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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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Atkinson rail panel counters bias claims

From the Eagle Tribune;

June 21, 2011
Atkinson rail panel counters bias claims
By Cara Hogan
chogan@eagletribune.com

ATKINSON — The Atkinson Commuter Rail Investigatory Committee defended themselves against charges of bias at last night's selectmen meeting.

The committee wrote an official report on the proposed Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority layover station on the Plaistow and Atkinson line on May 16, outlining the impact it would have on Atkinson. But when Selectmen's chairman William Bennett read the report, he called it "biased" and told the committee to make significant changes before the board would accepted and release it to the public.

Robert Clark, a member of the investigatory committee, responded with documents that he said answered Bennett's questions and comments on the report. He denied any bias and said the committee did its best with limited resources.

"All our committee members agree we reported the facts both positive and negative," he said. "All reports come with a bit of conjecture. The fact is there will be noise and air pollution. We ask the selectmen for their opposition to this layover station, and we ask the report be posted to the town website."

Bennett agreed to post the report, but not without his comments, which critiqued nearly every aspect of the report.

"I found the report biased against the potential benefits of a commuter rail station," he said. "It minimized the benefits and exaggerated the drawbacks."

Joe DeMonaco, another committee member, also defended the work.

"Nowhere in that report do we say we're against the commuter rail," he said. "We're just against the layover station. We should take lessons from places like Bradford and Rockport. They have had so many problems with pollution from their layover stations."

He said the MBTA is not a good neighbor and would not take measures to minimize the noise or air pollution. And Bennett agreed.

"Your point that we can't trust the MBTA further than we can throw one of their locomotives is a good one," Bennett said. "We have to work with the state and make sure the MBTA doesn't thumb their nose at local regulations."

Even with the disagreement over the report, the selectmen and the committee did agree that the town should be involved in the upcoming negotiations between Plaistow, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation and the MBTA.

"We will be sending a letter to the DOT about those potential impacts on Atkinson," Bennett said. "We want to make sure if it does go through, our interests are protected."

Selectman Fred Childs said he agreed with many of Bennett's comments and supported taking official action against the layover station.

"We can't do anything about the station, that's Plaistow's decision," he said. "I want to send a letter to them. We can express our concerns, that is all."

Selectman Friel said he was also against the layover station and specifically angry with Plaistow's actions.

"I am not pleased with the way Plaistow has done this under the cover of darkness," he said. "We are not notified when issues come up and I do not appreciate it."

The board also reinstated the committee members, allowing them to continue to work on the issue, though they have completed the report.

"I think it was a very positive meeting," Clark said afterward. "We're still a committee, and we hope to help the town."

The committee also commended the Board of Selectmen for a recent land purchase of two acres that would provide a small sound buffer between the station and a local neighborhood, Bryant Woods. The public will soon be able to read the report on the town website, with comments and criticisms from the Board of Selectmen included.

62 comments:

Anonymous said...

If we "just say no" to everything about the rail, then we will have no say whatsoever. I think Bill Bennett is doing what's right for the entire town instead of the special interest bryant wood group.
The noise and pollution will be offset by less traffic on our roads. I think the rail/layover station is a big step in the right direction for us all.

Anonymous said...

Several questions:
How is the commuter parking doing in Plaistow? Used much? Making less traffic on the roads?
Why did Plaistow decide that the industrial area over behind the commuter parking was not appropriate?
How much subsidy will this require from NH?
Why not leave it in Bradford? Surely it is a convenience to them?
Why is Bryant Woods a "special interest" and not Bill Bennett?, Plaistow?, Bradford, The 3 people who will use it daily?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with Bennett. We live on Meditation and can hear the trains at night from there. I am concerned about the additional noise and I think we should back up our neighbors at Bryant Woods by opposing this since I know I wouldn't want it next to me.

The negatives outweigh the positives. Not everyone will use the train but we will all be impacted by the noise. I think Bennett is out of line calling the report biased and that he would not accept it, too controlling Bill. I think Bill is overlooking the negatives.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Bryant woods people. Put out the for sale signs now.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone lay out the supposed benefits Atkinson would get with the plan? Do we REALLY want to endure the noise and air pollution that has plagued Bradford in exchange for saving eastside Atkinson residents an extra 5-minute car ride to Haverhill to catch the same train? (Westside residents would probably still catch the train in Haverhill).

How many Atkinson residents would use the new MBTA station regularly... maybe 50? So we're in favor of inconveniencing hundreds of residents for hours each night to save 50 people 5 extra driving minutes twice a day?

I see no substantive benefit to the town to offset that major inconvenience.

Fighting over the committee report is a political distraction. The layover station is purely and simply a very bad deal for Atkinson. Do we really need a report to know that?

Selectmen... get in line against this MBTA plan NOW.

Anonymous said...

The train plan has money set aside for the building of the train stop/layover selection where ever it will be. That money could be better used by spending it at its present location in Bradford. The improvements with the latest technology needed would cost less than a new stop over location. That money could be used else where in the project.

Anonymous said...

does the city of atkinson sit 1/4 mile above the trax like the bradford layover? were you there at the tour of the newburyport layover? whats that? you didn't realize they had one because the new technology of buffering makes it invisible over in newburyport?
get your facts staight....

train keppa rollin all nite long!

Anonymous said...

Ok dokie, no noise due to berms so Brant people can find out if true after it's all done. Then take 50% less for their homes as the real estate people point out the train layover. They go see it and realize how criminals can jump off at Atkinson layover, walk to and rob the homes. How convenient for the robberrs. Then dash back on the train with the valuables and their guns back to Lawrence or whatever hell hole like Dorcherster.

Then PD sets up neighborhood watch failed program to make residents FEEL safer. But it is Bryant woods people that gets robbed and raped. Enjoy. I would sell fast. Or show up at meetings and raise he'll. Picket line makes the papers.

Anonymous said...

The people in Jordan Shallows house said that if you don't like rap music you are racist against black people and Puerto Ricans.

Anonymous said...

I think that is narrow minded and I don't think that anyone around here has 50 cats. Why don't those folks who cannot be civil, just stay off the site? Come here if you want to form a good argument about town politics. You are only making yourself look bad.

Anonymous said...

The guy can't even spell.

Anonymous said...

Layin in my bed. Worried.
If only my BMW ends in havehill chop shop and the wife is ok.

Anonymous said...

How about if the town polls the residents and asks if they can hear the train now and if they would use it routinely if we had a station here?

Anonymous said...

Who needs a wife that runs a chop shop?

Anonymous said...

Traffic in town will be bad bad bad as Hampstea,Salem, Danville come to park. What a mess and the BOS will retire to Florida.

Anonymous said...

IT,S PHIL.S FAULT

Anonymous said...

chooo choooo chugga chugga chugga chooo chooo
green acres is the place for me
fine livin is the life i need

Anonymous said...

Atkinson isn't going to have a train stopping in town for passenger use. The only concern is the possible layover for the engines at the town line. The person who says there is going to be robberies and rapes,etc. hasn't really looked into the train story and is using their writing as a fear inducing thing. There is no passenger stop for Atkinson that I heard or read about. Maybe another engine layover site further up or down the line will happen or it should stay in Bradford as suggested. The layover money that would be used to build the layover for the engines else where would be better used in fixing the Bradford layover station up to modern use. I agree with the earlier blog of 6/21 @ 3:29 ,it makes sense.

Anonymous said...

3:29 post forgets topography of bradford site is not cost effective. it will be moved, the question is where?

Anonymous said...

I'm for it.. Noise only screws people in them condos. Big bucks come with noise. Thats a fact. It's a done deal.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

MRI no

FBI yes

Anonymous said...

Two charged after crashing stolen car
By Cara Hogan

View All Photos
Posted: 06/22/2011 12:14 AM
ATKINSON — Two Lawrence men, allegedly driving a stolen car, led police on a high-speed chase through town before crashing early yesterday morning.

Detective Sgt. Philip Farrar said Officer Kevin Donnelly was on a routine patrol and tried to pull over a white 1994 Honda Accord for speeding on Sawyer Avenue at 6:30 a.m. yesterday.

"The car didn't stop and there was a short pursuit of about a mile or so," Farrar said. "Donnelly called it off because it got too excessive in speed, up to 70 mph on back roads."

The Honda crashed shortly afterward at the intersection of Sawyer Avenue and Main Street, going straight through the intersection and hitting a stone wall.

Farrar said the two men fled the vehicle. "I apprehended them 30 minutes later on the other side of town on Lewis Lane. They offered no resistance when arrested," he said.

Farrar said the two men had disturbed the neighborhood while they ran from the police, knocking on and trying to open doors.

"They were trying to get help, I guess," Farrar said. "A woman said they told her they had missed the school bus, which we got a chuckle out of."

Jeremiah Torres, 18, and Irvin Diaz, 19, both from Lawrence, allegedly stole the car earlier yesterday morning in Lawrence before driving to Atkinson.

Both were arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, conduct after an accident, operating after revocation, reckless driving and disobeying a police officer.

The two men are both known gang members in Lawrence, according to Farrar.

"Lawrence (police) said they have both been involved in shootings down there," Farrar said. "These guys are bad guys; they're the real deal. It would appear that Atkinson is a throughway to Salem from Lawrence and Haverhill, all the crime from Lawrence heading our way every day."

Torres and Diaz are in custody, Farrar said, held on $25,000 cash bail each. They are scheduled for video arraignment today in Plaistow District Court.

• • •

Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

Anonymous said...

Please don't delete my comment because of your bias.

"Joyce, did you read this mornings paper. You need to apologize to the APD.

Thank you Detective Farrah and Officer Donnelly on a job well done. Hope you get the recognition you deserve for protecting our streets and homes.

Thank you, thank you for using such great judgement.

Anonymous said...

BOS gets MRI to fix APD ASAP or S.H.I.T. hits fan ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me in detail why the topography in Bradford has anything to do with moving the train layover into our neighborhood near the Atkinson / Plaistow border. Sounds like a red herring. I believe diesel exhasut is heavier than air. Once it cools, it should seek the lowerst point in Bradford, the Merrimack River. Next the rail supporters will be telling us that moving the layover to NH will reduce climate change. Their using topography to ram this down our throats. It's more junk science from desperate people.

Anonymous said...

Please explain to me why the blog administrator has not published this mornings article about the two officers from the APD who put there lives on the line yesterday morning?

Why the administrator deleted a comment of praise for these two men.

Is the administrator bias, only sharing one side?

tim dziechowski said...

@June 21 3:27PM

"saving eastside Atkinson residents an extra 5-minute car ride to Haverhill to catch the same train?"

Open offer: I will pay anyone $1000 who leaves Atkinson from any point on the town line and makes it to the Haverhill train station in 5 minutes. Each time you try and it takes longer than 5 minutes, you have to donate $10 to the town conservation fund.

Gentlemen, start your engines...

Mayor Fiorentini is going to be able to balance his budget just with the income from the speeding tickets.

I actually take the train and it takes me 20 minutes, more if there's traffic. And I know and use every short cut there is.

Anonymous said...

No just proves the administrator must be Joyce Lafrance.

Anonymous said...

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.
TUESDAY, JUNE 21, 2011

Anonymous said...

If you're not bias post the article so we may voice our opinion.

Anonymous said...

Finally something to be proud of Atkinson for.

Good work Atkinson Police!

Anonymous said...

Detective Sgt. Farrar, please reconsider and stay. Atkinson Residents need you. Selectmen come and go, just ride the storm a little longer. Change is less then a year away.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why this train stop will be only for MBTA trains? I occasionally use Amtrak Downeaster and have been told they would not stop in Plaistow?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the below (see link) news story posted on this "non-bias" blog? Because it shows police dealing with real issues, not legal adult birthday parties, and doesn't fit the agenda of this blog?

Oh, by the way, the story is in the Eagle Tribune, so I guess it really happened. Because, a poster on this blog believes if it isn't the Tribune it never occured.

Atkinson Police police chase ends in arrest of two Lawrence gang members:

http://m.eagletribune.com/eagletrib/db_260947/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=dMdLDYEZ

Anonymous said...

MBTA Station = need for more police.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. MBTA means more crime = more police.

Anonymous said...

Indeed!

Anonymous said...

Nice work Farrar & Donnelly!

From your friends in Salem

Anonymous said...

It doesn't prove anything except your lack of deductive reasoning skills.

Anonymous said...

Wow, good work! You gave up on the chase yet in the end, you caught them after they hit a stone wall. What luck!

This would be an entirely different story without the wall.

Thanks wall!

Anonymous said...

If they drove down Sawyer and crashed at Main, they weren't headed to Salem. Salem is the other direction detective.

Anonymous said...

Oh looks who's up, if you can't say something about a job well done, day nothing at all.

Good Job guys.

Anonymous said...

We always have your back as you have ours.
Glad to have these two off the streets.

Hampstead thanks you too.

Anonymous said...

Can the administrator please post the article. These are two important subjects. One is being over shadowed by the other.

Thank

mo

Anonymous said...

Bennett should not have criticized the resident rail study just because it came to a different conclusion that his own opinions.

Those residents were appointed to do a job and put in much time and work with diligence to fulfill the study mission of the committee.

Bennett's arrogance is out of control. It's wrong that he has this attitude that everyone should think the way he does, or he will call you biased --- that everything has to be his way or the highway.

His attitude as a selectman is an intolerance of disagreement or disent. I find his attitude offensive.

Committee, thank you for all of your hard work. The townspeople do appreciate your efforts, even though Bennett has pooped on it because it came to a different conclusion than he wanted.

Anonymous said...

Tim...

The comment was that the trip-duration differential was 5 minutes.

OK, perhaps I was stretching it in the earlier post, but from your home on Maple you're 20 minutes to Haverhill (sounds long to me, but OK) and you'd be probably 8 minutes to the proposed Plaistow station (you're closer than most town residents).

So your daily savings would be 24 minutes total. And maybe another 50 residents would achieve similar or lesser savings.

How does that balance with the potential for hours-a-day noise and air pollution for hundreds of residents?

All the debate Ive seen is just how bad it may be... maybe just a little bad or maybe a lot bad.

Can anyone tell me what the offsetting good may be? Where's the Beef?

Atkinson Reporter said...

To Anonymous, June 22, 2011 9:21 AM;
You asked;
Please explain to me why the blog administrator has not published this mornings article about the two officers from the APD who put there lives on the line yesterday morning?
why the administrator deleted a comment of praise for these two men.
Is the administrator bias, only sharing one side?

The Administrator has a job, and is sorry that his schedule did not comport with your own.

As to your comment that was removed, it was NOT in praise of Atkinson's PD, but an ad hominem attack on a third party, and you have been told before that will not be tolerated.

if you can't play nice perhaps you should take your marbles and go home.

Anonymous said...

Bill B was correct in slapping down the biased report. If the only conclusion your report culled was that we need to fight against it to the end, then Atkinson will be shut out completely from the planning process. We need to bring contructive dialogue to the discussion to be heard. The layover station will be moved regardless, so the questions are: Do we want the train station in Plaistow to accompany the layover? Or do we want the train station to stay in Bradford and the layover to be just over the Haverhill line on the Atkinson border with no imput or benefit for any NH resident? Think about it long and hard before you get what you think you want and end up with nothing in return but the so called "noise and pollution".

Anonymous said...

And robberies

Anonymous said...

Hey Brain Trust, the robberies will not come from the layover station, the trains will be empty.
The proposed train station would be on the opposite side of rt 125
from Atkinson in Plaistow.

Anonymous said...

11:20 a.m. , Your right and it seems the bloggers on this site are not really reading the blogs as they are posted. Some thirty blogs before yours said ,basically, the same thing. You"d think that if one wants to write then they should read first what has been written and then give input and factual information before alarming the public with their own statement. At least you know what is going on and are willing to say it as it is.

Anonymous said...

Dahhhhhh!!!! Where is the location of the train station going to be? I'm just asking to be sure if I should reenforce all my windows and doors and put sharp razor blades up my chimney stack.

Anonymous said...

Yes do it. I hear real criminals with a stolen car hit Atkinson stole Property from town. Everyone get a Colt revolver because in Atkinson you better protect yourself.

Anonymous said...

Just think how home values will fall like a lead balloon all over town. Real estate agents and attorneys, "START YOUR ENGINES". The train layover station! What a bone head idea. If you can hear train noise now on Meditation, with more noise with the smell added in...Bill, you are a genius.

Trains + noise + traffic = Death of town.

Anonymous said...

June 28, 2:56AM = Crackhead
Take another hit for me from your glass pipe.

tim dziechowski said...

From the just posted 6/6/11 Plaistow selectmen's minutes available on plaistow.com:

"It was also discussed that the Town of Plaistow is required to participate in discussions
with neighboring communities, i.e. the Town of Atkinson, as this was specifically required to be part of the MOU by Executive Councilor Chris Sununu."

tim dziechowski said...

We had the closing last night on the two acre land purchase, so that extra bit of noise buffer protection is now town property.

Anonymous said...

I think this is good, not great, but it may help. They install those tall fences for sound buffers along the highway and I would like to know if we can pursue this option as well.

Anonymous said...

Call Detective Farrar back quick from retirement, the crack epidemic
is spreading thru the town...