A public hearing to discuss (again) the rezoning of a small part of Storey Avenue is scheduled to take place next week, but it's unclear that it will run because the chair of the committee might not attend.
A legal notice states that the public hearing would take place on Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in City Hall.
But City Councilor Barry Connell, chair of the three-member Planning and Development Committee slated to host it, recently suffered a minor stroke and is taking some time to recuperate.
Connell said he was bicycling with James Shanley recently and he suddenly felt "like I was having a migraine."
The bicyclists dialed 911, and he was taken to Anna Jaques Hospital.
Doctors are monitoring his condition closely, but he said last week that in the near term, he likely will miss several municipal meetings.
He praised medical professionals at Anna Jaques Hospital. "We're fortunate to have such a hospital in our community," he said.
The Planning and Development Committee could meet without Connell, according to City Clerk Richard Jones, and a quorum of two could send a recommendation on the rezoning to the full City Council.
But municipal officials say it is too soon to determine whether the Planning and Development Committee would proceed on the rezoning matter without Connell.
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City Councilor Katy O'Connor Ives has a new day job — and she is the boss.
Ives recently started her own company, O'Connor & Ives, Purveyors of Fine and Natural Skincare.
Ives is a lawyer, and after schooling she spent time working with a regional planning agency.
But she has decided to alter her career path, in part to spend more time locally.
"I enjoy being my own boss, and this situation will allow me more flexibility to attend meetings here in town," said Ives, who is listed as proprietor of the recently formed enterprise.
The business will conduct most commerce via its website, www.oconnorandives.com, though she does plan some outreach in Newburyport.
According to the website, "O'Connor & Ives was born from the idea of preservation — preservation of one's well-being, time and money in the pursuit of all-natural grooming products."
Her site also states, "It's easy to waste countless hours looking for the right skin and hair care products with the right ingredients for the right price.
"It's disappointing when you've gone through all of that trouble, only to try the product and be disappointed with the results."
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Members of the Conservation Commission last week directed a lawyer for New Ventures to test seepage at the Crow Lane landfill for metals and other impurities.
Richard "Chip" Nylen, of the Boston firm Lynch, DeSimone and Nylen, appeared at the meeting to respond to concerns about erosion and seepage from the long-troubled landfill, which city officials had hoped would be completely sealed this spring.
When members of the commission noted that erosion was taking place, Nylen said that more hydro-seeding would take place this spring to control such a situation.
Nylen was told that seepage was entering nearby wetlands, and was urged to conduct tests of what fluids were being emitted.
The lawyer seemed to downplay the possibility that toxics were leaving the landfill, but commission member James O'Brien said, "These tests cost a couple hundred dollars, not in the thousands, for metals and other impurities and they should be done."
With such "encouragement," Nylen stated he would order tests on the liquids seeping from the mountain of crushed and treated waste.
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The following meetings are scheduled this week and are open to the public:
Community Preservation Committee, 7 p.m., City Hall
City Council, 7:30 p.m. City Council chambers
Newburyport Democratic Committee, 7 p.m., City Hall Auditorium.
River Valley Charter School Board of Trustees, 7 p.m., 2 Perry Way
Board of Water Commissioners, 5:30 p.m., 16A Perry Way.
Disabilities Commission, 6 p.m., Nock Middle School.
Fruit Street Historic District Committee, 7 p.m., City Hall.
Harbor Commission, 7 p.m., mayor's conference room, City Hall
Local Historic District Study Committee, 7:30 p.m., police conference room, 4 Green St.
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Dyke Hendrickson covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3226, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.