Letters to the Editor
Actions taken at Brox speak louder than empty words
To the Editor:
Documents available to the public at Town Hall reveal that the selectmen’s current plans to excavate the hills at Brox are not what the public was told would happen and that the public voted on in March.
Milford’s selectmen say one thing before a vote and then do something entirely different because they have the power to do so.
Remember Chair Fougere’s public promise made at the Deliberative Session that there would be a good deal of access to open space at the Brox land for hiking, biking and other pursuits?
Well, he took that back when he led the selectmen to adopt a resolution whereby they can decide to close the entire area. Four signs saying "Danger, Construction Area, Authorized Personnel Only" have already been erected, ready to be unveiled.
The "official" reason given may be public safety, but I suspect it is also to keep what is really going on during the excavation process hidden from public view.
Promises made are ignored if it suits the purpose of town officials. For example, the town’s environmental coordinator, Fred Elkind, told the Conservation Commission (CC) that there would be no more test pits dug because there had already been 40.
But afterward, with the approval of BOS Chair Fougere, Mr. Elkind arranged with the contractor, Northeast Sand & Gravel, to dig 11 more – all done without consulting the CC first. The CC would have had serious grounds to object to the digging because it occurred in the habitat of the state-threatened and endangered Blanding’s and spotted turtles and Eastern hognose snake and during nesting time. Environment coordinator, indeed!
Ironically, three days after the digging, the company said in an email: "We look forward to working very closely with the Conservation Commission … to keep all of the rare and endangered species as the foremost thought moving forward with the project."
Actions speak louder than empty words.
Paul Cunningham, Ph.D.
Much needed baseball and soccer fields next to school
To the Editor:
I am happy to hear that we will be getting some much needed sports fields next to Heron Pond Elementary School, and that we will be finally utilizing some of the town-owned community lands that a vast majority of the town voted for.
Milford has a population of slightly over 15,000 people; over 2,500 of them are students in the Milford school system. This, of course, doesn’t include the younger children not in school yet. I would say that around 18 percent of Milford’s population consists of children under of the age of 18. Many of these children play sports, and our sports organizations constantly scramble for playing fields.
As a parent of children who played sports, and a past coach, I can tell you that scheduling fields is a nightmare when you don’t have enough to accommodate all types of teams. Having the sports fields close to our elementary is a bonus for our younger children. In addition to children utilizing the fields, many adults around town also need playing fields for their activities.
I think more than a few people would agree that using our existing town community lands is a great way to solve our field shortage problem. I would like to thank our selectmen for accommodating us for our current needs, and the future growth of our town.
Tina M. Philbrick
Story about Calvetti family had ‘hometown pride touch’
To the Editor:
What a wonderful story about the Calvetti family and of course written with the Kathy Cleveland hometown pride touch. It was even more of a delight for me due to past experiences my wife and I had with Nick and Pauline and my baseball days with Nick.
Keep those great stories coming. I know there still must be a lot of wonderful human interest stories in the Souhegan Valley.
Francis Gros Louis
Tales of cats and dogs and politics
To the Editor:
A former president of the Wilton National Bank told me the following story of what happened on Wilton’s Main Street many years ago.
There was a bulldog who loved to chase cats. One day, a cat jumped onto the bulldog’s back, dug its claws in, and the bulldog, with the cat firmly attached to its back, went tearing down Main Street and headed for the Souhegan River.
Much later, the cat came striding back up Main Street as if nothing had happened. The bulldog was never seen again.
A doctor, who is also a lawyer and a staunch Republican, was fond of saying to me, "Men are dogs. Women are cats."
He meant, of course, "Men are strong, smart and stable. Women are the opposite."
In the upcoming election, since Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are their parties’ presumptive nominees, it is going to be interesting to see which one comes striding back up Main Street.
Douglas W. Draper
Formerly of Wilton
Thanks for helping children in need
To the Editor:
The Milford branch of End 68 Hours of Hunger and the Milford school system have completed a year of service to help about 40 Milford schoolchildren with extra food for the weekends.
This is a completely volunteer effort coordinated through the student services of the four Milford schools.
We thank all the very generous individuals, companies and organizations that donated money so we could buy food to make this possible. Also, a thank you to the Milford Medical Center on Nashua Street to allow us to use their community room to package the food on Thursday evenings. The volunteers who range in age from 9-71 are invaluable. A huge thank you to each volunteer.
River Casino, Kaley Foundation, St. John Newman Catholic Community of Merrimack, Milford Rotary, Keyes Memorial Trust, the Dexter family, Odd Fellows and the Congregational Church of Amherst were the largest donors, plus hundreds of donations of $2-$500. The seventh-grade Destination Imagination group held a fundraiser; the Toadstool Bookshop collected money toward the program. To all, thank you.
We buy food at BJ’s every two weeks, package it at the medical center on Thursday and deliver it to the four schools on Friday morning so the student services personnel at the school can distribute it to the children Friday afternoon. We started in April 2015 and completed the 2015-16 school year helping 30 to 43 students per week with food for the weekend.
Our goal for this coming year is to repeat that success and help on school vacation weeks and the summer.
We ask for your donation. It’s 100 percent tax-deductible; all donations go to buy food; no local, state or federal tax money is involved; and no one is paid or reimbursed.
If you would like to donate, please make your check out to End 68 Hours of Hunger and send it to 416 Melendy Road, Milford, NH 03055 or go to end68hoursofhunger. org, click on "find your community" and follow to Pay Pal. We will send you a receipt with our tax number.
If you know anyone who could donate a few hours a week of their time, please call Frank at 673- 5850 or email milfordnh@ 68hoursofhunger.org.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. No child should go hungry in this great country of ours.
We won’t be silent against exclusion
To the Editor:
We write to express our deepest sorrow for the loss of life in Orlando, Fla., Sunday, June 12. We grieve for all whose lives have been stolen by the murderous violence of those professing a shameful and warped sense of religious faith, whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or any other tradition.
We write to express our deep sorrow for the LGBTQ community who were attacked and murdered simply because of who they are, gathering on that Saturday night hoping to be in a safe place away from the hatred and discrimination they often deal with on a daily basis.
Sadly, we confess that our religious communities have not always been safe places for our LGBTQ siblings. We take this tragic moment to both confess our sin and renew our commitment to making our faith communities safe, not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all who live at the margins of society. There are many religious communities that do not welcome LGBTQ members as true children of God, people who deserve the same respect and dignity that is afforded to all humanity and commanded by God.
We, as leaders of faith communities in the Souhegan Valley, wish in the strongest terms possible to raise our voices against any action or word that infers that our LGBTQ siblings are not fully loved by God. It is because some religious voices have been louder than ours and seemingly paint all Christians with the same brush that we will no longer stand silent assuming the LGBTQ community knows that we are different. Therefore, we declare this day what it is we believe:
All people who face discrimination of any kind are welcome in our faith communities.
LGBTQ and people of all religious faiths or no faith are welcome in our faith communities.
God has created humanity to be a multicolored, a multigendered and a multisexual tapestry and has pronounced that "it is very good."
Jesus was crucified for who and how he loved without fear or favor.
We boldly stand and speak as followers of Jesus.
We stand in solidarity with all faith traditions that welcome all people without reservation or pre-condition.
Our prayers are with all who were killed and injured in Orlando and their loved ones. May our prayers be met with actions that bring hope and healing to the LGBTQ community among us, the Latino community around us and people of faith everywhere.
Praying for a day of justice and peace for all, we are,
The Rev. Robin R. Lunn
Co-Pastor-First Church in Jaffrey, UCC
The Rev. Shayna K. Appel
Co-Pastor-First Church in Jaffrey, UCC
The Rev. Hays M. Junkin, Rector-Church of Our Saviour (Episcopal), Milford
The Rev. Richard G. Leavitt Senior Pastor- Congregational Church of Amherst, United Church of Christ
The Rev. Casey Collins, Pastor-Milford United Methodist Church
The Rev. Dr. Regina Kinney
Pastor-Second Congregational Church, UCC, Wilton
The Rev. Don Kegan Pastor-St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, Milford
The Rev. Barbara McKusick Liscord
Minister-Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Milford
The Rev. Alex Gondola Interim Pastor- First Congregational Church of Milford
Thanks for patience during construction
To the Editor:
We would like to thank the residents, property owners, business owners and shoppers for your patience. Construction season is upon us, and we have many projects ongoing in Milford.
Road projects include South Street, Elm Street (west toward Wilton), Emerson/Federal Hill roads, Clinton/Nashua streets (CVS), Mont Vernon Street, Old Wilton Road, Mile Slip Road, Ponemah Hill Road and Savage Road. These include town, state and private projects.
Bridge work includes final paving on Jennison and Savage. We are also doing guardrail work on North River Road, Wilton Road, Purgatory Road and Whitten Road (town projects).
The bricks project started at the WWII Memorial and has moved to The Oval. This project will include the replacement of many ADA ramps in sidewalks. We sold 200 new engraved bricks as part of our fundraising effort. We have received a number of donations from civic organizations and businesses. We thank them for their generosity, but we are well short of our goal. Donations can be made at Town Hall.
Osgood Pond dredging starts in July. Phase 1 includes five acres and will improve the depth and appearance of the pond. We are already searching for Phase 2 funding.
The cleanup of the Fletcher sites is on track. We are approximately 35 percent complete at the Mill and Elm Street locations. We met with interested parties last week to continue discussions about including the Souhegan River cleanup in the work scope this year. We are very optimistic this will be approved, and the town may even get a canoe/kayak launch ramp in the process.
Thank you for your patience and support. We are working to make Milford an even better place to live, work, shop and enjoy!
Brox excavation may exceed limits
To the Editor:
One can learn a lot by doing an information request at Town Hall.
An email by the owner of Northeast Sand & Gravel, Kevin Brown, to the town’s environmental coordinator, Fred Elkind, reveals the company’s secret to success for excavating the hills at Brox at the rate of $1.45 per cubic yard to the town.
Mr. Brown says that "the reason we are successful in the industry is the fact we are proactive with our excavation plan to utilize our properties to (their) fullest potential."
How exactly? The company moves "throughout the property" in order to "utilize the higher quality materials with the lower quality materials to maximize the quantity of excavated materials."
Translation: The company got a clause written into the contract whereby it will work 15 acres of land, not just 5 as limited by state law and as promised by selectmen to boards and the public prior to the authorizing vote of 2016. The company will pick and choose what material to excavate.
Per the contract, the company will have access to all areas of the site as necessary. It will have 12 acres of the existing pit to use for operations with no requirement in the contract that the company ever reclaim those acres.
Even before the project begins, Northeast Sand & Gravel is planning to violate legal and social expectations, with the blessing of the selectmen.
Lucky for law-minded citizens, the company will have to meet all requirements for a permit from the Planning Board. Reclamation must occur on the first five acres and the site cannot exceed 10 acres (not the 27-acre expanded wound as proposed).
If Northeast Sand & Gravel can’t comply with the Milford Gravel Ordinance, then what choice will the Planning Board have but to deny?
Brox Environmental Citizens, Milford