A few items of note from the past week:
We are never surprised by the generosity of people who live in this area. It was demonstrated once again this week by the many people who took action when the Salvation Army made a plea for more turkeys for Thanksgiving.
The Newburyport chapter of the Salvation Army needed 200 turkeys to feed needy people in the region, but it only had about a quarter of that number. The News ran a story on page 1, and within short order the turkeys began pouring in — from businesses, organizations and individuals. Among them was a group of children who saved their allowances and donated them to the Salvation Army so that the money could be used to buy turkeys.
“For years I had been driving by here and never thought to realize that what was off Exit 57 was a little miracle,” said Lt. Jeff Brunelle, who runs the local Salvation Army chapter. “It’s wonderful.”
There is a familial feel to the communities that surround Newburyport. Like a family, they have their squabbles and their distinct personalities. But they also see how they are linked together, and they often rise together to achieve common needs, such as the call for Thanksgiving Day turkeys. That is one of the many reasons why we are fortunate to live in this area.
It was no doubt a tough decision for Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer to concede the race for mayor, given the razor-thin margin of votes after the recount. But he did the right thing for the people of Amesbury — he chose not to exercise the option of challenging the recount results to Superior Court, and in so doing allowed Amesbury to move forward.
Ken Gray won the election by 2 votes. After last week’s recount, the margin increased to 3 votes. But there were a handful of ballots that Kezer could have challenged in the court, a process that would have lengthened Amesbury’s already-long limbo of settling the mayoral election. It would have also led to more acrimony. It’s questionable whether Kezer would have been successful in court; however, such a tight margin leaves anything possible.
In the end, Amesbury’s election limbo has finally, thankfully, ended. Mayor-elect Gray can now begin the transition process in a definitive way. Kezer did what was best for Amesbury.
It was a phenomenal season for the Newburyport High School girls varsity soccer team. And it was capped off in the only way it should be — by a state title, won the old-fashioned way in the state Division 3 championships.
The Clippers edged out their opponents in a hard-fought 1-0 game a week ago Saturday, in front of an enormous crowd of supporters.
The season was one for the record books — undefeated with a 21-0-2 record, the first in NHS team history. Five playoff games in which the Clippers didn’t allow a single goal. And 18 games over the course of the season in which the team held opponents scoreless. This was an iron curtain defense paired with a dynamic offense. Congratulations to the Clippers! What a phenomenal season!