, Derry, New Hampshire

November 8, 2012

Letters to the editor

Derry News

---- — Derry should stay out of dam flap

To the editor:

If some citizens aren’t happy with the results of Tuesday’s elections, should there be a “do over”? A handful of residents are suggesting that’s precisely what should happen when the Derry Town Council votes on a matter and they don’t like the outcome.

A proposal for the town to take over the burden of the privately owned Adams Pond Dam was defeated — and rightly so. The dam has been owned for years by an out-of-town real estate developer. The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services Dam Bureau issued him a letter of deficiency last year mandating he submit plans by year’s end outlining how he will repair his dam. He has just broken ground on a development and is building eight waterfront homes overlooking Adams Pond.

According to town officials, the developer supposedly told them he does not want the liability and expense of owning and operating a dam and suggested he may consider removing it. By passing this burden on to the taxpayers of Derry, he’d be ridding himself of any legal exposure, as once he sells the house lots he’ll be unable to limit access to the dam. This is truly the crux of the matter.

Common sense would suggest it is in his best interest to retain those valuable water views and he will not do anything that would destroy the beauty of the property. No one will buy an expensive home overlooking a swamp which is precisely why he’ll never let that happen. Those well intended residents who are concerned about environmental impact need not worry.

The extent and cost of repairs are unknown, the cost of hydrologic studies and engineering analyses are expensive and need not be borne by Derry taxpayers.

The developer has options: He could take personal responsibility; sell it as common property jointly owned by the new homeowners in his development who will benefit from the scenic views — just as the residents of Redfield Circle have paid for their dam for decades; or sell it to a private group of individuals. It’s simply not a problem the Town of Derry needs to solve.

Derry homeowners will be facing a 4.1 percent increase in property tax rates this year. At a time when many are losing their homes and struggling to keep up with the rising costs of gasoline, groceries, heating oil and health care, the last thing the Town of Derry should be spending money on is a dam.

Government should stay out of private matters and be fiscally responsible.

Kelley Martin


Thanks for donations to soup kitchen

To the editor:

The Sonshine Soup Kitchen would like to thank all the local food establishments that donating gift certificates to our raffle at Derry Fest. Through their generosity, $653 was raised in support of our mission!

It is heartwarming to know that these local businesses stand behind us to help the soup kitchen provide meals to anyone in need in our community.

Caroline Schulze

Sonshine Soup Kitchen


Home owners are

no threat to plovers

To the editor:

Regarding the plight of the piping plovers: Much has been made over the beachfront residents who are trying to maintain their private walkways.

My home is not on the waterfront but I am a year-round resident and my family enjoys the beach nearly every day in the summer and frequently all year long. As I hear it, this argument of walkway legality has been going on for literally generations. I do take issue with the implication that beach residents don’t care about these endangered birds because we do care.

It seems that the real threat to these birds is continually overlooked. Every winter the heavy ocean winds drive the white beach sand up against the dunes, extending them closer and closer to the high tide line, as much as 100 feet over the past years. The aggressive dune grass continues to creep ever closer to this line and consequently these nesting birds, who seem to prefer the sparser, new grass, get swept away with the higher tides.

The actual beach is dwindling away. If in the off-season the dune grass was maintained and cut back somewhat away from the water, there would be safer areas for the birds to nest and the beachgoers would have ample area to enjoy the beach without endangering the birds.

Because the grass has narrowed the beach so much, it cannot be properly maintained by raking it from June to the middle of August (prime beach time) and is plagued by seaweed, and whatever else the ocean deposits.

We love our beach and respect our wildlife, but it’s time that the authorities stop the blame game and fix the real problem.

Linda Giuffre

Seabrook Beach