I’ll be honing my archery skills to prepare for the upcoming hunting season, then peddling dirt, then helping daughter Sarah paint her bedroom (Walt, here’s the invitation you’ve been longing for) so probably no new posts until this evening.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
Bob’s been writing a series of articles on the deterioration of our public parks for Greenwich Time, with particular attention to Bnney Park. Last week he discussed why the pond there is silting up and what to do about it: build the catch basins called for a decade ago and clean them once a year at minimal cost instead of dredging the entire pond evey fifteen years for millions.
This week, noting that the town has budgeted $100,000 to study the origin and sources of that silt (to quote our former secretary of state, “what difference does it make anymore?” we already know where it’s coming from, Stamford, and they aren’t going to stop it -dredge it and put in the catch basins. In other words, deal with it.). Bob does more than just point out the obvious he steers our town officials to a study that has already been performed, and paid for:
Just get to the room in Town Hall that holds Engineering Department files from 1996.
There is a box there, about 18 inches deep, that holds all the answers they want us to pay for again.
I know this because a friend and part-time sleuth, who seems to know the ins and outs of town files better than anyone else, found the documents in a few hours time.
The files’ contents reveal an extensive analysis of water sources that feed the pond and the rates of siltation under various weather conditions. There are many photographs that detail erosion along the pond’s edge and the natural sediment collection areas provided by the park’s topography. There are land surveys and extensive mapping that show details of the most effective locations for weirs and silt traps. Engineers even considered dredging the pond to a deeper level in the hopes of extending the time between dredges. The topography, according to the plan, made that untenable.
There is also a cost benefit analysis of routine cleaning of weirs or silt traps compared to the every 15-20 year dredging cycle currently in place (guess which one wins, easily?).
And, these plans and analyses were done at the request of the Board of Selectmen and theParks and Recreation Department. Preliminary drafts were shared for comment with thePlanning and Zoning Commission, the Engineering Department, and the Inland Wetlands Commission. Each group raised various issues and all were addressed by the engineering firm that conducted the work, Daniel S. Natchez and Associates, Inc. of Mamaroneck.
So the town could save $100,000 by looking into its own files.
Will our governors act on Bob’s suggestion and save us money and time in addressing the problem, or will they put the day of reckoning off again by commissioning another study? Anyone who’s lived in town longer than six months and had the opportunity to watch our town government in action knows the answer to that one.
Bill Whittle offers a libertarian view on gay marriage.
From reader Chris R:
President Obama Thursday nominated, Patrick Gaspard – a longtime political operative, union activist, and community organizer with no diplomatic experience – to be U.S. ambassador to South Africa.
Gaspard, currently the executive director of the Democratic National Committee, is an Obama political fixer – and not even the president’s top one, having been overshadowed by giants like David Plouffe, Jim Messina, and David Axelrod.
Gaspard served nearly a decade as the political chief for the New York City branch of the Service Employees International Union. He has worked on the presidential bids of Jesse Jackson and Howard Dean, the 1989 mayoral campaign of former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, and for many other candidates.
“He’s black, so of course the Africans will love him,” Obama explained, “and he’s my friend; that’s enough.”