Monday, November 19, 2007

Is the King Street Zoning at Fault?

The Gazette Headline Read: Zoning Forces Developers to Nix King Street Plan.

Many were disappointed when plans for a proposed mixed-use, human-scale development on King Street, in compliance with the new streetscape-friendly zoning, suddenly were withdrawn. Was the new zoning to blame? A threatened lawsuit by the Florence Savings Bank? Pressure from Cooley Dickinson Hospital?

Paolo Mastrangelo endeavors to find out in a conversation with Teri Anderson (the City of Northampton's Economic Development Coordinator), and Mike Kirby, a citizen journalist (and resident of the King St. neighborhood).

Toward the end of the evening, a spirited discussion unfolded about the planning process in Northampton. Bill Dwight, Daryl LaFleur, and Joel Speier all called in with their observations and commentary.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

City Council Deliberates "Best Practices"

On Tuesday, November 15, the Northampton City Council heard public testimony on the proposal for establishing a committee to examine best practices in municipal decision-making. There has been a bit of controversy over how this committee should be selected, whether people who currently serve on committees should be excluded, and what the balance between citizens and city council members should be.

the first playlist contains citizen commentary; the second contains highlights from the deliberations of the City Council.

You may have to wait a minute for the files to initially load to the buffer of your computer--but once they're there you should be able to listen unimpeded.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

best practice *this*

Here's a familiar voice from the recent past, reminding the good citizens of greater Northampton of the political events of summer '07....if nothing else, noho and hamp gained common ground. Will that common ground be honored in the "best practices" movement?

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Master Plan Public Hearing

On November 8, 2007, a public hearing was held on the 70-page master plan entitled Sustainable Northampton. This may be the final review before the plan goes to City Council. Present were the planning board, city officials, and representatives from The Cecil Group, consultants who were hired to produce the document.

I have put together a playlist of commentators--my apologies to those who spoke later in the evening, and are not included in this list, and to the first presenter, who I well as to those whose names are misspelled. use the little vertical scrollbar on the side of the player to reveal additional names.

Many thanks to Ed Russell of Active Ingredients Media, whose help with audio capture under non-optimal circumstances made it possible to document the event.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

election night circus

the crowd was in high spirits on election night '07 in northampton, massachusetts. valley free radio of course showed up to capture some good fun audio. click here for cameo audible appearances by the cbs news team, kathy silva, bob reckman, bill dwight, david narkewicz, gene tacy, an unknown veteran policy wonk (expressing interest in the "drinking liberally" society), and of course, our mayor-elect, mary clare higgins.

election night circus mp3

We also caught an interesting moment--an impromptu press conference materialized around Gene Tacy moments after he conceded defeat. Bill Dwight (WHMP), Fred Contrada (The Republican), Mary Serreze (Valley Free Radio), and Dan Crowley (The Daily Hampshire Gazette) all wanted to know: what are your plans, Mr. Tacy? mp3

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nick the Fiddler

Nick can really play. He's got that free-wheeling old-time sound. John Coster and I recorded him, using our new little palm-held Zoom H2, outside of Thorne's Market last Saturday (It was cold out!)


Daniel Lerch at Amherst College

Daniel Lerch is with the Post-Carbon Institute, and directs the Post-Carbon Cities Program. He spoke recently at Amherst College, discussing ways we can use local planning and zoning to prepare for climate and energy uncertainty.

"Local Planning for Peak Oil and Global Warming : How Community Actions Can Make Us Environmentally, Economically, and Democratically Healthier"

This audio recording was produced in collaboration with Active Ingredients Media.

daniel lerch mp3

Roy Martin, candidate for mayor

Paolo took this one solo! Paolo Mastrangelo and Roy Martin, "perennial candidate for mayor," discuss the issues, completing our mayoral candidate interview series.

roy martin mp3