Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Can't Help It, I Fell Asleep Watching Kung Fu Panda

This is going to sound really mystical, but it's really not, it just good advise.

Divert negative energy to positive, and productive work.

Work can be a deed, words, love, a task, or just work.  The thought one has, the plan one conceives, how one shares words, or lifts a shovel is energy.  Energy is either positive or negative.  Good advise is positive. Yelling expletives is not.

Building is positive.  Tearing down is not.

Acknowledging a mistake, or a need for a correction can be positive if accompanied by a solution, or a willingness to find one.  Acknowledging a mistake, or a need for a correction accompanied by insults, expletives, or no possible solutions, is obviously not very positive.  

Yep.  Deep, maybe, mystical, no.  

However, if an oversight, or mistake is acknowledged, and is not addressed further with some form of correction, or just blown off, then after a reasonable waiting period all bets are off, and it's dope slaps all around.

We've learned some hard lessons here in town since the summer.  We learned that when there are issues that need input of residents, or residents questions answered, it is not handled well.  We are still waiting for those questions to be answered honestly, and for the input of the residents of our town to be respected enough to ask for it by having a special town meeting when a project is being changed, redesigned, or funded differently.

So, as this year creeps to a close in the next seven weeks, let's readjust our shorts a bit, and start the new year with our energy flowing in a positive direction.  There will be challenges to come in 2011, and they will be addressed, ignored, , grappled, overlooked, taken on, filed away, changed, and reinvented as something else.  How we respond to them, and how we assist in making them better by listening, questioning, and helping will determine just how many challenges go down as defeats, or as victories for our town.

Vigilance.  We need to keep our ears up, our eyes open, and our spirit calm in order to be effective.

So, Grasshopper, snatch the pebble from my hand, and rise above the storm of dissent, and anger, and if the selectmen do not respond as one would like this coming year, use the pebble to get their attention.

It may take more than one.


  1. Watching and WaitingWednesday, November 10, 2010

    I wonder what it would take to actually get an idea/solution for the front entrance issue discussed publicly at a BOS meeting. I watched Monday's meeting twice, and other than just a passing reference when speaking about the need to pay attention to progress on another issue, the ADA incompatible front door at the town hall (and center office building?) was not brought up. There doesn't seem to be much movement, other than sometimes animated, usually repetitious disagreements on things of taxpayer consequence... and then the long drawn out signage discussions, and the time consuming, unnecessarily expensive superficial stuff...
    If I missed something like a progress report on the ADA issue, I apologize and hope someone responds and gives us that update...
    Other than that, Kung Fu Panda is sounding pretty good right now.

  2. The non-compliant entrance issue was not brought up as far as I know at the BOS meeting. I haven't heard anything more about the intersection either. If they don't talk about these things at the BOS meetings, when and where do they discuss them? Was there any information made available for the public? Did the dog eat it?

  3. Work. Pay taxes. Tap, tap, tap, drip, drip, drip, ahem, cough, cough, shuffle, shuffle, la, la, la, rattle, rattle, knock, knock, yawn, ummm, squeak, scratch head, looking around, hour chimes, calendar pages flipping, temperatures dropping, snow falling, icy spots, eeeek, whoops, "Hey! What's going on? Why isn't the front entrance fixed yet?"

  4. Whoever fell asleep watching Kung Fu Panda should be awake and looking for a real remedy by now. We didn't pay our taxes with the expectation that the front door of the town hall would be locked in our faces, only to have everyone throw up their hands and tell us that our only hope is for the state to understand our thoughtlessness.

  5. I have to agree. It is all about letting the process go forward and correct the error. When the process has been exhausted, or before, it will be corrected, or not. If not, then we can get take the next step.

  6. It should be FIXEDSunday, November 21, 2010

    All they are doing is looking for a variance, not a correction.

  7. A variance would correct the problem.

  8. a variance is not a correctionMonday, November 22, 2010

    A variance is NOT A CORRECTION because it still will not let in a disabled person who wants to enter through the front door. A variance in this case would just be an EXCUSE not to comply. The front door should have been made ADA compliant when the 4 1/2 to 5 million dollars was spent on this project. This is 2010, and we are trying to accommodate everyone as best we can. When that much money is spent, there is no excuse not to make the "historical" front entrance ADA compliant!

  9. If you only actually knewMonday, November 22, 2010

    Unless you are disabled, do not attempt to say how a disabled individual will be best served, or accommodated. A disabled person will leave their car parked in the parking lot, and go to the entrance that is closest and the one that will make life easy for them. Just as an able bodied person will not attempt t enter the building through a second floor window. And if they must travel between the Center School and the Town Hall, then they will travel to the rear of the Town Hall along Maple Street with a section the length of the building cordoned off for pedestrians in place of a sidewalk, or where the town worked out with the neighbors to allow disabled access along their driveway. It's a big mistake. Something that should have not gone to this point, but it did, and it will be fixed, corrected. Give them time. Now, focus that energy on something else hat needs addressing here in town.

  10. So Tell Us Already!Monday, November 22, 2010

    Dear If You Only Actually I Knew,
    You imply that there is something we don't know about the non compliance issue (issues).
    If you know that "it will be fixed, corrected" perhaps you know who will be doing that? All we know is that they have known for at least over two months now and that it will take until the end of the year for the TA to be able to do something about trying to get an answer about a variance. Please tell us what you know. Thanks.

  11. if you only actually knewMonday, November 22, 2010

    I was referring to being disabled, I did not imply anything else. If you felt I did, I am sorry. I know nothing about what is going on other than what I read. I have read that the BOS is working on a variance. I have read that a ramp at the front door is not feasible. I have read that there is a need for some kind of walkway to the rear of the building. I have read the chairmen of the BOS is upset that this happened, and that he and his current board are taking the heat for it. I also know that we need to wait a reasonable period of time to see what transpires.

  12. If You Only Knew said:
    "...then they will travel to the rear of the Town Hall along Maple Street with a section the length of the building cordoned off for pedestrians in place of a sidewalk..."
    Do you mean in that area where the cars leaving the parking along Maple Street would be backing into them in a "cordoned off area?" If that's supposed to be a joke it's not funny.

  13. Looks like diagonal parking along Maple Street can't be done anymore, right? Never should be done on such a narrow road, anyway. Put a few parallel spots in front of the library, and direct the rest to the lot behind town hall. Problem solved.
    Ta Da!
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.

  14. Stop Compounding the Problems, PleaseWednesday, November 24, 2010

    If you only knew how difficult it is for some people to make it to the library as it is you might think twice about taking away any of that parking. We need more parking for the library. Not less! This project has really screwed up the works! Get the front door of the town hall open and you won't need a walkway to the back door of the town hall! Ta Da! Thank you very much!

  15. If I can drive myself to the library, then I can certainly park one hundred feet away and walk to the library so that someone that is disabled can use a sidewalk to get into the town hall. Yes, the front door should be opened for all, but in the meantime, we need to consider alternatives. I don't understand where you would like more parking for the library. Where?

  16. Everyone is missing the point...just waitWednesday, November 24, 2010

    Just wait. The problem will be fixed. We need to be patient. If it isn't fixed soon, then we can yell and stomp our feet for the selectmen.

  17. Stop Compounding the Problems, PleaseWednesday, November 24, 2010

    I don't expect to get more parking for the library. As you suggest, there's not room for that. That doesn't mean that there is enough parking for the library. It does mean that we should not take away any of the little parking that we do have. When the front door to the town hall is open again we will not need a walkway to the back door. Let's not make matters worse than they are.

  18. We need a shuttle. Yes, we need a shuttle to pick us up and drop us of at the rear door of the town hall so we won't have to walk along the building in the street.

  19. All we need is an open door.

  20. Call Tom. It's that simple. Call Tom, and ask him about it.


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