2018-04-19 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Demand for Beach Easement Deed

To the Editor:

Newport residents have had to fight to maintain access to our waterfront since colonial times. Friends of the Waterfront is committed to maintaining public access to the harborfront, both visually and as pedestrians. The proposed sale of any part of the armory to the National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) poses the following problems.

The sale forebodes an eventual change in access to our harborfront via the beach behind the building. Making condos with the “first right of refusal” stated in the Letter of Interest passed by the Newport City Council, means the NSHOF could buy the Maritime Center and our beach should the city eventually choose to sell. To protect our rights, our city solicitor must create a deeded easement for public access to that beach in perpetuity before any sale agreement is reached.

The sale also means the NSHOF will own the site of the only Thames Street-level public handicapped accessible bathroom, which is presently maintained by our city, not by Armory Antiques.

The allowing of “receptions and catered events” in the armory by the NSHOF in the Letter of Interest will increase traffic and parking demands on already congested lower Thames. An independent traffic/ parking study of the impact of such events is imperative before any sale agreement is reached.

Friends of the Waterfront's concerns are shared by many, as evidenced by the petition of over 2,600 signatures that the armory not be sold, which will be submitted for the record to city council next week. Please contact our council members about the above issues if you are opposed to this sale or have other concerns. If we disagree with the vote of our elected officials, we must speak out.

Friends of the Waterfront
Board of Directors
Johanna Vietry, President
Linda Hammer, Vice President
Casey Farley, Secretary
Cheryl McLarney, Treasurer
Pam Fleming, Member
Vic Farmer, Member
Mike Rubin, Member

Thank You Coggeshall Workers

To the Editor:

Thank you to the many people who shared time and energy on Saturday, April 14 to help clean vines, leaves, and debris from the Coggeshall burying ground. With your help, the site has truly been transformed from a foreboding place to a neighborhood jewel. Special thanks to the Preservation Society of Newport County for the truck and equipment used in the cleanup.

The efforts of Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission are greatly enhanced with the help of community members. Thank you for joining our effort to preserve, protect and promote these important historic sites.

Lew Keen, chair
Newport Historic Cemetery
Advisory Commission

Historic Hill: No New Decks

To the Editor:

As a longtime resident of Easton’s Point (40 years) and the longtime shop owner of Carroll Michael & Co., formerly on Franklin Street and now on Spring Street, I've lived on Historic Hill at 108 Prospect Hill Street for a couple of years now.

It's a pity that ancient trees are being replaced by huge decks. It's a shame that the historic fabric of Historic Hill is in jeopardy, because standards are not being maintained. As residents we find it harder and harder to protect our right to privacy on Historic Hill as more and more new decks are approved, even though decks are not allowed!

Specifically, I’m concerned about the large new deck they want to build onto 101-103 Prospect Hill Street that will hugely impact and overwhelm the neighborhood. Even the noise from the deck will be an invasion of privacy.

Please join us in supporting no new construction of decks on Historic Hill.

James Michael
Newport

Preserving John Clarke’s Vision

To the Editor:

The John Clarke Trust has generously awarded a grant of $40,000 to replace the demolished Carr- Rice House on Queen Anne Square. This replacement building will be available to the Newport community for a variety of services, including the Harvest Kitchen program for training young people in the culinary arts, the East Bay Literacy Volunteers, and more space and better facilities for the well-established and very necessary current community meals program for those in need. In addition, this replacement building will provide space for many local organizations and self-help groups. We are most grateful to the John Clarke Trust for this generous gift.

John Clarke was a founder of Newport. When he died in 1676 his will established a trust “for the relief of the poor” and for educational purposes. It is the oldest charitable trust in this country and continues to benefit the people of Aquidneck Island in many ways. This grant will help the Trinity Serves Campaign of Trinity Church to provide more and improved services to the people of Newpot.

The Newport community is better off thanks to the generosity of John Clarke more than 300 years ago and to the Trustees for their skillful administration of his trust. This grant continues the worthy purposes of the John Clarke Trust. We are grateful to the present Trustees for their foresight and generosity.

Tony Simpson and Elaine
Burress
Trinity Serves Campaign

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