CLARION – OCTOBER CLOSING DATE – SEPTEMBER 22

Scary, but time to start work on the October issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION — the deadline for the issue is a tad over a week away, Wednesday, September 22. I am also scared because at this point I am not aware of any news or stories to share with you, other than just a couple I already have. But this happens at the end of the summer, and the beginning of the school year, when people are focused on that seasonal shift. But too, the resurgence of COVID concerns I am sure are playing a part in no activities being scheduled to report here.

But, if you have an event, happening, or article to share with the community get it to me soonest. Even with a deadline date, the sooner the better (as most contributors know and help). We start work on the layout as inputs arrive, and that way shortly after closing date the files go to the printer so you will have the fresh issue in your hands by the first of the month.

If you have any questions, or wish to advertise, please contact me. Thank you, stay safe, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

SEPTEMBER 2021 CLARION — NOW ON-LINE

Just waiting for an email from the printer to pick up your September issue, and get it in the mail – probably late Friday, 27 August. But now the issue is on-line for the world to see.

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK FOR THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE

Or, clicking on the image above should also work. Lots to read about on 24 pages – anniversaries, school about to start, and some activities picking back up. So take a look and enjoy.

Stay safe please and stay well, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DUNKIN and SOLAR UPDATE – 14 August

The August 10 Planning Board meeting began with new presentations by the applicants on the advantages of a massive six acre solar array on Route 12, adjoining the shopping plaza. In reply, the Planning Board explained that in its continuing research, with 85% of the power going off site, that this installation is “industrial strength” and thus the proposal must first go to the Zoning Board to request a special exception for industrial use in a commercially zoned district.

As of this writing, the solar applicant is not on the Zoning Board (ZBA) agenda for this Wednesday, August 18, to request a hearing in September.  The ZBA chair has advised the CLARION, “… they may still show up to discuss a special exception.  Anyone may come to the meeting whether they are on the agenda or not… .”  You may wish to attend the meeting on August 18 to find out what happens.

Next discussed was the continuing Dunkin Donut site plan hearing. Board members expressed traffic concerns in this “high crash area” of Route 12. Dunkin has moved their proposed entrance further south, closer to the intersection with Upper Walpole Road, and the crest of the rise while traveling north. The rise for south bound traffic just before the plaza entrance already has most drivers exiting here concerned. 

Board chair Miller stated he was “apprehensive to moving forward … making a bad situation worse.” Selectboard representative Dalessio stated he appreciated the work done by Dunkin, but this is not a safe area. Board member Dennis Marcom then moved that the site plan be approved contingent upon NH Department of Transportation final comments and approval. With no majority vote for or against, the motion failed, thus the proposed site plan failed.

The CLARION will continue to provide updates to its readers both on-line and in print.

RAY BOAS, Publisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

PLANNING BOARD MEETING – Tuesday, August 10, 7PM

Continued for months now, the Dunkin and Solar Array saga continues at the Town Hall, Tuesday, August 10th at 7 PM. The CLARION recognizes that the world is in peril with Global Warming, with the green house effect, and “clean energy” sources must be developed. BUT, there are right and wrong sites for Solar installations, most well hidden from high traffic vistas. Six acres of solar panels on the old ball field between Route 12 and Upper Walpole Road is not the right site in many people’s minds.

Below is copied from the agenda recently posted for August 10. Attend and be heard.

Dunkin Site Plan: Public Hearing continued from June: Site Plan. Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Proposals for building 2,280 square-foot Dunkin’ drive-thru plus 3,600 square-foot retail space; plus construct 4,729 square-foot retail space. Agent is TF Moran Inc. Presenter Jason Hill.  Applicant is NGP Management LLC, North Reading MA. Jim Clifford.

Request from Mr. Clifford to postpone this meeting until August.

Site Plan. Hearing continued from July meeting. Installation of 1 mega watt solar array on 5-plus acres, Tax Map 12, Lot 56, Commercial District. Ned Raynolds and Steve Dzubak of Revision Energy.  Applicant NGP Management LLC, North Reading MA. Jim Clifford. 

Ray Boas, Publisher
THE WALPOLE CLARION – https://thewalpoleclarion.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

AUGUST 2021 CLARION — NOW ON-LINE

The summer is almost gone it appears, but it is time to share another issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION on-line with you. August can now be read and enjoyed by CLICKING THIS LINK, or the front page below.

A variety of articles, events past and present, and a new addition – new to town, and to the CLARION. So, take a look, and maybe even get involved with our wonderful community is some way. It appears that the pandemic is sadly continuing, particularly among those who have chosen not be be vaccinated. That still puts us all at risk. Please, if you have not done so, get your shot. In the meantime, I am back with my masks in places. Stay safe and stay well, until next month, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

REMINDER — JULY 13 PLANNING BOARD MEETING — and UPDATE

This is your reminder to attend and express your views concerning the proposed SOLAR ARRAY Field and DUNKIN DONUTS complex at the July 13 Planning Board Meeting – 7 PM Walpole Town Hall. To be discussed is the Site Plan for the installation of 1 Mega Watt Solar Array on 5-plus acres adjoining the Plaza to the south. POSTPONED is the Dunkin Site Plan.

POSTPONED — Mr. Clifford of NGP Management, has asked to postpone the continued discussion of the Route 12 Dunkin Site Plan until August. His reason is he needs more information from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). The Dunkin proposal has been “on the table” since February. During many meetings Clifford and his experts have had incomplete data and inadequate answers. At the May meeting, Dunkin folks stated they added an entrance on Upper Walpole Road. At the June meeting Clifford stated he was still awaiting replies from the NHDOT over congestion concerns with the traffic studies. Supposedly, according to Clifford’s representatives, NHDOT will not release accident data in this area over “privacy concerns.” A State official has stated that “privacy concerns” to withhold data is an incorrect statement.

TO BE HELD — Representatives of Revision Energy will present the Solar Array plan for applicant NGP Management LLC. As discussed in many CLARION issues, this proposal is in the wrong location, and solely for the benefit of out-of-town owners while locals have only a blight on the landscape in return. Solar energy is important, but the impact of a given location must take precedence.  Plan to attend July 13 at 7 PM

RAY BOAS. Publisher, THE WALPOLE CLARION

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JULY 2021 CLARION — NOW ON LINE

And I am happy to report it is back to 20 pages with some activities, including Concerts on the Common, beginning to return. Sadly much space has been given to the solar field that the experts tell us will look fine behind a chain link fence and forsythia. They told us the 7 foot fence will hide the 11 foot high panels. But it gets better. The experts said we will get our electricity faster, and with decreased distribution cost. If you believe that, I bet they have a bridge to sell you also, the one in Brooklyn. So, please attend the July 13 Planning Board meeting and express your dismay.

You may click on this link to see the issue, or on the image below

Stay safe, and stay well, and enjoy your summer, ours, RAY

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

DUNKIN’ DECEPTION — TO BE TRUSTED?

Four months ago at the February 9 meeting of the Planning Board, Mr. Jim Clifford of NGP Management, (offices in North Reading, MA, with 120 Dunkin Donut locations in MA, ME, VT and NH) said his company operates the Dunkin’ in the Jiffy Mart on Route 12, stating, “It was doing well enough to move the business out of that building and have a free-standing building of its own.” In looking at the property at the corner of Route 12 and Upper Walpole Road, he further stated “I’d love to hear some feedback on what residents would like to see in that space and how it could be used.” Board member Jason Perron said he should “get in touch with the CLARION and maybe, through the monthly newsletter, he would get some input on what the townspeople wanted.” To this writer’s knowledge, Clifford has not asked the community for input, and I can attest that the CLARION has never been asked to assist.

The CLARION reported the above informational meeting in the March issue. Clifford returned to the Planning Board on April 13 to present a preliminary plan, and request a public hearing. As reported in those minutes, “The initial phase is to build a 5,000 square-foot building with 2,000 square feet being used for the Dunkin’ Donuts site and 3,000 square for another retail site that will be for one or two businesses. In the future, the company may be proposing another retail space of up to a 5,000 square-foot building for retail if the initial phase is a success. … Phase 2 would be solar array that would take up 5 1/2 to 6 acres of the parcel of land … The solar piece of the site plan will stand alone and probably be introduced at the May meeting.”

Clifford was unprepared at the May 11 Planning Board meeting, with changes to the original site plan and unanswered questions. Traffic is becoming a major concern at this intersection. It was decided that Dunkin’s site plan review be continued at the June meeting, possibly along with the company’s proposal for its six acre massive solar array. This meeting concluded with concerns over the solar field and its impact on aesthetics and taxes.  

Along with his experts, Clifford continued discussing his Dunkin proposal at the Planning Board meeting of June 8. Dunkin is still awaiting replies from the NH Department of Transportation (NHDOT) over congestion concerns with the traffic studies.  Supposedly, according to Clifford’s representatives, NHDOT will not release accident data in this area over “privacy concerns”. This was one of many statements not making sense. Clifford then said they would now construct the entire 10,000 square foot building even though the space not utilized by donuts may remain vacant. Addressing one Planning Board request, a center portion of the roof has been recessed to hide the utility equipment to be mounted on the roof. Discussion then shifted to the request for a hearing on the six-acre solar farm to be located between the Dunkin shop and Shaw’s Plaza. Listening to the statements made by the experts from Revision Energy, “Local Solar Professionals”, it appeared the intelligence of the audience was being insulted.

It has become apparent, in this writer’s opinion, that as phase one has been addressed and changed, NGP Management does not care about a new larger donut store. The prize is the six acre solar farm, a cash cow for these out-of-state owners, and an unappealing vista for in-town Walpole residents. A vacant box store could be more pleasing aesthetically and provide tax revenue for the Town.

Requiring almost six acres, the proposed 1 Megawatt Solar Field will cost upwards of $3,000,000 to build. Ten to 15 percent of the power generated will be utilized on site, with the balance fed into the grid, providing NGP Management with a possible revenue stream of from $40,000 to $90,000 per year. Revision Energy’s expert alluded that the excess energy would get to local homes faster with less distribution cost “offsetting power usage for all”. Usually you do not wait for electricity once you flip the switch, and in studying an electrical bill, I do not see distribution charges fluctuating based upon the source of current. There are both State and Federal incentives for the building of this solar field. There is no local advantage, and as resident Bob Anderson pointed out, there is question as to the legality of a commercial solar farm in Walpole.

Addressing aesthetics to screen the solar field, Revision Energy stated they will surround the field with a 7 foot chain link fence with some forsythia to hide the 11 foot high solar panel structures. Really? With the offer of forsythia being challenged by an audience member, the applicants said they may find other plantings. Insulting local intelligence seemed to be of little concern. Clifford last month stated their solar plan works financially now, but are hoping that future State legislation will make the massive solar field “more appealing” for them. Emphasis on “them”.

The June Planning Board meeting was well attended, but more residents must attend and voice their concerns. The next meeting will be July 13, and you should attend. Both Planning Board and Selectboard members should also be contacted. At the conclusion of the meeting, Cathie Davignon spoke. She and her husband, David, have lived at this dangerous intersection for 48 years. Her comments were applauded, and she has given permission for the CLARION to share them. On the front page of the CLARION website – https://thewalpoleclarion.com – you can find a link to PICTURE THIS – A STATEMENT OF CONCERN – a presentation made at the June 8 meeting

RAY BOAS, Publisher, The Walpole Clarion

A SOLAR DUNKIN – soon at a corner near you

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

PROTECTING THE CONNECTICUT RIVER – Meeting Monday, June 7

On Monday June 7, 2021 Ms. Kathy Urffer from the Connecticut River Conservancy will be making a presentation to the Walpole Conservation Commission at the Walpole Town Hall at 7:00 pm. Along with many other concerns, she will present the Conservancy’s  recreation recommendations that have been submitted, jointly with the Appalachian Mountain Club  to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as part of the relicensing of 5 dams in our region on the CT River. Topics of particular concern include  Traditional Cultural Properties, wildlife, and recreation.  

Great River Hydro, who owns these dams, has put forth a plan that will be positive for the River.  The term of their license renewal could be 30-50 years, thus it is imperative to get everything right for both New Hampshire and Vermont towns bordering the river. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm. For more information you can read Ms. Urffer’s comments during the Selectboard meeting on May 20 – https://thewalpolean.org/2021/05/28/selectboard-meeting-minutes-5-20-21/

Alicia flammia 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

JUNE 2021 CLARION – NOW ON-LINE

I just delivered the June issue of THE WALPOLE CLARION to the Bellows Falls and Walpole post offices, and it is now also on-line. Moving into a slow summer, still with COVID having shut things down, and cancelled activities, but “things are looking up.”

You may click on this link for the on-line issue – 
https://walpoleclarion.files.wordpress.com/2021/05/clarion-june21-topress.pdf
Or, click on page one of the June issue below.

The July issue closes on Tuesday, June 22, so do plan ahead. Submissions continue to arrive prior to the deadline and that helps a great deal in our laying out each issue. And, I welcome submissions from North Walpole and Drewsville writers. Thank you.

Stay safe, and stay well, yours, RAY BOAS, Publisher

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment