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Thread: 1st sticky situation with neighbor

  1. #21
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    And what's the last scene in that movie? Newcomers high-tailing it back home with Prius trunk stuffed with their belongings happy to get back to their permaculture meet-ups in NJ, or the local sheriff wondering about the strange smell of rotting flesh coming from the bottom of the incinerated pile of brush?
    I know.....it’s hyperbole. Used to describe the hopefully minor discomfort of interpersonal relationships with people of different cultures and experiences. Perhaps to be more to the point. Is this a cause worth pursuing? That’s what your OP seemed to be saying, given the possible responses you might get weighed against your conservation and environmentalist convictions. It’s hard to reel in.....once you cast out. As I say, I look forward to your updates and hope this is just a minor inconvenience that you find a solution to for all involved.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williamsmith View Post
    I’m looking forward to the updates on this. I know I’ve seen several movies with a similar plot. Well meaning newcomer with different ideas tries to “educate” the locals.
    The way I read the law, if i am reading the right one, is that the protection act came into effect in 2014, and old usages are grandfathered in. It seems to be aimed at new development. But it also lays out the rationale for the buffer, and says you can't remove the buffer if it is already there, or if you had to cut a dead tree, you have to leave the roots.
    Everybody knows (local or not) that fish need the buffer, and so do birds.

    So I am not getting your emphasis, Williamsmith, on Catherine being some person coming in from Jersey and educating the locals. She is trying to understand and abide by the law. I don't see why she should not have to obey the local Vermont law just because she is from New Jersey.

    If someone were trying to bully me because I was not "from around here" it would piss me off and make me stand my ground. But then, I am from Georgia.

    I do get moving into an area where you are a flatlander/outsider. We did it in upstate New York. It took 10 years before people starting talking to us. I would not repeat that experience for anything.

    Catherine, do you really feel you have a target on your back for having NJ plates? Is there a lot of animosity to people coming in now? I thought that area was full of people "from away" as they say in Maine.

  3. #23
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Catherine, do you really feel you have a target on your back for having NJ plates? Is there a lot of animosity to people coming in now? I thought that area was full of people "from away" as they say in Maine.
    Well, let me put it this way in terms of how Vermonters feel about outsiders. I was at a pre-wedding event in Brandon, VT a couple of years ago, and I met one of the locals. I asked him a few small talk questions and he said that his family has been in Vermont since the Civil War. So I said to him, "Oh! So you're ALMOST a real Vermonter!" And he laughed, knowing what I meant.

    Once you get outside of Burlington you are treading on "real Vermonter" territory, and I do believe they take notice. But this is a town that quadruples its population in the summer, so we're not the only outsiders. Our neighbors come from Long Island, Montreal, Connecticut and Florida. Overall, we've found the folks to be extremely welcoming, and as I mentioned elsewhere, I already have a more robust social life than I do in NJ.

    I just don't want to nip that in the bud.
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  4. #24
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    I do get moving into an area where you are a flatlander/outsider.
    Outsider mentality is everywhere and sometimes you have to tread carefully to keep the peace. Here it is those obnoxious Texans and liberal Californians. In Texas, it was just Californians of any stripe. I made sure to get the TX plates off the car ASAP. Irony is I was born in Colorado as were my parents and grandparents.

  5. #25
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I suspect that other neighbours may be aware of the need for buffers and your 'tree-removal neighbour' is the real newbie. Just because he came visiting his uncle over the years does to give him a pass to make changes to the shoreline without consultation with the neighbours.

    If your DH does the talking over a beer or similar, I would give him the tools of information. One person's impulsive idea of how things should be will upset those other neighbours who have been coming and paying the expenses/consequences for years. Consultations enable discussion leading to great shared ideas.

    A knowledgeable person does not have to be the law itself but a respected neighbour living right there for years and seeing the cycles of weather and impact. It could be enough to set your mind at ease and let you relax.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  6. #26
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Update on this...

    I haven't yet broached the subject, but neither has my neighbor brought his mowers down to the lakefront. He's doing other projects at the moment.

    But I do think that his view is the more predominant view. DH and I were over at one of the other neighbor's homes, and they were talking about how "quirky" the prior owner of our home was. For background, the previous owner is about 30, and has a degree in some type of marine environmental science. He's totally into permaculture, and our neighbors were talking about his strange "inventions" and projects--like raising tilapia in the back yard and having water filtrations systems via vegetation around the property.

    So, our friend said, "So I used to tell M__, 'Hey, M__, are you going to cut the lawn anytime soon?'" (meaning his part of the property adjacent the common lakeshore). Our friend continued, "And he would say, 'Do you know how many frogs are in there?' He didn't want to cut the lawn because of erosion and things, but that's not why we bought here." (italics mine)

    So that's the prevailing attitude. I kept my mouth shut. But I have a plan. The water in our little bay is really infested with milfoil, and while the blue algae is not unsafe, it's still a mess. So we were talking about that, and I think that's where I can maybe start. Because it's a community concern, I've found out who the local experts are in harvesting the weeds and excess ickiness. If I move that project along, that will make me feel better from an environmental point of view and it will address some of their concerns as well.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  7. #27
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    That’s a great plan.

  8. #28
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    It is, Catherine. Maine, where my son lives, is totally into watersheds and water quality and they send folks around to look at the little stream in his backyard and they get intense about things. So if you use the milfoil at get the state environmental reps involved, they may have things to say about the whole lakeshore where you are that will start a process of education and improvement.

  9. #29
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Well, the summer is over

    My neighbors have all pretty much left for the winter. One of my neighbors is back at her home sitting in the trees on weekends with her gun and camo hoping to bag a buck. One of my neighbors is undergoing a below-the-knee amputation due to unsuccessful attempts at addressing ankle bone issues, but he and his wife will probably spend the whole summer up here next year, which I welcome as they are fun people. The other neighbor (the one that's mower-happy) is back at his central Vermont home, out in his yard cutting down trees for the 6 cords of wood that he uses to heat his house all winter, and his kids are in school. There are other neighbors, too--a new neighbor--even newer than DH and I! They seem really really nice. And another neighbor I just recently got to know. Her husband died suddenly 2 years ago, but she's been coming up here more often this year, and she and I are now founding members of the new lakeshore restoration association.

    I never pushed my environmental agenda, but I'm pretty confident consensus can be formed organically over time as we identify common goals. My son is looking to buy a small camper to park in our yard. He's spent every day off up here.

    I didn't get half, or even a quarter, of the things done I wanted to do, but that's OK. There's always next summer. We'll be packing up and leaving late October.

    So ends our Big Adventure in Vermont 2018.

    In case you guys didn't see this SNL skit about Vermont, I thought this was pretty funny.

    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #30
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Occasionally, as you travel my area of the country, you’ll notice a house with a large confederate battle flag either draped out a window or nailed to a barn. All rebel....no southerner in em at all. If they’d have been asked to fight for Dixie, they’d have fled to Mexico.

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