Sign Vandalism & Free Speech

To the Editor:

When I saw Jon Swan and his misstatements in our local papers, I felt I needed to answer-in our papers. When I saw “Save Forest Lake – No Landfill” signs, I ordered 8 signs saying “Save our Waste Manager-Save our $54 million”- I felt I needed to answer-in our streets. I put up 6 of the signs, saved 2 in reserve.The first night, two of the signs were torn down – I salvaged one and used one of my reserve.

My best locations were Baker Brook at the beginning of Bethlehem. Yitz gave me permission, but asked me to take them down when he started business. The signs came down last week, so I found a new location, corner of Parker and Main. Doug Keller said ok and even helped me install a beautiful, level informative sign. Two hours later, the sign was gone. I reported to the Police and happily found the sign in the woods. It is back up, slightly worn for wear.

There is a lot of emotion over landfills in two of our peaceful, idyllic rural towns. The solution for Bethlehem is “Save our Waste Manager-Save our $54 million.” The solution for Dalton is “Leave it in Bethlehem.” If Casella is not “permitted” and “regulated” in these two towns, where does our waste go? Sugar Hill, Franconia, Littleton? If not the North Country … where? … the South Country, Concord?

We have a 71 acre Waste Management Facility that has been operating for 25 years with no environmental incidents. It is surrounded by 800,000 acres of White Mt National Forest and protected by over 500 environmental engineers in the NH Dept of Waste Management and Casella’s very competent environmental experts. It is not an eyesore painted purple or trash in a front yard deserving fines, it is a beautiful hill in the midst of many mountains and trees that is causing no offense except in some minds. Right next to this facility is a 100 acre sand and gravel pit formerly owned by a Selectman.

It is an ideal site, accessed through the WMNF with no traffic impact, no air pollution, no water pollution, no birds, no bears … it would bring peace to both Bethlehem and Dalton for 25 years.

I can explain this to you with a simple map, a simple tour or a simple, short phone conversation …if you care to listen. I will listen to you and grant you the right to free speech and your opinion. Call 869-2582 or email noelcliff@msn.com or just catch Toby and I as we “walk the dog.”

Cliff Crosby

Bethlehem, New Hampshire

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