Senior housing discussions getting old … Crane adds capability to Portsmouth Shipyard … Poets seek joy in grief … A call for Pelicans on Star Island
Rye Reflections staff
An iceboat — essentially a sailboat with skis — zips across Eel Pond in Rye. Winter winds along with glassy surface propel these boats at high speeds. Not recommended for novices. (Judy Palm photo)
Another month passes, another minor detail arises, but the central question has yet to be addressed fully after 10 months of deliberation:
Can a Retirement Community Development (RCD) be limited to tenants who fit affordable housing criteria?
The developer, The Housing Partnership (THP), has been operating under the affordable assumption since it first approached the Rye Planning Board in April, 2007. Under the plan THP would build and operate a complex with 22 rental units for those age 62 or older on roughly 10 acres behind the Skate Board Park off Route One. Some board members contend the plan discriminates against those with annual incomes in excess $34,000.
The January meeting finally was scheduled to come to grips with the issue, but prior to the meeting Chairman Don Cavallaro asked THP for a copy of the rental lease to review, causing THP to ask for a continuance. Such leases are drawn up regularly by the non-profit organization which has properties in several Seacoast communities, but THP will be turning to the New Hampshire Housing Finance Agency for funding and "we need to get their blessing on the lease," said Executive Director Dick Ingram. (See letter from THP counsel
When the continuation was put up for a board vote on January 8, a couple of members asked in unison, "What lease are we talking about?", apparently not knowing that an oral request had been made to the developer for a copy of the rental lease occupants eventually would have to sign.
Possibly lurking in the background is another detail. Alternate member Martin Zivic, in a memo to the Planning Board
on January 3, has raised the question as to whether the federal rules for affordable housing will allow those under 62, namely disabled persons, to reside in the RCD complex. In his memo Zivic points out that the RCD ordinance restricts occupants to persons 62 or older "with no exceptions," whereas the federal regulations allow non-elderly disabled persons who are under 62 in their definition of an "elderly household".
The THP plan was given conditional approval on Dec. 12 on a 5 to 2 board vote. One of the three conditions is that granting a Special Use Permit "must not be contrary to the public interest."
Delivery of a new 60-ton portal crane to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard via the Piscataqua. (Jim Cerny photo)
In early January the ship Jumbo Vision
delivered this crane, which will significantly add to the Shipyard's industrial capability. The crane was manufactured by Samsung Heavy Industries of South Korea. Note the Internet URL on the side of the ship.
The Portsmouth Rotary Club held its 5th annual Polar Bear Swim at the New Castle Common on January 12th. (Jim Cerny photo)
Portsmouth's poet laureate, Liz Knies, whose poems have graced these pages, has come up with a poignant project to bring poetry to underserved populations. Her plans include first working with a small bereavement support group, along with Elaine Wiesman, programs chairman for Seacoast Hospice, then bringing five reading/performance programs to retirement communities and one to the Portsmouth Public Library for the general public.
The project title "Surprised by Joy" was drawn by Knies from a C.S. Lewis autobiography as well as from her own writing experiences after the death of her husband, Jerry. "It's paradoxical in once sense," she told the Portsmouth Herald, "but grief can involve joy by internalizing the process you go through."
Arctic sea smoke surrounds Wood Island at the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. (Jim Cerny photo)
Arctic sea smoke is a kind of ground fog that forms when very cold air blows over relatively warmer water. We see this along the New Hampshire shore on a few of the coldest days of the year. On this particular January morning, about an hour after sunrise, the air was +5F and the water about +41F with strong winds.
Applications are being received for the position of Island naturalist and Pelicans on Star Island for the summer. The Star Island Corporation is looking for someone qualified as a naturalist to give guided tours of the inter-tidal zone, flora and geology of the Isles of Shoals island while being in charge of the marine aquaria and educational programs for students of all ages. The Pelicans' positions have been coveted through the years and include a little bit of everything. Residency on the island is required for six days a week between mid-June and late August or early September. If interested, contacted the office at 603-430-6272 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or apply online at www.starisland.org
- A Hindu temple on a 100-acre site along the Lamprey River in Epping is trying to fight off an eviction order for failure to repay a $1.2 million loan. The temple has housed 10 residents and 16 animals and has run a private school. The N.H. Superior Court has ruled in favor of the lender. Now the temple is petitioning the N.H. Supreme Court. The full story of the temple eviction struggle is reported in a new website for New England ethnic news at ethnicnewz.org.
- Jim Cerny, whose work often appears in Rye Reflections, is having an exhibit of his photographs at the New Castle Library, running through the end of March. For library hours call 431-6773.
Skiff at Perkins Cove, Ogunquit. (Jim Cerny photo)
- New Hampshire is no longer wasting time and money to issue ID cards for journalists, an archaic practice by most states that was tantamount to licensing. A win-win, the move is good for the state and for the First Amendment.
- A 3.5% increase in fees for ambulance services has been approved by the Rye Selectmen. The costs as of last January 1 are: Basic Life support (BLS) Non-Emergency: $229.38; BLS Emergency Base Rate: $366.99; Advanced Life Support (ALS) Non-Emergency: $274.53; ALS 1 Base Rate: $435.79; ALS 2 Base Rate: $630.76; Cardiac Monitoring: $119.02; Defibrilation: $87.98; IV Oxygen Administration $51.75; Administration: $108.67; Special Care Transport (SCT) Base Rate: $745.44; Mileage Charge: $8.91 According to Fire Chief William Sullivan, these rates are in line with surrounding communities. Stay well.
- Portsmouth Pro Musica's spring concerts will take place in April: on the 12th at Phillips Church in Exeter and on the 13th at Rye Congregational Church. "The Majesty of Baroque" will be presented with orchestral accompaniment and collaboration with the Pro Musica Youth Chorale. For tickets, further information click here.
- Lost in the noise of the booing Stratham's Anna Grant endured on national television in Indianapolis, because she was wearing a Patriots' shirt, was her achievement. Grant was only one of four to qualify for the nationals in the age 14-15 bracket of the Pass, Punt and Kick competition sponsored by the National Football League and Pepsi. The Exeter freshman won it all with a total of 319 feet 1 inch, more than 14 feet better than the runner-up. The breakdown was a punt of 135 feet 8 inches, a pass of 78 feet 1 inch and a kick of 105 feet 4 inches. Now 15, the unflappable Grant has another year of eligibility. Stay tuned?
- A 6000-mile virtual field trip following the migration of Pacific Gray Whales from New Hampshire to Alaska to Mexico will be presented at the Seacoast Science Center on Monday, Feb. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Gregg Interactive Learning Studio. Click here for details about the event and tickets.
- Catching up to the reality that they offer liberal arts and a broad range of courses, the seven state community colleges are dropping the word "Technical" from their titles. The new names: Great Bay Community College (Stratham and Portsmouth), River Valley Community College, Lakes Region Community College, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College and White Mountain Community College. The New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord will be known as NHTI - Concord's Community College.
- Shaw's Supermarket at Southgate Plaza on Lafayette Road (Route 1) is checking out on Feb. 16, leaving Demoulas' Market Basket, just up the road, less competitively pressured than had been anticipated. Only two months ago Shaw's put up for sale the former Yoken's Restaurant property a few hundred yards north of Market Basket. It had been anticipated Shaw's would build a super-supermarket there.
Orange polypropylene rope, coiled in the off-season, waiting for warmer weather on Appledore. (Jim Cerny photo)
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