Att: Wall thieves … Parks draft delayed … Molly Rowlee's birthday … On cove and creek … Town forest expands … Souter hardly retiring … Dan Brown book due out
Staff of Rye Reflections
Stone walls are prevalent throughout the Seacoast, even on the Isles of Shoals. This one was built on Appledore. (Jim Cerny photo)
New Hampshire's recent updating of its 1791 law to protect stone walls from thieves prompted numerous readable stories regarding these treasured markers. The Boston Globe
took a broader look
at the New England-wide problem, while Wayne Hooper was inspired to check out the history of stone walls
The one-time N.H. fine of $15 is now triple that amount, but also requires the guilty party(ies) to pay attorney fees and restore the wall, a cost that could run into the thousands in many cases.
Robert Thorson, a University of Connecticut geology professor whose studies have carried him 20,000 miles across the region on foot, according to the Globe
, says that half of New England's stone walls were built to mark off farm fields between 1775 and 1825.
Other stories, each adding a bit more insight, appeared in The Eagle-Tribune
of Massachusetts amd The Times-Argus
August came and went, and the promised re-issue of the state Division of Parks and Recreation's draft of its Ten-Year Strategic and Capital Improvement Plan is now promised for the beginning of November. However, there were 300 public comments since the first draft was ordered withdrawn early in July by DRED Commissioner George Bald (see Rye Crisp
in the August issue of Rye Reflections
). A new timeline calls for a draft by November 2, public sessions concluded by November 25 and a final version completed by January 4, 2010. The Legislature will have to be petitioned to extend the draft deadline of September 30. For more information, go to the state Parks website
(Judy Palm photos)
Molly Rowlee's 6th birthday would have been August 22. The day began hazy, hot and humid as hundreds of surfers gathered at Plaice Cove and North Beach
in Hampton. They were there to help Molly's family and friends honor the day without Molly. Last February Molly was diagnosed with anaplastic large-cell lymphoma. Six months later, on July 12, she died. The Rowlees are a family of surfers, and the surfing community had come together several times during the illness to raise money. On August 22 they were there for a celebration of her life. The beach at the cove was covered with surf boards, and each one had a flower on it. The surfers rode their boards out, formed a heart, sang "Happy Birthday" and threw the flowers into the water. Those who couldn't go into the ocean did the same from the shore. There were many tears and hugs, but Molly had a meaningful and friend-filled birthday. The surfing community is continuing to hold fund raisers to support families like the Rowlees. More information and a list of events is available at www.mollyrowlee.com
- The quality of the water in the Pirates Cove area is being tested twice a week and is considered a Tier One area by the state's Department of Environmental Services (DES), according to a presentation before the Rye Board of Selectmen in July. Jessica Devoid of the DES Beach Program and Ken Hicket of FB Environmental Services, a Portland, Maine, consulting firm, said the bacteria count is frequently of a level to be a health threat. Jim Raynes, chairman of the Conservation Commission, suggested a sign be placed at Parsons Creek, south of Pirates Cove, warning that the area is not safe for swimming. Joe Mills and Priscilla Jenness of the board agreed. Mills said the nickname "Stinky Creek", a 60-year-old label, probably results from seaweed that washes up and gets buried under the sand.
- With $250,000 from the Conservation Fund and a $5000 donation, the Rye Board of Selectmen approved a Conservation Commission proposal for the acquisition of 5.36 acres of Josephs' property at 546 Washington Road. This, along with an easement donation, will expand the Town Forest by more than eight acres, according to Chairman Raynes.
- Rye's Board of Selectmen have voted to join in a lawsuit against the state pertaining to the state budget reduction of retirement contributions for Group I teachers and Group II police and firefighters with local governments required to pay what the state is not. The Selectmen agreed only to pay the $1048.13 portion for the police and firefighters.
- An early casualty resulting from state cutbacks was the 39-year-old OdysseyNH program in Hampton, closed in mid-August. A residential substance abuse treatment facility, OdysseyNH has rented the Adolescent Treatment Center on Winnacunnet Road, the OdysseyNH Academy on High Street and the Blue Heron Inn on Landing Road.Rye has received word that Rockingham Superior Court has upheld a Board of Selectmen ruling maintaining the end of Harbor Road, beyond the turnaround at the breakwater as a private road, precluding plowing and maintenance by the Town.
- A three-month extension has been obtained by the Rye Board of Selectmen to the Comcast Cable contract, extending it to September 27. The Town has sent a proposed new franchise agreement to Comcast and is awaiting a response.
- The Friends of Pulpit Rock are tentatively planning public tours of the tower in the next three months, starting in October. "We hope to schedule two or three open houses this fall," the non-profit group announced in its recent newsletter. "It's time to show the tower off and raise awareness about the tower's history and the incredible views it offers a visitor." But in continuing discussions by the Board of Selectmen on July 27 regarding a takeover of the tower by Rye from the Fish & Game Department, Selectman Craig Musselman questioned whether recent renovations had brought the building up to code well enough to enable public access. He asked that the matter be looked into.
- Normally the Selectmen defer to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment when it comes to proposed developments, but Joe Mills already is raising a red flag about one reported aspect of a proposal in the formation stage by the Wentworth By The Sea Country Club to build a beach and swim club on the southwest corner of Route 1A and Wallis Road. Press reports about preliminary discussions between the Wentworth and the state regarding the right of way and parking spaces on Route 1A prompted Mills at a recent meeting to assert, "I'm not giving away any 100-foot right of way." Meanwhile, an informational for neighbors was held by the Wentworth on August 26 with most questions centering around traffic issues.