The other side


To the Editor:

I was disappointed that The Times ran in its edition of May 21 a full-page article about the Kingsbury/Henshaw litigation (“Percolating family feud boils over on Good Farm odor”), and included long quotes from Ms. Henshaw’s attorney, without making any attempt to contact our firm, as counsel for plaintiffs, for comment.

I will not attempt to rebut each one of the numerous inaccurate factual statements attributed to Stephen Schultz, Ms. Henshaw’s attorney, in that article, and I do not wish to try the case in your paper. But it bears pointing out that Mr. Kingsbury, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, built his home on this property in 1990, and has now lived there for 25 years. He lived amicably next to his parents while they ran their farm, and enjoyed friendly relations with two other farmers who were tenants of Ms. Henshaw. None of them generated odors that affected Mr. Kingsbury. Mr. Munroe’s operation involves many times more pigs, and nearly 100 times as many chicken and other fowl, as were raised by previous owners and tenants on his parents’ former property. Mr. Munroe conducts this activity on a parcel of some seven acres, of which four acres are forest.

As we provided out to the Court, all 30 affidavits provided by Mr. Munroe were based on observations made on a single day in early May. The complaint makes clear that the odor problems arise during the summer months, when hogs are mature and the warm weather creates putrescent odors from the composted raw carcasses of the remains of thousands of birds. My clients are the only adjacent neighbors that are downwind of the Good Farm, and uniquely suffer from the noxious odors generated there.

Mr. Schultz makes many reckless allegations about the motives of my clients that are baseless. Contrary to Mr. Schultz’s assertion, my clients have absolutely no interest in purchasing Ms. Henshaw’s property, and so stated to the court. Nor do they object to farming. My clients have brought this action because this will be the fifth summer on Martha’s Vineyard that has been effectively lost to them, due to the stench from the infelicitously named Good Farm, which makes it impossible for them to enjoy the outdoors of their property for any prolonged period during the summer months.

Daniel C. Perry

Perry, Hicks, Deshaies & Mello, LLP

New Bedford