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Playground proposal draws anger.



Byline: Clive McFARLANE

COLUMN: CLIVE MCFARLANE

I guess I shouldn't be so shocked at the venom being spewed at a proposed playground for kids who attend Vernon Hill Vernon Hill II (born circa 1946) is the founder and former chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Commerce Bancorp and Commerce Bank of Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey.  School and live in that neighborhood.

After all, nobody seems to care anymore about where the children play. Playground equipment such as slides, swings and jungle gyms can only be found at two of the city's 33 elementary schools elementary school: see school. .

"We don't do playgrounds," Eugene Olearczyk, plant manager for the Worcester public schools, once said.

Fortunately for the kids who attend Vernon Hill Elementary School, a parent found a way to get them a playground. Unfortunately, this parent and the playground are taking a lot grief from certain residents, who frankly need to get a grip.

I took this issue up in my previous column. Briefly, the main points are these:

Now that schools have passed their supplies and extracurricular budgets onto the back of parents, Lin Hultgren and other members of the school's PTO PTO
abbr.
1. Parent Teacher Organization

2. or p.t.o. please turn over

3. power takeoff


PTO or pto please turn over

Noun 1.
 sought grants and conducted fundraisers to get seed money for a playground adjacent to the school.

The city, which had promised to compensate residents who endured municipal landfill and composting
For the product of composting see compost
Composting is the controlled aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter, producing compost.
 operations in the Quinsigamond Village and Vernon Hill area, chipped in the bulk of the money to build the playground.

But some residents in the Granite Street and Gibbs Street area argue that the former landfill on Ballard Street This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone.
Please help [ rewrite this article] from a to be less promotional, per Wikipedia .
, now the site of an extensive city composting operation, impacts them the most, and that putting a playground at the Vernon Hill School does nothing for them.

"Oh my God! I never expected all this to happen," Ms. Hultgren, the parent who got the ball rolling on the playground, wrote to me.

"We only wanted a playground for our children. I expected some valid concerns, which were expressed at the meeting, those of safety, trash, etc., but never in a million years did I ever expect anything like this!"

The "this" she referred to were comments such as the following:

"Granite Street families and Gibbs Street families have been dealing with this issue for three years now. Did any of the Vernon Hill residents come to help them out with the composting?" one reader wrote in response to my first column.

"Go smell your worse smelling rotten garbage bag, you know the kind that smells so bad you gag ... Well, imagine sitting in your own backyard and smelling that day after day after day," another reader wrote.

"...Well, that's my air in my own back yard ... So yeah, let's all play in peace while we Granite Street neighbors suffocate suf·fo·cate
v.
1. To impair the respiration of; asphyxiate.

2. To suffer from lack of oxygen; to be unable to breathe.



suf
 in our own backyards."

"Worcester doesn't need to build another playground that nobody will use," another reader wrote. "Gibbs Street is full of potholes that the city keeps patching over, but the holes continue to open up. How bout using the $300k to totally repave Gibbs St. and get rid of our pothole pothole, in geology, cylindrical pit formed in the rocky channel of a turbulent stream. It is formed and enlarged by the abrading action of pebbles and cobbles that are carried by eddies, or circular water currents that move against the main current of a stream.  problem?"

Sue Kiely, who is opposing incumbent Paul P. Clancy Jr. in the race for the District 3 City Council seat, said, "We didn't want nor need an amenity a·men·i·ty  
n. pl. a·men·i·ties
1. The quality of being pleasant or attractive; agreeableness.

2. Something that contributes to physical or material comfort.

3.
. We wanted, and have received, proper caretaking of the compost site.

"The cost of that is enough amenity for us. We do not want to hear next year or the year after that there is no money in the Sewer Enterprise Fund because it went to build a Tot Lot."

Maybe these residents have a valid reason to gripe gripe
v.
To have sharp pains in the bowels.

n.
1. gripes Sharp, spasmodic pains in the bowels.

2. A firm hold; a grasp.
. It must be an awful thing to live in a section of the city that burns our garbage.

The fact, as claimed by city officials, that the city has donated most of its land in the Granite Street area to the Audubon Society shouldn't get in the way of building something in that area that residents can truly appreciate.

But surely these residents can make their case without taking it out on the Vernon Hill School and neighborhood kids.

Why begrudge be·grudge  
tr.v. be·grudged, be·grudg·ing, be·grudg·es
1. To envy the possession or enjoyment of: She begrudged him his youth. See Synonyms at envy.

2.
 these kids a place to play?

To kill this playground project simply because it doesn't benefit them directly would be an action beyond shortsighted short·sight·ed
adj.
1. Nearsighted; myopic.

2. Lacking foresight.



shortsight
.

It would be a blindness that stinks far more than the composting stench with which they have been living all these years.

Contact Clive McFarlane via e-mail at cmcfarlane@telegram.com
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 5, 2007
Words:707
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