WRKO signal contaminated everything
Burlington residents became frequent WRKO listeners, but not by choice. The WRKO towers behind Bradlees (now Kohl’s) apparently needed some fine-tuning, because Burlington residents heard the station every time they turned on a TV, or stereo, or tape deck, or were placed on hold during a phone call. The station vowed to rectify this interference on a case-by-case basis and asked anyone affected to call in and provide the details.
Gas spill threatened to contaminate water
A gas line owned by Humble Oil ruptured near Middlesex Turnpike along the Vine Brook, very close to Well 7, which accounted for 40 percent of the town’s supply. A huge crew of workmen frantically built a dam to contain the slick. Burlington opened a temporary hookup to the Metropolitan District Commission water supply. Humble Oil humbled itself and agreed to pay $200 per day for the hookup, which brought a million gallons of water into Burlington daily. The ruptured gas line ran from Chelsea to Dracut.
Portable toilets contaminated neighborhood
The Monogram Company was in the habit of cleaning out its portable toilets near its facility on Edwards Road, near the VFW building. Residential abutters complained to the town about the stench and risk of contamination from the chemicals used in the toilets, so the Board of Health shut down the operation and held a public hearing Jan. 26 to air out grievances. A company lawyer argued that the Board of Health itself was contaminated because two members, Ken Morrison and Mary Bennett, didn’t really live in Burlington.
Drop-in center opened to combat drug contamination
This would later be called the House of Common. It was an effort to combat alleged drug addiction and general teen unrest. The building was formerly the Burlington Music Academy, located at 172 Cambridge Street across the street from Church Lane. More here.
Sandstorms contaminated main streets
Out of concern for the “ecology,” Burlington stopped using salt to melt icy roads, and relied on sand instead. Problem was, once the sand dried out, it wafted everywhere and created dust clouds along major roads.
Charles River contaminated by cars
Margaret McKinley, 21, of 13 Cresthaven Drive, escaped from a car moments before it sank into the Charles River in Cambridge. How did it get there? Robert Donzella of Boston was driving along Memorial Drive with the Burlington woman and his twin brother Daniel. The car collided with another car and rolled down an embankment and into the drink. The brothers clung to the car while McKinley rolled down a window and swam ashore. The driver of the other car, Robert Connors, 50, of Boston, waded into the icy river and helped the Donzella brothers to safety.