Who complained about the balloons?

Remember Mario DiStefano and his hot air balloon?

He’s run into a bit of trouble in Grafton. I just got off the phone with him and he’s been issued a trespass notice by the Grafton School Department threatening him with arrest if he lands on school property. He said he has launched his balloon, with permission, from North Grafton Elementary (permission has since been revoked) and with permission from the Municipal Center for years without incident, until the day I photographed him.

And yesterday, he landed on Blanchard Street. It was a routine landing and neighbors were helping him pack up the balloon, he said, when the police showed up.

“The police chief was screaming at me,” he said. “He said ‘you can’t land anywhere in Grafton anymore!'”

I have more, but I’d like to check in with the chief first and check the log. Anyone from Blanchard Street see what happened yesterday?


5 thoughts on “Who complained about the balloons?

  1. Is this what we’re paying the Police Chief for? It is ridiculous. Doesn’t he have anything better to do. In my opinion, it’s time for an assessment to be done on his performance.

  2. I wonder why “all of the sudden” his permission was revoked. What happened to helping our neighbors and good will to men? Trespassing? What’s the big deal about taking off/landing around town. Is this a crime? To have the police department actually respond to this type of “problem” is a waste of my tax dollars. In addition, the actions by the Chief are an embarrassment. Honestly, I would like to know what he has done for the town since he became Chief. Why don’t we ask why it took so long to work on filling a position that had been vacated by an individual that retired over a year earlier (I remember seeing it in the Grafton News but I can’t remember exactly when it was). We SHOULD question the leadership of the chief. I think we should start with asking the men/women that are under his “command” and see what they think of his “leadership”. I bet we’d be mighty surprised by their answers.

  3. Before anyone points it out, yes I’m aware the Identicons show this is the same person. I emailed them to explain that they need to keep the same user name to allow immediate posting without moderation.

  4. Sorry about that. I’m new to this site and I am still trying to figure out how it works. I accessed this site from two separate computers (work and home) and I thought the name part was something you had to create per post and the posts would just be linked through the e-mail addresses (which they sort of are I guess). Anyway, this artice has really made me mad (obviously). Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a balloon in the sky? What harm is this guy doing anyway? I can’t even imagine what reason the School department/police department has for harassing this guy. Hey buddy, you can land in my yard anytime!!!

  5. I’m throwing my support behind the chief for two reasons. Large balloons carring human beings, dropping indiscriminately around town, is a hazard no matter what way you look at it. And on top of that, if this guy does it, why can’t five other guys do it? Ten, twenty…yadiyadi.

    Now that all being said, I’ve already promised my 3 years old that when she is old enough…we’re going ballooning!

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