Monday, January 2, 2017

Top Story Of 2017?

No doubt our little college town will made a few "Best in America" lists

Trying to predict what story will captivate readers in the coming year is like trying to predict what the weather will be like in early-to-mid March. 

Which would be a valuable skill if only to illuminate the potential recurrence of an obnoxious event that made my top story of 2013 and 2014, The Blarney Blowout.

Blarney is primarily an outdoor event, thus weather dependent.  Combine the old maxims  "bad weather is a cop's best friend" and "March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb" and there's always a good chance for Mother Nature alone to mitigate the rowdiness.

Last year's Blarney Blowout -- or I should say Blarney Blowover -- still made my top ten list for hits but since nothing really happened that readership was down dramatically from those two years when it was my top story.

And with a mutual aid agreement in place with all surrounding police departments and UMass willing to fund extra boots on the ground that day, I'm confident this year's event will be about as exciting as a Boy Scout Jamboree.  Much to the chagrin of ZooMass aficionados.


Major building projects will generate a lot of buzz in the coming year.  The controversial Jones Library expansion comes up for a vote at the Town Meeting starting in April to allow the project to apply for state funding and then again at the Fall Town Meeting to set the all important matching amount the town will need to chip in.

The equally controversial new DPW building will need $350,000 at the Spring Town Meeting for "schematic design" phase as will the new far less controversial South Fire Station.  The DPW initial cost estimates are three times that of the new Fire Station so it will be a much harder sell.

In fact the town currently has enough money stashed away in savings accounts ($12 million) to cover the entire estimated cost of the new Fire Station.

Zoning issues are ALWAYS controversial especially if they are, gasp, pro development.  The Planning Board will also probably bring a recreational marijuana article to Town Meeting and the Select Board will also probably place a referendum question on the election ballot to limit the number of recreational sales permits the town has to allow.

K-12 School issues are ALWAYS a page view magnet and with the need to hire a new Superintendent, the highest paid employee in town, that will generate more buzz than a fleet of quadcopter drones.

And since Amherst is still a bastion of naive liberalism there's always the possibility of  one of those "only in Amherst" type scenarios that could go viral at any time, as we witnessed not to long ago with flag controversy at Hampshire College.

For instance if the town refuses to fly the commemorative American flags on Inauguration Day later this month because they don't like who's being inaugurated, that would probably do it. 

Death is also one of those unexpected attention grabbers.  The tragic death of Town Manager John Musante on an otherwise gorgeous Sunday morning was my top story of 2015 as well as top ten story of all time.

Over the past year there were a number of suicides, heroin overdoses and an accidental gun death that received no media attention at all, but a couple a very high profile incidents that were hard to ignore:

The inexplicable head on crash into a parked Peter Pan bus in town center  that took the life of a 22 year old and the horrific truck piloted by a drunk driver trampling to death a man sitting in town center waiting for the bus both made my top ten list.

Oddly enough my top story of all time happened last year but it was routine District Court appearance links from a year earlier that attracted all the eyeballs when the national media linked to those dispatches as background for the infamous "Mac & Cheese kid," aka Luke Gatti.

Ah, the vagaries of the digital age.




42 comments:

Dr. Ed said...

My prediction: Planet UMass will not do well under Betsy Devos.

Larry Kelley said...

"Shocked, shocked I say", over such a prediction.

Anonymous said...

I could see an Inauguration Day Riot happening.
Something started by the anti-Trumpers and ended by Team Trump.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your coverage of the Blarney Blowout-without this angle-we victims of the Umass Boltwood Project visits to area nursing home DWI victims-would get stiffed with a pure yarn of " Blarney " grandstanding faux sympathy-just Sooooooo pathetic...just Say'n !!!???&@$$$

Anonymous said...

12:48, you have a legal right not to be visited by them if you wish.
If you feel so strongly, I suggest you exercise it.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry, another prediction: One or more high-level UM Admins is going to get bitten by ACT, much like "Muffy" Healey got bit by Bentley's version of it.

Anonymous said...

My prediction is that Ed will predict a lot of things that don't happen. Just a feeling.

Dr. Ed said...

"My prediction is that Ed will predict a lot of things that don't happen."

If a tree falls in the forest, but Whitmore orders everyone to deny it ever happened, does it make any noise???

Anonymous said...

Ed, however, makes endless noise. He never shuts up.

Anonymous said...

They do " Community Service " tours of area busing homes- at which they never fail to fail to make inappropriate and colored remarks toward DWI victims- you'd think this would be enough to make any social director blush-but they get off " using" residents and any questioning of this advisability is met with pretty " Thick" and/or religious style dismissals- just Say'n-sad !!!

Anonymous said...

ed...
answer me this...if you are so angry with Umass and feel they have done you wrong...why don't you get a lawyer to be whole again? perhaps they will help get you whatever the f... you want.
or is it that you have no case.....
but either way you really ruin this blog. i really wish you get a lawyer and let it play and also just get lost from here

Anonymous said...

Almost a new record for the number of o's in 'so.' What writing!

Anonymous said...

And the only thing worse than Ed never shutting up is your incessant complaining about him.

Dr. Ed said...

"answer me this...if you are so angry with Umass and feel they have done you wrong...why don't you get a lawyer to be whole again? perhaps they will help get you whatever the f... you want.

1: This is unrelated to that.

2: All a lawyer can do is get me money -- I want pounds of flesh.

3: Even worse, the only money that a lawyer could get me (now) is that of other students.

No, I'd much rather see folk lose their pensions years from now, see people destroyed when they are too old to rebuild their lives. In other words to be the predator they have been.

I want vengeance, not money, and I can wait.

Anonymous said...

Ed, you're not doing anything ever and you know it. You play the victim over and over. Get on with your sad life. Take some personal responsibility.

Anonymous said...

I predict: world did not end yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Ed, the only person you're destroying is yourself. 9:23 is right. Move on while you have time.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me ed is making bodily threats. The police in amherst and maine should be contacted. Anyone wanna read someday how his threats were ignored and he hurt someone?

Anonymous said...

To me, the greater threats are coming from you jerks who want to silence him.

Anonymous said...

Ed is definitely dangerous, someone should have the proper authorities at least check him out. Someday may be to late.

Anonymous said...

This is the thing about Amherst " Uber Gifted Wunderkinden " stock - if your stuck in an Indian resteraunt for a New Years re-union-they forget you put down $300-and they only ordered drinks- when they finish up the @ entitled@ blowhard about people with disabilities-Soooo gauch- they offer a date the complimentary dinner mints like a robins courtship offering-and then you just-have to-wonder !!!???

Anonymous said...

Hey anon 2:28....I mean Eddie....

Anonymous said...

"This is the thing about Amherst " Uber Gifted Wunderkinden " stock - if your stuck in an Indian resteraunt for a New Years re-union-they forget you put down $300-and they only ordered drinks- when they finish up the @ entitled@ blowhard about people with disabilities-Soooo gauch- they offer a date the complimentary dinner mints like a robins courtship offering-and then you just-have to-wonder !!!???"

Huh? Still hungover? You are absolutely incomprehensible. Better luck next time.

Anonymous said...

Not Eddie. Billy.

Dr. Ed said...

"It seems to me ed is making bodily threats."

It seems to me that you are totally detached from reality.

"The police in amherst and maine should be contacted."

I hope you realize that if I ever did do anything legally -- as opposed to waiting (helping) the giant implosion -- Google would respond to a subpoena and you'd be dragged into a legal mess you'd regret. Think the APD'd fall on their swords for you? I doubt it -- my guess is they'd throw you under the bus...

"Anyone wanna read someday how his threats were ignored and he hurt someone?"

THIS is why I made my prediction. Paranoia will destroy you -- I could see much of Student Affairs being destroyed by this paranoia.

Anonymous said...

Ed is so darn goofy! I can rarely figure out what he is saying. Watch out for Eddies lawyers....swords and buses...the guy kills me! (THAT'S JUST A FIGURE OF SPEECH I HOPE).

Anonymous said...

"Paranoia will destroy you".

Four words. So obvious, so simple -- and so perfectly, ironically, completely un-self-aware, when coming from Ed.

Anonymous said...

Ed is just thanking his lucky stars he was BEVER a VICTIM of drunken crimes-if his stuff it rude about UMass is a teaser-imagine the pathos if he got clipped by some crazed DWI driver ...just to think-I can only imagine !!!?@&)$$

Anonymous said...

I would be curious what percentage of posts are digs on Ed vs. constructive stuff. Seems to me that Dr. Ed is the biggest story around.

I guess bashing him is easier than looking in a (fuzzy, subsidized, socialist, helpless) mirror.....

Dr. Ed said...

"I guess bashing him is easier than looking in a (fuzzy, subsidized, socialist, helpless) mirror....."

Particularly when there is no reflection cast... :)

And 9:55, I have been hit, from behind, twice, and injured, by sober drivers.
Not to confuse you with the facts...

Anonymous said...

Glad you mention it- entitled ole biddies illegally usurping handicapped parking spots for non purpose "VIP" privilege...are the NEMESIS of a safe shopping trip in all that black ice and snow !!! Must be nice

Anonymous said...

Dr Ed free entertainment for all. Thank you Larry, one cannot even purchase this kind of stupid to watch anywhere else.

Dr. Ed said...

It's called "Gaslighting"

Anonymous said...

Take it easy. The words only came from Ray Davies.

Anonymous said...

I spent good money on that fake plate.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if only Ed took a minute from wallowing in his piss-to imagine what other victims of his attitude-towards those that are ACTUAUL victims of DWI crimes,etc...have to put up with-we could all feel a tinge about his travails at UMass...etc..I do agree...UMass School of Ed is for the dogs-just Say'n...Bill Cosby touting.did't help the cause...ya Thunk ?!&@$$$

Anonymous said...

Victims victims everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Impossible to ever understand what ?!&@$$$ is trying to say. Moron!

Anonymous said...

Try getting back on the wagon-alcohol has long term affects on mental functioning proficiency and media comprehension facilities..just Say'n !?$&@$$$?!

Anonymous said...

Saying "just sayin'" actually says nothing. I'm begging you: please consider refraining from ending your thoughts with that insipid and overused phrase.

Anonymous said...

To !?$&@$$$?!:

If you want anyone to understand anything you're writing, you might consider learning to use actual punctuation, like commas and periods, and maybe even colons and semicolons. Concocting a word salad sprinkled with nothing but hyphens and ellipses reflects on your own "mental functioning proficiency", not the reader's.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry -- Heather MacDonald at MI has a must-read column on what will be a big issue in Amherst: "Restorative Justice"

A Trump DoJ and ED could end it, and then what happens in Amherst?

http://www.city-journal.org/html/violence-halls-disorder-malls-14920.html