It can happen here.The Northampton arson fires
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.Snow covered yesterdays sins with a clean new white coat .In the afternoon the sun appeared melting it all away revealing a town recovering from a bad burn, still sensitive to the touch. If there is any silver lining to be found it is how strong and quickly our community has come together. Of the hundred conversations I had today 6 of them of them were with Michael Kusek and Paul Benjamin trying to figure out the best way to most effectively channel all of the good will that has sprouted. As of this writing the site Mike and Rebecca Neimark started, Friends of Northampton arson victims, have 2,504 members in two days. Out standing. Paul’s site Hampshire county cares is gearing up to identify peoples real needs and facilitate the best way to distribute them. I also spoke with Mary Serreze of Northampton media.com who is doing a great job of covering and consolidating the local and national news of Northampton. Kudos to you and all the other folks of the red cross,the city government, police and surrounding fire departments,residents and media who are working over time to help. I stopped by Glenn Siegel’s house to find it completely boarded up. It was not safe and I hope they were able to salvage the best of what was left. At Fair street a few lonely TV trucks were staking it out as a dog sniffing team went through the rubble. Around the corner on Pomeroy terrace a few doors down from my house I visited with Joel and Juli Robbins who’s car was burned right behind their house. He said that he awoke from the pounding on his the door at 2:00 am by a Fireman who was fighting the fire on fair street and had seen the flames of his car from across the field. They were lucky. While we were talking he sat up in surprise as his voice came on the radio from an interview he had done today with NPR. He said that what the reporters and the detectives have all asked him is “can he think of any connection between him and the other victims?” He cannot, and I think that is our challenge. There does not seem to be any reason to it. It is not class or race based It is not old against new Northampton or liberal against conservative. Speculation is running wild and we all have equal fuel for a theory. Ive heard a rumor of a “heavy woman n a sedan” from three different people. some are convinced its a group. How could one person set so many fires in so short a time? Ive also heard that it is usually a fireman out for job security. Or that the blame lies with the city for never solving a problem that has plagued our neighborhood for years. Worst of all is the thought that it is one of us, someone we all know and would never suspect. I personally think that how we solve this will be based on how strongly we can put our heads and hearts together as a community in the next days week and months to come. So far so good. I love this place. I have just learned that due to space concerns tomorrows emergency meeting called by the Ward 3 Neighborhood Association Tuesday, December 29 at 7 p.m. at the World War II Club on Conz Street. is for ward three residents only. Update!!! The meeting tonight has been changed to the college church on Pomeroy terrace and is open to the public parking is in the rear.