Saturday, September 30, 2006

Best of the Police Report Sept 1- 21

This week's report had an animal orientation with a rural flavor that included six hay bales and a mattress lost on local roads:

Sept 21, ---- : "Cows loose in the middle of South Maple Street at 12:58AM were not located by police. At 1:40AM, police found the owner attempting to corral them." [Hadley]

Sept 21, 2:09PM: "A fox missing much of its fur was seen in a field near Middle Street " [Hadley]

Sept 5 2:10PM: " Police took a report of a terrier type dog wandering in the area of Puffton Village wearing a sweater."

Sept 1, 7:09AM: " A woman was seen sleeping on top of a bicycle on Belchertown Road. Police found the woman , who was just trying to locate a piece of the bicycle that had fallen from her bicycle."

Sept 5 , ---- : " Ongoing problems were reported by a Mill Valley resident who said neighbors might be stealing items, including shoes."

If the date selection and sequences seem odd to you, they are.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rock God From Planet Z

This un-retouched photo was taken by an amateur photographer yesterday just past the beaver dams on the Amherst Belchertown side of the Norwottuck bicycle path. Can this be real? Is this an invasion? Do you see how the green things appear to be landing? I don't think they are here for the foliage! There's more.....

Three miles away I found the rock pictured below. It is so unusual to my New England trained eye that I am convinced it is from another planet. My geologist friends [who have not actually seen the rock] laugh at me, and say it is simply a glacial erratic. That could explain how it got to the bicycle path, but what about those pockets? My geologic imagination sees them as trapped gas bubbles in cooling molten material from a thousand million years ago when volcanos were sending lava all over Amherst, Pelham, and Hadley. After that a broken piece of lava was smoothed down to its current size by waves on the beach of Lake Hitchcock. Finally, a glacier delivered it to the bicycle path, like all the other rocks around here.

However, given evidence of swamp hovering UFO's , I prefer the more reasonable proposition that green spheroid seekers from Planet Z, have ventured across nebulae, galaxies, and time warps in search of a great god, prophesied in their planetary lore. Now they have found their beloved lost god who wandered off Planet Z eons ago, behind the Hampshire Mall ... IN OUR BACKYARD!

Geologists, you are accustomed to outrageous propositions! Please weigh in....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Blue Heron in Hadley?

No its not a turkey! Unless they are reproducing madly, this blue heron has wandered into Hadley from the swamp on the Amherst Belchertown side of the Norwottuck bicycle path. I found him flying and walking along a water-filled ditch between the corn and the bicycle path behind the Hampshire Mall near Target, near where Walmart wants to build a megastore.

Shouldn't the local Walmart and Target be encouraging more customers like this by emulating the Chicago Walmart branch which is greening their 67,000 square foot roof,
creating more habitat?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Immigrant Nation - Massachusetts Style

A moment of anti-immigrant Massachusetts shame that happened almost a hundred years before Sacco and Vanzetti has been ressurected. The 1st Annual Western Mass CeltFest, taking place at Look Park this Saturday (the 23rd) is "inspired by the execution of two Irish immigrants in Northampton 200 years ago. James Halligan and Dominic Daley.... [who ] were convicted and executed in 1806 for the murder of Marcus Lyons of Wilbraham....[and] were eventually exonerated by Governor Michael Dukakis [a Greek] on St. Patrick's Day in 1984." The event hopes to increase community awareness of how prejudice, bigotry and racial animosity can influence thought, social behavior and government action.

In God we trust, but sometimes you need a really great lawyer, and even at that, you are not going to get that fair trial, eh? Could someone at least get the Irish Sacco & Vanzetties their post-humous recognition on Wikipedia???

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Best of the Police Report August 29 - 30

Interspersed with numerous incidents of minors in possession of alcohol, violations of the town keg, open container and noise bylaws, [welcome back minors!] were these equally minor, and not terribly interesting incidents:

August 29... 5:11AM ...Bushes, a car, and the front porch were all found covered with toilet paper at a Northampton Road location.

August 30... 10:48AM ...Two men crawling through the window of a South Prospect Street home checked out OK.

August 30... 1:57PM ...A Jeffrey Lane resident was notified that her dogs were again loose and chasing cows.

Far more interesting were the Fire Department's calls to duty for dozens of incidents of smoke alarms triggered by paint, steam, and bad cooking, including two incidents of burnt popcorn.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Pipczynski Szawjkowski Wojtowicz Szafir Wysinski & Howe

Dominating the obituaries in the Amherst Bulletin this week were these honorable nonagenerians of the Polish community:

Cecylia Pipczynski Szawjkowski, 99
Born in Hadley, daughter of Andrzej and Zofia Soldanski Pipcsynski...moved back to Poland when she was three...oldest resident in town of Hadley....holder of a Gold Cane from the town...survived two husbands, Walter Szwajkowski and Jozef Budka...survived by 17 grandchildren, 37 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, daughter Veronica Kozalkowski of Hadley,two sons Piotr and Josef Szwajkowski both of Poland.

Edward M. Wojtowicz, 90
Born in 1915, son of Teofil and Mary Ziobro Wojtowicz....lifelong resident of Amherst... well known contractor and home builder with brothers, Stanley and Ted...served in the US Navy from 1936 to 1939, and 1943 to 1945 in the Pacific...famous for his tomatoes, strawberries, and raspberries which he sold from a roadside stand..loved fly fishing...met Ted Williams...maintained a tree farm in Leverett...was always seen around town driving his red pickup truck...and is survived by Louise, his wife of 63 years.

Statia Szafir Wysinski, 90
Born in Hadley, 1916 ....daughter of Stanly and Anna Antosz Szafir... moved to Northampton upon marriage to Joseph Wysinski a fireman for the city...worked in the cafeteria of the Northampton school system...lifelong communicant of St. John Cantilus Church in Northampton...survived by daughter Nancy Wysinski,and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins.

Scrabble enthusiasts, weep. The Polish have us beat in consonants...and in potatoes, polka, and passing on. Way to go, wonderful lives, great stories -- and thanks for leaving us the "Q".

Polish Potatoes of the Pioneer Valley

The Pioneer Valley is full of Polish people. You've seen their names: Kuzmeskus school busses, Kozikowski and Szawlowski on potato trucks. If you have more pictures of Polish-ness in the Pioneer Valley, I would love to hear from you!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Best of the Amherst Police Report -- August 18 - 23

Interspersed with numerous reports of noisy students, sick raccoons, loose dogs, dogs locked in cars, and suspicious activity found to be gone when police got there, were these, as compiled by Scott Merzbach in the Amherst Bulletin of September 15, 2006:

August 18. 4:12PM ... A man jogging on Bridge Street told police he was nipped on his shorts by two loose poodles.

August 18. 9:25PM... Police got a report of a man lying in a parking space on North Pleasant Street and giving women a hard time while they tried to park their car there.

August 19. 2:09AM... A man attempting to hitchhike while standing in the middle of College street was moved to the sidewalk.

August 20. 10:20PM... A man who claimed he was hit in the face with a gun and robbed of his wallet and had to get away by swimming across Puffer's Pond was found stuck in the weeds and mud at the edge of the pond.

August 22. 8:03PM... Police took a report of people throwing batons that were on fire on the Town Common. Police determined they were professional flame jugglers.

August 23. 12:29PM... People opening boxes of honey at the Fiber Art Center found one with a ticking sound inside it. Police determined it was a defective music box shipped with the honey.