Local Boards Deal Setbacks to Biomass Plant
On January 25, the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals ruled in favor of the opponents of a 35-megawatt wood-burning power plant that the developer is trying to build in the city. This action came on the heels of the Springfield City Council revoking a special permit to build the plant. This is good news for two reasons.
First, if the project does not get built, we will be spared a large source of particulate air pollution traveling up the Valley to our cities and towns. Second, it provides a great example of how boards in cities and towns can say "No" to unwanted projects, even when the developer appears to have big money, threatens lawsuits and has the support of the Patrick administration. This vote reminds us that local boards can decide, on behalf of the residents they represent, what is good for their communities, and not be forced to go along with the special interests and agencies who help shape the laws that define "green" energy and try to decide what is safe for us.
We hope that if the developer of the biomass plant in Greenfield comes before the city's Zoning Board of Appeals for a second time, the board will decide in favor of the health and welfare of its citizens as Springfield's boards did.
We would like to publicly thank the Springfield City Council and the Springfield Zoning Board of Appeals for standing up for their residents and doing the right thing. And thank you to the groups of citizens who have been working to make sure this project does not get built in their city.
Wendy LaPointe, Patrick Devlin, Tom Tolg, Tom Neilson, Peter Joppe, Janet Sinclair
Concerned Citizens of Franklin County
Martyrs for Gun Rights
I was so relieved to see the smiling face of Gabby Giffords at the State of the Union. She still has many challenges ahead of her if she is to one day reclaim her seat in Congress. Sometimes people recovering from brain injury have trouble articulating their thoughts, or have trouble with impulse control. But that would make her more qualified for Congress, not less. The true tragedy would have been if liberals had cynically tried to use this tragedy to turn public opinion away from gun owner rights. I am so glad that what could have been so sad is turning out to have a happy ending.
Some liberal pundits say it should be a crime to bring a gun to a political event. But just because any sociopath with a death wish can get a gun with no problem doesn't mean that the government should restrict my right to bear arms. In fact, most shootings have nothing to do with guns. And everyone brings guns to Tea Party rallies, and no one's been shot yet—not just handguns, but shotguns and repeating rifles. Once I saw a guy with an awesome TAR-21 that pumps out 15 shots per second with a 100-round drum magazine. If you had on a Kevlar vest, you could take out half the town with that baby before the SWAT team could even touch you. But I digress
You have to ask yourself why it's always the Democrats that get shot at. I'm not blaming the victim, but if liberals didn't lie all the time about how dangerous guns are, maybe fewer people would feel like shooting them. And the congresswoman's amazing recovery shows that even getting shot in the head just isn't as bad as anti-gun extremists proclaim. In fact, it's a small price to pay for preserving our Second Amendment rights.
The truth is that those six people who died that day in Tucson are the true American heroes. They are the martyrs who gave their lives to protect your Second Amendment rights. That's why, to honor their memory, we should all buy guns. Lots and lots of guns. If you don't, then their sacrifice will have been for nothing. Don't let your right to bear arms go down the chute.
For social justice reasons, and simply as one of the tens of thousands of registered voters and citizens of this Commonwealth, I am writing to openly, respectfully and impartially call upon Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, as well as all federal, state, county and municipal public office candidates and incumbents in Massachusetts, to sign the Citizens for Limited Taxation "Taxpayer Protection Pledge."
Bearing in mind the ongoing tough economic times that we all face, the aforementioned pledge provides a measure of good faith by said officeholders and candidates to the taxpayers and constituents of their respective geographical areas and to all people within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It clearly requires that they shall oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes during their tenure in office, if elected.
The citizens of this state need to be reassured that their interests are going to be looked after and protected by the individuals they vote into public office. They do not need to have any further economic burdens thrust upon them in the form of increased taxes of whatever type for the next several years at a minimum.
Tired of Conspiracy Theories
It is with great weariness that this reader feels he must respond to folks like Robin Ward and Adam Hurter [Letters, February 2, 2012] in their conspiracy theory of inside-job stripe concerning 9/11. I find their views preposterous, but fashionable in some circles. There is a veritable cottage industry busy with "proofs" of villainous cabals afoot who were responsible for the 9/11 tragedy.
I see such thinking as bordering on delusional. Even the guru of the radical Left, Noam Chomsky, sees no logic in their accusations that the Bush administration, and of course the sinister Jews of Israel, were behind the destruction.
The true believers will never accept any evidence that counters their faith. These folks can make a good living writing for Twilight Zone, The Matrix and The X-Files.