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July 9, 2020
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One Can’t Be Sure

Published Jan. 22, 2020 • Last Updated 10:55 a.m., Jan. 22, 2020

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Like the flu, some scourges will return while others may return. In either case, it requires eternal vigilance to protect ourselves. One serious threat that Clinton’s public successfully fought was the proposal for a construction debris recycling center on Route 145 at the former Unilever warehouse site.

We have many to thank for winning that battle and we should not forget. The main combatants on Clinton’s side were Jim Connolly, Darby Hittle, Norm Needleman, Kirk Carr, and Pam Fritz. Large amounts of their time, expertise, research, and personal funds were expended on our behalf. We owe them a huge debt of gratitude. This issue brought the Green Party to life with assistance from many Democrats, Republicans, and the unaffiliated.

What brought this to mind now was a huge fire at a recycling center in Middletown on Jan. 11 and 12. It took multiple area fire departments including Clinton’s, at least one million gallons of water and more than 12 hours to extinguish the blaze. According to press reports, the site was filled with 100- to 120 tons of garbage, mostly construction debris, on fire creating large volumes of smoke. This could have easily happened in Clinton along with traffic, noise, odor, and dust. Water used to fight such a fire here, potentially full of pollutants, would drain into Long Island Sound, causing an environmental disaster. These are the reasons why many in Clinton justifiably fought this proposal.

While a soccer complex seems to be planned for this site now, until that’s built, one can’t be sure. Complacency is the enemy. In the meantime, we’re very fortunate to have the folks mentioned above who marshaled the needed resources and fought this battle on our behalf. In the interim, let’s keep our torch burning just like an Olympic flame.

Phil Sengle