November 28, 2006

The Deluge

Wow. I think I spent most of yesterday in a daze. The first day back from a vacation is usually a little disorienting, but I guess I never noticed before how much “news” I try to keep up on every day, including that from news sources, blogs, personal email and discussion boards. Oh yeah, and add work to the mix.

Information overload is not just a theory; it is reality.

Somerset Town Meeting

Special Town Meeting

Before I left for Florida, I heard there was going to be a special town meeting right after Thanksgiving weekend, but I didn’t know what we were going to be voting on.

Turns out there was an article to be voted on which would have diverted money away from something I voted on in the meeting we had way back in the spring. The Finance Committee added a recommendation to one of the articles which, if it passed, would have de-funded Somerset’s monetary contribution to Fall River’s anti-LNG terminal fight.

So we would either have reneged on a promise to Fall River, or we’d have to go through that old vote again to replace the money. I don’t know if this was an intentional hurdle or just a town government screw-up (I try to assume the latter until more evidence of malicious intent appears) but the effect would have been the same. And suddenly it was important to go to town meeting last night. WSAR got the word out - in fact the first I heard about this was on my morning drive.

On the air (and at the meeting) there was a lot of what sounded like backpedaling, a frantic rushing of everyone to reiterate that they supported the fight against a locally-sited LNG terminal and everyone seemed to be confused, with circular finger pointing, regarding how this article got into the agenda.

I went to the meeting, and the measure passed, but with a new recommendation from the finance committee - one that honored the vote we took in the spring and left the original money intact. Mission accomplished.

So. Danvers

Apparently, we missed a big story as we were leaving the state.

They still don’t know why that explosion happened in Danvers. And federal investigators are having a tough time getting access to the evidence.

Fugitive Caught

There was a standoff with a fugitive Worcester native in our town last night. Police were still blocking the road, and that whole area looked dark and vacant when I passed by on my way home (see map).

So, apparently, the police do routine sweeps of license plates in motel parking lots. I did not know that.


Oh yeah. The bank down the street from my office got robbed yesterday. And they caught some suspects in New Bedford.

Busy Day

So, it was a really busy day for crazy stuff happening, and catching up.

I still am not even close to catching up on blog reading.


Suspicious Package

In the middle of the day yesterday there were reports that buildings in the center of Fall River was being evacuated because of a package someone left on the steps of Government Center (for out-of-towners that’s the huge building that straddles I-195).

Turned out the package was a case with a camcorder inside. But I guess they were jumpy because there was a guy in the building making threats earlier in the day. Weird.

Posted by James at November 28, 2006 7:54 AM
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Yeah, I'd commented on the issue of missing news when one is away and catching up later back in March. I looked at it as a really good thing, to have a break:

When I'm away at meetings and conferences, I usually don't have time to pay attention to the news, and so I'm usually oblivious to it. I disconnect from the day-to-day running of the world, from its worries and mine, and I focus on where I am and what I'm doing. And it's so refreshing!

I like to keep up with what's going on, I really do. And so it surprises me somewhat that I can accept a "news fast" so readily. Yet I can, and I do. Being away at the IETF meeting this past week gave me another opportunity for it. I have to say that I know absolutely nothing about what's happened in the world in the past week, and I only wonder about it a little.

I'll catch up soon enough, and I'm sure I'll find plenty of it to blog about. For now, though, I'm still enjoying its absence for a little longer. It's good for the soul.

Posted by: Barry Leiba at November 28, 2006 1:16 PM

I think the reason I can accept a news blackout so readily is that the time is filled with other stuff, and I am out of my usual pattern (rut?) of getting news from the usual sources.

What you've quoted here rings true for me as well. I wonder if it's universal, or maybe just universal to information junkies.

Darn -- I missed a story. The "suspicious package" at Government Center. I'll have to edit my post.

Posted by: James at November 28, 2006 1:30 PM

It was really nice not to hear about Bush&Co. for four days. After all, they're still going to be idiots, whether we're reading about it or not. So I'll throw my vote in for "news fast = refreshing" as well.

Posted by: Maggie at November 28, 2006 2:26 PM

I actually usually go out of my way to make sure I get a copy of a decent newspaper when I go away. So I don't get this feeling, at least when staying in the US. When we last went to UK we were out of touch with US news for 2 weeks so there was definitely a bit of a gap. We were probably better informed about world news though (The Guardian and the Scotsman kick any US newspapers butts)

Posted by: B.O.B. (bob) at November 28, 2006 4:42 PM

Yeah the Danvers thing freaks me out. Glad nobody was seriously hurt but WTF.

Sometimes I worry about you guys because of that big factory or powerplant or whatever it is not far from your house.

Posted by: Chuck S. at November 28, 2006 6:11 PM

Yeah, it's a coal plant, though, and I've never heard of one of those blowing up. On the other hand, I think there have been reports of radiation (no kidding) from coal plants. Fortunately for us, most of the pollution goes up into the atmosphere and doesn't hang around nearby... I think. It goes east and spreads out.

But who knows, really, what is and isn't safe?

I'd be more frightened if it could explode. Like an LNG terminal across the river might possibly do.

The people in Danvers thought they couldn't have an explosion, I bet. Glad nobody was killed.

Posted by: James at November 28, 2006 6:22 PM

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