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News: Lynn awaits response to Big Box suit

The Daily Item
Lynn awaits response to the Big Box suit
by Chris Stevens, April 26, 2011
link: itemlive.com/articles/2011/04/26/news/news04.prt

Earth Week cleanup

Thanks to all the volunteers who showed in the rain to help clean the litter from the woods and around Spring Pond.  Lynn Councilor William Trahant brought bags and rakes, and then picked up the filled bags with his truck.  He was joined by his son.  Lynn School Committee member Rick Starbard made signs for the event and organized a group from the Verona Street entrance, near the border of Peabody.  He was joined by his daughters.  Calvin Anderson brought rakes, bags and a friend from Worchester.  A group of 3 children with their guardians were walking the trails from Peabody to Salem, picking up litter.   Two ladies, headed toward the Salem trails to pick up litter and study the trees.  Brian (of SpringPond.com), and I picked up debris around the site of the former Mansion, and the trails toward the pond.  Thanks Brian, for sharing these photos, and thanks to everyone for coming together on this day.

Rick and Bill were discussing on having another clean up day again soon.  
We'll plan for a sunnier day :)

Trash collected from the woods, piled into Trahant's truck...  


Log Cabin Caddisfly

The caddisfly larvae create a 'log-cabin' protective casing, using wood material.  They are important to vernal pools because they shred large leaves into smaller pieces which become usable by other species.  Their casings can be used to prove a dry wetland is a vernal pool.  It is amazing to see this insect's architectural abilities, in small scale.  

Earth Week cleanup- April 23, 10 am

Earth Week
Saturday April 23rd, at 10am
Join us on the trails around
 Spring Pond
Picking up litter and anything we can carry out.

Main meeting points are entry to Spring Pond Road by:
Fays Ave, Lynn/Salem  
Verona Street, Lynn
Spring Pond Road, Peabody (unorganized)

Rick Starbard is organizing a meeting point at Verona Street.  Councilor Trahant is bringing rakes, bags and other items from the DPW, and is placing dumpsters at Verona St and Fays Ave.  Contact peace@springpond.us for more info.
Facebook invitation:  facebook.com/event.php?eid=179498672100722  

Please share this message.

Thank You! To the person who made this sign.... Rick?

More wetland discoveries

Here are some daylight discoveries in the wetlands of a Redback Salamander and more Fairy Shrimp.

Potential Vernal Pool study, Part III

Finally, we found a couple Spring Peepers.  These little amphibians, make the loudest noise, and are challenging to find in the dark with flashlights.  Leslie and I also found a few salamanders and other amphibians swimming in the water.

Bird sightings

On Saturday, April 9, two Ospreys were seen flying in the distance.  One was perched on the cell tower, calling to the other.  Pardon, the beginning of this shaky video is not cut.  The sound of the call can be heard briefly in the beginning.   In the same area, a woodpecker, turkey vulture, blue jay and several other small birds were sighted.  Click on 'fullscreen', to view more closely.

Potential Vernal Pool study, Part II

On Thursday, April 7th, the following species were observed in a potential vernal pool.  Different species are heard in the background.

At first sight, we could not understand why a 'stick' was moving in the water.  The 'stick' is formed from turned leaves.  Upon further observation, a larvae fell from the open tube.

Other species found in the same potential vernal pool...

Sounds of amphibians...

Essex National Heritage awards Mayor of Salem, Kimberly Driscoll

Essex National Heritage Area awards Mayor of Salem, Kimberly Driscoll, 2011 Essex Heritage Hero.

Kimberly Driscoll, if not for regional heritage, for your own city of Salem, please be a hero and save Spring Pond Woods from development. Please help save ceremonial Native American Sites, an historic Arboretum, a refuge for wildlife. Please protect the quality of life for Salem and surrounding regions, which through centuries have loved the traditions in this open space. Please save a good campground, which serves 1000 needy children in the North Shore. If you need evidence, we have it. Please listen.

Essex National Heritage Area, please ask Mayor of Salem, Kimberly Driscoll, your 2011 Essex Heritage Hero to help protect our county's heritage in Spring Pond Woods.

According to Essex National Heritage Area:
"Mayor Kim Driscoll has become a rising star among elected public servants in our region, in large measure due to her can-do approach to many of the challenges facing local government today. Mayor Driscoll recognizes the value of public-private partnership, working closely with the Salem Partnership, Salem State University, local and regional Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations and Essex Heritage to help drive economic development and cultural tourism in our region. She holds our National Park Service sites and assets in high esteem and works closely with all levels of government to advance the quality of life for Salem and regional residents."

Please write to Essex National Heritage, to help them be aware: 

Potential Vernal Pool study, at night

Last evening, on Tuesday April 5th, three others including myself, traveled into the edge of the woods to study a Mass DEP listed Potential Vernal Pool area. 

In the dark, Leslie, Calvin, Rich and I heard a forceful, ever-present chorus of frogs.  Spring Peepers, American Toads and other special Frogs can be heard now in the evening.  The videos below capture the sound of frogs and images of bugs observed in the pools.  


This is one of the few natural waterfalls in the area.  The waterfall, streams down from the campground onto Highland Ave (Rt-107), Salem, near a billboard.   The water is caught by a catch basin, directing flow to the City of Lynn.  An other admiring waterfall is threatened to be destroyed by a Lowe's store.


The Whistleblower Protection Act in Massachusetts, protects people for reporting a wrong doing, even if they signed a confidentiality agreement.  

A whistleblower is any person, or group of persons, who take it upon themselves to raise an alert about a possible wrongdoing.  Whistleblowers speak out when no one else will, and right a wrong to which many would rather ignore.  In almost all cases, the whistleblower is a member of, or have a vested interest in an agency or organization being informed on.  Under state and federal law, several protections apply to whistleblowers in Massachusetts.

The alleged wrongdoing can be any number of things, to include violations of internal policies as well as local and federal laws.  These things may be indicators of a culture of fraud or corruption within the organization, but the alleged wrongdoing is almost always a standalone threat to public interest or society in general.  
Internal whistleblowers, with first-hand knowledge of violations as a member of their organization, are often put under pressure when they attempt to report these violations. The fear of punishment for not keeping quiet about possible misconduct makes many people hesitant to speak up.

For these reasons, if you know of a possible wrong doing or inconvenient truth, which affects public interest, please do not hesitate to contact an attorney and seek protection under the Whistleblower Protection Act.  Please, do the right thing, for public good.

Note:  This message is not from an attorney or an expert in the Whistleblower Protection Act.  Please seek an attorney for legal advice.

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