A serious blow to the poor.
An apartment block in Northampton at 11 Bridge Street, universally known as "Augies" because of the landlord, August A. Woicekoski, burned last night, injuring four and leaving all the residents homeless. It had a reputation as a flophouse inhabited by lots of boozers, crackheads and junkies. Initially rumors swept Hamp that the fire was caused by careless use of a crack pipe. However, later news accounts say it was a cigarette. Whatever.
The important thing is that this represents an enormous loss of affordable housing in Northampton. Like Amherst before it, downtown Northampton is becoming a place where only the rich and students in dorms can live. And (ahem) people in half-way houses.
Near the fire scene, I came upon this bizarre message taped to a mailbox.
It is a drawing of a phone and on the screen this is what it says:
I wanted to do
this face to
face, but know
I don't want
you to work
If you want to
talk about it
we can but my
decision is final.
Apparently someone got fired in a rather impersonal manner. Apparently that person is getting their revenge by making the means of their firing very public.
In Amherst this weekend there was a big Frisbee tournament. Sadly, the weather sucked.
Also in Amherst I came across this poster for the Worldwide Rally to Legalize Marijuana which was to be held in cities around the world this weekend.
If any such rally occurred in Amherst itself, I didn't hear about it.
The trees are blooming nicely along what used to be the infamous UMass Frat Row.
Here is a video I made at the same location in 2006 just before the wrecking ball did its destructive deed.
WASHINGTON—A recent glut of feature stories on the death of the American newspaper has temporarily made the outmoded form of media appealing enough to stave off its inevitable demise for an additional 21 days, sources reported Monday. "People really seem to identify with these moving, 'end-of-an-era'-type pieces," Washington Post editor-in-chief Leonard Downie, Jr. said. "It's nice to see that the printed word is still, at least for now, the most powerful medium for reporting on the death of the printed word." Downie added that the poignant farewell Op-Ed he recently penned was so well received that he will be able to hold onto his job for up to six more days.