So as usual I crossed that line between journalist and activist -- which, after 30 years I do pretty well -- and asked the Amherst Select Board during their 6:30 Public Comment segment to get involved with the Hampshire College flag fiasco by pressuring Jonathan Lash to do the right thing.
Since it was public comment their policy is not to discuss or engage with the speaker but I notice a few hours later just before they adjourned Chair Alisa Brewer brought it up because she wanted to give some "direction" to Town Manager Paul Bockelman, a Hampshire College graduate.
Ms. Brewer found the appearance at the rally of Springfield Mayor Sarno "weird" since he has no connection to Amherst in general or Hampshire College in particular. She struggled with the idea of attending because she is after all Amherst's highest elected official but decided it would be "awkward."
Andy Steinberg pointed out each of the five Select Board members are kind of like one fifth of a Mayor so it's hard to act like an actual mayor aka Mayor Domenic Sarno.
None of the five Select Board members expressed interest in now getting involved in the dispute since Hampshire College is a private tax exempt facility.
Although that would be some leverage since unlike Amherst College who pays the town $120,000 Payment In Lieu Of Taxes for Amherst Fire Department services Hampshire College pays the town nothing.
Thus this internationally embarrassing flag flap is now only going to get worse. I told the Select Board another rally was planned for December 10th but now I see from my Facebook feed that one will also be held this Sunday as well.
Maybe this time Chair Alisa Brewer will attend to experience the power of people rising up in defense of the America way. Even in Amherst.
Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash requesting APD come rescue him as Fox News followed him home.— Larry Kelley (@amherstac) November 29, 2016
APD: "Aggressive reporter bothering Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash was from Fox News O'Reilly Factor. He's gone, I'm clear."— Larry Kelley (@amherstac) November 29, 2016