All I Want For Christmas Is No Cell Tower at Shady Side Elementary

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BY SHADY SIDE RESIDENT

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the school,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a Seagull;

The cell tower was erected by Milestone without care,

In hopes that 4G and 5G soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their squares,

While visions of logging off helped keep their stares;

And daddy in his johns, and I in my burlap sack,

Had just made ourselves a gingerbread snack.

When out in the woods we hear the noise of the crew,

Another day, and we’ve got another violation or two.

We call our neighbor just to get the 4-1-1.

They’re already ahead of us, on the phone with 3-1-1.

Calling County Inspections, Fire Marshal, anyone who might care,

But rules don’t matter at this point, you think this is fair?

They were so sly, these guys, making their plans,

Getting their wetland determinations during a drought, cuz they can.

These guys were so slick, and we’re not talking St. Nick;

We’re referring to AACPS heads, who couldn’t care a lick.

One by one they voted to build this unwanted thing up:

“Now, Hummer!  Now, Alvi!  Now Corkadel, Leib!

On, Gilleland!  On, Antwine!  Let’s ignore all the pleas.”

“To the top of Idlewilde!  To the point with the pier!

Your Greenway is fine; don’t give us that sneer!

The beauty of the peninsula that once you knew,

Ain’t that big of a deal…the Chesapeake’s still blue?”

Kids ask, “Why at the school would they place such a thing?

Does it help us at all?  Will the phones now ring, ring?”

“Kind of, sort of, was the reply, maybe, can’t say;

Not sure when that brick building makes it hard anyway.”

“Why here at the school by my playground and friends?

Does our community need this, Momma, or is it a trend?”

“Difficult to say, my dear; It’s so sad to see,

We don’t have all the facts; and when asked, all say, ‘Not me.'”

So they jam this thing through – in rain and in sleet,

The culvert is damaged – Oops, did Milestone cheat?

Forest easement is null; they didn’t even need that vote,

County granted a modification; Wow, another lifeboat.

What’s happening here?  What’s that pump they are using?

Was that part of their permit, or is that more wetlands we’re losing?

Fire lane blocked about eight hours each day,

But the Fire Marshal confirmed, that’s the Anne Arundel way!

Unanswered, all of our letters and petitions,

When we refer to them they act like they’re fiction.

Those signatures matter; we pay taxes and care for our land.

We abide by the law and know when to take a stand.

Two pending appeals, including the State Department of Education;

No hearing date set, there’s a pandemic sweeping the nation!

Their priorities are straight, construction must continue;

Hurry up, the new school board’s elected; you only have a small window.

Even if Milestone and Co. buys the board outright,

The Master Lease Agreement can oust them overnight.

Listen to the residents, the scientists, and doctors, too;

Not the corporate bullies and that legal poo poo.

To all my neighbors, teachers, students, and parents, I say with might —

“Happy Christmas to all; don’t give up your fight.”

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