This time of year my favorite morning chore is firing up our old cook stove. It’s a fairly complex process, but the first step in the lighting protocol requires three newspaper pages, which I crinkle up and drop into the firebox. (We keep a random collection of newspapers in a small basket handy to the stove.) One of my many idiosyncrasies is that I can’t condemn a sheet of newspaper to the flames without first reviewing the news and the date.
The other day it was the April 21, 2021, edition of the Hopkinton Independent that I pulled out, featuring a headline article about the Main Street project. I read, “The 18,000 is the general will of the community. Twenty people is not.” Among the many things I am not, is a mathematician. That said, it doesn’t take a mathematician to know that 18,000 is a considerable exaggeration, given that the actual total town population in 2018 was 17,012 and the Town Meeting vote on the project was 504 to 278, which is not even 2 to 1 in favor. (And, for the record, 278 is nearly 14 times 20).
Recently I’ve read of a grant program for Hopkinton to subsidize businesses that were negatively impacted by COVID. I’m thinking back to a Select Board meeting of Sept. 24, 2019, wherein it was stated, during a discussion of the Main Street project’s effects on businesses, “The revenue lost, that needs to be taken care of.” Hopefully the proponents of this omnishambolic Main Street project will certify that the “revenue lost” was a consequence of COVID and not the Main Street project. Perhaps if the Chamber of Commerce and the project promoters work together, our Main Street businesses will indeed be “taken care of.”
— Edwin E Harrow, Hopkinton
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