Mark Duffy, who has operated the dairy farm at the state-owned park for 26 years and has a lease with the state to run the stand, said armed Environmental Police officers showed up at stand on Friday evening and stood guard throughout the weekend, turning away customers craving delectable sundaes and frappes.
Duffy’s crime against the state? He didn’t jump through the requisite number of hoops to satisfy the state bureaucrats.
Edward Lambert, commissioner of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, said the stand was closed after it was discovered construction had been done without local or state permits. The work, which expanded the stand, included construction on a barn built in 1910 that is adjacent to the stand, he said.
Lambert said he is trying to protect the public’s health and safety while tests are conducted at the site.
“I like ice cream as much as anybody, so it pains us to even temporarily close what is an iconic property, but we have to make sure people eating ice cream there are safe,” said Lambert.
Note, however, that Duffy made changes to the site, not to the ice cream itself. While some changes might impact the safety of the ice cream, I can think of several dozen different improvements that could have been made without making a bit of difference to the ice cream.
It also doesn’t seem necessary to close the whole place while checking out the improvements made, especially if they had nothing to do with the storage of the ice cream. The ice cream is not produced at the stand, so about the only change that could affect the safety of the ice cream is a change in the freezers.
There are 13 high-school and college students who work at the stand who are now without jobs, said Duffy. While there are 140 milk-producing cows at the farm, the ice cream is shipped in from Bliss Bros. Dairy, an ice-cream manufacturer and distributor in Attleboro.
Seems to me that this is just a heavily Democratic state government flexing its muscle and punishing someone who had the audacity to do something without asking “Nanny State, may I?” first.