, Gloucester, MA

November 2, 2012

Letter: Birdseye damage a sign of safety neglect

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I enjoy a good storm, as long as no one gets hurt and folks are warm and have what they need.

I love the excitement in my daughter when she hears that she has no school and can jump back into her blankets.

We’re rugged New Englanders and know how to ride out a storm. We cook stews, make hot chocolate, check on our neighbors and get creative entertaining ourselves when the power goes out.

Of course, we are not heartless. We pray that everyone is safe. We are devastated to hear such sad news as that of the HMS Bounty and her crew; sadness for all of those who suffered such extreme damages weighs on our minds as well. We fared well down the Fort through this past storm, but today, some of us are angry, too.

I wouldn’t have written this by candlelight had one of my neighbors not been neglecting their property. My daughter would be home with us and the dog, instead of sleeping at a friends house. We never lost power; the power was shut off at 5 p.m. Tuesday in order to make repairs to the former Birdseye building.

Last winter, my cousin was hit by a piece of material that flew off the Birdseye on a windy day. We get a lot of those days, from October right through ‘til Spring. She was hit so hard in the head, that it knocked her off her feet. She wouldn’t have gone to the hospital had a police officer not insisted.

Then, on Feb. 29, we had a Ward 2 meeting at the American Legion and were told by our ward councilor that the owner was doing a great job getting the property cleaned up and safe. Litter was picked up, some padlocks were put on doors, but I’ve seen no efforts to make sure the building is safe. It appears more like willful neglect to me.

So, what happens now? Do we pray nothing comes flying off the building on the next windy day? Do we insist that measures be taken to secure not only the doors, but the loose objects?

Hopefully, this time, the owners will take responsibility for the upkeep of their property rather than deliver soup after the damage is done.