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

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

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


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!

Truck-Eating Bridge, Take Ten

So in case you missed it, another truck hit the bridge on Thursday night about 4:00 AM. Now he has a $500 dollar ticket, and is probably looking for a new job. The bridge holds nothing but rotting ties, so no one is worried about  its structural strength. They can hit it forever and nothing … Continue reading Truck-Eating Bridge, Take Ten

Stuck in the Heartland

I watched the first couple episodes of NARCOS, the Netflix series, and before it lost its documentary structure and took its all but inevitable plunge into the sewer of sex and mindless violence which is at the core of the Columbian drug business, it raised the usual questions that we ask ourselves about our strategy … Continue reading Stuck in the Heartland

Through the years with Wayne Feiden

Why he is the most powerful person in our city government?   Under four mayors Wayne Feiden has steadily amassed power. I remember Wayne Feiden when he was young, just out of college, I think.   Not the city planner, but an ambitious assistant to our planner Larry Smith. Some well-connected people wanted to get rid … Continue reading Through the years with Wayne Feiden

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

Lawsuit stops Phillips Place development (for now)

I am quoting below a writer who lives on Phillips Place who missed the planning board meeting last week. She wished her letter to Carolyn Misch, one of the city planners, to be her public comment.  I am printing this excerpt.  Last week Amherst residents  Linda Muerle and her husband Burt Ewart received final approval  for the second house they had constructed … Continue reading Lawsuit stops Phillips Place development (for now)

Shaw’s Motel sold for 1.35 million.

One of the largest tracts of privately owned land in downtown Northampton was sold by Donald Shaw on July 2nd to Winterberry LLC , a limited liability company managed by Matthew Campagnari, operating out of a shop at 128 Federal Street in Springfield. It is not clear at present whether he is the Matthew Campagnari who … Continue reading Shaw’s Motel sold for 1.35 million.