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An Anti-Development Faction?



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To the Editor:

I stand corrected that experts at the state level made a circumstantial case for linking a portion of what is now called Reservoir Road to Rochambeau’s route. They applied for and were granted (January 2003) a National Park Service recognition for an 1,800 ft segment that begins on Mount Pleasant Road. Their conclusion was based upon a comparison of 20th Century topographical data to the descriptions and maps of that 18th Century army, which said that they exited town on the west side, passed a pond, and crossed a wooded area. However, the road that the French drew connected to West Street, not to Castle Hill. That intersection had already disappeared before an 1854 map shows a very different terminus of Reservoir Road. This latter was the “paper road” that our Selectmen discontinued. I am not surprised that the recognition flew under my radar since social studies classes at the time were enveloped in analysis of the lead-up to our March 2003 invasion of Iraq. I apologize if I offended any who worked so hard to get this recognition.

However, I reiterate and expand my assertions of propaganda being employed here. I see a strong anti-development faction in this town that is employing aggressive and questionable tactics. I felt bullied in the midst of our leaders’ deliberations over a warehouse in 2022 when a woman came up my driveway to secure my opposing signature insisting that I either “loved the idea,” or would sign, there being no middle ground, unless I was “uninformed.” Subsequently I saw the town carpeted with anti-warehouse signs. In relation to this current issue, my first concern came with the emotionally charged language in a March letter to The Bee expressing “vehement opposition” to the plan on behalf of “vulnerable” species whose habitat would be “pushed to the abyss.” The letter “implored” us to act claiming that “we stand at the edge of a cliff.”

Now I see a new strategy that appeals to our patriotism with a letter again “imploring” us to act. This one also tries to make us fearful by claiming that our Inland Wetlands Commission only approved the project “under duress” and claiming other “sketchy business.” Then the aggressive bulldozer signs appeared. Let’s be clear, there is nothing to “save” since no part of the recognized Rochambeau Route would be touched by this project. Statements made by the Newtown Conservation Coalition are likewise misleading. They claim that the national designation means “people can still go and see” what the troops experienced, but they can’t. In fact, only the planned development would allow public access. They also claim the discontinuation of the road will “turn it over to a private developer for his personal gain” when in fact nothing is turned over and the discontinuation enables development in a less disruptive way.

Propaganda is employed when the simple facts of a matter will not carry a cause. I think the people of this town will be resistant to its sway.

Randi Kiely


A letter from Randi Kiely.
Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. phydeaux says:

    Hyperbole, fear, projection, emotion, denigration. NIMBY at it’s apogee.

  2. tomj says:

    The Newtown Conservation Coalition is basically a NIMBY snake oil salesman. They jump from cause to cause with the sole goal of making sure nothing changes. It is only a matter of time before they lower their threshold, get to acres, and want an accessory building, not in “their” town. They will bust out a new poster of a bulldozer tramping over a “historic” stone wall and protest in front of any town meeting.

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