Category Archives: Newburyport Daily News

Mulching in the skateboard park at Nock…..brilliant?

Couldn’t agree with Mike Cronan’s letter in the Newburyport Daily News more.

The reactions of local authorities to the coronavirus are head scratchers.

Mulching in the skateboard park near Nock was an embarrassing piece of government overreach. It got Newburyport some “great” press!

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Covid-19 Dashboard for May 4th, ZERO teenagers have died from the coronavirus. Confining/Restricting teenagers is based then on what supporting health statistics? Destroying three months of schooling and activities for teenagers over these obvious numbers doesn’t make sense.

How about taking local action based on these statistics instead: The average age of the Massachusetts fatalities is 82, and 95% of the fatalities were seventy and over. How would closing schools and confining teenagers fix those stats? How has confining folks in nursing homes and healthcare facilities helped those stats?

The healthy and productive, as well as kids of all ages, have played along passively for far too long. The numbers do not support the treatment those groups have been enduring. Time for them to press the “had enough” button and at least question the actions of local officials.

(Sent this to the Newburyport Daily News on May 6, 2020)

 

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Letter to the Newburyport Daily News editor (April 16, 2020)

Things are tough at the Newburyport Daily News according to today’s front page.

Potential advertising revenue is drying up in the current climate.

No longer unaffected by coronavirus, the NDN is now better aware of the financial impacts many in this area already know.

Ending the shutdown safely/quickly would certainly be in the paper’s best interests. What could they do? Publish stories that create momentum toward a quick/safe reopening.

Today’s edition had a front-page article titled, “Gov: state seeing ‘the surge’ of cases.” Within that article, Governor Baker is quoted saying, “…we are pretty well-positioned to deal with this.” The title suggests that there’s trouble coming, not as it might have suggested, that we’re ready for it.

We need hope. We need to read that we’re making progress toward a quick/safe ending. Create some momentum in that direction, please.

 

 

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Letter to the editor of the Newburyport Daily News

I am a subscriber to the online edition of the Newburyport Daily News.

I write to commend Mac Cerullo’s efforts on the NDN sports page. He’s kept things mostly local and that’s where most of our current attention is located. Through the Q’s & A’s with area high school athletes we are learning how they are coping in our current crisis. I’m saddened by the serious disruptions these kids are experiencing but optimistic because of the drive they show to hang in there and make the most of it.

The rest of the paper? Obviously, there are fewer pages. Why is it shrinking?  Explaining how things are really going at the NDN might make for an excellent editorial.

My advice to those running the NDN is to concentrate locally. It is my conclusion that the more stories you include from outside sources, the more obvious your political biases show.

I loved the simplicity of Lisa Anderson’s attack on the President in a letter-to-the-editor, but will tomorrow’s edition include an attack of some sort on Joe Biden?  Can’t wait to find out.

Mac Cerullo has tapped into a good, reader-worthy local theme. Will the rest of the writers at the NDN follow suit?

 

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Abu Kebede Diriba wins 2017 Yankee Homecoming 10-miler in Newburyport

Abu Kebede Diriba

Apryl Sabadosa won the women’s 10-mile title. Notice the lack of footwear.

I know, it’s been days since the races, but I was there and have some commentary and pictures to share.

The races?  The Newburyport Yankee Homecoming 5K and 10 mile.

Those races started ten minutes apart on Tuesday night.

I think I have given coverage five times.  I did not do last year’s

My strategy is to set myself up at the one-mile mark (Cushing Museum) and get a good look at both races there.  I have learned that the leaders lead early and late-run surges don’t happen.  The good runners have a fast pace that they maintain for the whole race.

So, I see both races into one mile of their race.  Then I get to Newburyport High School to catch the end of the 10-mile race.  Can’t get back fast enough for the end of the 5K but I’m quite sure that within my pictures from the one-mile location I will have most of the top finishers in the 5K.

Speaking of pictures, I was happy with the ones at the one-mile mark but those at the finish were disappointing.  The sun at NHS was right in my face so I tried to adjust the speed and ended up way too slow.  Runners and slow camera speed are a bad combo.

If I were titling this story I might try: “While the Pat’s away the mice will play.”  I thought it would apply nicely to the 5K race.

5K lead pack at one mile. Sam Coppola (2659) will win. Sam Acquaviva (6) will be second. Will Coogan (2555) will finish 3rd.

Why?  “Pat” Fullerton has won that race four straight years with impressive times.  No sign of him this year so the race wasn’t for second place this time around.  Somebody different would get the win.

Pentucket graduate Sam Coppola took advantage of the situation.  Sam finished a distant 8th in 2016 but this time he chopped forty-six seconds off his time.  With all of those ahead of him in the 2016 race missing, Sam got himself a nice win.

Abu Kebede Diriba, like Sam, was the only returnee from the top eight in the 10-mile race.  Abu wasted little time taking this race over.  He had a 20-yard lead at the one-mile mark and gave back some of that spread by race’s end but he could well have been coasting in the late stages.  Abu (connected to the West Side Running Club in NYC) was second in 2016.  He was over a minute slower this time around but the competition probably had a play in it.

The best closing race was for second among the 10-mile women.  Salome Kosgei held off Liz Ryan but just barely.

Apryl Sabodosa at one mile

Speaking of “barely,” you couldn’t help but notice the footwear of 10-mile winner April Sabadosa……it didn’t exist.  The 33-year old from Westfield (MA) ran the race WITHOUT footwear!  She claimed, according to the Newburyport Daily News, that running shoeless feels comfortable and natural.  Maybe on the beach but ten miles?  However, it worked for Apryl as she finished 25th overall.

Jaclyn Solimine killed the women’s field in the 5K winning that relatively short race by 1:25. Jaclyn is from Haverhill and recently graduated from UMass Lowell.  Jaclyn was 15th overall in the 5K.

Jason Ayr was 2nd in the 10-mile and Eric Ashe 3rd.  Jason is a UMass grad who finished 29th in the last Boston Marathon.  Eric is a BU graduate.

Ryan Place was 4th in the 10-mile.  He graduated from Allegheny College and was an All-American there.  He was 26th in the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Race for 2nd in the 10-miler. Jason Ayr (70) will get second. Eric Ashe (56) gets 3rd. Ryan Place 1544) 4th and AJ Ernst (2448) 5th

AJ Ernst (5th in 10-mile) is the North Shore running phenom from Marblehead (MA) who just finished his sophomore year at Virginia.  He led the Magicians to state track titles his senior year.

The next three ten-mile finishers (Robert Espinoza, Dan Smith, Nicolai Naranjo) all run for the Western Mass Distance Project.  WMDP placed five in the top ten finishers.  Jason Ayr (2nd) and Kevin Quadrozzi (10th) are part of the same organization.

Alexander Arslan (9th) is a Running Brand specialist at Mizuno USA in Syracuse.

The 2nd place finisher in the women’s 5K was Salome Kosgei.  Salome came to the US from Kenya in 2004 thanks to a scholarship from Iona College in New York.

Liz Ryan who finished 3rd for the second straight year graduated from Brown in 2013.  She trained for six months in Panama.

Newburyporter Sam Acquaviva got second in the 5K.  The Clipper senior-to-be can easily be expected to dominate the 2017-18 Cape Ann League in cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track.

I hope I have this right: The 3rd place 5K finisher was Will Coogan of Exeter.  Will was on the Phillips Exeter JV squad this year.  The 15-year-old may have had the race of his young life.

Bekah Broe was second to Apryl Sabadosa in the 10-mile.  Bekah, from Newton (MA), is an assistant product manager with New Balance.

Sarah Hjelmstad of Wilmington (MA) followed Bekah.  Sarah runs with the Wilmington Sole Sisters.

Complete race results

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

5K finishers

Jason Ayr (70) and Eric Ashe (56)

Dan Smith

Alexander Arslan

Nicolai Naranjo

Kevin Quadrozzi

Salome Kosgei and Liz Ryan battle for 2nd

Robert Espinoza

Abu Kebede Diriba about to win 2017 Yankee Homecoming 10-mile race

Jaclyn Solimine won the women’s 5K

Bekah Broe (2nd in 5K)

Sarah Hjelmstad (847) 3rd in 5K

Salome Kosgei (2nd in 10 mile)

Liz Ryan (3rd 10 miles)

 

 

 

 

 

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What Voting For Barack Obama May Have Meant

obama-campaign-sign-11-6-081

There are racists, ageists, sexists, haters, and myopias among us.

Are you one, some,or all of them?

Did the color of Barack Obama’s skin have anything at all to do with your vote for him?  If it did, to even the smallest degree, then you are a racist.  You discriminate when it comes to skin color.

Did you vote against John McCain because he is 72?  If you did, then you’re an ageist.  You discriminate when it comes to age.

Did you turn down Sarah Palin in the general election because she’s a woman?  If it was a factor, in any way, then you’re a sexist.  You discriminate when it comes to gender.

Did your anger against George Bush factor into your vote for Barack Obama?  If it did, then you’re a hater.  You could still, however, be a member of the anti-hate committee in this area because they take the illogical stance that they have the right to hate you if you disagree with them.  (If you don’t believe me, try practicing your First Amendment rights in a public square holding up a sign opposing same-sex marriage.)

Did you vote for Barack Obama because he has more experience than John McCain does?  If you did, then you suffer from myopia.  Your vision is so limited that you can’t discern fact from fiction. 

I do not assume that the presidency of Barack Obama will be without problems.  Therefore, when those problems begin there will be those of us out here who will criticize the new president.  Will that be the cue for friends of the president to label us as racists, ageists, sexists, haters, or myopic?  I hope not because some of Barack’s apologists are already wearing those labels deservedly.

(Appeared as a letter-to-the-editor on November 17th in the Newburyport Daily News.)

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Underwhelmed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama

Hillary ClintonAre these two the best that the Democrats have?

Burger King should switch their headquarters from Fountainbleau (FL) to Chappaqua (NY).  After all, with Hillary Clinton in residence they truly are, “The Home of the Whopper.”

Hillary ClintonHillary has always had trouble telling the truth but in the past could count on many in the media to defend or ignore her actions.  Since Barack Obama has become the media darling the former first lady finds herself closely scrutinized after every utterance.

Therefore, she no longer gets a pass when she claims that she has experience in dealing with crises overseas – think Irish peace talks and Bosnian sniper.  Predictably, when the media does its homework and checks into her version of events they find irrefutable facts to disprove her stories.   Confronted with lies she answers with excuses.

Then there is Barack Obama. He went from prospect to suspect with his speech on March 18th.  You and I know that by not announcing that he was separating himself from Jeremiah Wright’s church he gave approval to what went on there. 

Barrack ObamaThe politically astute thing for Obama to do was to toss Reverend Wright and his church under the bus instead of his white grandmother.  Were his supporters then likely to switch over to Hillary or John McCain?  No chance!

Barack stayed with Trinity United Church of Christ even though it’s not politically advantageous because he doesn’t find Reverend Wright’s anti-American rhetoric as offensive as the rest of us do. 

Certainly, Reverend Wright’s rhetoric is indefensible and he should know better because he’s acquainted with the Bible.  Yes, there are places in the Bible where Jesus was angry at what he saw going on around him.  Reverend Wright seems to have this anger side covered but there are also places where Jesus insisted on the need to forgive others.  Somewhere during the 20+ years of listening to Reverend Wright, Barack should have clearly noted the imbalanced tone of Wright’s messages and moved elsewhere. 

There is an obvious shortage of bumper stickers for Obama or Hillary in Newburyport.  I guess that even the most ardent Democrat is in a quandary defending either of them.

George Bush leaves office on January 20, 2009.  Heaven help us if either Hillary or Barack is anywhere near the premises when it happens.

(Appeared in The Newburyport Daily News on April 2nd and Newburyport Current on April 4th)

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Newburyport’s “Greatest” Woman Driver?

I saw the title in the letters to the editor in the March 6 issue of the Newburyport Daily News and prepared myself for some explosive reading.

The title?  “Seeking information about ‘World’s Greatest Woman Driver’ “

I felt let down when I learned in the article that a woman from London (Deborah Cherry) was actually searching for information about another woman (Fay Taylour) who drove in car races quite a while ago.

I was expecting, based on the title, that some gentleman from the area would pour out some negative references to some of the driving habits of women he had observed on the streets of Newburyport.  I guess it was the “greatest” part that sent me down the wrong road.

I was anticipating some mention of a woman at a traffic light in town using her mirror to rearrange her facial appearance.  When the light changed, she failed to notice and instead continued with her cosmetic surgery.  How thoughtful of someone woman driverto honk their horn in appreciation of her improved looks!

I was also guessing that the young mother with the cell phone on the ear in one hand, steering wheel in the other, young kid in the backseat, and dog further back might appear in the letter.  When the light changed, around the corner she went with a one-hand turn, no directional, and little interest in the rate of speed.  There was no way that she was paying sufficient attention to driving.  Dangerous?  You bet.

Not so long ago describing someone as a, “woman driver,” referred to a person who was uncertain or cautious behind the wheel and usually that “someone” was a woman.  Not anymore!  There’s not a whole lot of caution and uncertainty around anymore by anyone. 

Many men are too aggressive behind the wheel and many women are too distracted.  My concern level regarding bad driving has not reached my fear of the possibility of Hillary or Obama being President but it is getting there. 

(This was sent as a letter-to-the-editor of The Newburyport Daily News on 3-11-08.)

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