Cell tower at Odiorne? … Pipe bomb at Jenness …Beach cleaning contract … Flood insurance … Rye Reflections' availability … New Julie Bigg Veazey novel … Tyler McGill on move … 2d bad break for Williams

Jack Driscoll


Even those who didn't attend the Air Show at Pease had plenty of Blue Angels sightings for four days (two were practice) from atop the berm at Foss Beach, from the north side of Rye Harbor looking across the Awcomin Salt Marsh, from the Walmart parking lot, from backyards and elsewhere. This shot was taken from alongside Route 1 near the Rye-Portsmouth line. For up-close photos click here for Jim Cerny photo essay. (Bill Veazey photo)

Upcoming election gives focus
to proposal for cell tower at Odiorne

The real estate adage is: Location, location, location …

The Rye cell tower version is: Location? Location? Location?

Cellphone reception along the Rye seacoast has varied from sporadic to nada, prompting annoyed residents and others to clamor for a solution. They particularly worry about the prospect of dead phones during an emergency.

A couple of years ago it looked as though the Pulpit Rock Tower might be an ideal location for  a Verizon cell tower (State Fish & Game is more than anxious to hand over control of the no-longer useful structure to anyone), but neighbors dug in their heels in opposition, concerned with health issues and the eyesore of the proposed base station alongside the tower.

Now comes a Verizon Wireless proposal for a 105-foot fake-tree tower at Odiorne State Park. Is park land an appropriate site?

Arguments are mounting on both sides. An opposition group called "Save Odiorne Point" has formed and held a rally at the park last Sunday. And the Portsmouth Herald has editorialized in opposition.

If nothing else, the question may add zest to the  fall election campaigns. (See Rye Reflections story in  August issue.)

As of now, incumbent state Representatives David Borden, a Democrat, and Will Smith, a  Republican, have staked out similar positions. They favor a tower — that will produce revenue for the state — at Odiorne but not at the specific location Verizon is zeroing in on. At a late August Seacoast Science Center meeting Verizon proposed a site just inside the wooded area to the right of the ticket booth as you enter the park from Route 1-A. Another site favored by others was a several hundred feet to the left of the booth. These are all preliminary discussions. It's state property, but the Town of Rye has a say on certain aspects of such an installation, so it's early in the process for this proposal.

Republican candidate for state Representative Brian Murphy is an alternate on the Rye Zoning Board of Adjustment and has had to disqualify himself "due to a potential conflict with the applicant" and finds it "inappropriate for me to comment." However, that said he added:

"This is part of a larger issue that goes to the heart of why I'm running. The state budget deficit reached $295M this year. To bridge the gap, the Legislature convened a special session and targeted $60M in expected new revenue from the sale or long-term lease of state property. This is fundamentally wrong. The sale of state property should never be used as a means to fund an operating budget. The politicians in Concord need to practice fiscal discipline rather than  engage in the commercializing of our state parks."

But state Rep. David Borden, a Democrat and an environmentalist, sees it differently. In  response to a Rye Reflections' request for a statement on his position Borden said, "We have the only state parks system in the country which is self supporting, and some parks are badly neglected. Although objections may come from the visibility of the tower, the parks need the revenue. One possibility is to locate the tower in a place that is less visible."

His counterpart, state Rep. Will Smith, a Republican and fiscal conservative, takes a similar position: "Having adequate cell phone coverage in the northeast corner of Rye is in the public  interest for our citizens and visitors for their convenience and safety. Given that the state  parks are self-funding, there is also an advantage of having a revenue stream for the park (the bigger the better) that will help to preserve it going forward. On the other hand, all efforts  should be made to minimize the actual and aesthetic impact of the tower. I believe that other areas in the park (such as near the service entrance of the Seacoast Science Center) might offer a better location, and the size of the footprint should be examined for possible reduction."

Contender Elisa Bolton, a Democrat, looks at the Odiorne proposal this way: "I am hesitant to alter any aspect of our state parks in order to accommodate private businesses. However, I believe that the proposed cell phone tower in Odiorne State Park is a good compromise," she stated. "The proposed location in the park reflects the hard work of several concerned volunteers who have strived to balance the protection of our parks and conservation land with the desire of many "Seacoast citizens to have expanded cell phone coverage."

The primary election is September 14 and the final on November 2.

      (The following items are by members of the "Rye Reflections" staff.)


September is a perfect time for croquet at the grass court behind the Jim McLaughlin home on Pioneer Road. Missed this year by players who come great distances to play here is Maire McLaughlin, an avid player who died in February. (Bill Veazey photo)



An ex-Marine, Fatello salutes each time he rides a wave. (Judy Palm photo)

Fatello's guideline is that he will catch and ride at least one wave the length of his surfboard each day. (Judy Palm photo)

  • Jim Sheerin of Rye's Abenaqui Country Club, finished in a tie for fourth place with Bill Andrews of Portsmouth Country Club one stroke behind for eighth place in the New Hampshire PGA chapter championship at North Conway in July.
  • Former Rye resident Julie Bigg Veazey, now living in Portsmouth, has just published her third novel, entitled Jadine. The book jacket describes it as "a chilling portrait of a young orphan making her way in a hostile world. Beginning in rural New Hampshire and leading to the back door of privileged Boston, Veazey explores with emotional precision, the complex, seductive contradictions of Jadine's life that is indelibly shaped by doings not her own. Jadine is capable of violence without remorse, even as she gently cares for the elderly and yearns for her lost love, Billy-John, a Native American orphan. Resisting tidy resolutions, Veazey enlists our sympathy, shock, disapproval, and finally, compassion, in this insightful, stark tale." Veazey's earlier novels are Reckless Indifference and Silent Cry (more information and reviews at www.juliebiggveazey. She also wrote Merrymeeting, a book of poems, and has authored short stories and other poetry which appeared in "Yankee Magazine", "Down East Magazine", "Compass Rose" and other literary publications.
  • Tyler McGill is a hard guy to keep up with these days. You might see him at the Summer Sessions Surf Shop he co-operates with brother Ryan or doing stand-up commentary for the CBS "Early Show". Most recently he trained to be a ball boy at the U.S. Tennis Open in New York, hoping to qualify for the upcoming final matches. And he has signed a contract to be a freelance CBS correspondent. Tyler gained TV network attention when he walked 218 miles to New York City in a bet with friends to get Celtics playoff tickets. He won the bet, got to the playoffs, and, bingo!, he became an on-air commentator, described by producers as having "raw talent". If you haven't seen it, check out McGill's Early Show interview after Game 7 of the NBA final at www.cbsnews.com/video. Stay tuned.

  • Bill Williams (Pappou Drew Photo)
  • Bill Williams, 97, is facing another four months of physical therapy at Webster at Rye for a broken hip after being backed into by a car on Beach Hill Road in New Castle at about 5:30 p.m. on August 17.

    Williams was out for a walk with his walker when he was struck by the car driven by former state senator and present radio host Burt Cohen, who was exiting his driveway. Only three years ago Williams required extensive therapy at Webster when he broke his other hip after being knocked down by Cohen's dog, who reportedly was just trying to be friendly, also while Williams was out for a walk.


    "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end." … Seneca (Bill Pappou Drew photo taken from Fort Stark looking toward Gerrish Island)

    Quick index to last two years of Rye Crisp …