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

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

The Road to Johnston Island

In 1957 the AEC needed a place to test out an idea they had at Livermore Laboratories. The idea came from a young charismatic Italian physicist, Nicholas Christofilos, who worked for Edward Teller, the  co-father of the H-Bomb. In those days Livermore Laboratories had punch with the Joint Chiefs, their star was ascendant, and they … Continue reading The Road to Johnston Island

“Well, what do you think about the “Black Lives Matter” sign on city hall?

One of my readers hit me with that hot question today when she saw me coming into the turkey dinner  at the Senior Center. And what did I do but waffle on her? You would have thought I was the mayor. Maybe I’ve been retired too long. I remembered too well the noisy chaotic night … Continue reading “Well, what do you think about the “Black Lives Matter” sign on city hall?


REFORM! I can’t remember this happening. (ever) The police and the Northampton Housing Authority putting the spotlight on active heroin and other drug dealing in our public housing.  The new director is putting her stamp on the organization. A Housing Authority that asks for help with drugs, that works with the police to make complexes like … Continue reading HURRAY!

Bulletin: A talk at Historic Northampton

Cooley Dickinson Hospital, which serves Hadley, Hatfield and Northampton,resulted because  of a charitable donation of $100K made in 1882 by a Hatfield farmer named Caleb Cooley Dickinson, who unfortunately is little remembered today. He preferred to be called Cooley hence the name of the hospital. His life was recently brought into view when W. Michael … Continue reading Bulletin: A talk at Historic Northampton


  I don’t know how long I’ve been putting out this blog, but all things have to end some day, and although the blog will be around, it will be less frequent and not of an investigational nature. There’ll be some editorials from time to time, and some short stories. I have to work on … Continue reading Goodbye

Beauty is only skin deep

22-34 New South Street looks good, but it doesn’t seem to be a happy building. It’s got pockets of happiness. You can see how the building works and doesn’t work by the police reports.  It’s the eleven “warrant services” , the 14 “suspicious-wanted” notices and the 14 “harassment-stalking” notices that grabbed my attention.  I’ve been in … Continue reading Beauty is only skin deep

Reading the Fine Print

You see these signs around town more and more. This one is near  95 Barrett Street, and marks the spot at which an Amherst developer is planning a 16 unit townhouse development.  Sunwood Builders will go before the Northampton Planning board for a special permit on Thursday,August 13 at 8:00pm at City Hall. Friends of the … Continue reading Reading the Fine Print