Mike Kirby: Back Row, Back Ward

From Community Radio Hour
Thursday, February 7, 2008
By Mary Serreze

Former City Councilor Mike Kirby is a political activist, a freelance investigative journalist, and author. His most recent book, “Back Row, Back Ward” examines the history of the efforts to redevelop Hospital Hill, former site of the Northampton Lunatic Asylum. He spins an arcane tale, involving public agencies, private developers, a string of mayors, and an Advisory Committee that caught the eye of the State Ethics Commission. It’s an alphabet soup: the State Division of Capital Planning and Operations (DCPO), The Community Builders (TCB), The Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC), Hospital Hill LLC, and the mysterious Northampton Development Corporation (NDC). He paints a picture of wishful thinking, back room dealing, pre-ordained conclusions, and disregard for historical values in the pursuit of profit.

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