, Newburyport, MA

July 15, 2013

Some names in the news

Newburyport City Notebook
Dyke Hendrickson

---- — If names make news, as they say in this business, here are some folks adding to the action in the public domain:

Harbormaster Paul Hogg’s recent regular report to the Harbor Commission was awash in statistics. Hogg said that there are 1,348 boats registered on the Newburyport side of the river. About 150 that are unregistered will soon get tickets for not maintaining current registrations.

Hogg also reported that a Raynham man recently bought the “ghost boat” that is parked ashore in Cashman Park, and the city will receive about $15,000 from the purchase. The owner lost his life when he fell into the river last fall, and the city took possession of the vessel when his family, who lives in Germany, did not claim the craft. Hogg also said that he has equipped the city’s new (free) 25-foot fire-police boat with a pair of Honda 225-horsepower engines. The vessel can be used fighting fires on boats in local waters.

Last stat: Coast Guard officials say the 295-foot long Eagle will visit Newburyport during Yankee Homecoming festivities in early August.

Here’s a nautical number of dubious merit: Paul Aziz, captain of the Yankee Clipper, says that his tourist boat can now carry only 42 passengers on the Merrimack, down from last year’s total of 49. Aziz says that Coast Guard officials have concluded that many Americans are “obese” and issued an order on maximum weights that pleasure boats can carry. “We had to recalculate, and now we can only take on 42,” said Aziz.

Harbor Commission members say they are continuing to look into the feasibility of doubling the size of the harbormaster’s headquarters to include bathrooms and showers for boaters. Among Harbor Commission members is Daniel May, a retired rear admiral (Coast Guard) who recently moved to town.

Brad Duffin may be the only chap in town who chairs two volunteer committees. He heads the Harbor Commission, and the Licensing Commission.

On the subject of the waterfront, the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority is scheduled to meet Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the library. One matter of business will be a presentation by the Committee for an Open Waterfront, which has featured speakers Elizabeth Heath and Lon Hachmeister. NRA members have said they would listen to alternative concepts for the 4.2 riverfront acres it owns, and this appears to be an example of that willingness.


And talking about City Hall, the only City Council ward race that is unopposed at this point is Ward 6, which is represented by longtime Council President Tom O’Brien. One race that could feature a plenitude of oratory is in Ward 2, where former councilor Chris Welch (a lawyer) will face Local Historic District proponent Jared Eigerman (a lawyer). Current holder of the Ward 2 seat is Greg Earls, who has filed papers to run for mayor and thus will be gone from the council (but perhaps not City Hall) after a decade. The preliminary election is Sept. 17 and the final municipal balloting will take place Nov. 5.


Brenda MacDonald, the owner of Hot in Hollywood Jewelry, reports that business is much brisker since she moved her shop to 29 State St. from a Pleasant Street address. Apparently there are more hot prospects next to Loretta, a fashionable bar-restaurant, than there were in her old venue, adjacent to City Hall.

Richard Simkins, longtime owner of the Grog restaurant, reports brisk business at his new RR Traders, 3 Middle St. The shop’s selection includes minerals, fossils, Southwestern art, jewelry, folk art, stoneware and leather bags. Diners can leave the Grog and take an inside door into the new shop, which replaces a secondhand bookstore.


The following meetings are scheduled for this week and are open to the public:


Newburyport Housing Authority, 5 p.m., 25 Temple St.

Licensing Commission, 7 p.m., City Council chambers

River Valley Charter School Trustees, 7 p.m., 2 Perry Way


Affordable Housing Trust, 9 a.m., Brown School

Conservation Commission, 6:30 p.m., City Council chambers


Beach Management Committee, 1:30 p.m., City Hall

Board of Water Commissioners, 5:30 p.m., 16A Perry Way

Planning Board, 7 p.m., City Council chambers

Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, 7 p.m., public library


School Building Committee, 6:30 p.m., City Hall

Affordable Housing Trust, 6:30 p.m., City Hall

Historical Commission, 7:30 p.m., City Council chambers


Dyke Hendrickson covers Newburyport for The Daily News. He can be reached at 978-462-6666, ext. 3226 or at