By Editor Beth David
This is it, our last issue of the year. Our next issue will be on January 5. So…read slowly.
You can also visit my blog if you just can’t resist reading my brilliant prose (www.bethdavid. net/blog)
So…where to begin? A couple of good rants this week.
First, one that has had me laughing like crazy.
I got several calls from people who are just mortified, horrified, and gobsmacked that the Stratford Group is looking for $325,000 from the Community Preservation Committee (see page 6) for its project at the Oxford School. Of course, they agreed to “pay” $325,000 for the building.
As I recall, they said in various meetings that they would be trying to get “local” grants. So, that’s a local grant, right?
Can’t wait for that one to get to Town Meeting.
Seems like we should’ve gone with the nonprofit guy, after all.
We’ll be doing a more thorough story on this in our next issue. There’s some scuttlebutt that they might have trouble getting their grants without it. But…don’t have time or room for that in this issue.
We’ll get to it soon enough.
The bigger issue, though, is that the town does not have its 10% of housing at the affordable level. That leaves us at the mercy of any project that can call itself “affordable housing.” It’s the Chapter 40B law, designed to encourage housing that people can actually afford. It’s a horrible law, of course. Uses a meat cleaver when a scalpel would be better. But, that’s politics.
The thing is, if 40B projects are so scary to us, why don’t we start working towards our 10%? Ten percent is not a lot to ask for a town our size. We should have that anyway. Then, they (yes, the big unknown “they”) can stop using the threat of 40B developments to bully us.
On another note…
I was trying to come up with a good Christmas Magic message. With this embarrassing election and the grim specter of so many hard-fought rights getting decimated by the new administration (and I use the term loosely), I figured I needed to come up with something good.
Then this came in.
You remember Jean, right? She used to write for the Neighb News; she made FinCom fun (see letter, page 17).
She’s got a neighbor complaining about her son. So who is this killjoy who called the police on a young boy who delights in waving to cars on Route 6 so they will wave to him? Really, people? Really? It’s Route 6, for heaven’s sake, a crazy busy highway with lots of beeping anyway.
Pray tell….what message exactly are you trying to send this little boy about his friendly neighbors? And at Christmastime, no less?
Shame on you. You should be smiling every single time you hear one of those honks. Every single time I think of it, or think of that boy on the sidewalk waving away I smile. It is such an innocent act, such a common, simple, and beautiful way for a child to connect with the world around him. And you send the police? The POLICE? What is wrong with you?
You need a chill-pill, big time.
Someone….drop some Xanax or Valium or something in that person’s coffee.
And leave our little boy alone. He will only be little for so long.
You also called when he made train sounds as he ran around? Heaven help us all: How loud could THAT have been? One child’s voice making train sounds is not hurting your ear drums.
What happened to the days of sitting on the porch or in the window watching the children play?
Maybe, if you did that, you’d notice how nice most kids really are.
Hey, I have an idea, why don’t you move to a retirement home, the kind that doesn’t allow kids?
You shouldn’t be around them.
And, for those of my readers who agree with me and think this person needs a good pop in the ear, just drive by the high school on Route 6, eastbound side between around 3:15 and 3:30, and around 3:45 to 4 p.m. on school days (yes, it’s only for about a half hour a day), and wave to our friendly neighbor, and….if you dare… honk your horn like crazy.
Now, this is the fun part.
I wrote all that, and didn’t want to change it because I mean it all, before I got the letter from Jean. Between the time I heard about the situation and wrote that, an amazing thing was happening on Facebook. A whole bunch of people offered to drive by and honk for Diego. A whole bunch of other people offered to go by and stand with him and wave to cars.
What started out as an angry rant by Jean, turned into an outpouring of caring and compassion towards a little boy who just wants to feel connected to the world around him.
The last thing I saw was a post from Jean saying she stood out there with him for a few minutes and she was surprised at how much fun it was.
Yeah, I remember that. I remember pulling my hand up and down when trucks went by and how excited I felt when they responded with a honk.
So, here’s my Christmas message: That we can all rally around a 13-year-old boy who still exudes the innocence of a baby.
And in the process, drown out the haters.
Love really does beat hate. Go figure.
Until next time then…Happy Holidays to all!
Click here to download the entire 12/15/16 issue: 12-15-16 OldTimeHoliday