Carbon pollution bill a good first step against climate change

To the editor:

We have all read the horrific stories about the wildfires in California, floods in Texas, and droughts in the midwest. A bipartisan bill was introduced in Congress on Tuesday (Nov. 27), which is a step toward mitigating these horrendous disasters.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would place a steadily rising fee on carbon pollution and return all revenue to households equally. This bill, (a) is a market-based approach with bipartisan support, (b) will drive down carbon pollution while putting money in people’s pockets, (c) is good for business and will create jobs.

Two Republican and three Democratic reps introduced the bill. Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut is part of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus in the House of Representatives, which introduced this bill. It’s time we stopped treating climate change as a political football and set aside partisan differences to act for the good of our world, our nation and it’s children.

This bill is a good first step — contact your Congress member to support it.

Ronny Kaplan


The folly of hoping for A while rewarding B

To the editor:

That was the title of a famous Harvard Business School case that essentially pointed out that people do what they think they are paid to do. I think it is time for the town leadership to redirect that for Parks and Rec.

In contravention of the town master plan survey and the mission statement of Parks and Rec, it appears that there is a focus on “generating a return on investment” from our parks, in the monetary sense. In an Oct. 24 public meeting, Parks and Rec expressed pride in increasing revenue from Weed Beach from $2,000 a year to $11,000 a year. In the context of a budget of over $1.25 million for Parks and Rec, this is a bit petty.

Given this “success” at Weed Beech, they want to replicate it at Pear Tree Point Beach. They have appointed a building committee to not just replace the existing building but to expand it to create rooms that can be rented out to generate revenue. Potentially with year-round catering capability. At a cost of potentially millions of dollars. With a stated goal to generate a return on investment.

Not only is this wasteful of taxpayer resources, it is an environmental accident waiting to happen. There is no way a rental facility at Pear Tree Beach is going to generate a sufficient return on its cost, even if that was a priority for the taxpayers (which it isn’t, as we know from the town master plan survey).

A more basic fact is that Pear Tree Point Beach is a flood zone. Not a theoretical insurance map, 100-year flood zone. An actual flood zone. Every full moon, the parking lot is covered in water and the existing structure becomes an island.

Instead of creating a large new expensive permanent structure, the town should be thinking how to get a real return on taxpayer money. Let’s take this opportunity to demolish the current structure and replace it with mobile facilities. Food trucks for seasonal food service. Bathhouse/toilet trailers like those used at outdoor concerts. These kinds of facilities would dramatically reduce capital and maintenance costs and won’t get wiped out by the the next hurricane.

Parks and Rec built at Weed. They built at Ox Ridge. Maybe we can leave one environmentally sensitive park as an actual park. Let’s ask our town leaders to make sure Parks and Rec sticks to its mission of “passive and active” recreation and get it out of the building business.

H.P. Boyle