The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Common Account

Here's a picture taken by someone of Northampton Mayor David Narkiewicz at this year's County Fair posing with J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr:

The Mayor himself took this picture from a window in City Hall this week as a double rainbow appeared over the Valley in the wake of a violent cloudburst.

I saw the same rainbows while crossing the Calvin Coolidge Bridge on a bus, but the speed of the bus prevented me from getting my camera out in time. A shame, because the view from the bridge of the Connecticut River is one of the most spectacular vistas in the Valley and to get a shot that included two rainbows hovering over it would have been an exquisite, perhaps once in a lifetime photographic achievement. Oh well, sometimes you score, sometimes you don't.

The rainbows had a very short lifespan, shimmering over the Valley for only a couple of minutes at most, but creating an almost transcendentally beautiful visual ending to the last weekend of summer. And don't tell me that technically summer isn't over. Around here, when the students come back in the fall, that is considered by everyone in the northern Valley to be the true end of summer.

I ran into Mayor Narkiewicz myself in the Haymarket the other day.

Speaking of the Haymarket, it's doing an interesting experiment these days called The Common Account. It is explained as follows on the Haymarket website.

Early in the spring of 2017 we created what we call the Common Account. We wanted to try to address some of the issues in our town around homelessness, hunger and panhandling. There are many points of view on this subject, and even individually one’s own vantage point changes. We wanted to address this in our own way, as members of our community, and as a small business that is partly sustained from selling food. The Common Account funds our sliding scale menu for those who cannot afford the full price. People donate to the fund increasing its balance while others who are in need draw down from the account.

In other words, it is a way to allow the homeless and poverty stricken to come in off the streets for an occasional cheap meal in a first class restaurant, courtesy of the generous donations of the customers who come into the Haymarket every day. Alas, the month of July was a financial bust, with only enough donated to cover a little more than half the cost of the semi-free meals.

However, the figures for August are out, and believe it or not all the food costs were covered and then some!

Wow, doing good while still making a profit. Who'd a thunk?

I will leave you with this charming portrait of the Attorney General of Massachusetts.

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