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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, September 29, 2014

TOA Brings Police to Green Pond Marsh

Maybe these holes are traps for tresspassers. 
Last week, I told you that developer Traditions of America has decided to rip open the environmentally sensitive Green Pond Marsh (Bethlehem Township) with 39 holes, each of them 4' x 6'. Engineers are conducting infiltration tests on the site's ability to handle stormwater. This digging is going on in what The Audubon Society has designated as an "Important Bird Area." 162 bird species have been documented there, including eight that are considered endangered or threatened. When I found out what was going on, I went out there to take pictures. They scared the birds away, but I may have scared the developer. There was no backhoe at the site on Friday. Instead, two police officers were there while soil samples were extracted.

One of the officers was Police Chief Dan Pancoast, who told a Sierra Club representative that he was sent there by Manager Melissa Shafer.

Maybe they thought I'd be back and were going to arrest me for taking shitty pictures.

I'd have to plead guilty.

Or maybe they were acting as scarecrows.


Anonymous said...

Simply amazing, the Township Manager orders the Chief of Police to guard a site for developer testing! Are you kidding me? What is going on in that Township? How much did that cost and is the developer getting the bill?

Anonymous said...

"One of the officers was Police Chief Dan Pancoast, who told a Sierra Club representative that he was sent there by Manager Melissa Shafer."

Trachta gate type stuff!

Anonymous said...

Yea, who's whispering in her ear?

Anonymous said...

I'd very skeptical that the Police Chief would say that to a citizen.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did not hear that from the Chief, bit from the Sierra Club rep that the chief spoke to. The Sierra Club rep told me you couldn't ask for a nicer person, and i happen to agree.

As I reflect on things, maybe the developer was concerned there might be some big commotion. I have no reason to believe that anyone acted in any way inappropriately except, perhaps, me.

When I was there, i did step on the property to ask a few questions to the owner's engineer. If he had asked me to get off, I would have done so. I took his polite responses as permission to be there for the limited purpose of asking a few questions. Maybe that alarmed the owner or his engineer. If so, I apologize.

Anonymous said...

The Green Pond development is a very important issue to many people on a visceral level. When there were reports of the digging activity going on, especially in the migration season, Melissa did right by sending someone in authority to the site to keep things legal and orderly. As a bit of a guano head myself, I applaud her actions.


Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but is there any evidence whatsoever that the people opposed to this development were going to do something illegal and disorderly? While real crimes are being committed, the township police are protecting empty holes dug in the ground from those well-known violent people, the bird lovers. Waste of my taxpaper money.

Anonymous said...

@Ben.. really? Unprecedented in this area to send in the Police to protect big men with big diggers from birders. The right thing was not done. In all reality sending Township Police and especially the Chief to protect some developer holes in the ground is outrageous and suspect. How about the Township Police get into the neighborhoods and stop the high school dope dealers and vandals instead of watching test holes being dug.

Anonymous said...

You seem to take “legal and orderly” to the extreme of physical confrontation and protecting “big diggers from birders.” I had in mind a much less fowl interaction.

As for unprecedented, you got me there as I can’t recall another incidence of police being asked to go to where people are digging that many four by six foot holes in such an area. But, now we have such a precedent.

I also can’t believe that Melissa ordered the Chief personally to go there or that the Chief wouldn't have disregarded her suggestion and instead gone to the high school dope dealing and vandalism you mention if such had been going on at the time…although I wouldn’t suppose that the chief would personally be on the sharp end of such things.

This is a very important area of concern to many people in all areas of the country. If you were at the Township meeting on this, you would have seen that it is of great importance the township residents. For our Township Manager to take seriously an issue that is so deeply important to so many is, to me, an action to be applauded and not condemned. We will just have to disagree on this.


Anonymous said...

Ben.. we will need to agree to disagree. You obviously are part of the development team looking to make sure that it uses all possible means to drive a wedge between the residents and the Township. You have been successful in marshaling the Township to protect your interests by spending Taxpayer resources to provide security for a developer. How about the developer pay for his or her own security? This is outrageous and shows a lack of experience on the Township's part in working with residents. It actually shows a sense of paranoia. The best thing that can happen is for the Township to process this matter in accord with the law and listen to all parties and show some actual interest in preserving the environment. The worst thing is for the Township to use its resources to quite the people that pay its salaries and expenses!

Anonymous said...

Police protecting vandals?

I can understand why the vandals/developers are anticipating an outraged response.
Outrageous indeed.

Anonymous said...

If as chronicled here, this would be exactly the kind of shit that brings on the hate for cops.

Tough guys with guns and badges puffing their chests out at bird nerds, at the behest of a power-tripping feeder taking care of pals, no less.


Anonymous said...

Chief Ben. Visceral indeed