Preserving the way of life we have in Newbury & Newburyport mirrors so much of America’s history. Just when we think we have a good thing in our country, we have been faced with tyrants and destructive movements that have threatened the quality of life that we enjoy in a free country. Whether extremism, or fanaticism; Communism, or Nazi Aggression; our citizens have had to sacrifice to keep us protected. So too in Newburyport! We’ve got a good thing going in our city and in the greater area. Visitors come from the rest of New England and from all over and they recognize with great pleasure mixed with envy – what a treasure we possess. And just like our country, we have destructive forces that want for many reasons to put an end to it. The question is: do we have the stomach to stand up and protect what we have so cherished and enjoyed!
Tuesday at City Council; we have the second vote needed to protect our historic city. These two ordinances are vital to keep us going. We need citizens to sacrifice time from their busy lives to speak and write to our city councilors to support these measures. I know the aggressors and profiteers will. Whether it’s lust-filled developers and their hired guns in the form of consultants and demo lawyers; or it’s uncaring property owners who see a quick profit in flipping houses and then, when the damage is done, moving on to the next community to pillage and loot; they aren’t waiting. The pressures on and our elected leaders need support that when they vote this in; it will be embraced by a community that prefers to continue its affluence and future. The other side has money, lots of it; and all we have is our love for Newburyport. Who will win out?
We need a force to come out on Tuesday night and visually show their support.
At the same time, we have another event occurring on the same evening and this one is a direct, in-your-face, threat to our quality of life. Previously, the Pikuls presented a plan to put solar panels in the most beautiful part of our common pasture. The same area that large amounts of money from the community has devoted to to protect this historic area. Though approached by Essex County Greenbelt to preserve this precious open space; they in turn have rebuffed them and chosen to rather put in an industrial development on their property (solar panels) to help support their lifestyle with a steady income. (They do not live here.) They hired consultants, backed by a large solar installer; who threatened the citizens of the Town of Newbury; stating that the citizens MUST approve this project and that they had no choice but to accept it. Well, the brave townspeople took that arrogant threat seriously and rebuffed them!
Now the Pikuls have come up with a dastardly plan. With the same argument as when farmers used DDT; they want to use the agricultural exemption to install greenhouses with solar panels on top(99 of them –mind you!) with power installations and transformers and the ground torn up for agriculture. Due to the light level, the only good thing to be grown is mushrooms – but more than likely most will remain empty with the pretense of agriculture. As the Planning Board has seen the plans; John O’Connell, one of the planners has stated, “It’s going to be hideous, that’s all there is to it..”
We need citizens of Newbury and Newburyport to show up at this meeting also; first to stop this idea that agriculture trumps the environment and second, to speak against the destruction of our quality of life. The Common Pasture is that one area that hardened commuters note coming in from the over-crowded, high-pressured urban areas. When they see the cows, the stress rolls off their backs and they know they are arriving “home”. This stretch is a favorite grazing ground for waterfowl and is a heavily-wet surface that abuts against the Little River.
We need a host to come out on Tuesday and visually show they are against this atrocity.