Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Letter

Springfield City Councilor John Lysak

Good evening, Tom.

First, I would like to thank you for publishing my letter on your website. I know that you took a lot of heat for putting that out there, and I appreciate you giving me the chance to tell a small portion of my story.

Secondly, John is aware of the letter, and has responded to me, via a letter from his attorney Thomas Kenefick. The following is a quote from the letter:

"My client [John] has advised that your client has increased her virulent campaign against him in a number of ridiculous websites, viz, Tony Devine's Cosmos Report or Astronauts in Space. Apart from the bizarre nature of the website to which your client seems oddly attracted, she has made it her campaign to ventilate and/or publish my client's alleged abusive behavior towards her and the children (keeping in mind the parties have been separated for over a year) in the hope of causing him embarrassment and humiliation in the public sector. While I question the intellectual calculus of anyone who visits these blogs, nevertheless, it is embarrassing to my client not only because of its falsity but because of the continued vindictiveness and animus of your client towards mine which obviously must have an adverse impact on the children."

Tom, I'm telling you this because it was bloggers like you, Heather Brandon, and Bill Dusty that helped John's political career. He would be nowhere without the bloggers! When the mainstream media ignored our press releases, the bloggers were the only ones who would interview him and take his candidacy seriously. You (the bloggers and yourself) were the only ones to talk him up to the voters. I'm astounded that he would allow his attorney to say these things about people who were his friends. It was terribly unfair of John and his friends to criticize you. I imagine that one of those people was Peter Lyons, as he made nasty comments about me, and then also made nasty comments to my sister when she defended me.

Peter Lyons has to support John, because it was through his work on John's campaign that Peter became friends with Chris Asselin. Yes, John and Chris are good friends, and Peter currently works with Chris thanks to John's connection. In fact, my kids tell me how much they enjoy swimming in Chris's pool with the water slide. The very same pool that was partially funded by stolen monies from city residents. The whole thing is disgusting.

The rest of the letter is concerning John's wedding band. He gave it to my oldest daughter to wear on a necklace. She fell asleep on my bed while wearing it, and I asked her to take it off while she slept as I worried that she would choke on it (I do this myself). She has misplaced it. John's attorney is convinced that I stole it from her and pawned it for money. It's not true of course.

In another letter, John's attorney tries to say that I should lose custody because he believes that I'm practicing witchcraft, which is not condoned by John's conservative Pentecostal Christian faith. Well, more has happened. One of my kids has said that John has been molesting them since they were 9 years old. I immediately called the police and DCF. On Monday, I got restraining orders for me and all 4 of the kids. He cannot see or speak to them or to me. Also, the Springfield Special Victims Unit is investigating. I am so sick and upset from all of this. I never would have thought that he is capable of this, even given his violent history. I'm looking to move to a nearby suburb, and my child wants to press charges and bring him to justice. It's going to be a long road for us. I will keep you updated.

Thanks again for being willing to speak with me about this.

This is just a sampling of what I've been through and am going through with this man. This is the sort of person who wants the voters in Ward 8 to trust him? If he will treat his wife, his children, and his friends in this manner, then there really is no one that he won't betray in his desire for political power. I hope that the voters in Ward 8 learn this before it is too late.

Priscilla Lysak

My neighbor's mailbox.

Norwottock Trail party invitation.

Amherst bloglord Larry Kelley in Amherst Town Hall.

Out the window of the UMass library.

Waiting for the bus at UMass.

Shiny Happy People at the Amherst Survival Center.

By the Calvin Coolidge Bridge by Nathan Gregory.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On the Farm

This week I paid a visit to the Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst.

It's a beautiful place, as you can see in this video I made about a historic tale of enduring love.

Farmers have a sense of humor, as evidenced by this sign regarding the famous mystery about chickens and roads.

Some of the farming is done in homemade hothouses.

This allows for a faster growing cycle, resulting in perfect red tomatoes weeks ahead of the normal harvest.

If you want you can go online and buy into a portion of the harvest.

When it comes to the porkshares, they are presently still very much alive and living in psychedelic houses.

Yikes! Here comes mother and child to check out the visitors! Baby pigs sure are cute, but that cuteness factor fades considerably once they put on 500 pounds.

At the end of our little tour we were served snacks of healthy organic produce and homemade dip.

Pretty neat place, I promise to come back and explore the farm again around harvest time.

Meanwhile, the heatwave that's been gripping the country finally hit New England this week, as you can see from the fiery sun setting over the mighty Connecticut.

A hot show in Hamp.

Cool in the pool.

The better to see.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


The 633 acre Fitzgerald Lake Conservation area is the largest conservation area in Northampton, yet I'd never been there until recently. It's a hidden gem.

It's a really cool place, with clearly defined paths reinforced by either wood or stone.

Not surprisingly, all paths lead to Fitzgerald Lake, which is absolutely gorgeous and looks like a great place to fish.

For more information about how to get there and what to do click here.

This morning I did a little acrobatic act, riding my bike and pointing my camera as I negotiated the speed bumps on the trestle over the Connecticut River in order to bring you the following video.

Legendary street singer Motown Bennie Johnson got the coverboy treatment from the Valley Advocate this week.

At downtown Amherst's Kendrick Park there is this display called "Amherst Truths" where local folk are photographed holding signs saying what feels true to them.

A big photography convention at UMass has these shutterbugs swarming over this hot woman with her hot car out by the campus pond.

Oops! Somebody was going way too fast and took down this sign by the UMass Grad Research Center.

"Former mob boss and longtime federal fugitive Whitey Bulger's brother was a politician. So one brother was operating in a world with no morals, dealing with the lowest of the low, and the other one was a mobster." -- Howie Carr.

I love this brilliant new songwriter Lindy Vopnfjord.


Last night's sunset on the Connecticut River.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Letter

John and Priscilla Lysak in 2009

Dear Mr. Devine,

I am the ex-wife of John A. Lysak, the current Ward 8 city counselor. Having helped him with running his campaign, I understand that you are a local blogger, and a passion for Valley politics. Because of this, I felt the need to reach out to you regarding my ex-husband.

John and I are currently going through a nasty custody fight over our children. John has a history of domestic violence towards me, and he is now turning on our children. Despite the fact that I have evidence of this (restraining orders I've taken out on him in the past), and my children's therapist ready to testify in court about what the children themselves have said, no one in the local media is willing to pick up the story.

Mr. Devine, I am very much afraid of John, and I think that he is not the right sort of person to be a city counselor. He abandoned me and our children for his co-worker, his current girlfriend, Luz Rivera. He has threatened to use his position to end contracts with the children's therapist, in an attempt to shut him (my therapist) up about the abuse of the children. He is also attempting to force me to continue living in Springfield, where he feels that he won't be arrested by the SPD if he should break the law. He has even used his position to get Ms. Rivera a job as a domestic violence advocate with the SPD, even though she lacked both the experience and the qualifications. I feel that if he continues to win his seat, he will continue to use his political clout to bully me.

I know that I must come off sounding as a bitter ex-wife, the woman scorned. I also know that John has done some good things for the city, such as opposing the PRE biomass plant. I guess I am hoping to present a balanced view of him to the public, and I am also hoping that public scrutiny will force him to cease the harm that he is doing to me and the children.

If you doubt my story, it is very easy to verify. Go to the Hampden County Probate and family court in downtown Springfield, to the 4th floor. Use the computers there that they have available to look up the following docket number, HD10D1140JP. This is the current divorce and custody case. Connected to that, you will find the docket numbers for the 2 restraining orders that I've taken out against John. This is public information, and could be found by going into the court house and looking these up on those computers by typing in John Lysak's name.

I do fear that if John finds out that I am talking to others about his history, that he may escalate. But the way that abuse thrives is in secrecy, and it is my hope that making things public will bring an end to the abuse.

Thank you for your time, and for reading this.

Priscilla Lysak

That terrible thunderstorm we had the other night brought down this branch along the Norwottock Trail. I had to carry my bike over it.

All the dampness has been heaven for mushrooms, such as this one that sprouted on my lawn.

This red one bloomed in the woods by my house.

Along the woodland way into downtown Northampton I thought I saw a mouse in the road. As I got closer I saw that it was no mouse - it was a baby possum paralyzed with fear! But only temporarily, a microsecond after I took this photo it bolted into the woods.

Ducks trying to cross the street in Amherst.

Mother duck and her kids in Calvin Coolidge Park in downtown Northampton.

Fooling around on the front porch.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Going Fourth

A rainbow over downtown Northampton last week.

My two year old neighbor makes a political statement when she rides on the back of her mother's bike.

A train crossing the Connecticut River over the Northampton Rail Road trestle in 1968.

Standing on that very trestle in 2011 looking at the Calvin Coolidge Bridge.

Going over the Calvin Coolidge Bridge this morning on the bus.

My friend has a really cool sexpod in his backyard.

Looking up at Raos Coffeeshop in Amherst.

The Silvio Conte Wildlife Refuge had a display this week at UMass.

The display travels around in this chilltown trailer.

A chilltown truck in Amherst.

A Vermont libertarian passing through Amherst.

Why it's hard to visit with my friends in Amherst.

The Hadley Common

Happy Fourth Everybody!