Letter to the Editor: Does the Decision to Postpone Trick-or-Treat Scare You?

A Wenham father asks whether the decision to postpone Trick-or-Treat scares you.

To the Editor:

I'm scared. Really scared. Halloween is here! Be careful of the ghouls, goblins and ghosts out there!

But I'm not scared about that. I'm really scared about the direction our towns are headed in, based on their decision hours ago to "postpone" Halloween.

It's outrageous, uncalled for, and insulting to our collective common sense.

First things first. I feel for all of you out there without power, in harm's way and inconvenienced by the power outage or downed lines in your street. As a tight-knit community, I think most of us know someone who has been affected by the storm, and, most likely we all have offered help. Now that that's out the way, lets dig a little deeper here, and, well, vent.

Page, Heidi and Michelle Bailey have all offered their ideas and frustration over here.

I'd like to take a similar approach by offering additional options, solutions and my opinion.

1. I'm not writing this post as an angry mom or dad who's speaking out on behalf of a kid who is in tears…(but I feel for all of you who are breaking the news now). Our two young boys could honestly care less about Halloween. One of them isn't going to Halloween, the other doesn't even have a costume yet, so we're not terribly inconvenienced by this.

2. I'm frustrated by the last-minute nature of this. With all of the technology, media and information available to us in this day and age, couldn't we have least planned for this a few days ago?

3. I'm most disturbed by the "Decree" issued by our towns to postpone Halloween. Why is it their right to do so? I'm all for safety of kids, but how about trusting us to use our common sense. If a neighborhood was dark, why would the kids want to go there - no candy, right? And, as parents, why would we even bring them to a neighborhood with downed power lines and no power. It's insulting to our collective intelligence. Are you saying that we would purposefully put our children in harm's way?

Why not trust us to do the right thing?

- If you're in a safe neighborhood, why not have a Halloween party at your house? Invite those kids over without power.

- If you're at home without power, why not get creative? Light some candles, tell ghost stories and improvise a bit? Would be a fun memory for the kids - "Remember back in 2012 when we had no power and we played hide and go seek in the dark?"

- Don't do Halloween. If you don't want to go out with your kids, then don't. Chalk the whole thing up to fate, bad timing, and bad luck.

In fact, we're the lucky ones. We weren't in New Jersey, Connecticut or New York. We didn't lose a loved one, a house, a boat, or a car did we? Is no Halloween really that bad?

In the grand scheme of things, I'm getting increasingly nervous about the state of our society now. We're frantic about everything. Everything is deemed potentially unsafe or hazardous to us. We don't trust ourselves or each other. We're bubble-wrapping ourselves and our kids. We need to drink bottled water, have better bike helmets, safer car seats, organic food, prescription drugs, you name it.  And If I'm hurt or inconvenienced, I'm probably going to sue you.

So, I'm upset. The "Hamilton-Wenham Powers-That-Be" don't trust us. And that scares me. Does it scare you?

Tyson Goodridge


Michelle Bailey October 31, 2012 at 08:41 PM
The town has no authority to postpone Halloween; it's a privately organized event. If there is a real danger, close the streets or call a curfew, for everyone's safety, not just costumed children walking the neighborhoods. Postponing to Saturday (an already highly scheduled night in this community) was not the right choice. Tyson Goodridge for Mayor, empowering people with common sense.
Heidi October 31, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Halloween is on tonight at 27 mill st. Come in costume... leave with candy. You won't be disappointed.
Heather Tripp October 31, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Amen! And very well written Tyson!
Tracy November 01, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Wow, you guys, I mean you no disrespect but you need to talk a walk (please don't drive!) over to Fox Run Road/Tally Ho area (always one of THE busiest neighborhoods in the towns on Halloween) before you give an opinion. While (almost) everyone else resumed their lives, we have been really struggling over here -- not just with loss of power and dangling power lines but with completely cut-off access to the rest of town. Until late this morning, an ambulance, police car or fire truck couldn't make its way down here. THAT's scary for real. Michael Lombardo and the other folks at Town Hall were amazing in battling hard with NationalGrid, which was this morning telling us 3-4 more DAYS of this, and late this afternoon our roadway was finally cleared out. But way too late for Halloween, the area around where the tree and telephone poles fell is a mess, not safe for anyone, especially little kids with masks on. Halloween is fun, but going through a long period where we weren't covered by basic safety services puts candy in perspective. Besides, Saturdays are way more fun for kids and parents alike, and allllll that candy is going to be on sale tomorrow morning! :-) Please think of what your fellow citizens have been through the last 48 hours and CHILL. <namaste>
Nancy November 01, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Tracy-- Thanks for stating the other side of the issue. I wish you the best and hope all is back to normal soon for your neighborhood and all the others waiting for their power to come back on and homes repaired from falling trees.
Michael November 01, 2012 at 02:00 AM
Folks, we are slowly losing our civil liberties and freedoms. Up until last week we were barred from all outdoor activities due to the risk of EEE or West Nile Virus. Now at the last minute our kids were once again denied their childhood and ordered not to celebrate Halloween. The timing of this could have been better planned. I'm all about safety and staying away from power lines. As the letter notes, let us make decisions for our children. I too am very concerned with the direction we are headed in. Last week I was one of three people to show up at a Public Health meeting to voice my concern. Anyone here who is upset at today's decision should show up at the next town meeting and voice their concerns. This is a democracy that we live in and we all have the power to voice our concerns and vote out those who erode our liberties. So, lets start attending town meetings and telling our representatives that we do not want to be ordered what to do.
Ken Dixon November 01, 2012 at 02:19 AM
It's not a privately organized event if you leave your property - if the town has no authority then maybe it has no responsibility to serve and protect if, God forbid, an accident occurs during trick-or-treating? There are tons of dangerous conditions still out there right now on the streets - are you more of an expert on these than our police department? I bet not! I suggest you put things in perspective here - our kids will understand that this postponement is happening because those who have to make a decision made it with overall safety in mind.
J. Harkness November 01, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Over the years it is obvious that the powers-that-be in Hamilton are arrogant and above the law. Employees and elected officials certainly abuse their power here and are just not held accountable, so it continues. Do not just anonymously complain about the way the town operates on blogs, attend meetings to show your disapproval, demand transparency of government as well as accountability for actions. Over the course of several years Hamilton has become the laughingstock of the area, with more embarrassing incidents than any town in the state and still residents have not earnestly banded together at town meeting to demand change. We are certainly capable of showing our displeasure with this town in more ways than just blogging negative comments, so lets do it!
Michael November 01, 2012 at 02:55 AM
Agree 100%- Let's show up at weekly Selectman meetings and Town meetings and voice our concerns.
Tyson Goodridge November 01, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Tracy (and Nancy) I hear you. You were completely isolated over there and for you and your neighbors, it's been a lousy/scary week for all of you. I actually saw Ken on Tuesday morning and offered my car for him and anyone to use to get out. My wife and I have delivered dinner to some friends over there the last two nights. It's scary and unsafe. And, I've ALWAYS gone to your neighborhood for Halloween-it's the best (and busiest) place to be! When we saw the destruction first-hand we knew Halloween would never happen over there. The word was out- don't go to Fox Run/Tally Ho. It's scary and unsafe...IF there WAS an emergency there on Halloween night, there'd be trouble- serious trouble. I guess I'm struggling with the fact that we needed a directive from both towns to tell us that. We're not dumb. We live in a town chock-full of well educated, smart people. In fact, if it were THAT unsafe why didn't we cancel school? I hope that you and the family recover and that you get your fill of (deeply-discounted!) Halloween candy on Saturday- people should bring candy to YOU! And you are right, Saturday is a nice bonus for some people. Some lucky families will get to "double-dip" on Halloween and maybe enjoy TWO Halloweens...Wait, are they ALLOWED to do that? what about cavities and childhood obesity?! :-)
Anne Sweeney November 01, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Actually, the police do have the authority to cancel Halloween, door to door trick or treating. If they deem there is a threat to public safety, they could travel down streets and tell parents to take their children home. Remember, Massachusetts is a Commonwealth, not New Hampshire where you can choose to live free or die. You chameleons and lemmings chose this form of government and appointed your leaders into power. You can change this, but I know you won't ?
Jay Burnham November 01, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Mayor? I like Tyson too, but neither town has that form of government.
Doug November 01, 2012 at 11:38 AM
Thank god for government, for it keeps us free from all danger and discomfort.
IMHO November 01, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Anne are the police that could come over to us and tell us to return to our homes for trick or treating the same police that stole from us in their emt training scam? Yes they are. Well then I have a problem having my freedoms taken by officers that admitted to breaking the law and were not arrested just because of their position in town. Let us never forget the abhorrent behavior of our town in the last several years and try and do something about it as voters.
Tyson Goodridge November 01, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Where's the like button here? :-)
Stephanie Senerchia November 01, 2012 at 12:38 PM
At first when I heard Halloween was postponed I was incredulous. I thought it was an outrageously arrogant act by the powers that be. But another side of my mind thought that it could not have been without reason. As new members of this community my husband and I are not supremely familiar with all the neighborhoods yet. Our own neighborhood was spared major damage, but I'm learning that was not the case everywhere. If there are areas that are still unreachable by emergency vehicles, areas with downed power lines and large trees, then I do agree that those areas would be dangerous for little trick-or-treaters! To make such a mandate pretty much assumes that the parents of those little ones do not have the brain power to ascertain a safe neighborhood from an unsafe one, and that is a bit insulting. But I suppose those in charge always have to cater to the lowest common denominator. I admit I half expected to see costumed people out in droves. I was sort of shocked that everyone actually obeyed the mandate in our neighborhood. (I'm from RI, where there is a fair amount of lawlessness.) In any case, being from Providence so in terms of government I'll take overly cautious over completely and unabashedly corrupt any day of the week at this point. :) We do love it here.
Melissa Doran Goodwin November 01, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Tyson...AMEN!!! I am 100% with you!
Concerned November 01, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Here's the problem...Most people are inteligent and make smart decisions. Unfortunately some people are stupid and government has the task of protecting these people. Govenment can not single out these "stupid" people so a sweeping decision must be made for all in the name of safety. Our neighborhood stuck it to "the man" and rallied and we trick-or-treated as a group in our neighborhood. We were safe and had a lot of fun. IMHO...I have a feeling you're the type of person that would take any shot you could at insulting the town police and leaders. And not to get off topic here but to answer your question, NO, they are not. They were dealt with and the ones that I know are solid, hard working men (don't know any women). J. Harkness...Are you serious? Have you been to Lawrence, Chelsea, Lynn or any number of poorly managed cities or towns? I have a feeling you sit in your pompous, curmudgeon chair somewhere and haven't seen what real problems are. There's a reason people come to H/W. Don't forget why you came here.
Lori November 01, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Actually Alison, not talking about the elections is a much kinder place to be! :)
Michelle Bailey November 02, 2012 at 05:31 PM
NY Marathon to be held tomorrow: http://www.ingnycmarathon.org/
PJ December 17, 2012 at 08:07 PM
The good-old USA is turning more and more socialist... if not Communist! Dictators requiring the populace to behave and not think for them selves... but thank the lawyers for that... if someone trips over an errant leaf on someones else's publicly accessible private property the lawsuits would make Sandy seem like a tempest in a tea cup... so an overdose of caution is probably warranted - but I expect some one will sue the towns edicts / elders for depravation of sweets to children. Gotta love the American mindset! But on the whole - surely no town edict can stop people A: celebrating halloween or Christmas or Kwanza... and B: anyone else joining in!!!! No matter what they, the towns, say... unless they issue a 'state of emergency' - marshal law or other ordenance which restricts public or private gatherings without a license - heck, you wouldn't want a whole bunch of sugar high preteens mobilizing against authority - parental or otherwise!!! But, finally - as a matter of perspective... is this really an issue over that of ownership of assault weapons / weapons of mass destruction... the world is appalled by the USA and its perpetual loss of innocent, time and time again... and Tyson has the balls to talk about intelligence!!?? (see next)
PJ December 17, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Removing the mindset that owning anything greater than a rifle, bow or shotgun for registered purposes in residential households - belies intelligence: wake up America or accept the sacrifice of your children. I for one will not sacrifice or accept others willingness to sacrifice... unless its candies and costumes... then my own creativity will evolve halloween to new traditions!
marc bowlen January 27, 2013 at 05:26 AM
What part of the government does Ken Dixon work for? Or maybe your relatives? The police no nothing, they are uneducated morons that are lucky to have a union and civil service protection! as far as EEE or West Nile? There are products like OFF or Repel 100, sprayed on you and your children every hour will protect everybody! The Police can't order people into their homes! If they do we still have the power of our fellow citizens to aquit us at jury trial if they arrest you falsely and award you damages when you sue them for false arrest, but those rights will soon be taken away as did our rights to jury trials on civil motor vehicle infractions and our rights to free access to the courts as you know have to pay for your cases to be heard in the courts involving motor vehicle infractions that the police bring forward! Let's not forget about the Bar Association that has taken over the courts and our government! The reason why they want to take away your guns is because when they tax you into bankruptcy, to pay for their pensions, salaries, and the welfare that supports their voters that get them elected to office, when they come to take your homes for failing to pay all their taxes, they don't want to have that firepower and magazine clips used on them!


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