(High) There are any number of reasons to celebrate the arrival of spring this year after such a horrid winter, but the start of baseball season has been right up there in the top five for many of us in light of the Red Sox championship win last season. And last week, locals had another reason to celebrate with the viewing of the championship trophy — officially called the Commissioner’s Trophy — at the Westerly Public Library on Friday. People were in line up the block toward Granite Street just to get into the library before snaking their way through the library to finally arrive at their 30-pound, 24-inch tall destination. And all were surprised to see not one, but three trophies representing Boston’s championship wins in 2007 and 2004 as well. It was a great spring day to be sure.
(High) Soon after hearing of the surprise selections by the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce for the 2014 Citizen of the Year and Key Award Winner the surprise wore off. How fitting that Nick Stahl, longtime Executive Director of the Westerly Hospital Foundation and consummate gentleman and engaged community volunteer should be chosen as the Citizen of the Year. And equally fitting was the choice of Rudi Hauser as the Chamber’s Key Award recipient for his countless hours devoted to volunteerism on behalf of the Chamber, a way of life he has extended to his family. Congratulations to both on this well deserved recognition.
(High) Westerly voters supported the Town Council-backed initiative to buy 433 acres in Bradford that will now be preserved as open space. The vote, though paltry, was overwhelming as proponents carried the day in Thursday’s referendum 771 to 215. There are 17,442 eligible voters in town. The $1.3 million deal, offered by Mary Lucey and family, will help protect the Bradford aquifer in perpetuity and creates a huge greenbelt as the property abuts an 819-acre parcel already set aside as open space. This was the right thing to do.
(Low) The R.I. Department of Environmental Management is still pursuing 249 land owners who own septic tanks on land within 200 feet of the coastline or an inland water source used for drinking water. The state is pressing its case after giving property owners years to comply with the 2007 Cesspool Act. Citations started going out in March and will continue through October notifying owners they have 60 days to abandon the cesspools and upgrade to on-site treatment systems or connect to sewer lines. Refusal to adhere will carry a $200 fine and a more formal violation charge. It’s long past time to get rid of these throwbacks to another time.
(High) Masonicare, a senior-care provider based in Wallingford, Conn., is expected to open a facility in Mystic at the Clara Drive property known as the Coogan Farm. Plans call for 81 independent-living units, 50 assisted-living units, and 48 dementia-care units, according to First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr., who worked to bring the company to town. In addition to revenue in the form of payments in lieu of taxes, and more vitally needed services, the project promises to bring about 120 jobs.