Sunday, May 1, 2016

Almost Gone

UMass Amherst about to become Tranquility Base

The final weekend before graduation at our Goliath institute of higher education went well, with only one usual hot spot (okay, maybe one-and-a-half) for a large outdoor gathering, Hobart Lane.

 Hobart Lane 3:30 PM Saturday

Fortunately it did not turn into a Hobart Hoedown.

 Hobart Lane Sunday morning

Amherst police monitored the festivities all day, made a few arrests for "liquor law violations" (underage drinking, open container) but pretty much let the steam blow off.  Safely.

 Meadow Street, Saturday afternoon
Extravaganja last year
Of course both APD and AFD would have been a whole lot busier if Extravaganja had not moved over to Northampton where it attracted a crowd of 12,000 -- twice the size of last year's overcrowded event on the Town Common.

 Meadow Street Sunday morning
Fearing Street Sunday morning


Anonymous said...

Yes the local economy is almost gone....the local government has almost fully replaced it with the regulated non economy for the benefit of government employees. Only one step left, set up houses of worship where the lowly citizens can come and worship their regulators and a blog to report it and guide you down the path of enlightenment. Oh wait, done and done.

Oh, you were talking about the students, same thing.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

Local economy is gone? Brahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

It must suck to dwell on the negative.smh

Anonymous said...

It sounds almost as if you're happy the Amherst economy's main driver is taking a three month hiatus...

Anyway. I think the notion that events at Hobart and the Townhouses occur on the cusp of riots is simply wrong. UMass students for the most part better understand how to behave as citizens of the campus and the town. The police better understand how to maintain order, yet still let them have their fun. This is why the Patriots 2015 victory and weekend gatherings at the Townhouses and Hobart go smoothly. Last week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Hobart were home to HUGE crowds. Some of the largest of the year. But nobody really knows about them because everyone did their part.

Hats off to the students, UMPD and APD for a successful year.

Larry Kelley said...

Yes, Blarney Blowout was a learning experience. For everybody.

JohnSmallberries said...

The virtual "glee" that comes from Larry and other Amherst residents when the college kids go home for the summer is hardly shared by local businesses. And the disappearing money, and taxes on it, in turn have a negative affect on the town and its citizens, who yes, are gleeful about it. Bizarre to say the least.

Larry Kelley said...

As is your name.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, one of these days, the students won't arrive in the fall -- and Amherst will be reduced to the status of Pacific Islanders dancing in front of abandoned USAAF runways in hopes that the circa-WWII cargo planes again return.

Amherst leveraged "we are where UMass is" through the '90's & '00's -- UMass leveraged "we are less expensive than the privates" -- with both leveraging the concurrent "shut up & accept being treated as subhumans if you ant a BA."

Well, BA ain't worth what it used to be -- an Electrician's license is worth a whole lot more...

And on-line education is maybe 18 months from being considered the equal to classroom education. You get the same degree, and often from a more prestigious place than UMass.

Larry, its only a matter of time before the students stop arriving in the fall...

JohnSmallberries said...

John Smallberries is strange? Not really, but nice job dodging the point. It's a character from a movie, put down your toy drone and watch a little TV once in a while.

Without the college kids all your left with is the bums sitting outside Antonio's waiting for crumbs that don't exist any more because there are no customers.

WebTechAds said...

The amount of money brought to this town by students is dwindling every year due to harder permissions on student loan checks, increased rent and utilities, and the overall separation of the student to the town.

The money from students have always been small (not like they are going to drop $50 on dinner at Johnny's then get an outfit at Zanna's) but for solution-based businesses (Left-Click) and food/entertainment the macro-effect of these transactions have kept many businesses afloat. There can be a change where the good Amherst money would put their dollars into the right business, but those businesses are usually not congruent to the students, and unless property manager hits it on the nail on every opening, we will continue to see lot of places closing up.

The sad thing is, even if we let students run amok and overtake the town it would still happen just because there is so much less money. But the fall wouldn't be as bad and some businesses would still have the option to get at student revenue streams. And making students part of the community should still be something this town aspires to.

Too much anti-student sentiment. And it creates such a weird cultural rift that doesn't really need to be there. Some of these kids could end up living here, working at Umass, making a difference in the community. There are a lot of us older folk that have done our fair share of partying but also became part of the community as well.

Aside from business, if we continue to denigrate the student population, we will continue to have unhappiness in the town as a whole. We need to learn to co-op with students as community members, but not be afraid to give them allowance to have their craziness from time to time. The craziness sucks but its a great compromise in comparison to what the community benefits from the schools. We had a Hoedown that was out of control. A Blarney that was insane. But we have 30,000 young people where most of them look to make a difference and be a part of something. Why do we shun a crowd of such great potential just because they might party too much 1-2 times a year?

They are literally here for 220 days out of the year, and another 50-60 no one is out because its so freaking cold! We can't be that sensitive to people who are only around 180 days are year, can we? It also dilutes the amount of issues this town has besides the students, which are way more severe to the culture. You have townies (of age) also getting hammered at bars, doing hard drugs, taking welfare when they may not need it, owning or mortgaging dilapidated property, etc.

I love this town, and I'm not a fan of a bunch of yelling meatheads either. But I would be dishonest if I didn't think this town would turn into Pittsfield without them. Assets that make this town great are also unstable; I'd be surprised if Amherst as a culture would even survive without the safety net of Umass.