Rye offered Pulpit Rock Tower — free … That creeky feeling … A Webster CCRC plus … Mimi White's new book … honors for two student-athletes … Music-by-Sea concerts rev up
Rye Reflection staff
Bright array at Portsmouth Farmers Market. (Bill "Pappou" Drew photo)
Is there a tower in Rye's future? …
Who will be the next lease owner of the controversial Pulpit Rock Tower?
(Drum roll, please … )
How about the Town of Rye?
How come? Because the operator, the N.H. Fish & Game Department, wants to give it away. And because the neighbors are willing to go the extra mile — including putting up thousands of dollars — to prevent it from being used as a cellphone relay tower.
No vote was taken at last Monday's Board of Selectmen meeting, but Town Administrator Alan Gould suggested he get together with the newly-formed Friends of Pulpit Rock Tower, cull their research and refine it for presentation to town counsel, then go from there. Ultimately the transfer would have to be approved by Rye voters in March of 2009. (See pros/cons of Pulpit Rock debate in June, 2008, edition
and a story on the tower itself in January, 2006, edition
In short, here's the deal:
- Verizon wanted to pay to convert the 73-foot tower into a cellphone relay station, thus dealing with a dead spot along the coast.
- Neighbors objected and formed the Friends of Pulpit Rock Tower to block the move and help find an alternate cell site.
- The Friends raised $23,000 and offered to pay Fish & Game for cleanup of the tower where bird droppings and other debris have accumulated over the years.
- Fish & Game has no more use for tower (used to be used to observe lobstering violations), can only transfer it to a governmental agency under federal rules, so — voila! Why not Rye?
Atty. Evan Mulholland of the state Attorney General's office told Selectmen the transfer would entail some tricky legal maneuvers but would be easily doable. The Friends could still pay for the cleanout and repairs to windows in return for the Town agreeing not to contract for cell use. And the Town would have to pay for general upkeep. Fish & Game director Glenn Normandeau and agent Betsey McNaughten assured Selectmen the tower is structurally sound.
If the Selectmen decide to proceed, a vote of the townspeople would be required, followed by a vote of the Governor's Council.
How do the Selectmen feel:
Chairman Crais Musselman was non-committal but said: "I have never seen such extraordinary cooperation from a state agency."
Priscilla Jenness: "I can't believe that you made this offer. You've made me very happy … I think this is a real plus for the town, everyone."
Joe Mills: He sat silent throughout the proceeding.
Wheel of misfortune …
Pick your poison if you plan to launch a small boat or kayak into shallow Seavey Creek on either side of the bridge between Odiorne Park and Foye's Corner.
The Town of Rye owns a spit of land on the west side of the bridge and the Odiorne Point State Park has a small boat landing on the east end.
The west side has proved the most troublesome. The land slopes off gradually into the creek, so cars are backed up, the kayak or whatever is put into the water and off goes the sailor, leaving his cares and his car behind him. Upon return, on more than one occasion, boaters have returned to find their cars immersed in water over the bumper or just plain stuck in the mud. Next step? Tow truck.
"Apparently they don't know about tides," Stanley Chrest, a Pioneer Road neighbor told the Rye Selectmen at their June 16 meeting. The remark was only half in jest.
Chrest suggested warning signs be posted and that rocks be arranged in such a way that cars would not be parked in vulnerable locations.
The Rye launching area … … as seen from east end of bridge.
Meanwhile, the ramp on the opposite side which is part of Odiorne State Park has had extra gravel added this year, causing complaints from some who have gotten their cars stuck.
Webster plans CCRC plus …
Webster Continuing Care of Rye got a larger-than-expected turnout of more than 50 persons at a public session last Wednesday at the Great Bay Community College in Stratham. The 91-acre site is zoned for mixed-use, so Webster "won't be using it all for the CCRC," according to Janet Brown who is leading the Webster group, a subsidiary of the Rannie Webster Foundation of Rye.
In an letter of invitation Brown wrote, "The plan is to create a dynamic community campus with a focus on the environment … Stratham's Flexible/Mixed Use Development Zoning … will provide multi-generational opportunities with interaction with area residents, thus benefiting both residents residing on the campus as well as the larger community."
Input from the attendees and a July market study plus focus groups this month and next will help determine a development proposal that will then be subject to the Town of Stratham regulatory process.
On the home front Webster at Rye on Washington Road continues to work its way through approval processes for a single-story addition to streamline its two-year-old rehabilitation section. The Planning Board voted to require Webster to do a drainage study which is expected to be submitted at the July 8 meeting. Webster wants to separate its rehab area from the nursing home facilities. To do so, a separate entrance would be required along with a workout room, dining room, sitting room and additional parking on the northwest side of the complex.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS …
Former poet laureate Mimi White
has published a collection of her works in "The Last Island". "Each poem reminds us of the fullness love brings to life," wrote reviewer Rebecca Rule in an article
that appeared in the Portsmouth Herald on June 1.
Rye's Laura Crotty, (shown above and at right in action photo) was named to the Mid-Atlantic Region First Team for rowing by the coaches' association. A senior at George Washington University, Crotty also was elected as her team's most valuable player.
Onni B. Irish
of Rye was among the top 10 graduates of Portsmouth High school and reportedly plans to attend Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service. Irish garnered numerous academic and athletic honors and studied in England for 12 weeks. Active in numerous volunteer activities, Irish also has been an avid seamstress since she was 4 years old.
, who has taught and studied art around the world, will be exhibiting her colorful paintings at Webster at Rye, 795 Washington Road, from now until August 31. An artist's reception will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in Webster's South Solarium on August 6.
of Rye was honored in mid-June as part of the state's ninth Lighthouse Week ceremonies. Reynolds organized the nationally-recognized Lighthouse Kids in 2000 while a teacher in North Hampton to save White Island
Lighthouse on the Isle of Shoals, an effort that continues because of the constant battering the southernmost island takes (More information at www.lighthousekids.org
Sarah Tasha Gregg
, daughter of Senator and Mrs. Judd Gregg of Rye Beach was married in June to William Bernard Orum of Greenwich, Conn., at a St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea ceremony presided over by Rev. Peter A. Lane.
Speaking of weddings: For years it has taken weeks to receive the wedding album, at which time only family and close friends get to see it. Times have changed. Practically overnight everyone who attends the wedding and those who didn't can view the wedding album online. Such was the case last month when Rachel Scott and John Pimental were married in Rye and had their reception at the Wentworth by the Sea Hotel in New Castle. All the fun and touching moments may be viewed by clicking on the photographer's website
New show at the Rye Library...
The gates open at 5 p.m. and the music begins at 6 as the Music-by-the-Sea Concert Series jumpstarts its 13th season on July 10 with Entrain, a crowd favorite, back for its seventh season and featuring something for everyone — "from rock, blues, calypso and ska to zydeco, jazz and funk — all based around drums and an infectious rhythm, according to the sponsoring Seacoast Science Center.
On July 17 will be Evolution, that also plays a variety of music genres with emphasis on dance songs from the 60's and 70's; on July 24 Gazpacho, an 80's tribute band; on July 31 Soulmate, a Motown soul party band; on August 7, Johnny Wad and the Cash, which blends blues, rock and country; and on August 14, Jumbo Circus Peanuts closes the concerts with pop, jazz, crazy costumes and theatrics.
Rain or shine … north lawn under the Center's tent … bring blankets and/or chairs … $8 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 12 (members half-price and tickets may be obtained in advance). More details at seacoastsciencecenter.org/events
USS New Hampshire on day of christening. (US Navy photo)
- Credit a letter-writing campaign by a third-grade class in Dover (Garrison Elementary School) for getting the ball rolling in 2003 to name a new submarine after this state. The result will be a commissioning ceremony of the USS New Hampshire at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard on Octobe 25. The fifth Virginia-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN-778) was christened in Groton, Conn., on June 21. (Click here for more information on the USS New Hampshire).
- The state has called in $10 million it had provided the Pease Development Authority to attract an airline, forcing the Tradeport to put on hold several capital improvement projects until at least the end of the year.
- A moving sight: The whale struck and gashed last year when hit by a boat was seen in mid-June at a popular feeding ground. The whale appeared healthy despite a three-foot wound and several smaller cuts on its back.
- St. Theresa's parishioners are mourning the passing of Rev. John V. Moran on June 27. He was pastor at the Rye Beach Roman Catholic Church for 20 years, from 1979 to 1999. Fr. Moran served in Europe during World War II as a private first class and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman Badge.
- The COAST Beach Bus is running a summer pilot program serving Hampton, Exeter and Epping, taking passengers on Saturdays and Sundays to the beach, town recreation facilities and elsewhere along the routes. The last run will be September 6-7. Fares are $1 for in-town, $3 for out-of-town and half that for seniors, disabled and those with a Medicare card. More information at www.coastbus.org. Rye, North Hampton, New Castle and Portsmouth next summer?
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