West of 495
Andy reports from points west - and tries hard to contain his ire at Boston media:
... Driving through Ashby and Ashburnham today was like driving through a post-hurricane scene, only with snow. The tops of 60% of the trees are simply gone along Route 119. I'm a little disappointed that the Boston Globe dedicated only one headline to this crippling storm, despite the hundreds of thousands who lost power, most for days, the multiple deaths reported, and total devastation that has gone through this area (not to mention some jerks conning those without power by posing as utility employees). Watching the NECN or any of the network stations, you would think nothing is happening in this portion of the world since last Friday. ...
The Herald's Dave Wedge goes through Deval Patrick's 32-page wish list of infrastructure projects he hopes to have his pal Obama stimulate and finds several "potential pork projects," including:
$6 million to replace 20,000 trees damaged by "beetle infestation."
Nice use of quotation marks there, Dave. Never heard of the Asian Longhorned Beetle and how the feds are trying to prevent it from spreading from Worcester to, oh, every single maple tree in New England? Perhaps, as Worcester cuts down all those trees (well, the ones that didn't fall down last week), some enterprising arborists will save all the beetles they find and mail them to Wedge. After they've been killed, of course.
Lance reports his power came back on around 5 p.m. yesterday - after 124 hours.
Deval was scheduled to pop out to Blandford, MA (a "surprise" trip- perhaps to avoid boot-throwing
terrorists residents who have been without power since Thursday night?) to check out the storm damage. Instead, he cancelled his trip. Why? Bad weather: temperatures pushing 50 degrees, 10mph winds, and "slight chance of rain showers" were enough to keep the governor's helicopter away. Ah, such an arduous journey by car, those two hours.
This evening will mark 96 hours since the storm, the number of people without power is going up, and as of this morning, the national guard had only cleared
87 100 miles of road.
Paulo Lopes photographed
cleanup efforts in Worcester.
Lance grows weary of livin' like a refugee:
... We've moved out of my parents' place in Clinton and into my brother-in-law's home in Leominster. While half to three-quarters of Clinton are still out of power--including my parents' neighborhood--the southern part of Leominster is back on power and on-line. It was nice to take a warm shower...it was nicer to take a warm shower and have the room also be warm, instead of stepping out of the shower and into the cold.
Jackson has been holding up pretty well. He woke up in the night during the storm and was pretty worried while he laid with Michelle and I--every time another tree would snap or ice would fall he ask "What was that noise, Daddy?" Still, he was OK until we awoke Friday morning. He was very upset after he woke up...when I asked if he was afraid, he said "I'm afraid of the ice on the house." ..
Kelly tweets that her power in Littleton came back on early Sunday afternoon - just in time for her BlackBerry to die.
Channel 4 reports: Power Outages Continue As New England Slowly Thaws.
Paul Levy reports his brother-in-law temporarily moved into his parents' Worcester apartment, which, unlike his home, has power and heat:
My wife called Florida to report about her brother's activities and to generate some sympathy for his state. Their mother had one response, "Tell him: Don't forget to clean out the lint trap."
From Jennifer Forman Orth's Worcester ice-storm set.
PaulM reports from Lowell:
... At Enterprise Bank's branch on Gorham Street I spoke to a friend who does our snow-plowing; he was told the power would be out at his house in Lowell until Monday. I heard the same from two landscape company workers who were cutting up downed trees with chainsaws. They were from Hudson, Mass., and had been clearing debris since midnight. They had seen electrical transformers blowing up in a shower of blue sparks as they drove around in the dark ...
In Leominster, Jody tweets:
Taking the dog and hitting the road. Temp no longer registers on the thermostat. Hope gerbils will be okay.
A berry nice photo by Christine from north of Boston:
Jenn Forman Orth drives on a Worcester road. See if you can spot any beetles.
As if Worcester didn't already have enough problems, now comes word that residents in the beetle quarantine area are not being allowed to remove downed tree limbs:
Residents inside the Asian Longhorned beetle quarantine area have been told not to cut or remove limbs, because it could actually spread an infestation. Residents who move debris from the quarantine area face fines.
Orth, herself involved in the fight against the demonspawn insects, reports the US Department of Agriculture is extending hours at a special disposal site for wood too large to be chipped by certified companies. She adds:
... This storm is yet another reminder of the damage that Asian longhorned beetle has already done in our state. These wood-boring beetles weaken trees from the inside, making it less likely that trees can survive natural disturbances without suffering damage. Larvae remain active inside the wood for most of the winter. ...
Daily Worcesteria reports some towns in northern Worcester County may not get all their power back until next week and that there isn't a hotel room in all of Worcester to be had as powerless residents seek someplace warm for the night.
Meanwhile, several Worcester radio stations remained off the air as of noontime. WXLO came back live around 11 a.m., but ever since Zito left Jen, who cares?
Correspondents outside 128 tell tales of crashing trees, flooding, power going out:
In Littleton, Kelly reports:
Woke up at 2am this morning to the sounds of trees breaking and cracking and falling. Woke up this morning to no power.
To her west, Jody woke up to a flooded basement:
I hadn't brought up all the Christmas stuff yet. I just want to cry.
James Ryan Moreau checks in from a darkened Worcester:
No coffee maker today forced me to take desperate measures... a.k.a. waiting in line for Dunkin Donuts
Keith Shaw, in the Worcester area: Tree fell on our deck at 5:30 am - loud as hell.
It's not so hot inside 128, either:
Fabulously Out There slogs in from East Boston:
I suppose rain is 100% better than ice rain. but still. Winter coat now has 2 pounds of water in it.
It wasn't much better on the other river road. Leonnea: Mem Drive is a parking lot.
A Girl Must Shop: 1.5 hrs to get to work to find out the office was closed.
A 4 clawed lobster was found off of Newport, RI this past Monday. Lobsterman Patrick Marks released her back in to the wild after getting pictures; I can only hope she procreates.
I know; this was in RI not MA, but one can only hope that this is a sign that there may be more multi-clawed lobsters out there, just waiting to be caught, and once of a certain size, steamed and put on my plate. I would gladly trade a tail for any two claws, myself.
Lance reports on a case involving a Worcester Telegram reporter covering allegations against an online forum system she participates in regularly.
The Boston Business Journal reports the juvenile, known as Dshocker, pleaded guilty today to running a vast "botnet" of "zombie" computers (PCs infected with trojans he controlled) to break into corporate networks and run a campaign of virtual terror against competing hackers. The Register has more details. He'll do 11 months in a federal juvenile detention center.
The mother of an 8-year-old boy who shot himself to death at a supervised gun expo in Westfield yesterday says she’ll remember her son as an angel.
“He was a beloved, beautiful child. He was an angel,” said Suzanne Bizilj of Ashford, Conn., whose third-grade son, Christopher, died Sunday after firing an Uzi submachine gun at the Westfield Sportman’s Club.
Christopher apparently lost control as he fired the gun, forcing it upwards and back, causing him to shoot himself in the head, said Westfield Police Lt. Hipolito Nunez. Christopher was under the supervision of a certified instructor, as well as his father, Dr. Charles Bizilj, when he was shot.
The annual machine gun show is advertised as a free-for-all for gun enthusiasts, and has created discord among some club members, said longtime club member Bob Greenleaf.
“To let an 8-year-old boy fire an Uzi is the height of stupidity,” said Greenleaf.
Mr. Pesaturo today reported:
"Marking the beginning of expanded Commuter Rail service on the MBTA's Worcester/Framingham Commuter Rail Line, Lt. Governor Timothy Murray today commuted to work on one of the new train trips from Worcester to Boston. Lt. Governor Murray joined other commuters on the train that departed Worcester’s Union Station at 6:05 AM.
Effective today, two early morning trips, trains #500 and #504, now depart from Worcester at 4:45 AM and 6:05 AM, respectively. Additional adjustments to minimize gaps between trips include a 2:40 PM outbound trip from Boston to Worcester and a 4:30 PM inbound trip from Worcester to Boston, along with other minor adjustments to existing trains."
The Worcester Telegram reports State Police had to euthanize a 200-pound wild Russian boar hit by a car on Rte. 2 in Lancaster:
... Mr. Hall said he was surprised because wild boars are not supposed to be found in Massachusetts. ...
Daily Worcesteria reports tonight's episode of Fringe is set entirely in Worcester, down by the canal district.
What is it about Worcester? When not battling bizarre beetles, the city has to worry about loose moose:
The 1,000 pound moose then walked to Quinsigamond Avenue, strolled into a warehouse at Castle Metals and wandered out. ... Because it was so close to a busy road, authorities determined it was becoming a public safety issue. The moose was shot dead around 8:15 a.m. It was taken away on a backhoe.
Asian Longhorned Beetles on the march eastward; how long before they breach 495 and then 128?
Never buy lobster from the back of some guy's truck - at least not in central Massachusetts. The Worcester Telegram reports that a tow-truck operator and restaurant owner are charged with selling spoiled seafood salvaged from the wreck of a refrigerator truck that crashed on I-395 on Sunday - and that some of the lobsters were coated in diesel fuel. The paper adds:
... Some of the lobsters tried to scurry away and had to be chased, witnesses said. ...
The Worcester line has become so unreliable that Jason Butler now drives to and from work because he can't risk missing his daughter's pickup time at day care. His wife, however, continues to ride the rails:
... The Worcester line's performance has drivin us mad the past couple of weeks. Sometimes it's on-time. Sometimes an hour late. Always, the riders are kept in an information black hole, pining for updates about when they will actually get home, forced to wait and conjecture, only able to unleash their boiling rage through colorful text messages to loved ones. Sometimes several messages over the course of a few minutes. ...