It's been awhile since we felt like cheering, but a few things were worth a hearty huzzah last week.

CHEERS to Dan Flynn, a dock attendant at Bridge Marina in Salisbury, who did exactly what he was trained to do last week when he quickly hit a gas pump shut-off button, just seconds after a nearby boat exploded into flames. And cheers to firefighters from Salisbury and surrounding communities who quickly put out the fire at the end of a dock, working successfully to keep the roaring blaze from spreading to the dock or nearby boats. Although two people sustained injuries, it's clear this accident could have been much worse without all the right training clicking into place as it did.

CHEERS to state Rep. James Kelcourse and Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday for their efforts to push through a bill last week dissolving the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority. The NRA many years ago accomplished its mandate, to preserve a large swath of Newburyport's waterfront for public use, but the time had come for the authority to hand off control to the city. Kelcourse sponsored the bill in the House, and with both chambers on Beacon Hill passing it, it only awaits the governor's signature. The bill transfers all land —including tidelands — and the NRA's remaining funds to the City of Newburyport "to be held permanently for the purposes of park and conservation uses," while still allowing public parking and the public's rights to "fishing, fowling and navigation within said tidelands."

This means no condos on this public land, no city buildings, no parking garages (we have one of those already), and open parkland for use by everyone.

JEERS to those disdainful folks strolling the increasingly crowded waterfront and downtown streets without wearing masks, when they know they'll have close encounters with the rest of us. Protecting everyone against the spread of the coronavirus is on all of us — young and old alike. And to the young folks who point to the data and claim young people don't get this potentially fatal virus, look beyond your own eyelids and realize your parents, your grandparents and all their friends are put at risk by your behavior. That scolding goes for all of us who think we are beyond the need to wear masks. Think again. 

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