Friday, September 12, 2008

The Monster Comes To Maple Street

My Father bought our house in 1967, and I don't believe he wanted his Wife to sit in her favorite chair on the screened-in porch he built for her, and be face-to-face with one of these when he was gone.

My Father has passed on, and I spoke in his place at the public meeting in opposition to the Monster and those that serve it. My Mother gave me permission to speak for her, but I left that meeting knowing that an explanation of the fall back position of the CERN scientists who were going to fire up the Large Hadron Collider the next day (even if we do create a black hole capable of ending all life on Earth, we won't know about it for 5-6 years), would have fallen on deaf ears.

The newspaper reporter I spoke to didn't even know what the Large Hadron Collider was. She does now.

Here then, are today's email remarks documenting our progress against the radiation hazard questions the T-Mobile vendor couldn't answer for the 50+ residents who had gathered in order to have such life or death questions heard by those they thought should know, those they thought would listen to reason, those they thought would care:

"I have a friend who decommissions military bases. He sits on review boards and sees these types of matters from the other side. He has told me that we will not have a chance of defeating the installation of the cell antenna/equipment unless we complain that it is unsightly and is an eyesore to the neighborhood."

"Remember, cell towers have the approval of the FCC* and it will be hard for local government to deny based on health concerns when a branch of the federal government has a different opinion."

"As ____ ________ said at the UCPG meeting, their decision really carries little weight. All it did was send a message to the City that there is great opposition."

"The City understands our concerns completely but feels their hands are tied. In the recent past when they have denied T-Mobile’s applications, they were sued by T-Mobile (but I think T-Mobile lost the suit). Apparently, there is a conflict between Federal Regulations (FCC) and our City and County ordinances. Federal regulations give cellular companies the right to come into our neighborhoods and put their poles in any right-of-way (ROW). Our local laws offer us some protection from these cell towers, but Federal regulations override that. The City logically prefers not to waste funds getting into another lawsuit, even if they are to win."

"The City cannot deny these sites based upon health concerns (even if they agree with us!). The FCC negates that concern, which makes NO sense to me. Cellular companies have lobbyists fighting for their benefit and apparently the public doesn’t so the FCC regulations are in favor of the cell companies."

"Some people feel this fight is too big to handle. We can do this if we are diligent and dedicated to this matter. Other cities have managed to prudently and successfully ban cell sites in residential neighborhoods and I intend to speak with those City attorneys to find out how they worked around the Federal (FCC) regulations. If it was done once, it can be done again."

So, some animals ARE more equal than others.

I will just add that every Morton-Thiokol engineer; men intimately familiar with the operational limits of their solid rocket booster O-rings, pleaded at numerous NASA meetings NOT TO LAUNCH Challenger under such appalling conditions, even though the unacceptable criteria were technically within NASA's parameters. They finally refused to sign off on the launch. The inertia of money invested and time spent won out over safety and ethics. Seven astronauts were murdered, a shuttle destroyed, and the United States space program set back years. The people who doomed the events of that day probably kept their jobs.

T-Mobile's solution is to move their antenna twenty yards to an equally dangerous location (their convenience, not ours) and force us to repeat the process (our inconvenience, not theirs) until they can piggy-back the new streetlamp that was probably designed for the application in the first place. There are a lot of new streetlamps on my street. How many on yours? How long before we all go to sleep under a layer of electro-magnetic hazard no one can prove will not harm our children's children's children?

Looks like the Greatest Generation finally loses.

They won World War II, but were overpowered by the greed and ME-FIRST "love of money" of their offspring, and those who were not up to the jobs they'd inherited.

*The telecommunications industry is trying to stop all citizen influence on restricting cell tower sites. On July 11, 2008, the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA), petitioned the FCC to declare new limitations on local zoning authority as it affects cell tower siting. A deadline for public comments was set as September 15, 2008, by the FCC.

Specifically, CTIA requests the Federal Communications Commission to:

1. Force municipalities to act on wireless antenna or tower zoning applications within 45 or 75 days.

2. Rule that applications are automatically deemed granted if a local government misses the FCC's deadline.

3. Prevent municipalities from considering the presence of service by other carriers in evaluating an additional carrier's application for an antenna site.

4. Pre-empt any local ordinance that would automatically require a variance for cell tower applications.

My Name is Michael Sterling, and here is what YOU can do to STOP THE MONSTER (the deadline has been pushed back to 9/29 due to ever-growing community opposition).

FIRST, copy the items in RED as you'll lose this page when you go to the FCC page.

The proceeding/document number is 08-165

The applicant is YOUR NAME

Under Document Type, change it from COMMENT to OPPOSITION by clicking on the down arrow to the right.

Your comments can be brief. PLEASE TYPE (minimum): “Cellular equipment does not belong in residential neighborhoods. PLEASE REJECT CTIA’S REQUEST UNDER DOCKET 08-165.”

T-Mobile's new slogan is "stick together".


Here's how Robert A. Heinlein put it:


Save your neighborhood. Go to this FCC page and STOP THE MONSTER!