Beach buzz … Saunders development OK'd … Rye LL stunner … Rye Reflections 'superior' … Pulpit Rock cited … Greeters' leader steps down … Drew Doherty doubly relieved
SUITABLEBy Hank McFarland
Some young beachgoers are wearing wetsuits these days either down to the knees or down to the ankles, not so much to be like the "big-boy" surfers, but to stay warm. For the most part in July the water temperature was warmer than normal and the late afternoons and evenings were generally warm. But for youngsters who spend a lot of time in the water or on boogie boards, the wetsuits do the trick. (Gail Beamer photos)
Finally an old-fashion summer! Those of us who have been enjoying the warm seawater temperatures and sultry humid weather can no doubt look forward to more of the same in August, the dog days month, during which water temperatures typically peak.
Interestingly, according to NECN weatherman Joe Joyce, one of the factors influencing our summer weather is an area of exceptionally cold air centered over the North Pole. Its presence is causing storms to move rapidly from west to east over the northern United States and bringing New Hampshire showers and thunderstorms on a regular basis.
Ocean Boulevard has been crowded with beach goers, especially on weekends, and careful driving is the order of the day.
Eider and ducklings. (Hank McFarland photo)
Swimmers at Wallis Sands State Park received an unwelcome surprise
on the afternoon of July 21 when a large and uncommon jellyfish washed in with the surf. Although the jellyfish was not alive, its disintegrating remains touched many swimmers, and a hundred or so reported various degrees of discomfort. Rye ambulance crews called in help from surrounding towns when it appeared that some people could suffer a severe reaction to the toxic jellyfish. There was a great deal of media attention, but no political candidates managed to take advantage of the situation.
Speaking of the ocean, it was a spotty year for our web-footed friends the eiders. Our official Rye Reflections
spotters report smaller numbers of baby ducklings this year. One stalwart mom appears every day with her little brood of three.
Fun at the beach includes collecting shells and posing for pictures as proven by Kianna, Peighton, Vivian, Emma and Sophia at the Fort Stark shore. (Theresa Frampton photo)
(The following items are by members of the "Rye Reflections" staff.)
- The proposal to build four homes on a four-lot subdivision of the Saunders Restaurant property at Rye Harbor appears to have wended its way through the Rye regulatory processes. The Planning Board made 32 stipulations the developer must adhere to in approving the application, 4 to 2, on July 27. After several revisions to the initial plan, the Zoning Board gave its OK in January. The developer Jim Nadeau of York, Maine, is president of Rye Harbour Realty LLC. Saunders Restaurant has announced it will close September 6. Two lots will be located on the north side of Harbor Road and two on the south side.
- Rye's capture of the District II Little League championship in the 9-and-10-year-old division was quite an achievement. The All-Stars upset Portsmouth with two 10-4 victories in the best-of-three series. Portsmouth had won every district title since 1999. Rye was later ousted by a strong Windham team, 6-1 and 13-3, in the state championship at Laconia. Several days earlier Bob Monahan resigned after 10 years as Rye's Little League president in the wake of a ruling by the seven-member Tournament Committee calling for a game forfeiture in the town playoffs in June. Board member Peter Taylor also quit. About 50 parents attended a meeting to protest the decision. click here for more details.
- A major academic study published in July listed Rye Reflections as one of 60 "superior" citizen journalism websites in the U.S. The study, conducted by the University of Missouri Journalism School and summarized in an article in Ars Technica, concluded that citizen journalism has failed to fill the news gap caused by economic struggles and staff cutbacks by newspapers. More than 4000 sites were analyzed in depth.
- A Greater Portsmouth Medical Reserve Corps is being formed and is seeking medical and non-medical volunteers to be activated in the event of an emergency or public health event. Training will be provided. Those interested should contact Kim Coffey-Philbrick, R.N., BS, a public health nurse in the Portsmouth Health Department at 1 Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth NH 03801. Telephone 603-610-7302 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Further information is available at www.cityofportsmouth.com/health/mrc.htm.
Pulpit Rock in Rye has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places
The designation comes at a time when the town is considering a proposal for takeover of the the tower from N.H. Fish & Game at the behest of a citizens' non-profit group called the Friends of Pulpit Rock, originally formed by neighbors when others who live along the seaccoast were advocating Pulpit Rock as a cell tower site. The Rye Board of Selectmen presently is considering whether to form a Heritage Commission which apparently would be a required first step and would involve approval by Rye voters.
In announcing the National Register designation, one of about 89,000 in the U.S., the N.H. Department of Historical Resources
stated the following: "Pulpit Rock Base End Station is marked by an eight-story silo-like structure that rises sharply above the tree line over Route 1A and the rocky New Hampshire coast in Rye. Built in 1943, the tower was used to triangulate the guns at nearby Fort Dearborn (now Odiorne Point State Park). It is one of several coastal structures built to strengthen the defense around Portsmouth Harbor and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard during World War II. The tower is occasionally opened to the public by the Friends of Pulpit Rock."
Sun breaks through Sunday morning cloud cover as paraglider swoops over Jenness Town Beach at 6:30 a.m. Paragliding is a recreational and competitive sport. Learn more at Wikipedia. (Jack Driscoll photo)
- Andrew Hayford, 15, of York, Maine, has parlayed creativity and his own experiences into a distinctive summer job. Like hundreds of others along the seacoast, Hayford has participated in beach cleanups. He knows about items like cigarette butts, bottle caps, plastic forks and spoons, bottle caps, etc., that not only litter the beaches but harm marine life. So this Spring, Hayford and Village Elementary School students created decals with artwork and slogans. Then, with a grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation to be a Blue Ocean Society intern, he began approaching local businesses asking them to display the decals as a sign of ocean-friendly steps in dealing with waste receptacles, recycling, trash and the like. Businesses wishing to participate or obtain more information may contact Hayford at email@example.com.
Ed Johnson (Greeters photo)Marine Captain Ed Johnson of Rye Beach is relinquishing his role as chairman of the Pease Greeters. A Korean War veteran, Johnson was one of the founders of the group more than five years ago, along with Chuck Cove, a Vietnam veteran, who will succeed him, and Al Weston. Johnson told the Portsmouth Herald that he has been present at Pease Air Base for all but a dozen of the 370 flights to and from Iraq and Afghanistan that have been welcomed by the Greeters.
- Jeffrey D. Gilbert of Rye has become a member of the N.H. Public Broadcasting board of directors. Gilbert is a principal of W.J.P. Development LLC, which owns and manages shopping centers. Also joining the board is Dr. Sara Jayne Steen, president of Plymouth State University and a professor. Unitil Corp. CFO Mark Collin of North Hampton is chairman. For a list of all board members, click on http://www.nhptv.org/about/board.asp.
Dr. Don ConantDr. Don Conant has opened a family chiropractic practice, at 150 Lafayette Road (Suite 2). In addition to individual appointments he plans once-a-month workshops with an outside speaker on subjects such as digestion, children's health and vaccinations, intestinal ailments, arthritis and pregnancy/pediatrics. Further information may be obtained at seacoastfamilychiropractic.blogspot.com. For the past eight years Dr. Conant and his wife, Lisa, also a chiropractor, have been in private practice in Illinois.
- Arthur Ditto has been approved for reappointment to a three-year term on the Metropolitan Planning Organization's Technical Advisory Committee by the Rye Board of Selectmen.
- Drew Doherty finally will have a bit more freedom on his weekends. Doherty has been volunteering as the Town of Rye webmaster, a job that requires many hours of work. A new town website that will preclude Doherty's role was put in place in late July.
Turkey families find the woods on the south side of Grove Road to their liking, but tend to venture forth into the neighborhood — generally in the dawn hours. Here a mother and nine babies take a morning stroll that includes occasional stops to dig for grubs. (Jack Driscoll photo)
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