As I warned, there are a lot of things going on. Here they are:
First, a crew is busily restoring the tombstones at the Oak Hill Cemetery. They have already done a dozen or so and are shooting to do as many as 75 before winter sets in. Ghlee Woodworth hosted a seminar in tombstone restoration recently and now already a team is taking action. Seems like every few years or so, we have vandals who ravage the stones. It is fantastic that action is being taken to compensate for such debilatating events. Our historic cemeteries are one of the things that puts Newburyport on the map nationwide. In fact, recently, Martha Stewart Magazine mentioned the Old HIll Cemetery in the September issue.
Second, the landfill crews are working feverishly to install a runoff pipe out to the wetlands and in fact were working today. Not only are they installing it, they are using the opportunity to reconstitute the berm which will be the primary feature to watch as the closing occurs. If the Common Pasture and Mount Lavender are to hold together, the berm must stand strong.
Third, it looks like Titcomb Street is going to be the site for the parking garage. Considering the intermodal feature that the garage must have (include buses) and the granite ledge that the central parking lot sits on, it will only be a matter of time before the bureacracy of the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission catches on. Glad when that will be settled. Mr. Karp kept stressing during the famous Town Hall Meeting, he was looking for an off-site location for a parking garage. This will be off site of the WWOD and he owns most of the Titcomb location. Let’s see how much he anties up!
Fourth, a curb cut has been put into the Storey Avenue entrance for the Little River Nature Trail. The cut was put in by the cell tower crew and they put up a laughable chain boundary. The good part is, it will make it easy for anyone coming to visit the Trail to find parking right at the boundary. Before, you had to kitty-corner Russell Terrace and throw your vehicle up on the sidewalk until you drove to the dirt path. The side-benefit is that it will doubly discourage vehicles travelling down to the abandoned roadbed which is now the Little River Bike Path.
Fifth, The Planning and Development Committee of the City Council has determined four changes to the current Wind Energy Ordinance: 1) There will be a 900′ barrier between a turbine and any residential zone, 2) There will be an immediate public notice and balloon testing at the very start of the application process, 3) Environmental considerations such as noice and flicker must be dealt with as part of the permitting process and 4) the ZBA will obtain an independent consultant as a counter-weight to the hired guns of the applicant. Other than number four, most of the changes are cosmetic basically making the application process more open to those affected. Of course, city council has to vote to accept each recommendation and there is no guarantee they will do so. It is important to notify every councilor to encourage the adoption of these changes. There will be a short meeting of the Committee before the regular City Council Meeting tomorrow night because the doors were locked last week by accident and many who came late were left out in the cold. (Including me!)
Sixth, it is interesting to note that Rexford Morey was mentioned in the obituary page of the Daily News on November the 19th. He was intimately connected with Newburyport with relatives living here presently. Regan Morey should be very proud of her father since the Powder House Restoration Crew actually used the ground penetration radar that was invented by him. How fitting that it served the purpose of historic preservation.
I actually have three more news items but I want to have an editorial on each of them. More coming!