Veazey's View

Photos and simulations by Bill Veazey

Bill Veazey
Change seems to be an appropriate subject for this month’s View in light of this particular Issue. In thinking about the subject, I realized that it may be one of the few constants in this world mdash; no matter how quickly or slowly it takes place. Yes, change is a constant! Some changes in Rye in recent years, or now in the process, have been contentious, consuming both time and money, usually unnecessarily so. A few of the delays proved beneficial, while most were not.
The pictures below are some of the changes, or ones under consideration in Rye, as seen through the eye of the camera on a recent tour from Foye's Corner, down the coast, through the Center, and then out to Route 1. Many of these items have been written about in Rye Reflections. Some pertinent past articles are linked, or may be retrieved by using the Google search link at the end of this page.

Foye's Corner
Controversy raged for years about the infamous three-STOP-sign intersection at Foye's corner which confounded visitors heading to and from the shore; as well as jamming traffic. From the then Governor Benson on down, the debate was should they simply add a fourth STOP sign, have multiple lanes and lights, or a Roundabout? The Roundabout finally won, and now we see traffic flowing smoothly on a hot August day.

One alternative would have been numerous stop lights, multiple lanes and great delays. Thank goodness that alternative was not chosen.

Route 1A Bridge at Seavey Creek
Wooden bridges do get old, tired and worn out. During the re-construction there was a brief time of frustration as a DETOUR was one of the necessary delays. But now the bridge is new; while, thank goodness, fishing from the bridge remains unchanged.

Hey fishermen, no complaints please, the old wooden bridge didn't guarantee a catch either.

Cell Tower, Odiorne Park, Future?
Four prior proposals to bring effective cell phone coverage to the Seacoast of Rye have failed — all stopped by NIMBYism. The current attempt to place a "faux-tree" tower in Odiorne State Park is under fire, as Verizon, once again treads its way through the morass of regulations and bureaucracy. The lack of service in this area is now way beyond a standing joke, and, after three and one-half years of flirting with serious disaster in case of an emergency, it's time to act!

A trial balloon (literally) was floated at a proposed site at Odiorne Park in mid-August to determine the towers visibility from the surrounding countryside. Great importance seems to be placed on this alteration to the landscape. I would venture to say that within a very short time it would become a visual non-entity.

While thinking about Cell Towers on our deck at Merrymeeting Lake, I looked up and was amazed to now notice the huge pine tree on the ridge across the lake, that has been there for years.

Is that stand-out tree on the ridge across the lake an intrusion?

I focused in to be sure.

Mother Nature may be telling us that change, even in tree height, is normal and really OK.

The picture below is from the east end of the parking lot at Odiorne looking westward toward where the balloon had been floated to give the view of the treescape in the location of the proposed antenna.   

Would this intrusion (my simulated antenna) be so objectionable, if it meant safety for all Park visitors, as well as all Seacoast residents and tourists? How picayune can we get? Safety first is my motto.

More than 300 acres of Park, plus the Seacoast Science Center, welcome hundreds of visitors daily. Proposed Tower location in red.

Join the newest pro-active group, Odiorne S-O-S, (Odiorne Safety-On-Seacoast)

Wallis Sands Place
After a lengthy and costly zoning debate, (delicately said), what formerly was a group of somewhat shabby, little white cabins, are now an attractive setting of small summer homes.

Wallis Sands Place, condominiums right near the beach

Finally, the see-saw debate (click here, then scroll down to see the site plan) regarding the development of a cluster of homes on Saunders Restaurant land, appears to be settled. In the end, it looks like only four beautiful homes will share this large site by the harbor. Saunders, which has provided many fond memories through the years, will be sorely missed. The harbor will continue with business as usual, and retaurant did not need to be saved; protestations by the NIMBYs neighbors not withstanding.

View of the site from across the cove

Town Hall
The Town Hall is historically correct with the barren appearance, absent shrubbery, but change has indeed come about regarding the former closed door meetings held there. Look at the August, 2010 Issue for the recent study of how that has changed for the better. It appears that Citizen's Journalism has done its job. Hooray for Rye Reflections!

Let the doors be wide open in all phases of government

Rye Public Safety Building
The new RPSB bears a history all its own, and indeed it was a tremendous change in Rye, bringing with its evolution: cooperation, rancor, expense, confusion, a moved house to Central Road, cost, law suits, delays, additional personnel, and more cost. The story of the construction of this building in Rye is a story that will be told, but perhaps not here. For a fuller run-down, type Azzi in the Google link below. The simple overall change is that Rye has a large new combination Police and Fire Station.

The new Rye Public Safety Building

The former Police Station awaits its next assignment. Possibilities are here!

Former Fire Station just prior to demolition

Remnants of the old Fire Station exterior walls are at the Rye Historic Museum. Remember those unique colors on the west end wall? Some change!

Affordable RCD
Starting in 2002, a concerted effort was made by many Rye citizens to promote a zoning amendment which would allow cluster-like developments to be built in Rye, primarily for Rye seniors. When the amendment was finally passed, the only outfit to step up to the plate was The Housing Partnership. They spent the time and energy to bull through the process of approval for their project; then continued seeking financing in difficult times. My hat is off to them for persevering.

White Birch

The Affordable Housing RCD presently under construction along Route 1 doesn't quite fit the original intent of the Housing Committee inasmuch as roughly 20,000 square feet (1/2 acre) of land per affordable housing unit is excessive. I say this in light of the fact that a large percentage of house lots in Rye are in 7,000 to 17,000 square foot (1/6 to 1/3 acre) range. Hopefully, upon its completion another builder will step up with another RCD for the seniors of Rye. Perhaps with the Fear of Change factor overcome, the Planning Board could proceed positively.

White Birch at Rye under construction in August, 2010

Homeward Bound
Speaking of change: After eight years in Rye, Julie and I moved to Dover in 2004 and we subsequently moved again in 2009 to Portsmouth.

Now concluding this short tour on Route 1 heading north, I shall continue on toward home, with a thanks to all the readers of Rye Reflections. It's been a fun-filled five years of expressing ideas and, I hope, some worthwhile thoughts for all to ponder.


September, 2010