Reading Flag Football League Needs OK for Music and Outdoor Seating Approved at Zinga

Reading Selectmen to hold hearing Sept. 25.

One group’s music might be neighbors’ noise.

Music reportedly added atmosphere at the opening games of a new flag football league this past Saturday evening at a Birch Meadow field, but the league for students through sixth graders needs a permit for a DJ and music at the rest of its games.

Under the town’s amplified sound rules, the Recreation Committee approved a request from the group to use sound equipment once, on opening night.

But under those rules, “The use of amplified sound is not intended to be a routine for recurring events, such as play by play announcements for sporting events and other repeated use of music and amplified sound.”

The Board of Selectmen can grant a variance of that rule after a hearing.

Even with a full agenda at their next meeting, the selectmen will hold the hearing this coming Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m., Selectmen Chairman Stephen Goldy told Patch last evening. Abutters will be notified by Friday, Goldy said.

Flag football games are scheduled from 4 to 7:30 p.m.  on Sept. 22 and 29; Oct. 6, 13 and 27; and Nov. 3 and 10.

The “Saturday night lights” games are intended to be a family event, Jim Murphy, one of three local league organizers, told the selectmen.

The league has drawn more than 200 students, according to Carl McFadden, another league organizer, and has a waiting list. Interest is growing, Murphy said, because of concussions caused by contact football.  McFadden’s son suffered a severe concussion, McFadden told Patch Wednesday.

The league would be respectful of neighbors, he said, with the music volume.

“We’re trying to create an atmosphere,” said McFadden. “We’re not looking for a rock concert.”

Selectman James Bonazoli said he couldn’t hear the league from the former Imagination Station site on Birch Meadow Drive, opposite the Coolidge Middle School.

The town’s sound rules define unreasonable sound as “plainly audible at a distance of 100 feet from its source by a person of normal hearing.”

Residents of the Poets’ Corner neighborhood, which includes Whittier Road, have talked about the amount of sound generated at the fields, not just the volume, commented Selectman Rick Schubert.

Amplified sound is not intended to be used routinely, Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner told the selectmen. Beware, he said, of setting precedents.

Using a sound system just for announcements, and not a DJ, wouldn’t be worth the money, Murphy said.

Until the hearing, “We’re going to yell,” McFadden said, “really loud.”

Sidewalk seating approved for Zinga

In other action, the selectmen approved placing tables and seats for 15 people on the new public sidewalk “bump out” outside of 30 Haven St. for the new Zinga frozen yogurt store. The town needs more information in writing before the tables and chairs can be put out. They can remain outside until Oct. 31. Before umbrellas are added to the tables, Zinga owners would have to contact the town manager first, Hechenbleikner said, to be sure the umbrellas are safe.

Alex T. September 20, 2012 at 04:52 PM
This is the same Carl McFadden that sat down at the Reading Bulldogs game two summers ago to make sure that they didnt play any music at the behest of Camille Anthony. What a hypocrite he is. Were the Bulldogs looking for a "rock concert" or just some atmosphere?
Mr White September 20, 2012 at 05:13 PM
@ Priscilla Ryan, What exactly are the "snide comments" to which you refer? Was there a post removed that I missed? Please advise. MW
Mr White September 20, 2012 at 05:22 PM
The BoS just posted their September 25, 2012 meeting agenda which includes the following item: Discussion/Action Items a. Hearing – Use of Amplified Sound at Hollingsworth Field 7:30pm I would suggest all those interested in how Reading makes it sausage to attend this meeting and be ready to offer your $0.02. If you don't participate or don't vote, don't complain. Be heard. Make a difference. MW
Carl September 20, 2012 at 06:13 PM
John September 20, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Quite clearly they were looking to create some atmosphere, plain and simple.
John September 20, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Apparently Ms. Ryan considers "Schubert and his friends" a snide comment...she can interpret it any way she wants, the fact is that because of ONE selectperson (a Birch Meadow neighbor), a decision made by the Rec Comm was reversed, period
Phanny September 20, 2012 at 06:39 PM
dont listen to nothin' mcfadden says
Tom Jeffords September 20, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Residents of the Poets’ Corner neighborhood, which includes Whittier Road, have talked about the amount of sound generated at the fields, not just the volume, commented Selectman Rick Schubert. Selectman Schubert should recuse himself from this entire discussion as he was the lead whiner concerning the "excessive noise" at Morton Field.
Mr White September 20, 2012 at 07:03 PM
@ Tom Jeffords Looking forward to permanently recusing Dick Schubert at next years BoS election. MW
Dave Miskinis September 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Phanny...Carl has given much of his time and financial support to youth and high school sports in Reading. What do you have to offer to your town besides drivel?
John September 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Dave, there lies the problem with Carl, because of his past financial generosity, he has always had strings attached and you and everyone else realizes that. As far as giving of his time to support sports in Reading, which is commendable and muchly appreciated, he is one of hundreds who do the same thing year in and year out. None of this should entitle him to any preferential treatment. Pretty ironic that his mom-in-law was the most outspoken selectperson, against amplified sound (along with her bridge partner Schubert). The next BoS meeeting will be must see TV for sure!!!
Dave Miskinis September 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM
John, since you seem to be in the know, can you be more specific about some of the "strings" that have been attached because contrary to what you say and assume, I do not know of any. Also, please let us know what preferential treatments he has been given, because I personally don't know of those either and I know the man. I support my family members all the time, whenever I can. Is that all of a sudden a crime in Reading or something to be criticized about? I also must have missed where Phanny criticized the other several hundred people who donate their time and money, as you say. Please, stop with the personal attacks and innuendos.
John September 21, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Dave you have obviously misinterpreted much of what I have said. I never accused Phanny of criticizing anyone, never mind volunteers. I never said that he has received preferential treatment of any kind in the past, I'm speaking to the amplified sound variance of which he is currently seeking.
Dave Miskinis September 21, 2012 at 04:27 PM
John, Thanks for validating that you have nothing to back up your criticism.
Joe September 21, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Carl attaches strings to everything. Ask him tonight at the football game. That is, if they'll let you in the press box to see him.
Dave Miskinis September 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
It appears that pettiness is your strong suit.
John September 21, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Whatever Dave, just keep believing what you want, but don't go digging into his past, you will definitely come up with things that will enlighten you, trust me on that. But what do I know, nothing according to you. Maybe some of the others that are making comments that you don't agree with will go into more detail for you....
John September 21, 2012 at 06:00 PM
Be careful, his apologist Dave is here to deny any and all wrong doings.
John September 21, 2012 at 06:01 PM
BTW, not sure he "owns" much of anything these days....
John Halsey September 25, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I think the point of the new flag football league to offer instructional recreation with diminished risk is great. The league's interest in creating a festive and inviting atmosphere during the games fits today's audience and player. The music and announcing add in a very big way to the experience. This is important because everything we can do to have families together and kids involved in positive activities is good for them and ultimately good for our community. I hope the BOS recognizes the chance to do something positive with this group who is just trying to use this public venue to its fullest. I sincerely hope this group is granted the variance and the permit it requests.
Dan September 25, 2012 at 05:33 PM
This is an argument about allowing little kids to have music and announcers at a flag football game? And there are people against this? That's just selfish.
Susan P September 25, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Mostly its just Rick and Vicky Shubert (and I think Lori Weir as well) whom caused all of this uproar over amplified sound at wholesome sporting events but the vast majority have no problem with it including Birch Meadow neighbors.
John Halsey September 26, 2012 at 06:31 AM
Common sense wins out.........Flag Football is granted the permit variance they requested! Glad that a majority of our Selectmen have chose to give fun a chance! Enjoy the season........!!!!!!!!
Dave Miskinis September 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Kids/wholesome fun/sports/community 1, cranks 0 !!!!
peter lucci September 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Once again Dave you come on here and resort to name calling. Cranks??? The Bulldogs team/management got screwed and you know it. Have you ever attended a Bulldogs game? Kids/wholesome fun/sports community, all apply with Bulldog games also. Before the Schuberts pulled the plug on them, those games were a great "event". Noise is noise, whether it's generated at flag football games or baseball games. I would expect Mr. Halsey and his organization to be seeking a well deserved variance for next season, the precedent has been set, go get em John!!!
Bill Kuechly September 26, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I guess there will be "unintended consequences" from McFaddens standpoint now that he has opened the path for others down at Birch Meadow...no more Sunday dinners at mommy in-laws either now that he messed up her bridge partners wishes.
Dave Miskinis September 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Peter, can I send you a box of Kleenex?
peter lucci September 26, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Sure you can Dave, but I'm thinking that you're the one that will need the Kleenex when you're done with your buddy.
Laura Savage-Carr September 26, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Are baseball and football games that bad that they need music for atmosphere?
Dave Miskinis September 27, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Common sense and fun win the day in Reading.


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