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June 2000

Vol. 9, No. 6


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The Peace Pole Supplement

CALENDAR

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 8 to 11 a.m.: All-you-can-eat breakfast at the Becket Federated Church.  The menu includes pancakes, French toast, hash browns, scrambled eggs, ham, sausage and beverages.  Adults are $4; children 3 to 12 are $2.50; children under 3 are free.

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Town Beach Clean-up at Center Pond.  Work off the big breakfast you just had at the Becket Federated Church and help get the beach ready for the summer! A barbecue will follow; bring a side dish to share! As a bonus, participate in special activities related to a State-wide celebration of biodiversity.

TUESDAYS, JUNE 13, 20 & 27, 10:15 a.m.: Story hour for toddlers and preschoolers at the Becket Athenaeum.  Story hour will include stories (sometimes with finger plays or puppets) followed by a related, easy craft and time to select books to read at home.

THURSDAY, JUNE 29, 3:15 p.m.: The Bookmobile will be available for Washington residents at the Town Park.  The Bookmobile returns every nine weeks or so.

SATURDAY, JULY 8, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Tag & Book Sale at the Becket Athenaeum.

CENTER POND TO BE TREATED TO KILL EURASIAN MILFOIL

            Eurasian watermilfoil presents a serious threat to the freshwater habitat quality and open-water recreational enjoyment of Center Pond, according to a report prepared by Aquatic Control Technology, Inc., for the Town of Becket.  The company has suggested and the Conservation Com-mission has agreed to treating the lake with an her-bicide intended to kill the milfoil without negative impact on other aquatic plant and fish life.  “It grows quickly and takes over.  It chokes out everything else,” says Washington Conservation Commission and Becket-Washington Recreation Committee member Georgette Keator. 

Milfoil is considered non-native and invasive, according to the report.  It was found along the whole perimeter of the lake, but was most con-centrated along the eastern shoreline from the northern end of the pond past Camp Greylock.  In this area, the milfoil has reached “nuisance densi-ties,” says Aquatic Control Technologies.  It is pres-ent but not at nuisance levels near the Town Beach.

            The company has suggested using a product called “Reward,” generically known as Diquat, or “Navigate,” also known as 2,4-D granular.  In either case, warnings will be posted to alert residents that the treatment is under way, and they are advised to avoid using the lake for 48 hours.  The treatment is expected to take place in early to mid June.

SING IN SPRING ENJOYED BY ALL

            The multitalented John Root entertained a small crowd at the Washington Council on Aging’s second annual Spring Fling.  Playing oldies he is too young to remember himself and providing his own new, politically correct lyrics to some songs, Root had the group singing and swaying in their seats as he blew away on the flute, clarinet and saxophone.

              

After the singing, folks settled down to the serious enjoyment of a variety of delicious treats--baked goods and fresh fruit with whipped cream. 

LOW TURNOUT FOR ANNUAL TOWN MEETING

            The Selectmen, the Moderator and the incoming and outgoing Town Clerks were joined for the Annual Town Meeting by a mere 17 voters.  All 50 articles on the warrant passed unanimously with little discussion. 

Receiving the most discussion was Article 19: the budget for the Transfer Station.  Selectman William Cawley, ever the recycling enthusiast, took advantage of the forum to elaborate on Washington’s phenomenal recycling rate.  Though the State pegs the Town at 18%, Cawley said, this is because it does not account for the wide range of recycling activities in which the Town participates.  In the past year, Cawley has transported to Goodwill in Pittsfield approximately six tons of goods donated by Washington residents.  The Town is much appreciated by the folks at Goodwill for its consistently clean bags donated.  The Highway department has transported truckloads of metal to recycling centers.  When everything the Town actually recycles is factored in, the Town’s recycling rate jumps to 39%.  Cawley expects this rate to jump even higher next year as the Town participates in use of a mobile unit for collecting hazardous waste. 

            Voters discussed Article 28 in some detail as well.  This article has voters choose such Town Officers as Field Drivers, Pound Keepers, Fence Viewers and so on.  The absence at the meeting of any of the people currently holding these positions and the relative importance of the Field Driver in recent years led to some discussion as to the appropriateness of reelecting the same people to those positions.  Ultimately, the lack of other volunteers for any of these positions led to the reelection of all the incumbents.

            Commenting on the low turnout for the meeting, Selectman Richard Grillon said he felt it reflected voters confidence in the good management of the Town.  He noted that the tax rate will be lowered this year and people are happy with that.

HIGH TURNOUT FOR ANNUAL TOWN ELECTIONS

            In contrast to the Annual Town Meeting, the Annual Town Elections saw higher numbers of voters than usual, perhaps in part because there were two contested races: Selectman and Moderator.  In the Selectman’s race, incumbent David Fish received 54 votes to challenger James Huebner’s 47 votes.  In the Moderator’s race, incumbent Ed Bond received 46 votes to challenger Martin Packer’s 56.  Town Clerk Michele Beemer noted that as least one person came to vote who was not actually registered.  People are reminded that voter registration is held prior to every election, and once registered, voters need never do so again. 

            In other races, Mike Dargi was returned as Assessor; Michele Beemer as Auditor; Ernest Lampron III for Planning Board; Alison Mikaniewicz as Town Clerk; and Craig Willis as Tree Warden.

BITS & PIECES

The Country Store at the Becket Federated Church will open for the summer on Saturday, June 24.  The store, which features home-baked goods, baby sweaters, unique gifts and tag sale items, will be open each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Labor Day weekend.

CALL ME. WRITE ME.

If you've got news, comments, critiques or photos to share, or you want to advertise, please write or call Abby Reifsnyder (623-6073) or send e-mail.

 

 

Send your comments and questions about Tracks at: tracks@town.washington.ma.us