I think part of the issue is that at one point we had a park that was...well...Super, and now we don't. The other parks, those came after the fact, but they were bought. The Superpark was this quirky weird thing, built by donations and town sweat, larger than life so when your little kid walks in and sees it for the first time, the imagination goes into overload. It had large slides, it had bridges, it had places to hide. It had character that no pre-made, mass produced play system can reproduce. My kids enjoy any of the town playgrounds, but the Superpark was the one they always asked to go to. So really, it isn't a lack of having playgrounds in town, I think it is that something that was unique to the town was taken away. Also, the fact that there are a lot of parents with memories as kids using the Superpark, I think there is def some nostalgia there as well, us wanting our kids to experience what we experienced as kids. View Comment
While I always thought a roundabout and rotary were the same thing, they are in fact different in how they treat traffic coming into the 'traffic circle', and whether the goal is to slow traffic going into the circle, or increase traffic going into the circle. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traffic_circle
That said though, I am still baffled by any talk that routing traffic around the Common would somehow be a good idea. The main traffic route is to one side of the common - up Worc St straight, then a bear left onto Upton Road. A traffic circle would only work if the roads that come into it actually come into the circle, and the main offenders, traffic coming from North and Millbury Street, don't come into the perceived circle in a way, in my opinion, that would work.
So while I was initially opposed at the traffic lights, I am reversing my opinion on this, mainly because I took a look at what was proposed (that mark up above) and see more good in what that would provide the center of town. It would limit the means to get from A-B, so you don't have the cut-off in front of the Grafton Inn, you don't have multiple routes to get around the Common to Church or South Street. It re-routes the end of North, narrows up the end of Millbury and South, and adds much needed overall parking around the area. Best though, it maintains the Common, and doesn't add traffic to make getting there more treacherous.
My other opinion on this, most of us who grew up in town and live in town know how to navigate the center of town. It is like Kelly Square, which should never make sense to anyone, yet those who live in the area and grew up around here, we can get through it without issue. The people I see who are the "issue" are those that are from out of the area, who fail to acknowledge that the sole blinking yellow light is not a stop light...yes, I see them stop right at the Grafton Inn, and back traffic up when they have the right of way. You can't fix that with a traffic study.
I am looking forward to following this, see how this unfolds in town. There is the potential to really change the center for the better here, and I hope that people get it right. View Comment
Take a ride through Westboro at their traffic circle. Granted it is much smaller than our common, but ask yourself if you would want to walk across the traffic that is constantly going around that roundabout? The Common is a public gathering place. Main traffic is off to one side, so there is still a reasonable means to walk to and get to the Common. If there is an event on the Common, and there are many, traffic can continue while an event is going on. Turn it into the centerpiece for a roundabout, and you will kill events on the Common. I took a look at the proposal marked up after I posted, and yeah, it has traffic lights, but it does reduce many of the wide areas that cars cut through, so there is better control over traffic. There is also parking considerations, for businesses and the Common, which is good.
I do think that we should not introduce more traffic around the whole common if at all possible, and a roundabout around the common would do just that. View Comment
Roundabouts are designed to keep traffic flowing, which is why you see them replacing intersections that typically back up. The common, in relation to the main road, is off to the side, so to consider making a roundabout around it would require directing all traffic to (more or less) take a right off Worcester St, then go around the common, in front of the Dr. office, the Church, the end of North Street, and the Library. I just don't see how that would make anything better, or how it would fix the issue, when the traffic right now goes straight up Worcester St and to the left on Upton Road. Just because the Common is round doesn't mean it would work.
The backup's I see are usually at the top of Millbury Street, and at the end of South Street. Both are secondary streets that are trying to turn into traffic flowing on 140/122 (Upton Rd, Worcester St.). Other traffic you have is that coming from North Street, which tends to split between traffic in front of the old Town Hall, and traffic behind it consisting of people trying to get around the traffic in front of the Town Hall. I am not certain a traffic light there will be the full solution, because then you have traffic stopped on 140 and 122. You will also have traffic trying to turn into each other, so inevitably the crowd from the North St side gets to go straight or turn left or right, while the line of traffic coming up from Millbury is stuck waiting...or vice versa. Same if you stick a traffic light at the intersection of 140, South, and the area in front of the Grafton Inn. I am all for slimming up the top end of Millbury Street, would have no issue if thru traffic to the 'right' side of the common (looking at it from the country store) was restricted (so no cut-thru traffic, only access to parking for the common, parking for the church and parking for the Dr. office), and if the cut-thru area in front of the Grafton Inn was removed. I often thought that maybe the road behind the Town Hall could be made one way, out to Worcester Street, and the road in front of the Town Hall could be made one way toward North Street, although anyone coming up North St wanting to then drive down Millbury, would need to go behind the Town Hall, take a left, then a right. Maybe the option is to route traffic coming up from Millbury towards the center, to the right and around the common, so traffic entering the main flow of traffic comes in from South Street, and only traffic going down Millbury is passing in front of the Country Store.
I don't know whether any of these ideas are ideal, but figured I would rather put them out. I think any ultimate solution should try and consolidate exit and entrance points to the main road, that being Route 122 and route 140. I think we should not put in traffic lights, that will not only change how the town center looks, but I feel will only cause more traffic issues than it solves. There should however be some crosswalk signals that can halt traffic, to allow people to cross. If the entrances and exit points are consolidated, it may cause some initial congestion, but frankly speaking, there are more than one way to get from A-B around town, so maybe it will get people to seek other more fluid routes. I also think that making the entire town area more walkable should be a priority as well. While Grafton isn't the most historic town, where we have a Dunkin Donuts, Cumberland Farms, and other modern business around town, the center is unique, and one of the things I like about living here, and should be treated with respect to its part in the town. View Comment
That answes my question - thanks. It does seem that the RR can exist without that part of his business, but then again maybe his agenda was to purchase the RR as part of a larger propane transfer business. Not sure how the heating pellet part of his business plays into this, unless it legitimizes his business as not catering to the storage and transfer of just one 'thing'. View Comment
I for one am not for or against this. Certainly I don't want to see it be a hazard to anyone in the immediate area, but I do feel that if this guy is abiding by code and making all safety precausions, then there should in theory not be an issue. It goes without saying, there could always be an unforesee situation (ala chemical spill just down the road, and recently a fire at Wyman Gordon), but if there are steps in place to deal with the extraordinary, that seems fair.
The question I hope gets asked and looked further into is if there was no railroad...say hypothetically that this guy didn't own the railroad going through town, just owned the land, and wanted to build this facility...is he abiding by the proper rules and regulations required by the state? I know there is all this talk of rights he gets by being in the RR business, but where is the line between that, and between a propane business? I hope the town officials and their legal team behind bringing this to court can look into whether or not there are loopholes being exploited, as far as him operating a propane transfer business in tandem with his rail road. View Comment
If the situation is at the point where the teacher is engaging an assailant with a gun in their classroom, then it is already too late. At that point, there is an assailant and a teacher, both with guns, in a room with students. If the assailant is a better shot than the teacher, that teacher will be killed, and the classroom of students without guns vulnerable to whatever that assailant may have in mind. Most of these articles going about are for guns and the benefits of citizens being armed, assuming that any assailant will react in a certain way, based on the fear of someone else shooting them. I always learned that if you have and point a gun, you better have the intention of shooting that person to kill, and I really wonder how many people are capable of making that decision. I am not opposed to guns, and I do not feel that more stringent gun laws will make much difference, because there are ways someone can gain access to those weapons illegally should they choose. They are going to commit violence and murder, I doubt they give a toss about legally obtaining their gun. If the buildings are more secure, so they can never get to the point where they are engaging a classroom full of kids, I think that is the goal schools need to get to rather than creating an internal militia against crazy people with weapons. View Comment
While responding to an article is good, there really needs to be some means for comments to get to the ears of those who could actually do something about it. Maybe someone with the ear of the superintendent can suggest there being some sort of email set up, for the sole purpose of offering up suggestions that could be considered, to try and make our schools safer, or rather, more secure against something as unimaginable but just as real as what happened in CT.
I thought about this, and while the initial knee-jerk reaction was to do something about gun control, the issue isn't that. The guns used in this tragedy were obtained legally and through proper means, so a more stringent gun law probably would not have had much effect. Those who are sick will find a way to obtain the weapon they choose to use. The issue I think is the overall security of the schools, which yes, they are public buildings, but I wholly disagree that the public has any right to just walk into these spaces during school/business hours. One person commented about the buzzer system, that they can get buzzed in without anyone actually seeing them, and further, noone is there to meet that person being buzzed in. I know the design of these schools, which I have been through them as a student, when you go in through the front door, you are in lobbies, not a secure check point. So even with video technology allowing someone to be seen, there is still this gap between where the person enters, and where staff and that office is located. There is plenty of space and opportunity at that point for someone to go elsewhere and do whatever.
Listening to late night radio, some caller was saying he didn't want police or security at the entrance, citing it turning into 'a police state' and remembering how things used to be. Things are not that way anymore, and the schools need to be looked at not only as a safe place for students to be, which they are, but a secure space, which they are not. The comparison made on the radio was to a nightclub with bouncers...nightclubs hire bouncers to manage who gets in, who stays out, and deal with any trouble in and around the premise. They keep the nightclub safe. So why then do we not have something like this for the schools. Have someone posted at the only entrance point to the school, so that someone can't get in without a valid, proven reason, without an appointment, or without some valid reason to be there. It doesn't need to be a booth, could just be a desk with someone at it, but there needs to be that person that can manage who comes in at the point where they do come in. If the person entering the building starts to cause any issue, it is that person that can deal with it and be the person to get the police there if necessary.
The classrooms, they need to be more secure, in that if there is a situation, the door can be secured from inside easily and quickly, and so noone can break their way in. Mind you, anyone outside could break their way in through the glass, but this is a situation where every scenario needs to be addressed. Also, any door that can be secured has to also be able to be opened quickly in the event that the people in the room can escape if the opportunity presents itself (say if the topic of electronic locking doors came up).
The school grounds need to also be considered for securing, which most schools, the ground are open to the neighbors and woods and parking, so if someone wanted to, they could walk through the woods and gain access to those areas. I don't want it to look like a prison, and I don't know if we can address all potential risks, but all potential risks at least need to be acknowledged.
Maybe there are grants out there that can be applied for and used, though with all the talk of the fiscal cliff, I don't know if there will be any money left for anyone to give out. Maybe we look to the community and businesses to offer what they can to help make the schools our kids go to safer. Call it investing in the town's future. The point is that the town should rally for this, rather than pass it off and rally when a tragedy happens, when the time to do anything is too late. View Comment
True, but now that they have a better idea on this, and since they opened up a fairly significant can of worms, it should be a priority for the town to get all paperwork, despite how much there may be, filled out and submitted...the town needs to keep any upper hand it can with this, because the other side will seek out any loophole it can to move ahead. View Comment
I think you bring up a significant point. Assuming that things get ironed out, G&U gets the thumbs up to move forward with this. What is the plan for security around the tanks? Are talking 24/7 security detail on site, or are we talking a metal fence with a padlock? If it comes up, it needs to be pointed out that this space is not on a main road, so there isn't a whole lot of regular traffic, and anyone driving by may not notice anyone on site doing something they weren't supposed to do. View Comment
I think it is a bit less of the same. Suburban Propane is essentially the end user, as far as the business end - they would be one of the companies that ultimately would get the propane that is being brought in by train, and stored for transfer in these large tanks that G&U is looking to install. I believe G&U is essentially the larger distributor of the goods, that being propane.
Wasn't able to find any info online that reported on a reached agreement, but the fact is that despite any monetary payout, it does cost to go to court, both in filing paperwork and in retaining the lawyer or legal team to be present for any hearing. So if he did decide to come back after the town for any reason, that will cost us the town, even if the likelihood of success on his end is minimal. The point is that at some point, things were said that were unfounded, and he responded with a lawsuit. View Comment
I disagree. Granted there have been plenty of things in the news that allows some to point fingers, and people can generalize this as being "the government", but any comment I would have on any oversight would be based on fact - what they did or didn't do. I will not speculate and will certainly not blindly assume something, simply because they are a government agency. I have a little more faith in my ability to figure the truth out and come to my own conclusions. View Comment
And FYI, he filed a defamation suit against a selectwoman in Upton for $20 Million. While I believe if there is merit to take this guy to court, then the town should, if they are doing this to cause issue, or based on unfounded reasoning, the BoS is setting themselves up for potential fallout. Whether or not the guy has a chance of winning, it is still a financial drain on the town. View Comment
Part of the issue is also that people don't come out to these meetings, instead react online from the comforts of their home. Who knows whether these opinions get back to the people that ultimately they are addressed at. If I was to build an addition onto my house, I would go through the process of obtaining the permits, but the town is only going to get as much communication on this project as they require. I am not volunteering any more than I am required to do so. I imagine the G&U RR did give the town was what required, but it seems like there were more details to the 'project', and whether or not all those details were required to be disclosed to the town, that hasn't been stated. It seems as if there was an open invite to inspect the site and ask questions, but that the BoS might have been sitting back waiting for information to be furnished to them. I don't know, this is just speculation. Somewhere there was a disconnect, and the latest go around it does appear the BoS is reacting, based on what I am not certain. But where this should have been a process that was clear, now the town has put us in a lawsuit with this guy and his business, and I can't see how that leads to a good community relation with him and his business. Further, who pays for the lawsuit? What do we gain by doing this? If the lawsuit is countered by this guy for some monetary value, then what, how is that paid?
And FYI, he filed a defamation suit against a selectwoman in Upton for $20M. While I believe if there is merit to take this guy to court, then the town should, if they are doing this to cause issue, or based on unfounded reasoning, the BoS is setting themselves up for potential fallout. Whether or not the guy has a chance of winning, it is still a financial drain on the town. View Comment
Part of the issue is also that people don't come out to these meetings, instead react online from the comforts of their home. Who knows whether these opinions get back to the people that ultimately they are addressed at. If I was to build an addition onto my house, I would go through the process of obtaining the permits, but the town is only going to get as much communication on this project as they require. I am not volunteering any more than I am required to do so. I imagine the G&U RR did give the town was what required, but it seems like there were more details to the 'project', and whether or not all those details were required to be disclosed to the town, that hasn't been stated. It seems as if there was an open invite to inspect the site and ask questions, but that the BoS might have been sitting back waiting for information to be furnished to them. I don't know, this is just speculation. Somewhere there was a disconnect, and the latest go around it does appear the BoS is reacting, based on what I am not certain. But where this should have been a process that was clear, now the town has put us in a lawsuit with this guy and his business, and I can't see how that leads to a good community relation with him and his business. Further, who pays for the lawsuit? What do we gain by doing this? If the lawsuit is countered by this guy for some monetary value, then what, how is that paid? View Comment
I do not work for him, I don't know him. I am simply reading through comments, opinions, speculation, and outright fiction posted here online, wishing there was more reaction to fact than speculation on what doomsday scenario might play out. So while you ask why we should trust him, I say prove it and back it up. If there is factual evidence that he has purposely skirted procedure, purposely misled the town, then I will come to my own opinion on this based on that. But under no means will I lynch this guy based on speculation from townsfolk with heated opinions that are not based on fact. That is my opinion, and just like you are entitled to yours, I am entitled to mine. I am not saying that you are I are right or wrong, but people need to be smarter, need to come to conclusions based on fact. A project of this size could not have begun or gotten this far without someone in the town knowing about it, not when you got the Building Inspector going after people with illegal decks by poking around on Google Maps (previous new article posted here). View Comment