A chat with KNIT

posted by Mike on November 21st, 2006

For the past year I’ve been trying to attend a KNIT meeting or get on their mailing list, but they don’t return my calls and e-mails.

So I was happy to see there was a KNIT table at last night’s Doherty siting hearing, and happier that KNIT’s Chris Comeaux was willing to talk to me about the group.

My first question: What is the deal with Protect Our Children?

He said that POC is the “fund-raising arm” of KNIT. He said they are currently raising funds to sue SMOC over the proposed 2 June Street program, and he said it would cost $300,000 and that they’re around halfway there.

I asked if they really think they can win this, or if this is more to intimidate agencies thinking of siting in that neighborhood in the future, and he said they think they’ll win.

I painted a scenario in which agencies tried to site ten other programs in the area over the next decade, and asked if he thought $3 million would be better spent on lawsuits or other areas of neighborhood improvement, and he said that “some people think” lawsuits are a better use of their money. I asked him to convince me that these lawsuits are a good use of money, but he didn’t have a sales pitch.

In reference to my comment about the next ten years, he said they have a “long-term plan,” but wouldn’t tell me what it is. He said they will disclose it to people who are “ready to make a substantial” contribution. I tried to convince him that transparency is a good thing, but he wasn’t buying it.

Note that KNIT has disengaged from the current hearings process:

However, we believe that formal hearings, rather than informal neighborhood meetings, are the proper forums for such questions and therefore we will not be participating in any additional informal meetings with SMOC.

I don’t know what the difference between formal and informal hearings is.

Another highlight of the evening was meeting the proprietor of Worcester’s unofficial breast milk forum, Buck Paxton.

Published in: Worcester | on November 21st, 2006 | Permanent Link to “A chat with KNIT” | No Comments »

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