Howdy do, honeybunch. Here we are in 2019, that means this is the 48th anniversary year of you and me scribing these weekly missives concerning the goings-on of this shoreline community. As I remember, it was in 1971 that we began these letters, and our own way of figgerin’ out how things work in this burg. In those days Colby Driessens was around as was Tom DuRant and others. The big news was the Save Our Shore campaign and, of course, the inner clamorings of the city’s Democratic Party.
Whilst the names have changed somewhat, and the papyruses that we’ve writ for have come and gone, somethings remain the same. This commune is still fighting about who sits in the thoid floor of City Hall – which, come to think of it opened that foist year – and how and when we rebuild our tax structure is still an isshew before the public.
Of course, with the new year, some new things have happened hereabouts. We’re trying another re-design after having the last one fer about four years. We’re hoping it will make things easier for the readers, and we’re offering a few more features as is our wont.
Yew might’ve noted a new name amongst the pages, and that is our new reporter, Josh LaBella. He’s gonna cover local boards and commishes for us, which should add to the coverage. He’s a young spitfire so he should fit right into what goes on around here. He’s still on a learning curve tryin’ to learn all the players and finding out the back stories of all the isshews, but he’s getting there. We should see him come along really well over the next few weeks.
With a campaign coming up in the fall, having a staff reporter is gonna make our coverage even better than it’s been over the last few years.
Before we git started, we wanna offer our condolences to Eleanore Turkington on the loss of her husband, Richard, this past week. Eleanore, who scribes our Gripe Vine colyume is getting her family affairs in order, while trying to cope with the loss. Dick was a good man and a fine gentleman – a lost breed in these parts. He was a good musician – a violinist – and happy-go-lucky. He used to visit here on occasion with Eleanore, and always had a good word. He will be missed. Our prayers and thoughts go with Eleanore and the extended family during this time.
Sammy Bluejay happened by t’other afternoon and before the lights on the ball in Times Square had a chance to cool off, Sammy was talking about the upcoming municipal election set for the fall. Yup, it ain’t only the presidential race that seems to have begun in earnest. Already we’re seeing the queueing up of the various political factions.
As yew heard before the holidays, former Mayor Edward M. O’Brien has begun a search committee to see effen he should run in the fall – witch everyone is interpreting as: he’ll run in the fall.
With that detail somewhat determined, the query arises who in the Democratic Party is willing to give him backing. As we’ve said, with the city now under Tier III overview by the Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB) follying O’Brien’s bonding to pay off the deficit, his candidacy has probably a bit more of an uphill battle.
In these parts, first-term mayors seldom get the axe by the voters. The last time it happened here was with Clem Evangeliste in 1991, and that was cuz the financial situation he created was just so bad, voters decided to get rid of him – but even that wasn’t by a whole lot.
O’Brien’s battle will begin when he has to explain why things got so bad whilst he was in office – finance-wise. He never had a balanced budget, and the deficit ballooned in his tenure. But there is the support question.
Word is that some of the people who supported him the last time – and times before – have determined they wanna stay outta the fray this go-round. Also, Sammy hears that erstwhile friends of O’Brien have had a falling out with the candidate and those fences have yet to be mended.
What will happen between now and the summer, when the candidacies have to be finalized? No one knows. That is an eternity in politics; and, Lawd knows, alliances between various people are made and broken at warp speed around here.
Sooooo, while other things will be going on, the march toward the fall elections will be one of the big stories of the year, no doubt.
It’s a new year, and an old voice is going to rattle the cages of the DOT, etc, according to Iva Lootey. Iva got a tip that Mikey Mercuriano is gonna re-up his fight to git a garage over at the train station. This is an isshew that has stuck in the craw of MM since the station was open. Y’see it was supposed to have one when constructed, and he believes it should be there, and it would enhance the viability of the station.
Mikey is convinced the DOT has put its eggs in Orange’s basket, and has not fulfilled its promises to the city concerning making it a hub for transport. They finally did something with getting a snack bar in there Iyam told after quite a few years of balking.
Also, the city should be on board to develop the area around the station. Iva heard the city is looking to sell the former Stiles School, which has lain fallow for about five years and is getting to be an eyesore. That building and Molloy School are supposed to be up for sale.
Tennyrate, there has been no development around the station, save for what was already there in the supermarket and Yale Health Center. Big plans were announced with the station, but, as with most things, things git lost in translation.
Mike is gonna rattle some cages and make some noise otherwise. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires. Yew know with him that could mean some state backsides are gonna have a new twinge to worry about.
Nelly Nuthatch was in here t’other afternoon and she’s wondering what’s going on with Merlie Mae. Last we hoid, Merlie, who was injured in a house fire back in June, was in rehab, trying to recover from her burns.
We heard somethings hither and thither, but no one was able to git any real info. We’d still like to hear from the ole gal. We wanna hear with her own voice that she’s OK. We Mystick Maidens of the Marsh have to stick together.
It’s a new year, so I’ll ask the same old question: What’s going on with Beach Street? Our editor mentions it this week in his yearly wish list editorial, but we wonder effen anything is gonna be done over there. We got three big properties that are empty and not doing anything positive for the property values around there.
One would hope that in 2019 we’ll hear something really nice – and commercially viable – for the area. Things ain’t exactly moving in a quick step. The state wants to raise the roadbed seven feet to prevent flooding in major storms and protect the storm drains, etc. But, besides that, a major artery in the city is no further along to being up-graded than it was two years ago. Let’s hope that changes.
With that bit o’ chatter, I’ll close this time till next, mitt luff und kizzez,