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Letters

Don’t hold breath
waiting for bus bench

To the Bulletin:

An open letter to Eleanor Hassell:

So, I bet you thought this was gonna be easy — getting a bench at your bus stop, which we all know is frequented by many seniors like yourself. Well, just ask yourself how long former town manager Larry Shaffer had to wait for his rotary at Atkins Corner. He needed his successor to push through the $6 million project.

Don’t fret though, as his successor John Musante — who succeeded in moving that project forward — was quoted recently as saying “Guilford (Mooring, Superintendent of Public Works) is working out the day-to-day logistics to make that (your bench) happens.” Like I said, did you really think this was gonna be that easy, what with all the logistics inherent in such a project as your proposed bench? I mean they could have just spent two weeks and $300,000 on a multi-directional traffic light system at Atkins Corner, you know.

Nice idea getting your state rep involved, although I bet you didn’t expect she would be stymied by a Verizon utility poll. What town do you think this is?

Also, once Guilford squares away the logistics, and Verizon grudgingly consents to a bench near its pole, I wouldn’t take my eye off the ball if I were you. What makes you think the zoning board is going to approve this project, just because you and your elderly friends don’t feel like standing around for the bus? If you consider the rotary project carefully, you wouldn’t be fooling yourself with your “All I’m asking for is a simple bench” rap either. Do you really think they will just install a “simple bench” without a concrete pad, full canopy and sharply cut granite curbs with a brick pathway? Stay patient, Eleanor — spring is just around the corner and I’m certain the town will have the logistics, necessary approval, and funding all worked out by then.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Michael Lawrence Levine

Amherst

Shocked to see assault
rifles in the backyard

To the Bulletin:

Not far from my little country neighborhood is a gem of a wooded area. People like to go there to hike, bike, run and go for family walks to take in the wildlife and beautiful scenery. And yes, some do legally hunt there as well.

Earlier this fall while running in the area, I heard an unusually loud series of shots. I was startled in that the shots were right off the main trail. Upon circling back around the trail, I confronted an individual with what appeared to be a military-style assault-type rifle. I know a little bit about firearms and I asked the individual if that was an M16, and he said yes. I would later learn that although not impossible to obtain with special permits, this was most likely a semi-automatic version of the gun, as the fully automatic version (a machine gun) is illegal in the hands of a civilian.

More than likely, according to some of my gun-owner friends, this was perhaps an AR15 class weapon, like the now notorious Bushmaster used in the murders recently in Newtown, Conn., which closely resembles the looks of an M16. As I left the woods that day, I couldn’t believe someone was hunting small game with such a powerful weapon. What was the point? Why did this civilian have such a powerful weapon in his possession?

Upon my return home, I immediately called the local authorities, not once, but twice regarding my concern for the safety of not only myself, but the many who frequent our little wooded area. Surely such an assault weapon cannot be used legally, I thought. Call me naive, but the assault weapons ban was lifted in 2004 allowing the general public access to these high-powered weapons. Thus, I was told they are quite legal and there was absolutely nothing they could do unless the individual was clearly breaking the law (hunting without a license, discharging the firearm within 500 feet of a home, hunting on posted land, etc.).

I was told the Massachusetts Environmental Police have jurisdiction over such firearms and I should contact them with my concerns.

As my heart aches for the victims, those brave teachers and beautiful little children on that awful day, Dec. 14, 2012, I’m left wondering just how terribly broken our gun control system is on the local, state and national level and when will it ever be fixed.

Ken Pollard

Hadley

Lamenting the end
that never comes

To the Bulletin:

Now that the Mayan apocalypse has come and gone I have to admit that I am somewhat disappointed.

I’m just sick and tired of the world not ending. The truth is that we’ve had so many doomsday scenarios lately, but this time I really thought it was for real.

Personally, I’ll never trust a Mayan again. So after all this waiting, what happened? “Jersey Shore” was cancelled, but I hardly think that’s equivalent.

Now scientists tell us the world won’t end when the Earth and sun line up with the black hole in the center of our galaxy and release all the gamma rays. Isn’t that what created the Incredible Hulk? And this means that, since the world isn’t ending, I’m going to have to have reschedule my colonoscopy. Sure, some crazy nut jobs believe that civilization will end before then because of global warming. Except that everyone knows that global warming really is just a hoax. But I digress.

I can’t sit around and wait 100 years for the end of the world. What am I supposed to do until then? And all the food in my preparedness shelter will have spoiled by then. And seriously, the end of the world? You know that it won’t be able to live up to the hype and we’re just going to be disappointed. Now that I think about it, rather then wait for it, I’ll just TiVo it and watch it later.

Andy Morris-Friedman

Hadley

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