This began last spring with a complaint to the Fairhaven Board of Health about the turbines. I wrote in an email: “To think the Health Board had not only the opportunity but the obligation to stop this and didn’t is outrageous. Peter DeTerra, deserves all that would rain upon him.”
I also copied a section from the law known as the Noisome Trade Act onto the form. The fact that the Health Board failed to follow this law continues to result in injury to those who live near the turbines. Before these turbines were erected I appealed with no avail to the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Environmental Protection and state Department of Health to force the Fairhaven Board of Health to follow the process outlined in state laws. I reminded Chairman DeTerra in open meetings of this law. I have voiced my opposition to this project at meetings and in letters to the newspaper.
This issue is contentious and ongoing it has been divisive and difficult but that’s to be expected in a democracy. Chairman DeTerra must know he hasn’t done his job and knows full well what rains upon him. He hears from those he was meant to protect and, possibly, from his conscience. The rain was and is clearly a metaphor for those voices. But rather than do his job, he used my complaint as a way to stem the criticism. He told the police it was a threat. The police report said, “this was not a direct threat and could be interpreted in a number of ways.”
What happened after Chairman DeTerra’s visit to the Fairhaven police station crossed a line for me.
Board of Selectmen Chairman Brian Bowcock took my benign health board complaint containing a dumb phrase and emailed it, the police report and a letter implying other non-existent threats to the president of my employer, the Rhode Island School of Design.
The message looks to be an official act by the Fairhaven Board of Selectmen. He used the town letterhead and signed in his capacity as chairman.
The letter cites non-existent ongoing threats. The police report doesn’t mention a restraining order – as suggested by Mr. Bowcock – and says my comment is not a threat. It mentions nothing else in relation to threats, except that if any threats were to be made, I would be charged criminally, which I have not. I know this only because Mr. Bowcock attached the contradicting police report to his email.
Selectmen Bob Espindola and Charlie Murphy have since sent a registered letter to RISD to divorce themselves and the town from Mr. Bowcock’s defamatory email packet.
Several months ago, I contacted the Fairhaven Board of Health and asked to meet. Mr. DeTerra responded with a registered letter, “This is a personal issue, and if you persist in the threats I will take the appropriate action through the police department to safeguard myself and my family’s safety and well being.”
As seen on video of a debate at the Hastings Middle School, Mr. DeTerra said that when police came for me I wouldn’t open my door.
That never happened.
At the same debate, Mr. Bowcock responded that the letter he wrote was a matter discussed in executive session. In The Standard-Times article of March 26 (“Lone selectman’s action prompts ethics complaint”), he stops that defense.
In that article, he conflates my health board complaint with the massacres at Newtown and the Colorado movie theater, despicably invoking the memory of dead children to defend himself and Mr. DeTerra.
What began last spring continues. It goes beyond the right and wrong of a specific project or the pros and cons of wind turbines.
That’s why I’ve asked the State Ethics Commission to investigate.
These two individuals refused to talk about what they did because they thought I would go away. Fairhaven deserves better. What happened to me can happen to you. Bowcock and DeTerra don’t belong in office.
Henry Ferreira lives in Fairhaven.
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