2015-02-19 / Opinion

Don't Disturb Tranquility and Beauty of Newport

To the Editor:

This letter is expressing my opposition to all of the added concerts at Fort Adams. It is a disgrace that the one swing vote went to the three that voted yes for the measure. The four councilors who voted for the concerts to go forward obviously have no concern for the taxpayer or for the welfare of our community. Because of their vote, property values in the area will decrease.

My late husband and I came to Newport 30 years ago and he and I have always loved being here. I have owned my home in Newport on Harrison Avenue for 24 years. It is just a few minutes away from the fort. I do pay high taxes for my home, which sits on nine acres. I have always been very philanthropic in Newport. I am a past board member of the Preservation Society and a past house chairman of Rosecliff.

Traffic has increased tremendously in the Fort Adams area, especially during the Folk Festival and Jazz Festival. It sometimes takes over half an hour to get past all of the traffic coming and going into Fort Adams. I can hear the noise from my house, which is disturbing, as it is so loud. We do not need more of these disturbances.

I wish to preserve Newport, as it more than deserves to be preserved. The City Council has shown that that is not their main focus. They allow huge buses from cruise lines and out of state to clog our narrow roadways so that they can maybe purchase a T-shirt, a bottle of water, or an ice cream cone. They approved The Preservation Society's welcome center on an historic property when other more suitable sites were available. A license for food service may be given to the aforementioned welcome center, which will allow food to be served at these museums and create a commercial district on Bellevue Avenue.

The residents of Newport are the ones paying higher taxes and yet it seems the committees and the City Council are not paying much attention to what the residents want. Residents deserve respect and ask them to stop the insanity. Residents want to keep Newport a historic city and not turn it into a Coney Island. Where are the restaurant owners and other business owners to fight with us to save our town from the promoters? The food and beverages sold, and to be sold in Fort Adams and the museums are taking business away from tax-paying establishments.

What is happening in our wonderful city is all about money and greed. We cannot continue to let this happen. Wake up Newport. If we don’t act now and fight to preserve our wonderful Newport, it will disappear and become another ordinary town, instead of one that is so special and recognized and respected all over the world as being beautiful and historic. There are many other places where the promoters can take their concerts that won’t disturb the tranquility and beauty of Newport. The promoters want to come in and profit enormously while our city suffers. The cost to Newport far outweighs the benefits. We should all join together to fight to preserve our town that we all so revere.

Mrs. John R. Donnell

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