Progress of a sort? An update on 98 King Street

.. In December, we carried a story on 98 King and the proposal the Valley CDC made for the Community Preservation Awards (CPA) program to convert this derelict building to a 8-unit SRO. Since then, the proposal for seed money has been approved, the building has changed hands, and the CDC has been “buttoned up” … Continue reading Progress of a sort? An update on 98 King Street

Crack is Back Part Three : The Death of a Dealer

A crack pipe purchased for 99 cents at Pop’s Liquor The first article I wrote for Kirbyontheloose was “Crack is Back” in March of 2008.read it here. It was a two-part story of a young woman who was beat up at a local rooming house and thrown out of the window by her boyfriend, a … Continue reading Crack is Back Part Three : The Death of a Dealer

Dishonor Court

Lately I have been reading nostalgic stuff about Honor Court; reading how the town was nice and clean and there was no graffiti in the old days when the guys from Honor Court and their push-broom brigades kept the town clean. Older Italians are nostalgic for Mussolini, who made the trains run on time. Some … Continue reading Dishonor Court

Flood at Meadowbrook caused by blocked city sewer line?

Stand in the backyards of Meadowbrook and you look up to Straw Avenue and the backyards of Florence. The complex was built in a low-lying swampy area. A number of small streams feed its pond, and under the ground flows another kind of river in a pipe. A regional supervisor for POAH (Preservation Of Affordable … Continue reading Flood at Meadowbrook caused by blocked city sewer line?

We need a mid-course correction on Village Hill

A confession: In the days that Hospital Hill still had a hospital on it, and design aspects seemed as if they could be talked about at public hearings, I got over-involved fighting to save Old Main. Too many meetings. Ask my wife. But even in the thick of it, I wondered if I and other … Continue reading We need a mid-course correction on Village Hill

Not their finest hour: Questions raised by neighbors in the Shepherd’s Hollow blaze.

A wake-up call for western Northampton? This story began for me about six weeks ago when I ran into Garson Fields, owner of Berkshire Electrical Cable, coming out of Foster Farrar. “Did you hear about that fire up on Shepherds Hollow?” he says, “Did you hear that the house burnt to the ground, and the … Continue reading Not their finest hour: Questions raised by neighbors in the Shepherd’s Hollow blaze.

The Meadowbrook Chronicles: Part One

For some time, a number of tenants and former tenants of Meadowbrook have been after me to write something about the housing complex and the agency that runs it. As you may remember, a 2004 agreement preserved the development as affordable. Brokered by the Mayor, this deal sold the development to the Boston-based nonprofit, Preservation … Continue reading The Meadowbrook Chronicles: Part One

Power in a Small Town

A month or so ago, I was sitting there in the fortified intake room at the police station. Behind dark aquarium glass, officers were working on dispatch and intake work. They will talk to you if you lift up the phone. On the wall is a bulletin board with a clipboard listing all the Level … Continue reading Power in a Small Town

Not Their Finest Hour

This story began when I ran into Garson Fields coming out of Foster Farrar. “Did you hear about that fire up on Shepherds Hollow?” he says, “Did you hear that the house burnt to the ground, and the fire department never pumped from the swimming pool in back of the house? I heard it had … Continue reading Not Their Finest Hour