Thursday, 16 January 2014

There Goes The Neighborhood

The modern world is about to encroach upon my nice, quiet, dog-walker of a neighborhood.  Well, that actually had begun before I got here, with the likes of smart meters for the electrics; but they (I live in an apartment complex) are neatly tucked away in the back somewhere, out of sight, and thus out of mind.  Usually.  Until I read something on the Internet that makes me wonder just how safe these are that are here in my immediate living environs.  Never mind the people-control factor of them (letting TPTB know how many people are living in the unit, e.g.).  What about the EMF or ELF or whatever of them??  It turns out that there is a distinct worry there.  And now, there's to be a new such kid on the block.

The next block over, actually.  But in direct sight line of where I live, there is going to be installed, at the top of the abandoned elevator shaft of a four-story building, on its roof, a "wireless telecommunications facility consisting of one array with four sectors, each sector having two panel antennas and two remotes radio units (RRUs), for a total of eight panel antennas and eight RRUs, all located in a single 9'-4 by 8-6' screening enclosure…"  etc.    

I got this information at an announced (via mail, for the area residents) Public Hearing meeting of the Long Beach Planning Commission.  I waited patiently through some other agenda items for my chance to listen and, need be, ask some questions about 'my' business item.1  Came my agenda item's turn (the last on their list, it turned out).  The Planning Commissioners, their staff, and the applicant (AT&T) all talked about such things as the possibilities of other sites,  the possibility of becoming a co-location site, the Art Deco style of the building, and the "aesthetic effects" of the project on the building.   But not a word about the health and safety factor.  

Time came for my turn at the mike. 

After addressing the committee, and being reminded to state my name, I said: "I have a comment, and then a question.  My comment is, that the manager of Community Health made a very important observation back at the beginning of this meeting2 when she said, 'Where you live will affect your health.'  I live right in the next block behind that building…

"My question is twofold.  In your 'Conditional Use Permit Findings' you have a section titled 'The Proposed Use Will Not Be Detrimental ToThe Surrounding Community Including Public Health, Safety, General Welfare, Environmental Quality Or Quality Of Life,' and it states that you are relying on "standards for radio emissions set by the American National Standards Institute'".  But who checks those standards, for updating?  

"We all know that wireless technology has proven to be far more dangerous than we were told in the beginning.  And yet, under your Conditions Of Approval, you say that 'A 10-year review shall be completed for this subject wireless site not later than' etc.  Ladies and gentlemen: That really is not good enough for a review of this sort of thing."

It was then clarified to me that a) on the h&s issue, they go by whatever the FCC says; and b) the 'ten-year review' referred only to the physical site.  So, my 'presentation' didn't make much of a dent in the proceedings; or in their consciousnesses, as far as I could determine.  But I did notice the chief Staff person there nod his head when I pointed out that the "health and safety factors" didn't seem to be covered very well in these sorts of installations and their permits; that "I hear a lot of concern about aesthetics, but not much about the health and safety issue".3

So maybe, just maybe, my appearance there did some good.

We will, of course, see. 

As we will see what happens to my, and my neighbors', health.

Unless it's going to be very, very hard to determine causation of any condition.

And maybe that's what the corporate boyos count on, for their bottom-line achievements.


P.S. I would have gone up to the chief Staff guy afterwards and made my case a little clearer, but a) the man from AT&T already had his ear, about some result of the vote (it passed, 4-1.  The sticking point had to do with potential future co-locaters); and b) I had to get to the Men's, badly.  It was now after 7pm, from a meeting that started at 5pm. 
     Such is the lot especially of us old-timers.  Who are far more susceptible to such 'environmental' factors than others, at the best of times…

P.P.S.  The next day - yesterday - I just 'happened' to find out, serendipitously (from a friend who just 'happened' to send me a link to a web site that deals with the dangers of cell phones and smart meters), that Obama's head of the FCC (whom he just appointed to the position, last November) used to be the Pres. & CEO of - drum roll, please - a wireless industry lobby organization.  (The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association; originally known as the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association; but that was apparently too obvious a name for what they did.)
     My, my…
     And the Republican Party is notorious for this sort of revolving-door activity, too - allowing/orchestrating people from the corporate world to parachute into high regulatory-department positions in the government where they enhance their home-base clout, and then, job done, rotate back into their cushy corporate positions…
     Isn't it about time that we stopped this sort of thing altogether??
     And not just 'about' time.
     It IS that time.
     The time of the end of The Play.  And the beginning of our Next Steps: Up the stairway to the heavens.
     At least, those who have learned their lessons on the first-step level.  The 'Ground" Floor.
     The make-believe realm of Duality.    



1) Another of their business items, interestingly, had to do with another such project , near me in the other direction; but it was to do with an upgrading 'modification' of an existing wireless cell site there, and, though there was one person from the public who had filed a letter in opposition to the project, and who was given proper opportunity to voice her position in person as well as in writing (which was the purpose of its inclusion in the meeting's agenda), it was decided that the project  was, in effect,"replacing like for like," and her grievance was rejected.  Fair enough; since she cited no new evidence,just her feelings.  
     Evidence.  We need evidence, they were, in effect, saying. 
     I awaited my turn at the mike; not sure what all I should, or could, say.   
     P.S. She also didn't, in my opinion, help her case any by, in her letter of objection to the project, saying that she was going to request, "under the Public Records Act…any and all documents showing payments made by, meetings had with, former relationships with, and any and all otter document related to the entity and/or persons working for the entity that proposes to place the cellular equipment and the  City of Long, its employees, elected officials, officers, or contractors the subject of which is the placement of cellular telephones within the City of Long Beach."  So there.
     So long, sister  This is an upgrade of existing equipment, is not adding anything new. You're a bit late with the off-putting stuff.  
     But I could appreciate her sense of outrage.  Things are happening to the public, and we don't seem to have any say about the matters.  They are just done; cooked.  Possibly in secret, for all we know, and suspect.  
     Suspicion breeds in the darkness of a lack of transparency.  How many years has it been now, that we have heard rumors about cell phones and their antenna towers being far more dangerous than we are being told about?  Etc. etc. and etc…. 

2)  Her agenda item was a report on 'zone initiatives' in different parts of true city for increasing the health of the public, having to do with community  gardens, healthy marketing and ads in food stores, etc.  Good that they're looking at these matters, which particularly, in her power point presentation, included high percentages of obesity amongst young people.  It's a good initiative - and I noted as well, in walking to the meeting at the City Hall, that there was a 'mural' just outside the entrance depicting a penny bike with the proud statement: 'Long Beach - the most bicycle-friendly city in America' - but I don't think they're going to get to the total root of the obesity matter, for specific example, by just encouraging the eating of more fruits and veggies.  They need to address as well such issues as the effects of bromine - particularly as brominated vegetable oil, or BVO - in so many soft drinks especially.  It has a terrible effect in the body, of keeping fat cells from being able to be burnt off normally.
     But I digress.
     In a way… that demur referring particularly to the issue of 'transparency' - of what we are being told by TPTB; and what we are not being told by them.
     A chronic condition.

3) Presumably, if someone tries to sue for damage to their health alleged to be caused by such wireless installations in their neighborhood, it won't be the City that has to answer for the matter, but the FCC, for their h&s advices.
     However, I've never heard of anyone winning such a suit against the FCC - or their even ever being such a suit.
     But then, with the degree of transparency that there is in this day and age, between The People and their governments, that should come as no surprise…

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