About Me

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Delray Beach, FL, Westport, MA, United States
Undergraduate degree, Colby College; MA in teaching, Columbia Teacher's College; former high school English teacher in three states; former owner of interior design co. with advanced degree from R.I. School of Design. Published first book in 2009 titled, MINOR LEAGUE MOM: A MOTHER'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE RED SOX FARM TEAMS. Her humorous manuscript titled ELDERLY PARENTS WITH ALL THEIR MARBLES: A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE KIDS was published in June, 2014. In 2015 A SURVIVAL GUIDE won a gold medal in the self-help category at the Florida Authors & Publishers Association conference. See website By CLICKING HERE.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The High Cost of Protecting Our Heritage

     Today is Memorial Day, 2012, and we attended a local parade honoring our veterans, our military still serving, and those who lost their lives on active duty.  Before writing this blog entitled, "The High Cost of Protecting Our Heritage," it seems fitting to say "Thank you" to all of them, including my husband Charley, who served in Viet Nam.
     Friends of ours called from Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.  They had just walked out of a homeowner's association meeting for their community named Deer Lake.  There was so much shouting that no-one could hear the discussion. Here's why.

     It seems Deer Lake (the lake) is a man-made thing of beauty.  Unfortunately, Deer Lake needs to be drained so the state can tear down a dam and rebuild it.  The drainage permits cost the homeowners $3,000.

     The actual dredging of Deer Lake has cost the homeowners another $14,000 to date.  Now the project has been halted!

     "Why?" you ask.

      Because in the silt the engineers found three endangered species.

     "Species of what?" you ask.

     Three endangered PLANT species! 

     St. John's Wort was among them.  St. John's Wort is a widely-known herbal treatment for depression (which the residents might soon need).

     St. John's Wort, according to Wikipedia, is also listed as a noxious weed in more than twenty countries, which "replaces native plant communities and forage vegetation to the dominating extent of making productive land nonviable or becoming an invasive species in natural habitats and ecosystems.  Ingestion by livestock can cause spontaneous abortion and can lead to death."

     Is there livestock around Deer Lake?  Don't know.  There are certainly deer!  So how much will it cost the homeowners to relocate the deer to save St. John's Wort to save the Lake to save the dam?  And where will the water go and who will pay for that?

    Reminds me of the time Charley was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of a private psychiatric hospital.  The Board had approved plans to build a continuing-care facility (independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing) on the "campus."  When the contractor broke ground, he discovered an Indian burial ground along the river - sacrosanct.  Everything halted.  One of the Board members suggested building a casino on the Indian territory - "a much more lucrative proposition," he claimed. 

     The residents of the skilled nursing facility, now sitting upriver, claim they hear chants to the sound of drums at night, as they place their bets at Bingo.