In a sure sign that the holiday recess is over for the city's Vietnam Memorial Commission, its chairman, Ralph Basiliere, has been seen having downtown lunch meetings with various city officials and community leaders over the past few weeks.

Basiliere said he's having these meetings to help plan fundraising, design and construction of new features for the memorial, which is located at Mill Brook Park, near the entrance to the Plug Pond Recreation area.


Cash keeps rolling in

Speaking of the Vietnam Memorial at Mill Brook Park, the Vietnam Memorial Commission has so far raised about $80,000 in addition to $50,000 worth of DPW services and $30,000 in in-kind services towards a major enhancement to the memorial.

The commission must raise an additional $85,000 before the project can be completed and dedicated, which should happen this year. To donate, contact the city treasurer's office or visit online at


An eye on the environment

The city's seven member Conservation Commission recently held its annual elections.

Members unanimously re-elected Harmony Wilson as chair, for her second, one-year term. Ralph Basiliere was re-elected as vice chair, also for his second, one-year term. Thomas Wylie was elected as clerk.

The voting underlies the commission's intentions to be a more proactive and constituent-focused body, and brings a sense of stability to the commission, which is held in high regard by the community.


Let's talk

Something called a "Conversation Cafe" is coming to the public library beginning Feb. 19.

Organizers say they are interested in the process of discussing potentially polarizing topics, but the underlying objective is to encourage intentional listening to "capitalize on what we have in common rather than what divides us." The Lamplighter is curious as to what topics will pop up at this first meeting.

Apparently, these types of meetings are held regularly in Newburyport.


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