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Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 9:56 am

This has been going on for a while. What a bunch of jerks!
Shellfisherman eyes a new site off island

MASHPEE — Faced with resistance and two lawsuits from Popponesset Island and Daniels Island residents, Richard Cook withdrew his proposal for a 1-acre shellfish grant.

On Monday, Cook filed the request to withdraw his application for the grant located close to shore off Popponesset Island. He then filed for a new one for a 1.9-acre grant farther offshore in the middle of Popponesset Bay.

Both grants will be addressed during a public hearing at 6:40 p.m. on Dec. 19.

"He made the decision because of the opposition and the fact that he probably didn't have the financial resources to take on that particular group of neighbors," said Kevin Kirrane, a Mashpee attorney representing Cook.

This year, Popponesset Island was named one of the country's wealthiest neighborhoods with a household median income of $243,000, according to Forbes.com. Approximately two dozen residents of Popponesset Island and Daniels Island had publicly opposed Cook's first grant application.

"They're pleased that it's being withdrawn. They had many objections," said Brian Wall, a Sandwich attorney representing the residents. The residents have not yet decided if they will oppose Cook's new proposal, he added.

According to the application, Cook's new grant, if approved, would be just west of the Popponesset spit — and about 1,150 feet from the homes of residents who opposed the original grant.

"It's offshore, so it's a significant distance from anybody," Kirrane said.

Cook has operated a 3.3-acre grant in Ockway Bay since 1983.
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How do people live near the water on Cape Cod and not expect to see something like shellfishing going on? Piss on their oysters!
I'd get some of this guy's product but Dennis Oysters is even more local.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Tue Dec 20, 2011 3:54 pm

Mashpee selectmen OK disputed shellfish grant
By Heather Wysocki
hwysocki@capecodonline.com
December 20, 2011

MASHPEE — Embattled shellfisherman Richard Cook will get a second chance at a Popponesset Bay shellfish grant.

At their meeting Monday night, selectmen voted unanimously to approve Cook's proposal for a 1.9-acre shellfish grant in the middle of Popponesset Bay.

"I don't see any impact on the neighborhood at all," board chairman Wayne Taylor said.

Cook submitted his application for the new grant on Dec. 5, along with the proposal to withdraw his original request for an acre grant directly off Popponesset Island.

That original grant, proposed in the spring, drew fire and a lawsuit from around two dozen Popponesset and Daniel's Island residents who opposed its location near their homes.

On Monday night, attorney Brian Wall, who represents 21 Popponesset and Daniel's Island residents, expressed many of the same concerns with the second grant that were voiced about the first.

"My clients did not expect to have a commercial operation move into their neighborhood," Wall told selectmen.

Residents are concerned that the shellfishing operation will impede recreational activities, reduce property values and, in the case of a severe storm, bring debris onto residents' land, Wall said.

He asked that selectmen table a vote on the project in order to create a series of regulations for shellfishing in Popponesset Bay.

But selectmen praised Cook's willingness to compromise. They noted that a shellfish grant run by the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe at Punkhorn Point, which is closer to homeowners than Cook's new proposal, operates without complaint.
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Misleading headline.
AND
Whattaa buncha bastids!


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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  mermaid on Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:04 am

Pompous Popponesset people. Who I`m certain talk with their teeth clenched..

can`t help but wonder who`s houses they cleaned to earn enough $$ to live there.

Good good good for the shellfisherman!!! bounce bounce bounce
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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:08 am

I'd LOVE to have an oyster fahm behind my house!

That's sooo Cape Cod.

I've tried planting clam shells in my back yard but it hasn't worked out too well. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  mermaid on Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:14 am

www.cgi/http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111229/OPINION/112290338/-1/OPINION02" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111229/OPINION/112290338/-1/OPINION02

Popponesset residents unlikely to accept deal

December 29, 2011

Here we go again. I am referring to the Dec. 19 hearing regarding the Richard Cook shellfish grant request (and subsequent approval).

Apparently there is no stopping the money from flowing across the water to stop the implantation of shellfish beds in Poppy Bay. The shellfisherman relented after the first hearing and relocated a distance away from one of the aggrieved homeowners' apparent self-proclaimed ownership of the common waters. And now the attorney representing the still-aggrieved consortium is recommending that a panel of experts be gathered to explore the possibility of designating the waters as some kind of special entity (meaning, I would guess, to stop the shellfisherman).

The relocated shellfish grant was approved, but it will not stop there. The formality of other board reviews will only give the opponents more time to litigate. It makes one think of how this will affect aboriginal rights to these waters.

The opponents make false arguments about debris washing ashore during storms. Does it not happen naturally during storms? A lot of debris washes ashore even without storms.

Let's follow the money all the way to the Supreme Court. I'll bet 99 to 1 that is where it will end up.

Thomas J. Marcello

Centerville

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What is their PROBLEM ???? Bunch of small minded snoots.


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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:29 am

Popponesset Bay shellfish grant gets nod

By Heather Wysocki
hwysocki@capecodonline.com
June 25, 2012

MASHPEE — An embattled 1.9-acre Popponesset Bay shellfish grant proposal has yet another approval from the town but could still face litigation and appeal from its outspoken opponents.

On June 14, the Mashpee Conservation Commission voted 7-0 to approve Richard Cook's application to begin growing oysters in an area just west of the Popponesset Spit.

It is Cook's second attempt to begin growing shellfish in the bay.

"First and foremost, the commission felt the applicant submitted everything that was required," Mashpee conservation agent Andrew McManus said.

The approval came after a series of meetings at which the project's opponents, who are residents of nearby Popponesset and Daniel's Island, consistently asked the commission to require Cook to provide more detailed information.

But like his first application for a 1-acre grant off Popponesset Island, filed in March 2011, Cook's second application met conservation commission requirements and was approved by the state Division of Marine Fisheries and the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, McManus said.

In addition, the commission liked the project because shellfish "provide a net environmental benefit" by filtering the harmful nitrogen from bodies of water, he said.
________________________________
Still? Again? :facepalm3:

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Wed May 07, 2014 1:42 am

Mashpee shellfisherman torpedoed by off-Cape politician

MASHPEE – The latest attempt to block a 1.9-acre oyster farm in Popponesset Bay has a Mashpee shellfisherman and Cape Cod officials steamed over what they say is a blatant attempt to thwart local control.

An amendment was slipped into the state budget last week that would declare the exact borders of Mashpee resident Richard Cook’s grant a “special coastal resource sanctuary.” The designation would prohibit not only the oyster farm but any other projects, including routine dredging, in the area that is just west of the Popponesset Spit and in view of homes on both Popponesset and Daniels islands.

Cook, who has fought a three-year battle over the Popponesset site, said he was “shocked, but not surprised” when he learned of the amendment late last week.

“I’m still in shock over it, that something like this could happen without notification to anyone in town, for one thing, or the representatives in this area,” he said. “If there was some concern, obviously, they should take it up with the local people or the local governing bodies.”

The amendment was added to the House of Representatives budget by Rep. Michael Costello, a Newburyport Democrat whose district is 100 miles from Mashpee. Costello didn’t consult with any members of the Cape Cod delegation about the item, which was part of a consolidated block of amendments considered and passed toward the end of the budget process. The amendment only references the longitude and latitude of the area and doesn’t mention Mashpee, Popponesset Bay or the oyster project.

Costello, who is not seeking another term in office, did not return multiple messages from the Times seeking comment Tuesday.

“On face value, it seems outrageous,” said state Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich. “It’s filled with GPS coordinates so that it would be difficult to know the exact place and location unless you have GPS ingrained in your head. It appears as though the intention was to have it be a quiet amendment that sailed through.”

Cook has operated a 3.3-acre shellfish grant in Ockway Bay in Mashpee since 1983. He first proposed a 1-acre site in Popponesset Bay in 2011, but moved it farther away from shore to pacify nearby homeowners who called it a nuisance and potential safety hazard.

His changes didn’t lessen the homeowners’ ire, however, and they’ve fought him through the town, local and state courts, and Massachusetts regulatory agencies at every turn. Two court cases stemming from lawsuits filed in Barnstable Superior Court are pending in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

“(They) have lost every step of the way, so it’s obvious they feel they cannot win in the court system,” Cook said Tuesday. “To go behind everyone’s back without notification is just beyond belief.”

Mashpee Town Manager Joyce Mason said no one contacted her or anyone in the town about the amendment or concerns over the bay’s environmental safety.

“It’s frustrating. Mr. Cook has done everything he can, above board and legally, within the permitting process,” Mason said. “It’s frustrating he’s hit a stone wall.”

Although the amendment passed quietly, Wolf said the publicity surrounding the item will help him stop it on the Senate side. If a concurring amendment isn’t filed with the Senate budget, then the item would go to conference committee, with three members each from the House and Senate.

Even if it makes it out of conference committee, Wolf said he would petition Gov. Deval Patrick to use his line-item veto to axe the language from the budget.

State Rep. David Vieira, R-Falmouth, said he voted in favor of the budget but did not realize the amendment pertained to his district because of its unclear language.

“The question I still have is why did Rep. Costello submit this amendment? Under what pretense and purpose did he think it was a good idea?” Vieira said. “He better share (his reason) with the legislators, if he has one.”

While the amendment wasn’t illegal, it was borderline unethical, said Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Joseph W. Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College.


“It’s a bad process,” he said. “It’s completely lacking in transparency. It wasn’t vetted, there was no hearing so no one has a chance to review any of the allegations that Costello is making. It’s a very clear example of a legislator with power pushing through an amendment to benefit a group of people.”
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WOW! What an asshole! clam clam 

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Thu May 08, 2014 4:22 am

Lobbyists behind move to block oyster beds in Popponesset Bay


By Christian Wade
Daily News of Newburyport
May 08, 2014

BOSTON — A powerful Boston lobbying firm was behind an amendment being slipped into the state budget that effectively blocks a proposal by a Mashpee shellfisherman to build an oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

State Rep. Michael Costello, a six-term Newburyport Democrat who isn't seeking re-election, got the amendment added to the House budget at the request of ML Strategies.

ML Strategies, which employs former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, former Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs Stephen P. Tocco, former interim U.S. Sen. William "Mo" Cowan and numerous former state lawmakers as lobbyists, has contributed more than $3,000 to Costello's campaigns in the past decade, according to filings with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Costello's amendment creates a "special coastal resource sanctuary" on the Mashpee site, prohibiting development of wetlands at the center of a dispute between shellfisherman Richard Cook, environmental activists and homeowners who oppose the project.

A spokeswoman for ML Strategies declined to comment.

Costello, who chairs the Legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services, said he doesn't know why the lobbying firm asked him to put the amendment into the budget.

"I'm not going to speculate, but maybe they felt that I had a better chance of getting it through," he said. "Every year I get requests from lobbyists and constituents to add amendments to the budget. In this case I felt the amendment had merit, so I filed it."

Costello argues that the proposal seeks to protect a salt marsh that serves as an environmentally sensitive habitat for sea birds. The area, he said, is "much like my district in Newburyport."

"Quite frankly, I think this is a state issue," Costello said. "The state has a vested interest in making sure that those waterways remain as open space and undeveloped."

The Popponesset Bay site was identified only by GPS coordinates in the bill.

Cape Cod lawmakers have criticized the move, saying they were not consulted about the amendment before it was offered by Costello, whose district is nearly 100 miles away. The measure was one of 1,184 amendments included in the House budget proposal. The budget's amendment section is frequently used by lawmakers as a mechanism to pass changes in the law without attracting the level of scrutiny normally given to bills.

"I really don't understand why he did it," said Sen. Daniel Wolf, D-Harwich, who represents the district and supports the oyster farm proposal. "I'm scratching my head wondering why he didn't talk to anyone in Mashpee or lawmakers who represent the district."

Wolf said he doubts the proposal will be included in the Senate version of the budget.
__________________________________________________

ML Strategies Home Page

Follow the money.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Thu May 08, 2014 5:19 pm

From his site:

From State Representative Michael A. Costello site:

Joppa Flats Re-opened for Clam Digging

NEWBURYPORT– October 16, 2013 –The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game and the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) announced that 250 acres of Joppa Flat in the Merrimack River estuary will be open for the commercial harvest of softshell clams by specially licensed commercial diggers.

“I am happy to credit the city of Newburyport and the staff of our Division of Marine Fisheries for the hard work that was necessary to open this area to commercial clammers,” said Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Mary Griffin. “Massachusetts’ soft shell clam harvest is worth five to six million dollars annually and the opening of Joppa Flat will benefit commercial shell fishermen in the area who rely on open and productive flats for their livelihood.”

“It is great to see that clammers have returned to Joppa Flats,” said State Representative Michael A. Costello. “This is just one of the many reasons I have fought to keep the Newburyport Shellfish Plant open. It is a vital part of the Massachusetts economy.”


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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Sat May 10, 2014 10:55 am

Lobbyist: Mashpee homeowner behind move to block shellfisherman


By Sean F. Driscoll
sdriscoll@capecodonline.com
May 09, 2014

MASHPEE — One of the homeowners locked in a legal battle against a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay was behind a Boston lobbying firm tucking an amendment into the state budget that would block the project.

Charles Clough, head of Clough Capital Partners, a $3 billion investment firm, asked ML Strategies to push for the amendment, a spokeswoman from the lobbying firm told the Daily News of Newburyport on Wednesday.

Clough and his wife, Gloria, have a home in Concord and a 4,121-square-foot house on Daniels Island Road in Mashpee, according to Mashpee assessor records. It overlooks Popponesset Bay and the site of the oyster farm proposed by Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook.

ML Strategies approached state Rep. Michael Costello, a six-term Newburyport Democrat who is not seeking re-election, to file the amendment to the House of Representatives budget that would create a "special coastal resource sanctuary" in the area. The amendment would still have to pass in the Senate and be signed by the governor to become law.

Cook has fought a three-year battle over the oyster farm, winning approval repeatedly at both the local and state levels. But homeowners, including Clough, have fought him at every turn. The Cloughs are two of 23 parties in a pair of current court cases pending in the Massachusetts Appeals Court stemming from lawsuits filed in Barnstable County.

The Boston law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, of which ML Strategies is a part, issued a statement Thursday that said:

"Mintz Levin represents a group of Cape residents in litigation and administrative hearings relating to the proposed oyster farm. Incidental to that representation was the filing of the budget amendment. The Firm will continue to use all of its resources, including those of ML Strategies, to best represent these clients."

The sanctuary designation would stop not only Cook's oyster farm but any other projects, including routine dredging, in the area, which is west of the Popponesset Spit and in view of homes on both Popponesset and Daniels islands.

Cook said Thursday he has believed all along that the amendment was the work of one of the opposing homeowners on Daniels and Popponesset islands. But he was surprised to hear it was Clough, whose property overlooks a shellfish grant surrounding Gooseberry Island run by the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. That grant was recently renewed without any opposition from nearby homeowners.

"I think that it was a group decision," Cook said. "He was not acting alone, that's what I think."

Clough, who did not return multiple messages seeking comment Thursday, has owned the Daniels Island property since 1993, when he and his wife bought it for $665,000, according to town records. The two-story home, now assessed at $$2.2 million, was built in 1995 and expanded in 2008. It has a boat dock, five bathrooms and four bedrooms and is tucked on a cul-de-sac at the northern tip of Daniels Island, with panoramic views from the house of the entire bay.

The home sits down a gentle grade a short distance from the road and is quiet, but not isolated from its neighbors. No one answered the door at the residence Thursday, but the home showed signs of being recently landscaped. Signs warned intruders of video surveillance.

Clough founded Clough Capital Partners in 2000 after working as a chief investment strategist for 13 years at Merrill Lynch.

He and his wife have given a total of $6,600 to various political candidates, mostly Republicans, since 2007. But he also has donated to several charitable causes, including establishing the Clough Colloquium at his alma mater, Boston College.

According to the colloquium website, Clough's vision was to introduce members of the college community "to persons of high ethical standards who had become leaders in their respective fields." At its most recent event, held Wednesday, speakers included Gov. Deval Patrick, former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis.

Cook, who works full-time as an electrician, said Thursday he's looking forward to the day when he can make oyster farming his primary source of income. He has worked another shellfish grant in Mashpee's Ockway Bay since 1983. When the Popponesset Bay farm becomes a reality, his twin sons, now freshmen at Virginia Tech, will work with him to help pay for their schooling, he said.

"I couldn't have made it this far without them, and especially my wife, Diane," he said.

His wife works part-time at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. "She's helped me file every piece of paper I've needed to and helped me keep on top of this."

Costello didn't consult with any members of the Cape Cod delegation about the amendment, which was part of a consolidated block of amendments considered and passed toward the end of the budget process. The amendment references only the longitude and latitude of the area and doesn't mention Mashpee, Popponesset Bay or the oyster project.

Rep. David Vieira, R-Falmouth, said he didn't recognize Clough's name or know him personally. He's also never worked one-on-one with Costello and has not spoken to him since the amendment's true purpose became clear.

"I wish him a happy retirement," Vieira said Thursday. "I'm glad he's retiring."

Costello is traveling outside the state and was not available for comment Thursday.

Staff writer C. Ryan Barber contributed to this report.
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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Tue May 20, 2014 12:13 am

Senate omits amendment to stop Mashpee oyster farm

By SEAN F. DRISCOLL
sdriscoll@capecodonline.com
May 19, 2014

The Massachusetts Senate's 2015 budget does not include an amendment similar to one slipped into the House of Representatives' version that would kill a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

The deadline for amendments to the Senate budget was 3 p.m. Friday.

Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with nearby homeowners who have called his plans a nuisance and potential safety hazard. Cook has won local and state regulatory approval for his proposed 1.9-acre farm but been stymied by lawsuits filed by homeowners. At least two suits are pending in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Sen. Therese Murray's office confirmed that neither the initial budget nor any of the amendments filed by the deadline would create the “special coastal resource sanctuary” referred to in the House amendment filed by Rep. Michael Costello, a Newburyport Democrat whose district is 100 miles from Mashpee.

That amendment did not refer to the project by name, but instead used longitude and latitude to describe the area. It was approved as part of a bundle of amendments passed near the end of the House of Representatives' budget process.

The fight over the amendment will now move to a conference committee, where local lawmakers have vowed to defeat it. Bills go to conference committee to merge Senate and House versions of proposed laws or budgets.

Costello filed the amendment at the request of Boston lobbying firm ML Strategies, which represents a group of Mashpee homeowners who have opposed the project.
___________________________________
I'm surprised this story didn't make the Top 10.
Anyway, cooler heads prevailed.
I'll take a dozen.  clam 

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Tue May 20, 2014 1:56 am

Oystergate is exemplary of our new political system
May 19, 2014

Oystergate, described in your May 9 story, is disgraceful on so many levels — but two things stick out the most.

First, our new political system has arrived. Look what your money can buy you. We know this goes on in Washington. We know what the Supreme Court has done — but this is local. This scratches our skin. Hopefully this will urge us toward change. Change campaign finances and limit lobbyists.

Second, the fact they use the shroud of environmental sensitivity of the waterway is such a blatant ruse. I would like to know the nitrogen load Charles Clough is introducing into the sensitive waterway with his pretty green lawn right on the water. So concerned. If only Mr. Clough understood what oysters do as a natural filtering process.

All I see is an honest man, an oyster farmer, trying to make an honest living — a little unheard of in the world of finance.

Janet Teglas

South Yarmouth

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Tue May 20, 2014 10:07 am

Attempt to stymie Mashpee shellfisherman's farm likely dead in water

By Sean F. Driscoll
sdriscoll@capecodonline.com
May 20, 2014

The Massachusetts Senate's 2015 budget does not include an amendment similar to one slipped into the House of Representatives' version that would kill a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

The deadline for amendments to the Senate budget was 3 p.m. Friday.

Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with nearby homeowners who have called his plans a nuisance and potential safety hazard. Cook has won local and state regulatory approval for his proposed 1.9-acre farm but has been stymied by lawsuits filed by homeowners. At least two suits are pending in the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Sen. Therese Murray's office confirmed that neither the initial budget nor any of the amendments filed by the deadline would create the "special coastal resource sanctuary" referred to in the House amendment filed by Rep. Michael Costello, a Newburyport Democrat whose district is 100 miles from Mashpee.

That amendment did not refer to the project by name, but instead used longitude and latitude to describe the area. It was approved as part of a bundle of amendments passed near the end of the House of Representatives' budget process.

The fight over the amendment will now move to conference committee, where local lawmakers have vowed to defeat it.

Costello filed the amendment at the request of Boston lobbying firm ML Strategies, which represents a group of Mashpee homeowners who have opposed the project.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Tue May 20, 2014 10:29 pm

Appeals court rules for Mashpee shellfisherman

By SEAN F. DRISCOLL
sdriscoll@capecodonline.com
May 20, 2014

MASHPEE - The Massachusetts Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of a Mashpee oyster farmer whose planned Popponesset Bay shellfish grant has been continually challenged by neighboring homeowners.

The court ruled today that both the Mashpee Board of Selectmen and the town's Conservation Commission had properly approved Richard Cook's application for a 1.9-acre oyster farm.

A group of neighbors had challenged each board's ruling in separate court cases, which were decided by the same three-judge Appeals Court panel.

In its ruling, the court stated that the homeowners' claim that the Cape Cod Commission must review the project because it is a commercial development was incorrect. The Commission's regulations include neither agriculture nor aquaculture in its definitions of a commercial project, the court stated.

The Appeals Court also found myriad other issues raised by the homeowners to be without merit, including claims that Cook had failed to adequately address the safety concerns of his gear potentially washing away in a storm and that the commission reached its decision without enough deliberation or consideration.

Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with the Popponesset Bay-adjacent homeowners who have called his plans a nuisance and potential safety hazard.

Cook has won local and state regulatory approval for his proposed farm but has been stymied by the lawsuits filed by homeowners, who also have attempted to use a lobbying firm to shoehorn a provision into the state budget that would have killed the project.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:45 am

Neighbors raise ante in oyster fight

June 24, 2014

MASHPEE — Residents opposed to a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay are asking the state's highest court to weigh in on the dispute.

The homeowners' attorney, Brian Wall of Sandwich, has filed an appeal of part of their case to the Supreme Judicial Court. They want the high court to determine if the Cape Cod Commission must review the aquaculture project because it is a commercial development, an argument rejected last month by the Appeals Court.
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My God! Give it up already!
I'd love to have an oyster farm behind my house
 clam  <--- (not an oyster)

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:21 pm

Mashpee oyster farm provision dropped from budget
By SEAN F. DRISCOLL
July 02, 2014

MASHPEE — A controversial provision that would have stopped an oyster farm proposed for Popponesset Bay has been stripped out of the 2015 budget approved Monday by the Legislature.

An amendment filed to the House of Representatives budget would have created a "special coastal resource sanctuary" that, while not referring to Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook's project by name, would have blocked its implementation. The Senate budget didn't include the provision, so the item moved to the budgetary conference committee, which hashes out the differences between the chambers' budgets.

The budget that emerged was free of the amendment. Legislators passed it Monday, and it now heads to Gov. Deval Patrick's desk for review.

Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with nearby homeowners who have called his plans a nuisance and potential safety hazard. Cook has won local and state regulatory approval for his proposed 1.9-acre farm but has been stymied by lawsuits filed by homeowners.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:04 pm

Mashpee oyster farmer scores SJC victory

MASHPEE - Homeowners objecting to a proposed oyster farm in Popponesset Bay have lost another legal avenue in their attempt to stop the project.

The Supreme Judicial Court has declined to weigh in on the claim that the Cape Cod Commission must review the aquaculture project because it is a commercial development, an argument rejected in May by the Appeals Court. The SJC voted Aug. 1 to offer no further review of the matter; the notice of the vote was issued late last week, said J. Patrick Costello, Mashpee town counsel.
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Richard Cook has been locked in a three-year legal battle with homeowners in the area of the bay who have called his proposed 1.9-acre oyster farm a nuisance and potential safety hazard. Cook has worked another shellfish grant in Mashpee's Ockway Bay since 1983. He has won local and state regulatory approval for the Popponesset Bay project but its launch has been stymied by the lawsuits.

Monday, Cook said that he believes he will be farming oysters in Popponesset Bay next year.

"I'm happy the (SJC) decided to uphold the Appeals Court case and not go forward with the appeals," he said. "I'm a little bit closer."

Another lawsuit is still pending, however, in the state’s Land Court. There, homeowners are asking a judge to declare Mashpee’s zoning decisions on the oyster farm invalid.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Betep on Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:16 am

OYSTERS: LAND COURT SIDES WITH MASHPEE MAN
Land Court sides with town, oyster farmer

October 01, 2014

BOSTON — Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook won another legal victory Tuesday in his three-year quest to put an oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

A Land Court ruling largely upheld Mashpee's zoning decisions regarding his proposed 1.9-acre shellfish reserve. The project has long been opposed by residents with homes on nearby Popponesset and Daniels islands.

Cook, who attended the hearing in Boston, said he was "surprised and grateful" for Tuesday's decision, which Judge Gordon Piper delivered from the bench and not in a later, written ruling.

"I'm feeling good about it," Cook said. "Obviously he has to listen to both sides and I'm glad he did that. I'm happy he found in our favor."

The appeal of Mashpee's zoning decisions is primarily a case between the homeowners and the town, but Cook is a party in the case and represented himself in the hearing. He declined to add anything to the arguments of Patrick Costello, Mashpee's town counsel, and Sandwich attorney Brian Wall, who represents a group of homeowners.

"I think it has all been said, your honor," he told Piper.

Piper's first ruling was actually against the town. The building commissioner and Zoning Board of Appeals had decided that the town's zoning bylaws do not extend into the bay and don't apply to the project. Piper found that Mashpee does have authority to zone the state-owned waters, including the spot where Cook wants to cultivate oysters.

Wall had argued that the nearby R-3 residential zoning district should extend into the bay and cover the oyster farm area. But after reviewing both the town's zoning bylaw and maps, Piper said Mashpee clearly has chosen not to zone the bay's waters, which is its right.

But, Piper further ruled, even if the R-3 zone covered the bay, using the water for the oyster farm would be permitted under the town zoning law, which allows for agriculture "other than the raising or housing of livestock."

"I do not accept the argument that seedling oysters constitute livestock," he said, rebutting another of Wall's arguments.

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 03, 2015 12:06 pm

State upholds ruling on Popponesset Bay oyster farm

MASHPEE — The head of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has upheld a ruling that clears another obstacle for Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook's planned oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

In November, department hearing officer Pamela Harvey ruled that an aquaculture license and wetlands permits issued to Cook would stand, writing in a 44-page ruling that his project "will not have a short-term or long-term adverse effect on the habitat at the project site." The project is within the habitat of three seabird species – the roseate tern, the common tern and the least tern – that are endangered or of special concern.

Commissioner David Cash signed off on Harvey's decision Monday in a one-page order. Homeowners on nearby Popponesset and Daniels islands, who have long opposed the project, could ask the department to reconsider the case or file an appeal in Superior Court. Sandwich attorney Brian Wall, who has represented the homeowners through various legal cases against Cook, did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday.

Cook said Friday that he would wait for the town to issue the aquaculture license, which has been on hold during years of appeals, before he gets to work. Although he won't start on the full farm until spring, he said he may move some oysters from his other farm in Ockway Bay, which he has worked since 1983, to Popponesset Bay if the weather turns cold.

"I think they would feel comfortable" issuing the license, he said. "I'm hoping they do, and therefore I'll be out there soon."

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Re: Popponesset Island Shellfisherman

Post  Moldz on Tue Jan 27, 2015 6:41 am

State upholds ruling on Popponesset Bay oyster farm

Pending further appeals, it is the latest in a string of administrative and legal victories for Richard Cook, who for more than a year has been fighting attempts to block his project.
In this 2013 photo, Richard Cook of Mashpee sorts oysters ready to go to the wholesaler at his grant in Ockway Bay. He has been trying to get permission to expand to another area of Popponesset Bay, but has encountered opposition from abutters.


MASHPEE — The head of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has upheld a ruling that clears another obstacle for Mashpee shellfisherman Richard Cook's planned oyster farm in Popponesset Bay.

In November, department hearing officer Pamela Harvey ruled that an aquaculture license and wetlands permits issued to Cook would stand, writing in a 44-page ruling that his project "will not have a short-term or long-term adverse effect on the habitat at the project site." The project is within the habitat of three seabird species – the roseate tern, the common tern and the least tern – that are endangered or of special concern.

Commissioner David Cash signed off on Harvey's decision Monday in a one-page order. Homeowners on nearby Popponesset and Daniels islands, who have long opposed the project, could ask the department to reconsider the case or file an appeal in Superior Court. Sandwich attorney Brian Wall, who has represented the homeowners through various legal cases against Cook, did not respond to messages seeking comment Friday.

Cook said Friday that he would wait for the town to issue the aquaculture license, which has been on hold during years of appeals, before he gets to work. Although he won't start on the full farm until spring, he said he may move some oysters from his other farm in Ockway Bay, which he has worked since 1983, to Popponesset Bay if the weather turns cold.

"I think they would feel comfortable" issuing the license, he said. "I'm hoping they do, and therefore I'll be out there soon."

If the ruling stands, it will be the latest in a string of administrative and legal victories for Cook, who for more than a year has been fighting attempts to block his oyster farm.

The project has long been opposed by residents who have called his proposed oyster farm a nuisance and potential safety hazard. The homeowners appealed zoning decisions to the state Land Court, sued to force the Cape Cod Commission to review the project and enlisted high-powered lobbyists to insert a provision into the state budget that would have stopped the project. All those efforts ended with victories for Cook.

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