Friday, July 3, 2009

NRA and park planning

Of course I was at the big NRA meeting ... that would be the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority, not the National Rifle Association ... on Tuesday.

I wondered why Rick Taintor introduced himself as the "acting chairman."

In a related note, I was interviewing Tom O'Brien for a Townie Tuesday column and a story in SeaCoast Scene, and he was saying that when he was a kid, you couldn't see the river for all the businesses that used to be in downtown.

I asked him if there were buildings right there on Merrimac St. where the NRA is proposing to put 2 new buildings and he said "yes." Of course, that whole area was taken by eminent domain and leveled during urban development.

A couple of people at the meeting brought up the history of the waterfront vis-a-vis businesses being down there and someone said that it depended on what century you were thinking of.

I think that it does NOT matter what century you're looking at. I think the only century that matters is this one.

Someone else said that this park (if it's ever built) would attract people from around the world.

I did not like the plan, by the way. I agreed with the people who thought it was too busy. Jim Roy's comments were especially amusing and as he pointed out, there is a tot lot on Inn St. and a skating pond at Bartlet Mall.

Roy said he didn't see "the subtlety" of the Boston Public Garden, the Boston Common, Central Park or Hyde Park (London) - you know, parks that really do attract people from around the world because they're in big cities that attract people from around the world.

A couple more people pointed out that the city can't even keep the fountain on Inn St. going.

I also agreed with At-large Councillor Barry Connell, who told me after the meeting that he thought there should be more amenities included for boaters (restrooms, showers, etc.) to include people coming off the water, not just those going to the water.

You may notice that there is no story in the Current about the plans. That's because I didn't write one. Can't say why because I don't know why. Maybe I think it's just a boondoggle.

But I have a story to tell about the other NRA.

Many years ago, I received in the mail a piece of literature from the National Rifle Association.

Of course I promptly rang them up and demanded to know why they were sending me stuff and told them to take me off their list.

The man on the other end of the phone hung up on me.

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