My name is Jim Martel, and I live at 11 chestnut St., Westbrook. I have lived at this address for most of my 50 years. I was compelled to write this letter while I was standing on my back deck looking out over my back yard and listening to the sounds of a skidder, chain saws and trees falling about 100 feet from me. And then later I listened and watched as my neighbor’s children along with my son removed boards from the forest that they had collected over time that was supposed to be their tree fort. I was reminded of my childhood growing up in this neighborhood and city. The hours of fun the kids of Chestnut Street and surrounding areas enjoyed in those woods were memories we still have and share today,and they are numerous. The kids of Chestnut Street were the envy of other neighborhoods because we built our own makeshift baseball field. We played “cowboys and indians,” “army soldiers” and various other games. During summer vacations our parents alway knew where to find us: IN THE WOODS. Well, I’m sorry to say that my son and all the children of Chestnut, Mitchell, Lincoln, Mayberry and Pierce streets will never know the joys and hours of fun in the Forest. Who is to blame? The Developers? They are running a buisness and will take the path of least resistance. The city officials? They say they are doing what’s best for the city. I am afraid that the blame can only fall on us, the citizens of Westbrook. We trust the people that we put in positions of power and we walk away. It is time for all the taxpayers of Westbrook to take a really good look at what is going on in this city. If you have a back porch with a nicely wooded area or a field, be very scared because it could all disappear. And by the time you react it will be too late. This city has turned into a big play yard for developers, and the city officials are just opening the floodgates. Look around the city, the houses are stacking up like cordwood. Also, remember these two words, “EMINENT DOMAIN.” Be afraid citizens of Westbrook, be very afraid.

Jim Martel

11 chestnut St.