2017-11-02 / Around Town

City Council Hopes to Expand Recreational Options

By James Merolla

The Newport City Council wants to improve recreational activities by expanding facilities in and around the neighborhoods near Miantonomi Park.

At the council’s Oct. 25 meeting, Councilor Susan Taylor introduced a resolution calling for a feasibility study to look at new recreational options to help underserved children and teens exercise and remain healthy in neighborhoods on the north side of the city.

“This resolution is to lay the groundwork to improve recreational activities in the summer of 2018 and beyond,” said Taylor, pointing out studies that indicate a shortage of sporting facilities available to residents there.

“With this resolution, [we hope to introduce] a summer camp program and different venues for active sports, such as basketball and tennis, in the northern neighborhoods,” she said, adding that these courts might not necessarily be located inside Miantonomi Park.

“My intention is to keep the conversation alive,” Taylor said.

In other matters…

. The council voted unanimously to allow the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council and the Newport Harbor Corporation to replenish the sand on Agassiz Beach that was washed away due to last year’s storms.

Tom Kibarian, president of the Castle Hill Neighborhood Association (CHNA), wrote a letter explaining that CRMC biologist Janet Freedman has helped identify Bonnet Shores Harbor as a source of additional sand that must meet stringent federal and CRMC environmental requirements to be safely deposited into the waters.

CHNA has been working with the Bonnet Shores Harbor Committee to acquire the sand for transport to Newport, and has approximately one more week to finalize the permitting through CRMC in order to acquire the sand.

. The council renewed a significant slate of licenses at its Oct. 25 meeting, including six Newport Pedicab, LLC operating licenses, and 2017-2018 non-liquor victualling licenses for nearly 80 stores, as well as about 90 Class A-T liquor license renewals for liquor stores, bars, restaurants, hotels, clubs and private organizations located in Newport.

. CSPAN producer Ashley Hill thanked the council and the city for a successful two-week Rhode Island tour, where the politics and government channel is filming six short documentaries featuring Newport history.

The six segments, highlighting lighthouse keeper Ida Lewis, the Battle of Rhode Island, Touro Synagogue, and the history of the Navy in the City, among other subjects, will air on CSPAN’s two channels on Cox Communications, Jan. 20-21.

Hill told the council that three producers had “imbedded themselves” in the city for two weeks. “We want to shine a light on what makes a place like Newport so interesting and so exciting,” Hill said.

Working with the Newport Historical Society and professors at Salve Regina University, Hill said that CSPAN doesn’t need to show the rest of the country Newport’s beauty, but rather, “what makes Newport so interesting.”

“We’d like to thank you and your crew for coming to Newport and choosing it as one of your cities to feature,” Mayor Harry Winthrop told Hill.

Find more information for the Newport programs at CSPAN.org/citiestour.

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