Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 4th Trash and Recycling Information

Important Holiday Schedule Information for Trash and Recycling Disposal and Yard Waste Facility

Newburyport --There will be no trash or recycling pick up on Friday, July 4th   Friday’s trash pick-up will therefore be on Saturday, July 5. This includes the downtown district. 

The Municipal Yard Waste Facility on Crow Lane will be closed on Friday, July 4, 2014 for the holiday. It will re-open on Saturday, July 5 with normal business hours of 7:30am -2:30 pm.  Please do not drop off brush or debris at the gate or on the road when the facility is closed.

The Crow Lane Recycling Center will be open on Saturday, July 5 from 8 am to 12 pm for the monthly recycling of oil paint, motor oil, tires, electronics, bicycles, Styrofoam, anti-freeze, cardboard, tires, and rechargeable batteries.  Our yearly household hazardous waste day will take place on Saturday, September 13 for disposal of household chemicals.   Again, please do not drop off any material at the recycling center when it is closed.

The FY 2014-2015 Health Department brochure which includes the yearly trash and recycling calendar should have arrived at your home in late May. If you did not receive it is available on line at www.cityofnewburyport.com
   
If you need any additional information please call the Health Department at 978-465-4410 or Mello Disposal at 978-352-8581
 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

New Website and Facebook Page

My new website is up at www.ed-cameron.com – you can find everything about my race for State Representative there. Please visit the site and please follow my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/EdCameronMA

Thanks!

Ed Cameron

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Massachusetts Sierra Club: Letter to Council re Plastic Bag Ban

The Council received this letter from the Massachusetts Sierra Club:

Massachusetts Sierra Club
10 Milk Street, Suite 417
Boston MA 02108-4600

April 30, 2014

City Council President Thomas F. O’Brien
and Newburyport City Council Members
Newburyport City Hall
60 Pleasant Street
Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950

Re: “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough” but Action Is

Dear Council President O’Brien and Honorable Members of the City Council,

In the debate concerning plastic bags, there have been many diverse and
sometimes extreme opinions. One of these opinions, the theme of which was
“Good intentions aren’t enough,” was submitted as an open letter to the city
council. The author claims to support “reduction of single use items” and “Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle.” I am pleased to find that we do agree on the fact that “reduction
of single use items is something we should strive to achieve” and that “Reduce,
Reuse, Recycle” needs to be taken to heart.”

However, after that, it appears that the author is misinformed. It has been proven
that a reduction of plastic bags will have a significant positive impact on our
environment and better our quality of life. The United Nations Environment
Programme (UNEP) estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating
in every square mile of ocean. According to the EPA,” Marine debris impacts the
environment, economy, and human health and safety.” Due to the aerodynamic
nature of plastic bags, a large percentage of this debris is derived from plastic bags.

I’ve noted the author’s reference to David Laist’s study on marine animals with
interest. On the surface, the statement does not appear to be agreement with the
EPA, who further state, “whales and sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for
squid... Moreover, a study of 38 green turtles found that 61 percent had ingested
some form of marine debris including plastic bags, cloth, and rope or string.”
“Seabirds, sea turtles, fish, and marine mammals often ingest marine debris that
they mistake for food. Ingesting marine debris can seriously harm marine life”
because “Ingestion can lead to starvation or malnutrition.”

Another study determined that “up to 10% of plastics produced end up in the oceans, where they
may persist and accumulate.” This validates the fact that a significant percent of
marine debris is plastic. And most importantly, Mr. Laist in both his published
writings and direct communications disclaims the quotes that the author
attributed to him. Mr. Laist has been outspoken in his writings of the dangers that
plastic bags pose. In his article, Overview of the Biological Effects of Lost and
Discarded Plastic Debris in the Marine Environment, he is quite clear that the
proliferation of discarded plastics represent a serious long lasting threat to many
types of marine mammals, fish, birds, turtles, and all other marine life.

While plastic bags are heralded as economical and convenient, in the U.S. alone
BILLIONS of plastic bags end up yearly as litter, causing a visible blight and a
irreversible toxic danger. Plastic bags are so aerodynamic and easily transported by
wind and water, that even when properly disposed of, they often blow away and
become litter. Plastic bags are the third largest form of litter from land-based
sources found on US coasts. According to numerous studies, plastic pollution
litters our coast from Crane’s Beach to Cape Cod National Seashore, to the South
Coast.

Regarding the question of whether it is the “improper discarding” rather than the
“production and use” of plastic bags that is the problem, many locations and
opportunities are provided for recycling of these bags. The assumption that
providing more opportunities to recycle will resolve the issue is false. Due to the
low value of plastic bags, only 5.2% of our plastic bags are recycled.6 But even if the
recycling rate were doubled, tripled, or more the end result would still have an
unacceptable negative impact.

Certainly, a reduction in the use of thin film plastic bags will be accompanied by
an increase in the use of cloth bags as well as reusable plastic and paper bags.
Cloth bags can be reused hundreds of times and are easy to wash. Concerns about
public health are overblown. In fact, there is only one documented incident where
consumer health was affected by food-borne bacteria resulting from being
transported in a reusable bag. The report makes it clear that the incident would
have been easily avoided by following the most basic food handling techniques,
ands that the bag was not the culprit. Even that claim is non-applicable to the
proposed ordinance. Under proposal in Newburyport, plastic bags in the produce
and meats department will still be provided for groceries; only carry-out bags
would be eliminated.

While paper bags may not be the optimal solution for shopping, the EPA indicates
that paper and paperboard were recycled at a rate of 65% in 2008.There are no
figures for paper bags alone, but this is more than thirteen times the rate of
recycling of plastic bags making this an environmental choice.

The economic fears that opponents play on are also unfounded. For over 20 years,
Nantucket has upheld a ban to counter the effects of plastic bags on its
communities and other towns are following suit. None of these communities has
experienced negative economic consequences. Indeed, Brookline, Manchester by
the Sea, Great Barrington and Nantucket are all thriving communities.

Plastics take hundreds of years to break down at sea and most types never truly
biodegrade. Plastic bag litter is a serious problem and poses a threat to our
environment, but there is an easy solution. Passing a plastic bag ordinance will
help save countless endangered species, reduce pollution, and diminish litter that
inundates our oceans, landfills, and streets. The plastic bag issue is far clearer than
opponents of this ordinance would have you believe, I conclude that while “Good
intentions aren’t good enough,” action is. It’s time for Newburyport to pass an
ordinance banning plastic bags.

Sincerely

Phillip Sego
Environmental Advocate
Massachusetts Sierra Club

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Poetry...Sunday

Sunday, April 27 at 3pm Firehouse FREEEEE Poetry...as the Newburyport Literary Festival winds down on Sunday

Come to hear great poetry and see/hear Ed Cameron channel his inner Bruce Springsteen...I promise it will be edgy;-).  Will it be Born to Run, Thunder Road, The Rising or something completely different?

From the High School Press Release:

Newburyport High School is revving up for National Poetry Month in April. For the past 11 years, the creative writing class has sponsored the Favorite Poem Project of Greater Newburyport.

The brainchild of former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, the National Favorite Poem Project was launched in 1997 to celebrate the sheer pleasure of poetry with the public at large. Pinsky put out a call for favorite poems and received 18,000 responses from Americans of diverse regions, ages and backgrounds. "While our local attempts have not been quite so fruitful, we have managed to get a good response from an interesting cross-section of our community every year," says NHS English and creative writing teacher Deborah Szabo.

"In the past, we have particularly enjoyed hearing from our elected leaders and other people of prominence in our community, as well as children, retirees, teachers, students, parents, ‘townies,’ recent immigrants, business people, clergy, artists, and most anyone else," Szabo says.

A representative sample of poems will be chosen for a public reading on Sunday, April 27 at 3 p.m. at the Firehouse at the conclusion of the Newburyport Literary Festival. Poems may be old or modern, famous or obscure, English or another language with a translation, but they should not be written by Favorite Poem Project participants.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shoeman Water Project




Dear Newburyport families and friends,

The students of Newburyport have collected, bound, and bagged over 4,000 pairs of shoes since March 3rd. We promised the Shoeman Water Project, a non-profit organization, that we could easily collect 5,000+ pairs. We know that we can get to our goal.  Over the vacation, please empty your closets of gently used shoes (all types) and drop them off at the following locations.

Locations are
  • in front of the Superintendent’s office,
  • the Nock Middle School office, 
  • and other school offices.  
If that is not convenient for you during vacation, please have your son/daughter bring them in to school April 28th. The shoe drive ends on May 1st with our 6th graders participating in a Walk-a-Thon.

As a community, we are confident that our efforts will alleviate the pressures of those living without clean water.
Thank you.
If you have any questions, please  email:
 ecarroll@newburyport.k12.ma.us  or emenesale@newburyport.k12.ma.us

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sierra Club on Plastic Bags

This is the Sierra Club's testimony last year on a House bill on plastic bags....and the testimony highlights several of the points of controversy in the Newburyport discussion.  The bill is still in committee in the House.

I made a few highlights of my own.

from http://www.sierraclubmass.org/lac/t2013/testimony%20-%20plastic%20bags%20H787.pdf

Massachusetts Sierra Club
10 Milk Street, Suite 632
Boston MA 02103-4621
www.sierraclubmass.org

July 3, 2013

Chairwoman Anne M. Gobi
Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
State House, Room 473F, Boston, MA 02133

Chairman Marc R. Pacheco
Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture
State House, Room 312B, Boston, MA 02133

Re: Sierra Club Testimony in support of H787, Related to Plastic Carryout Bags

Dear Chairwoman Gobi, Chairman Pacheco, and Honorable Members of the Committee,

On April 22, 2013, the Sierra Club testified before this committee in support of a ban on
plastic bags. The bill was reported favorably by the committee. The Sierra Club
enthusiastically supports this action. Below is a short description of the main differences
between H787 and H3438 (the bill that was recommended favorably by this committee).
Thank you Chairwoman Gobi, Chairman Pacheco, and Members of the Committee for
providing this opportunity to offer our comments on bills H787 and H3438, related to
reducing the use of plastic checkout bags in Massachusetts. We wish to express our support
in favor of this legislation.

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots non-profit and non-partisan
environmental organization in the country, with over 1.4 million members and supporters
nationwide. Its chapter in Massachusetts has over 22,000 members throughout the state and
a history of protecting the environment that spans more than forty years. We work to create
healthy, vibrant communities through support of clean air and water; clean energy; recycling
and waste-elimination; and the preservation of the Commonwealth’s most treasured forests,
parks and open spaces.

There are differences between H.787, the filing by Rep. Denise Provost, and H3438. We
hope that the legislature will consider these proposals.

Bag Thickness: H3438 allows an exemption of plastic bags with a thickness of greater than
2.25 mils (thousandths of an inch). Further research shows that some single-use disposable
plastic bags could be improperly exempted, thus bypassing this bill’s intent. The Sierra Club
recommends consideration of Rep. Provost’s suggested standard of 3.0 mils.
Store Exemptions: The Sierra Club has been contacted by small stores that seem to fall
into a gray area of regulation. Rather than allowing the state to get unnecessarily bogged
down with a difficult regulatory situation, the Sierra Club recommends amending H3438 by
adopting Rep. Provost’s suggested definition of retail stores, thereby eliminating the
confusion surrounding store exemptions.

Possible Bioplastic Exemptions: The Sierra Club has been made aware that the bioplastic
specified in H3438 as exempt is not currently available in North America. We therefore
recommend amending H3438 by adopting Rep. Provost’s suggested no-bioplastic
exemption.

Below is the testimony as submitted on April 22, 2013.
These bills would ban polyethylene and other types of plastic carryout bags in retail stores. It
would not limit other types of bags, such as those used in a market’s vegetable aisle.
Plastic bags cost society a lot more than the price retailers are currently paying to provide
them. There is no need for this environmental expense. Simple alternatives such as reusable
shopping bags are available and already used in many stores throughout Massachusetts.
Single-use plastic carryout bags should be banned because:
• Plastic bags are so light and capture airflow so well that even when properly
disposed of, they often blow away and become litter. Plastic bags are a unique form
of litter in that they can end up tangled in trees, causing visual blight and other
problems. The City of Los Angeles found that plastic bags account for 25% of litter in
their storm drains. Bags easily escape from garbage trucks, landfills, boats, and the
hands of everyday consumers – and are then carried into lakes and waterways, and
eventually into the ocean. Plastic bags make up the third most prevalent type of litter
from land-based sources found on U.S. coasts.
• Plastic bags harm wildlife. The bags are often mistaken as food by both
domesticated and wild animals. Birds may also use them for nesting material with
dangerous results. Untold numbers of animals die per year by ingesting plastic
bags. These animals typically suffer painful deaths, choking on the plastic or having
it impede digestion Plastic bags entangle and sometimes strangle turtles,
whales, sea lions, seals, birds, and fish among other species.  Many of these
animals are already threatened due to over-fishing and/or habitat loss. The list of
local animals threatened by plastic bags includes green turtles that nest on
Nantucket and right whales that feed off the Massachusetts coast line.
• Plastic bags do not biodegrade and although they do break apart through
mechanical action and photodegradation in the presence of light, these processes
take up to 1000 years to complete. When the bags finally do break down, they do not
dissolve into benign substances; they just fracture into smaller and smaller bits called
“microplastics.” These small particles present a tremendous long-term danger, as
these particles displace food supplies in our oceans. They have a nearly identical
density of seawater so their removal is not possible. Once microplastics enter our
oceans, they will stay there.
Only 5.2% of our plastic bags are recycled. This problem requires a nonrecycling
solution primarily because plastic bags are an extremely low-value product.
The difficulty in collecting, sorting and controlling for the quality of plastic bags makes
recycling this product cost-prohibitive.

For all of the above reasons, single-use plastic bag consumption needs to be heavily
reduced. Because plastic bags are virtually cost-free and convenient, legislation will be
necessary in order to change the behavior of consumers and the retail industry. Voluntary
efforts thus far have come up short.

ALTERNATIVES
All these noted bills allow the use of paper bags without any fees or restrictions. In our
region, almost all paper bags are made up of 80% recycled content – some have 100%
recycled content. They’re also recycled by consumers at a very high rate, enjoying an
existing structure to recycle them efficiently. Although paper has a higher initial CO2
footprint, it doesn’t kill animals, persist in the environment, or wreak the kind of permanent
environmental damage that plastics do.

H.696 proposes exceptions for two types of plastics derived from organic sources: ASTM
D6400, specifying a compostable plastic which breaks down into CO2 and water, and ASTM
D7081, which does the same in a marine environment. While both of these types of bags
biodegrade, they are not without significant drawbacks. They are made from starchy plant
materials, typically corn. Using these to circumvent our current habit of HDPE bags would
divert badly needed resources from the agricultural system. Our use of ethanol in gasoline
drove up corn prices outside the US, and making our plastic bags out of corn would
undoubtedly have a similar effect. The real answer lies with decreasing our dependency on
all disposable single-use bags.

A number of manufacturers are promoting so-called “oxo-degradable” or ASTM D5272 bags.
ASTM D5272 does not measure the environmental aspects of the product, but only its ability
to withstand sunlight exposure. ASTM D5272 bags are NOT biodegradable, but simply
degradable – meaning that they break into small bits. Furthermore, it appears that the vast
majority of these bags are made from HDPE (in varying percentages). Although some
companies promote their ASTM D5272 bags as degrading into non-toxic or inert particles,
this does not mean they are environmentally benign.

VOLUNTARY AGREEMENTS HAVE FAILED
As a response to public pressure against plastic bags, on March 12, 2009, the Mass Food
Association entered a voluntary agreement with the Mass DEP to commit major
supermarkets to a 33% decrease in plastic bag use by the year 2013. A 33% reduction, if
realized, would rank us last in effectiveness among all places that have enacted ANY
regulation concerning plastic bags – even below Botswana and Burma. However, the Sierra
Club has received reports from across the state of no change in behavior at supermarkets.
No evidence has been provided to support a change in the industry, nor has an independent
body verified any change in bag use. Additionally, the performance data referenced to
support voluntary action is gathered by the supermarkets’ lobby firm and is not audited.
An inspection of many checkout stations at Star Market, Stop and Shop, and Home Depot
clearly show that only plastic bags are available – not paper. Observers have noted that
supermarket cashiers still regularly double bag groceries, and place bulky items with
handles, such as boxes of detergent, in plastic bags. Whatever training being done to help
achieve this voluntary goal is not having a meaningful impact.

Even if we were to achieve a 33% reduction in plastic checkout bag use, we would still have
67% of these bags adrift in the waste stream and in the environment. The very reason to
decrease plastic bag use is that they enter the environment and wreak havoc on wildlife.
Around the world, when plastic bag bans are implemented, the next day, nothing bad
happens. People still shop for groceries. Some of them bring reusable bags, some buy cloth
bags, some use paper. People don’t buy fewer groceries.

BAGS ARE BEING BANNED WORLDWIDE
Legislation is a realistic solution. Plastic bag bans or surcharges have already been put in
place in countries, provinces and cities all over the world, including: Brookline MA,
Manchester MA, Nantucket MA, as well as China, Canada, Israel, Belgium, Italy, Ireland,
Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Thailand, several
states in India, three states and territories of Australia, 30 rural villages in Alaska, Westport
CT, Edmond WA, Bangladesh, Malawi, Germany, Sweden, Paris, San Francisco, Oakland,
Washington DC, Brownsville TX, Mexico City, North Carolina’s Outer Banks Region, and for
the past 20 years, Nantucket Island.

CONCLUSION
Single use plastic bags are contributing to serious issues facing Massachusetts, the United
States and the World, including energy production, public health, global warming, and
species conservation. Tackling these issues will require the culmination of many small
actions bring about large change. Banning plastic bags is an important and easily
implemented step towards meaningful change.

The Sierra Club has long been committed to minimizing the negative environmental impact
of human activity and because this legislation would significantly reduce such impact from
plastic bags we hope this committee will report these bills favorably.

Respectfully,
Ryan Black
Director
Massachusetts Sierra Club

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Running to Represent Amesbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury

As you probably know, State Representative Mike Costello announced this past Wednesday that he will not be running for reelection to the First Essex District this November.

I am announcing that I will be a candidate for this House seat.

Thursday’s article in the Daily News linked here provides a great summary of what Mike has meant to the district.

http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x1387875337/Costello-wont-run-for-re-election

Mike has been a true champion on issues for Amesbury, Newburyport, and Salisbury.

He has been instrumental in providing State support for bridges, roundabouts, beaches, boardwalks, rail trails, and other important elements that make our communities strong.

I can do a good job representing the citizens of these three communities.

My experience as a Newburyport City Councillor has given me an understanding of where State government needs to do better to sustain local communities, particularly with general local aid, Chapter 70 educational aid, and Chapter 90 transportation funds for local street and sidewalk improvements.

My experience in the nonprofit sector has given me an understanding of how challenging it can be for families to raise and educate their children, find housing they can afford, and get to work on inadequate highways, trains and buses.

Mike has been a strong advocate for us and we’re very fortunate to have Senator Katy O’Connor-Ives represent us in the State Senate.

I want to earn your vote over the next several months. And I do ask for your support. More importantly I respectfully ask for your input on what issues are important to you.

You can click on this link to give me your ideas. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K2ZZD7T

I will make a formal announcement in the next few days and begin to collect signatures over the next few weeks. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions or want to help.

Thank you,

Ed Cameron
978-518-0786
edcameronNBPT@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Demolition of Historic Properties in Newburyport

First of all, I hope to see many of you at the Joint Hearing of the Planning Board and Council Planning and Development Committee on Wednesday, February 19 at 7pm in the City Hall Auditorium to discuss and hear public comment on three ordinances: a revision to downtown parking, an interim demolition control ordinance, and an interim downtown preservation ordinance.

Great letter to the editor this morning by Jerry Mullins.  Some will love it, some will....not love it ;-)

Link is here: http://www.newburyportnews.com/opinion/x1196441641/Restored-downtown-turned-Port-around

And as is often the case, the comments are illustrative of Democracy in Action!

My own two cents:

I think 15 main structure demolitions in the last 10 years (most of them at the peak of the market) is indicative of a problem.  And yes in several cases, the Historical Commission did not invoke a demolition delay; one could make the argument then that there is no need for a Historical Commission and demo delay; I'd make the case that they do a thorough job and are reasonable in their decision-making.

These are main structures which have been demolished.  The date is when the demo request was heard.
Main Structure 16-18 Bromfield Street
Main Structure 30-32 Bromfield Street  1/3/2008
Main Structure 19-19-1/2 Dove Street  7/21/2005
Main Structure 28 Hancock Street  9/16/2010
Main Structure 98 Low Street
Main Structure 5 Market Street  2003
Main Structure 30-32 Marlboro Street  7/13/2006
Main Structure 521 Merrimac Street 9/2/2004
Main Structure 325-327 Merrimac Street
Main Structure 12 Oak Street 2/21/2013
Main Structure 78-84 Pleasant Street 6/1/2004
Main Structure 48 Spofford Street 1/13/2005
Main Structure 1 Temple Street  3/4/2004
Main Structure 5 Vernon Street 3/4/2004
Main Structure 179-181-1/2 Water Street  9/1/2005

These are main structures which have not been demolished...yet.  Several are on the chopping block
Main Structure 8 Harrison Street  6/3/2010
Main Structure 11 Center Street  7/19/2007
Main Structure 11 Coffins Court 1/13/2005
Main Structure 18 Fruit Street 6/30/2004
Main Structure 5 Strong Street 4/21/2011
Main Structure 17  Ship Street 1/3/2013
Main Structure and several outbuildings 284 Water Street  6/28/2012

Thank you, Ed Cameron

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Two things: Waterfront Meeting Tonight (Wed, Feb 5) Cancelled and Notifications from the City

Dear Newburyporter,

1) the meeting scheduled for tonight with the Mayor, City Council, and NRA has been postponed because of the weather and parking issues.  This will be rescheduled soon.

2) the City revamped its website recently and it's much improved.  You can see it here at http://www.cityofnewburyport.com/

One of the best features is that residents can sign up for email notifications, alerts, agendas, minutes, and announcements.  I recommend clicking on everything and you'll never be out of the loop :-)

Thank you, Ed Cameron

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Public meeting scheduled re new harbormaster and visiting boater facility




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                               
January 16, 2014
Contacts:       Geordie Vining, Senior Project Manager, (978) 465-4400
                        Paul Hogg, Harbormaster, (978) 360-6963

                       
public meeting scheduled with design team for Newburyport’s new harbormaster and visiting boater facility

Newburyport – The City of Newburyport has scheduled a public meeting to initiate the design of the anticipated new Harbormaster and Visiting Boater Facility that will be built at the eastern end of the central waterfront.  The meeting will be on Thursday, January 30th at 7:00 p.m. in the Newburyport City Hall auditorium.

The City of Newburyport has recently contracted with Olson Lewis + Architects and Keery Design to provide design services for this project, and this first public meeting is intended to provide a forum for interested citizens to ask questions, provide input, and discuss various aspects of the project with the designers and City staff.  No decisions have been made at this early stage on the footprint, size, amenities, materials, exact siting, etc. of this small new structure.

The existing Harbormaster’s office receives approximately 5000 visitors per year, and the current 450 square foot single-story structure is simply not sufficient to meet this demand.  There are about 1500 boats registered in Newburyport alone, and thousands of visiting or “transient” boaters.  In addition, there are thousands of other people who need information or services using the Peter J. Matthews Boardwalk at the central waterfront as well as Custom House Way from the downtown.  Their numbers will likely increase once Phase II of the Clipper City Rail Trail and Harborwalk is built next to the fish pier.  The current facility has very limited office and administrative space for the Harbormaster and staff, and no space available for staff lockers or storage space for tools, safety equipment, and other supplies.  There is very limited customer service space for visitors.  While the City has added shorepower and water services in the past decade to the floats along the central waterfront, the existing Harbormaster’s building has no space for transient boater facilities such as toilets, showers, laundry and ice machines that would further enhance the attractiveness of Newburyport’s harbor and downtown for visitors. 

            The City through its Harbormaster and Harbor Commission has determined that a new and improved facility should be built on the fish pier at the end of the central waterfront.  It is important that the facility continue to be directly visible and accessible from the floats serving visiting boaters at the central waterfront, as well as located in close proximity to the Harbormaster’s own floats and vessels.  The exact siting of the building on the fish pier will require balancing the desire to avoid negative impacts on: a) the fishermen’s memorial area, b) views from the Custom House, c) parking and vehicular circulation on the fish pier, d) the working area for the commercial fishermen on the pier, and e) the anticipated extension of the Rail Trail and Harborwalk.

The new facility under consideration could be up to 2000 square feet, and allow for a customer service area on the ground level with room for 2-3 staff.  In addition, the City is considering lockers for staff to change and store clothing, storage space for daily equipment, and a second story office area that would allow for small meetings and facilitate the Harbormaster’s monitoring of river traffic and communication with boaters.  The new facility should also include a small number of basic facilities for visiting boaters including information, toilets, showers, and ice, and potentially laundry, vending machines, wi-fi, etc., to further improve Newburyport’s harbor as a destination.  Preliminary estimates put the new facility at approximately $600,000 to $800,000 which will be financed by existing boater revenues from the Harbormaster Enterprise account.  The City hopes to complete design and permitting by the fall of 2014.

###

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pennies for Poverty Announces Third Annual Oyster-Fest Fundraiser on February 8


Dear Friends, 
Pennies for Poverty. a local nonprofit working to help alleviate poverty in the Greater Newburyport area, announced the date of it's third annual Oyster-Fest Fundraiser. The event will be held on Saturday evening,February 8 from 5:30-7:00 PM at the Starboard Galley Restaurant, 55 Water St., Newburyport. As always, the event features  oyster selection and shucking by Richard Rush, Editor-In-Chief of the Oyster Information Newsletter. Rush is known throughout New England for his entertaining and educational shucking events. He personally selects only the finest available oysters to be served
at his events. The fundraiser is free and open to the public. The recommended donation is $10 per person.

This year's event will be held in conjunction with the Newburyport Art Association's free reception for their  Winter Show Part 2 juried award recipients, on the same night from 7-9PM, virtually next door to the Starboard Galley Restaurant, at 65 Water St.
Holding these events together allows Newburyport residents to enjoy a great night of socializing on a Saturday evening in the middle of winter,great oysters, great art, and financial support for a worthy cause.

Please feel free to forward this email to any of your friends who might be interested in attending.

Michael Sandberg