Sunday, May 31, 2020

Ken Taylor- Candidate for Re-election to the Longmeadow Planning Board

This post was submitted by Ken Taylor, current member of the Longmeadow Planning Board and who is running for re-election in the upcoming Annual Town Elections on June 16

I am Ken Taylor and am running for re-election to the Longmeadow Planning Board.  I have been a town resident for 52 years and both of my children have graduated from the town school system.  I am a graduate Engineer from the WNEC University and am a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Massachusetts.  In my work career I was a Project Engineer and Forensic Metallurgist.
I served on the Water and Sewer Commission for 21 years prior to the town changing to Town Manager style.

I have served on the Planning Board for 13 years.  I love Longmeadow and am aware of the need to provide guidance to the natural, historic and cultural resources.  Since I moved here, I have seen Longmeadow change from a town with open fields to one which is fully developed.

The most important issue facing the town is the proposed Gas Pumping / Metering station on the Longmeadow Country Club grounds.  The Planning Board has had many public meetings resulting in a series of by-laws that will hopefully stop the installation.  Another issue will be town finances.  The current tax base cannot support all the services the residents want.  Any new developments that could provide more tax revenues will come before the Planning Board.  Other issues will be the Water Tower property, the former Christian Science Church redevelopment, the re-use of the former Synagogue on Williams Street, the possible consolidation of the Middle School and the use of those properties. 

The recent accomplishments of the Planning Board are the Brewer-Young Mansion zone change and commercial development, the Dwight Road Medical project, the Willie Ross School expansion, the Pride gas station development, and the Longmeadow Shops expansion.

By definition the Planning Board has the responsibility to guide the development of the Town in the best interest of all its residents. The Planning Board plays an important role in developing the visions for future growth and preservation of the community by listening to the public for opinions and comments concerning the welfare and appearance of the town’s residential appeal and formulating rules and by-laws in an effort to maintain the unique character of Longmeadow.

I feel that my education and work experience will continue to be of great assistance in evaluating proposals from a different viewpoint as I work with the others on the Planning Board and coordinating with other Boards for the betterment of all residents in this lovely town of ours.

I ask for your vote on Election Day, Tuesday, June 16.

Thank you.

Ken Taylor

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Technology Moderates Economic and Personal Impact of Sudden Stoppage and Social Distancing

This following article was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz by Longmeadow resident Peter Landon.

Technology Moderates Economic and Personal Impact of Sudden Stoppage and Social Distancing

In reflecting on our COVD-19 containment and mitigation strategy (flattening the curve) and the important role of social distancing, we need to be thankful that today's computer, mobile and cloud technologies are in place, to facilitate so many important activities of daily life.
Online education (virtual learning model), online purchases, work from home, streaming entertainment, online tax filing and online social sites, all blunt the negative impact, of the sudden stoppage in service and manufacturing industries.

A thirty percent increase in internet activity has been handled well, so far, by our digital pipes, fiber networks and airwaves (wireless).
Zoom meeting services has allowed governance of businesses, not for profits and government to continue online and with continued public input in many cases.

The Courts’ wheels of justice will continue remotely according to Massachusetts Chief Justice Ralph Gants. He has asked the courts to unleash the creativity, adaptability and imagination of a MASH unit in times of war. 

Many new technologies, many of which had ignored, are facilitating online connectivity. Just this weekend our friend celebrated his 92nd birthday remotely on ZOOM Media, with 72 attendees from all over the world, including singing and dancing! 

Unlike pandemics of past generations, our digital technologies have underpinned the release our ever-increasing biotechnology prowess to locate solutions to treat and vaccinate, at breakneck speed. Even better than our response to Ebola a decade ago. None of these technologies were available for the devastating 1918-1920 pandemic (Spanish Flu) that killed an estimated 100 million worldwide including 650,000 in the United States.

Peter Landon
Longmeadow resident

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


This following article was submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz by Betsy Port.

It’s sad to loose a local paper. After 50 years, the printing of The Longmeadow News is not longer profitable. Last year, The Reminder Publications took over ownership of The Westfield News Group. Both The Enfield Press (with roots back to 1880) and our town paper are now history. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and relive some special moments. We have come a long way in half a century.

The first man had walked on the Moon a month before. It was the week of The Woodstock Music Festival. On Wednesday, August 20th 1969 the first issue of The Longmeadow News hit the stores. The cost was a reasonable 15 cents and the paper was full of advertising. Early stories featured a section called Nature Walk and articles concerning local volunteers and a soldier returning from Vietnam. There is no mention of the huge music festival. Meals-on-Wheels were provided by The Friendly Steak and Sundae Shop on Longmeadow Street near St. Mary’s Church. Kimmel’s and Brightwood Hardware were buying ad space along with businesses in Enfield, Ct. and the city of Springfield. I learned that our town did not have a local post office in 1969, but wanted one. An editorial concerning dress codes at the High School reminds us how times have changed. Detailed rules for each gender are considered comical now. The girls could not wear pants and the boys could not wear blue dungarees. Someone was actually expelled from LHS for long hair, and it was not a female.


Why has our hometown paper closed operations? I blame the Internet. Younger folks don’t have time to stop by CVS or a gas station to buy an issue for 50 cents. Feature stories were available on-line either on the Longmeadow News Facebook page or on other news feeds. Where will we get the news on local crimes and misdemeanors? The Police and Fire Logs will possibly be moved to another site, I hope. Will the town website or alternative website change to accommodate important information?  Where will we see the recent list of scholars on The Honor Roll or what the local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are doing to help others? Where will the local library and Senior Center list activities? The weekly calendar was extremely helpful for those of us who subscribed and looked forward to delivery of the paper every Thursday. All I have now are questions with no answers. I just feel sad…like an old friend will be gone.

If you have the time, I recommend a visit to The Storrs Library to read about the good ‘ole days. Original issues of the paper from 1969 to recent issues are bound together by year. All you need to do is ask at the Reference Desk and they will retrieve a volume for you. It has been a wonderful twenty years as a columnist at this paper. It was a great way for me to express my thoughts and meet people. The articles provided a platform for issues to be discussed and analyzed. From articles about historic preservation, parkland to town meetings, from school expansion and construction to traffic problems - I enjoyed interviewing interesting local personalities. We will all fondly remember the feeling of reading The Longmeadow News as we sipped a cup of coffee and learned what was going on around here. I wonder what will come next? There is a need for improved communication in this community and the loss of the printed word will not help us in the predicament we are in. Everyone seems cut off from each other in the winter months, and then spring and summer we get so busy with outdoor life like school events, sports, gardening and traveling. I pray that we will all reach out to each other and find ways to share information. In Colonial Times there was a Town Crier, but now there is the grapevine…. We can no longer say “ I read it in The Longmeadow News.” Thanks to the editors, graphic designers and staff. I have met some wonderful people along the way.

Upcoming Dates to Remember in 2020:

March 31st     Park & Rec Forum on Open Space
                     At the High School 7 pm

April 4th        Spring Clean Up at Laurel Park 10am – 2 pm
                    Please volunteer your time – we need you!

April 13th      Conway School begins Master Plan for Laurel and Bliss Parks

May 12th       Town Meeting 7 pm at the High School

May 16-17th  Long Meddowe Days Weekend on the Town Green

June 16th       Town Election 8 am to 8 pm


by Betsy Port, Longmeadow resident

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Rapidly Increasing Cost of Trash in Longmeadow

Mark Gold, Longmeadow Select Board member shares some background cost information about Longmeadow's trash program and the reasons for the implementation of the new standardized 35 gallon containers.


There’s been a lot of discussion about Longmeadow’s new trash containers, and I want to respond to those who are unhappy with the decision to implement these 35 gallon containers.  I hope you’ll come away from this with an understanding, if not agreement, that our growing costs of trash disposal was something that had to be implemented.


First, some background:  The cost of disposing of Longmeadow’s trash has three components:
  1. $650,000 per year to pick-up the trash at each of the 5500 residents in town and haul the trash to the disposal site.  We’re in the 2nd year of a five year contract with Waste Management services to provide these services.
  2. $293,000 (budgeted) to dispose of our trash.  We pay a different company $75 per ton to dispose of our trash.  This contract is based on competitive bidding, and the current contract was awarded to a company who hauls our trash out of the area for landfill.   The cost of disposal has increased over 33% in the past three years (it was $220,000 in 2017).  These costs are variable, in that the more we have to dispose, the more we pay, and the less we dispose, the less we pay.
  3. The balance of the $1,188,431 Sanitation / Recycling budget for 2020 consists of staff and direct costs associated with running the program, running the recycling center, paying for disposal of yard (and leaf) waste, and other expenses.  In general, these costs are not impacted by the amount of trash we generate.
The sanitation budget also has revenue of $ 285,000 from dumping fees, bag sales, and the sale of recycling goods (both curb-side and bulk recycling from the recycling center).  Actual curb-side recycling brings in about 10% of this total.  Although the curb-side recycling doesn’t result in a lot of income it does avoid the $75 per ton of disposal costs.  Despite what you might have read about the weakened global market for recycled goods, in Longmeadow, recycling still pays.

The information presented above is to provide background to the trash container decision. The 33% (over three years) increase in the cost of trash disposal is the highest increase of any component in the Town’s $65 million budget. Not only is the cost per pound of trash that we dispose of going up each year, but the total number of pounds of trash has also been increasing, and the amount of material we’ve been recycling has been decreasing.  Trash disposal quantities were up 5% in FY 2019 over FY 2108  (3598 tons vs. 3403 tons) and are up another 6% for the first three months of this year vs. the 2019 numbers.  At the same time, recycling quantities are down.  Paper and cardboard recycling is down 10 tons in 2018 compared to 2017 and glass/plastic recycling was down 2% in 2018 vs. 2017 and another 4% in 2019.

Our recycling commission identified that there are numerous town residents that have been routinely exceeding the 35-gallon weekly disposal cap that has been in place for over 10 years.  There were several alternatives considered to bring our trash disposal costs into compliance with existing by-law limitations.  Most of the alternatives had a “trash enforcement” patrol in one form or another, and that just isn’t practical.  Our trash haulers haven’t the time to be the enforcement group and it’s not appropriate for the police to be enforcing trash regulations.  So, in order to address the rising cost of trash disposal, the recycling commission proposed the town pursue a State of Massachusetts grants to underwrite the cost of purchasing uniform trash containers for all residents.  That grant required the contaners be 35 gallons in size.  It’s the wave of the future.  These 35-gallon containers will simultaneously limit the amount of trash that is disposed and encourage increased recycling.

One complaint I heard is that Springfield residents get a 55-gallon container.  But Springfield residents also get charged a $90 per year supplemental trash fee.  As a Select Board member, I felt it was more equitable to provide a uniform 35-gallon container to every household than impose a trash fee on everyone in town.  $90 per year will buy a lot of supplemental blue bags for those who dispose more than 35-gallons of trash in a week.

So I ask that you give the new containers a try.  The regulations on disposal haven’t changed, we’re just making it difficult for households to exceed that 35-gallon per week limit.  We’re going to be evaluating the impact of these on our disposal costs and recycling tonnage.  Based on the implementation of uniform containers in other communities, we expect this to provide the cost control for this part of our budget that’s essential for every line item.

Mark Gold, Longmeadow Select Board

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Request to Support Congressional Action against Gas Pipeline

This post was submitted by Michele Marantz, Chair- Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group who is looking for support by town residents regarding opposition to the Gas Pipeline + Metering Station in Longmeadow.


Dear LPAG Members:

Recently several LPAG members met with Congressman Neal in his State Street office  to ask him for help in blocking the Longmeadow meter station.  In response, Congressman Neal generously offered to intervene with FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) on behalf of the Town of Longmeadow, informing FERC that the site for the meter station is ill-advised.

In order to intervene effectively, Congressman Neal requested that we send him a statement of opposition from the Longmeadow Select Board.  In this regard, we have recently learned that the Select Board will be voting on a statement of opposition this Monday.

Here's where you come in:  Over the week-end and during the day on Monday, please call or email 1, 2, or all 3 of the following Select Board members, telling them that you would like them to approve a statement of opposition to the project.  (The other two members, Marc Strange and Mark Gold, are already on record as being opposed.)

Marie Angelides      
Richard Foster           
Tom Lachiusa           

(If calling on Monday, call the Select Board Secretary at 413  565-4110.)

Here's what I'm going to write.  Feel free to send the same message or add your own thoughts:

Dear __________________,

I'm a Longmeadow voter who has learned that this Monday, October 21, the Select Board intends to vote on a statement of opposition to the proposed Longmeadow metering station/pipeline project.

I'm writing to request that you vote "yes" on this statement of opposition to ensure our town's future and protect the health and safety of our residents.

Please make sure to do this!  All of our state and federal legislators rely on a statement of opposition from our local governing board in order to effectively intervene in this matter.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Michele Marantz, Chair
Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group

Monday, September 2, 2019

Letter to the Editor- Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group

This LTE was submitted to LongmeadowBuzz by Michele Marantz, Chair, Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group....

On behalf of the Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group, I’d like to thank the 259 registered voters who attended the August 20th Special Town Meeting to cast a near-unanimous vote (3 dissensions) banning the construction of any industrial gas facility in a Longmeadow residential zone.

By voting to ban such a facility, the voters also expressed their opposition to the attachment of a high-pressure 200 psi pipeline that would transport gas north through densely populated neighborhoods into a Springfield residential area.

We would also like to publicly thank the Longmeadow Planning Board whose members have consistently listened to our concerns over the past six months—and have responded to those concerns. 

The Planning Board’s belief that “…these facilities have no business being located in, or adjacent to, residential neighborhoods, close to schools and playgrounds” mirrors our position regarding the health, safety, and economic risks associated with needless pipeline expansion.

We’re grateful that our Planning Board members understand their mandate to protect Longmeadow and are willing to take a public stand toward retaining the residential integrity of our community.

Michele Marantz, Chair
Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group
Longmeadow  01106

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Vote YES on Article #1 at Tonight's Special Town Meeting

When I first heard of the proposed gas metering station on Longmeadow Country Club I did not pay much attention- in fact I did not know exactly where it was located.  As the project progressed I felt that I needed to learn more about the location and its proximity to my home.  So I consulted the Town’s online official GIS (Geographic Information System) which provides town residents with lots of information.

Figure 1: Proposed Columbia Gas Metering Station

Figure 2: Impacted Area- One Mile Radius
I learned the following:
  1. My home is located only ¾ mile from the proposed facility.
  2. A 1 mile radius of the proposed facility includes
    (east-west) from Frank Smith Road to almost Route 91
    (north-south) from Williams Street into Enfield CT
  3. There are 500+ homes (not counting the large number in Enfield, CT within this one mile radius of the proposed gas metering station.
  4. There are 4 schools (Wolf Swamp ES, Glenbrook MS, Center ES and Willie Ross School within this 1 mile radius.
  5. There is 1 school- (Wolf Swamp Road ES) within 1500’ of the proposed facility.
  6. There are 20 homes within 500 feet of the proposed facility.
  7. There are 5 homes within 200 feet of the proposed facility.
  8. There is 1 school (WSR) with 1500 feet of the proposed facility
This Columbia Gas metering station is a commercial industrial facility which should not be allowed in a residential zoned area of town.

I am in support of the proposed new bylaw and urge my fellow residents to vote YES on Article #1 at tonight's Special Town Meeting at Longmeadow High School.

Jim Moran
48 Avondale Road

Monday, August 12, 2019

Newsletter from the Select Board Chair- 8-12-19

This semi-monthly newsletter was submitted by Marie Angelides, current Chair, Longmeadow Select Board in an effort to provide better communications with town residents.

On August 20th at 7:00 in the high school gym,  Longmeadow will have a special town meeting. The Select Board received a citizen’s petition for special town meeting to present a new zoning by law to prohibit the building of utility facilities in a residential zone and to tie the by law passed in the spring town meeting to the Longmeadow’s  existing by laws. The spring citizen’s  by law required monitoring and testing around any facilities built in residential zones. These by laws are written by and presented by citizens. They do not go into effect until they are approved by the Attorney General’s municipal unit. The May by law is still being reviewed by the Attorney General’s office. Zoning by laws will become effective as of the date of the town vote if approved by the AG’s office. Another article on the Special town meeting warrant involves funding of the lowering of the speed bump on Williams Street pedestrian crossing. In the past six months the cost has doubled to implement changes. The town will decide whether to appropriate the funds to lower the elevation of the speed bump.

Longmeadow town residents can go to NEDT at 190 East Main St in Westfield to dispose of hazardous materials. We are no longer participating in the program in Wilbraham. You will need proof of residency and cannot be a business. Go to for hours and acceptable materials.

The plastic bag ban is in effect. Be sure to bring your shopping bags to any stores in Longmeadow.

The Select Board is working with the Department Heads, a legal team, and  an expert to assess the issues and authorities surrounding the building of a Metering Station at the Longmeadow Country Club.

The Search committee is reviewing applications and will be interviewing right after Labor Day. We hope to begin the Select Board interviews by the end of September. Jay Moynihan is our interim town manager. He is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

The DPW and the Adult Center have begun the pouring of the foundations. The DPW project was substantially delayed due to a serious asbestos problem. We have been working with the DEP and the remediation of the problem is almost complete. This is the reason the projects are almost on the same time schedule. The remediation was an expensive project, but doing it correctly was necessary to correct a hazardous condition in our town.

You should file your complaints and concerns online. A record is kept of when the call came in and when the issue is resolved. The data collected on what complaints are received and when they are resolved  is reported to the Department Head, the Town Manager, and the Select Board. It is also the best way to assess if there is a growing problem in an area. Go to Register and file the complaint. The whole process should take less than 5 minutes. You will receive confirmation emails that track the progress of the response. If you have difficulties with the program you can ask for assistance at the Adult Center or Library. If you have a problem with a tree be sure to include your phone number and the location of the tree.

MAPLE ROAD SHOP- at Greenwood Center on Maple Road
Sale!! 50% off all items except for greeting cards on September 20th. Open every weekday 9 to 3. You can find amazing bargains on household items, clothing, and greeting cards. Proceeds to support the Adult Center programming.

Longmeadow Shops: Tuesdays 1-7 Batch Ice Cream Truck/ Thursdays 12-6 Farmers Market
Marie Angelides, Chair, Longmeadow Select Board

Friday, August 9, 2019

Impact of Proposed Metering Station on Longmeadow Health/ Safety

Michele Marantz

This LongmeadowBuzz post was submitted by Michele Marantz, chair of the Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group.  This post is an effort to share information with town residents about the potential impact on health and safety of the proposed natural gas metering station that will be constructed in Longmeadow.

Someone once said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  Because there is truth to that statement, here are two videos for those who are uncertain about the nature of emissions spewing from compressor and meter stations.  Please take a few minutes to view these FLIR videos shown below of the Agawam compressor station and the West Roxbury meter station (included because that station is the same kind of infrastructure intended for Longmeadow.)

Note: The FLIR Gas Detection cameras are infrared cameras which are able to visualize gas by utilizing the gas physics. The camera produces a full picture of the scanned area and leaks appear as smoke on the camera’s viewfinder or LCD, allowing the user to see fugitive gas emissions.  

Both stations emit methane, a colorless and odorless gas that that is 64 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere.  In addition, because what we call “natural” gas now contains significant amounts of fracked gas, current gas emissions include contaminants like benzene, formaldehyde, lead, mercury radon, and nitrous oxide, pollutants linked with problems like asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and heart disease.

On a local level, emissions from the Agawam compressor and the proposed Longmeadow meter stations will be trapped over our area any time there is a temperature inversion or low pressure system, inevitably contributing to the recognized poor quality of our air.

Finally, when you look at the videos, you’ll see a white center amid cloud-like portions that are the polluting emissions.  To those who want to dismiss the plumes as mere heat emissions, note that when the camera moves toward the right, it registers the ambient temperature as 28 degrees.  As the camera moves to the left toward the white portions, the camera still registers the air temperature as 28 degrees.  What you are witnessing with the “plumes” is, in fact, the station’s hydrocarbon footprint.

FLIR- West Roxbury Metering Station

FLIR- Agawam Compressor Station

Our thanks to No Fracked Gas in Mass for their help in providing this information and in interpreting the videos.

Michele Marantz/ Chair- Longmeadow Pipeline Awareness Group

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tuesday is Longmeadow's Annual Town Elections

This LongmeadowBuzz post was created by Jim Moran.....

Annual Town Elections- Tuesday, June 11.
Polling hours at the Longmeadow Community House are 8 am - 8 pm.

There are contested races for both Select Board and School Committee in Tuesday's annual town election.  There are also two important ballot questions. This is an important election that will influence the future of Longmeadow.

Make sure that you take the time to vote on Tuesday.

Select Board Elections

The Select Board race has two incumbents (Mark Gold + Bill Low) and two newcomers (Jeffrey Mueller + Marc Strange) vying for the two open seats. This election is particularly important since our Town Manager Stephen Crane has submitted his resignation and be leaving in mid-August.  Based on past experience the Town could be without the services of an experienced permanent town manager for up to 6 months.

Mark Gold is the most qualified candidate with 10 years of active leadership on the Select Board + 10 additional years as a member and chairman of the town's Capital Planning committee.  His engineering degree and work history as well as analytical thinking and financial know-how serve him well and will be extremely important as the town tackles the gas pipeline issue, expected difficulties with Proposition 2½ levy limits as well as other issues that are likely to occur.

As someone who has watched many Select Board meetings over the past 10 years I have always found Mark to be the most prepared member of the board.  He is not afraid to spend significant personal time outside of board meetings to research an issue or situation so that he can bring solutions and a path forward to the Select Board for consideration. He is stand-up individual and will listen to your concerns and will always take the time to answer your questions.

For the second seat on the Select Board, Marc Strange appears to be the next best qualified candidate with relevant municipal experience as the Director of Planning and Community Development for the Town of Agawam, MA.

School Committee Elections
    4 candidates vying for 3- 1 year seats
    Gianna Allentuck, William Mitchell, Kevin Shea and Armand Wray
    (James Ryan is also running as a write-in candidate.)
    3 candidates vying for 2- 3 year seats
    Susan Bell, Jamie Hench and Kevin Ryczek

With all of the events including five resignations that have taken place during the past year, voters may be confused with the 5 open seats on the School Committee.  As someone who has followed all of the turmoil, I can say without any reservations that the town residents who stepped up for appointments to fill the resignations (Wray, Allentuck, Shea, Bell and Hench) are outstanding candidates (see highlighted names) and should be elected to the Longmeadow School Committee.

Ballot Questions
Question #1
Shall the Town of Longmeadow be allowed to exempt from the provisions of Proposition 2½ so-called, the amounts required to pay for the bond issue in order to make improvement to the Wolf Swamp fields and parking area?
Vote YES

Question #2 (Non-binding)
Shall the Town of Longmeadow consider exercising its rights under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 61B for the first right of refusal relative to Tennessee Gas Pipeline's agreement to purchase an easement over four parcels of land currently zoned for recreational use,  The pursuit of 61B rights will not guarantee the use of the land for open space.
Vote YES

As many of you may know I have been following and commenting on Longmeadow issues related to our schools and to our town government through the LongmeadowBuzz blog for over 10 years.  I have watched many Select Board and School Committee meetings and attended numerous public forums and other town meetings as well.  I have done this in order to provide the average town resident updates of what is happening in our town.