Letters to the Editor
Use of Brox property by town seems to know no bounds
To the Editor:
Since the additional insult of unneeded playing fields on top of the mining of the soil of the Brox property seems to be a done deal, I should just save my outrage for a hole in the dike I can plug with it.
Mr. Bender’s letter patting himself on the back for overseeing the pillage of the environment while managing to avoid using the words "Brox" and "property" in the entire screed is par for the course.
I’d like to know what the bad need is for more playing fields. Anyone driving around town will note that are more skateboarders around the existing playing fields by the high school, middle school and at Keyes Field. Where are these players crying for fields? I suppose this is what comes of asking those whose organization or title begins with "athletic" for advice on needed fields.
My advice is to get over to Heron Pond Road or the Brox property, whatever the nom de jour is today, and hope that Blanding’s turtle or hognosed snake manages to creep or crawl by so you can wave goodbye to them, maybe try for a selfie if you don’t have a real camera with you.
On another note, there’s the zombie issue of those pesky dams. I’m in a quandary. When I first heard that the town fathers (with a little push from property owners) ignored the evidence and decided the frog pond, as well as the decades of polluted sludge built up behind Goldman Dam, as well as the litter on and around it, lends ambiance to the area of the Oval, I rushed out and renewed my membership to the Souhegan Watershed Association. At almost the same time, I accidentally subscribed to the Historical Society. Now I read that one is for it and the other against it.
I can see the point of the SWA – I mean, it’s right there in the title, "watershed" – but the MHS? The dams are old, so I guess they’re historic, but really, once they’re gone, no one will miss them. I live just downstream of the Goldman, and I can tell you it doesn’t smell like ambiance, especially at night.
It’s time. They do nothing for the river except keep fish downstream and sludge, logs, brush and lawn clippings upstream. Not to mention that dumb cable reel. At least the McLane Dam is somewhat useful, protecting the sewer pipe behind it, I think.
Town roads should be made safer for bicyclists
To the Editor:
So we have a new section of road between the the light at 101/101A/ North River Road and Wilton Road. This is great, except for the fact that it makes riding a bicycle through there more dangerous than ever.
The travel lanes are narrower than they were, and riding east through this new section with the guardrail on your right leaves a cyclist with very little room for travel and no escape. Adding the fact that half the drivers are on their phones these days means disaster waiting to happen.
I’m no expert, but the center turning lane seems far too wide. I’m sure painting lines on the road is expensive, but I think the yellow center lines should be moved in and white bicycling lanes added to the sides.
I know the town has expressed an interest in being progressive with improvements, but they have dropped the ball here. Take a look around. We have a lot of people on bikes.
In this 21st century, it is a mistake to create infrastructure completely built around the automobile. It is only a matter of time before we tragically see an automobile/cyclist accident if the road is left as is. The cyclist may even be able to sue the town for damages caused by a senseless road condition.
Let’s change this and hope that the new section of road on South Street incorporates bicycle lanes.
Our senate needs strong women like Kelly Ayotte
To the Editor:
During Women’s Equality Week, I was moved to write a letter to the editor in support of Kelly Ayotte. Not only am I proud of the work she is doing in the United States Senate, I am proud to have a strong woman representing our state.
Kelly Ayotte is a true testament of how far our country has come in the fight for equality. She is a wife and mother of two, and she worked in a stressful, demanding job through both of her pregnancies. She commutes from Nashua every week to represent the people of New Hampshire and fight for a better life for families across New Hampshire. She’s taken her personal experiences and what she’s learned in her numerous and focused visits from voters across the state to Washington and turned it into action. She’s introduced bills to make sure women get equal pay for equal work, to fight back against pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, and to protect our access to mammograms.
I am looking forward to voting for Kelly Ayotte this November, because we need strong, independent women like her in the United States Senate.
Many reasons to stop sports fields
To the Editor:
The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) has issued an alteration of terrain permit to the town of Milford to construct sports fields along Heron Pond Road. The permit includes a list of 10 "conditions" aimed at protecting threatened and endangered (T&E) species, not nine "recommendations" as noted by Town Administrator Mark Bender in his letter of Aug. 25 ("Town works with the state to protect our wildlife").
The missing condition No. 10 is this: "Pit area and other portions of Brox property will be gated and closed to vehicular access from public. Pit area will not be used for parking for recreation fields or any special events." I guess Mr. Bender doesn’t like this condition very much, as it speaks to banning future public roads through the 270 acres of Brox town land.
By the way, Mr. Bender is the same town official who had innocent and beneficial "Turtle Crossing" signs taken down along Heron Pond Road at the location of the fields, signs intended to protect the T&E species living at Brox from getting run over. Is the public now to believe that the town will implement to the best of its ability all 10 conditions of the permit?
Conditions or not, the alteration of terrain permit should never have been issued by DES. In fact, the wildlife experts in the Nongame & Endangered Species Program at Fish & Game supported denying the permit based on impacts to state endangered wildlife. They wanted to have a "sufficient wildlife survey, focused on hognose snakes … and nesting turtles" prior to DES even considering issuing the permit with the 10 conditions. (Source: July 2016 NHFG Briefing Document)
The wildlife study proposed by the Nongame Program did not happen, yet DES foolishly approved the permit anyway.
Evicting the endangered wildlife from their home to build sports fields is wrong. Therefore, abutters are rightfully appealing the permit to the DES Water Council.
And remember that the public has never had a chance to vote on construction of new sports fields. The selectmen are spearheading the project and would spend at least $29,250 to begin with, out of the public works budget, for cheap, inadequate fields, and with no irrigation in a time of drought.
It’s time to stop this misguided project to save the home of the endangered snake, save the voters’ money they have not approved spending and put town resources into improving the many great sports fields we currently have.
Brox Environmental Citizens