Greg Roach's Berkshires Blog
Thursday, December 14, 2006
  The Glen - Not to be Confused with Glenn
Glenn writes an interesting, if not over-cautionary editorial regarding Adams's takeover of the development of the Greylock Glen.

But it opens rather peculiarly:
It seems congratulations are in order for the town of Adams, again. A whole host of state officials joined the party Monday for the latest Greylock Glen send-off — this time a $44 million project that no one would dream to call a resort but that everyone, including the dreaded environmentalists, seems to like — for now.
Was the toss-away phrase "dreaded environmentalists" meant as sarcasm? Or was it meant as a not-so-subtle slam? Honestly, I am not sure.

UPDATE: Mr. Drohan kindly clarifies... and then some.
Greg: Thank you for the left-handed compliment. But why not ask me your questions directly? Better yet, why not write a letter to the editor or a column on the topic? Why limit discussion to your circle of bloggers in hyperspace when your thoughts could be read (and potentially responded to) by thousands?
This is, of course, an oblique plea for people to read and participate in their community newspaper, as newspapers everywhere battle to keep their print versions viable.

But to answer your main question, I used the term "dreaded environmentalists" because, as anyone who has followed the history of the Greylock Glen knows, environmental groups have effectively killed all previous proposals, dating back to the Heritage group's plan for 1,250 condos and a golf course in the late 1980s. They also killed the idea (which a lot of people liked) of creating a 25-acre lake on the site.

Town officials over the years have consistently lamented (often in letters to the editor) the opposition to Glen developments from environmental groups, such as Mass Audubon, the Sierra Club, the Berkshire Natural Resources Council, Applachian Mountain Club, etc. Many believe that, without that opposition, there would have been a golf course and housing up there in the early 1990s, if not by 2000.

That is one reason this latest project holds some promise: Mass Audubon, the AMC and the Berkshire Natural Resources Council seem to be on board. I say SEEM because we haven't got to the final master plan and the "land disposition agreement" yet, which is where all previous projects failed. It's where environmentalists, some of whom had agreed in theory to those projects, used all their clout and every legal means to stall or block them.

Hence, to many in Adams, environmentalists are indeed dreaded. (And I must note, the Glen is by no means the only development project environmentalists have tried to stall or block -- sometimes effectively, sometimes not. The controversy over windmills is the most immediate case in point – all the more interesting because it has pitted environmentalists against environmentalists).

Sorry to be long-winded (no pun intended) but please remember, one of the reasons environmental groups objected to previous Glen projects was that the developers (backed by the state and the town) continually added things on to the original plans. Who's to say that won't happen again when we get beyond the "concept plan" now under discussion?

I, for one, thank the environmentalists for their diligence. If not for them, the Glen would be overrun by timeshares or worse. And do not forget that it was largely the work of environmental groups that exposed the state's questionable (at best) selection of Chris Fleming as the developer of the last failed project.

Over-cautionary? As pointed out in the editorial, Adams has seen the
fanfare and these dog and pony shows before only to end up with nothing.
We'll see what happens this time around. There's a long, long way to go.
— Glenn
And to answer Glen's question to me, yes, I will be writing more columns as soon as I can find a few hours of solitude at a time to write. I wouldn't miss it. 2007 is going to be a banner year for opinion writers in North Adams.
Glenn's snide aside about not writing for the web and writing for print demonstrates the intellectual isolationism that prevents the Berkshires from joining the rest of us in the 21st century. Maybe that should be your next article for the op-ed column.
I think-- and I can also read-- which apparently you cannot- that Glenn said "why limit" to cyberspace---it would certainly be a worthwhile column-- and Greg does that periodically-and forcefully----I think that that says it all--- limits are not there- use cyberspace and print---and maybe even have your own local access TV show--- maybe you are why we are not in the 21st century--- anonymous---- YOU CAN'T READ!!!!!----Greg's question was fair enough----well post it AND print it---not everyone in NA has a computer-------good grief - I can't stand ignorant newbies----who think that they know better--and just who are "the rest of us"??-----
care to respond-- WITH IDENTITY??? no I didn't think so-- well you can always get your weblog up and running and try again for Council in 2007----until then--- stop picking on NA folks who have a hell of lot more invested in the community than you do-- chbpod
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