The seemingly never-ending saga of controversial Copar Quarries continued last week. First, an inspector with the state Department of Environmental Protection said in a Notice of Violation that dust that blew onto his vehicle’s windshield was from the quarry site. The inspector said in the notice, “Based upon the wind direction and location of the vehicle, (Copar) was the only source of the fugitive dust.” The violation carries a $1,500 fine. Jeffrey Gladstone, Copar’s lawyer, said the company “disputes and denies” the charges . Said Gladstone: “I think it (the violation notice) was probably filed because of the suggestion of third parties.” Later, Westerly Public Schools began work with the town to set up environmental tests in the neighborhood around the quarry, which includes Bradford Elementary School, to determine the level of drifting dust. Finally, Copar’s appeals of two cease-and-desist orders were again postponed by the zoning board, which hopes to combine the hearings on the appeals.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee shocked political observers by announcing he would not seek re-election. State Rep. Samuel Azzinaro summed up the reaction of local politicians, saying, “Wow. I am really, really surprised. ... Politics are crazy.” State Senate Minority Leader Dennis Algiere of Westerly said the biggest news coming from the announcement is what it means to the dynamics of the upcoming election. “There was no indication that he wasn’t going to be running for re-election,” he said. “This changes the politics of the race — it changes the math.” Many sang the governor’s praises, like Republican Town Councilor Christopher Duhamel: “He’s been good to Westerly, all through Sandy and before,” he said. “He’s been a good governor ... but what a shock.” added Diana L. Serra, Westerly Town Council president. “He has worked well for Westerly. We just spoke with him about Copar and asked for environmental help. I just can’t believe it.”
Sophomore Connor Beverly, 15, spent his summer writing a book, “On the Corner of William and West Broad: a True Example of Aristocracy in Pawcatuck.” The book documents the history of the iconic house, an 1887 Victorian, at that address, whose intricately designed exterior and unusual colors caught Beverly’s eye as he rode past it while growing up. Beverly, a town history buff, stumbled across and purchased a $300 package of old letters and photos on eBay written to Sally Frankenstein, whose parents were the first owners of the house. Soon after, “I thought, ‘I bet it would be really neat to write a book about [the home],’ he said. “So I did.” The book is available by emailing Beverly at email@example.com, or by visiting the book’s Facebook page.
The Southeastern Connecticut Cultural Coalition, an independent nonprofit organization with a mission to improve economic growth in New London County by improving cultural and heritage activities, has been established and will serve an area that includes Stonington. When formally launched, the coalition will provide services to connect, strengthen and advocate for the creative community. It will also help to build partnerships among agencies in order to attract and retain businesses, residents and visitors. Assistance could vary, but the nonprofit is there to aid those as small as a single artist to a large organization like the Mystic Seaport.