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Selectmen Ease on Bulldogs, Allow Player Announcements

Team still barred from playing music at games.

The sounds of summer at Morton Field will again include the amplified announcement of semi-pro baseball players, but the music coming from the field will be limited to The Star Spangled Banner. 

The Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday to revoke and amend its that barred the Reading Bulldogs from using amplified sound at its games. 

Under the new ruling, General Manager John Halsey will be allowed to set up speakers at the games, but will be limited to using them to announce players and play the national anthem. 

Previously, Halsey said, the team had played a total of about 60 minutes of amplified sound over a four-hour period. That included music before and after the game, and two minutes of music at each inning change. 

He agreed to the selectmen’s compromise, which he said would reduce the amplification’s duration to about 30 minutes.

The selectmen said the ruling will stand for the remainder of the Bulldogs’ season while the board crafts a more thorough permitting policy for the use of amplified sound at town fields.

“We’re going to use you as the test case,” said Chairman Camille Anthony.

The selectmen’s change in stance came after a to their original ruling.

An article on Reading Patch describing the June 7 vote drew more than 90 comments, and Halsey said that the community’s response left his phone and email box “burning up.”

However, he said some of those calls, comments and emails had “gone sideways,” which was never his intention.

Many of the comments posted online made personal attacks on Selectman Richard Schubert, who had been one of the complaintents who triggered the ruling.

At this week’s meeting, Halsey delivered a petition signed by 313 residents asking the selectmen to revisit its decision.

The original petition which triggered the revocation of the Bulldogs’ sound permit bore 32 signatures.

Karl Weld June 30, 2011 at 03:10 PM
Charlie, I think you're being overly harsh on James & Steve. Ben made it clear he was not going to vote for reconsideration before the new policy was crafted. He then backed off "in an effort to move things forward" and supported Camille's proposal of eliminating the music between innings. I think James & Steve read the situation that there would be no reconsideration if they dug in their heels against Ben. They needed his vote to reinstate any amplified sound at the games immediately, before the new policy is crafted. In essence, they took what they could get.
Donna S. July 01, 2011 at 11:46 PM
Newly formed Reading Action Committee - A number of people commenting on the Patch have expressed interest in being a part of a group of concerned citizens who wanted to be able to address issues that affect Reading residents. Therefore, in an attempt to get some of these people together, I have set up an email account for what I would like to call the newly formed Reading Action Committee. If you would like to be a part of this committee or suggest some issues that need to be addressed, please feel free to email me at the address noted below. Thanks! ReadingAction@gmail.com
David Mancuso July 02, 2011 at 11:51 AM
Hi Donna, It's great to see a group of folks willing to get involved. There is another group in town with a similar mission that formed about two years ago called Making Reading Better. MRB is made up of businesses and residents who want to make a positive impact on Reading's policies and practices, from setting standards for customer service to reducing onerous bylaws. The group includes a number of Town Meeting Members and meets the first Wed. of every month at 7:30 pm at the Depot. All are welcome. Perhaps there are some common issues and goals that Reading Action Committee and MRB can work on together. MRB can be reached at makingreadingbetter@yahoo.com. Dave Mancuso
Donna S. July 02, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Hi David - I was unaware of the MRB group. What I have in mind for the Reading Action Committee is a little different. I would like to find out answers to some questions like why did the Economic Development Committee give the town proceeds we raised at the Fall Street Faire to purchase plants for the downtown to a business in another town. Why didn't they purchase those plants from a greenhouse in Reading? Why aren't they supporting the economic development of those business paying taxes in Reading? This is a question the MRB businesses should be asking the town. I'd also like to know what the town is doing to stop the drug dealing going on in and around Reading. I have witnessed it first hand on my street. Why is the town issuing just citations and not arresting these people? Do we need to get a drug task force involved? What is the Police Department doing to stop the influx of drugs in Reading? Does anyone care? Is anyone being held accountable? What is the town doing to cut down on the huge increase in breakins in town? Do we need to start forming neighborhood watches? The increase in drugs activity is causing a demand for cash which is causing the breakins to happen more and more frequently. I'd like to know what is being done to stop it. Are we going to wait until the guns start coming before doing anything about it? These are the questions that I would like to address immediately.
John Carpenter July 04, 2011 at 02:28 PM
Good call, Peter - As I recall, Mr. Tafoya ran for State Rep (and lost to Brad Jones) before he ran for Selectman. So, Mr. Tafoya's aspirations were clear from the outset. jc

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