, Newburyport, MA

October 16, 2012

Seriously, we love the waterfront plan

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

A recent opinion piece entitled “The NRA plan anywhere USA” disagreed with the NRA’s plans for the waterfront. It continued by disparaging many of the people who might agree with the NRA’s plans. Seriously? (For the sake of clarification, the term seriously” is an expression often used in the vernacular of the “younger generations [who have] been less skillfully educated in the humanities [and] lack an aesthetic sense” of whom the author spoke.)

I agree with the author in that it was a “love fest” at September’s NRA meeting that unveiled the most recent designs for the waterfront. I also agree that people were “tripping over themselves to praise the plans” that the NRA presented. That is because many thinking, feeling, taxpaying citizens like the plans. They made it known with resounding applause.

The author asked where the opposition had gone. I might agree with him on his theory that they had grown weary. I am not sure. But I won’t judge them harshly for being opposed, as I feel that the author had done to the “younger generations” for supporting the NRA’s plans.

I wholly disagree with the author on a subsequent point. The author spoke of the aforementioned younger generation and suggested they “lacked an aesthetic sense having been less skillfully educated in the humanities,” seemed to lack an understanding of Newburyport and its history and had concern only for the schools.


As I took to the streets earlier this year during a campaign for a June 5 vote that successfully passed three ballot questions, I heard a lot about the waterfront. Once the conversation about the schools and the senior/community center died down, the No. 1 question was, “If we can pass this on June 5th, do you think we can finish the waterfront?” I met so many people ... young people as well as beautifully, wonderfully older ones (as opposed to his characteristic of “doddering”) who had a genuine appreciation for a city that had been home to them for either decades or days.

They had a collective sparkle in their eyes as they spoke of a deep gratitude for a city that continued to grow and improve and for its elected and appointed leaders who advocated for that growth and improvement. They discussed in detail their hope for a waterfront that included some development, some parking and some more green space. A waterfront that was finally finished.

I am sorry that the author didn’t like the proposed plan for the waterfront. I respect his opinion. I wish he hadn’t thought so little of those who are supportive of the plan as if they were any less knowledgeable or felt any less passionately for this city and its waterfront. We do, sir. We want to see it grow and change beyond what it is today. We want more than dirt lots and we want a reasonable and aesthetically pleasing plan to fund it.

We like the NRA’s plan. We love it ... seriously.

Meghan Kinsey