RYE CRISP

Horne takes on Dover … A senior housing plus … Rye takes on Comcast? … Some stirring over old police station … Great Bay eelgrass losing battle … 'Penguin Plunge' at Hampton Beach another splash hit … 5th graders arranging Girl Scout cookies for troops overseas

Staff of Rye Reflections


No seashells? …



Say this ten times fast: She saw seagulls by the seashore in a snowstorm that leaves footsteps in the sand. And is that a swimmer we spy? All part of the seasonal scene at Jenness Beach. (Gail Beamer photo)





Horne v Dover …  

Perhaps Yogi Berri would say, "It's like deja vu all over again."

The Horne Construction Company of Rochester is claiming it is owed about $171,000 by the City of Dover for cost overruns in connection with work on the new Children's Museum.  In 2007 Horne collected $190,000 from the Town of Rye and $110,000 from HKT Architects after months of wrangling over change orders and delays in the construction of Rye's new Public Safety Building, despite the fact that Horne took 26 months to complete a 12-month project that cost $2.9 million.

Horne filed suit against Dover, according to a January 8 article in Foster's Daily Democrat.


Tax credits boost RCD …

The 22-unit senior affordable housing complex at the site of the former Rye Airfield has moved a step closer to reality. The N.H. Housing Finance Authority has awarded low income housing tax credits in the amount of $31,327 annually to the developer, The Housing Partnership, Inc. (THP), of Portsmouth. According to THP Executive Director Marty Chapman, these tax credits along with the granting of a pending Community Development Block Grant request, "would make it very likely that the project will break ground some time in the middle of 2009."

This would be the first Retirement Community Development (RCD) resulting from Rye voter approval of a 2006 ordinance enabling 10-acre developments for those over age 62.


'cast in stone …

Rye's cable contract with Comcast is up for renewal in June. The subject will be on the agenda for the Feb. 9 Board of Selectmen meeting and will be followed by public hearings as lawyers begin negotiations. But there's not much negotiating leverage for towns in N.H.

The following comments were made in a Jan. 17 letter to the Portsmouth Herald by J.L. Harrison of Rye: " … Under the heading, 'Demand more at Comcast' (on your bill) we are advised that yet another channel will no longer be available. And in the next paragraph we are told the bill will reflect 'new prices' which result in another roughly $4 increase. To add insult to injury, we are told that the removed channels will be available on a three-digit numbered channel, which we can then access by renting a box by the month! We cannot even buy the box for a one-time fee. The Comcast people tell me that this is all necessary because of the new digital rules being implemented in February. This is not so. Digital TV's rules have nothing to do with the switching around and price gouging that is going on with Comcast. All of this is happening, because there is no competition in this field, and our towns were sold a bill of goods which are under contract for years."


Dog-Dog days …



Bernese Mountain dogs have no problem with snow but know enough to stay in when there's sheer ice under foot in Route 1 parking  lot. January was like that. (Gail Beamer photo)





Come what may …

Rye Reflections tried its best to stir some interest in uses for the old Police Station diagonally across from Town Hall on Central Road in in an article in the January, 2007, edition. For some reason the idea of a Walmart or a bowling alley or a frog-raising facility didn't fly. Then the Rye Water District expressed a fleeting interest in the facility, which admittedly has some deficiencies, not the least of which is the oil in the soil deposited when it was a pit stop for the Seacoast trolley system way back when.

Now comes real estate saleswoman Rosalie Powell Andrews. She recently toured the premises and is interested in turning it into a two-story commercial building. She also would like to "to incorporate a bit of history" at the site. You may recall she ran against veteran Joe Mills for the Board of Selectmen last year, losing 578 to 383, in her first stab at running for office. But public property requires a public process, so it appears that the Town is open to her proposal or that of anyone else who wishes to get into the fray. To date there has been no pro-active proposal for either a youth or senior center or both. The frog-raising idea doesn't seem to be gaining momentum either. And so?


Not so great …



All is calm overlooking Great Bay on a cold winter day. (Judy Palm photo)


Four tidal tributaries to the Great Bay/Piscataqua River system are on a list sent to Congress of waters in violation of quality standards, according to the N.H. Department of Environmental Services (DES). The tributaries are contributing to an adverse ecological balance by carrying wastewater and storm water outfalls into the estuary.

Increasing nitrogen concentrations caused by the loss of eelgrass were
identified as a problem in a major state study completed in 2007. The state's largest estuary is considered of "national significance" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) due to its role as a wildlife habitat and an area of recreation. DES anticipates that the impairments will result "in new management and regulatory implications" for the entire watershed which it says covers 1,023 square miles in N.H. and Maine. But improved measuring methods may find even more than four tributaries in violation, according to DES.



(N.H. Department of Environmental Services chart)





PEOPLE IN THE NEWS …




PENGUIN PLUNGE …