Thursday, August 2, 2012
Beginning ‘Bucket List’
A former high school classmate and basketball teammate, after finding out about my road trip last week, asked if I was taking care of my “Bucket List.”
Close to Nowhere
I can’t remember
• Pop told me the other day that he and our daughter Dana were concerned — they’ve decided I’m becoming senile.
The Preacher’s Corner
And just what’s in your kitchen drawers?
I’ve recently had an encounter with a part of my house I suppose many of you have shared, namely organizing the kitchen drawer. I think everybody has a kitchen drawer; for some people it spills over into multiple drawers, the garage, the basement, and the attic!
Letter to The Editor
The residents of Hudsonville have been working diligently for the past several years to improve the quality of the environment in our historic community.
We have organized and conducted semi-annual roadside cleanups for three years and have met to discuss cooperative, ecologically sensitive uses of the land in this portion of the upper Coldwater River watershed.
Some have converted pasture land from non-native Bermuda and fescue grasses to native warm-season grasses that create a much better habitat for a wide variety of wildlife species including Bobwhite quail, while continuing to provide very high-quality hay for livestock. We have also planted native hardwoods along the Coldwater River and some of its tributaries to reduce erosion and improve water quality, as well as provide additional wildlife habitat.
On Tuesday, July 24, a Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) crew with a trackhoe tore into the trees along Highway 313, between Highway 7 and the railroad tracks at Hudsonville. When I asked why they were “brutalizing the trees,” I was told that someone who drives a semi tractor complained that some of the low-hanging branches struck his antenna when he drove down the road. (It was later verified that it was a single individual who made this complaint.)
When I spoke a few minutes later with someone in the maintenance office of MDOT (in Holly Springs), I was told the same thing (as the reason for the destruction) and was told that only “little branches and dead trees” were being removed. In fact, a considerable number of mature trees were broken off and knocked out of the ground as can be seen with a site visit. (Further evidence of this can be found where the debris has been placed just north of Skelton Road on Highway 7 North on the east side of the road.) This is to say nothing about the ground that was stripped of all vegetation, opening it up to erosion into the Coldwater River the next time it rains.
It must be stated that, after many complaints from members of the Hudsonville community, MDOT personnel decided to clean up the trees and branches that were left behind. We applaud them for this effort. However, the fact remains that this bucolic stretch of highway, the entrance to the Hudsonville community, has been damaged only to appease a single complainant to the detriment of all of the rest of us who live here and drive the road daily.
I fully understand that some maintenance is regularly needed along Mississippi roads and highways; however, this work appears clearly to be a very “over-the-top,” heavy-handed, and unnecessarily brutal treatment of the trees that grow along this peaceful entry road to Hudsonville.
Our hope is that, now that it is known, our environmental sensitivity will be factored in to any future decisions that impact the Hudsonville community.
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