Wednesday, September 30, 2015

MAPC - A cruel joke to those living in Southeast Framingham

On September 28, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council met with the community of the Southeast Framingham neighborhood at Woodrow Wilson School. The purpose of the event was to create an action plan to improve the area by developing a vision and development framework with the community. It's end goal is to attract investment, foster job creation and improve housing, open spaces and streetscapes.

The meeting divided the people in attendance into several smaller groups for discussion. Each group was to talk about Southeast Framingham's strengths and weaknesses, and to discuss developing a collective vision of areas for preservation, enhancement and growth. For example, people were asked what they wanted. One person mentioned she would like to see a bakery, another wished for a playground. There was talk of shops and apartments along Waverly Street heading from Bishop Street to the Natick line. One representative from MAPC talked about cleaning up Beaver Dam Brook.

Perhaps there were happy faces that evening from those thinking that improvements will finally be coming to their neighborhood.

The event was a cruel joke

The reality is that the event was building up false hope to those most deprived. Nothing will change. The major problems have and will continue. The entire land in Southeast Framingham - the business properties, Beaver Dam Brook, wetlands - is entirely contaminated. Below ground, the peat bog extending over this entire neighborhood is like a monstrous contaminated sponge. Beaver Dam Brook is nothing but a conveyor belt of contaminants and debris from area businesses making its way into Natick waters. The water table is carrying pollutants near and far. It knows no property lines. There is NO possibility that the land could be effectively cleaned up. No hope that people will be safe from harm. There will be no shops and apartments along Waverly Street. There will be NO change.

Chemicals, sludge, debris contaminate the water and banks of Beaver Dam Brook.
Note businesses encroached along brook. Photographed at Taralli Terrace.

Contamination abounds. Businesses continue their dirty deeds as usual without worry. No effective enforcement or change. Look what the Zoning Board of Approval has done and is doing to approve every filthy auto repair, paint shop, storage and junk yard that wants to open there. Imagine the uncountable service stations, garages, auto related businesses that illegally dump chemicals outdoor or pour petroleum or other contaminants into illegal floor drains. It's a ticking time bomb. Disgraceful.

The unfortunate people in this area have no amenities. The children grow up with little expectations. Their surroundings are uninspired. There is no clean park, no places for child activity, no pleasant places to walk. There are no definitive plans for an interim playground while Mary Dennison Park remains contaminated. Those in other parts of Framingham live in areas of pleasant surroundings and many choices for parks and walking paths. The Town pays attention to the desires of the more fortunate. It is only wishful hope from those less fortunate who live in Southeast Framingham to get the barest.

Southeast Framingham is a designated Environmental Justice neighborhood (EJ). The law gives certain provisions to those in this neighborhood. Framingham government must abide by this law!

The Town of Framingham received Federal or State grant money for the study of this Environmental Justice neighborhood while MAPC received some of these monies to plan for this event, research and gather data to create an elaborate brochure. What was the amount of this grant? How much did the MAPC deduct off the monies intended for the Environmental Justice Neighborhood? What is to be done with the remaining money of this grant?

Once again, the special and connected people, certain corporations who are the ones that are enriched and receive the grants or funds for every project in Town. The Town government merely creates a need for projects to generate the money. They keep the money rolling in while they hand it out. The people in Southeast Framingham receive nothing but a false sense of hope.

Read the MAPC "Southeast Framingham Neighborhood Plan" (OPEN)