Roundup: Cell Tower, Masks, WTF, …

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The next town controversy may be “Tarpon.”

Tarpon Towers and Cingular Wireless (AT&T) have notified town officials that they’re moving ahead to install a cell tower at 92 Greens Farms Road. The next step in their long process is filing an application with the Connecticut Siting Council.

Tarpon is new — but the location and plan is not. It dates back to 2014. There was plenty of local opposition, based on the proposed height and location at the “gateway” to the beach.

There was also support, based on poor cell coverage in the area.

The proposal faded away. Now it’s back.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe is not a fan. He says, “I am dismayed that this proposal for a cell tower installation at the same location that the Town reviewed seven years ago has returned. At that time, many raised numerous rational and thoughtful reasons why this location was inappropriate, and the proposal was dropped.

“With regard to this new proposal, under the rules of the CSC, I will conduct an initial meeting with Attorney (David) Ball to review the project. The town will also have an opportunity to propose alternative sites. There will also be opportunities for the Planning & Zoning and Conservation Commissions to review and comment on the proposal.

“After the initial meeting and within the statutory time period, a public informational meeting will be held to further discuss the application with the community. Please be assured that we intend to review this proposal carefully with staff and legal counsel, exploring all options and alternatives. I will keep the community informed throughout the process.”

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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Marpe also announced a tweak to Westport’s indoor mask policy. Masks are no longer mandatory in gyms, provided participants remain socially distant. The change does not apply to school gyms. patrons of gyms and athletes to remove their masks whenever they can remain socially distant. The amendment does not cover school settings.

Masks ae no longer required in commercial gyms in Westport — provided patrons are socially distanced.

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Registration begins Wednesday (September 8) for a full array of Wakeman Town Farm programs.

They range from Mommy + Me and preschool to after-school activities for tots and teens. Click here for details of the farm programs; click here for details for culinary programs. (NOTE: When you click “Register,” you’ll need to search on the Parks & Rec website.)

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MoCA Westport sponsors a fun Family Day next Saturday (September 11, noon to 4 p.m.).

Like the current “Between the Ground and the Sky” exhibit, this is a collaboration with the Westport Farmers’ Market. On tap: family-friendly nature-related art projects, including designing and stamping your own tote bag and planting your own herbs in the MoCA garden; live music by Henry Jones; food trucks, and entrance to the exhibit, featuring farms of the Who Grows Your Food program.

Click here for tickets.

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Sorelle Gallery’s retrospective show, featuring works by modern artist Stanley Bate, starts next Saturday (September 11). Click here for details.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is actually a question.

Dawn Henry spotted this creature yesterday at the Rolnick Observatory. She wonders: “What is it?”

Nature-lovers: Click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Dawn Henry)

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And finally … today is the birthday of Google. It was founded on this date in 1998, by Stanford University students Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

 

17 responses to “Roundup: Cell Tower, Masks, WTF, …

  1. That is a mountain lion aka cougar

  2. I believe the cat is a Bobcat.

  3. The cat looks like a Bobcat.

  4. That beautiful creature is a bobcat. There are no mountain lions in CT, aside from any that may pass through the state on very, very rare occasions.

  5. It was my understanding that a mountain lion was killed a couple of years ago on the Merritt, and my wife spotted one around the same time – maybe the same one what that got hit – so they can be found in this area. But that’s not what this is. I’m pretty sure it’s a bobcat.

  6. Celeste Champagne

    As regards the mask policy in Westport, there is no mention of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated–so it applies to all regardless of vaccination status I presume?

  7. It’s a bobcat

  8. No masks required at the Westport Y? Big mistake! It’s not like the risk is lessening; in fact, there are lots of cases of vaccinated people getting Covid. I’ll have to think twice before stepping foot in the Y now.

  9. No masks in the place where people will inhale and exhale deepest.
    That makes no sense whatsoever.
    Who requested this?

  10. Our camera caught one walking down our driveway in Southport around dawn. The Warden confirmed it’s a bobcat

  11. Gillian Anderson

    This looks like the bobcat that I saw once in my garden in the twilight a couple of years ago, slowly emerging from the woods about 30 feet away; it took a long unhurried look at me and disappeared into the undergrowth. I recognize the characteristic tufted ears and beautiful distinctive markings.

  12. What is the science behind the decision to allow maskless indoor exercising? You can get–and spread–Covid, especially the delta variant, even if you’re vaccinated. This is nuts.

    • And you can get and spread covid with most face coverings. Real masks, such as n95, and better, give you a better chance (but would be difficult to work out in). I’d say mask or no mask, vaccinated or not vaccinated, the risk for transmission in a workout setting is significant. At this point, if people want to work out, they should at least understand the risk, and be allowed to take the risk, if thats what they want. Same goes for dining. And plenty of other things…

  13. The cell tower is a huge issue. Cell towers are becoming outdated. 5th Generation Service (5G) requires shorter transmission distances, hence any new cell tower, 125 feet high or taller, has no role in 5G. There are people who experience loss of service as they walk outdoors along Soundview and Hillspoint Rd. talking on their cell phones. Some of those problems can be relieved by a different carrier, e.g. T Mobile versus AT&T and none of the issues have relevance to someone in his or her home. An issue might arise during an emergency. However, those concerns, assuming they exist, should not result in the support of this proposed Cell Tower by anyone who is sensitive to the beauty of Westport and especially the beauty of experiencing an unbroken tree line horizon when looking from our beach areas north.

    The battle has begun and First Selectman Marpe appears to be on board to do all that he and the Town can to prevent this monstrous structure on private land. I expect the candidates for First Selectperson, Jonathan Steinberg and Jen Tooker will also commit to seeking to prevent this Cell Tower. Mr. Steinberg has already gone on record in opposition. The one comment I have read from Ms. Tooker includes a concern for those who may not get cell service along the beach areas. I hope Ms. Tooker comes to realize that those inconveniences may be correctible without a Cell Tower at this site and certainly do not justify being addressed in this manner. Again, 5G service does not use cell towers and existing transmission services using communication boxes on telephone poles also eliminate the need for a cell tower.

    Don Bergmann

    • What do you mean no relevance in ones home? Cell phone signal is definitely important. People use cell phones to communicate/work during emergencies, when ISP is crap/down, alarm systems use it, cameras use, remote monitoring for power out/generators, high water, etc. Many ISPs have abandoned their backup batteries and generators (even cell towers too), so we lose all communication when the power goes out. It wasn’t like that years ago. Cablevision did a good job maintaining the batteries and placing generators. Altice doesn’t give a crap. Not too mention, their fiber service requires power along the way, unlike FIOS. I feel like we are taking steps backwards and not forwards.

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