Monday, May 03, 2010

Quabbin and Wachusett Dams need to be removed now.

It's kind of sad when you know that in the "Hub of the Universe" in Boston, Massachusetts, these educated folks don't even know where their own water comes from and they panic when it's declared unsafe. Boo hoo. Drill a well in Quincy. Oops it's polluted. Drill a well in Chelsea, oops, oh maybe in Somerville, oops, or Malden, oh deear, Eleanor. We've polluted the whole place !!!!

I have to laugh because the only reason Boston destroyed four beautiful towns in the Swift River Valley by eminent domain in the 1930s is because the people of Boston deliberately destroyed all of their own local water supplies by pollution. And they laughed about it. Ha ha ha.

The wheel of progress is moved by the momentum of apathy and inertia and greed. Mostly greed.

It was ghastly wrong to build the Quabbin and Wachusett Dams. They were built for the wrong reasons and today exist for the wrong reasons. These dams destroyed some of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts.

These dams were mistakes. They should now be admitted as the mistakes they were. They were built from hubris and greed.

Boston now has the technology to get all of the water it needs from desalination plants in Boston Harbor. The lowly city of Brockton, my proud place of birth, is now getting much of its drinking water from a desalination plant in Montaup Bay (Mount Hope Bay) in North Dighton, just below Taunton. Boston has absolutely no need of water from the Swift River or the Quinapoxet or Trout Brook in Holden and Princeton and Boylston. If Brockton can do it, Boston certainly can.

Isn't this why Boston has MIT? Can't MIT even figure out how to purify water from the Charles River?

The people of the Swift River and Quinapoxet River valleys deserve to have their towns, their rivers, their landscapes, their heritages, and at least their cemeteries, returned to them. Boston had no right to take these towns and valleys and streams from the people who lived in them and called them home. It was terribly wrong when it was done in the 1930s and to leave it this way is far more wrong today.

Boston needs to climb out of the 1920s. The rest of us are waiting.

UPDATE: My father, Allan Watts, with his friend Albert Titcomb from Charlestown, pruned commercial apple orchards in Bolton, Sterling, Berlin and Hudson in Central Mass. for a living during the winter for Bob Davis, Nathan Chandler and Chedco Farms for three decades. Around 1979 we were at Tight Lines, a fishing and hunting shop in West Bridgewater and found a new book put out by Fran Smith of the Southeastern Mass. chapter of Trout Unlimited that listed 30 of the best trout fishing spots in eastern and central Mass. with detailed maps, directions and what type of approaches worked best at each spot. As a teenage fly fishing junkie, I ate up the book in about an hour and bugged the hell out of my dad to go fishing at all these places. It turned out that the Quinapoxet River (which he called Hoxie Poxie just to bug me) was just a few miles from where he pruned apple trees. So he and I started going fishing at the Quinapoxet, near its junction with Trout Brook in Holden. I had never seen such a beautiful river, and it was full of trout (tho, hard to catch), and the Quinapoxet became a place where my dad and I went fishing whenever we could and we had some of our best times together. Later, as I learned more history and looked at maps, I discovered that we were only fishing in the very small part of the Quinapoxet River that had not been flooded and destroyed by dams long before I was born and most of it was totally lost and forgotten under the Quinapoxet Reservoir and the Wachusett Reservoir. I haven't been to the Quinapoxet since me and my dad last fished it around 1981. I wonder if it is still as beautiful as it was then.

UPDATE WITH STUPID PRANK BY MY DAD: Usually after fishing the Quinapoxet, long after dark we'd go to the McDonald's in Clinton, Mass. to get something to eat before driving back to Easton. This is where I first saw my Dad tormenting innocent McDonald's employees. At this time, McDonald's had just started selling Chicken McNuggets, and you could order 6 or 9 or 12. So my Dad would go up to the counter and ask for 15 McNuggets, and the high school kid would patiently say, you can order 6, 9 or 12. So my Dad would keep asking if he could order 15 McNuggets just to see if they could figure out that 6 + 9 = 15. He said every now and then the kid at McDonald's would smile at him and get it.


Chris Rich said...

Boston, Enfield wants its graveyards back.

I actually lost Admiral Richard Byrd's spatula there in the 80s. I found it near the ruins of his house at Tunk Lake.

On the day I lost it, a fishing trip on the East Swift River at Nichewaug, I found a bunch of long Great Horned Owl Feathers at the base of a huge multi trunk White Pine.

I gave those to Oannes who gave them to Elders. Byrd's spatula is probably rusted away by now.

Douglas Watts said...

That's funny, Chris. Thanks for adding it.

Chris Rich said...

Glad to. What is now called "New England" is laced with Red Earth magic and old power spots.

I did another camping trip out by Lake Dennison another crystal clear kettlehole pond like Walden but without the stigma of a grouchy layabout's love shack on it.

Instead, there is a place called "King Phillip's Rock", a large erratic and what seemed to be a low mound near Winchendon and Royalston.

I camped by it one July night and a line squall rolled in with lightening bolts hitting close enough to smell the ozone, scary.

And the Lowell Dracut Forest still has an area set aside that is an old Red Earth sovereignty title where Pow wows happened in the 1980s and may still.

Boston has always been the insufferable bully of the region. The Pious Puritans were avid real estate speculators and fond of naked grabs like invading Strawberry Bank and burning all the land titles so they could steal it.

New Hampshire has borne animosity for the place ever since. Maine suffered as a rump state until the Missouri deal and Western Mass has its ancient grievances of which the Quabbin Quarrel is but a more recent one.

Douglas Watts said...

Chris, since I am such a lunkhead I only just now became a follower to your site and put it at the top of my bloglist links. You're doing very fascinating stuff, none of which I even knew about (hides head in embarrassment).


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