The pollution of fracking doesn't affect just one property - there is leaking methane gas, chemical fumes, soil contamination, and possible water contamination that is happening all over the country (not to mention earthquakes). Dallas, TX just banned fracking in their city this year (through zoning laws that restrict it to the point that drilling wells is not possible) - this from one of the hubs of the oil/gas industry. And then there is the CEO of Exxon who is trying to ban all vestiges of fracking in his community. Mortgage and insurance companies are now denying mortgages and insurance coverage to potential home owners even if the well isn't on your property (it could be on a neighboring property). Most mortgage contracts now include a clause that if a well is drilled on your property (some areas do not even have to have the owner's permission), the mortgage is called. Not to mention the value of your property soars downward with resale very hard. This is also happening all over the country. ...(full comment)
Could this by why our taxes are through the roof? I don't know how this is funded but do we need a giant balloon to teach geography? On the federal level we borrow 40 cents of every dollar from oil rich nations in the middle east and communist China. Social security will run out of money in 20 years and medicare sooner than that. We have $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities these kids will have to pay. When I grew up we had one outing a year at Look Park or we walked across the street to the Academy of Music for a show (1 per year max). This is why our per pupil expenses are so out of control. That and building a new palace of education every few years so the teachers can work in luxury. And of course - the benefits and retiree healthcare they get that nobody else in the world gets. Does Mayor Narkowicz have a city provided car? Why don't we know that yet? ...(full comment)
Reasonable and appropriate response, to a mob of several thousand binge drinkers who had started to throw beer bottles. This is not "peaceable" assembly, and it is not something that the taxpayer needs to underwrite. Why aren't the troublemakers expelled? Very irresponsible statement by UMass president Caret.
Read the Gazette's reporting on the 2003 Hobart HoeDown, when Amherst PD delayed dispersing the mob:
By Izzy Lyman
May 6, 2003
An end-of-the semester celebration at UMass/Amherst morphed into a violent mob scene over the weekend.
The Chief of the Amherst Police Department said yesterday that a pre-graduation party, hosted near the University of Massachusetts and which attracted over 1,500 students, became a "riotous situation."
"What began as a series of parties developed into a full-fledged riot," said Scherpa.
Students hurled broken pieces of rock and beer bottles at passing cars and at police officers who donned riot gear.
Captain Mike Kent, a 22-year veteran of the Amherst police department, agreed. Kent described the melee as "the worst disturbance I have ever seen and the most violent."
The so-called Hobart Hoedown, held on Hobart Lane, began to spin wildly out-of-control late Saturday night when students hurled broken pieces of rock and beer bottles at passing cars and at police officers who donned riot gear.
The Amherst Fire Department had to extinguish several fires, including one which burned down a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority bus stop. Forty-five arrests were made, and there were 15 reported injuries among the Amherst cops. Chief Scherpa calculated the cost of police overtime at $20,000. As of Sunday evening, glass fragments still covered the long entryway to the Puffton Village apartment complex (where the block party had also taken place) and the smell of smoke lingered in the air. ...(full comment)
The statements, and inaction, by UMass administrators are outrageous. A mob of several thousand binge drinkers throwing beer bottles is obviously not safe, and obviously not "peaceable" assembly. ...(full comment)
How predictable. It is obvious that the person responding has no experience with firearms.
First, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics: An estimated 3.7 million household burglaries occurred each year on average from 2003 to 2007. In about 28% of these burglaries, a household member was present during the burglary. So, if the writer is willing to risk being home and unarmed when a home invasion takes place, well, that's her right. It's also some else's right to choose not to be unarmed in their home if their home is invaded while they are there. Second, why is the writer only concerned about the well being of the criminal in a potentially violent confrontation? What about Jay and his wife? Does a person in their own home and a lawful firearm owner have a "right" to protect themselves? Why is it morally superior to be a victim than to stand up and defend ones self? Why is the victims well being less important than the criminals? Third, using FBI statistics, lawfully armed citizens prevent violent attacks and protect their property an estimated 500,000 to 2,000,000 times a year, often without even discharging their firearm. Lastly, there are hundreds of millions of firearms owned by law abiding citizens in the USA. Enthusiasts use them for target practice, hunting and yes, personal protection. A firearm is an inanimate object, just as a boot or hammer is. What it is used for is entirely up to the person in control of it. And, if I might add, more people are killed by boots than rifles every year. ...(full comment)
This article is very misleading. The judge is not questioning the merits of the lawsuit. It's about whether the abutters to the Cushman Forest have the right to have Amherst's totally clear zoning enforced. Some would have you believe they may not. ...(full comment)