The NRA reminds me of a dinosaur stomping through a china shop! After I read the following paragraph in the article, “Waterfront Trust pursues cooperation”, my exclamation unfortunately can’t be repeated online:
“NRA Chairman James Shanley, in fact, reads at each meeting the group’s mission statement, which in part states that the purpose of his agency is to develop the acreage for economic growth and job creation.”
This by the way is exactly why the NRA should be disbanded. Their ‘interpretation’ is so archaic, so wrong that it staggers the imagination.
You know what they’re talking about – they want the act of constructing buildings which by the way just gives us temporary jobs for a few months of the year. And what is going into those buildings? Manufacturing? Industry? No – the best they can hope for is tourist-oriented retail shops on the first floor and a bunch of aspiring artists and musicians on the second. We already have a retail-full downtown with more coming down the road from Newburyport Development!
Anyone looking at Newburyport with an objective eye knows the key to our success is eco-tourism combined with heritage tourism. When pictures of our city are shown, they are usually of open spaces like Atkinson Park and Bartlett Mall, not Horton’s Yard. Our beautiful downtown of historic buildings, not Storey Avenue.
By placing a park downtown surrounded by the already existing historic buildings and tourism-related businesses; we have a powerful winning combination that promotes economic growth and with an increase in visitors to town – generates a profusion of jobs to man the restaurants and shops.
The NRA of course is hearkening back to the traditional interpretation of urban renewal that was so popular in the 60’s and 70’s – you bulldoze your downtown and put up new buildings and this will generate a new economic prosperity – that formula was tried across the country and it’s utter failure is well documented. It spawned a whole range of ‘sterile’ communities. In contrast, Newburyport’s revolutionary approach of historic preservation has caught on like wildfire and the rest is history and a record of success where ever it has been tried.
Of course, the smart thing is to sit back and let them dream. You’ve heard the term, ‘Useful Idiots”. As soon as the hazardous materials area is cleaned up so we can have our park, I say we call for their disbandment.
* I was going to say, “What a chad!” but unfortunately modern urban slang has turned the original definition into a deeply insulting denigrating term. I’m mentioning it in case you may be tempted to use it. Don’t!