, Newburyport, MA

Local News

August 26, 2013

Brown School group wants playground referendum on ballot


“Upon the sale, lease or removal from service as a public school of any portion of the buildings and grounds of the G. W. Brown Early Elementary School (Map 21-Parcels 3 and 26), the City of Newburyport shall dedicate and hold permanently for public park and playground uses under the meaning of Chapter 45 of the Massachusetts General Laws an area of such site that is at least equal in size to the school yard currently located on the southeasterly portion of the site, including the mulched area for play equipment, the basketball court, and the so-called amphitheater.”

More information can be found at


Though summer is (regrettably) ending, numerous members of the local burg appear to be getting energized. The following have been vocal:

James Shanley, a member of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, is spearheading an effort for the NRA to hire a public-relations firm to craft its message about the organization’s proposed development on the waterfront. The NRA has earmarked $4,500 and has chosen a Middleton firm for the project.

Developer David Hall has revealed plans for a green residential development near Route 1 off Pond Street. You might say the five-acre parcel is going from brown to green, for the Tannery developer is removing tons of contaminated soil before the building can begin.

Local merchants have been known to grouse about disappointing sales, but City Hall officials say it’s their understanding that the downtown had its best Yankee Homecoming and August since 2007. “I wish they had the auto rally once a month,” said Steve Luz, who runs Angie’s Food. “The crowds were great.”

Leaders in the local art, music, drama and literature fields were called upon to “testify” to the vibrant state of the arts last week when members of the Massachusetts Cultural Council came to hear comments in support of the city’s being certified as a cultural district. Arts leaders who were invited to stand and deliver included Michael Mroz of the Custom House Maritime Museum; Shari Wilkinson, organizer of the Newburyport Farmer’s Market; Alan Bull, artist; Vicki Hendrickson, founder of the literary festival; Jane Niebling, organizer of the chamber music festival; Marc Clopton of the Actor’s Studio; Julie Ganong, owner, Chococoa Baking Co.; Doug Locy, chair of the Waterfront Trust; Sarah White of the Historical Society; Greg Nikas, photographer at Sweet Haven Gallery; and Gloria Martin of the Compass Rose Inn.

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