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Moose Hill
Living On Moose Hill With The Sanctuary
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Living On/With Moose Hill
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125 "Storm" Drain
125 Retention/Detention Pond
125 Natural Wetlands
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Lurking Danger
Dangers: Trees & Poles
Dangers: Intersections
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Moose Hill...
Though "Natural"... It's A Strange Environment
 
In The Town Of Sharon
Sanctuary "Rules" Trump Public Safety, Signage, & All Other Matters.
 
Taxpayers And Travelers Always Must Take A Back Seat To
The Non-profit, Massachusetts Audubon Society.
 
Town Gives All... But Gets Nothing Back!
 
Abutters Suffer Directly!

(Questioner)
"Look... Mr. Sottile, this "tabloid headline" better be relevant to your argument!"
 
(Sottile)
I promise that it is... Please, indulge me for just a minute.
It develops the Town's mind-set for their decision and action.
 
(Questioner) 
Mr. Sottile,  Are You Suggesting  The Town Targeted You?
 
(Sottile)
I don't feel this way at all.  However, what I do feel, know, and can prove is that what has and is happening to my property is INDICTIVE of the negligent past and present policies of the Town on Moose Hill, in general.  Other matters, as catastrophic, are happening on The Hill, but they are not necessarily tied to a single, private property owner as is my case. Regardless, the Town is responsible... Further, now that other enironmental and safety matters are mentioned in this report, the Town is on notice of other areas of negligence which it should address.

A Little Historical Perspective
 
In May of 1971, when I moved onto "The Hill,"  I was excited at the opportunity to live across from the Moose Hill Sanctuary.  At the time, I had a horse -- one of the reasons for house/land selection -- and thought of the pleasures or riding in the Sancturary.  What could be more natural?  Well, apparently horses aren't.  They are forbidden in the Sanctuary!
 
Okay, perhaps it was an intellectual set-back since I thought that horses were natural and that mushrooms grown in horse manure were consider "organicly cultivated."  But it was not a real loss.  The bugs in the Sanctuary were so bad, that despite oiling-down the horse with repellent, the one ride that I did take was impossible.  Both my mount and I were berserk from bugs. 
 
And, this leads to those bugs, caterpillars, etc.  You know, they're just not all that well behaved; they don't just stay in the Sanctuary!  So, during the Gypsy Moth infestation of the '70s, when aerial spraying within I 3/8th of a mile of the Sanctuary perimeter was prohibited, I was annoyed.  Forgetting the debate(s) about pesticides in general, I was annoyed at the presumption of the Sanctuary and the preference given to them over the value of my property.
 
This ruling wasn't okay financially either.  The ban on aerial public spraying of The Hill required private individual tree spraying to save the "Mighty Oaks" from damage.   Not a world of cost.  But, then again, not the end of the cost as the damaged trees either died or needed to be professionally trimmed.  Still... "this was a cost" of living next to the bucolic Moose Hill Sancturary. Accepted.
 
But wait a minute... even during these obvious events, other more subtle messages were/are conveyed through the DPW, Police and other people with whom one spoke.  Mostly done with the roll of the eye... a shrug of the shoulders... and a mutter about "The Audubon,"  a resident of Moose Hill learns of the unexamined priority status which the Sanctuary enjoys in all matters.
 
Since hearsay is discredited... let me recite just a few matters with which I have first hand knowledge because I was either the first to report the incident, or still have evidence of it. 
 
The below recitation is critical to know because during the very road construction when I asked to have the road either "rocked" to the proper lower grade or drained there via culvert, I was told "no way were they going to get involved with the Sancturary."  But of course, the Sanctuary is the lower grade.
 
At least twice (perhaps a third... the "police blotter" will attest) over the past few years, I have been the first to report to the Police that a rotted Audubon tree had fallen across the road.  Last fall,  another came crashing down.  I became aware of this tree, however, through the aftermath as I  witnessed a procession of  the Town's loader, trucks, and personnel which/who came to clear the road and take down the remaining tree.**
 
Hold on for another minute! 
 
First... someday... someone is going to get killed.  The Sanctuary's falling trees happen often enough on roads that are now busy enough for this to be a public safety hazard!  I have personally escaped one such close call.  Yet, there is no mandate for the Sanctuary to address the problem.
 
Secondly... Why should the town be responsible for their private property?  Remember, it is the Sanctuary's private property of which the they are so protective as to be the largest sign polluter in the Town through their posting ownership / no spray signs often within 10 yards of each other and their posting "event" signs at road intersections existing the Hill.  (Frankly , they abuse their non-profit patina and status.)
 
And the tree fallings of which I speak are not from extreme weather such as hurricanes or winter storms which leave the area generally devasted at which time every community's DPW "mobilizes" to clear debris. No, these trees are the standing dead... you know, the ones about which some seven year old proclaims, "Ma, do you think this tree will fall on us?" Out of the mouths of babes comes the reality of dangerous tree mis-management on The Hill.  "Yes, son, it will... Let's walk away.. (and look the other way)."  
 
Third... Why is the Town so intimidated by these paper tigers.  They are not a large employer... they have no business tax base to threaten by pulling out of the community... and besides, they can't even pull-out!  The Town's concern and catering to this organization is without rational merit.  Granted, in this Town they can be social and political batterers, but this Town could literally tell them to go pound sand -- and I have plenty from wash-outs where they can exercise this option!
 
Remember when the Town first obtain the brush grinder?  You know... "That Environment Monster!"  If you do, you may also remember the brutal objections by the Sanctuary and the hearings about nature and certain weeds* being indiscriminately cut (as if they discriminately decided to prosper here).
 
However, what one may not remember is how dangerously overgrown the road became on the turns on Moose Hill Street all while this mindless debate of weeds vs. human safety continued. Not only were there completely obstructed views on MHS, which blinded drivers from other cars, bicyclists, and joggers, there was no room for two cars' passage without causing serious scratches on the inner vehicle's passenger side.  I still have a car on my property which shows the deeper creases despite sanding.  And all of this public un-safety existed with Police paroling the Hill at least four times a day and DPW trucks also traversing the hill multiple times per day as the Sanctuary once again tied up the Town. 
 
Off course all of the above obstructions came from that remarkable save-a-tree organization (which parentally insists to the Town that "you must to leave the carcass of the dead tree that you cut for us") clear-cut the entire stand of the most beautiful pines on the Hill to make a new, BLACK-TOPPED parking lot... with INDUSTRIAL LIGHTING... and METAL FRAMED DAY TENTS rather than improving the existing lot which still is across the street.
 
Oh! Did I hear some about childrens' safety and crossing the road?  Then why is it for the past four years, I've personally called the Police to get an officer to the top of the hill on evening of the Sanctuary's Halloween Night. Let me tell you, the scariest part of that evening isn't the hobgobblins...IT IS THE PRE-TEENS THAT ARE ASSIGNED TO BE CROSSING GUARDS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION AND ADEQUATE SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHILE CARS ON MHS UNSUSPECTINGLY FLY BY ON WHAT IS STILL AN  UNPOSTED-SPEED ROAD THAT IS "STRIPED" LIKE A HIGHWAY.
 
In truth (check the tapes) the last time that I called the Police, the female officer and I got a little into it, because she insisted that there was nothing the Police could do... that the Sanctuary had to request the "detail."  REQUEST THE DETAIL!  Who "owns" these roads... Who is responsible for their safety? The Sanctuary or the Town?
 
And while I'm on roads and the Sanctuary, let me state that as as kid I spent lots of time at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary in the Berksires... and that I love nature... perhaps not Gypsy Moths, in particular, but nature. So, if the salamanders need to cross Moose Hill Street once a year to migrate to the water, I'm all in favor of closing the road over squishing the little rascals.
 
BUT, I'M ALSO IN FAVOR OF THE SHARON POLICE, WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ROAD SAFETY, MANAGING THE CLOSURE AT THE ROAD'S END, NOT SOME PERSON FROM THE SANCTUARY WHO LAST YEAR GAVE MY FRIEND SOME "LIP" AFTER MY FRIEND'S  CHALLENGING THIS UN-UNIFORMED-GUY-ON-A-DARK-ROAD-WITH-JUST-A-FLASHLIGHT- STOPPING-A-LONE-CAR MID-ROAD ABOUT SALAMANDERS!  Stop the World... Sane people want to get off!   
 
There is more... but more is not needed to establish the point which is that this Town has continuously differed to the the Sanctuary because they/it, like infants threatening a trantrum, control the discisions of the Town.
 
AND THIS CONTROL WAS PERSONALLY WITNESSED BY ME IN THE DECISIONS WHICH LED TO THE TOWN DECIDING TO DUMP WATER ON TO 125 MOOSE HILL PARKWAY RATHER THAN FACE THE RATH OF EITHER ROCKING THE ROAD OR DRAINING WATER ONTO THEIR PROPERTY WHICH ACCORDING TO NATURAL GRADE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE CASE WITHOUT THE ROAD.
 
And finally, in all fairness to the Sanctuary personal (whose overall mission I do respect), THERE WAS NOT ONE PERSON FROM THE SANCTUARY IN FRONT OF MY PROPERTY BATTERING THE TOWN ABOUT THIS WATER... UNLESS THEIR WAS A CLANDESTINE MEETING ELSEWHERE...
 
THE TOWN JUST MADE THE DECISION TO DUMP IT ALL ON MY PROPERTY RATHER THAN FACE THE  P-O-T-E-N-T-I-A-L  IRE OF THE SANCTUARY. 
 
BUT OF COURSE THIS IS THE SAME MIND CONTROL WHICH ONE SEES IN VICTIMS OF ALL BATTERERS. 
 
 
 
**  This is so typical of the Sanctuary - Town relationship... The Sanctuary fights the Town on "environmental" matters until such time as it "uses" -- yes uses -- the Town to clean up the Sanctuary's own problems... from fallen trees to dumped roof shingles... the Sanctuary calls on the Town. If the Town can clean up a mess after it has fallen... IT CAN PREVENT IT FROM EVER HAPPENING BY HAVING A SAFE YET ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY POLICY ON  TREE CARE ALONG THE ROAD WAYS.
* Horticulturally, a weed is any vegetative matter that is not desired.