How To Write In
The purpose of Readers Chime In is to allow residents to express an opinion on topics important to them. If you wish to Chime In, send an email to Heathconnects@gmail.com with the subject ChimeIn: TITLE where TITLE is what you want to see as the heading. I will post it with your name. —Pat McGahan
It seems inevitable that waste will become an increasing crisis. There's too much it, some of it is toxic, and we'll run out of space to store it at some point. Below are some links about the issue.
Global Waste Crisis-a-Rising Threat to the Environment
"The global waste crisis has become an issue of concern worldwide in an age of climate change. The World Bank warns that global waste will increase up to 70 percent on current levels by 2050 unless urgent actions are undertaken. The international financial institution also mentions that global annual waste is expected to jump to 3.4 billion tons over the next 30 years. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) also reports, The world produces over 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste every year, enough to fill over 800,000 Olympic sized swimming pools.' ''
"PFAS are a large, complex, and ever-expanding group of manufactured chemicals that are widely used to make various types of everyday products. For example, they keep food from sticking to cookware, make clothes and carpets resistant to stains, and create firefighting foam that is more effective. PFAS are used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, construction, electronics, and military.
PFAS molecules are made up of a chain of linked carbon and fluorine atoms. Because the carbon-fluorine bond is one of the strongest, these chemicals do not degrade in the environment. In fact, scientists are unable to estimate an environmental half-life for PFAS, which is the amount of time it takes 50% of the chemical to disappear."
Waste to Hydrogen Project Set for California
"The California Energy Commission in a June report said a lack of existing renewable hydrogen production is creating a gap with fast-growing demand for the fuel. The International Energy Agency, also in a June report, said there is a definite need for renewable hydrogen production to meet rising global demand."
The Heath Free Public Library is interested in learning more about what community members most enjoy about the library, and how we can make the library even better in the coming years.
Initially, the library is seeking teenagers, young adults, and parents of children and teens to participate in small, informal discussion groups. There are two upcoming time slots: Wednesday, April 13th from 7-8:30 p.m., and Saturday, April 16th, from 10:30-noon.
Additional groups for adults and seniors will be held on Thursday, April 28th 7-8:30p.m. and Saturday, April 30th 10:30-noon.
Please contact the library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-337-4934, ext.7 to sign up. The discussion groups will be held at 18 Jacobs Rd and masking will be required while indoors. Not able to make it to one of these in-person meetings? Do not despair, there will be more ways for you to provide feedback over the next couple of months!
Kate Barrows, Library Director
Older Home Modification Program
Community Action is pleased to announce our Older Adult Home
Modification Program (OAHMP), a new initiative designed for eligible
lower-income homeowners, age 62 and older, living in Franklin and
Hampshire Counties and looking to maintain independence and lead safe
and productive lives in their homes.
Through this program, lower-income older adults can improve general
home safety through no-cost modifications that reduce the risk of falling,
increase accessibility, and improve the home's functional abilities.
If you currently receive Fuel Assistance and could benefit from the
installation of grab bars, railings, temporary ramps, tub/shower transfer
benches, raised toilet seats with hand rails, and stair steps, please contact
To ensure the highest quality programming, Community Action is
partnering with the team at LifePath, who have been providing services
to older adults in support of independent living in our area for over 45
HOMEOWNER MUST LIVE IN FRANKLIN OR HAMPSHIRE COUNTY
HOMEOWNER MUST BE AGE 62 OR OLDER
HOMEOWNER MUST MEET THE INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES BELOW
413-774-2310 Option 4
Community Action OAHMP
PO Box 1432
Greenfield, MA 01302
The Story of a Lie
By Robert Louis Stevenson
Mr. Naseby, becoming engrossed in securing the election of a sound party candidate to Parliament, wrote a flaming letter to the papers. The letter had about it every demerit of party letters in general: it was expressed with the energy of a believer; it was personal; it was a little more than half unfair, and about a quarter untrue. The old man did not mean to say what was untrue, you may be sure; but he had rashly picked up gossip, as his prejudice suggested, and now rashly launched it on the public with the sanction of his name.
“The Liberal candidate,” he concluded, “is thus a public turncoat. Is that the sort of man we want? He has been given the lie, and has swallowed the insult. Is that the sort of man we want? I answer, No! with all the force of my conviction, I answer No!”
He found is father’s manifesto in one column; and in another a leading article. “No one, that we are aware of,” ran the article, “had consulted Mr. Naseby on the subject, but if he had been appealed to by the whole body of electors, his letter would be none the less ungenerous and unjust to Mr. Dalton. We do not choose to give the lie to Mr. Naseby, for we are all too well of the consequences, but we shall venture instead to print the facts of both cases referred to by this red-hot partisan in another portion of our issue. Mr. Naseby is of course a large proprietor in our neighbourhood: but fidelity to facts, decent feeling, and English grammar are all of them qualities more important than the possession of land. Mr. N— is doubtless a great man; in his large gardens and that half-mile of greenhouses, where he has probably ripened his intellect and temper, he may say what he will to his hired vassals, but (as the Scots say) --
He maunna think to domineer.
Liberalism,” continued the anonymous journalist “is of too free and sound a growth,” etc.
from “The Story of a Lie,” by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1879.
Need we say more? —Submitted by Margaret Freeman
Hidden Cost of Road Salt
I have been very concerned about the use of salt on our Heath roads for a number of reasons: (1) the deterioration of our roads, (2) deterioration of our highway vehicles and our personal vehicles, (3) the environmental impact of salt washing into our streams, (4) the added costs of replacing our plows and trucks due to corrosion, and (5) the added cost of replacing the salt shed with material impervious to salt corrosion (apparently concrete is not.)
I understand that sand has drawbacks and does not give us those clear, albeit "whitish" roads, but I think we should at least understand the hidden costs of salt vs sand and decide if we can afford it. When I first moved to Heath in the pre-salt days, I used to brag to friends, "Once you get to Heath, the roads will be fine." And they were.
I did a lot of research and found this article more relevant to Heath than the Mass DOT site.
Impact on Vermont's Natural Environment and Infrastructure
Historical Society Reading Room
—I have often thought what a gift it would be to the town to have an historical reading room where residents could have access to materials that are otherwise stored away and only seen on open house days 2 or 3 times a year. Now that the possibility presents itself if the library does move to Jacobs Road, I believe our Historical Society would miss an opportunity to put in a request for the current library space. The town had considered leasing 5 Ledges Road for $1, why not the same arrangement for the current library space?
The Select Board has discussed what would make Sawyer Hall (and Community Hall) ADA and Fire Safety compliant using grants and special project monies. Robyn would like to look at the building as a whole to see how it can be improved and used. Now would be a perfect time to request a reading room to give residents access to the wealth of materials and perhaps some rotating artifacts. The room could be open on Saturday mornings and provide the same social interaction as did the library.
I have mentioned this to a few people in the Historical Society, but did not get a sense that they saw the same possibilities that I saw. One response was how would it be staffed? I can only say that during the months of remote learning there were volunteers covering 7 hours a day in 2 shifts, 5 days a week. Certainly, a reading room could get 1 or 2 volunteers for one day a week, from 9:30 to noon on Saturday mornings.
Right now when at least two groups are requesting office space, the Historical Society could potentially miss a great opportunity. —Pat McGahan
Sawyer Hall Is Not ADA Compliant
Contrary to recent published reports, Sawyer Hall is not ADA compatible. Nor does it comply with current Massachusetts 780 CMR 9.00 fire protection and life safety systems. It is my understanding that the Select Board is looking into what it would take to make both Sawyer Hall and the Community Hall requirement-compatible. —Margaret Freeman
On Dec 29, 2020, at 10:48 PM, Heath Connects <email@example.com> wrote:
Thank you to those who showed support tonight, it continues to have a positive effect. There was only 1 public comment and it was civil. That said, the show of support was especially needed due to an apparently malignant email sent to the Select Board. Brian strongly expressed his offense and was supported by both Robyn and Gloria. I have seen one of this type of email and it makes me wonder why our Select Board keeps working for us in the face of this type of communication.
Here are my personal notes from the meeting:
· The railings are up for the Sawyer Hall stairs, they just need time to set before use.
· COVID Safety for Sawyer Hall was discussed at length and beyond (for those who hung in there):
§ Work was done to finalize list of essential employees
§ There was discussion of the difficulty to get people to comply to COVID safety rules in Sawyer Hall.
§ Robyn pointed out that these are government mandated COVID safety rules, and Gloria offered to call two persons not complying.
§ There was a looong brain storming discussion about how to make the second floor town offices COVID safe with the following being implemented:
§ Town committee and employee mail slots will be moved to the office counter,
§ The town office door on the second floor will be locked.
§ People will be required to call ahead for items to be picked up.
§ Bathrooms will be locked.
§ More signage to be put up.
· Brian indicated that the safest location for the town offices would be Jacobs Road, due to the space, ventilation, the staggered use, accessibility, the ability to keep the doors locked (unlike Sawyer Hall where they must stay open for the PO). Robyn appeared to agree but was willing to try measures at Sawyer Hall first, but that failing, a decision needed to be made. Gloria was unable to see the possibility that Jacobs Road would be safer.
· Post Office Congestion
§ If the Post Office continues as a problem, then perhaps there would be a need to start ticketing. This would be a cost to the town for police duty
§ Brian feels we should discuss safety practices with other Post Offices. Gloria offered to visit Charlemont and Colrain lobbies. There was talk of putting boxes outside. There is a concern that any change might cost us the Post Office.
Apparently, there was a very abusive email thread included in the email for review. It cast a pall over the end of the meeting with all Select Board members commenting.
Fortunately, it was offset by a very positive contribution from Bob Viarengo.
Let's look forward to a new year where we all work together for the common good the way Heathans used to.
Pat McGahan on behalf of Heath Connects