Monday, July 28, 2008

MPA Talks With Governor Deval Patrick

Who cares about Manchaug Pond today? Who cares about our low water level? Who cares that some property owners around the lake still can't get their motorboat in the water? Who cares Manchaug had a major fish kill with over 200 dead fish counted in three locations? Who cares that the spring peepers are gone from one of our coves because it is dry? Who cares that the yearly routine maintenance on the dam didn't happen last year and hasn't happen yet this year? Who cares that gate receipts at the state ramp are down as visitors don't like low water, hitting rocks and broken props?

Who cares?

The MPA cares! 100 members strong, with over 40 years of stewardship, the MPA continues telling others why they need to care about Manchaug Pond.

Rep. Kujawski suggested to a couple MPA members who live in his district that they attend the Governor's Town Meeting Tour in Webster to talk about Manchaug Pond.

Rep. Kujawski cares about Manchaug Pond.

Last Wednesday, the MPA came face to face with Governor Deval Patrick!
Right there at Bartlett High School in Webster the MPA spoke for you to the Governor.

Wait! First... tell me what you would say if you had a chance to put one question before our Governor - up close and personal like!? Think a minute... you're at the mic... this is your moment... the floor is all yours.... everyone is quiet and waiting! What would you ask Governor Deval Patrick for Manchaug Pond? Tell us!

The MPA President Dave Schmidt asked the Governor the "big" Manchaug Pond question! and you know...

The Governor already knew about Manchaug Pond. The Governor cares!

Comment below with your question! Tells us what you think the MPA President should have said!

Read about the Governor's tour at
(The Telegram didn't care about Manchaug Pond and our question but they did care about the Governor visiting our district. :))

(Thanks to MPA 1st Vice President Marty Jo Henry for her photos!)

MPA continues to built sound relationships around town, around the county and around the state and a network of allies for Manchaug Pond.

(Do you want to hear the MPA question?! Let us hear your's first!)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

From Sunday to Sunday - 10 inches of rain!

From last Sunday to today we have had numerous thunderstorms bring us a total of over 10 inches of rain by the little garden rain gauge!

This photo of the flash boards taken on Friday showed 4 1/2 boards out of 7 still exposed. The waterlevel should continue to go up as runoff water flows in from the watershed and of course with more rain in the forecast.

Tonight's sunset was exceptionally beautiful after the thunderstorm. And my husband reports the old 28ft pontoon boat is finally floating - front and back!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Clouds were building for this much needed rain!

When I took the photos of the contrails, the clouds were building for the much needed rain we are now finally receiving. With the warm weather, the lake was going down further and further reaching a point where many of us were loosing the couple inches of water that made it possible to get our boats out on the lake. Worcester County has been receiving rain but not here on Manchaug Pond. As a neighbor put it "There's an umbrella over Manchaug with storms all around us!" I'd receive phone calls during the day from board members who work in Westboro, Northbridge and other areas of Worcester County, all excited to report the 2 inches of rain they were receiving to have me report dry conditions lake side. Well that is over as this week the skies have opened up on Manchaug Pond! Sunday afternoon brought almost an inch, Sunday night saw winds of 23.7 miles per hour with more rain to bring the total by Tuesday to over 2 1/2. Keep it coming!!

Skies the day of the contrails:

Area 2 looks like the Golden City!

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Couple photos taken the beginning of the week:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whitin Reservoir Watershed District in the news

Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Whitin Reservoir district gets ready to buy dam

Waterfront property owners pursue control


DOUGLAS— Residents who live or own property along Whitin Reservoir are moving along with plans to buy a dam that controls the water level.

The Whitin Reservoir Association recently completed all of the steps necessary to be able to call itself the Whitin Reservoir Watershed District.

The designation allows the group to act in many ways as a municipality; residents who started the push for the designation have made no secret that the main reason for forming the district was to allow them to buy a dam owned by Interface Fabrics, which operated the former Guilford of Maine plant on Gilboa Street until 2006.

The company has been looking to sell off assets in the area. Property owners on the reservoir have said that Interface was a good custodian of the dam, but they were nervous about what type of arrangement might be forced upon them if the ownership of the dam changed hands.

The group received support from selectmen for forming the watershed district, and in the spring the Legislature passed a special act establishing it.

Donald Virostek, a board member of the old association, helped guide it through the process of becoming a district.

He said the association met June 16 to formally establish itself as a watershed district and voted in a management committee. Mr. Virostek said 146 property owners live within the district and the vote to establish the district passed by a vote of 105-5.

Selectman John P. Bombara was elected chairman of the management committee. Larry Bombara, Thomas Anderson, and former Selectman Ronald Forget were also elected to the committee.

Selectmen voted to appoint Selectman Michael Hughes as the town’s representative on the committee. District voters also approved Mr. Virostek’s wife, Joyce Virostek, as district clerk, and Louise Anderson as district treasurer.

Mr. Virostek said the clerk and treasurer positions will be put up for election by the district yearly; he said the management committee positions will be staggered to avoid full turnover after elections.

Now that it is a district, the group will be able to raise money by imposing a tax on residents in the district separate from what residents pay in normal property tax to the town.

At the June 16 meeting, the district voted to appropriate $30,000 for appraisal fees, legal fees, and office expenses associated with a possible purchase of the dam.

John Bombara said he was glad to finally have the watershed district up and running. He said that besides the negotiations with Interface, there are no immediate plans to use the watershed district for anything else, such as raising money to keep invasive plant species out of the lake.

“It took two years to get to where we are,” Mr. Bombara said. “We haven’t discussed doing anything else, and with the plants, it hasn’t been too much of a problem for us here.”

Mr. Virostek said Interface Fabrics owns the land underneath the reservoir in addition to the dam that controls its water level. He said company officials have been cooperative and a lawyer representing the company at the June 16 meeting voted in favor of establishing the district. He said the two sides simply need to agree on a price.

The town has assessed the land at more than $1 million, but Mr. Virostek said that is basically a meaningless number and it’s not really a point of reference in the negotiations. He said Interface realizes the dam is not worth that much.

He said the district hopes to have an appraisal done on the property by the start of the fall and hopes to close on the deal by the end of the fall.

He said the water level is lower than usual this summer. Property owners along Manchaug Pond, which also has dams owned by Interface, are concerned about the water levels being too low. But Mr. Virostek said Whitin Reservoir, at least, is deep enough for recreational boating.

“It is as high as it can go,” Mr. Virostek said.

Monday, July 07, 2008

July 4th Weekend

What a weekend! The sights, sounds and smiles had to be experienced! My Canon PowerShot S100 digital elph fails to capture the moments of a great weekend.

The holiday started on the 3rd, Thursday evening, with a couple boats decorated with red, white and blue lights, our nation's flag, patriotic music to be joined by others in a parade around the lake - cut short all too soon by the sounds of fireworks and a few cottages beginning the holiday weekend with the traditional lighting of the shoreline with flares.

Friday the 4th was overcast but the rain never came as cookouts brought family and friends to the shores of Manchaug Pond. Out on the lake that evening a number of boats stayed out in the middle to have the best view of the flares lining the shore. Joining them, we had a boat come along side to ask when the town would begin the fireworks display! That was a good one! As neither Douglas nor Sutton had advertised fireworks this year and I doubt that Manchaug Pond would ever be chosen as a prefered location!

Saturday brought 3/4 of an inch of rain - badly needed on this lake. Every little bit makes it a little easier to push that pontoon boat off the rocks and into the lake! And there are still plenty of residents with boats high and dry1

Sunday ended the weekend with a bang as plenty of sunshine and no wind brought the most visitors the lake has seen this season. The lake was calm in the early morning hours with the old causeway a place of renewed interest making for a great fishing spot as well as providing a "beach" area to land a canoe or kayak from the ramp and swim off the wall or nearby rocks. I have to say it does make me nervous to watch kids swim in the channel when the big ski boats are approaching.

Blueberry Island, no longer the favorite spot to pick blueberries saw alot of activity yesterday as boat ramp visitors hauled coolers, tents, chairs and friends in tubes behind their jetski to claim their beach for the day. Others from the campgrounds and the ramp used the island to start their skiiers or just to walk the sandbar.

More fireworks are predicted in the form of big thunderstorms for today. Let's hope they bring the level of the lake higher.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Getting Ready for the 4th?

July 4th is big on Manchaug Pond. The plans and preparations are in the works for it all: decorated boats for the parade, the lighting of the shore the night before at 9:00 p.m. with flares, campfires, cookouts with family and friends, and fireworks here and there.

Be sure to hang those flags properly and with respect. On a pole - the US flag is on top. On a building - union or field of stars hung first on left. This site will give more details:

For the lighting of the shoreline: purchase your flares from your MPA Area Representative or at the campground store at the Old Holbrook Place campground or King's Campground. Price is $3.00 a piece or 2 for $5. These flares are obtained for the MPA from the town police department at cost.

Fireworks: They are illegal in Massachusetts but a number of Manchaug Pond property owners have hired a professional to put on great displays over the lake. Be safe!

The parade usually just starts up! This year we will have to do a little circle in the middle to avoid the rocks exposed by the low waterlevel in the coves. Sorry in advance to the residents down the causeway and to the campers at King's - I don't think a nighttime patriotic cruise would be wise this year in the shallows.

I promise pictures! Let us know how your celebration goes! Email photos I can post:

(And Kristen - hope you and your family have a wonderful homecoming on Manchaug Pond! I am sure you will have a blast even with the low water! :))


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