“Mike! Man, are you tough to get ahold of!”

      The phone ringing startled me. We’ve been out of touch with everyone for about ten days, and the new slim phone on my desk was just learning to talk. It  only took Stonehenge Movers six hours to move our apartment, but packing and unpacking have gone on and on. A multitude of … Continue reading “Mike! Man, are you tough to get ahold of!”

The news from Round Hill is not good.

Neighbors up there have a sinking feeling: Round Hill Road will continue to be fenced off for at least the next two weeks. The road is now two barricaded dead-ends, with no crosstown access for cars, pedestrians or bikers. In an email sent August 26th to Janet Gross, a Round Hill Road resident, in response … Continue reading The news from Round Hill is not good.

HAP’s development moves ahead, but Valley CDC’s lumberyard housing project stalls.

Out on the big stretch of open land off of Holyoke Street, the goldenrod is growing high on the Northampton Lumber land, sprouting through cracks in the asphalt. Time is passing. Northampton Lumber is dead, and its land lies fallow. Just what downtown Northampton needs, another vacant piece of land. Joanne Campbell of Valley CDC … Continue reading HAP’s development moves ahead, but Valley CDC’s lumberyard housing project stalls.

A low-tech solution to a low bridge problem

We are not the only town around with a low bridge problem. Worcester had a very expensive chronic problem with the Providence and Worcester railroad bridge that spanned a heavily travelled truck route. Using the God-like prowess of Google once again, I found a October 2014 clipping from the Worcester Telegram that told me that … Continue reading A low-tech solution to a low bridge problem

The Lost Island: When our Veterans were at ground zero

I was an EOD (explosive ordinance demolition specialist) assigned to the chemical company that moved the chemicals (Agent Orange) from Okinawa to Johnston Island in 1971. Not much on the Island at the time. I was surprised to find there were 5 bars and numerous dogs running around. Funny I was issued a radiation detection … Continue reading The Lost Island: When our Veterans were at ground zero

On cash cows, sacred cows, dog and pony shows and other animals of their ilk

Last year the Mayor hired the Matrix Consulting Group, a nationwide consulting group serving municipalities, to look at our Department of Public Works and do an analytical study of its organization and effectiveness. They produced a 133 page study dated January 2016. No grade was given, not a passing or failing rating, but they tell … Continue reading On cash cows, sacred cows, dog and pony shows and other animals of their ilk

Work begins on tunnel under railroad

Mark the day, this morning, Monday June 20 2016 at about eight in the morning construction started on the railroad underpass. Or to be exact, preliminary site clearance started. I knew something was up because when I got to my favorite railroad crossing there was a big white Pan Am pickup parked across the opening … Continue reading Work begins on tunnel under railroad

Mayor dissolves Public Works Commission

On May 23rd, the Public Works Commission, barring any last minute changes, had its final meeting. There were only three things on the agenda: public comment, approval of the minutes, and “Discussion with Mayor Narkewicz regarding the Public Works Commission.” I don’t know what he said to them, since the minutes aren’t ready yet and … Continue reading Mayor dissolves Public Works Commission

Major Upgrade on railroad crossing

Those of us renegades who use the hole in the fence to commute between Walgreens and Woodmont, and/ or navigate between the three railtrails noted with pleasure the improvement made by some anonymous angel this week. Two sheets of 3/8″ particle board have been laid laid in on top of the three? very shaky pallets. … Continue reading Major Upgrade on railroad crossing

We’ve seen what the future looks like, and it could have been worse

The architect’s concept of the new building as seen looking down a narrow alley from Phillips Place. The St. John Cantius church will not fall to the wrecking ball, only the priest’s residence will be demolished, and the housing that is going to be squeezed into the long narrow space behind the existing housing will … Continue reading We’ve seen what the future looks like, and it could have been worse