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Letter: State thuggery

Living here in beautiful western Massachusetts generally means most of us are in tune with our natural environs. I was driving my granddaughter and two friends to their martial arts class in Shelburne Falls yesterday. We all noticed that the Deerfield River along Route 2 looked very different. The color, clarity and speed were all off. Something clearly had been dumped into the river.

But who dumps in a river these days? Oh, I forgot. The State DEP can do whatever they want in the name of their self-righteousness. If this is an example of life-long learning we are in serious trouble as a people.

Others have written about the bad or nonexistent science on this project. I want to call your attention to our government, in this case the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, employing thug tactics. Perhaps the more polite expression might be legal blackmail.

When a government forces landowners to sign an agreement for this called remediation work on the Chickley River OR face a potential minimum cost of $1 million individually and/or collectively as river abutters, there is something rotten. Extreme environmentalism is no excuse. When 285 people of Hawley will pay for the actions of 12, there is something rotten.

It is time to re-read “Animal Farm” because the Squealer has spoken. Speechifiers can get away with saying that this river was permanently destroyed by the emergency work. The state can do this only because most of us turn a blind eye when we see legal blackmail occurring. How is this any different than the school yard bully?

MARGUERITE WILLIS

Charlemont

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