NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

February 25, 2013

Chances of compromise looking more hopeful in NRA talks

(Continued)

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Joe Leone, who is working with architects and lawyers to squeeze through hoops of the local oversight boards, has one query working for his proposed Newburyport Ale House: Do you want a handsome restaurant or an empty auto-parts warehouse?

The red brick building, at the intersection of Green and Merrimac streets, serves as the “entry point” for most visitors to the city.

One might argue that there are enough empty and ignored buildings owned by Newburyport Development (Stephen Karp’s company) without another being added to the eyesore ratio.

And here’s one: Will Leone continue to operate the Black Cow if he owns the nearby competitor, the Ale House?

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Odd moment at the mayor’s recent meeting to discuss problems with the water system on Plum Island:

Newbury businessman Dan Mahoney wanted to know what a yellow municipal truck was doing often at the utility building near the bridge to Plum Island.

A municipal engineer said that it couldn’t be a city truck, “Because our yellow truck is in Chicago.”

“Chicago?” the mayor asked in a this-is-the-first-I’ve-heard-of-it tone.

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The destination I traveled to last week was New Smyrna Beach, Fla., south of Daytona.

It is much like Plum Island — a barrier island, with the north section filled with houses and condos, and the southern portion serving as a wildlife preserve run by federal authorities.

The junction of the harbor and the ocean even has a north and south jetty.

At the very tip of the island is a sanctuary for tortoises. Observing the tortoise might never be included at the X-Games, but Your Scribe was intrigued.

The island does not appear to be troubled by erosion issues at this time. The shoreline of much of the residential area has 6-foot-high cement walls between private property and public beach.

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