It is possible that only Tom Salemi could approach the whole Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD) thing with humor, marked with wisdom and humility. (Alas, the Newburyport Blog‘s experience is what my fellow blogger recommends in his Newburyport Today article, that we be “a community” and “stay classy,” might not actually be possible in what has been dubbed, and what I thought had disappeared, but has seemingly been resurrected, “Cannibal City.”)
Tom opens his article with his experience of being aggressively approached in front of Abraham’s Bagels by one of the “Say No to LHD” folks on their anti-LHD campaign, at 8:30 on a Saturday morning, as he was trying to get some breakfast (great bagels from Abraham’s Bagels, a thumbs up from this born and raised in New York, New Yawker, who knows from bagels, a “blow in,” a “newby,” moi, who has “only” lived here, in Newburyport, for 31 years) for his family.
In his piece in Newburyport Today, Tom Salemi (the author of the well loved blog, Newburyport Posts) writes, “But let’s all do this right. Let’s handle this with the same grace that we’ve employed with the IBEW protests. We don’t need to roll in the mud.”
And I agree with Tom, what is necessary is “an informed and engaged public,” Tom’s words.
And what Tom Salemi points out with grace and dignity, is at this point, the “Say No to LHD” folks are giving people information filled with inaccuracies and omission of the facts.
And, yes, this makes it difficult to have an informed and thoughtful discussion.
I guess aggressively handing out information in front of Abraham’s Bagels was not enough. The “Say No to LHD” folks have made a mass mailing-2,700 pieces of mail (which one of my neighbors, when they received the mailing, thought was going to be an anti-drug missive), including the flyer handed out in front of Abraham’s Bagels, full of misinformation, scare tactics and omission of the facts.
As one friend said to me, on one of my many walks around my beloved historic city, “It’s hard to get a positive message out there when the default reaction is ‘No,’ and you are dealing with lies” (their word, not mine).
You can read Tom Salemi’s article at Newburyport Today, February 16, 2012, “Take the Bagels, Leave the Petition,” here.
The online petition in favor of Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD) can be found here.