Reader writes: The other half of the story

February 28, 2014 

She supports fire-safety efforts

My name is Carolyn Harper, and I am a 14-year resident of Walden. I am the resident quoted in the recent article “Walden a model of fire safety.”

My statements to the reporter were in an effort to support the initiative of fire safety, not take away from such a positive initiative. Yes, I do stand behind my statement: “Fire is not a big hazard here in Walden. We have not had any fires here, none that I am aware of, in the 14 years that we have been residents.”

But I subsequently stated that fire is not a hazard because the residents are proactive in managing and disposing of leaves, greenery and any type of foliage in a responsible manner, thereby taking precautions that do not lead to fires. The residents practice safety in both dry conditions and normal conditions.

Why all of this was not printed is a mystery to me. In addition, I also wonder why the limited statements that were printed were preceded by “not all residents know about the program, and some do not see a great need for fire-safety certification.” In reading that sentence and then my statement, anyone would assume that I am not in agreement with the fire-safety certification and totally oblivious to the program initiative. This is totally untrue and terribly misconstrued.

In addition, I voluntarily brought up to the reporter that Walden hosted that fire-safety meeting in the fall and indicated to her that I thought it was a great initiative. I told her my husband and I did not attend because of other obligations. Again, connections of statements in the article suggest that my husband and I didn’t attend because we did not know about the program or didn’t see a great need for fire-safety certification. Again, this is totally misconstrued and taken out of context.

As a university-trained business and health administration professional and as a licensed nursing home administrator, I applaud any and every type of program that promotes safety of any kind. Such programs are totally necessary from the humanistic standpoint of protecting and preserving life and from the financially conservative standpoint of preserving and protecting our resources.

To have received the fire certification is definitely an honor. Walden residents worked hard to qualify for such a desired status, and it is well deserved. I totally support the fire certification and the Firewise program, and I am honored that Walden is considered the model by which other communities will be encouraged to seek such certification.

Carolyn A. Harper


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