Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 06-07-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | JUNE 7-13, 2018 NORTH COUNTY 5 SMITHFIELD – In May and June every year, native turtles face increased dangers as pregnant females search for a nesting place for off- spring, often crossing roadways to find one. Roads and developments are part- ing turtle habitats, causing turtles to travel greater distances and cross roads seeking food, water, and nest- ing grounds. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management states that the turtle population of Rhode Island is declin- ing because of relentless habitat loss and fragmentation, as well as remov- al, and poaching Louis Perrotti, director of conserva- tion programs at Roger Williams Park Zoo, said people remove turtles for many reasons, but it should only be done to escort the animal from dan- ger. He said, for example, the box turtle lives its whole life in a one-mile radius. Perrotti said a person may find a turtle and decide to move it to a "safer environment," but in reality the turtle will become lost, unable to locate its familiar food sources, and most likely die. "They just walk and walk and walk, looking for something familiar," Perrotti said. Searching for home, turtles face starvation, exhaustion, over-heating and possibly crossing more dangerous roads, he said. In other cases, people bring turtles home to keep as a pet, stopping the population growth in its tracks. Captive turtles should not return to the wild, Perrotti warned. The spotted, wood, northern dia- mond-backed terrapin, and eastern box turtles are protected animals, which means possession of the animal is illegal without a permit. It is also illegal to sell native wildlife in Rhode Island. "There is a high demand in the pet trade for our turtles," Perrotti said, adding that a wood turtle could fetch from $500 to $1,000. Besides human interactions, other animals, including skunks, birds, snakes, bullfrogs and raccoons, prey on turtles heavily. Combined with low reproduction rates, turtles have a multitude of factors working against their population. "It's a synergy of things threatening turtles," he said. Perrotti's comments jibe with local reports from Smithfield residents that turtles are disappearing from local ponds. On the RIDEM's species of greatest conservation need list are the spotted, wood and the eastern box turtle. Box turtles are also on the state "concern" list. Criteria for the list in Rhode Island include being federally or state endan- gered, declining and/or vulnerable species, a species with small "at-risk" populations, and other situations. Rhode Island Wildlife Action Plan community liaison Amanda Freitas said the state's action plan is made to help recover declining species, and limit threats to those species and their habitats. "Part of the goals of state Wildlife Action Plans is to keep common spe- cies common, so (the list) includes not just rare species, but those that may become rare if current trajectories continue," Freitas said. Animals on the "concern" list are not yet endangered or threatened at this time, but are listed due to rarity or vulnerability, and may warrant a more severe status in the future. The eastern painted, the stinkpot and snapping turtles also call north- ern Rhode Island home, but are not on the species of greatest conserva- tion need list. If a turtle is found on a roadway, shoo the turtle in the direction it was headed, Perrotti recommends. Turtle shells have nerves, so gently nudge them along, careful to not place one- self in danger, he said. Perrotti's bottom line: "Don't take them home, don't collect them." In Rhode Island, eight species of turtles are protected, four of which are marine species listed as threat- ened or endangered by the state or federal government: the loggerhead turtle, the Atlantic green turtle, the leatherback turtle, and Kemp's ridley turtle. Another of the eight lives in brackish waters, the state-endangered northern diamond-backed terrapin. Turtle population declining due to many factors By JACQUELYN MOOREHEAD Valley Breeze & Observer Staff Writer jackie@valleybreeze.com BREEZE PHOTO BY ETHAN SHOREY A SNAPPING TURTLE crosses a local parking lot. The area's turtle population is on the decline, say experts, but there are ways residents can help the situation. Mattresses accepted at DPW on Saturdays in Scituate SCITUATE – The Scituate Department of Public Works has announced that R.I. Resource Recovery has increased the fees for denied loads containing unaccepted items, and that the town will be held liable for these fees if there are any issues. In order to avoid this, mattresses will only be accepted at DPW, 1 Lincoln Circle, on Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to noon. They must be inspected by a DPW employee prior to drop off. Futon mattresses, foam mattresses, dirty, wet and/or moldy mattresses will not be accepted. A G E N D A TOWN OF SCITUATE • ZONING BOARD OF REVIEW Of Hearing on Applications for Special Use Permits, Variances and Appeals under the Zoning Ordinance: Notice is hereby given that the Zoning Board of Review will be in session at the Town Council Chambers, 195 Danielson Pike, N. Scituate on Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm when all persons interested will be heard for or against the granting of the following applications for Special Use Permits, Variances and Appeals under the Zoning Ordinance. RETURN FROM PREVIOUS HEARING: Case #1211 Polseno, John. Location of premises 767-771 Hartford Pike, Assessor's Plat 23 – Lot 20; RR120 under the Zoning Ordinance. Appeal of the Letter/Notice of Violation issued on February 13, 2018 by the Building Official and the Zoning Official Noticing Mr. Polseno of Violations and Fines. NEW APPLICATION: Case #1213 Eldridge, Paul & Jessica. Location of premises 824-826 Central Pike, Assessor's Plat 47 – Lot 26; RR120 under the Zoning Ordinance. Request for a Dimensional Variance for Lot Width of 287.25' (300' required; variance of 12.25') to build a new lot. Pursuant to Art. III Section 1.1 Case #1214 DiPrete, Francis. Location of premises 255 Ide Road, Assessor's Plat 26 – Lot 16; RR120 under the Zoning Ordinance. Request for Dimensional Variances for Lot Width of 25' (300' required; variance of 275') for two new lots. Pursuant to Art. III Section 1.1 Meeting Minutes of May 22, 2018. Applicants must submit all documentary evidence (i.e. expert reports, drawings, surveys, deeds, photographs, etc.) to the Zoning Clerk no later than five (5) days prior to the date of the hearing. This also applies to objectors (abutters) who seek to introduce documentary evidence for the Zoning Board of Review to consider at the hearing. Abutters shall be provided with a copy of this requirement as part of the notification they receive in advance of the hearing. If the applicant or objector fails to submit documentary evidence in advance of the hearing, the Zoning Board of Review may, in its sole discretion, continue the hearing to a later date to allow for a review and evaluation of the proffered documentary evidence. By order of the Zoning Board of Review, Kenneth P. Borden, Chairman Individuals Requesting Interpreter Services For The Deaf Or Hard Of Hearing Must Call 647-2822 Seventy Two (72) Hours In Advance Of Said Hearing. TTY #1-800-745-5555. Town of Smithfield Planning Board • Major Subdivision Proposal NOTICE OF INFORMATIONAL MEETING Notice is hereby given pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 45-23-42 and the Smithfield Land Development and Subdivision Review Regulations (1996, as amended) that an Informational Meeting will be held at the time, date and place indicated below for the purpose of presenting and discussing the acceptance of a Master Plan for a proposed major subdivision, identified below, and provide the public the opportunity to comment on the proposed subdivision. Time and Date of Hearing: Thursday, June 21, 2018 Meeting begins at 7:00 PM Place of Hearing: Smithfield Town Hall, 2nd Floor, Crepeau Hall 64 Farnum Pike, Smithfield, RI Property Proposed for Subdivision: Major Subdivision – Master Plan AP 43 / Lot 18 – Cedar Swamp Road 12.21 Acres / 2 Lots / Commercial & R-80 Zone Owner/Applicant: Greg Gabel Availability of Information The Plans and accompanying documents for this Subdivision Proposal are available for the public review during normal business hours at the Smithfield Planner's Office, 64 Farnum Pike, Town Hall – Lower Level, Smithfield, RI. All persons interested in the above are requested to be present at the time and place to be heard thereon. Facilities are accessible to handicapped persons. If communication assistance (readers/ interpreters/captions) or any other accommodation to ensure equal participation is needed, please contact the Smithfield Town Manager's office at 401-233-1010 at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meeting. Per Order of the Smithfield Planning Board John Yoakum, Chairman

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