In the aftermath of the storm at Amherst College a snowbeing appeared wearing a skirt of marijuana leaves.
Hey, Northampton has a new mayor, but I didn't vote for him.
Instead I voted for this guy, but without much enthusiasm.
Actually my emotional range regarding the candidates running in the Valley this year stretched from a yawn to a wretch, so I didn't make any public endorsements. Besides, I probably drive away as many votes from the candidates I endorse as I attract. You needed a microscope to find a difference in the issues separating the Northampton candidates. The only reason I chose Bardsley over Narkewicz was that I didn't like the way incumbent Mayor M. Clare Higgins stepped down early to allow her chosen heir Narkewicz to run as an incumbent. It reminded me too much of Springfield, where for decades mayors were "anointed" and I hate to see Northampton adopting any of Springfield's bad habits. That said, Narkewicz is a good man and will probably make a fine mayor. I saw him this morning standing by Smith College when a passerby asked him about his tie.
In Springfield, incumbent Dominic Sarno whomped mayoral wannabe Jose Tosado. Nothing to cheer about really, the only true change agent in the race, Antonette Pepe was eliminated in the primary. (Rumors are rampant that Pepe intends to step down after her current term.) One thing to take solace in is that the gang behind Sarno is slightly less sleazy than the gang behind Tosado. Here's a capsule review of the Springfield City Council races:
SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL AT LARGE
Tom ASHE - Oh for shame that this sleazy, two bit hustler was re-elected, let alone came in first.
Tim ROOKE - The best person on the Council is recognized at last.
Kateri WALSH - Everybody loves Kateri, even if she doesn't really do anything.
James FERRERA - I give up.
Bud L. WILLIAMS - Bud's a likeable guy and I'm sure he'll be as useless as ever.
Justin HURST - In the end Mommy and Daddy didn't have enough pull.
Amaad RIVERA - There must be a socialist people's state somewhere he can win in.
Charles RUCKS - He seems always destined to be the best candidate no one will vote for.
Joseph FOUNTAIN - He made it through the election without humiliating himself, which is a first for Joe.
Miguel SOTO - He never realized you're supposed to at least pretend to care about non-Hispanics.
SPRINGFIELD CITY COUNCIL WARD 8
Rarely has a candidate worked harder to give voters a reason not to vote for him than John Lysak. First there was his ugly divorce and the accusation from his ex-wife that he put his new girlfriend on the city payroll. Then he was accused of campaign finance violations. Finally Lysak was discovered to have been a regular swimmer in the notorious pool owned by jailbird ex-rep Christopher Asselin, which during Asselin's criminal trial had become a hated symbol of arrogant corruption. Fortunately for Lysak he had one ace up his sleeve - his opponent Orlando Ramos, who was widely known to be a stooge for the Rivera Gang operating out of the city's North End. It was one of those classic Springfield races where any way it turned out the public lost.
Happier mayoral outcomes were found elsewhere in the Valley. Alex Morse is the best thing to happen to Holyoke in a generation, while Greg Neffinger won a much deserved victory in West Springfield. But that's pretty much the only bright spots. Oh well, let's hope for the best, but I've learned that in politics if you expect nothing you will never be disappointed.
In the better world of music, a big Grateful Dead tribute show taking place in Hamp this weekend.
Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of the real Grateful Dead were at UMass this week. Here the t-shirts are prepared for consumption by the rabid fans.
Can this old man really be Bobby Weird the Kozmik Kid?
It's probably best that Jerry Garcia died young, or he'd probably be playing in a wheelchair by now.
But he'd be rockin' the wheelchair.
And speaking of fanatical fans, radical poets are using Amherst's Emily Dickinson to launch a Google bomb.