Atkinson Town Hall

Atkinson Town Hall
The Norman Rockwellian picture of Atkinson

There is a NEW POLL at Right--------------------->

Don't forget to VOTE!
Make your voice heard!

Welcome Message and Mission Statement

Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.

The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

DES holds public hearing on dumping chemicals into Big Island Pond!

From the Eagle Tribune;

Lake group tackles invasive milfoil Big Island Pond group battles invasive milfoil
By Eric Parry

HAMPSTEAD — Residents around Big Island Pond believe a 30-foot pontoon boat — complete with a pump, hoses and a perforated deck — in Skip Lanouette's front yard is their best hope of fighting an invasive weed that has spread across the lake for the past decade.

Lanouette and a group of residents from around the lake are converting the boat into a harvester that will help scuba divers remove milfoil from the pond.

There have been attempts to rid the lake of the milfoil in the past, but pulling the weeds by hand and stuffing them into bags was a tedious process that didn't accomplish much.

But with this new tool, Bob Patterson, who is leading a team of 15 divers, said a lot more of the lake should be free of the weed that spreads quickly and can choke natural vegetation.

"What took us a whole month by hand last year can take us a day with the harvester," Patterson said.

While two divers are in the water pulling weeds, a 4-inch-wide hose attached to one of the divers will suck the weed into large holding tanks on the deck of the boat. The holding tanks and deck have been fitted with a tight mesh that will collect the weed in bags, but will allow the water to drain back into the pond.

Just like dandelions, the problem with milfoil is that it grows back if the whole plant isn't removed.

At most, divers will only have to go down 12 feet because the weed doesn't grow any deeper than that in the lake, Patterson said.

To make sure they collect it all, volunteers armed with pool skimmers will circle the boat in kayaks to trap any small pieces of the weed that float to the top.

"A little 2-inch piece can float away and start a new colony somewhere else," Patterson said.

After the milfoil is bagged and tagged, volunteers will then send a complete report back to the state Department of Environmental Services. The report will include how much of the weed was collected, where it was growing, water temperature and air temperature.

About 60 volunteers are involved with the project, helping to retrofit the boat with benches for the divers, hooking up the hoses and spending weekends navigating the boat around the lake. So far, 135 dives have been scheduled starting at the end of the month and continuing every weekend through the summer.

"The volunteerism on the lake is incredible," said Paul LaRochelle, who was one of the neighbors who helped Lanouette install the pump last weekend.

The boat was purchased earlier this year with the help of the lake association, donations from residents and the New Hampshire Lakes Association.

But even with this new tool, the state DES is suggesting a chemical, 2-4-D, be used to assist in the cleanup.

Amy Smagula, a DES limnologist, said the combination of the hand pulling and herbicide treatment will eliminate the weed faster than either technique alone.

"Fifty acres is a little daunting when you're trying to physically remove it," Smagula said.

Still, residents know the lake will never be completely rid of the weed.

What the reporter failed to mention here is that Neither DES, nor the Towns notified the lake residents about this plan to dump poisons into the lake! Nor did they tell the residents that after this was done at the end of June there would be NO SWIMMING IN THE LAKE FOR 2 WEEKS TO A MONTH! This over the July 4th weekend!

Consider the impact to not just residents, but business owners such as David and Suzanne Reynolds, owners of Sanborn Shore Acres Campground, in Hampstead, NH. until Monday night they were totally unaware that the state intended to kill their business at the start of their season! Consider all of the snowbirds that would have returned from Florida, opened up their summer homes and swam in the lake, not knowing about the State's perfidity.

Our selectmen were notified about this public hearing at their meeting on Monday night, and vowed, on camera, to be there to represent the interests of the town, evidently they couldn't make it! No officials from Atkinson were there, only a handful of lake residents who managed to find out on their own.


Anonymous said...

I'll bet if the state wanted to take over the police force they would have been there.

Anonymous said...

Selectmen were to busy to attend. They were out all night looking for Blog Signs.

Anonymous said...

I was at that meeting with the DES and what the biologist said was you can't drink Big Island Pond water for a MONTH or more. And no swimming. I wouldn't let my kids in that lake for the next two years as they are looking at poisoning the lake again in 2010! Bye, bye, if you drink the water. Bye, bye, fun on the lake. Jet ski? Better wear a scuba mask. If your water well closer than 50 feet to the water you are in serious trouble! Check it out with the DES. I will be drinking bottled water and not from my well for the next two years.

A kid goes swimming, drinks that lake water, gets sick, who gets sued? The Big Island Pond board of directors are responsible even if protected by DES from legal action. Shame on you.

The dive team can handle the problem with no chemicals, but no, your big island pond director...egos.... are too big to admit you made a mistake that will follow you forever. Watch your back. Some very Mad mother may stick a paddle oar up your behind because she never heard about the poison in the lake and her kid got hurt.

How you going to police the lake to make sure no out-of-towner doesn't go fishing or swimming? You think it is ok to eat the fish? And how long is the wait for the wildlife to recover?

All that dying milfoil weed vegetation at the bottom of the lake sucking out the oxygen...ever think about what that will do to the aquatic life and environmental habitat?

Too many questions. Not one good answer. Who is in ca-hoots with that chemical company? A lot of money going down, like $35,000 the first year (I think I got that number right). Always follow the money trail.