Tower for Rye? … Aquarion seeks increase … A site for sore cyclists … Primary election results in Rye … Spicy N.H. races
The status of Harbor Road beyond the turnaround opposite the harbor breakwater (above) will be the subject of a public hearing before the Rye Board of Selectmen, probably on October 20. At issue is whether the road is private beyond the turnaround from which these photographs were taken, the one below looking back at Rye Harbor. (photos by Jack Driscoll)
Will the Town of Rye end up with the Pulpit Rock Tower in its lap with no particular use in mind for it?
A few years ago Rye eyed the tower as a place for a cellphone antenna. But opposition from neighbors and the cost in the thousands to clean out bird and animal droppings put an end to discussions.
Along came a group of Seacoast residents who can't get cellphone reception. The tower as a relay station seemed enticing to them. They tried twice in two years to work out an arrangement, the last time this past spring with interest from Verizon.
But the neighbors organized an apparently successful opposition, then offered to help find another antenna site.
The state Fish & Game Department had obtained use of the 73-foot tower from the federal government in 1978 for surveillance of lobstering violations. That need no longer exists. So the Friends of Pulpit Rock came up with a proposal that the tower could be turned over to the Town of Rye with the proviso that Rye would not allow an antenna and that the neighbors would raise the funds for a cleanup.
Fish & Game leaped at the idea, suggesting the tower was akin to a lead weight around its neck, and has submitted papers to the Selectmen offering to allow Rye to take over an "easement ownership" of the tower. The paperwork has been relayed to Rye counsel.
Residents along the coast still can't get a cellphone signal, but, hey, Rye might get a free tower out of the deal. Such a deal?
The Aquarion Water Company has begun the rate-increase process that will affect customers in Hampton, North Hampton and the Rye Beach and Jenness Beach districts of Rye.
The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission received the application on August 29 and is expected to take 10 months to study the details and hold hearings before ruling. Aquarion is requesting interim rates during the deliberations.
In a briefing of Rye Selectmen on Sept. 22, Aquarion Senior Vice President Larry A. Bingaman said the impact on a residential customer using 67,000 gallons a year would be an increase of 21 cents per day or $75 per year.
Rye would account for $157,000 of the $5.6 million projected increases that Aquarion says are needed to recover the cost of investment the past three years (the last increase was in 2005).
The $157,000 was broken out as follows:
- Well #5 pump & electrical upgrades … $17,000
- Tank security improvements … $10,000
- Water mains … $51,000
- Pressure reducing valves … $14,000
- Meters, services, hydrants … $62,000
for a rate application overview and newpaper articles on the increase request.
It was a celebration not a competition that brought out cyclists in droves from Hampton Beach State Park to Wallis Sands to New Castle and on into Portsmouth, a distance of 21.5 miles, on Saturday, Sept. 20. They were marking the official opening of the state's portion of the East Coast Greenway. Actually it's only a preliminary route as the 3,000-mile trail from Key West, Florida, to Calais, Maine, takes shape. New Hampshire's organizing group that includes the Rockingham Planning Commission has posted signs to mark this state's leg of the trail. More information may be found at www.greenway.org
The sign at left is on the westerly end of Cable Road as it feeds into Central Road.
Statewide and local races have added even more flavor to the November Presidential election. Governor John Lynch is being challenged by Joe Kenney, a state senator; Republican John Sununu is defending his U.S. Senate seat in a rematch against former governor, Jeanne Shaheen; Jeb Bradley is looking to regain his U.S. Congress seat from Carol Shea-Porter who beat him in 2006; Christian Callahan is running against Martha Fuller Clark for her state Senate chair, and a tight four-way race for two seats in the state House of Representatives pits incumbents David Borden and Otto Grote against Will Smith and Jeff Gilbert. What follows are the Rye results of the September primary election that saw a 17.3% turnout of eligible voters, that broke down into 520 who took Republican ballots and 288 who took Democratic ballots:
|U.S. Senator||John Sununu|
|U.S. Representative||Jeb Bradley|
|Executive Councilor||Russell Prescott||422|
|State Senator||Christian Callahan||418|
(vote for two)
|County Attorney||Jim Reams||421|
|County Treasurer||Edward Sandy Buck III||415|
|Register of Deeds||Cathy Stacey||422|
|Register of Probate||Andrew Spizz Christie||411|
|County Commissioner||Katherin Kate Pratt||423|
|Patrick T. Mahoney|
Bob Brown (write-in)
Katy Kathryn Forry
|U.S. Senator||Jeanne Shaheen|
|U.S. Representative||Carol Shea-Porter||261|
|Executive Councilor||Beverly A. Hollingworth||246|
|State Senator||Martha Fuller Clark||250|
(vote for two)
|Sheriff||David J. Lovejoy||209|
|County Attorney||(No candidate)|
|County Treasurer||David E.Ahearnb||208|
|Register of Deeds||Philip Nugent||203|
|Register of Probate||Debra E. Crapo||231|
|County Commissioner||Norman J. Patenaude||209|
- The position of Rye Town Administrator is a three-day job for the time being as of this month. Alan Gould resigned from the position and will be replaced on an interim basis by Michael Farrell (right photo), provided by Municipal Resources Inc.,the same company that will employ Gould as chief operations officer. Gould, former Rye Police Chief, will continue as Rye's Emergency Management Director.
- Christopher Silver is the new Hampton Fire Chief, replacing Hank Lipe, who is taking a chief position in the state of Washington. Presently a deputy, Silver has been with the Hampton Department since 1993.
- Atty. Charlie Griffin spent his retirement visiting patients at Portsmouth Hospital, calling each by name (if he didn't know you, he'd check the roster at the desk on the floor). He handed out gumball-sized warm fuzzies to patients about to go home with a ribbon saying, "Here's a little sunshine." Griffin died at age 101 in September, having added a little sunshine to the lives of hundreds in the hospital and the adjoining radiation center.
- A husky cheer for Lani Fortier, whose writings and photos about her volunteer and non-profit ventures have appeared on numerous occasions in Rye Reflections. She has been selected by the University of Connecticut as one of 40 outstanding alumni under age 40. Fortier, 26, graduated in 2004. She was honored at the halftime of a football game and will be featured in the UConn Magazine on Nov. 1. Fortier is co-founder of Charity Global, which uses 100% of its donations to bring clean drinking water to people in developing nations. Her first article in this publication appeared in the December, 2005, issue, concerning volunteering by her and other Mercy Ships crew members at an orphanage in Liberia. A subsequent article with the photo (above) on the front page was published in the April, 2006 edition.
- Pat Phelan, who runs the Hungry Horse Cafe on Washington Road, tends to keep his hair short, but on September 25 he arrived at work at the usual 5 a.m. — seven hours after the Red Sox clinched a playoff berth — with a totally shaved head. It seems he lost a bet with his brother. Perhaps for the cold weather someone should donate a Red Sox cap to Pat to keep his head warm.
Fall colors are spilling over outside home on Wallis Road. (Bill "Pappou" Drew photo)