Public Workshop: Protecting Newport Historic and Cultural Assets from Flooding Caused by Sea Level Rise

The public is invited to participate in a community workshop on flood protection for historic and culturally valuable properties on Newport’s coast. The workshop is scheduled for THURSDAY, JULY 14, 2016, 3-7 P.M., at Emmanuel Church, 42 Dearborn St., Newport, RI 02840.

NOTE: The public is welcome for the whole event; a general overview of the project will be given at 5 p.m. to ensure attendees arriving later in the day have ample opportunity to gain information. RSVP if attending by July 11 to ensure adequate refreshments.

The workshop follows the April 2016 Keeping History Above Water Conference in Newport, which explored historic preservation efforts regarding flooding from sea level rise a key impact of climate change. Newport hosts a broad array of historical and cultural assets, including registered historic buildings, and rising water and increased storminess is expected to threaten these over time. The University of Rhode Island (URI) Coastal Resources Center (CRC) and Rhode Island Sea Grant are facilitating the meeting for several community groups interested in continuing the conference dialogue. The event is also possible due to generous support from the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Science indicates that Rhode Island is more likely than many other coastal states to experience flooding over time from sea level rise, said Dawn Kotowicz, a coastal manager for CRC and extension agent for Rhode Island Sea Grant. Coastal development, including the historic properties and cultural assets that Newport values, is at risk, so collaborating on practical solutions is critical.

CRC and Rhode Island Sea Grant, at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, provide Rhode Island and beyond with a variety of community-based coastal management and outreach services and programs.

For more information about the workshop, please contact Dawn Kotowicz at (401) 874-6152. Please RSVP. For media inquiries, contact Sue Kennedy at (401) 874-6107 orskennedy@crc.uri.edu.

http://www.crc.uri.edu/2016/07/public-workshop-protecting-newport-historic-and-cultural-assets-from-flooding-caused-by-sea-level-rise/

 

Newport’s civic groups seeking a larger role

http://www.newportri.com/newportdailynews/news/newport-s-civic-groups-seeking-a-larger-role/article_da94f827-1289-5b06-becb-d180e815c354.html

 

Posted: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 12:08 am | Updated: 1:56 pm, Wed May 8, 2013.

 

By Sean Flynn l Newport Daily News | 0 comments

 

Leaders of seven active neighborhood associations in Newport said Tuesday night they feel ignored by city and elected officials and will be seeking acknowledgement that they represent the interests of local residents.

“My big goal is building cooperation and a sense of trust with the city,” said Beth Cullen, president of the Point Association.

Among the changes she would like to see is an “Office of Neighborhoods” in city government, as found in many cities across the country, including Charleston, S.C. Cullen also would like the city’s website to provide links to the web pages of the various neighborhood associations.

Besides the Point Association, representatives of the Off-Broadway, the Historic Hill, the Bellevue Avenue-Ochre Point, the Castle Hill and the Top of the Hill neighborhood associations, as well as the new North End Neighborhood Association, met at the St. John the Evangelist Parish House on Poplar Street.

Representatives of the citywide Alliance for a Livable Newport, which has had more success getting attention from city officials, also were present.

Almost everyone among the two dozen people at the meeting has been active in community affairs in one role or another. When asked who had served on one or more city boards or commissions, they all raised a hand. They said the city administration and the City Council largely ignore the work, reports and recommendations of those boards and commissions.

Lauren Carson, who represents the Point on the Alliance for a Livable Newport’s board of directors, moderated the meeting.

“The city has no mechanism for dealing with us; they don’t know us,” said Jack McVicker, president of the Off-Broadway Neighborhood Association. “They denied us a meeting with the city manager, mayor and police chief.”

The neighborhood west of Broadway is roughly bounded on the south by Marlborough Street, on the west by Farewell Street, on the north by Van Zandt Avenue and Malbone Road, and on the east by Broadway. Within this area have been multiple assaults and a murder within the last year, and public safety and nuisance houses are major concerns of neighbors, McVicker said.

Organized as an association about 10 years ago, the group has been unsuccessful in getting responsive action from the city, he said.

“After 10 years of never having had a victory with the city, we want at least one,” McVicker said.

The association asked the City Council 16 months ago to pass an ordinance regulating how to deal with nuisance houses. But, he said, “nothing has happened. We’d like to change the way the city deals with us.”

Cullen said the Point Association, founded in 1955 and currently with 450 members, is the “grandmother of neighborhood associations.” She asked the city to interact with the neighbors in order to protect and preserve the historic character of the neighborhood.

When the city repaired the Van Zandt Bridge not long ago, it put up Jersey barriers along one side of the bridge, where they remain, she said. Recently, the city ripped up a bluestone and cobblestone crosswalk, likely from the Colonial era, at the top of the Willow Street driftway and replaced it with black asphalt, she said.

“We are not going to take that anymore,” Cullen said. “It’s all about communication. I would love the city to acknowledge neighborhood associations more. If we could realize that goal, Newport would be a healthier, safer and more attractive place.”

Federico Santi, representing the Historic Hill Association, agreed. “Our city fails to understand the importance of historic streetscapes,” he said.

In the past, the city paid Brian Pelletier to maintain the gas lamps on Historic Hill, but he was let go, Santi said.

“Now the gas lamps are deteriorating because of a lack of maintenance,” he said. “They are letting the gaslights fail to justify removing them.”

Santi said the encroachment of bar patrons into the Historic Hill neighborhood still is a major problem for residents, especially when bars in the Thames Street area close at 1 a.m.

Jim Moore, co-chairman of the Bellevue Avenue-Ochre Point Neighborhood Association with Robert Beaver, said his group is different from other associations.

“We arose out of war,” Moore said.

The group organized years ago in response to a plan by Salve Regina University to build an athletic facility “roughly the size of Fenway Park,” Moore said. That plan was successfully blocked, he said.

English: Salve Regina University
English: Salve Regina University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The association continues to deal with plans by Salve and the Preservation Society of Newport County, he said. Currently, members are concerned about plans by the Preservation Society to construct a welcome center on the grounds of The Breakers, he said, although the board has not taken a formal stand.

Members also are concerned that planned repairs by the state to the Cliff Walk have been held up and will not be undertaken until the fall at the earliest, Moore said. Surfers and environmentalists objected to the original plan to address the damage caused by superstorm Sandy.

“We now will wait for repairs through another hurricane season,” he said.

Glenn Whisler, representing the Castle Hill Association, said his group was formed 38 years ago. Members were concerned two years ago about increasing activities at Brenton Point State Park, but meetings with state Department of Environmental Management officials apparently have resolved that, at least for now, he said. DEM patrols picked up, and last summer was quiet, he said.

John Hirschboeck, representing the Top of Hill Neighborhood Association, said members are concerned about the reduction of Memorial Boulevard westbound from two lanes to one lane from the Middletown line to about Red Cross Avenue in the upcoming summer months.

He said the change so far has been benign, but that could change when there is heavier traffic around Easton’s Beach. Bellevue Avenue and Kay Street roughly bound the Top of the Hill neighborhood on the west and north, Eustis Avenue on the east, and Memorial Boulevard on the south.

Chip Leakas, representing the North End Neighborhood Association, talked about drawing membership from the approximately 2,200 households in the wide area north of Van Zandt Avenue to the Middletown border, from the bay on the west to Kay Street on the east.

McVicker said he is seeking outside help to help kickstart initiatives in Newport. He met recently with staff at the Providence office of the Local Initiatives Support Corp., a national organization founded in 1980 with help from the Ford Foundation and other major sponsors.

“Out of frustration, we’ve asked them to get involved with us,” McVicker said.

Members of the different neighborhood associations said they want their new cooperative effort to continue. They scheduled the next meeting for Tuesday, July 16, beginning at 7 p.m. at Café 200 on Broadway.

 

 

 

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March Survey Question #1 How would you rate the snow removal efforts of the City of Newport?

Scroll down to read all survey responses…

[Satisfactory]
Although clearance of main streets was done efficiently, some smaller neighborhood streets were not plowed adequately.
[Satisfactory]
Road plowing initially good but too much time and energy wasted later when plows come back and shove snow into driveways and onto sidewalks. STOP plowing earlier to save money and avoid homeowner anger.
[Poor ]
days following big storms the only streets in good shape are the most heavily traveled. neighborhood streets are typically either not plowed at all or just given one shot at the beginning of a storm and then forgotten.
[Unacceptable]
Plows don’t always plow all of Harrison Ave.; they stop at the school and don’t go farther east. What is logic to that? Downtown is sometimes hazardous to walk in because merchants don’t all clear their sidewalks. They lose customers that way.
[Satisfactory]
THe last storm was a difficult one to clear. The city did not do as good a job as they have for previous storms but they did what they could when they could.
[Satisfactory]
With the number of car and the size of most streets the city does it’s best.
[Poor ]
They do not enforce sidewalk regulations. They do not clean many of there own sidewalks.
[Unacceptable]
One pass down a street in a 24 hour period is unacceptable for the average joe’s vehicle and for emergency apparatus to get around. Also from what a gather there were a few plow trucks not being utilized.Why have a parking ban if you aren’t going to plow as close to the curb as you can.
[Poor ]
[Poor ]
While it was a tough storm, we all had good notice and days after the sidewalks in many areas, including downtown were not clear consistently. Many towns have a 24 hr shovel requirement – if not fine the owner.
The Queen Anne Sq project has blocked the East side walk of Thames street for a long time – without providing any alternative safe pathway for pedestrians on this busy street. The only altyernative to walk in that section of Thames st – the other side walk on the East side was blocked with piles of snow from the Nemo storm through Winter Festival – school vacation – making it unsafe for locals and tourists to walk in this are, other than on a wet slippery cobblestone street in busy downtown
[Poor ]
City plows push snow onto sidewalks, undoing the work of the homeowners who have shoveled their own sidewalks. Doesn’t matter anyway, because so many landlords and “dark houses” don’t shovel that a pedestrian is forced into the street anyway. City should fine those who don’t shovel and use the money to pay some of the guys who go around town selling their shoveling services to do the un-shoveled houses. Oh wait, that makes too much sense.
[Poor ]
Side streets were not plowed for days. I live on Kay St. and we had plows going by often.
[Poor ]
I never saw a plow after the first morning. Snow blocking parking all over town.
[Satisfactory]
I think that trucks are out there in a timely fashion. Problems occur on the smaller side streets when snow is plowed onto the side that cars park, and when driveways are snowed in. I live on a corner property and it irks me when snow is piled up several feet high on a sidewalk that I am responsible for shoveling. Better care should be taken in this regard.
[Satisfactory]
ok, but we had better service several years ago. Something has changed. Only one lane was passable for several days.
[Poor ]
Parking issues and small, quaint streets certainly contribute…
[Poor ]
I know it was a significant snowfall and there wasn’t any place to put the snow, but the overall plowing of city streets and sidewalks was subpar.
[Poor ]
The city needs to develop a plan to remove the piled up snow blocking sidewalks on our narrow streets.
[Poor ]
Normally I would’ve said either good or satisfactory. But I chose “Poor” this time only because of how bad it was after the February blizzard. There was a major blizzard a couple of winters ago when the snow removal was good. So I don’t know what happened this time. What makes it harder for me is I don’t drive. So for how long I had to walk to/from work over unshoveled sidewalks and deep, slippery slush in the roads. (I work at Newport Hospital and walk from Mary Street. So it’s not like I have a path that includes having to deal with minor side streets. I was surprised at how bad it was on Broadway and America’s Cup.)
[Poor ]
During Nemo, we were plowed once between friday and sunday afternoon when they finally came back to clear us out.
[Satisfactory]
For a major snow the did an accceptable job.
[Poor ]
For those with no off-street parking, there was no where to park for several days. Plows just deposited the snow where cars usually park, especially on side streets, and left it there. The city should have hauled it away.
[Satisfactory]
It’s as good as can be expected given the narrow streets, lots of parked cars and the minimal budget alloted for snow removal. If we want better we should be willing to pay for it. For the right price we could even have taxpayer funded sidewalk clearance (had it where I grew up). It’s all about what we are willing to pay for.
[Satisfactory]
Considering the amount of cars parked on the street
[Poor ]
Mayor arteries are barely plowed, making them usable only by large vehicles. Side streets seem to be ignored until days after a major/moderate event.
[Satisfactory]
This is a tiny town with tiny streets not built for plows and an excessive number of oversized vehicles. I feel the city did the best they could with limited capabilities during an insane amount of snowfall.
[Poor ]
Main streets are fine but the side streets were poor.
[Satisfactory]
I live on a road that is used by emergency and police vehicles to get to downtown faster so we get plowed first. However trying to keep the sidewalk clear when the plow keeps plowing more snow on us makes it impossible to keep the walkway open!
[Poor ]
The streets are not cleared early or completely enough to keep residents safe.
[Satisfactory]
No disrespect to the city employees who worked tirelessly plowing; it’s a hard job!
[Unacceptable]
Street’s weren’t plowed at all!
[Poor ]
My street never got plowed.
[Satisfactory]
Road plpwing is actually good. The problem is when the plows come back after everyobe has shoveled off their driveways and sidewalks to leave snow where we just shoveled. JUST DON’T COME BACK! Money will be saved
and home owners will not be angry.
[Satisfactory]
It’s a tough job dealing with the narrow roads and the amount of snow we received…not bad considering…
[Poor ]
It took them three days after Nemo to come plow my street. It took them 2 days to plow the main roads that my street is off of. And most of those roads are a school bus route. Unacceptable!
[Satisfactory]
its tough to be good – being an island does not demand for extensive snow equipment, other cities do employ contractors for piece ( snow ) work — local JAM company does have very big Mack trucks, perhaps a resource ?
[Poor ]
It seemed as though even days after the storm many streets had not been properly plowed.
[Satisfactory]
they do the best they can
[Poor ]
The streets in the Point are always a total mess after any significant snow. After the blizzard plows would go down the street with the plow raised on their way to someplace else. Even after the snow ended it took days for the streets to be acceptable, mostly due to melting. And it’s like that every time there’s a lot of snow.
[Satisfactory]
If people stayed off the roads after the storms then the cleanup would be better!!!
[Poor ]
They do not follow any set routes….went up street next mine 6 times and never did mine, Eastnor Rd and Atlantic St so they are compatible streets
[Poor ]
some streets seemed unplowed
[Satisfactory]
My street was ok, others not so much
[Poor ]
Main arteries were in bad shape – not to mention the side streets.
[Satisfactory]
Main roads were still icy on Monday after the blizzard.
[Unacceptable]
Took all day to get to the end of willow street
[Poor ]
Plow drivers speed, plow snow onto corners making it impossible for pedestrians, and routinely damage streets and property. Additionally, the streets seem to be more slippery when new fallen snow is plowed, not less, and plowing makes drivers more prone to speed.
[Satisfactory]
After the big storm, a City of Newport plow driver stopped to clear the huge snow piles from the sides of my elderly neighbor’s driveway, and then, on his way back, came back to clear mine. Thanks City of Newport plow driver!
[Satisfactory]
some side streets could use more plowing, and sidewalk shoveling could be enforced more
[Poor ]
Calender St and respective cross streets had snow on them until it melted a week later. After the travel ban was lifted there were no additional passes by city plows on Calender or Heath even though a substantial amount of snow remained.
[Poor ]
The main roads were satisfactory, but the side roads were very poor.
[Poor ]
They did not plow my road and I had to call and email to have it done.
[Satisfactory]
The residents of Newport should be rated unacceptable. Walking during and after snowstorms is life-threatening at best. The City should enforce fines for those not shovelling sidewalks. However, the City plows did a satisfactory job.
[Satisfactory]
My street was fine and I was able to get around when I wanted to.

Question #2 Responses – January Survey “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

Know the police salaries and benefits account for much of the money spent. We need foot and bicycle patrols and traffic control and their presence seen downtown in the summer and on Broadway.
If all expenses for police, fire, etc. are included in the figure for funds for public safety then the answer to the previous question would be much higher. The question might have been put more clearly.
New as a community need to demand a halt to police moon-lighting as road-crew traffic flager’s .Crews have there own people to do this type of work and we could utilize there talents in a more productive way.
I don’t know the percentage, but certainly hope it is less than 30%, else we are living in a dangerous city.
I am certain it is an absurd amount. The “pubic safety cabal, as my husband refers to them, seem to be able to hold extract the maximum amount from taxpayers in salary, overtime, benefits and retirement while they take an attitude of superiority not partnership when working with citizens. I hear it over and over again from Newport residents. There is little trust or faith in the services of the NPD, specifically. Yet, we are expected to pay them a premium in the name of “public safety”. Not to mention that we employ far more officers than is necessary for a small, quiet city of our size.
that could be covered in a future forum. someone that handles budget’s for the city could report to us.
I think there need to be more information given to the public on this ratio, and how it compares to other communities similar to Newport but outside of RI. What is a good national benchmark comparison?
I assume the public safety expenditures include salaries and retirement pensions for firefighters and police officers.
I would like to ask our community police to be a bigger presence, particularly in the summer, walking the beat. Daily stopping into places like the Elm St. And VanZandt St piers, walking in neighborhoods and playground areas to ensure kids know they are around. Maybe even expand this community police program.

 

I also believe the City or ALN or the Neighborhood associations should have annual of bi-annual block parties to ensure neighbors get to know neighbors, young and old intermingle and we strengthen our neighborhoods little by little.

I assume that the allocation breakdown you suggest would be more than how much for police and how much for fire: that it would show how much goes toward providing police and fire safety services in the community and how much goes to fund pensions and other-post-employment-benefits (OPEB); how much goes to fund personnel (including a separate breakdown of overtime) as opposed to equipment and other non-personnel costs. This information is available in the adopted budget, but the impact of certain items isn’t always apparent.

 

Question #1 Responses – January Survey “3 Questions, 3 Minutes”

Question #1:

Safety in the schools is a hot issue in the aftermath of continuing gun violence in public places.

What plans would you support to insure the safety in public schools and other public places?

Answer Count Percent
20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
1. Locked doors; armed security guards 30 16.48%
2. Mandatory defense training for all teachers and school staff 30 16.48%
3. Outlaw automatic weapons, assault rifles, and magazines/clips holding more than 10 rounds; and make background checks mandatory for all gun sales 95 52.20%
4. Other 27 14.84%
Total 182 100%

Metal detectors; but no armed guards, please.
This is a very rare event. Kids are just as likely to get struck by lightning at a football game (it does happen). RI has a high level of gun control. I think we are doing all we reasonably can.
I do not think we need armed guards and training of school staff should be of a preventative nature – they should not be armed, but nonlethal items such as mace and tear gas maybe necessary. Each school should have an emergency plan and conduct drills so everyone knows what to do in event of an attack. Every exterior door should be locked with the main entrance door electronically controlled with the lobby of each school constructed to serve as a containment area from which visitors may not pass without inspection. Each class room should be a safe haven with lockable solid core door controlled by the teacher or a master switch at the entry and every classroom should have an alternate escape route to the outside. While we can do the above, lets remember that gun control and reporting and follow-up of abnormal behavior are also factors. School security is not the sole answer.
Locked doors and stricter gun laws
Locked doors…secuirity guards without guns
Locked doors, police detail outside school at opening and closing times.
There are innumerable retired, well trained service men and woman who would gladly be sworn in to volunteer to stand watch at public schools. This needn’t be a burden and further expense on the community but it is a necessary but unfortunate step in the direction of safety and security for school children.
Preserve our right to sovereignty as democratic citizens but require arms to be kept in gun clubs, armories, and other non-governmental places under civic oversight. Require civic achievement and service of those seeking gun permits.
Teacher should not carry guns in schools sends out the wrong message they are there to teach.
Teach conflict resolution, non-violence in schools across the nation. The idea that we would all be safer if we all carried assault weapons is absurd – what, we should whip out our guns as a first resort?
Outlawing guns entirely within city limits would be the best option.
Lockable steel doors on all rooms. A wireless personal alarm, pepper spray and maybe taser guns for staff. A security plan in place.
For schools and other public spaces, some kind of alarm system that can be activated in multiple places in the event of a threat.
Whatever we can do to stop this senseless violence!
Locked doors. Offer free training for teachers and staff interested, after school on their own time.
Increased police presence in the area of schools
Appoint a school safety officer to assist local schools with the development of plans and strategies to make the schools safer. Plans should include responses to bullying, and identification of and assistance to troubled students.
Have classes in peaceful conflict resolution.
Special training for all teachers to enable them to enact standard procedures in the event of an event. Further, there should be drills.
Locked doors in school. Less sensationalism of the perpetrator by the press. They win. We DO NOT need to make him a celebrity. What were the gun assaults before and what have they been since. As a society we need more caring, less hate and violence. Life in America is full of entertainment violence and degradation of society. When are we going to become an intelligent and caring society. TRASH SELLS???? at what long term costs??? Integrity is gone from most aspects of society.
Approve H.R. 93, the Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act, on January 3, 2013. Under current federal law, gun dealers whose licenses are revoked may convert their inventory to personal collections, to be sold without conducting background checks on purchasers. The Fire Sale Loophole Closing Act would end this dangerous practice.Support a comprehensive assault weapons ban, and legislation, H.R. 138, introduced by Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) to prohibit the transfer or possession of assault-style large capacity ammunition feeding devices. I have also co-sponsored legislation, H.R. 142, to require ammunition be sold only by licensed dealers through in person transactions; to close the gun show loophole, H.R. 141; and legislation, H.R. 137, to ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check on all firearm sales.
I’ve checked the locked doors/ armed security guard box, but only because I agree with the locked doors element. I am not persuaded that the security environment in Newport provides a basis for instituting an armed guard paradigm.
Metal detectors
Locked doors at all entrances and all classrooms.
Defense training for teachers and school staff – but no weapons!
Any household having guns should let the schools be aware of that fact.
More studies should be done as to how to recognize signs of a person with mental or emotional problems which might lead to harm being done to others.
If studies prove that violent video games, tv shows and movies lead to violent behaviour then they should be banned.
Teachers, Principals, School Staff should all be trained in how to treat each other and their students with respect, and they should demand respect from their students towards them and towards their peers. Lack of respect and civility in today’s society is rampant. Let’s try amending this flaw.
We find ourselves in this situation because we are willing to sacrifice community safety for individual freedom. This is an ongoing dilemma, a function of American history and culture. I believe there is really no way to “solve” this problem; we will simply have to live with it.

 

January Survey; 3 Questions, 3 minutes, tell us what you think!

  • Anyone can take this survey! Please share with your friends.

  • We encourage every Newport Resident to participate.

CLICK HERE >> January 2013 ALN »

http://ALN-January-2013.questionpro.com

 

Newport This Week writes: “Online Survey Solicits Residents’ Opinions”

nn-logo-new3-01

http://www.newport-now.com/articles/online-survey-solicits-residents%27-opinions/

December 28, 2012  – By Meg O’Neil

The community-interest group Alliance for a Livable Newport has announced that it will conduct monthly email and Facebook surveys to get feedback on what’s going on in the city, including several major projects that will affect residents of Aquidneck Island. Anyone, from any town, who accesses the group’s website or Facebook page online can respond to the surveys.

Approximately 90 people responded to the first survey, which contained three questions – about the proposed tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge, the Broadway improvement construction slated for 2013, and the wind turbine ordinance recently passed by the Newport City Council. Only the toll question requested a “Yes” or “No”  response; the other two questions solicited comments only.

One of the biggest local issues of 2012 has been the prospect of Sakonnet River Bridge tolls. After the state Department of Transportation turned over responsibility for the Sakonnet River and Jamestown bridges to the state Turnpike & Bridge Authority, the Authority announced that in order to maintain Aquidneck Island’s four-bridge system (including the Pell and Mount Hope Bridges), it would have to either raise the toll on the Pell Bridge to $5 or add new tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.

Public outcry from residents of Portsmouth, Tiverton, Bristol, and Little Compton led to a 20,000-signature petition against the tolls, and several public forums were held where many residents and business owners spoke out against the tolls.

According to the results of the Alliance survey, 39.5 percent of those who responded were in favor of the tolls, while 54.1 percent were opposed, and 6.2 percent had no response.

Another survey question pertained to plans for the reconstruction and redesign of lower Broadway. Recently presented at a Newport City Council workshop, the project would be done during the summer of 2013. The survey question read: “Will it be worth the turmoil in a major commercial district over the busy 2013 summer tourist season to keep within the project timetable? If the project is suspended over the summer months to permit greater access to businesses and ease traffic congestion, the project costs increase and therefore would not be completed until 2014.”

Read More at Newport Now!

Read moreNewport This Week writes: “Online Survey Solicits Residents’ Opinions”

Survey Responses Question #3 Wind Turbine Ordinance

Alliance for a Livable Newport December 2012  Survey Results
Survey Name: 3 Questions – 3 Minutes
Dec 26, 2012 8:20:14 PM

 PLEASE COMMENT BELOW

3.  Newport City Council passed a “Wind Turbine Ordinance” at their last meeting in 2012. The ordinance is “conservative” and considers most of Newport unsuitable for Wind Turbines.

If your property qualified for a small residential turbine, would you want one? How about if a turbine was on your neighbors property? 

Should small residential turbines be BANNED from Newport’s Historic District properties?   – Responses

Answer
1 Yes,  OK,  No
2 I don’t know enough to have a valid opinion. My gut reaction is to say banning something that can be such a help to the residents of Newport is silly.
3 NO!
4 I actually think wind turbines are beautiful, but also feel that the landscape and views of our coast and community are more beautiful, that we should make every effort to preserve this view. Once it’s lost, it’s lost for good. Small turbines, like those pictured above would be OK, but anything mounted on a pole above the landscape would not work!
5 No
6 yes – wind turbines should be banned from historic districts.
7 No turbines in close quarters.  Unsuitable when houses are close to eachother.  Everything else is banned in historic districts, so why would this be different?
8 For a city located on the coast and most at risk for the effects of global warming, you would think we might have some forward thinking representatives. I am very interested in utilizing wind turbines at my home in a historic district. What use is an ordinance that bans the use of turbines on a large percentage of the city’s residential structures.
9 Undecided
10 This is a huge question. We certainly don’t mind satellite-TV antennas all over the houses. I don’t think many of us know what a wind turbine looks like apart from the large ones. I certainly would like one whipping around in my neighbor’s yard. Certainly not if it’s only for the purpose of allowing the occupants to continue to use excesses of elec
11 yes
12 yes, wouldn’t mind if they were there… supports RI’s ecological conservative mindset
13 As with any project in Historic Districts it must be  taken on a case-by-case basis. Solar panels where they are nearly invisible or can be incorporated into landscaping have been allowed in HD’s and the same could be true of wind turbines. The major difference, of course, is the moving parts. Much like HVAC units the decibels must be considered.
14 Yes, they should be banned. They look terrible. We live in the Historic District and can’t have them and we can’t have the newer windows so pay lots for heating that other people don’t have to pay. We should all have the same options.
15 Residents should me able to have small quiet winde machines that do not impact neighbors quality of life anywhere in the city
16 Small residential turbines should be allowed in all areas of the city, with noise limitations. No, I would not build one.
17 yes
18 Absolutely!  One of Newport’s main attribute is it’s historic architecture.  Wind turbines don’t belong here.
19 NO!They should’nt be banned.As long as they are suitable for that property size.Again this city has to many uptight citizens complaining about everything!The home owner is doing something good for himself and the enviroment.Take some strain of the grid.The Historic District is a joke to.250 year old rundown pieces of crap.Might makeit look better
20 Wind turbines are the “green” way to go. Bring them on!!!
21 At present yes,  Does anyone remember when most homes had TV antennas on their roof.  Will technology become more attractive.  I believe so.
22 I am in favor of allowing SMALL Residential wind turbines. Noise needs to be kept to a minimum for any turbines in residential districts. Not sure how I feel about turbines in the Historic Districts. BUT I am in favor of allowing SOLAR Panels in historic districts.
23 Of course they should be banned in the Historic District. I would not be happy if a neighbor installed a turbine. My house is just a dozen feet from my neighbor’s house.
24 Yes.  The city is too small to have such wind turbines in the middle of a historic district.  There are better places for wind turbines that do not ruin the aesthetics or have noise impacts on reidences.
25 Yes
26 I would welcome small turbines and more solar panels.
27 Of course I’d want one, and on my 211-yeaqr old house as well; I believe it would still look appealing with a propellar on the roof. More importantly, I want cleaner air for my grandchildren, which the continued use of fossil fuels will make impossible.
28 No; there is a very limited market for small capacity turbines.  My lot, at 10K SF and outside the district qualifies but with large trees and the height limit it makes no economic sense, and would have a big impact on neighbors.  The criteria should be based on land area (10K SF is too small) not historic district, these are temporary structures
29 I would support wind turbines as shown in your picturel in the historic district if not viewed from the street or impacting the actual historic structures.  Structures less than 100 years old should be permited to have them, even if the house is in a HD.
30 I have no problems with wind turbines. They’re less unsightly than satellite dishes, and less noisy than generators. I don’t think the commission ever gave the issue serious consideration, and they were set up with the sole intention of banning them from the get go.
31 More flexibility is needed in determining appropriateness for differing historic districts. Nothing in the historic zoning ordinance rules out turbines out of hand. An aesthetic leap has been made between “historic” and “appropriate.” The south end has the largest lots and the best wind, and the strongest NIMBY pressure, which should’t be a factor.
32 Yes we would want one and we would have no problem with our neighbors having one. I don’t see any reason to prevent people in historic districts from haing them either. This is not a novelty or aesthetic device. The future of the country and the planet depend on the rapid implementation of alternative energy sources.
33 I would wnat one on my house and I don’t mind if my neighbor has one.  The HD should be a case by case basis.
34 no. People have satelite dishes “for pleasure”.  These turbines are  essential.
35 Yes.
36 YES
37 I might want one for my own property but only if it were very effective and visually unobtrusive. I do NOT think turbines should be allowed in the historic districts.
38 yes
39 Don’t live in Newport.
40 Ban unless installation is out of sight.  Historic properties are key to the economy of Newport (tourist) and appearance must be preserved.
41 If I had a property on ocean drive I’d want to install a residential turbine. The original recommendation by the Planning Board was to allow such turbines in the Historic District for lots of min 4 acres. Within such reasonable limits property owners should be free to install turbines to save money and become more independent if that’s their choice
42 Yes, turbines should be banned from the NHD but I would permit small residential turbines in other areas.
43 NO
44 yes they should be banned
45 no
46 Is or should ‘turbines’ Be Banned??? I can’t even imagine why?
47 If small turbines are banned so should direct TV dishes.  If it is attached to the roof and not up on a huge pole I’m not sure what the problem is. People have had huge antennas on their houses for years and no one cared.
48 All depends on the size and style. Small turbines  should be allowed!  Noise is an issue, but the vertical ones are fairly quiet, I have heard.
49 NO, Newport County is perfect for wind turbines.  The council got this terribly wrong.
50 no
51 yes
52 ss
53 Yes banned from historic districts All depends on noise otherwise.
54 yes
55 No turbine on our property OK for my neighbor to install a small turbine Yes, should be banned from Historic District
56 Yes — not in keeping with our history
57 Yes.  There are other energy saving steps that can be taken that preserve the historic elements – such as storm windows.  The historic district represents one of the most (if not the most) collection of antique homes in the country.  I think Newport can preserve the historic districts and optimize all conservation measures possible.
58 yes to ban on turbines throughout city
59 It would depend on the size of the turbine and the noise it generated and if there were additional costs to using more traditional sources of energy for the rest of us.
60 Absolutely!
61 My neighbor DOES have small turbines on his roof- feel free to come hear them on any windy night. They are unsightly and noisy and for what? Our electric bills are  modest- so clearly he is doing this to get rebates. Does the city tax that income?  I don’;t think so. Solar panels could do the same thing without the noise.
62 I think small wind turbines are not only desirable but very much in the tradition of Newport. For goodness sake, we are the sailing capital of the northeast because we have wind!! Yes, turbines should not disturb neighbors with noise, vibration or flicker but they are integral to energy independence. I for one as a Newport resident want one.
63 no you should be able to make your own house/buisness sustainable limits on size of course
64 Tricky, because these turbines create noise and visual pollution.
65 Rather than banning ALL wind turbines from historic districts we can evaluate evolving technology which trends to smaller and quieter and could eventually be appropriate.  Banning seems both excessive and shortsighted and as building permits are required for instillation there is a monitoring  mechanism already in place.
66 Yes
67 i do not think scattered turbines, of whatever size and in whatever location are appropriate.  swathes/drifts of turbines, on land and water should be constructed, providing power for the entire island. scattered shot pollutes the eye and looks hit or miss.  an organized plan with sufficient power and visual cohesion would be far better.
68 I would not personally want one for my property and would be concerned of noise levels from neighbors’ turbines (we have open windows in the summer, no AC)
69 Small wind turbines don’t crank out that much electricity and they can be noisy. Residential wind turbines are a noise factor. And they are not very attractive. How about an incentive for solar panels? Satellite dishes and solar panels don’t make noise – meanwhile Cox and National Grid are getting higher prices with poorer service.
70 I don’t think they should be in the historic district
71 Nothing I read distinguished between types of turbines. If “small residential turbine” means a rooftop turbine where a large ground-planted turbine is unsuitable, then I beleive the city counncil should allow them. I would welcome an appropriate turbine on my neighbors’ properties. Not sure about historic districts. Need to hear more info and think
72 no   solar panels should be allowed also.
73 Yes, banned from historic properties only. If they are silent, and can be placed at least 25 ft. High, they should be allowed in residential neighborhoods. This will also increase the supply of squab for grilling in the summer months.
74 I live in a Historic District condo (Bellevue Sq). I would not mind having solar panels or small (vibration-free)wind turbines on our own or neighboring roofs. Ditto for composting, permeable drives and drain ways, etc. Preservation has to modify to fit the times. Good designers and landscapers can help blend such with traditional character.
75 Small turbines come in many form factors; we’ve been poorly educated by the city on the numerous alternatives. Hence their action was drastic, premature, and likely targeted the one home in Fifth Ward.
76 Yes
77 I don’t want a wind turbine on my property or my neighbor’s and would prefer that wind turbines be banned from the historic districts.
78 Yes!  I would not want to look at them, although if they could be concealed I might not object. Then again, I might get used to them after a while.
79 ~If my property qualified, I would consider a turbine.  ~I would not object to a turbine on neighboring property.  ~I would allow turbines in any neighborhood/district that allows structures such as satellite dishes, and I would evaluate carefully their benefits on school properties as evidenced in adjacent communities.
80 No!  This is the stupidest, most nearsighted, reactionary and obstructionist idea ever.  We need to be creative about producing clean power locally, and blanket bans are the opposite of creative.  What we need are some simple guidelines such as safe fall zones, protection of specific vistas, etc that allow homeowners to be creative within them.
81 I do NOT think there should be a ban on small residential turbines.  There are potentially more exceptions to the rule than protections to places where turbines are not acceptable.  This ordinance is an easy way out.  These types of renewable energy decisions should be on a case by case basis, not an all or none philosophy.
82 Need more information as to actually how much power would be generated by small turbines and how much the savings to homeowners would be. Depending on size, they could be fine in the historic district
83 Absolutely banned from the Historic District! I would not put one on my house and would not want one on my neighbor’s.  I support preserving the environment, energey conservation,etc., but the thought of having these turbines on rooftops in  Newport is disturbing.
84 If window a/c units are allowed in the Historic District, then small turbines should be.  My lot is too small, but larger lot owners should be allowed to have them.  We need to encourage wind power, but phasing it in while we study their impacts They should be placed so as not to intrude (noise, vibration, flicker) on neighboring properties.
85 No wind mills in town except for beanies worn by proponents of wind power. Why destroy all the efforts by  home owners to follow a theme of colonial Newport and goof it all up with a circus atmosphere?
86 Turbines ought to be banned from the historic district, but I am much in favor of Turbine development outside of this area.
87 Big turbines, serving the public, out on The Drive, away from residences, would be great. Since Newport should be striving for World Heritage designation, I feel that turbines don’t belong in the core Historic city.
88 Yes I would use one. And no wind turbines should not be banned anywhere period. We need to find alternative power sources.
89 Go Geo thermal We did
90 Yes.

Survey Responses Question #2 Broadway Construction

Alliance for a Livable Newport December 2012  Survey Results
Survey Name: 3 Questions – 3 Minutes
Dec 26, 2012 8:20:14 PM

 PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!

2.  At a recent Newport City Council workshop, the reconstruction and redesign of lower Broadway was presented. Turns out the project will be “long and messy.” An aggressive timetable would complete the work in a little over a year but the Broadway Business District streets would be torn up for the entire summer of 2013. 

Will it be worth the turmoil in a major commercial district over the busy 2013 summer tourist season to keep within the project timetable? 

If the project is suspended over the summer months (2013) to permit greater access to businesses and ease traffic congestion the project costs increase and therefore would not be completed until 2014.   – Responses

Answer
0 Suspend it.
1 I don’t think tourists have found this major commercial district. Rip off the band-aid, fix this area, and be done with it.
2 GET IT DONE!
3 I am in favor of the construction being completed in the shortest amount of time within the current budget. I feel that the city and construction crews can minimize the disruption to local businesses with careful planning and communications. I look forward to a new, improved Broadway before I have to replace the shocks on my Jeep!
4 Fine with either working through summer or braking and finishing 2014. I would leave the decision up to the business owners of lower Broadway
5 suspend the project during the summer – give the businesses a chance to recoup during the summer months.
6 Any mess and tear up in summer is bad for the city, for tourism and residents alike.  Do it in off season.
7 Sadly, I do not know the details but believe that disrupting a major thoroughfare during peak months is absurd.
8 I support suspending work for the summer of 2013.
9 Let’s get it done. Rather than dragging on the work we can just bite the bullet and move on the overall improvement of the town. Although I go there a lot of thought of generally attractive area just now so the sooner it’s improved the better
10 no, not worth it
11 no
12 Businesses on Broadway would suffer too greatly by having the street torn up for an entire summer. As with many projects in Newport there hasn’t been sufficient impact planning. Take, for instance, the new traffic lights at Bellevue & Memorial. At first blush it seemed a good idea but lack of impact planning has created a new nightmare.
13 No> I worry about the businesses. When they did Washington Square it was a mess and really affected businesses like Yesterdays.
14 Yes do the work with doing the summer recess of construction activities
15 The city must do all it can to balance the desire for quick completion with the needs of the businesses to make their money during our short summer season.  Let’s consider some alternatives, e.g. Staggered work areas, off-hours construction work, flexible parking regulations on side streets, protected pedestrian walkways through construction areas.
16 no
17 This question should be asked of the owners of businesses along Broadway.  While I may have an opinion, their’s is the most important one.
18 Everyone has been complaining to get lower Broadway updated.You now have the chance so do it all and get it over with. Tired of people complaining about everything! Finally a chance to get your complainants filled and know your complaining about when it’s going to be fixed! Shut up and let the work get done!
19 Relocate the “wet shelter” at Washington Square and turn the building into a parking garage!!!
20 Who will pay for this?  Will it increase prices in Newport???? Honestly,  consequences need to be evaluated which is currently very short sighted on this Island and elsewhere.A
21 The city to should do everything it can to NOT interfere with businesses during the busy summer tourist season.  It’s been hard enough in this economy for small, local businesses to prosper.  Don’t make it any harder than necessary.
As residents of Broadway, we rely on on-street parking – we do not have a driveway. Keep disruption to a min
22 I do not think it makes sense to do a major construction project on Broadway during the summer months. The surrounding streets cannot handle the traffic. Extend the project to 2014 but get started ASAP this spring!
23 No.  Let them do it as fast as they can.  This is not a tourist area and the businesses will likely be kept open duing construction.  There are many ways to mitigate construction impacts.
24 Yes
25 Tax revenue collected during the summer season should make up the difference of the suspension. We need to ensure hat many tourists come and facilitate their spending.
26 How late in 2014 for completion if work suspended in summer 2013? If December, then work through the summer; if January, suspend work.
27 RE Sakonnet: tolls are necessary BUT they should not be higher for out of state transponders, and cash payments should be kept low, maybe a dollar a crossing, otherwise its punitive and defies fariness and common sense
RE Broadway: Go for the extended schedule to protect the businesses
28 Poor grammar, the project “will not be completed until 2014” because “the project costs increase”. I am disappointed in you showing your biase in the phrasing of the question.  I had thought you above that.
29 Just get on with it and get it done.
30 I agree that suspending road work for the summer would be worth the extra investment. Many businesses on Broadway are struggling, whether they are new and trying to get established or older and trying to stay afloat. They don’t need the additional pressure of losing an entire season of income and business, and neither does our tax revenue.
31 Yes they should go ahead as proposed. There are always delays and postponements and stretching it out won’t facilitate the project.
32 The”turmoil” should be judged by the by the business owners.  The inconvenience will be the same length of time but business owners might be able to “optimize” the schedule.
33 Newport needs the tourists. Do not do anything during the high tourist season to make Tourists frustrated.  Hope the project has been well planned to truly make a difference.
34 I favor doing as much as possible, then suspending for July and August only.
35 The outcome will be worth the added disruptions that the accelerated timeline will cause.
36 Yes
37 DOT was able to widen and improve the roads in downtown Bristol this year with some disruption to business. They kept everyone informed, posted ‘open 4 biz’ signs and changed direction patterns for awhile. Now everything is in place. It worked in Bristol, it can work in Newport. Just make sure they ADD parking spots not take them away!
38 Job must be done. Road condition is poor. With proper planning disruption s/b minimal.
39 I believe the plan should be as efficiently coordinated as possible with clear communication with business owners and a phased implementation that minimizes disruptions to pedestrian traffic. Perhaps a tax break should be offered to effected businesses as well.
40 I would opt for the more aggressive timetable but also doing everything possible to provide access to the Broadway businesses.
41 suspend during summer or make west broadway more user friendly
42 suspend over summer
43 yes. It’s about  time.
44 No “turmoil” is necessary… (other than the heretofore unresolved ‘Proper’ Traffic Flow) Now, is certainly the time to forever Fix the ‘problem’… First & foremost… Please, please direct All ‘Tourists’ coming down Spring St (AT St. Church)… to take either a Left or a Right… (up &/or down Memorial Blvd) to the Pell Bridge &/or Rts 114 or 138
45 Yes, rip it up please, lower Broadway is a mess. How can the roads in Newport be as bad as they are? Also I would like to thank whoever re-striped memorial and removed the old stripes with a grinder so the once pristine newly paved road can have tons of potholes after the winter, yea!
46 It should be done in manageable sections…well planned…well controlled…well thought-out! If that takes an extra 6 months, so be it!
47 Just get it done!
48 suspend the work over the summer
49 SUGGEST THE LONGER PROJECT, but do not know the cost difference.
50 ss
51 probably worth waiting until 2014
52 no
53 suspend over the summer months
54 Let’s get it done as soon as possible. I’d like to see what the alternative routing will be, however.
55 The answer to that question may lie with the RIDOT schedule, TIP funding deadlines, costs and contractual issues.  I’m assuming the City doesn’t want to disturb the summer months either and must have explored other options.
56 yes to 2013 summer construction
57 Delay the project to the extent we are confident that the costs to local business owners would be beyond negligible.  It’s better that all citizens bear the extra cost than to ask local businesses to do so unless it can be demonstrated that they will receive “extra” profit from the repaving of Broadway.
58 I am in favor of moving ahead with the project and not suspending during the summer.
59 If the extra cost isn’t too bad,  I would support suspending the project. Why not start mid August next year (most tourists are gone by then) and try to finish before July 4 weekend.  I think the merchants who depend on summer traffic should have a major say in this. Leaving 1st question blank-no room for statewide tax to cover it vs just locals.
60 I think it is necessary to suspend the work over the summer. The businesses on Washington Square have already had their summer season disrupted twice recently. In particular, I am concerned about the impact on Yesterdays, a restaurant that has been a local favorite for years. How many summers can you take away from them with construction – really??
61 just get it done now
62 Yes, it will be a great improvement for the long range.
63 I doubt if most of the small businesses on Broadway could sustain a loss of summer 2013 revenues – some locals might walk over to the restaurants or salons but the tourist dollars would likely be lost
64 Get it over with Work thru summer months
65 keep to the planned timetable and do not suspend.    otherwise, it will doubtless be even longer than estimated time and could run over into a second summer!!!    creative managing should be able to reduce limited access to businesses/restaurants and allow shifting the burden evenly.
66 I favor suspending the project over the summer of 2013.
67 Before answering the question, it would seems that the working assumption that very little of the pre-work could be done that would necessitate the total disruptive summer of 2013.
That being true, the traffic would be very trying and it would hurt business. Winter 2013-14 seems preferable.
68 I think there is never a good time to do a project like this. I have always thought of Broadway as the “locals” street and locals will know how to avoid any problems.
69 Yes, get it done soooner rather than later and minimize the possiblitiy of it never being completed. People will get used to going about their business during construction.
70 do it now  Provide free parking and shuttle service to broadway.  Better yet have trolleys doing a loop.   Eliminate the parking on one side while project is being done.
71 I believe only those individuals located in the work zone, with private,  for profit businesses should be asked for comments.
72 Re Q 1, can’t answer Y/N. Depends what the viable options for funding RI bridges and other travel improvements are. In general, user-fee approach with breaks for low-income drivers makes sense.
Re Q 2, need to clarify what are the aims of the Broadway re-do, and what are the options?
73 Stretch out the project’s timetable in favor of less traffic turmoil during the summer.
74 The area is at least half a century behind. Get on with it!
75 Keep the project going through the summer and provide signs directing people to park at the Gateway Center and walk to the businesses.
76 What is needed here?  I don’t know enough about this project to say, except to ask if the businesses there want the reconstruction, and if it is necessary.
77 I did not attend the workshop.  I don’t have sufficient information about the project, the projected costs of the project, details of disruption to daily life and commerce, additional costs involved in suspending project for the summer, nor how thoroughly these issues have been examined, so not qualified to answer this question.
78 I haven’t been able to find information on what they are proposing – only comments or updates that assume I should know what the plan is.  I think it’s important to keep traffic flowing in the summer, even if it delays the final completion.
79 The businesses should be protected and construction should not continue through the summer.
80 It will be worth it, if effective, well marked  detour routes and signs directing people to open businesses are provided.  Consider temporary parking due to lost street parking — perhaps St. Joseph’s lot when the church isn’t using it and after school is out. Mann St. from Bdwy to Central could be temporarily 2-way for easier access to that lot.
81 My business went through the rehab of lower Thames Street (from post office to Dean Ave). The project took much longer than expected because of decayed water pipes and the like.  Lost a summers worth of  usual income The City needs to come up with another plan ( perhaps night construction, this would require less police supervision
82 How much are project costs increased if split into two phases?  I think this question should be answered/estimated in order to make a decision.
83 I am in favor of recommendations, but businesses have to be protected in the summer.
84 The planned reconstruction is completely unnecessary. There is no way any work should be carried on during June, July, August or September. Having people back into angled parking is a very bad idea.
85 In these hard economic times any pressure on the consumer to make their buying/ dining more difficult is reason for them not to visit. The work should be suspended during the summer or find a more aggressive work crew that can get the job done from November through June.  Newport and shop owners need to make it easy on the consumer.
86 YES Please do it..I dread going up that road..so does everyone coming into town
87 yes it would be worth suspending the project during the summer months.

3 Questions, 3 Minutes, Tell us what you think!

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Greetings!

You have a voice in the community!  We want to hear from you about the important issues and concerns affecting our quality of life in Newport. Beginning this month, and each month in 2013, we will ask for your input and feedback with a simple survey of issues selected by the Board of Directors of The Alliance for a Livable Newport. We will also share the results of the survey and publish them online.  Do you have additional questions, concerns or suggestions? Please let us know!

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*Please share this survey with your neighbors! We’d like to hear from as many Newport residents as possible and are actively seeking greater participation and new members!
Sincerely,

Ronald Becker, Treasurer

Alliance for a Livable Newport
info@newportalliance.org/

 

 

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