Friday, June 30, 2006

How about "Pink Sky at Night, Sailor's Delight"!

My 9 year old daughter took this picture this evening. We are looking forward to a great weekend and 4th of July!! Fireworks, cookouts, marshmallows and campfires, family and friends.

Remember the MPA tradition... the lighting of the flares around the shoreline... July 3rd at 9 p.m.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Lake and Pet/Animal Waste

Rain yesterday, today and tomorrow. When it is not raining, the air is 100% humidity. Did you know Fuddy did a rain dance? Did you know a couple hundred residents of Whitin Reservoir met at St. Denis Church to talk about their dam and the water level? - not in the hall but upstairs in the church and many prayed for higher water.

Everyone can stop dancing and praying! enough rain!

Seriously, I have a little educational piece for you to check out. I found it while looking for info on dirt roads and nonpoint source pollution. You see, these heavy rains wash sediment into the lake as well as whatever else is found in the watershed: sand and salt off roads, fertilizers from lawns, oils, detergents, as well as bacteria from animal wastes and livestock manures. Check out the "DEP Fact Sheets" under Links in the column on the right. I had to take it out of the post area as it was too big:Educational nonpoint source brochure: Pet waste. January 2003.
It will make you think!

Tomorrow I will tell you about the state grant the MPA has submitted to help protect our water from these sorts of issues/problems.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Town of Sutton Transfer Station Goes to Bags

This week is it to dump that rubbish before the "Pay-As-You-Throw" Program begins at the Sutton transfer station. July 1st you will need a $25.00 1 year sticker/permit to enter the station and dispose of recycleables, bags of rubbish and other items. The town has a long list of "other items" and their fees from $5 for a can of paint to $10. for a chair to $25. for a TV. And the bags.... a big $2.50 for the 33 gallon size (Worcester charges $1, I am told) and $1.25 for the 14 gallon bag. The bags are only available at the Town Hall and the Sutton Center Store/gas station.

With recycling and composting, my household still generates about 6-10 14 gallon bags a week. Thats a good total and $$ per year! Perhaps a compactor for unrecycleable plastics and a shredder to recycle or campfire the office paper!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Another Sunday Visitor for Area 4

Another Sunday morning and we have company! A month ago it was a fox on my door step. This morning a visit from Mrs. Mallard and the twins! You can see the route she took: over the yard of the lake-front cottage, across the road, and on to my lawn. Perhaps the rain has made for few handouts on the lake (or she has had enough of the rain too and longs for dry land!) How many little families are on the lake this season? Anyone counting?

On the serious side... another visitor came in the afternoon - the MPA President. He brought sample legislation and bylaws for me to review for the watershed district effort. We're moving ahead! Check back - I'll keep you posted!

Friday, June 23, 2006

UNANIMOUS! Pursue Watershed District!

A crowded hall was the location of last night's meeting called by the Manchaug Pond Association to discuss the sale of the dam at Manchaug Pond and explore the option of establishing a watershed district. MPA members and other residents along the lake's shore listened to the COLAP speaker and District Clerk of Cedar Meadow Lake Watershed District tell of the sale of his lake's dam, and the 7 years of low water levels held by the new owner to try to get $$ out of the residents.
The MPA President led the meeting explaining the vote of the Board to Directors to point the MPA to the best option for the members and other residents: formation of a watershed district. The MPA has been talking with the mill and their law firm for a few months monitoring the situation and keeping communication open.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Red Sky at Night, Sailors' Delight. NOT!

What a storm came up moments after this red sky showed itself!! Mega wind, hail, rain, thunder, lightning. Whew! Glad our house is one row back as half the back yard, cabanas, etc, blew east into the trees as it is!

(This picture is what you see when you are not waterfront.... before you run down to the lake!)

Membership Meeting June 22 on the DAM!

The dam is going up for sale. Hmmm... That is a big one! I've been on the MPA Board of Directors over 20 years and short of the issue which brought our MPA Founding Father together, the proposed remake of Camp Blanchard to a campground, I have to say that this is just as big an issue to tackle - possibly bigger!

What makes this issue one of the most important? Let's look at past MPA action and results:

* Certainly, the current DEP Storm Drain grant (and watershed survey and water quality testing) we submitted this month is a big one as it will address some weed problems for the long term, and the few high nutrient levels we have seen here and there which concern public health.

* Also, the town management of the Public Boat Ramp was a big feather in our cap as we secured the portable toilets to eliminate the use of Blueberry Island and the other islands as bathrooms. Remember the complains of what used to float in to resident's beaches!!

* That effort also got us the Gatekeeper who closes the ramp when the parking lot is full, eliminating the parking up and down both sides of Torrey Road and an over crowding lake!

* Also, it was the MPA which continually asked the state for channel markers and a sign at the ramp - thank you to the staff at the Douglas State Forest for installing and keeping them painted and repaired.

* Oh yes - police patrols. The MPA was instrumental in getting that effort on the lake - securing a boat, some equipment, and funding for officer time. Use of the lake is down, so weekly patrols are not necessary.

* And of course the weed control efforts: lake level drawndown coordination with Guilford Ind., weed surveys, testing for nutrients from the watershed which promote weed growth.

SO, to get back to the dam and the water rights and why this is such a big issue...

sale of the dam means control of the water level. Too low water = "mud flats" as Fuddy calls it! or swamp - sand and less water for boating and swimming on the lake, dangerous exposed or under the surface rocks. Too high water - flooded property, gurgling septic systems, damage to docks and walls and if too high to yards and homes. Improper timing for lowering the lake level for the winter means more weeds (we lose lake level drawdown as a free, non-chemical control of invasive lake weeds along the shore), and fish and amphibian kills as they hiberate in the mud, docks in ice....

What can you do? Come together Thursday night with other MPA members and learn what your Board of Directors has research as an option for Manchaug Pond and see what other lakes have done when in the same situation!

See you there!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Area 7 - Spring Wildflowers in the Watershed

These photos were taken about two weeks ago in Area 7 along the roadside. Do you know the names of these wildflowers?

Pink Lady Slipper,
Canada Mayflower

On the Water!

Sure felt good to be out on the water! Enough with the rain! The lake is full and we are ready for summer. Bring on the sunshine!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Photo from Area 2

A great photo of a sunset taken from Area 2 by our Vice President. I won't say when - let's just say it is from the archives!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

MPA Emergency Mtg June 22!

Our dam is scheduled to be sold. As of Friday it was not yet on the market, but it will go as well as the Guilford mill and the other to dams: Guilboa and Whitin.

MPA President Dave Schmidt and the Board of Directors have been monitoring the situation; speaking directly with Guilford, their law firm, and leading residents of Whtin Reservoir; as well as exploring the options which would best benefit us- the people who live on and near the lake.

Thursday, June 22nd at 7pm at St Anne's Church hall, the MPA is calling a meeting of all members and interested parties to decide what action we need to take.

A guest speaker, the District Clerk of the Cedar Meadows Watershed District, will tell you how the dam on his lake was sold to a private party who proceeded to let the water level down and tried to get $$ from the residents before he would raise the level. This went on for 7 years until they united to form an association and take control of the water rights and the dam through the subsequent formation of a watershed district.

We have an association- the MPA. We have a great working relationship with Guilford. The time is NOW before the dam is sold.

Spread the word and attend this important meeting. It does effect you! wasn't that long ago that the lake was way down...

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Water Level Remains Over Full as Raining Continues

Here's a photo of the main gate and spillway of our dam - the water is raging out at full force!

When we are over full, Fuddy will check more than once a day to make sure he has it open enough to have an effect. The past few weeks he has had to take out boards as the lake continues to rise.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Thunderstorm Hits Lake and Puts Us Over Full!

Thursday evening a thunderstorm rolled in and brought rain, hail and the destructive lightning we all dread. The Sutton Girls Softball teams playing at Camp Blanchard canceled the 6 p.m. game with the rain starting about 5:50. A large white pine tree was hit by lightning on Manchaug Road and another strike on Irma Jones Rd started a home on fire with the Manchaug/Sutton Fire Dept. responding within minutes. Our power went out at 6 p.m. and was restored Friday afternoon around 1:00. My cable was just restored this evening ... Thurs.-Sunday. Is that good service? When I called Saturday I was on hold for 1 hour before I got to talk to someone. When I called today I found out I was scheduled for appointment on the 7th ?! Four neighbors called me to compare notes.... we learned that the Cable Company won't send the truck out until 3 homes have called reporting an outage- SIX called but not all were registered as an outage. Ugh!

And the lake... Fuddy reported Saturday morning that the lake was 4 inches OVER full and he is measuring twice a day and watching homes for flooding after having opened the dam a bit. He called again today having opened things up a bit. Remember the drought we were having... the lake was too low! New England weather! Thanks Fuddy for being on top of things on a daily basis!


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