News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
11.1K views | +6 today
Follow
News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

5G DAS Wireless: Not in Our Back Yard or Front Yard, Say Doylestown Residents

5G DAS Wireless: Not in Our Back Yard or Front Yard, Say Doylestown Residents | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

… it came as a shock when the van Rijns [Doylestown residents] returned from work about six weeks ago to find an orange construction cone and spray-painted markings in one corner of their front yard. What was that? they asked.

 

The answer came in a call the next day to Doylestown Township Manager Stephanie Mason: Telecom infrastructure firm Crown Castle was putting a new 48-foot-tall small cell antenna [aka Distributed Antennae Systems or DAS] in their public right-of-way, replacing a lamppost. Four times taller than the existing lamppost as permitted, the pole would be topped with an antenna to broaden wireless coverage in the Doylestown Township area and could be upgraded to superfast 5G.

 

Welcome, homeowners, to the leading edge of the next telecom wireless wave: small cell antennas, many of which will go on existing utility poles but others that will need new poles.

 

Already there are more than 1,800 small cell antennas in Philadelphia — with thousands more expected in the city — and discussions over them have occurred in the Main Line towns of Lower Merion and Radnor. Telecom firms and companies such as Crown Castle could install more than one million small cell antennas over the next decade nationwide, even as homeowners fear lower property values and local government officials say they will lose zoning control over rights-of-way in their municipalities.

 

Using the public rights-of-way — as electric companies do — saves money for telecom companies that don’t have to buy land, and then have it properly zoned and permitted, for big cellular towers to broaden wireless coverage for more bars on smartphones. In support of small cell antennas, the wireless industry and local officials say that many residents would like more robust wireless coverage and fewer dropped calls.

 

Small cell antennas also will lead to super-fast 5G services. The Trump administration has said that the United States has to be a global leader in 5G, beating China in this key field. 5G service will lead to driverless cars, industry officials say. It also is expected to enhance telemedicine, giving caregivers many more ways to track and help patients. Wireless companies say they will offer high-speed internet services over super-fast broadband networks to compete with Comcast and other cable companies.

 

“We didn’t change the rules,” Township Manager Mason said, noting that Crown Castle applied for the permits for the small cell antennas in March. “The rules changed on us. This is in the right-of-way and we have been told that we don’t control that anymore.”

 

Related Stories:

johnmacknewtown's insight:

To help bring you up to speed on this extremely important topic, please go to the5Gsummit.com, and listen for free to what 40 highly regarded experts inclusive of scientists, medical practitioners and lawyers from around the world have to say on the 5G subject. Further, please look at the Bio-initiative Report 2012 (updated 2017) - A Rationale for Biologically-based Public Exposure Standards for Electromagnetic Fields (ELF and RF) bioinitiative.org and Physicians for Safe Technology – 5G Mobile Communications mdsafetech.org.

No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Doylestown Voted the Best Small Town Based on Cultural Offerings in Art, Entertainment, and History

Doylestown Voted the Best Small Town Based on Cultural Offerings in Art, Entertainment, and History | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

USA Today on Friday declared the borough the winner of a nationwide contest ranking towns with a population of less than 30,000 based on their offerings of the arts, entertainment and history.

 

Cory Amsler, vice president of collections and interpretation at the Mercer Museum, said he wasn’t surprised by the news that Doylestown came out on top.

 

“Over the years, Doylestown has really transformed from what was once a fairly sleepy community into a cultural destination. And we are excited to be a part of it,” he added in an email Friday.

 

After 20 finalists, also including Media and Manayunk, were selected by a panel of experts gathered by USA Today, the top 10 were chosen by online voting from the public.

 

 

The top 10 winners in the category Best Small Town Cultural Scene are as follows:

 

  1. Doylestown, Pennsylvania
  2. Point Pleasant, West Virginia
  3. Tarpon Springs, Florida
  4. Staunton, Virginia
  5. Media, Pennsylvania
  6. Paducah, Kentucky
  7. Easton, Maryland
  8. Traverse City, Michigan
  9. Guthrie, Oklahoma
  10. York, South Carolina
johnmacknewtown's insight:

How about a new name for Newtown's "Village at Newtown Shopping Center"? I like: Newtown Dining & Culture Center?.The new amphitheater next to soon to be opened Iron Hill Brewery could be a cultural center  offering live music, art, poetry readings, etc.

No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene"

Doylestown, Media, Manayunk up for USA Today's "Best Small Town Cultural Scene" | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Some Philadelphia-area locales are topping a nationwide contest for "Best Small Town Cultural Scene."

Here's how USA Today describes the choices:

"Bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to these 20 small towns, each with a population of fewer than 30,000 people (as of the last census). What each lacks in size it makes up for with a big cultural punch - museums, art galleries, performing arts and busy event calendars."

Doylestown, Bucks County is currently No. 1. You can vote here.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

What about Newtown? We have to do more to get some recognition and respect - perhaps after the Village at Newtown "Shopping" [Fine Dining?] Center is complete the Township can help promote it as part of a New Newtown - A Great Place to Live, Work, Worship and Have a Great Time Out! And let's work with the Borough too in a coordinated campaign! We won't get listed in such contests without a planned, coordinated community effort. I'll have to talk to our local business associations about this.

No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Doylestown Borough Budget Talks Propose Fee Increases Rather Than Tax Hikes

Doylestown Borough Budget Talks Propose Fee Increases Rather Than Tax Hikes | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Doylestown Borough’s first 2019 budget meeting Thursday had council members apparently favoring fee increases over a tax hike to cover a projected $388,000 shortfall in next year’s general fund balance.

Most of the “modest” permit and fee increases raised by Borough Manager John Davis during Thursday’s three-hour meeting were generally $5 to $10 changes for event and special parking permit fees, some which haven’t been raised in over a decade.

“A lot of these fees — over the years — we’ve been reluctant to raise them, because individually they wouldn’t generate significant revenue,” Davis told members of borough council and finance committee.

Much of the gap between projected revenues and spending comes from increases in the borough’s portion of the Central Bucks Regional Police Department budget, which Borough Manager John Davis said was about 4.43 percent higher than last year.

While the regional police budget is not expected to be finalized until later this month, Mayor Ron Strouse said the increase in the department’s budget was in part due to a more accurate projection of overtime costs, but an increase in police pension costs also contributed to the spike.

Davis added that projected revenues in 2019 are about half a percent lower compared to this year, partly due to an underwhelming real estate market.

Borough officials are expected to continue reviewing future challenges to keep its projected $4.7 million capital projects reserve fund stable.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

Interesting. Newtown Township budget talks begin Monday, October 15, 2018. The Newtown Twp Manager will present a draft of the 2019 budget to the Board of Supervisors. The final budget must be approved by December 31, 2018. This important meeting will also be televised live and can later be viewed via channel 22 on Comcast Xfinity and Chanel 40 on Verizon FIOS. See the rebroadcast schedule for the days and times: http://www.newtownpa.gov/newtown-township-board-of-supervisors/#

No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Doylestown Council Approves Resolution Against Separating Immigrant Children from Their Parents

Doylestown Council Approves Resolution Against Separating Immigrant Children from Their Parents | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

Council members received applause Monday evening after they unanimously approved a resolution opposing the “zero tolerance” approach to immigration, under which an identified 2,654 migrant children were taken from their parents following illegal U.S.-Mexico border crossings.

 

In their resolution, Doylestown Borough officials accused the Trump administration of pursuing the “zero tolerance” policy “to deter families from entering the United States and as a bargaining chip to force a broader immigration agenda that limits legal immigration.”

 

The borough resolution also includes provisions sympathetic to migrant families, saying “criminalizing all immigrants who have fled the violence and poverty in their homelands undermines due process” and “misrepresents the motives and aspirations of the vast majority of immigrants who take seriously the inscription on the Statue of Liberty — Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’”

 

Comprehensive immigration reform is imperative, borough officials noted, but should not be achieved at the expense of children’s welfare. They called in their resolution for Congress and federal officials to commit to “good faith negotiations” so that reform can ”(honor) due process, (preserve) the value of family reunification, (adhere) to international human rights principles and (acknowledge) the root causes compelling immigration.”

 

The borough also called on Gov. Tom Wolf and other Pennsylvania officials to ensure no state resources are used “in any way to support or facilitate” family separations.

 

Wolf was among a handful of state governors to agree, saying in late June he would not deploy National Guard troops to further the “zero tolerance” policy.

 

Borough Manager John Davis said  said he was not aware of any other municipalities that had approved and mailed similar resolutions concerning the immigration policy.

No comment yet.
Scooped by johnmacknewtown
Scoop.it!

Doylestown Waged Big Battle Against Small Cells. Did It Win or Lose? DAS is the Question!

Doylestown Waged Big Battle Against Small Cells. Did It Win or Lose? DAS is the Question! | News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents | Scoop.it

When Verizon Communications Inc. proposed dozens of small wireless cells [Distributed Antennae Systems or DAS] along streets in Doylestown Borough, the reaction was a defiant no.

 

Residents thought the boxy equipment that sprouted five-foot antennas on traffic lights or telephone poles would mar the borough's Norman Rockwell charm, along with the artsy aura of its Victorian homes.

 

Pa.’s 5G wireless bill stirs up fears that it will cater to telecom and gut towns’ zoning

Others feared for their health with intensive 5G wireless services zapping them.

 

Doylestown officials spent $150,000, held 10 public hearings and fought the small cell proposal in state and federal courts over more than a year, defending their right to say where the small cells would go — a David-vs.-Goliath tale of a small Pennsylvania town taking on a big corporation.

 

"We didn't feel they had the right to come and do what they want," council president Jack O'Brien said Monday.

 

When Doylestown finally settled the case last month, the town won the right to reduce the number of poles and camouflage and relocate some of them. It also surprisingly won a share in the revenues from each cell.

 

But the borough's victory may be hard for other towns to replicate, as telecom companies are canvassing Pennsylvania towns to locate thousands of new wireless cells for the new 5G high-speed mobile networks.

 

State lawmakers are considering [Bill 1620] that would largely strip municipalities of zoning oversight when telecom companies seek permits for small cells on utility poles and traffic lights. If enacted, the measure also sets small fees — from $25 to $100 — for small cell permitting.

johnmacknewtown's insight:

According to the Bucks County Association of Township Officials:

 

House Bill 1620 gives wireless providers the right, as a permitted use, not subject to zoning review or approval, to collocate wireless facilities and to construct, modify, maintain and operate utility poles, wireless support structures, conduits, cables and related appurtenances and facilities: in any public right of way in any zoning district and along, across, upon and under the ROW. It also permits such facilities outside the right of way on property not zoned exclusively for single-family residential use. This Bill included the following representatives from our area: Dick Miccarelli, Frank Farry, Gene DiGirolamo and Thomas Murt.

 

The outcome of the Commonwealth Court Crown Castle case, the Doylestown Borough Zoning Hearing Board appeal and action on HB 1620 will have a substantial impact, beyond current federal and state law, on a municipality’s ability to regulate these mini-cell towers in the future. Municipalities wishing to develop a strategy for addressing the telecommunications industry’s push to limit local involvement in DAS decisions should consult their Solicitors.

No comment yet.
Curated by johnmacknewtown
I am a retired small businessman who has lived in Newtown Township PA since 1995. The opinions expressed here are solely mine and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Other Topics
Good Government
A good government is an open government where transparency reigns supreme. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Human Relations
This board is dedicated to promoting the value of diversity and addressing discrimination based on age, race, color, gender, religion, creed, culture, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, ancestry, national origin and disability. These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
News of Interest to Newtown Area Residents
These Scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. Please click on the "From" link to access the full original article. Any opinions and "insights" appended to these article summaries are solely those of John Mack and do not represent the opinions of any other person or entity.
Newtown Twp Board of Supervisors Business
These scoops include summaries of Newtown Board of Supervisors (BOS)  public meetings meetings based on official minutes and/or audio and video recordings. Also included is information about ordinances, resolutions, etc. passed by the BOS.
Public Health & Safety
These scoops are excerpts from articles published in local newspapers and other sources. They focus on public health issues such as opioid addiction, water and air quality, environmental issues, emergency services, traffic, crime, etc.