The proposed ordinance to ban single-use plastic checkout bags in Middletown has gathered support. Click on the “Continue Reading” link at the bottom of this post for Facts and a Summary of the draft ordinance, prepared and distributed by the Middletown Garden Club.
Here’s what you can do to help. The draft ordinance is scheduled to be on the agenda of the Public Works Commission on Wednesday, March 13, 6:30 p.m. in Room 208 of City Hall. Early in the meeting, there will be a “public comment” period for residents to voice support or opposition to the ordinance. On the following night, March 14, 6:30 p.m., the ordinance will be on the agenda of the General Counsel Commission in the same room. Again, there will be an opportunity for public comment.
If all goes well at these two commission meetings, the ordinance will be before the Common Council on Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers. Members of the Common Council may be reached by email (individually, or through one message to the whole Council) through this page on the City’s new website.
Middletown’s Department of Public Works has scheduled an important hearing on the Newfield Corridor Trail on Wednesday, February 13, 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Police Station at 222 Main Street. The Department of Public Works will make a brief presentation on the project. Members of the public will have an opportunity to express support, make comments, and ask questions.
The Jonah Center began advocating in 2012 for a multi-use trail that will start close to the downtown area (such as Veterans Park) and connect with the Mattabesset Bike Path in the Westfield/Westlake section of the city at Tuttle Road. We are excited and delighted that the Public Works Department appears ready to move forward with this long-awaited and talked-about project. The Jonah Center and Middletown’s Complete Streets Committee would appreciate your presence and show of enthusiasm at this meeting to send a strong message to City officials that bicycle and pedestrian are important to you. A strong turnout will help move the project forward.
The City has many infrastructure projects in the works and tends to give priority to those that are perceived to benefit the largest number of residents. So it is important to show that this project has strong support from residents all over town, not just to those who live in the immediate vicinity of the trail. Delays could result in the funds earmarked for the project purchasing far less than they would have originally.
More information on the trail can be found by clicking on the following links:
Garden wildlife reminds me of teenagers – the critters eat distressingly huge meals then leave without communicating about what they have been up to or where they are going. Except in wintertime, of course, when they (the wildlife, not the teenagers) leave a tale of tracks in the snow.
I’m no great tracker, but with the help of my Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks I can at least tell the difference between a fox footprint and that of a dog, trace the travels of the rabbit around my yard, and discover that it’s a porcupine that has been nibbling the branch tips off the hemlocks. There are all sorts of insights to be had from these vestiges. The dog, for example, is likely to wander, sniffing here and there, whereas the fox typically trots in a straight line – one is sure of an ample dinner while the other knows that it cannot afford to waste a single calorie in this harsh season. And by back-tracking the porcupine, I learn what crevice in the rock face across the road it has made into its den. That’s where I’ll set up my have-a-heart trap if the porcupines ravage my vegetable garden again next summer.
It was a string of five-toed footprints, each one not much bigger than a quarter, that told me to keep an eye on the wood pile. And my vigilance was rewarded one gray morning when I spotted a mink darting in between the logs, then re-emerging with a mouse in its jaws.
It’s a thrill to find evidence of such an uncommon (at least in my garden) species, but tracks of the commonest animals excite me just as much if they have a story to tell. A red feather and a spot of blood in a small snow crater told me all I had to know about the encounter of a cardinal and a hawk. And I still remember following across a snowy field next door to our yard the tracks of a Canada goose. Stooping to inspect, I found its toes had dug into the snow and the stride gradually lengthened until, suddenly, the tracks stopped – I, too, felt as if I had taken off. Continue reading →