Venice Florida neighbors beat back cell tower plan

image003VENICE, Fla. – Leaders of a coalition of Venice community groups against a proposed cell tower say they’re encouraged that the Sarasota County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny a zoning exception for a 125-foot cell tower.  The tower was planned to be built on residential land in the Plantation Golf and Country Club community.   The tower would be visible to hundreds of residents in the neighboring Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda development.

The vote was taken at a public hearing attended by more than 100 residents of the two communities. Residents opposed to the tower wore red to show their disapproval. More than 20 residents spoke at the hearing in opposition to the tower.

image005Doug Barkley, chair of Stop Tower on Plantation, said, “A dedicated group of property owners has worked for a year to assure that a commercial cell tower was not constructed in the middle of their communities. The recommendation by the Planning Commission to deny the exception to land use creates faith in the integrity of the zoning system and the protection that it offers to property owners.”

A hearing before the Sarasota County Board of Commissioners is set for Tuesday, January 12th. The Planning Commission hearing may be viewed online at the following URL:

International Scientists Appeal to U.N. to Protect Humans and Wildlife from Electromagnetic Fields and Wireless Technology

NEW YORK–Today 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, UN member states and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of environmental pollution worldwide.

“ICNIRP guidelines set exposure standards for high-intensity, short-term, tissue-heating thresholds. These do not protect us from the low-intensity, chronic exposures common today. Scientists signing the Appeal request that the UN and member nations protect the global human population and wildlife from EMF exposures.”

The International EMF Scientist Appeal” asks the Secretary General and UN affiliated bodies to encourage precautionary measures, to limit EMF exposures, and to educate the public about health risks, particularly to children and pregnant women.

The Appeal highlights WHO’s conflicting positions about EMF risk. WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B “Possible Carcinogen” in 2011, and Extremely Low Frequency fields in 2001. Nonetheless, WHO continues to ignore its own agency’s recommendations and favors guidelines recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). These guidelines, developed by a self-selected group of industry insiders, have long been criticized as non-protective.

The Appeal calls on the UN to strengthen its advisories on EMF risk for humans and to assess the potential impact on wildlife and other living organisms under the auspices of the UN Environmental Programme, in line with the science demonstrating risk, thereby resolving this inconsistency.

Martin Blank, PhD, of Columbia University, says, “International exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields must be strengthened to reflect the reality of their impact on our bodies, especially on our DNA. The time to deal with the harmful biological and health effects is long overdue. We must reduce exposure by establishing more protective guidelines.”

Joel Moskowitz, PhD, of University of California, Berkeley, says, “ICNIRP guidelines set exposure standards for high-intensity, short-term, tissue-heating thresholds. These do not protect us from the low-intensity, chronic exposures common today. Scientists signing the Appeal request that the UN and member nations protect the global human population and wildlife from EMF exposures.”

International EMF Scientist Appeal:

Updated: Los Angeles firefighters stop cell towers!
LA County firefighters called for support in stopping 86 cell towers on fire stations.   County supervisors voted to suspend the construction at the hearing on Tuesday.

Firefighters used social media, radio and video to get their message out to the community. This radio ad ran for three days:

“This is fire captain Lew Currier. Los Angeles County is installing cell towers on 86 fire stations near you. The radiation generated by these seven story eye sores can cause debilitating health effects. Studies suggest nearby families could get sick too, yet the board of supervisors is erecting these toxic towers without public hearings or required studies. This time, be there for us, your firefighters. Call the Board of Supervisors at 213-974-1411. Tell them to stop the cell towers, NOW. This message is brought to you by Los Angeles County firefighters local 1014.”

Los Angeles County firefighters are in immediate danger of having their fire stations used as cell tower sites.  You can help them by calling, and attending the hearing which will be held on Tuesday, March 24; 9:30 am at the LA County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 500 West Temple Street, Los Angeles.

3/24/2015: UPDATE: County suspends decision to construct the towers! Congratulations local 1014!

Supreme Court ruling on cell towers and local rights

In February of 2010 T-mobile wanted to erect a 108 ft cell tower in the City of Roswell Georgia.  The City held a meeting, and voted to deny the application. They sent T mobile the denial, and later sent the reasons for denial  in the form of minutes of that meeting.  T-Mobile sued claiming they were not given substantial reasons for denial. On January 14, 2015, The Supreme Court agreed with T-mobile that adequate written response must be given.

Georgia State University constitutional law professor Eric Segall states this case is important.”The question is: Did Congress and can Congress as a matter of federal law require local towns and cities to give reasons for its denial of these kinds of permits? That raises the question of federalism, which is the appropriate relationship between the state and federal governments. We all have a stake in what that relationship is.”

“There’s a real significant question at the bottom of this case, which is both should and can Congress dictate to local towns and cities how they go about their business?” Georgia State University constitutional law professor Eric Segall

In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice Roberts remarks that
“cell service providers are not Mom and Pop operations,” “a
telecommunications company is no babe in the legal woods,” and “[T-Mobile is] a sophisticated, well-lawyered company” (Roberts thinks the Court went too far in requiring a local government to issue the reasons for its written denial of a cell tower contemporaneously with that written

Justice Alito writes in a concurring opinion that “Nothing we say today
should be read to suggest that when a locality has erred, the inevitable
remedy is that a tower must be built.”

Is it reaching too far to infer that the Supreme Court Justices might not
look too kindly on a cell tower being place in their own back yards?