Scott Brown in town … Rye to buy Goss Farm … Surf & Swim Club back on docket … Wentworth Home files for Chapter 11 … Downtown Gap store closing … Screech owl creates excitement … Zechel loses seat … Beach bills aim at smoking, trash infractions … Dredging dump off Wallis Sands beach?
Staff of Rye Reflections
The long shadows of a winter afternoon play off a house on Sagamore Road in Rye. (Jim Cerny photo)
Ties to Rye trigger discussion
and presence of Senator-Elect Brown
Several early-morning regulars at the Hungry Horse sipped coffee the Saturday after the special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts. The main topic of conversation was the election of Scott Brown and how life would change for him and his family who had been fairly visible in Rye in the summer, given that they have a second home here.
"You won't be seeing him coming in here," said one.
A short time later the cafe door opened, and in walked Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff.
Brown had passed up the Sunday talk shows on January 24 to relax at his Rye home, as noted in an article
in the Boston Herald
, which also ran an illustrated history
of the Massachusetts Republican who, in dramatic fashion, captured the U.S. Senate seat that had been held by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
Before he set off for a rash of meetings with political and community leaders, the press and Jay Leno, Brown took time out to visit with third graders at the Dondero School in Portsmouth where his niece goes to school. He wanted to thank the pupils for sending him congratulatory letters. Even the teacher was "freaking out" over his surprise 8:45 visit. (Click here
for full story.
Familiar faces in Rye before national limelight: Senator-elect Scott Brown with wife Gail Huff flanked by two daughters, Ayala (on left), a Boston College student, and Arianna, a Syracuse University student.
At a hastily-called meeting (one-day public notice) that took 15 minutes the Rye Board of Selectmen agreed to a $1 purchase-and-sale agreement for the development rights for nine acres of the 210-year-old Goss Farm property whose main house was lost to a fire 11 months ago.
In return for unpaid taxes and a Conservation Commission expenditure of $663,000, the Town would acquire the $1.3 million property at 251 Harbor Road on the west side of Route 1-A. Easements would be given to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's and Natural Resources Conservation Service's Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
(FRPP), which was set up to provide matching funds for such purposes.
According to minutes of the board meeting on January 28, Selectman Craig Musselman had thought the board was to be presented an acquisition proposal, but Jim Raynes, chairman of the Conservation Commission, "explained that the Town will be buying the land at the same closing as the Easement closing." Raynes was participating by telephone.
The Town of Rye agreement is with Joseph W. Goss of Center Ossipee, N.H., Sandra Munsey of Forestdale, Mass,, Sarah M. Silk of Wolfeboro, N.H., Corinne Carignan of Eliot, Maine and Marilyn Bolduc of West Ossipee, N.H.
The Selectmen also voted to place the sum of $260,000 as "Earnest Money" in an escrow account, pending execution of the sale.
Before-and-after photos of the Goss farmhouse appeared in the April, 2009 edition
of Rye Reflections
- Held up in its application to develop a Surf & Swim Club, the Wentworth by the Sea Country Club returns to the Zoning Board of Adjustment to make its case on March 10 at 7 p.m. at the Rye Junior High school (originally scheduled for February 17). After the Town of Rye balked at the proposed sale of a strip of right-of-way land, the State pulled back its offer. Wentworth made some site layout adjustments and offered to maintain the strip and even put in a sidewalk along Route 1-A at the corner of Wallis Road.
- The historic Oceanic Hotel on Star Island has received a matching grant of $75,000 to replace and repair its roof from the N.H. Land and community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). Work is expected to begin this year, and donations will be sought for the additional $75,000 that will be needed.
- Rye's longtime real estate firm Tate & Foss Inc. is now a member of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC, with Edward H. (Ned) Tate II continuing as broker and owner. New signs have cropped up on for-sale properties around town reflecting the Sotheby affiliation.
- Trustees for the 100-year-old Mark Wentworth Home have filed for Chapter 11 protection while emphasizing that residents and their funds will not be affected at the recently renovated home with 48 assisted-living care beds and 29 nursing care beds and about 90 employees.
- Meanwhile, Portsmouth was further hurt by the downturn when The Gap announced it is pulling out of its 19 Congress Street location where it has been for 15 years. Remaining will be the Gap's clothing and accessories store in the Fox Run Mall, Newington
Eastern screech owl
- An eastern screech owl, a bird more commonly seen in Florida, has found a perch in Rye that is discussed by a professional writer-photographer, Kathryn Nazzaro, in a recent edition of Women's Outdoor News. The accompanying photo was taken in Florida.
- Questionnaires from the U.S. Census Bureau will be arriving in the mail in either February or March and has only 10 questions that are said to take about 10 minutes to answer.
- Rye's next winter farmers market is being held at the Junior High School on Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Rye has purchased 11.3 acres of land on Spring Road, using $150,000 from the Conservation Land Acquisition Fund. Spring Road is near Cable Road, off Fielding Way, and draws its name from the nearby Rand's Spring.
Trees in Rye Cemetery express the solitude of the season, in all its bleakness and beauty. (Kim Reed photos)
- William Zechel was removed as an alternate Planning Board member by the Board of Selectmen on January 11 for neglect of duty. Zechel did not attend numerous scheduled meetings over the past two years. He attended the first of the Selectmen's removal meetings, stating he had not received a certified notification letter regarding his absences. The letter was presented at the second Selectmen's meeting. Zechel did not attend.
(Jim Cerny photo)
- Clearly the photos and article by Judy Underwood in the August, 2008 edition of Rye Reflections started it all. China has recently pounced on the popular sci-fi movie title to rename its renowned Hunan Province mountain Avatar Hallelujah Mountain, according to a BBC story. Smart move.
- State Rep. Judith Day of North Hampton has proposed a bill to prohibit smoking on beaches and at 23 state parks, following Maine's smoking ban that went into effect last year. For more on the legislation, an opponent and the story behind the Maine law click here.
- Nancy Stiles, a Hampton state representative, is sponsoring House Bill 1520 calling for fines forleaving trash on state beaches.
- State Seacoast Park Supervisor Brian Warburton has acknowledged having preliminary discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the possible dumping of Piscataqua River dredging material off Wallis Sands State Beach. It's at least three years away but an estimated 400,000-plus cubic yards will be dredged to widen the river near Eliot with possibly half going to Maine and half to N.H. York already has voiced opposition to a proposed dumping off Long Sands Beach.
To Our ReadersDuring the nearly five years of its existence Rye Reflections has added new features and other improvements in an effort to fulfill its stated mission (see "Who We Are" on Front Page):
"Rye Reflections sees itself as another "voice" in the Greater Seacoast community, neither competing with nor being affiliated with other print or online publications."
Our intention is to continue that commitment with more of a magazine feature approach than a news approach. As ever, we are open to contributions and participation by anyone who wishes to lend his or her voice to this monthly, all-volunteer enterprise.
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