The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on June 11, 2000 · 416
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 416

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 11, 2000
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16 North THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOflE JUNE 11, 2000 North Weekly Waiting for smoke to clear in Saugus Opinion Make no mistake about It. This is a case of one man's trash being another man's treasure. At stake; $23 million a year that could be generated by the addition of a third burner at the Refuse En- ergy Systems Co. trash-to-energy " incinerator in Saugus. At risk: the health of North Shore residents, not to mention an environmentally sensitive marsh. " It is about the money. It always is about the money. By adding a third burner, RESCO stands to process 50 percent more trash. At $85 per ton, with an additional 750 tons being burned every day, it means grossing an extra $63,750 a day at an incinerator plant and ash landfill complex that is already the largest in the United States. Add-ng another burner is projected to place the plant at the top of the pantheon of all refuse incinerator dumps, the largest in the world. The landfill that takes the ash generated by RESCO's incinerator was originally expected to be closed pnd capped in 1996, It is now expected to reach capacity by 2006. Right now, that unlined landfill accepts 300 tons of ash a day. The mounds rise as high as 40 feet above sea level, However, if RESCO receives permission to extend the landfill permit another 20 years and to increase its capacity to 90 feet high, it would permit the fandfill to reach the equivalent of a nine-story building, jj At this point, no expansion is possible because of a state-imposed moratorium, which has been in place since the early 1990s. However, the state's solid-waste master plan is currently being reviewed and a report is due next month. If the Department of Environmental protection finds an increased need for trash-to-energy incineration, jjie moratorium could be lifted - E'ving the green light for RESCO continue its expansion campaign, ! The Cellucci administration, which recently made headlines and Earned praise for holding older energy plants like the one in Salem to modern emission standards, is curiously noneommital when asked about lifting the moratorium on ash-to-energy plants, "The mitigating circumstance is if we need more capacity for solid waste - we can't leave the stuff in the street or jn people's yards," said Doug Pizzi, Spokesman for the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, "If there js a need for more capacity, then we need to go forward and decide how e have to handle that," j There is an increasing number of North Shore residents who fear that the way RESCO would like to handle that need is by burning $,250 tons of trash a day instead of 1,500, much of it trucked in from Boston. And they are worried what that expansion might mean to their lungs, water supply, health and environment, "Saugus is bearing the weight of having both the air emissions as well as the toxic ash being dumped at the same site. That typically does not happen," said Debra Panetta, president of Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment, which was founded in 1973 when RESCO first moved to town. Already, between 1990 and 1995, there were overall cancer rates higher than what should be expected in Saugus and in the surrounding communities of Revere, Lynn, Marblehead, Winthrop, and Swampscott, In the same period, higher-than-expected lung cancer rates were reported in Saugus, Maiden, Revere, Lynn, and Winthrop. Opponents, which have grown to include the Haverhill Environmental League and Clean Water Action, contend that RESCO and its parent company, Wheelabrator Technologies, Inc., are trying to pressure the governor to lift the moratorium. Furthermore, they claim RESCO is attempting to buy its third burner, dangling $2 million in taxes (in addition to the $2 million it already pays the town) and free trash pickup as a carrot in the faces of taxpayers. Sounds sweet, but what few people understand is how much tax revenue might be lost if the landfill remains open. The 276-plus acres that make up the ash dump are assessed at just $113,000, yielding about $4.76 per acre per year in property taxes. If the dump were closed, capped and turned into an industrial park, such as the one in Peabody, the town could collect millions of additional tax dollars, "Supporting another 20 years of ash dumping if all the town ever receives is $4.76 an acre makes the current RESCO $2 million look like pennies in the bank," said Peter Manoogian, who sits on the Saugus finance committee and is a member of Saugus Action Volunteers for the Environment, RESCO recently did a survey of Saugus residents that officials claim indicates that 92 percent of the respondents said they want RESCO to submit a comprehensive proposal to the town to explain its upgrade plans. The results have been criticized as misleading since nowhere in the telephone survey was there a mention of "third burner," "90 feet above sea level" or the question: "Would you support making the largest ash dump in the US the largest in the world?" It is all about the money: Who's got it, who gets to make more of it and who pays a price for that profit Anne Driseoll is a regular contribU' tor to North Weekly. Her e-ma il address is:, STr I 1 u it -flitS 5v f rv 1 -y v : 7 have stolen a line here or there from my children's friends. I drive them places and listen and think, "Oh, what a great line. "I take it home and copy it down and wait for the right moment to use it ' ELLEN WITTLINGER, author of young adult novel S ri r irp tV Th:TqJ J: ff pf- v"-Sk ,.-Ji Z i i i i r i '"' ' ' i fell- NN f""". ! !: .. 'I .jL--w,: ill sX IK y& w, '. I L . A J .Gs. . ''Hiil iM. Jm a 1 I hi . 1 GLObt SlArr PHOTO DAVID U RYAN Ellen Wittllnger's novel for young adults 'Hard Love" won the Lambda Literary Award for best young adult novel of 1999 and was chosen' ' as best book of 1999 by the School Library Journal. h Telling teen tales By Wendy Killeen GLOBE CORRESPONDENT SWAMPSCOTT - Few novels for young adults have characters who are gay, and those that do usually focus on the difficulties of coming out "Hard Love" is different "I wanted a character who was already over that and comfortable with who she was," said author Ellen Witt-linger, 51, a former children's librarian in Swampscott who, since 1994, has written a series of successful novels for young adults. "Hard Love" recently won the Lambda Literary Award for best young adult novel of 1999, a tribute Witt-linger accepted in Chicago on June 1. "It feels great for me to have that recognition," she said. "I am not a gay person, yet they must feel the character is real," The book was named an honor recipient for the American Library Association Michael Printz Award, a newly established category for young adult fiction that is on a par with the Newberry Award for children's books and the Caldecott Medal for illustration, And it was chosen by the School Library Journal as best book of 1999. "Hard Love" is about a friendship between a 17-year- Drawingon humor and life experience, former children's librarian EUen Wittlinger is writing novels about teenagers coming of age old lesbian and a 16-year-old boy. She is proud and confident He is emotionally shut down and lonely as a result of his parents' divorce, a mother who won't touch him and an absent father, The girl writes "zines," which are homemade maga- zines teenagers create and trade or sell. The boy sees one of her zines at a Tower Records store in Boston and is intrigued. "He likes the writing because she is so out front," Wittlinger said. "She announces right away she is a lesbian and tells all about herself. He thinks it is so cool' that she is honest and forthright He figures out how to' meet her and they become friends." The friendship is close, but awkward at times be- cause they are not quite sure how to be with each other, As a lesbian, she has no interest in him romantically. But he does in her, and therein lies the hard love of the title, Wittlinger said while the ending "is not tied up in' pretty bows" the book is hopeful because the girl helps' the boy "open up more and become a more complete hu; man being," ('; While she felt she wasn't breaking new ground with the book "as far as doing anything shocking," Wittlinger said, she wasn't sure how the subject of homosexuality WITTLINGER, Page 19' fefo;i-.... mWfeC "feiri "After the Storm, Fish Brook" by Ernee Way, winner of the Aldro T. Hibbard Memorial Award, Is on exhibit through July 9 at the Northshore Art Association, 197 East Main St, rear, Gloucester. For more Information, call 978-283-1857. Sailing weekend to benefit hospice The sixth annual Sailing Regatta Weekend to benefit Hospice of the North Shore kicks off Friday with a concert by Symphony by the Sea, continues with a lobster bake and dancing Saturday and sailing races next Sunday. All events are hosted by the Eastern Yacht Club in Marble-head and open to the public. Symphony by the Sea, conducted by Max Hobart, presents a Pops concert A champagne reception begins at 7:30 p.m. followed by the concert at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 for table seating under the tent with orchestra, $30 for porch and lawn seating. Lawn guests are invited to bring blankets and small chairs. Table seating is on a first-come basis. The concert goes on Night M rain or shine, Saturday night features a lobster bake catered by Foster's of York, Maine, The Civil Disturbance Band plays during cocktail hour beginning at 6:30 p.m. Later in the evening, Sounds of Distinction provides music for dancing, New York auctioneer Russell Burke holds a mini-auction of vacation get-aways and leisure opportunities. The races held off Marblehead begin Sunday at noon. The regatta is a qualifying event for the National Hospice Regatta Alliance's invitational championship in 2001. Family Day at the regatta offers special events for children and a barbecue. Proceeds from all events benefit North Shore Hospice's children's ber eavement programs. Reservations are required, Call 978-774-7566. Celtic celebration on Father's Day A Father's Day Celtic Concert' is celebrated outdoors at Win-nekenni Castle in Haverhill next Sunday, at 2 p.m. The show features Hanneke Cassel, the US National Scottish Fiddle Champion. A staff member of the Berklee College of Music, Cassel has studied and performed in Canada and Scotland, as well as throughout the United States. She opened for Judy Collins in Boston and peformed at the opening night reception for "River-dance" at the Wang Theater. In addition to her Celtic credentials, she has a background in classical and jazz music ARTS, Page 19

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