RYE CRISP: New Saunders plan OK'd
Housebreaks raise awareness … Swim/Surf Club back in play … RCD builder picked … Got a farming parcel? … Salt/sand mix adjusted … A push for 'no idling' … Committee for old Police Station? … Rye eyes Watershed Alliance … Griffiths, Titus honored
Staff of Rye Reflections
A slimmed-down proposal for four private homes on the Saunders Restaurant property — two on each side of Harbor Road — was approved by the Zoning Board of Adjustment by a vote of 5 to 0 on Wednesday night, January 27. The ZBA previously had rejected eight-home and six-home plans.
Zoning Board approves
4-home plan on Saunders property
A steady flow of area residents of all ages took advantage of H1N1 vaccine clinic Saturday, January 9, at Rye Junior High School. More information on swine flu vaccines by calling 603-610-8477 or the H1N1 Public Inquiry line at 211 or by going to www.nh.gov.(Jim Cerny photo)
Rye Police Chief outlines
nuts and bolts of home security
Four brazen break-ins of Rye homes while residents were sleeping have sent shivers up and down the Seacoast.
Two Massachusetts men were arrested, and each was charged with four counts of felonies in connection with the incidents, three on Sea Road and one on Myrica Avenue. They were apprehended near a North Hampton home with their vehicle running nearby.
The question homeowners are asking themselves: How should they better secure their premises?
Short of investing in an alarm system, residents could take several basic steps, according to Rye Police Chief Kevin Walsh:
Among his suggestions:
- Check your door locks, make sure they cannot be taken apart by a screw driver.
- Dead bolts are better than door handle locks.
- If you have a security system, make sure it is in good working order and USE IT!!
- Lock doors when leaving home and when the family is in for the night.
- Check lower (first floor) windows, make sure they are locked as well as any slider doors.Use a broom handle inside the slide to prevent the slider door from opening.
- Team up with neighbors. Let them know what your schedule is so everyone is looking out for each other.
- Most importantly, no matter the time, call the police for anything unusual. "Please call. Let the police say it was nothing. We like to be bothered," said Chief Walsh.
And to punctuate his last point, Chief Walsh noted that "the quick call by the victims helped in finding these people. Thanks for all your help." Emergency number: 911; Police Dispatch number (603) 964-5522.
Popular Random Road inflatables made a statement this year (above) but also presented a lot of fun characters and animals (below) for enjoyment of children. (Jim Cerny photos)
Sometimes you confront a problem head on, other times you work around it.
The Wentworth By the Sea Country Club apparently has taken the workaround approach to deal with the 300x30 ft. state right of way in front of the property it wishes to turn into a Swim & Surf Club on the southeast corner of Route 1-A and Wallis Road. Entanglements connected with the purchase of the strip forced the state to back off from its plan to sell the land to the Wentworth. So the latest idea is to let it remain a grassed-in area that not only will be maintained by The Wentworth but will include a sidewalk, to be added and maintained but not plowed by the Wentworth. Parking along the roadway, a matter of intense interest to Rye Selectman Joe Mills, will include one extra space, according to Wentworth Vice President Peter Weeks, who says the lined spaces will be eliminated, thus enabling more efficiency, given that there are more smaller cars these days. Weeks also expressed enthusiasm for a bicycle path on that side of the road if details could be worked out.
Mills is looking for a guarantee from the Wentworth that employees won't park on the highway, but fellow Selectman Craig Musselman points out that the Zoning Board of Adjustment is the place for that detail to be worked out.
So, it appears The Wentworth can now move forward with its application before the ZBA that had been held up by concerns over whether the sale by the Department of Transportation of that strip of land would set a precedent for properties along the Seacoast. Meanwhile, the Rockingham Planning Commission is conducting a study of the 1-A corridor, looking at future needs and uses and the effect of the right of way that weaves its way along the roadway from Seabrook to New Castle.
- Pine Brook Corporation of Kittery, Maine, has been selected as the Construction Manager for the Rye Retirement Community Development project on the site of the old Rye Airfield behind the Skate Park off Route 1. Pine Brook recently completed a 41-unit affordable family development in Kennebunk, owned by The Housing Partnership, a Portsmouth-based non-profit agency. Rye Planning Board members Mel Low and Marty Zivic recently toured the Kennebunk project, known as Bethesda House, along with former Rye Selectman and current Housing Partnership board member Ken Fox. (See Low's comments in Rye Reflections' story in this issue). Pine Brook is soliciting bids from subcontractors and expects to begin construction in February. Housing Partnership Executive Director Marty Chapman said his agency plans to organize a groundbreaking event at the site prior to the start of construction "to mark the successful conclusion of the three-year planning process that created the project."
- As a way "to continue to support locally grown foods and create community," the Rye Energy Committee is looking for a parcel of land that the owner would like to see farmed in order to develop a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group. The national CSA movement lets members buy a share of a season's produce from a farmer before the season begins. In return, a member receives a regular (usually weekly) share of produce from the farmer for the whole season. Click here for contact information or call Mimi White at 964-6586.
- After many years of using roughly a 50-50 mixture of salt and sand on most roads, Rye will be testing out use of 60% salt in coming weeks. The Selectmen ordered the temporary adjustment following complaints from homeowners about the amount of sand on the edges of their lawns when winter ends. Public Works Director Bud Jordan said that his department's goal has been to produce "black roads" and that cost was a factor in maintaining the the 50-50 mixture to date.
- The Rye Energy Committee is leading a "no idling" campaign in an effort to reduce the "carbon footprint" in Rye. Elisa Bolton and Mimi White made the pitch to stem idling by cars and trucks at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting and got a positive response, although an ordinance probably is not in the cards due to the cost of enforcement. Schools in Rye have successfully convinced parents picking up students to turn off their ignitions while they wait, said Bolton, but idling continues in the area at such places as fast-food establishments, banks, stores and parking lots. The rule of thumb, they said, is that, except when stopped in traffic or at a street light, cars should be shut off after being at a standstill for 10 seconds.
- The Board of Selectmen has decided to form a committee to study possible uses of the old police station on Central Road. The space may be needed for storage, but would require costly cleanup even for that purpose. Selectman Craig Musselman said leasing may be an option. Interest in the property has been expressed by real estate agent Rosalie Powell Andrews for possible commercial use.
- Reminder: All dogs must be licensed by April 30. Up-to-date rabies certificates are required for each dog.
- Texting or typing on a computer while driving is banned in New Hampshire as of this year and could cost a violator a $100 fine. That includes twittering but does not include entering a name or number in a cell phone. A law
prohibiting negligent and distracted driving, enacted in 2002, did not forbid texting or typing.
- Factoid: A recent survey showed that "Rye Crisp" had readership in 71 countries, with Canada, United Kingdom and Australia leading the way.
Two views of Jenness Beach show that the sands were more likely to attract the walkers before the snow. Then came the surfers to the same spot (below) two days later as the stalled snow storm at least churned up the waters to their liking. (Judy Palm photos).
Rep. David Borden split a doubleheader on Monday night, December 22. First he made a presentation before the Rye Board of Selectmen, encouraging the town to join the Southeast Watershed Alliance, which at that point was comprised of 26 of 42 coastal-region communities in New Hampshire and southern Maine. Reservations expressed by Selectman Craig Musselman deferred a decision. Borden then ran to New Castle, the other town he represents in the NH Legislature, which created the alliance. New Castle voted unanimously in favor of joining.
Musselman raised several specific reasons as to why Rye should think twice about joing the Alliance, whose focus is water quality in this part of the state, with particular concern about pollution issues affecting Great Bay, the waterways and groundwater that feed it, and Hampton-Seabrook estuaries and Hampton Harbor.
Recalling that this was the agency that two years ago was considering a pipeline that would run seaward from the Dover-Rochester area, cross Rye and empty into the ocean off Rye or Hampton, Musselman questioned whether its concerns correlated with Rye's.
Borden and Rye's Conservation Commission chairman Jim Raynes, who previously had been opposed to joining, pointed out that the SWA had new leadership, no longer supported the pipeline and was tackling important regional issues.
But Musselman got Borden to read an SWA statement saying it had given up on a pipeline unless one were voted on by the Legislature. Other Musselman questions: Even though towns can opt out of membership at any time, would doing so be politically damaging? If communities in the Dover-Rochester area control the agenda, will they have any interest in Rye issues? Why were four engineers at the last meeting, given that an initial study by Metcalf & Eddy was long completed? What will it cost Rye, particularly when full-time staff is hired and if a subsequent engineering contract is agreed upon? Are there downsides to Rye joining?
Board members Priscilla Jenness and Joe Mills leaned toward having a voice at the table (Rye can attend SWA meetings even if it is not a member), but decided against taking a vote at this time.
Longtime facing centerpieces of Rye. (Judy Palm photos)
Rye Public Library. Rye Congregational Church.
Improper disposal of pills in the home can lead to environmental pollution, drug abuse and accidental poisonings. With that in mind "representatives of these interests" have developed a brief set of guidelines that are listed below and are available with more detail at www.nh.gov/medsafety
- Pour medicine into a sealable plastic bag.
- If the medicine is a solid, add a small amount of water to dissolve it.
- Add any undesirable substance (such as dirt, coffee grounds or kitty litter) to the liquid medicine in the plastic bag.
- Seal the bag and immediately dispose of it in the trash for regular pick-up.
- Use marker to black out any personal contact information on the empty medicine container prior to disposing of it in the trash.
- Do NOT flush medicine down the toilet unless accompanying product information instructs that it is safe to do so. Don't keep unneeded medications in the home.
For more information or in case of an accidental poisoning, call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Charlie Griffiths, longtime coach of the highly successful U-14 boys team in the Rye Soccer Association has been named Boys Competitive Coach of the Year by the N.H. Soccer Association, after being nominated by parents and players. See interview with Griffiths from Portsmouth Herald.
- John Titus of Rye, a retired pilot, has been inducted into the Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame, a high honor, based on his playing career at Melrose (Mass.) High School, at Dartmouth College and on the 1955 and 1957 U.S. National teams. Click here for more on Titus's storied career.
- Bill Zechel, recommended for dismissal for neglect of duty as an alternate on the Planning Board, will get a second expulsion hearing before the Board of Selectmen on January 11, because at the December hearing the Selectmen were not provided with a signed certified mail letter to Zechel giving him notice. Zechel claims he never received the letter. Based on repeated absences that Zechel says resulted from his own sickness and sickness of one of his sons, the Planning Board's rules of procedure kicked in, calling for his removal, a step that has to be ratified by the Selectmen.
- North Hampton State Rep. Judith Day has filed legislation to ban smoking on beaches in New Hampshire's 23 state parks. Associated Press reports that the she was prompted by the state of Maine, which this year became the first state to ban smoking on its beaches. Maine"s sponsor, Sen.John Nutting, said a mother's complaint led to his proposal, but Rep. Day said health was the impetus for her filing. Meanwhile, Rep. Susan Kepner of Hampton has filed a similar bill that would ban smoking in public areas of state parks, such as picnic areas.
- Paul and Peter Kavalchuk of EastWest Trading Corporation were arrested at their Rye business for importing more than $5 million in counterfeit computer parts, according to a December 2 announcement by the U.S. Attorney's office in Concord. If convicted, they face maximum sentences of 30 years in prison, according to an Associated Press report.
- Joe Mills of the Rye Board of Selectmen gave a sense of how he would feel about televised board meetings when the subject was raised in a light-hearted off-hand manner recently: "No. No. No," he responded.
The New Year snowstorm that hovered over the Seacoast during the New Year's weekend was kind to the birds and ducks as well as residents as it left — at least temporarily — a open section of water right in the middle of Eel Pond. (Judy Palm photo)
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