Friday, August 13, 1999
How to stop cell towers now
To the Editor:
Would you like to arrive home from work some evening and discover that a mammoth monopole topped with a wreath of erector-set-type antennas had replaced your usual leafy view? A large community of neighbors in Carlisle soon might be gazing at one of these metallic monstrosities, possibly as high as 190 feet tall, unless Carlisle citizens band together to preserve the character of our town.
Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, local governments cannot prohibit the construction of these ugly towers because this would interfere with the rights of wireless communications companies to do business. However, voters may pass zoning regulations, which address the legitimate concerns of the quality of life of a neighborhood and of the town as a whole.
A wireless communications advisory committee (WCAC) is hard at work analyzing cell tower bylaws recently established by neighboring towns and drafting new and protective cell tower bylaws for Carlisle. The committee is under a time constraint to pull together new bylaws to be voted on at the October Town Meeting, before the six-month moratorium expires in November. If a quorum is not present at Town Meeting, or the new bylaws are not voted in, the town reverts to an older, vastly inadequate set of bylaws.
As an example of why strengthened wireless bylaws are needed, consider what happened recently in Concord. Had citizens not scrambled last winter to upgrade that town's bylaws, their zoning board might not have held the line last week against a major telecommunication company pushing to install a full-power wireless facility on the campus of Middlesex School on Lowell Road.
Whether your concerns reflect public safety or health issues, maintenance of property values, or aesthetics in general, each of us needs to become informed and proactive.
How can you help?
1. Attend any meetings of the zoning board of appeals which deal with applications for cellular antennas. The board's agenda is posted in the Town Hall and is usually in the Mosquito.
2. Most important of all, watch for this fall's Special Town Meeting date and let nothing keep you from attending and voting for new and protective bylaws!
Elizabeth Ridge Road
To the Editor:
Before summer is over, we would like to write and mention once more our annual Old Home Day celebration. Next year, being the millennium, should make for a spectacular, even-grander-than average Old Home Day! However, we need you to make that happen. There are two main ways that you can support Old Home Day before July 4.
One way is to volunteer. All efforts of the day are the efforts of a great volunteer work force of local people. No job is too big or too small! Specifically, for next year we need to find a new chairperson. This is admittedly an involved job, but it can be shared by two people and it comes with lots of support! If you think you may be the one for this special job, please contact us at 371-0826.
The other way to contribute to Old Home Day is through a tax-deductible, monetary donation. Old Home Day breaks even each year, but rarely has "extra" funds available for new materials or new events. Unfortunately, costs associated with the regular running of activities continue to rise with inflation. Please consider sending a contribution any time of the year. Checks can be made out to the Old Home Day Association and mailed in care of treasurer, Dori Davis, 206 Prospect Street, Carlisle.
Once again, we have enjoyed our many years of working on this event and we thank you all for participating in the day!
Shuttle study needs support
To the Editor:
As you know, MAGIC is seeking a "MAGIC Subarea Shuttle Service Study" to assess the feasibility of shuttle service and other alternative transportation and recommend specific action steps. The study would "pave the way" (pun intended) for transportation alternatives that would relieve congestion, make better use of existing commuter rail service, allow more reverse commuting, help employers attract workers, and support economic development while minimizing increased traffic.
Funding for the study is included in the draft Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), currently circulating for public comment.
You can help ensure that the funding is approved in the final UPWP by writing letters of support underscoring how critical the study is to a subregion experiencing very high population and job growth and having minimal public transportation and few options.
Letters should be sent to: Luisa Paiewonsky, Executive Secretary, Boston MPO, CTPS, 10 Park Plaza, Room 2150, Boston, MA 02116 (Attention: UPWP Comments).
Chris and Beth Fielding
© 1999 The Carlisle Mosquito