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Meredith should never have allowed crematorium in that location

To The Daily Sun,

For me, it's hard to believe that Peter Mayhew of Mayhew's Funeral Home in Meredith has chosen to jeopardize his character, credibility, reputation and his clients' peace of mind, over the cost of extending the height of his crematorium chimney. Instead of simply extending his chimney he now has decided to hire a lawyer and sue the very man who once said, "If you extend your chimney you'll never hear from me again" (story - May 19).

It makes no sense. Mr. Mayhew must be aware that lawyers aren't cheap and that he is losing business because of all this controversy. So, if you factor in the lawyer and loss of business and compare that to what an extension would have cost you really begin to wonder why he's throwing so much money away when he could have just made the problem go away by extending the chimney.

There's no question that the setbacks, in respect to the chimney's particulate and gas emissions, are improper and that the DES and town of Meredith should have never allowed the crematorium in that location, in the first place. Even a blind person can see that. But none of that matters anymore.

Since town governments and state agencies aren't really familiar with the concepts of admitting their mistakes and fixing them, Mr. Mayhew and his abutter seem doomed to remain locked in battle, the lawyers will become richer, public opinion will escalate, nerves will be frayed, sleep will be lost ... and unfortunately the one person who could have made this problem go away, will not be called ... the mason.

Al Blake

  • Category: Letters
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There have been years of protests & meetings with town officials

To The Daily Sun,

It is understandable that those who do not live within the ash cloud of Mayhew's furnace would have a different and possibly incorrect view of the situation at hand. It is also understandable that those who have used Mayhew's services for their loved ones are shocked at the truth regarding the dispersal of their loved one's ashes from his chimney.

What many apparently don't know is that this has been an ongoing issue with the Town of Meredith ever since Mayhew installed his incinerator. What most folks don't see are the years of protest and meetings with Meredith officials which have led to this point. What the general public has not heard is the Meredith Chief of Police telling us that either we get used to breathing in a cloud of human ash, or we move. It took a Meredith business owner to finally bring this issue to the light of day.

When I put myself in Mr. Douglas's shoes, I see a picture of a man and his wife who have a financially leveraged themselves to pursue a lifelong dream of running a motorcycle museum, purchasing an expensive property without ever being told there was a incinerator stack just feet from their front doors. I see two good people's dreams being destroyed by a selfish, uncaring business owner who doesn't even reside in this town.

We all concur that cremation is a public service and a necessity. We simply do not agree on where these cremations should take place.

I have researched historic records and find that this issue has been addressed over and over again. In the Dec. 18, 1902, edition of the Sanitary Record and Journal, authorities deemed that a crematorium may not be built within 200 yards of a dwelling-house nor within 50 yards of a public throughway.

We are not seeking to break new ground here. This wheel has already been invented. It is really hard to dispute the fact that Meredith has allowed a crematorium directly across the street from a McDonald's restaurant, 160 feet from our front door and less than 75 feet from the front doors of Mr. Douglas's museum. Add to this the video evidence of fire, ash and thick black smoke spewing from Mayhew's incinerator as well as the ash collected from various museum exhibits on Mr. Douglas's property and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to determine that this is the wrong location to perform these incinerations.

Folks who do not live here are obviously free to voice their opinions, however, I would hope that they would be educated opinions. This is not an attack on those who have lost loved ones and chose to use Mayhew's funeral home. This is a public outcry regarding the location where your loved one's bodies are being cremated. This is a matter of public health.

Tracy Pillsbury

  • Category: Letters
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