PulseLine, April 9, 2014

Hi! I’m calling about the recent article about the upgrades and going green at Powdermill Village in Westfield on Union Street. While their efforts are commendable I need to correct one thing: I don’t believe that the loans they have received are paid by Powdermill. I believe they are passed on to the tenants because each year Powedermill petitions to raise and increase their rents for the cost of installing clean energy gas in their complex. This increase gets passed on to the tenants by huge rent increases.  I have a disabled child who has been on a Section 8 waiting list for 10 years, who pays $840 in rent, whose rent was increased $79 last year. And I’m sure they’ll start to petition to increase everyone’s rent again this year. So, while their efforts are commendable, this is passed on to the tenants.  Thank you very much.

Hi PulseLine! A while ago I had posted that I lost a hat that was very special to me and I have gone back to Big Y weekly to see if it was found. Happily, today, I was able to go to the courtesy desk and it had been returned. It seems that woman that does not live in Westfield found it and showed it to a reader that reads The Westfield News and she not only returned it to Big Y but had it dry cleaned for me also, because of the winter conditions. A special thank-you to the woman called Andrea that brought it back and that Westfield News reader that told her about it. Thank you. Bye-bye.

I read with great interest in today’s Westfield News regarding the Domus project on Broad Street. And I also read where the city council voted on February 10th to allot $80,000 of city funds from the Community Preservation Act for this project. And my question to the city council men and women is: are you all high? is this what is best for the city of Westfield? I don’t think so. To ensure that our readers understand your point, you are against providing homeless high school students a place to live? One student’s parents decided to move away and left their kid behind to fend for himself and he needs a place to live while he finishes high school. It would behoove you to learn more about these students before making such remarks.

Yes, I was just reading Tuesday night’s Westfield News about the elevator at city hall. Can you tell me what the hell is going on with this building inspector and the mayor of Westfield for not having this done a few weeks ago? I just don’t know what is going on anymore. Now if that was Rick Sullivan as mayor, he would have looked into it right away and had it taken care of. This Knapik has been re-elected for what? The roads are in bad condition like other cities. But this elevator problem bothers me. Because if I have to go to the third floor up three flights of stairs, that would be kind of tough for me and elderly people. So they better get on the stick and get this done and give the state a kick in the ass to get them going. This is not right for the people who pay our taxes. And I want to thank Mary O’Connell of Ward 4, I believe it is. She was the councilwoman who followed through with this to a certain point and she’s very upset about it. So I want to thank her for at least trying to get this situation taken care of. Thank you.

Hi. I was just calling about Stanley Park. I don’t know who is in charge of it now but they’ve cut down tons and tons of trees up in the rose garden. It looks horrible. It reminds me of the Green in Westfield, where there is no trees. They took down everything that took years and years and years to grow. It is a big fat mess up here. Ah yes, one more thought while I’m walking around Stanley Park: I’m looking at the pond. I was just thinking, I don’t know why I never thought of this years ago. Why don’t they keep this clean in the winter and take off all the leaves and sticks? They could have a skating pond for the kids and adults to skate on for the whole winter for free. When I grew up near Hartford, there was, I forgot the name of the park, at the rose garden they had places for people to skate there. They could do that here. Why haven’t they? Just curious. Our answer re: the oak trees from when you called in about this in January can be found here: https://thewestfieldnews.com/?p=69554. “We would like to invite the caller as well others to stop by the office or call me directly @ 413-568-9312 x102 and I will be glad to fill them of our plans and reasons for our maintenance & operating schedule in progress. Being a private park and not part of the city, state, or federal government, it is difficult to maintain our 300 acres. We do not charge for admission as some area parks do but we do have some fees for specific use of the park for weddings, as an example. We rely on donations and other financial support. One way this caller could help is to become a member of our ‘Partner in Preservation’ program. This August we will reach our 65th year of being open to the public. You can imagine if anyone would let their property go and not at least have a pro-active process of maintaining their grounds and buildings just how bad it might look and be in need of major costly care. If we do not continue with progressive and logical maintenance process, Stanley Park may not be here for our younger generations to enjoy. We are grateful to the previous generations who did so much for us way back starting in 1949. Now it is our turn to ‘pay it forward’. Addressing the current removal of trees. Many of these trees had roots (in fact we found tree trunks on top of other older tree trunks) coming up though the roadways that are also used for our walkers and runners. Repairs had become critical for safety and appearance. Included in our plan, is the replacement of some of these trees (in fact they are already on order) and the resurface of the road area near the Rose Garden will be done in a few weeks. There are many other roadways that need attention, but the cost is astronomical, so we have a plan to complete these on a balanced yearly process. The Park officially closes the last Sunday in November and opens the first Saturday in May. We keep one gate open for walkers to enjoy some of the areas during this off season, but do not open the entire facility year round. We have very few full-time employees and increase the part-time staff in the summer. The reason we can accomplish this under these employee limits is due to having the utmost dedicated individuals on staff, along with a very supportive Board of Directors and with out a doubt, the best group of volunteers an organization could ask for! Our wildlife ducks, geese, & swan remain in the pond area year round. There is a major influx of them during these winter months and we make sure they have an area of open water for their habitat. At this time, due to budget constraints, we cannot keep the pond areas open during the winter months for skating. If we all took the time to look into the operation of any organization or business, we would be able to then fully understand how and why certain procedures are followed. As I mentioned, my door is always open and I invite anyone to stop by. I will be glad to meet with you and listen to your concerns, comments and take them all into consideration for operational discussion. We sincerely thank all our supporters and our members of the ‘Partner in Preservation’ program.” – Bob McKean, Managing Director

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