Monday, March 3, 2008


If you missed the Green Church protest Saturday but have a hankering to do a little civil disobedience, this Thursday at 2:30, anti-cellphone tower protesters will be marching from P.S. 185 to the Verizon Wireless store on 86th and 5th, where a picket line will be set up outside the store. Cool.

The controversy is over the Verizon cellphone towers placed on an apartment building rooftop, less than 100 feet from P.S. 185. The towers were put up stealthily and without warning by Verizon.

Parents of children at P.S. 185 are furious. They want the towers taken down immediately.

Scientists are still debating the effects of the radiation put out by cellphone towers, however studies are showing that it's not good.
Seven clusters of cancer and other serious illnesses have been discovered around mobile phone masts, raising concerns over the technology’s potential impact on health.
So is Verizon going to do anything about it? Oh sure. They're going to move the antennas back 20 feet. Phew.

But we really don't have anything to worry about. According to Verizon spokesman David Samberg, the radiation emitted from the towers is harmless.

Well, that's that, I suppose. I mean, who are you going to believe? A bunch of scientists or the PR goon from the cellphone company?


Anonymous said...

More than 50% of the kids walking around PS 185 all day probably have cell phones in their pockets. Honestly, where does everyone think cell coverage comes from if not these towers? What alternative is there to mounting them there and why is everyone so upset about the students' exposure for 6 hours a day, when I'm sure there are children who live in the actual building where the cell towers are being erected. The resident children who are not school age are "exposed" for 24 hours a day. Its just hypocritcal to continue to use cell phones and protest cell towers. Don't ya think?

Anonymous said...

Kids at 185 are between the ages of 5 and 10, to say 50% of them have cell phones is an absurd exaggeration. In fact, children are not even allowed to have cell phones in school, so what would be the point? Yes, cell phones have become an integral part of most people's daily lives. However, many people are just becoming aware of the dangers of these antennae arrays. Convenience and technological advances do not come before the health and welfare of our children. All citizens of Bay Ridge should be outraged by the number of radioactive sources popping up all over the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

"Antennae arrays"? Not sure what you mean. And don't kid yourself. Just because children are not allowed to have cell phones in school means nothing. I agree that the health and welfare of children is of the utmost importance, but where are they going to put these cell towers that children, and everyone else, are not exposed to the technology? Children live in apartment houses where cell towers are erected; children live across from office bldgs where they are erected, what is the ultimate cell towers anywhere, that's why I said its hypocritcal to use cell phones AND protest cell towers.

Anonymous said...

Antennae arrays is the term used to describe the grouping of transmitters and receivers at a base station. Maybe people need to start using their cell phones for emergency purposes only. I can only control my cell phone use and I will certainly put in the effort. Hopefully, when people know better, they do better. The issue is very complex, but commom sense should dictate that these towers do not go up near schools. Where should they go? That is a decision that we as a community should discuss in an open forum.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the clarification on antennae arrays. I applaud your efforts to curb your personal cell phone use but hope that your provider has coverage in the area you are in the day you, God forbid, need to use your cell phone in an emergency. There is no easy answer, I fear there is no real viable answer. There is a cell tower very near a popular local high school and no one has protested it. Are school age children more in need of protection than high schoolers and toddlers who live in a bldg with a cell tower already on it. The city is densely populated and this issue is probably moot at this point. These parents should turn their attention and efforts to the real issue of overcrowding and poor education in our public schools which is real and is being tolerated here in Bay Ridge.

Mark said...

"parents should turn their attention and efforts to the real issue of overcrowding and poor education in our public schools which is real and is being tolerated here in Bay Ridge."

I agree with you, Anonymous #5.

We're seeing a lot of development in Bay Ridge - Cento, the new condos on 4th Ave where the funeral home used to be, the town homes that are replacing the 3 Victorians, the proposed condos where the Methodist Church is located - yet no one is addressing the problem of infrastructure and in particular the schools.

This is a huge problem yet we're letting the developers waltz in here and do whatever they want.

The community needs to press the local politicians to fight this growing problem.

Anonymous said...

The topic of this particular conversation was specifically cell phone antennae. Therefore, that was what I was addressing. If parents at the High School or parents in apartment buildings are effected by cell towers they should join in. Usually people begin to get involved in issues when they are effected by them. As stated before, we as a community would need to address appropriate placement of antennae in a public forum.

If you think parents should discuss quality of education and overcrowding, then I would be more than happy to hear about it and lend my support. My child attends PS 185. His educational experiences there have been phenomenal and his class is not overcrowded, at all. However, I have heard that is not the case with the Kindergarten this year. Parents are very vocal about it. There is no need to just focus on one issue at a time. All of these issues can be highlighted, no need to exclude one.t

Anonymous said...

Someone asked what can be done? The original plan for cell communication was fiber optics and millions of miles of cable have already been laid. Demand that all towers be eliminated and networks switched to fiber-optics - that will reduce the power emissions from both antennae nodes and cell phone antennae hugely, as well as the ambient field, which is now omnipresent. Demand that facilities using wi-fi and wi-max switch them off and go to fiber-optic networks, as well. If enough people demand it, it will happen. Left up to the companies, it will take much longer, though you may notice that both Verizon and Comcast are increasing their fiber-optic networks.