Serving Amherst, Hadley, and surrounding communities
M/clear Hi 76° | Lo 42°
09:32 PM EST
I can see Tuttle Hill from my living room window. In about 1995 an Amherst College president told me he was thinking of building faculty housing condos on the hill. I like this a lot better. ...(full comment)
The Carnival is coming to town soon. Maybe they could set up for business in the back yard of Babetown or Dad City.
http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2013/04/jesse-james-rides-again.html ...(full comment)
I have tried to comprehensively cover this unwanted resuscitation issue from a legal perspective in this forthcoming 70-page article. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2208033 ...(full comment)
This is a failure of Amherst town government, pure and simple. The failure of Town Meeting to pass reasonable new zoning proposals, which would have fulfilled the master plan goals, by developing our village centers to create additional housing stock for students, residents, and newcomers has resulted in a shortage of housing.
The law of supply and demand thus kicks in: limited supply of housing means rents go up and the only ones who can meet that demand are students, who in essence pool their resources to pay $2000+/month in rent. Families cannot compete with student renters and as this story shows, only investors are really now interested in buying into Amherst. And it won't matter if historic districts are created: folks can and will sell sell their houses to investors (since no one else seems interested in coming to Amherst) and rent it out to students.
The key is for new zoning to increase housing stock. But a small group of Town Meeting members continues to block these proposals for selfish reasons rather than think about the town as a whole.
It is time for a new form of governance. Or these problems will just continue to escalate and more families will abandon Amherst. ...(full comment)
Yes Landmark Properties, developers of the proposed 170 unit "Amherst Retreat," did not receive a very warm welcome at their informational session at the Jones Library on Tuesday:
http://onlyintherepublicofamherst.blogspot.com/2013/04/circle-wagons.html ...(full comment)
BR - While I understand and appreciate your concern over "short-term plan" students being allowed to influence town policy, in the case of Amherst, I respectfully disagree.
There are plenty of undergraduate students who stay in town after graduation to pursue graduate school, look for employment, or simply hang out because Amherst is much more happening than their home towns. These students, who contribute to this town's unique colorfulness, care about the community that they chose to spend some of the best years of their life in. Don't forget that Amherst's livelihood depends a great deal on the students of UMass and Amherst College.
As long as the landlords of Amherst continue to take advantage of students by grossly overcharging them for properties that couldn't dream of passing Board of Health or building inspections, and until certain entities in town feel the slightest bit of guilt that they make a killing off of the naivety of a perceived lower class of college students, I firmly believe that the students residing in Amherst, for whatever length of time, deserve representation at the town meeting. ...(full comment)
I don't see this as a good thing. I no longer reside in Amherst but grew up there and went to UMass and am still very close to residents there. Students are not permanent residents. The vast majority of UMass undergraduate students are there for four or five years, in nine-month stints. Someone that is there on a short-term plan shouldn't be able to influence policy that impacts full-time, long-term residents of the town. i.e. the children's schools, the sports teams, etc. ...(full comment)
What exactly does Tony Maroulis mean when he says this would be "separate from local neighborhoods"? This development would be right in the middle of my neighborhood and a lot of local residents would be affected. ...(full comment)
Actually the erroneous tweet that a child had been hit by a school bus went out within sixty seconds of that exact same statement broadcast by emergency dispatch to units in the field.
Another correct tweet soon went out stating the child was hit by a car while exiting a school bus.
Twitter users know that initial information concerning breaking news isn't always perfect. Newspapers used to call it "hot copy." ...(full comment)
J. Turner, you are right. I don't get to decide. I'm stating that it makes me feel sad to see people being treated this way and attacked personally because of another person's theoretical belief and suggesting that it might worth considering kinder public discourse in our community. You may choose to say whatever you want. We will each sit with how it makes us feel to put our chosen messages out to others and our community.
J. Turner, I'm not looking to debate the topics of sex, gender, feminism, or identity with you. They are very complex issues and are certainly topics for interesting discussion in a different venue. My point here though is that I DON'T think having those debates here is the right place nor is it necessary to debate the whole concept in relation to one specific person. These are individuals who have been through a very traumatic and emotional experience. One of them shared her story about it in a public manner, the other chose to add her own perspective on that particular story. Debate the theories elsewhere. There is no need in our community for attacking a specific person about how they might see themselves when really you just want to debate a theory. As Ms. Benvenuto says herself, "her book is not a statement about or portrayal of transsexuals as a group. “I completely support their rights...This book is my story — it’s about my very particular experience"...”
No need to make your personal feelings about such a wide-reaching topic be turned into such personal attacks on one person. ...(full comment)