Sitting on a rock

To sit on a rock and watch the tide roll in, so slow and so relentless in its plodding, but getting there nonetheless, day after day, year after year, time immeasurable.

The hear the gentle lap of the moving water as it gently, slowly moves in, covering pebbles and sand and stones, filling in the gap from the grassy land to the ocean’s depth with water, water, ever-moving water.

To sit and watch the tide roll in, gently lapping over stone, and see the tern dive in, the boats in the distance churning up their wakes. Will those wakes reach me here?

To sit on a rock and watch, just to sit.

Then back to the woods to hear the bees buzzing, then the birds chirping, then the lawn mowers mowing, the cars revving, the motorcycles zooming; and then, what’s that? A shot? A boom? The odd scraping and groaning of metal on metal, of wood on wood, of hammering and sawing: The sounds of Sunday morning construction. Quick, quick, get it done before anyone notices! No permit? No problem. We don’t need no stinkin’ permits on West Island.

To walk or ride in the Sunday sun, the sounds of voices greeting, the smell of coffees brewing, glasses clinking, the rustle of spring awakening, getting ready for summer on an island. Boats uncovered, hoses rinsing, grease guns greasing. Windows open so the sounds of inside living make their way outside just as easily as the sounds of outside living make their way inside.

The mingled sounds of radios blaring, children playing, gossips gossiping, greetings in the sun, dogs dragging their owners along ever faster. Just waiting now for the ice cream truck.

Did I leave anything out?

(Oh, right…bugs in odd places, but that’s for another time.)

Some things are just not acceptable

I did something a couple of weeks ago that I have almost never done: I refused to print a letter to the editor in my newspaper based on its content.

At first I was going to publish it with an editor’s note about how offensive it was and how I would be limiting those types of letters in the future. Then I thought, “If I’m limiting it in the future, why not limit it now?”

The thing is, I wanted a durable record of this person’s opinions. I still do.

Curt Devlin sent the letter. It has since run on his blog and the first half ran in the conglomerate across the river. They took out the second half. The first half tears apart a letter writer who said that the wind turbine opponents should prove their sicknesses. He is brutal in his criticism, but that’s okay. The letter writer is a big girl. When you write a letter to the editor on a controversial subject, you have to take your lumps. I would’ve let that slide.

Mr. Devlin then made some valid comparisons to PTSD, etc., and how it is real despite no “proof” for many years.

Then he veers off into the totally unacceptable, again comparing the wind turbines off Arsene Street in Fairhaven to the Nazi camps. He has done this before. I have run some of his allusions, although they were much less direct and detailed than this one. The first time he mentioned the Nuremberg Code in 2012, I thought there must be a Nuremberg in Vermont or somewhere (see archives page 1/26/12 issue). I could not believe he was using THE Nuremberg for a comparison, saying the spinning of two wind turbines adjacent to a residential neighborhood was comparable to the experiments in the death camps. All three local newspapers condemned the comparison.

He and others in his group have been defending the comparison over the last two years. But this letter went over the top, even his chosen title was “the banality of evil is alive and well.” Anyone who knows anything about the Holocaust knows that the phrase “banality of evil,” is a Holocaust reference (used by Hannah Arendt, a Jew who fled Nazi Germany, in her book, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the banality of evil).

Mr. Devlin’s insistence on using Holocaust references is beyond offensive. He cleverly uses “ghetto” and “chamber” and other phrases that are clearly meant to make comparisons to the modern world’s most horrific time. He even specifically mentions Dachau, and two specific human experiments and compares them to two industrial wind turbines about 1,000 feet away from homes in America.

These comparisons are so offensive both personally and professionally on so many levels that it would be impossible to address all of them short of a book-length response. To use in this manner the Holocaust, when the Nazis killed six million Jews and five million Romany, gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the disabled, is appalling and abhorrent. At Dachau alone, 41,500 Jews were killed and 200,000 were imprisoned. To compare this to living near wind turbines in 2014-America is ignorant and disturbing at best.

It’s just so hard to believe that he thinks it’s okay to compare a noisy factory in present-day America to the experiments at Dachau. It’s mind boggling.

When I started this paper, I wanted it to be a place where the disenfranchised could have their voices heard. I am not generally in the business of dismissing arguments or making value judgments on people’s opinions. I am still torn, to a degree, wanting people to know how this man’s mind works, but not wanting this garbage in my paper.

For nine years I have worked seven days a week, with serious lack of sleep, and embracing bad nutrition, to create a publication that would be valid and honest and not afraid to speak truth to power. These kinds of arguments and comparisons have no place in my paper, not in a letter to the editor, anyway. There may come a time when this garbage will have to be treated as news and will find its way between the pages of my weekly miracle, but not this week.


Tax Day sucks

Today is Tax Day. Tax Day sucks. For those of us who are self-employed, it can be a stressful little dance we have to step to: the dance around making more money and having enough to give Uncle Sam, from claiming all our maximum deductions to then trying to get a loan from institutions that have no clue what we really made.

Then there’s the so-called “self-employment tax.” It’s really just the other half of the social security tax. Everyone who works pays into the system, it’s 15% of your total income, with the employer paying 7.5% and the employee paying 7.5%. If you’re self-employed, you pay the whole 15%. So, in Mass., that means I pay out 35% of my income back to Uncle Sam/Mass. I’m not complaining, in California it would be more. Their state income tax is 13%; in Mass. it’s 5%. Why we still have the moniker “Taxachusetts” is beyond me. We are about right in the middle of the pack when it comes to taxes. But, in my estimation, we are way near the top in standard of living.

Anyway, I digress. Tax Day still sucks. I don’t mind paying my fair share, I really don’t. But, somehow, it just never seems that way.

I’m delighted that I have subsidized health care and I have for several years now in this great Commonwealth, but it looks like I’ll be losing most of that this year. I have no idea why they think I’m so damned rich. Really, the years I stay home and keep my nose to the grindstone, I pay through that same nose. The years I galavant and get tsked-tsked at by my accountant, I seem to be doing okay.

It’s a delicate little dance, trying to pay enough through the year so you don’t get socked on April 15. The funny thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever gotten it right. I’ve been a freelancer since 1984…go figure. It always seems that the years they want the most are the years I’m sure I made the least. But, I guess the computer program doesn’t lie. If it’s in the computer, it’s what I made. If it isn’t in the computer, then it isn’t a legitimate business expense.

Tax Day sucks. Yes it does.

Today, I wait anxiously for the mail to come and hope there will be a few checks in there to help me pay my due to Uncle Sam. If there is, I’ll rush to the bank and then to the post office and hope the money is available in the checking account before Uncle Sam tries to collect on it.

Even my money is dancing that silly little dance we have to step to for living in this great nation of ours.

Tax Day sucks. It really does.

But I suppose that Tax Day here in the US is better than a tax-free day just about anywhere else on earth. Time to scrape together some change and see if I can treat myself to a store-bought cup of coffee when I head off to the post office later.

Hope my check doesn’t bounce. Uncle Sam won’t like that much.



Flashlight Egg Hunt

What fun we had last night! Almost 100 young’uns and their adults showed up at the Fairhaven Recreation Center for the annual flashlight egg hunt. The night also included an egg decorating contest and an opportunity for kids to make an Easter Bunny out of paper plates and cotton and stuff. The Easter Bunny himself (or herself…who knows?) was also on hand for photos with the kids.


The egg decorating was very creative this year. All participants got a gift and the egg decorating was judged for top three prizes in three age categories (see our next issue, 4/17, for details on who won what, at

Here are a few of the egg decorating masterpieces.




The kids have a blast at this event and so do the adults.

Here’s a picture of The Rec Center Director judging the eggs.


And here’s a picture of a special egg decorating piece that was not made for judging. It was just made by some thoughtful children as a decoration to remember the Boston Marathon bombings.


The kids (and their adults) also had a chance to make Easter Bunny faces with magic markers, paper plates and cotton. It’s always fun when you get to use glue sticks. And that’s just a fact.


It isn’t free, though ($5 each child), so if you are only able to do free stuff, be sure to get to the North Fairhaven Improvement Association’s egg hunt on Saturday, 4/19. It starts at 9 a.m. sharp, so don’t be late. (The North Fairhaven gang is full of early-birds.) It’s at Livesey Park in North Fairhaven, behind the Oxford School on Main Street, and you can find a listing for it in the Neighb News on page 6. There are separate areas for the little kids and the older kids. Lots of prizes and an opportunity for pictures with the Easter Bunny. Ooh…and hot chocolate, too. With marshmallows. Yummy.

And tomorrow (4/13), if you’re not afraid of guns (or if you are but don’t want to be), there’s a “Bunny Shoot” in New Bedford. Now, don’t be alarmed, no bunnies will be harmed in this event. The New Bedford Revolver and Rifle Club, 246 Bolton Street in the south end, will provide the rifles, including short rifles for kids. See page 7 in this week’s Neighb News for details. It’s a great opportunity for kids to become acquainted with guns without all the drama in a safe environment. All ages are welcome to shoot. It’s $1.00 for three shots and all the money goes to Boy Scout Troop 3. They shoot at a target that has a bunch of numbers on it. The numbers are added up and the one with the highest score wins an Easter basket (bunny shoot…get it?). All ages compete, not just kids (they have grownup rifles for the big folk). You don’t need a firearms license to participate. There’ll be food and raffles and lots of fun. It’s an indoor range, too, so rain or shine, it’s a happening thing, from noon to 5. Visit for more info about the club.

Okay, that’s about it for today. Two days in a row. Pretty good, huh? We’ll see how long this lasts!!

Until next time.

Time flies, whether you are having fun or not

So, it’s been about four months since I last posted a blog. Wow. Who knew time could move so quickly. The saddest part is that I actually started a bunch of them. Some seemed to have great promise, too. Alas, there is no point in publishing them now. Christmas lights in April? I think not. Full-fledged commentary on Facebook posts from three months ago? Nah.

Maybe I can use the Christmas one next year.

Speaking of Christmas, I published a new short story: “Who Makes the Magic?” available for Nook and Kindle. I was supposed to get it done for last Christmas, but, alas, life got in the way. I’m trying something new with this. I added a shorter, bedtime version at the end. Actually, the point was to write a story short enough to be a bedtime story, but I got carried away and ended up with 9,500+ words. It took longer to hack it down than to write it. Stay tuned, I’ll be writing a few more with bedtime versions. Hopefully, they’ll be ready for next Christmas and I can have a collection.

Meanwhile, it’s almost spring. Today was very warm away from the coast. I was inland for an appointment and was hoping to fire up the motorcycle when I got home. But as soon as I got halfway down the neck, I could feel the cold. I know, I know, I’m a big baby. I’m strictly a warm weather rider. It’ll get there eventually.

Well, this will have to do for a start, or re-start. I will make the old college try to start blogging regularly.

Meanwhile, check out my new story, or visit my website, for links to my other stories. My Kindle author page is probably the best place to get all of them, including the short travel stories.

Until next time,


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