, Newburyport, MA


October 31, 2013

What scares me most


And don’t get me started about the Brown School playground — the infamous Dissembling in the Dead of Night. When that evil deed was done and time came to name the new school, it would have been nice to have it share moniker with the laudable Mr. Brown, but that would have taken equal parts decency and courage, and have had a healing effect, but the mayor wouldn’t stand tall for that.

All the foregoing is but part of what has dropped our local schools’ ranking in the commonwealth. But who’s talking about that?

It’s not a little scary too that the curse of the landfill still hangs in the air, along with its odor — an indication that the former mayor was not the problem after all. And the stink will finally leave someday, but like the plagues of the Middle Ages that finally just ran their courses.

Then there’s so much blah-blah about how much money has come into Newburyport in recent years, oblivious to the equally huge sums that have flowed into Amesbury, Salisbury and beyond: stimulus gold has been everywhere under Obama and all you have to do is have your hand out. So let’s stop acting like one person is responsible for the local largesse.

Scarily, there is no courage at all regarding the waterfront. The NRA has a good plan but no candidates have the courage to really go for it, their recourse but to pander for votes or waffle just enough to make both sides think he or she is on theirs.

And for scare-talk, there’s much whisper that a certain candidate “would be a disaster,” as if recent history has not been. And some local pols are selling their souls to be on who they guess will be the winner while overlooking the ugly face of our current politics.

Bottom line: It scares me most of all that we care too little for ethics, honesty and good relations between our leaders, and more for high-handedness and poor relations.


John Burciaga of Newburyport writes on politics and social issues. He can be emailed at

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