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Volume 7 Number 39 April 9, 2010 16 Pages
Sunrise at the Pond
Over Five Percent of Windham’s Population
Sign Petition Against Cell Tower Construction
It all began with a certified letter.
by Doug Robinson
Te sky was red as members of the First Congregational Church, UCC of Pelham gathered at Harris Pelham Inn for an Easter worship
by Len Lathrop
Members of the First Congregational Church, UCC, gathered quietly starting around 5:30 a.m. at the Harris Pelham Inn
Sunday for Easter worship services scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Reverend Bill Ferguson greeted everyone arriving with a “Happy Easter” and a simple, understated “Isn’t this weather different from last year; remember how cold it was?” The congregation was drawn to the edge of Harris Pond, where the still water added to the sanctity of the darkness of the call to worship. As the song “Were You There?” was being sung by the congregation, the day began to dawn, and the skies in the east were ablaze with red from the sun. And by the point in the service where Mariah Webster read the Gospel of Mark, 16:1-8, light was upon those gathered. The wooden cross by the pond stood out against the blue waters as those in celebration celebrated the Rising of Christ from death with a renewal of Baptism vows and the sacrament of Holy Communion. As the Light of Day was on the water of the pond, “Alleluia, Alleluia” and “Amen” was heard as people left the celebration.
The certified letter sent from the Town of Windham stated that Cellco Partners (DBA Verizon Wireless) would be seeking a variance to re-zone the property next to his (4 Beacon Hill Road) from residential to commercial. Should this variance be passed by Windham’s Zoning Board of Appeals, then Cellco Partners would be in the position to erect the proposed 150-foot monopole cell tower, including a dozen 4 x 8- foot panels attached. “My six-year- old bedroom window will be looking directly at the 150-foot tower, which will be only 650 feet from my home,” stated Windham resident Joel Dubé, who resides at 4 Beacon Hill Road.
fourth cell tower in Windham was not necessary, especially constructed 750 feet from Dubé’s daughter’s bedroom window. “The proposed facility is designed to
improve coverage in the northern area of Windham, around I-93 and North Lowell Road. Verizon has selected the property because of its location and its clear line of sight around northern Windham. Verizon is confident that the facility will be an important part of the enhancement of Verizon’s existing wireless service in the Windham area, providing improved coverage along I- 93 and the surrounding town roads and neighborhoods,” stated Cellco Attorney Hildreth during the Zoning Board of Adjustment Hearing. “From 1995 to 2009, the amount of wireless subscribers in the United States has gone from 28 million to 280 million users. The percentage of the population who are subscribers has gone from 11 percent to 89 percent, and the number of cell tower sites has gone from just under 20,000 to 250,000,” stated Hildreth.
Hildreth did not validate how many Dubé, along with nearly 700 residents
of Windham, have signed a petition in opposition of the proposed Zoning Board of Adjustment Variance, which would authorize Cellco Partners to erect the 150-foot cell tower. Dubé and his attorney researched in excess of 100 pages of documentation, which had been filed with the Town of Windham by Cellco Partners, in an effort to support their position that an a
Verizon customers would be affected by an additional cell tower erected at the location at question. His testimony did state that a NH Department of Transportation (DOT) Traffic Study was submitted, showing that traffic counts on I-93 in 2009 between Exits 3 and 4 carried 70,000 cars; however, the amount of those cars driven by Verizon users was not provided by Hildreth. Cellco’s armada of attorneys testified that their intent was to build a 150-foot monopole in a 75 x 75-foot area of the 13-acre parcel, roughly in the center of the site. The property is in the Rural District and contains a residence. The site will be surrounded by a six-foot high
Continued to page 7 - Tower
to Know the ‘Feasibility’ of Shared Sewage System
Daylight illuminates on the water of Harris Pond behind the simple, wooden cross
Te Reverend Bill Ferguson (left) was assisted in the Sunrise Service by Connor Patterson, Mariah Webster, Alyssa Lamport, Rebecca Collins, and Taylor Patterson
by Robyn Hatch
Pelham Elementary School recently held a performance of the New England Percussion Ensemble to its students. The PTA sponsored this fast- moving event. The unique and energetic
program was a blend of information, performance, and hands-on audience participation, which engaged the audience physically, emotionally, and intellectually. Eyes, ears, and minds were opened by the many musical possibilities of percussion, and the notion that percussion is “just drums” is forever changed. The audience members traveled through a journey of time, which conjured up the image of early mankind using singing and body movement. Plastic tubes of different lengths, trash bags snapped in the air, and newspapers were torn in time to a stomping accompaniment.
by Barbara O’Brien
A public sewage system for portions
of Windham? It’s not a new concept, but one that has recently moved to the forefront, as the result of the ongoing construction along Route 93, particularly in the area of Exit 3. Many town and state officials think that this would be the perfect time to install conduits under the highway project; pipes that could eventually be tied into a public septic system, maybe even the one that is used by the Town of Salem.
In order to better ascertain the feasibility of Windham hooking into Salem’s sewage system, Windham selectmen met jointly with their counterparts from Salem on March 29. Salem is part of the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, which is located on the Merrimack River in Massachusetts. “We have a unique opportunity
Megan Rooney, Ellie Goyette, and Jessica Anderson
The journey traveled from the familiar to the unfamiliar with imagination, inventiveness, and creativity. African dance rhythms, a cracking Brazilian samba, a violin bow on metal were new sights and new sounds—some loud and spirit-shaking, some soft and haunting. The audience hands-on ensemble concludesd with total participation. In addition to the collection of ethnic instruments, the ensemble even introduced the exciting world of electronic percussion.
All in all, curiosity and imaginations were tweaked.
Te Ensemble with some of the instruments
here,” Windham Selectmen Chairman Charles McMahon said, adding that he has always thought that a public works project should be tied to the Route 93 highway project. It would be less expensive to install the conduits while the area is already dug up, he said. Windham has already completed the first phase of a feasibility study and is interested in moving forward to the second phase. Underwood Engineers, Inc. of
Portsmouth conducted the first portion of the feasibility study. The study was contracted in October 2008, with the final report presented to town officials this past November. The study was funded by the Community Technical Assistance Program (CTAP), which set aside money to help communities affected by the widening of the I-93 corridor between the Massachusetts state line and Manchester. “The highway construction is having a serious impact on this area, particularly on Canobie Lake and Cobbetts Pond,” McMahon said. CTAP awarded $5,000 to Windham for phase one of the feasibility study.
“CTAP money is available to do the
next level of study as well,” McMahon said. Were the second phase of the study to be undertaken, another $20,000 would be available, but only if that study is done jointly with another community. “Discussions on the next level of study should at least be had,” Salem Selectman Everett McBride said. McBride did say, however, that Salem has already done a similar study, one which was updated just three years ago. He also said that Salem is in the process of making a grant application that will allow adding more homes to the existing septic system along Salem’s westside interceptor.
According to McBride, the connection fee for new sewer service is currently $7,500 per home, while hooking up a home to the water system costs $4,500 per home. “It’s a bargain,” McBride said, in comparison to what it would cost a homeowner to install a well and septic system on private property. Salem puts an average of three million gallons of sewage into the system per day at a cost of approximately $2.2 million per year. It is estimated that Windham would add about 317,000 gallons per day if portions of the town were to be hooked into Salem’s system. Frank Underwood, President of Underwood Engineers, referred to Salem and its 1974 study, one that eventually led to that town hooking into the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District, rather than building its own septic disposal system. “It was a win-win situation for all the involved communities,” Underwood said.
Although mention of Windham is made in the 36-year-old Salem study, Underwood said that reference was basically “by default.” Windham was not at all pro-active at the time, he said. “Windham is just a footnote in these studies.” The areas included in the study that directly affect Windham are Cobbetts Pond, Shadow Lake, and Canobie Lake.
Continued to page 10 -Sewage
HUDSON, NH 03051
PERMIT NO. 33 Postal Customer
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