, Newburyport, MA


February 14, 2013

A good question about PI endangered homes

To the editor:

I admire Tom Nee for his courage in recognizing that the Plum Island house that has been home to him and his father for so many years is uninhabitable. The loss of his home, in addition to the great financial loss, must be almost unbearable. Mr. Nee bravely faces the question that the owners of the other Plum Island homes declared uninhabitable must also face: Your excellent article in Monday’s edition of The Daily News reports Mr. Nee as asking whether “it make sense to pump in any more money to shore up a home he can’t live in any more.”

But your editorial in the same edition suggests that the homes may be only “temporarily” uninhabitable. I suggest that Mr. Nee is far more realistic than your editorial writer: global warming — however caused — and rising sea levels are facts. One by one, the vulnerable houses on our coast will be engulfed by the ocean. Mr. Nee’s question is on point: Does it make sense to “pump any more money in”? While homeowners are free, subject to zoning and similar laws, to do what they want with their money on their property, certainly public money from our taxes should not be put to such use.

Margaret Page Albrecht


Editor’s note: The Town of Newbury’s building department determined that the affected homes were “temporarily uninhabitable.” The editorial was not intended to offer an opinion on this, rather to simply state the town’s determination.

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