November 30 - With the Thanksgiving long weekend now behind us, we look forward with anticipation to the following and last weeks of 2021. November winds have shaken loose most of our colorful …
November 30 - With the Thanksgiving long weekend now behind us, we look forward with anticipation to the following and last weeks of 2021. November winds have shaken loose most of our colorful October foliage and this morning, my carefully stacked wood piles were, for the first time this fall, covered in a few dense inches of thick wet snow. December is upon us and the snow gods are drumming to the north!
We could all of us curl up in front of a cast iron stove and drift away into the world of Mesingweh, god of the forest, or maybe dream of a southern vacation. But things are still happening around us of course.
For one—and as a reminder—Smallwoodian Eleanor Kessler will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 10th. Have you written your birthday card to her yet? If not, hop to it, Smallwoodians! Eleanor’s admirers are hoping that the centenarian will receive 100 birthday cards to celebrate her big day. Her PO address is: Mrs. Eleanor Kessler, P.O. Box 300, Smallwood, NY 12778-0300!
Another important day is drawing near. Get out your calendar and put a big X on Monday, December 6th, 2021. On this date at 7:00 PM the seven member Town of Bethel Planning Board will meet to discuss a project of potentially epochal import for Smallwood, NY: a proposed 800.75 acre development adjacent to the Smallwood Reserve and Smallwood itself. The meeting, open to the public, will be held at the Duggan Elementary Meeting Room, 3460 Route 55 in White Lake, NY 12786.
As reported previously in this column, this massive project is causing many devoted Smallwoodians a lot of sleepless nights. BESIDES Cabins, a Canadian company, wants to purchase the 800 acre property to carve out 36 year-round camping spots and 62 new residences from presently undeveloped land atop and adjacent to Smallwood acquifers.
Needless to say, these residences would create many new septic systems above Smallwood and above Mountain Lake. Back in May, when BESIDES first appeared unannounced before the Board, the company explained that many of the camping spots and residences would be used for short-term rentals and AirBnBs all twelve months of the year.
The Planning Board voted 7 to 0 to greenlight the development of more detailed plans and also declare itself the lead agency for this huge development. At stake at the December 6th and later meetings is the water quality of our local water supply, the sacredness of our green- and wetlands, the fresh air of our forests, our ability to live pure simple lives far from the traffic now seen pounding around Smallwood as a result of the Pine Grove culvert detour.
Smallwoodians need to show up IN FORCE for the December 6th meeting to impress upon the seven Planning Board members that the Board serves us, the public, before all and any other interested parties. Our quality of life is at stake. Tell your friends about the meeting and plan to attend it.
The group of active Smallwoodians monitoring project developments can be reached by contacting SmART (Smallwood Aware Residents Team) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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