Archive for June, 2011

Prominent Local Conservationist Cited for River Dumping

June 19, 2011

The Hartford Courant reports (June 15) that Richard Sweet, a past president of the Middlesex Land Trust, was cited on May 9 by CT DEP, on a complaint by Boston Road resident Al Maine, for illegal dumping of construction debris into the Coginchaug River here in Middletown. Mr. Sweet owns the Savage Arms factory site at 465 Middlefield St where the alleged dumping occurred, and another site on the same street occupied by an auto body company. He also is the steward of a 20 acre site nearby owned by Middlesex Land Trust along the Coginchaug River off of Forest St.

Also according to Hartford Courant, Richard Sweet describes the charges against him as “absolutely ridiculous”; that the debris stored on his property was swept into the Coginchaug River by the Spring freshet. The source of the debris according to news accounts is another building owned by Mr. Sweet in the city’s North End which collapsed under the weight of snow last winter; the wreckage was subsequently hauled to the Savage Arms site. Mr. Sweet has not responded to the complaint; the 30 day period for doing so expired on June 9. In response to questions Sweet said the lumber was cleaned up and “There’s no story here, It’s over.”

The Jonah Center for Earth and Art, an important watchdog and steward of the Coginchaug River, is monitoring the situation according to Executive Director John Hall.


In the photo map above we see the Coginchaug River as a dark ribbon winding from lower right to upper right. At top (green arrow) is the property at 398 Boston Road where some of the debris washed ashore according to owner Al Maine. The red marker near the bottom is the location of the Savage Arms property on Middlefield Street upriver from the Boston Road property. Directly below that red marker is where the debris must have entered the river as this area is just below the Savage Mill Dam slightly to the right.

Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company (c 1860)

This is the historic building at 465 Middlefield Street owned by Richard Sweet where the river dumping allegedly ocurred.

This close up shows demolition debris sticking out of the river bank at Richard Sweet's property, 465 Middlefield Road. It does not appear that this situation occurred accidentally or overnight. Credit John Hall

Finally there is this view of the Coginchaug River as it cascades over the Savage Mill Dam just behind the property above. The falling water here provided the motive power for the factory in the mid 19th century.

Savage Mill Dam

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Motorcycle and Car Collide – Washington & West St.

June 9, 2011

Officer Examines Motorcycle Wreckage

June 9, 2011; 4:00 PM. While it is not clear exactly  how this happened but it appears that a car Westbound on Washington St attempted to turn left onto West St and either struck or was struck by and oncoming motorcycle. The motorcycle was demolished and the operator was thrown to the pavement;  the car’s airbag deployed. Both drivers were taken from the scene by Hunter’s Ambulance whose quick arrival was due to the fact the ambulance station is near that intersection.

Update: Hartford Courant reports:

A 22-year-old Bristol man is in critical condition following a serious motorcycle accident on Washington Street, police said.

Lucas Espinosa was traveling east on Washington Street, Route 66, when his motorcycle collided head-on with a 1999 Pontiac Grand AM attempting to turn left onto West Street about 4 p.m., police said.

The driver of the car, Jeanette Mosier, 21, of Middletown, was taken to Middlesex Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police said she was later released…Espinosa was taken to Hartford Hospital. Police said they did not know if Espinosa was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision.”

Update June 11: Middletown Press is reporting today that Mr. Espinosa’s condition has been upgraded from critical to fair.

The Scene at Washington and West St - Middletown 4 PM June 9, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Video from the scene. Credit: CLAIRE MICHALEWICZ Middletown Press

Connecticut and Mattabesset River Paddle-June 18

June 6, 2011

Bill Yule, Naturalist at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, will be our educator on this paddle. We will stop for commentary and questions at Wilcox Island, the confluence of the Mattabesset and Coginchaug Rivers, the open water of the Boggy Meadows, the proposed site of Middletown’s kayak launch, and at a sandy beach on the Coginchaug. Bill spent many hours paddling and exploring this area as a child, so he has observed its character and changes over a number of decades.

Paddlers need to provide their own boats, life jackets, paddles, drinking water, and snacks. Advance registration is not necessary, and there is no charge for the event. You may call 860-398-3771 for more information or in case of possible cancellation due to weather.

Reposted from The Jonah Center for Earth and Art