Monthly Archives: December 2009

Newburyport Mayor-Elect, Donna Holaday

One of the things that puzzles me is that people approach me, and almost in a whisper and ask, would Newburyport’s mayor-elect, Donna Holaday be supportive of “X” issue.

And my response, so far, has always been, “You bet” (I’m tempted to say “You betcha,” it’s so catchy). “Have you seen her voting record on “X,” it’s even better than “Y’s,” in fact it’s way better than “Y’s.”

And then I go onto say that Donna Holaday is very approachable, easy to talk to, a very good listener, responsive, and on top of it, a “lovely lady” (and, because I am a woman, I can say this last phrase “lovely lady,” without being sexist, plus it’s an accurate description).

And people who have asked me about Donna Holaday with great concern on there face, relax and smile, and say something to the effect of, “I feel so much better,” or “I think maybe I can relax now.” It’s Ok, as they say in New York, “Relax already.”

My sense is that Donna Holaday will be a mayor who governs from the center (one of the reasons that she got elected), with leanings to more “progressive” issues like historic preservation. Why “historic preservation” could be seen as a more “progressive” issue in Newburyport, MA, is still a mystery to me, after all these years.

I think that she will listen to different points of view, and may move in the direction that she senses her overall constituents feel would be the right way to go, which will definitely piss some people off.

I think too, that mayor-elect, Donna Holaday won’t be afraid to admit that she has made a mistake. I saw this first hand at the second public hearing on Newburyport’s now “controversial” wind turbine. She was very out spoken in the fact that there was so much excitement about the new wind turbine, that there was a rush to judgment on the part of the Newburyport City Council (the vote, I believe was unanimously in favor, or at least very close to unanimous, including Donna Holaday), and the whole issue would need to be seriously reevaluated.

And I think that she would take very seriously the citizen activist groups on certain issues like Newburyport’s landfill and the wind turbine ordinance, and try to incorporate them more into Newburyport’s city government, understanding that often citizen activists, often out of necessity, become the city’s “experts” in whatever issue it might be.

So, not to repeat myself, but to repeat myself, I am very much looking forward to Donna Holaday’s term as mayor of Newburyport, MA.

Celiac, etc., Too Much Information

Actually readers of the Newburyport Blog haven’t heard from its editor, namely me, for a while, not just because of a post (no pun intended), very long, local Newburyport election letdown (see earlier entry). Something else is “amiss,” but it seems just like “too much information-tmi” for any “discussion” on the Newburyport Blog. So to process this new “amiss” thing, I found starting a new blog, “The Year of Eating Weirdly” to be highly therapeutic.

The newest blog actually takes “comments” (although there are no comments at the moment), figuring that comments on weird eating things would be far less hostile than comments about Newburyport, aka “Cannibal City.” Although this may prove not to be true.

I did not put the blog on my domain name, because I have this notion that it might be enjoyable to be “anonymous,” (although chit chatting about the new blog on the Newburyport Blog sort of destroys that notion.) It has its own domain name, “”.

And I went for “easy.” I didn’t use WordPress blog software, I instead opted for “Blogger,” and the people at Google definitely have this blog thing figured out. Good grief Blogger is a breeze to use compared to good old, now going on four years of using WordPress.

So those readers of the Newburyport Blog who apparently are “appalled” at my on going policy of “not commenting for all sorts of reasons” on the Newburyport Blog, would be happy to know that I have joined the legion of bloggers allowing comments and blissful “anonymity.”

Newburyport Walking Winter 2009

I see my neighbor all the way down our Newburyport street. He has a day-glow orange winter hat on. I want one.

My neighbors, a lovely young family, have two dogs, which are technically “hunting dogs.” I never thought that they (the dogs and my neighbors) actually went hunting, but they do.

I find out this missing piece of information when I start my quiz about the nifty orange day-glow winter hat. (I have memories, which I share, of Marisa Tormei’s character in the movie “My Cousin Vinny,” when she laments about the cute little baby deer out prancing around, and then “BAM”), but no, they don’t hunt deer, just tiny little birds, sometimes. And no, they are not like Dick Cheney, they have never shot anyone in the face.

But the hat, I love the hat. During Newburyport winters, often the only safe place, or navigatable place, to walk when there is a lot of snow and ice, is in the middle of the street. And I tend to blend in with the surrounding, no red coats, at least not yet, for moi. And the bright day-glow orange hat would most definitely “stick out.”

I tell my neighbors that I too would like to look like a day-glow orange pumpkin head, and much to my delight, right before Christmas, they appear at my door, with a hat in hand.

On Christmas day, my son, who is now old enough to be beyond the “I am so embarrassed, you’ve got to be kidding me, you’re wearing a day-glow orange hat” phase, and I walk along the narrow car filled street of Newburyport’s historic district.

As a distracted holiday mother with a cell phone, and a busily driving teenager wiz by, my son nods his head in agreement. “Good idea Mom, I definitely get this one now.”

We pass some well known fellow walkers, who do not recognize me in my new day-glow paraphernalia. But when they are aware of who the mysterious person is, who is underneath the orange day-glow winter hat, they want one of those hats too.

So readers of the Newburyport Blog, who know me from my different walking routes, if you see a brightly colored, orange, day-glow pumpkin head moving along the street–c’est moi.

Newburyport Local Political Election Recovery

I think I am finally coming out of my post local Newburyport political election letdown. After the high of Newburyport’s election night, way back in November 2009 (it’s now December, almost January), practically a post-coital event, where I found myself wanting to roll around in bed and smoke cigarettes.

The drama. Two good mayoral candidates, and then in the last two weeks, although at first cloaked in euphemisms, it became evident to the collective unconscious of the 35 percent or so voters who actually go to the polls on election day, that one of the candidates, gasp, wanted to put buildings on Newburyport’s Central Waterfront, after 40 or so years of struggling to come to a consensus to basically leave the land naked. The other candidate won. (A gross simplification, I know, but tough luck, voters generally don’t go for complicated political nuance.)

And in thinking about the mayoral candidate that won, Madam Holaday, it feels like a breath of clear Newburyport seacoast air, on a mild, clear winter day, and a dusting of very shovelable, 1-3 inches of powdery, bright white New England snow.

In the mayor elect, Donna Holaday, I have much faith. Sure I’ll disagree here and there, but I trust her to listen to the folks in Newburyport, MA, or to put it another way, to listen to the 35 percent of Newburyport’s electorate that actually pays attention and possibly cares, while considering the remaining 65 percent who don’t have a clue that we actually have something called a Newburyport city government.

She will listen to different points of view, most probably change her mind on local controversial issues, and will be accused, by those who actually pay attention and care of “flip-flopping.” But in my mind, it would not be “flip-flopping,” it would be a careful approach to governing.

She will probably sit down with the Newburyport City Councilors, show great patience and tact with those whom she might disagree, and for those few who look like they are so “green” (green in the “don’t have a clue” sense, not in the “environmentally correct” sense) that it will, if Newburyport is lucky, take them 6 months to a year to figure out what the hell is going on.

My first thoughts of coming out of my post election climax. And as I further awaken from my November induced haze, it could be that I might have something else to mumble and muse about in the days and weeks that await Newburyport, MA.