, Newburyport, MA


May 21, 2013

COW's passion respectable, but…

To the editor:

Personally, I’m not one for making this page a forum for debate. But today’s an exception.

The waterfront issue is a critically important turning point for the city. One that will mark real and significant change. But first, I’d like to make it clear that I have the deepest respect for the passion the COWs (Committee for an Open Waterfront) have for their “concept,” as they desire to call it. I once ran into a similar passionate person in Gloria Braunhardt, who jumped into a group I volunteered with during a Newburyport strategic land use session. She single-handedly demonstrated to me the power of one person’s ability to dig in her heels and halt forward progress of an idea.

I wish those who quietly support the NRA could find the same passion. But such is the awkwardness of supporting development over open space, I suppose.

But here’s my rebuttal to the COW’s vice president, Lon Hachmeister’s comments May 13. By his own words once again, “All of the details have not been worked out.” Which translates to me that this “concept” serves no other purpose than to persuade the public to support an agenda of obstructionism.

So, yes, I’m personally ready to move forward with the NRA’s plan. It may take an adjustment or two once the soil testing is back, but it is a strong plan to build on and cannot, like so many other previously good ideas, be short-circuited by a disjointed “concept” that has no basis.

If others feel the same, I invite them to join the Facebook page called Newburyport-FWD, which is supported by folks who think this city’s a gem and she’s only just begun to realize her full potential. There’s so much ahead if we think of the waterfront as the first in a new set of steps toward an even brighter future for the city.

David Strand

Plum Island

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