Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dancing's who I am...

Went for my annual checkup today.  I expected my BP to be in the 130/90+ range after all the stress and political controversy I've been engaged in (Not blaming anyone else.  I am doing this of my own accord).  Surprise! 110/80  My doctor thinks it's all the dancing I do.  And I think the dancing is what immunizes me against the public shaming and ridicule I've encountered.  It's kind of hard to shame a woman in her 60s who's willing to strap on tap shoes, dress up in costumes and dance around in public.  Seriously.  I know I'm not hurting anyone...well, except for their sense of taste, perhaps?  So why shouldn't I dance with all my heart or speak my mind?  I think I'm standing up for the Town of Rindge (people and organization) and our First Amendment rights when it comes to the Charrette and the ability to communicate with the RPCs or any other State approved organization in the best interests of the town.  The zoning changes failed.  That is over and I recognize it.  It was always up to the voters and so it went that they rejected the changes.  But, rewriting our history or restricting the right of free association goes too far, in my opinion.  I promised my family that I would disengage before I get hurt, but until someone with expertise answers my question, I will hold fast to that belief and keep asking the question.  I am NOT bitter.  I am NOT angry.  And my doctor assured me that I am NOT going senile or "around the bend."  So, this is NOT hurting me mentally or physically.  If you love me, don't worry about me because I am really okay.  Being an "outsider" is familiar territory for me (Air Force, engineering school, etc.), but the true friendships I have...even if they don't see my point or concern... sustain me and make it so worthwhile to live here.   If I get an opinion that this is not a First Amendment issue, I will drop that argument, but I won't stop campaigning for challenging those warrant articles at the next town meeting.  I think it's important for everyone in town.  That makes me feel good about it.  I really have not and will not call people names.  This is not some "dark" battle for me.  I am just waiting for the answer to what I consider a very important question.  Sometimes it isn't that obvious when something is covered by the First Amendment.  I'm not 100% sure, but if there's a chance, it should be tested.  Feeling that way, I can't consider myself a true patriot if I'm unwilling to defend it.  That is how we protect our freedom and liberty. 

Monday, April 7, 2014


I love watching Neil DeGrasse Tyson's "Cosmos."  Sometimes I record it so I can watch it again.  There is so much to absorb about space-time and the laws of quantum mechanics that I can't "fix it" in my brain without hearing it repeated at least a couple of times.
Right now, I am thinking about Time in a very personal sense. 
I have asked a question and now I must wait patiently for the answer. 
Time seems to expand with the experience of waiting.  The hands on the clock move with the same speed as always, but the personal experience of their movement...the waiting seems infinitely slow.  
Of course, waiting for an answer isn't nearly as unendurable as waiting to hear the results of a biopsy for oneself or a loved one.  I am grateful that the only thing at stake is intellectual curiosity and the pursuit of truth.
The trouble with waiting is that there's a tendency to put life on hold.  I don't mean to do that.  I need to put all the worry and struggle aside and throw myself into life. 
I WILL get an answer in a few weeks or months.  That should be enough for me. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Please don't throw the Charrette Study out

Below is the text of the speech I gave to the Planning Board at the Public Hearing on removing the Charrette from the Master Plan.  It was of no avail.  The PB voted 6 to 1 to remove the Charrette.  

I will be brief.  Tonight, as a result of the passage of Article 29 at the last Town Meeting, which requests that you delete and remove the entire contents of the "Plan NH" Charrette from the Rindge Master Plan, you are faced with a decision.  Please consider that you were not commanded to remove it, but simply requested to do so.  You can say, "No."  
Here are a few reasons why you should consider retaining it.
1.) Those who worked on the Charrette, did so with the understanding that there would be a work product as the result of their efforts.  Agree or disagree with the suggestions; it was an honest effort and everyone tried to bring their best "game" to the meetings and workshops.  When the Economic Development meetings began, working folks made time to come to early 8 AM meetings before going to work.  They gave up Saturdays and evenings to participate in the Charrette meetings.  Everyone was welcome to be part of it.  It was advertised to the general public by email, mail, webpage, Facebook Page, the newspapers and "The Rindge Connection."  I consider it suppression of "Free Speech" to bury the work product of our efforts.  It might seem like a small thing, but consider the impact and precedent you are setting.  When a person volunteers for the town it is with the understanding that, within reason, you will respect their gifts and their time and won't waste either needlessly. Deleting the Charrette is like erasing the work of the people who participated.
2.) Of all the projects this Town has taken on, this "chapter" or appendix in the Master Plan must rank among the most controversial.  If we are to "learn from history," the Charrette should stay in the Master Plan if only as a caution for future projects.  By deleting the Charrette, you are removing an important piece of our history from the are, in fact, rewriting history.  If someone would care to add an appendix to explain why the zoning regulations associated with the Charrette failed, I think that would be helpful to future committees and planning boards.
3.) The zoning regulations failed.  That should be enough for the people who opposed the Charrette and its vision.  I did not campaign for or against the zoning regulations.  The only thing I ever cared about was that people were truthful and allowed to express themselves openly, without intimidation.  The voters of Rindge have spoken and said that property rights trump any "visions" or plans that others may have. At least, that is how people feel today.  But, property rights do not trump free speech; which cannot be taken away by a vote.   
It’s great to see so many new faces turning up for meetings, but while we all need critics to help us improve, without positive feedback and support, we will wind up with no one willing to expose themselves to volunteering or running for office in this town.
That is all I have to say.  Thank you.