Vol. III No. 7 4/1/2022
Reader to Reader
Another great Update, informative, thoughtful, and caring. The photos are magnificent. Wish I were there!
Thank you, and you are right — the photos are excellent.
I just wanted to update you on 1 Goodrich Street. I've been here 3 years in June. I mentioned before that after researching the property, and having Bonnie Hartley out, with 2 Archeologists and Rick Wilcox, we were able to prove that 1 Goodrich was Chief Konkapot's Home site prior to going to the Mission. After Chief Konkapot, Agrippa Hull also lived at 1 Goodrich. Old maps and deeds show the Agrippa owned all the surrounding land as well. As you know, Agrippa Hull was a Revolutionary War Hero and the largest landowner of a person of color, at the time, in Stockbridge. I submitted all of this proof to Ed Bell, one of the officers at the State Historical Preservation Office. I received an email back. Mr. Bell is adding 1 Goodrich Street, to reflect the dual historical record for Chief Konkapot and Agrippa Hull. We are also going to obtain official State Plaques showing this.
It's pretty exciting. Thank you for all your great work.
Thank you for sharing.
To the Editor:
Reference to stewardship of the taxpayers' money in discussion at the recent Finance Committee meeting has moved me to share my individual taxpayer's perspective on the notion.
I believe that financial stewardship includes multiple attributes, a few among them being prudence, frugality, foresight and most of all an understanding and appreciation that we are the current caretakers of a world that we inherited that will in turn be inherited from us. The things that were built before us by others that we use or admire need constant attention and maintenance to keep them as we wish them to be. We may even endeavor to create our own legacy of new things to be passed on. Being a good steward means not privileging neglect in the guise of prudence and frugality over our responsibility to raise and spend the money needed to maintain and enhance our inheritance. Rather, it means acknowledging that responsibility by raising and spending the necessary funds with prudence, frugality, and foresight.
In the judgement of future generations, the most generous measure of our stewardship we can hope for is: did we leave our world no worse than we found it?
Thank you for your very kind introduction in the last issue of SU:
"From one of our brave and generous members of the Fire Department, EMT/Lieutenant Jay Rhind…"
However, I want to be clear- I am no more brave or generous than any other member of the Stockbridge Fire Department. Every member has earned and deserves that same title, as do the members of our police department, and every employee of our highway department. Whenever an emergency arises, you can count on any one or all of these agencies, to show up and do whatever is required to be sure Stockbridge is well cared for, safe, and protected.
Dive Team: In addition to the countless hours of training SFD takes part in for emergency response (fire, medical emergencies, car accidents, trees down, power outages, smoke/CO detectors, lost hikers, brush fires, flooding, mutual aid to neighboring towns), SFD is very fortunate to have a dive team with two divers and an efficient and professional support team made who are SFD members. In Berkshire County we have the Sheriff Office Dive Team, Pittsfield Fire Department Dive Team (responds to Pittsfield water emergencies), and the Stockbridge Fire Dept Dive Team. Stockbridge is the only town in Berkshire County with a dive team. When there is a water related emergency (especially in south county), SFD divers and support team are often the first to arrive on the scene. This is extremely important as with any water related emergency, response time is always critical.
All those involved in SFD, SPD, and town highway, they all deserve credit where credit is due, and each and every one of them is brave and generous!
SFD is always looking for new members. If you love Stockbridge, and would like to contribute, please contact the fire department.
Thank you, Carole
Keep up the good work.
Agreed and that is why the headline says, "one of our brave and generous members of the Fire Department". Thank-you to all the fine men and women who, on our behalf, run into danger not away from it.
Plaque at Pagenstecher Park, perked up by Pat (see below).
Would you be willing to include this interview with Pat Flinn in your next newsletter? . I think the community will enjoy seeing and hearing about her.
Here's the link:
We appreciate all you do to keep us informed.
All the best,
Jim Schantz, Director, Schantz Galleries
My pleasure. Everyone click on the address above and enjoy! Kudos to Pat!
Pat Flynn cleaning the around the 1st wood pulp (Interlaken) mill in the Unites States. Photo: Jay Rhind
In 2012 the Town closed the Curtisville Old Stone Bridge to traffic after the bridge failed an inspection by the DOT. The bridge, built in 1842, is listed in the State Registry of Historic Places, and the Massachusetts Historical Commission has given a matching grant to study the bridge. Over the last ten years it has been difficult to find a resolution to this thorny issue. Eight years ago I was told that a replacement would cost $4M+; now it would likely cost much more. To satisfy the Mass. Historical Comm. it is
that a replacement would need to replicate the appearance of the original bridge.
All residents of town should carefully consider this issue not only due to the large expense, but also because destroying an historic landmark is a very difficult decision, and perhaps not even legal.
There is a need for much research and deliberation before any decisions are voted on at a Town Meeting. An engineer's accurate estimate of the cost and assessment of options is the most important one. Discussions with the Mass. Historical Comm. would also be wise. Likewise, input from the Stockbridge Historical Commission would be most useful. It would also be advisable for the Selectmen to set up a public Hearing so that all residents can be informed, and so that we can hear from all constituents.
Interlaken Cross Road is lightly traveled ; not having this bridge as a roadway is only a minor inconvenience to a small number of people, mostly residents of Interlaken. Therefore, it seems that the most logical and cost effective solution would be to maintain the historic bridge, but keep it closed to traffic. It is important to repair the wing walls as needed to stabilize them and secure the bridge. Even though the bridge would be closed to traffic, it is essential to build a wooden walkway likely to the side of the bridge, perhaps atop the new steel utility bridge, for pedestrians and bicyclists. To comply with Town Bylaw 6.18a, the chain link fencing should be replaced by, or covered with, wooden fencing.
Replacing the bridge would be very costly for all town residents; keeping the bridge as is, with some repairs will be the best choice.
Photo courtesy of Anita Schwerner
Watching town committee meetings is more entertaining than Netflix and more informative because they reveal much about local government and town politics. I hope that you will watch and listen so that you can make an informed decision at the ballot box and at town meeting.
People often say they didn't vote in the town election because they didn't know the candidates. Or they vote at town meeting without always understanding the impact of their vote. Please use the time between now and the May 17 election to learn more about the issues on the warrant and the candidates on the ballot. Your vote helps decide the character of the town.
I will say more about the election after the Democratic Town Committee meeting on April 9 to endorse candidates.
Without Zoom, CTSB, and Stockbridge Updates, it would be difficult to know what's going on. For example, the March 22 Conservation Commission meeting made me aware that a meeting with DEP, requested by Stockbridge Bowl Association was attended by town representatives including the chairs of the Select Board and Conservation Commission but not including the chairperson of the Stockbridge Bowl Stewardship Commission.
The SBA now wants to change the chemical used and the test areas and try again. This might postpone dredging for an indefinite period. If they dredged first, maybe the weeds will disappear and chemicals won't be needed.
I live on the outlet of the lake, am a member of SBA, and have a file full of SBA documents about raising money for dredging. I contributed and SBA collected millions of dollars to support its 3D plan: Diversion, Dredging and Drawdown. Now drawdown is not permitted, the million-dollar diversion pipe isn't usable, but we can dredge. Fundraising did not include herbicides, or I wouldn't have contributed.
In 2013 the SBA newsletter article "The Dredging" promised, "With funds on hand from CPA grants, Town Warrants, and the SBA Save Stockbridge Bowl Capital Campaign, the SBA has guaranteed funds for the town to proceed to contract." SBA still has over a million dollars collected to dredge but not spent on dredging.
The actions of the SBA impact the town and Stockbridge Bowl. It's my opinion the actions should be discussed openly at a public meeting, not behind closed doors and through legal actions.
Is this an example of the town and SBA working cooperatively to restore the Stockbridge Bowl? None of this would be known without hybrid meetings, CTSB, and SU.
(Schwerner is Chair of the Democratic Town Committee)