Letters to the Editor
Who will act on behalf of Blanding’s turtle?
To the Editor:
Re The Blanding’s turtle and the Brox project (Ignore turtle at nature’s risk, May 12).
I’m wondering who speaks for the Blanding’s turtle in Milford? Certainly Suzanne Fournier and Audrey Fraizer speak for them, but the selectmen apparently don’t want to listen. Perhaps that’s because there aren’t enough voices speaking, like mine and my neighbors. Our selectmen are thinking about tax dollars, not about a precious and irreplaceable part of our natural environment.
At Nature.org, I found this:
The Blanding’s turtle is a gentle and timid creature that will either dive in a nearby body of water and remain submerged for hours or pull itself into its shell when faced by predators. These defense mechanisms may work against its natural predators, but they unfortunately do not protect it from its biggest threat – man.
The turtle simply wants to live its life peacefully as a beautiful part of God’s creation; it is a wonder. Loss of habitat threatens its life, and as it is threatened, our lives are diminished, as well. The gravel at the Brox project may yield some small relief from increasing taxes, but that would be mere cents on the dollar. Is this the choice we really want to make: dollars or the care of God’s creation? Is this even close to an equivalent choice? I don’t think so.
Who speaks for the Blanding’s turtle? We must. I support Suzanne and Audrey and our Conservation Commission, and I urge the selectmen to think of creative and safe ways to meet the needs of our residents and our natural treasures, including the turtles. We must act with foresight so as not to lose forever a beautiful part of our town that many future generations will enjoy and be thankful for the fact that we chose to protect the gentle turtle over saving a few dollars.
The Rev. Hays M. Junkin
Church of Our Saviour
Another option exists for presidential vote
To the Editor:
Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, who are the two worst presidential candidates with the most negative polling against both of them of all time in our nation’s history since the election of 1788.
I am an Independent or undeclared voter, and this will be the first time in my voting career that I will not vote for a presidential candidate among the two major political parties. Instead, I will be voting for the Libertarian Party candidate, Gov. Gary Johnson, of New Mexico, who served that liberal Democrat state for two terms and a total of eight years. He has a proven record of working with both sides of the aisle for advancing the common cause to move forward in America.
These three presidential candidates will be the only ones to be on the ballot in all 50 states. So mathematically speaking, any of these three have a real chance to win in 2016.
Principles over politics. This is not a wasted vote, this is democracy at its best!
Lack of public review for expenditure of public money
To the Editor:
The Milford Board of Selectmen has a plan in progress to build two regulation-size soccer fields on Heron Pond Road. The three steps are costing $2,000 for the conceptual plan, $4,500 for the final engineered plan and $1,250 for the state permit, for a total just for engineering and paperwork of almost $8,000.
All of this planning is being done without a public hearing or going to the Planning Board.
But there are many issues and concerns for the public to discuss, among them traffic, parking, noise, toilet facilities and electricity, and what effect on Ches Mae Lane properties, on wetlands and on wildlife. Turtles nest onsite, and the Brox Natural Resources Inventory said to study the threatened and endangered species that are documented to be in the area, which study has not been done.
Actually building the fields will cost a lot of money, whether they are built by Milford DPW or an outside contractor. Are we prepared to pay for that at this time when we are surviving under a default budget? And is this the right place to build these soccer fields?
$8,000 now, $6,800 tax relief to a sand company two weeks ago, what else?
This is another instance of money being spent without public review. Why?
I don’t think all the decisions should just be up to the BOS to make. Milford is not an autocracy, or has it become one?
Brox Environmental Citizens
Has Brox property become selectmen-owned land?
To the Editor
On May 9, the town administrator, Mark Bender, introduced a resolution to allow the Board of Selectmen to restrict all access to the Brox property from Perry Road and from Heron Pond Road during active work periods for a sand mining excavation that they think they are going to conduct.
During discussion about Brox Article 23 at the Jan. 30 Deliberative Session, Chairman of the Budget Advisory Committee Matt Lydon said, "I’m wondering if people could still go out there." BOS Chair Fougere replied that the public would still have access and concluded with, "So aside from the access road, it’s available to anybody to walk through."
Mr. Lydon then asked, "Say someone wants to hike through on an afternoon sometime, go for a walk?" Dale White, of Leighton White Construction Service, explained that the excavation would be in a small area of the property and wouldn’t affect the rest of it, and he concluded with, "So to answer your question, they can still take gravel out of there and you’ll still be able to hike and snowshoe and go look for frogs, and all of that."
Not surprisingly and with no discussion, the BOS unanimously voted in favor of this resolution restricting all access to the public. But before Warrant Article 23 had been voted on, the BOS made many phony promises such as this to make it acceptable to the BAC and the public. Now they have reversed their position on public access.
The active work periods are to be Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., which pretty much cuts off public access completely for all practical purposes.
This is just the first of many examples to come that will show how the BOS should not have been trusted and should never be trusted again. In a letter published in The Cabinet on Feb. 11, 2016, titled "Don’t trust selectmen with decisions on Brox land," I pointed out how the Milford selectmen were not to be trusted.
At the Deliberative Session, I said that if this article passes, the Brox land will no longer be town-owned land, but will become BOS-owned land. That is exactly how the selectmen are treating it with complete disregard for the voters and the previous statements they made.
Just to show how petty and punitive he can be, Mr. Bender also added at the end of the resolution that "Repeat offenders will be cited." He is already anticipating that Milford residents will willfully ignore this silly rule.