NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 1, 2014

Some cheers, jeers for local newsmakers

A few stories of note from this week caught our eye:

CHEERS to Mary Anne Clancy, Mayor Donna Holaday and the many others involved in the effort to fix the long-ailing problems at Newburyport High School’s War Memorial Stadium. The 1930s-era stadium will soon see a significant face-lift — the deteriorating and roped-off North stands will be torn down, allowing for an expanded playing field area to be developed. Newburyport is sorely lacking in playing fields, and so every newly opened space helps.

Clancy in particular deserves a marathoner award for her efforts. The former mayor spearheaded a drive seven years ago to restore the entire stadium. The South stands were successfully restored, but the worse-off North stands proved to be a monumental problem. Clancy kept plugging on even as enthusiasm waned and funding became harder to come by. In recent months, the effort has turned in a new direction, and with it we saw an impressive lobbying campaign by city leaders, parents and athletes. Their efforts finally came to fruition this week, when the City Council approved the funding for the project.

CHEERS to some well-meaning people who have tried to save a local landmark. But now, perhaps it is time to let it go.

Known variously as Pinkie, Blinkie or Tilly, the large, pink stucco whale with illuminated eyes once welcomed visitors to Salisbury’s Nat’s Fun Spot. Several volunteers sought to save the whale as the former amusement park was torn down and replaced with an apartment complex.

Last August, Steven Contarino, vice president of Haverhill’s Adamson Industries, Dana Simard of Salisbury’s Simard’s Construction and Frank Coady of Lawrence’s Coady Towing brought the crews and equipment to rescue Tilly from the construction site, a job that could have cost as much as $10,000 if they hadn’t donated their time. Since then, Tilly has languished at the Adamson Industries’ yard, needing a lot of work, not the least of which is an interior metal framework to support her body.

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