If Fairhaven is to heal, we first need to admit to the wound. In one courageous act of compassion, selectmen Chairman Charlie Murphy did just that (“Fairhaven official apologizes for turbine ‘suffering,'” April 10). What I witnessed was an act that would begin to reunite us as a town.
Unbeknownst to his fellow board members, Charlie made an announcement. He asked Karen Isherwood to come forward and be seated in the front row and directly across from him. Karen is familiar with this seat. She has made a point in taking this seat across from those who had refused to hear her concerns, those who accused her of not speaking in her own words and those who simply had cast her off as “crazy.”
In an emotional moment, the chairman looked directly into Karen’s eyes and apologized for the town’s inaction. Charlie spoke from the heart, saying “no one should go without sleep.” Karen was without words and brought to tears. Those in the room stood in applause. The chairman then moved that the selectmen and the Board of Health become united in hearing the voices of the turbine victims. The board then voted to begin proceedings to hold a full public hearing and move toward mitigation. Town council and the executive secretary voiced concerns, but the selectmen held their ground.
I say thank you for the elderly veteran who can no longer spend time in his beloved garden, the mother who hopes that her twins will someday enjoy the river in which their great grandfather swam, the teenager that has to sleep away to escape the headaches, the young minds that will soon be enriched at the new Wood School and all of your neighbors. You’ve put Fairhaven on the road to healing as a town through this one simple act of courage and compassion.