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

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Weather, She Is A-Changin'

"The times, they are a-changin' ". -- Bob Dylan 1964

I can't think of a better phrase to describe what we have been feeling here in Sturbridge over the past eleven months. The "times",  relating to the weather, have definitely changed.  Record snow last winter, the tornado on June 1st, Hurricane Irene in western New England, and most recently, the Halloween Nor' easter with record snow fall for October.

Coincidence?  Maybe.

Climatic changes that are due, and have been going on for  millions of years?  More likely.

Whatever the reasons are, the fact remains that there have been enough events showing that something is up, and we need to adjust to what Mother Nature has in store.

Now, I am not going to go on a global warming rant, and preach the gospel of Al Gore.  It's happening, no matter the cause, and has happened  on a cyclic basis since this planet cooled, and spawned life.  We need to wrap our heads around it, and also be aware that we need to adapt.

Nothing major just yet, maybe a bit more in the snow removal budget, and start to have the equipment ready for the winter on October 1st instead of later on.

There will be more tornadoes that occur in Massachusetts, and they will happen a bit more often than once every ten years.  If we have another tornado within the next two years we need to construct an early warning system of sirens like those regions in the south , and out west have to warn the residents of a funnel cloud touching down, and heading our way.  Again, it's simple, and the stats don't lie.

Trees, and tree branches, need to be removed from around all power lines.

This is a simple cause and effect scenario.  There will be more heavy snows, and some of those storms will fall onto trees that either have new leaves, or leaves yet to fall.  We know very well what happens next, and since we are aware, it is a simple matter to prevent it from happening in the scale it happened recently.

Shady lanes, and leafy trees are so important to our landscape, but so it our need for electrical power.  It's a choice we need to make, and make soon.  The convenience of uninterrupted electrical service for our lights, to power our media, and to heat our homes, or the very real possibility that we may loose power for more than a day at least once each year.

Our choice.

We have a lot to think on.  Local government leaders will be thinking on it, too.  As the seasons move on, and another major event is not felt, it will be thought of less often until the power is lost again, and the trees are toppled over onto Main Street.  Then, there will be finger pointing, yelling, accusations of incompetence, and demands that something be done immediately.

Just like now.

So, why not cut out the waiting period, and start now?  Begin to plan, and make changes today, not the next time.  Take a deep breath, swallow hard, and dig in.  Start the dialog, and start planing the plan.

A week without power in 2011 is unacceptable, and there are no reasons not to begin to make changes in order to either avoid a repeat of this past week, or most certainly decrease the time we spend in the nineteenth century.

No, there are no reasons at all.

1 comment:

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