Thursday, July 14, 2016

"Healey" Gardens and stupid town boards

Nothing ruins another enjoyable retirement day like a Red Sox loss, the donut shop not having coffee rolls and agreeing with Bumpkin. Now the Bumpkin happens to be my sometimes running partner and despite his excessive girth the Bumpkin can stay with me – his svelte and far more energetic partner.
One pleasure on our scenic jaunts as mine and mine alone and that is to get a conversation started by disagreeing with anything Bumpkin says even when I agree. Mary Ann to him I most certainly say “Ginger.” Childish? You met! Immature? You win! But on Dan Murray and the healing garden, I am firmly in the supportive camp of Bumpkin.
Recently former (thankfully) Town Manager – Jack Healey – took Bumpkin to task over his repeated editorial page harassment of Murray. That in my own convoluted mind is quite appropriate since apparently most decisions are rendered from a dictionary that was purchased at the 4-H book tent in 1978.
Healey brought out the “Big Guns” in that a state official – I will avoid “hack” - concluded that Pratt Farm is unsuitable for a healing garden. The appropriate laws were cited and placed in the context of the original agreement and that became the basis for rejecting the garden. What we really need is what now happens in sports and that is an “official’s review.” Looking at the law with my own non-dictionary perspective it is an Oracle of Delphi opinion. For those unaccustomed to the famed Oracle, she would give a futurist view that could be interpreted many ways.
The law is just that. I contacted a lawyer friend who said as much with the key being the mysterious “Passive Recreation.” His thought was similar to mine: Do the plants run laps? The ornamental benches go fishing? Will the rocks play Frisbee? In a simple phrase: Stupid on a town level is reinforced by stupid on a state level.
Bumpkin also provided some crucial documentation that showed just how Pratt Farm was visualized to be once various options were examined.
Pratt Farm has a shed that was built and how does that impact the land? Was any plant life removed? Recently a new trail was cut – ditto. When have reenactors staged events is that passive? Was the setup of stands in the same field for commercial use considered passive?
Pratt Farm was also the dumping ground for an "historic" carriage house that was placed on the property. Unfortunately the carriage house collapsed.
My assumption is the field in question would be perfectly suitable for a community garden but not a healing garden. That is the interpretation I can synthesize out of the mess. My assumption is that Pratt Farm was one a farm and farms do have gardens. No?
When I checked the purpose of a healing garden the terms that are associated are serenity, meditation, reflection, peace, and various similar terms. The noted landscape architect – Frederick Law Olmsted – is undoubtedly having thoughts about who should be allowed to pass the Pearly Gates.
The garden in question is not some operation where a group comes in and scrapes the land clean. Landscape architects would be involved and the plant selection process was presented to the Conservation Commission who approved it 5-0. Now for profiles in courage moment.
Someone actually had the audacity to question the placement of such a garden and the Con Com decided what is best was to contact our version of Billy Fallon – The Great Mouthpiece. Con Com then folded their cards instead of saying “Enough lunacy.”
The original rejection of the garden was at the hands of our local Historical or is it Hysterical Commission. Oliver Mills was supposed to be the garden spot, but in another staggering decision, it was rejected over the potential disruption of Indian artifacts. Using that logic or lack of not a stone would be turned over in Middleboro. I also assume the Hysterical Commission has their own set of dictionaries for reference.
Middleboro has become the central point for stupid in Massachusetts with silly string, swearing amendments and garbage like this. Many years ago Robert Townsend – who wrote for the Enterprise – said as much in an article that raised the hackles of the locals. Somewhere there must be someone who will finally draw a line and maybe the BOS will now do the right thing and find a TC who uses a law book.

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