Friday, July 11, 2008

The Greatest Game

Here's a fun recommendation for summer baseball reading. The Greatest Game by Richard Bradley is a very readable recount of the 1978 one game playoff between the Sox and the Yankees.
The narrative bounces between the Game, background stories of the players involved, and that long strange season.

Despite a few factual mistakes (Yogi Berra would have been 32 in 1957 not 22 and don't ask me why I know that), it's a great book.

Pop quiz: who started in Right Field for the Sox that game?

It's at the Newburyport Public Library as soon as I finish it! Or I'm sure at Jabberwocky or Book Rack.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Newburyport Dog Parade, Sunday, July 13th

A local citizen and friend, Ken Nicosia, came up with a great way to benefit the City's Animal Shelter.

Sunday, July 13th @ the Bartlett Mall from 1:00- 3:30 PM.

Bring your dog, bring your checkbook, bring yourself and your checkbook if you don't have a dog!

There's an article here from the Current including a slide show of the shelter.

More info at

The Newburyport Liberator

Following in the footsteps of William Lloyd Garrison and Tom Ryan, Jim Roy is publishing "The Newburyport Liberator" as covered in this Current article.

I can name more, but here are three things I like about Jim Roy:

1) The man can recite the 1957 Red Sox starting lineup.

2) He owns the only car in Newburyport which in 2007 sported "Ed Cameron City Council" and "My Border Collie is Smarter than Your Honor Student" bumperstickers.

3) He doesn't play favorites. Last fall I was holding a sign for myself on High Street on a Saturday morning with a few supporters. A car slowly pulled alongside, the bearded occupant grimly waving his middle finger at me. A sign-holding neighbor cried in dismay, "That's awful. Who is that?" I said, "That's Jim Roy. You should see what he does to people he doesn't like."

Subscription information can be found at

I enjoyed the first issue. And was relieved to find my name wasn't in it...;-).

Good luck Jim.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Starbucks: The Retrenchment of the Third Place

Does anyone out there know if the Newburyport Starbucks is on the hit list?

Alex Beam is often on-target and I think he nails this one. I was studying for a Masters in Business in the late 1990's and I got sick of reading case studies about the brilliance of the Starbucks concept. The real concept was more along the lines of Big Tobacco....add lots of nicotine/caffeine, pretend it's not addictive, expand the delivery system, and max out the customer base.

Of course coffee doesn't post would be more coherent but I haven't finished my second cup o' joe.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth and The Founders on Newburyport Charter Reform

Happy 4th everyone....WXRV the River 92.5 just played one of my favorite songs: "4th of July" by X.

And now from our Founders--arguments for taking a look under the hood at the possibility of reviewing and reforming Newburyport's Charter. I believe I don't need permission from the National Archives for using these lines ;-).

  1. WHEN IN the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
  2. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
  3. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
  4. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Hey, I'm not saying we're suffering under a long reign of Despotism, but perhaps, despite the best efforts of many, our current structure has put us under a long reign of Stagnation--stuck in neutral. Time to take a look to get our Charter up to rigors of the time.

Happy 4th.