Newburyport, MA, New England Development

From reading the Newburyport Daily News last week it sounded like a nifty New England Development, Karpian “love-fest.” Chuck Lagasse, Ann Lagasse, George Hilton, the mayor. It sounded like everybody’s just “yummy.” Everyone frolicking around except for the one person Newburyport, MA would very much like to see up close and personal, Mr. Stephen Karp.

I got to say that since Stephen Karp has never made a public appearance in Newburyport, MA (Newburyport Daily News, February 16, 2007), that no matter what Mr. Karp might say at this point, it is my opinion that the populace of Newburyport, MA might be skeptical, to say the least. (Is this an vast understatement? Yes.)

I do not believe that the issue is, that the residents of Newburyport, MA might lack “patience” in regards to a huge waterfront development by Mr. Karp, that could or could not radically and permanently damage Newburyport, MA. I think that the issue is a matter of trust, or to clarify, unearned trust by Mr. Stephen Karp himself.

After the series of articles in the Newburyport Daily News, I wanted to call up our mayor or Mr. Hilton (who just sold his Marina to Mr. Karp for lots and lots of money) and say, “is this really a love-fest??”

I’ve been told many times that I should call people like our mayor and George Hilton for comments. But I gotta tell you, I would feel a little silly (not in the good sense “silly,” but in the silly sense “silly”) calling up and saying, “hi, this is Mary Baker Eaton from the Newburyport Political Blog, would you be willing to make a comment? Is this really a love-fest or what?”

However, having made the acquaintance of both Sarah White (Newburyport Preservation Trust) and Allyson Lawless (Buy Local), I did get in touch with both of these young ladies who were quoted in the Newburyport Daily News article, February 16, 2007, and asked, “is this really a love-fest or what? Is everybody as “yummy” as everyone sounds?”

And to give both young ladies mucho credit, neither one of them thought I was totally “whacked.” (They both like frogs. ) (And hey, I am getting the “you are totally whacked” thing because of the frogs, and maybe other stuff as well, I don’t know.)

And in the article in the Newburyport Daily News, February 16, 2007, it was pointed out by Ms Lawless that all we have to go on is what Mr. Karp has done for his other projects and developments. And yes, both young ladies are “concerned,” not “hysterical,” not “fearful” but “concerned.”

And whether or not what New England Development does is “tasteful” or not, did not appear to be the issue. Whether or not what New England Development does or does not do is “appropriate” or “inappropriate” for our New England seacoast city, is very much the issue indeed.

Mary Eaton