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The Region's Largest Weekly Distribution Just relax and read... The Town Common Toxic Soil To Be Tested, Removed From Rail Trail NEWBURYPORT – It might be a new chapter in the Beauty and the Beast saga. On what may be the most scenic section of the expanded Clipper City Rail Trail with views of the Merrimack River and Plum Island, city consultants found soil contaminated with potentially cancer causing toxins. Earlier this year, while starting to build the section of the trail behind the city’s wastewater treatment plant from the American Yacht Club to near Joppa Flats, the contractor ET&L unearthed soil that was contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Several national and international organizations have declared PCBs to be a potential occupational carcinogen. Studies of PCBs, which have been banned in the U.S. since 1979, found it causes higher rates of cancers in humans from the intestines to the PRST STD. U.S. POSTAGE PAID NEWBURYPORT, MA PERMIT NO. 51 ____________ LARGEST DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE NORTH SHORE OF MA & COASTAL NH October 11 - 17, 2017 Vol. 13, No. 50 FREE Reverend Bob Leaving Ezekiel Rogers’ Church Anne and Robert Hagopian By Stewart Lytle, reporter ––––––––––––––––– ROWLEY – The First Congregational Church of Rowley, which was founded in 1639, has some large shoes and fireman’s boots to fill. After 19 years as the church minister and 14 years as the chaplain for the Rowley Fire Department, the Rowley and Newbury police departments, Rev. Robert Hagopian is leaving the pulpit Nov. 5 after a communion service and a reception. The Rowley police and fire departments have refused to accept his resignation as their chaplain. “It has been a blessing and a joy,” Hagopian said. “This congregation has taught me so much. They have taught me who I am.” At 59 years old, Hagopian is retiring only from parish ministry. His twoyear-old hospice ministry with Care Dimensions will continue. Both jobs are physically and emotionally taxing, he said. He believes he cannot continue to do both. “It’s time,” he said last week in an interview with The Town Common. “I’m tired.” Hagopian was invited by the Rowley Fire Department shortly after he became the church minister to serve as its chaplain. He said he expected to be what he called a “banquet chaplain,” saying prayers at a couple of events a year. Then 9/11 happened. “That changed me,” he said, noting that several Rowley residents were impacted directly by the hijacking of the American Airlines Flight 11 that crashed in a Pennsylvania field. He became trained as a critical incident stress manager, which led him to devote additional time ministering with the fire department. The more time he spent with firefighters, the Photo by Stewart Lytle By Stewart Lytle, reporter ––––––––––––––––– The section of contaminated soil on the rail trail. brain. Although toxins have been found in many of the rail trails elsewhere in the state, the city was surprised to find the contaminated soil. Prior to purchasing the old railroad property a decade ago, the city tested it and detected no meaningful contamination. The second phase of the rail trail will run 1.5 miles from the waterfront through south end neighborhoods. The likely source of the PCBs, city officials and consulting experts said, is the Boston to Maine Railroad, which operated through the city from 1836 to 1983. “Old railroad corridors often have some level of contamination,” said Geordie Vining, senior project manager for the city’s Planning Department. The area beside the river was once a railroad depot, and train cars, which used oil that contained You'll "flip" over the digital edition at Providers You Know & Trust… In a Place You Call Home Continued on page 3 POSTAL CUSTOMER Photo by Stewart Lytle Continued on page 3 Newburyport, MA • 978-465-0635 Sat. 9/2: Opening Day Sun. 9/3: Military Appreciation Day - free w\ valid military ID Sat. 9/9, 4p: Cleavage Contest Sat. 9/16, 4p: Vow Renewal Ceremony - Romance Is In The Faire Sat. 9/23, 4p: Game of Thrones costume and trivia contest Sat. 9/30, 4p: Clash of the Tartans: Highland Hunks, Men/Kilts Contest Sat. 10/7, 4p: Harry Potter Trivia & Costume Contest (ages 12+) Sat. 10/14, 4p: Wee Ones Parade for Princes, Princesses, Fairies & Pirates Costume Contest (ages 11 and younger only) Sat. 10/24, 4p: Fantasy Finale Weekend: Adult Costume Contest AJH_CMA_FtPg_09.17.indd 1 9/20/17 9:42 AM