course and gather anywhere. Of course the low temps helped but I still saw many-a-male with no shirt, shorts, or just a tee. In all, this years blow out seemed to give everyone something to do, and many places to do it, unlike year past. Next year if the snow isn't around the university should offer more activity and perhaps a gathering place on campus with events outdoors (besides the indoor events this year) if the weather is any better. It was a good day for the green as it should be, minus the trouble-making.

Anonymous said...

Walter, you are living in a bubble. Next year if it's a nice day they will destroy the town again. It makes no difference how much activity you plan for them Get drunk and break stuff the UMASS way!

Dr. Ed said...

Don't worry, there's always next Thursday, the traditional drinking night at UMass. The weather is going to be good then....

Oh, and if this was the spring concert, e.g. if Enku bullied the SGA into moving it from April to yesterday, what do you think is going to happen when it doesn't then?

Walter Graff said...

I'm not as pessimistic. I saw kid after kid with case after case of beer. Plenty of liquor was consumed this year. I doubt any less than last. Controlling off campus intrusion certainly helped as did giving the kids more things to do. The off-campus parties still happened, but with the added police presence, kids were being a tad better this year. And like I said I watched throngs of kids walking paths like mice in a maze. With two feet of snow on the ground you have a corral that means you can get from point A to point B but have little room to veer off course. Take away that corral next year and it may allow for more congregation. Perhaps a factor. I think most students like to simply have fun and don't want trouble. They had 76% less arrests this year but still had them. Troublemakers are troublemakers. But keep the troublemakers from instigating the rest and you have a great day where everyone got to wear their green and share good times with friends. Nice job police in having a larger presence, and good job students at being yourselves without the trouble. Let's hope we have a repeat performance next year.

Anonymous said...

"Blogger": You are incorrect in your assumption. While those factors are/were true the success of yesterday has EVERYTHING to do with the law enforcement members available to deal with the situation. EVEN with your numbered points enacted THOUSANDS still flocked to north and central Amherst looking for a place to land. The difference was that there was 200+ cops to usher them along and shoo them away. I was there and saw it first hand. The cops ddid a lot of unseen and great work that day. As a resident of one of those neighborhoods I am grateful. Mr. K is right, our public service men and women have been understaffed for years, but we, the town, get away with it.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing what happens when police don't user riot gear, pepper spray, and use straights in numbers rather than strength in force. Ed Davis was right, this is two events, the super bowl being the first that the police took a more practice approach than reactive and it worked.

Anonymous said...

Ratings wise, everyone's worse than Bill O'Reilly.

Anonymous said...

Like a 4th grader, you have to resort to name-calling?

Anonymous said...

"Shitty." Again, so well-spoken. You are in favor of education, though. It's clear.

Anonymous said...

Lol.

Anonymous said...

We destroyed the town, now? Please give it a rest. Fun time had by al yesterday. Or, rather, most.
Not all of us blarney-celebrating students behaved badly last year.

Nina Koch said...

Actually, 10:33 PM, this is not a run-on sentence:

"The cost would have been better off paying for food for starving Ethiopians, too, Anon 7:51 pm, you moron, but that, like the South Amherst fire station, was not the choice we were presented with today."

It's an awkward sentence but it's not a run-on. Some people believe that it's the length of a sentence that creates a run-on but that is not true. A run-on could be very short. If you try to put two independent clauses together without some kind of conjunction, you get a run-on. Example:

It was cold, they stayed inside.

That run-on is also known as a "comma-splice" because it uses a comma to join the two independent clauses.

Since you are so concerned about people learning to write, I thought I would let you know about your misconception.

Anonymous said...

The out of town parties were epiclast night. I honestly don't think I have ever seen things so ragin'.

I want to thank all the folks that pushed us out of town. In town their are cops and busy bodies. While going from house to farmhouse, we had no cop worries, everyone could smoke and shoot up as they saw fit.

I want personally thank Larry and the cops for staying in town and making a distraction for us. The fights, fun and debochery all happened....you were not there to film it....the parties were private.....Larry and the cops were not invited.

More parties, drinking and fun than ever, they were just out of your reach! You had NO control, neither did your storm troopers, even though they thought they won.

We said , hey look, then you said hey look and then, hehehe, you did.

You lost and did not even watch the event! All the cops got overtime...at taxpayer expense....and we don't pay local or really any taxes. We party and you pay. Ha

Larry Kelley said...

Umm ... Yeah, we believe you. We really do.

Now about that bridge you wanna sell us.

Dr. Ed said...

"The cost would have been better off paying for food for starving Ethiopians, too, Anon 7:51 pm, you moron, but that, like the South Amherst fire station, was not the choice we were presented with today."

It's an awkward sentence but it's not a run-on.


Nina, you are wrong.

"But" is the conjunction, going to the left, "you moron" modifies "Anon 7:51 pm", but what does "Anon 7:51 pm" modify?

Ummmm.....

That's enough for my red pen, although I suspect I'd find more if I spent the time.

Anonymous said...

UMass Amherst paid Kesha $100,000 to lip sync and dance/grind against a man dressed up as a giant penis on stage. I don't even want to know how much they paid the other two performers. I'm in complete shock that UMass Amherst, a place full of highly intelligent people, couldn't think of a better solution to the day drinking issue than to pay a small fortune for a trashy, mediocre performance. It was pretty embarrassing, and I hope they don't make the same mistake again next year.

Anonymous said...

How much did this fuckin thing cost us? Who paid for the 500 cops I saw yesterday? And the cost of the concert, delayed bar opening, and giant stacks of water at the bus stops?

Larry Kelley said...

At this point nobody is releasing figures on any of it.

But they better hurry up because the numbers are growing exponentially via rumor and social media.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't comma-splice the 5th splice girl?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, teach.

Anonymous said...

No, that was Eugenie Splice

Anonymous said...

Run on, awkward, same same; both stupid. I'd say it's worse to write a stupid (awkward) sentence ESPECIALLY if you can so eloquently define such things. You probably teach at UMass. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Splice splice baby!

Anonymous said...

LOL @ anon 245. what an idiot

Anonymous said...

Blarney will return! Mark my words!

Anonymous said...

Larry, when you realize how much SATF money was wasted on the concert, and for what, do you NOW understand why they want to impeach the SGA President????

Dr. Ed said...

I guess I gotta type out a sunshine request to UM for how much they PAID for all those officers -- and trust me, it's something that I will be including in my spiel as to why parents don't want to send their kids to Planet UMess.....

Anonymous said...

Ed, thank you for the 1:17.

Anonymous said...

...too cold, too cold

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, party hardy types really are "summer soldiers."

Anonymous said...

Most of the parties this weekend were not in public spaces.....like every other weekend...like everywhere.

Fun to watch the hoopla as we were going around getting supplies for our private parties. I am glad I am not paying for it.

Larry Kelley said...

Well we had 225 Law Enforcement Officers in town on Saturday, so it's safe to say for the 1st time in recent history APD had adequate staffing levels.

So I'm sure if there were out of control "private parties" around town APD would have paid them a visit.

And I just now returned from Eastern Hampshire District Court and there was only 1 arraignment for "noise violation".

So that tells me you have learned how to party without bothering your neighbors.

Good job!

Anonymous said...

It's hard to compute the cost savings in having fewer people arrested, but it's substantial.

Anonymous said...

I love how everyone from the police to Amherst and UMass brass are congratulating themselves for a job well done to justify the $300k+ they just spent. In reality the one and only reason the blowout didn't happen was the weather. Had it been close to 50 degrees and sunny with a thinner snowpack, all that expense would likely have made little difference. Welcome to Amherst, land of make believe.

Anonymous said...

Oh, 9:23 am, you have skewered the shibboleths that rule our mind. What a visionary you are!

You measure the success of an event by how many people got arrested. OK....

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Larry, no big news this year.