Lawmakers today held a hearing on a proposal to ban cellphone towers from school property. State Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates, plans to introduce legislation banning construction of the towers on school property.
Over fifteen neighbors attended from our Briarcliff Heights neighborhood, as well as concerned parents from MLK, Briarlake, and GET THE CELL OUT ATL. Dr. Drenner is well-versed in the area of radiation and its effects, understands that the lack of research today on cell tower radiation does not necessarily mean towers are safe — calling instead for precautionary measures in the placement of these towers so close to children in their developmental stages. Rep. Drenner has four post-graduate degrees and serves on several House committees related to this issue, including Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications; Health and Human Services; Natural Resources and Environment.
Thank you to Dr. Drenner for her immediate and quick action regarding this issue, and for sponsoring a bill in the House to address the placement of cell towers on school grounds!
At this last Wednesday, February 15th School Board Budget, Audit, Finance & Facilities Committee Meeting, Chair Paul Womack raised some “concerns” about how the money received from the nine schools who are “burdened” by the cell towers would be allocated and used by the School Board.
What?!?!? You thought all that money was going to help your school, “burdened” by a cell tower? WRONG. Read the contract carefully. The LANDLORD collecting rent for the tower is the Board of Education of DeKalb County. Nothing in the agreement says anything about the school getting any funds, or even a PTA.
Make no mistake, huge 150 foot cell towers are a visual nuisance and detract from the continuity of our this sunset and every neighborhood they are placed in. This one sticks out like a sore thumb against another beautiful Atlanta sunset. See a full video here: 150′ cell towers are HUGE and cannot hide or blend.
Cell Tower "Tree" located off 400 Toll Road near Lenox Road
Why our neighborhood? There is another commercially zoned site available and approved for a 155′ T-Mobile tower that more than covers this neighborhood, right at the corner of Briarcliff and Clairmont. Search for tower locations on your own at: http://www.antennasearch.com
Check out these photos to see how T-Mobile represents their proposed tower versus in life scale what 150 feet tall really looks like. The car in the picture is a full-size, quad-cab Tundra pickup truck — that stands 6’10″ off the ground.
This is what you will really get, dressed up as a "tree." Taken in Toco Hills.
A truthful representation? This is how T-Mobile would like you to picture the giant redwood tree/tower proposed for Margaret Harris.
Dr. Eugene “Gene” Walker, the District 9 School Board member, is the new chairman of the board.
Walker, who has been on the board since 2008, was elected chairman Jan. 9 with a 6-3 vote from fellow board members. He succeeds District 6 board member Tom Bowen, who was chairman for three years. Bowen was elected vice chair.
Walker said he was humbled and honored to be selected. He said his goal is to continue improving learning and instruction.
“My personal goal is to continue to work to unite the entire board behind this single goal. I’ll act in the best interest of the schoolchildren and to put all other concerns aside.”Read full article…
Several School Board Policies Violated by Lease to T-Mobile
In their complicity with private companies like T-Mobile the DeKalb County School Board has of course stepped outside their purview — but in doing so they’ve even run afoul of their own posted policies. If the School Board can put a potentially dangerous 150′ cell tower 192′ feet from the front door of a school for special needs children, what else can they do with public property without our knowledge or notice?
January 7, 2012: Over 100 people marched up LaVista Road today up to the T-Mobile location at 285 and LaVista. Briarcliff Heights residents joined residents and parents of Briarlake Elementary and other schools to protest the placement of cell towers on DeKalb County School campuses. Several news outlets were present and reported on the activity.
“Recommendation for a Special Grand Jury: Although we have received answers to questions posed to Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, Ms. Ramona Tyson, and Mr. Thomas Bowen, it is clear that the School System remains topheavy and suffers from a perception of conflicts of interest and waste. The citizens of DeKalb County invest a significant portion of their tax dollars in the DeKalb County School System. The perceived effectiveness of the DeKalb County School System also has a significant impact on property values of all homeowners in DeKalb County. In addition, there is the greatest concern for the education of the children of DeKalb County. The DeKalb County School System has been declining in many rankings as compared to other Metro Atlanta school systems as well as various national evaluation methods. We recommend that a Special Grand Jury be convened to investigate the DeKalb County SchoolBoard.” Read full article…
Yesterday we kindly asked the ACS to update their site, which has not been updated since mid-2010. Got a nice response that my comments had been forwarded to the review committee (presumably for the website). You can lodge your own comments here (select in drop-down box: Questions/Comments about the website).
Please consider that many people look to ACS for accurate and current information. Much of the scientific community agrees now that there is a lack of adequate study on long term exposure to RF (whether from phones or towers) and that conclusions should not be drawn in favor of a ubiquitous label of RF radiation being “safe.” It is particularly worrisome to me that the current page does not clearly highlight this fact, and instead seems to argue that RF exposure is indeed safe. Read full article…
So what do our neighbors the CDC say about cell towers, anyway? Not much at all, as it seems. It’s interesting to see that the CDC publicly available information addresses CELL PHONE use (intermittent exposure to RF at your own choosing) but not CELL TOWER radiation (24/7 exposure to RF you can’t escape). However, even the CDC notes that even cell phone exposure is a possible health risk and there needs to be more research.Read the CDC posting here. Do you have other research we don’t know about from the CDC? Please send it to us.
“Mobile phone use is ubiquitous with an estimated 4.6 billion subscriptions globally. The electromagnetic fields produced by mobile phones are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Studies are ongoing to more fully assess potential long-term effects of mobile phone use. WHO will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radiofrequency fields exposure by 2012.”
Here is a copy of the plan for the tower that puts the tower less than 200 feet (192′ to be exact) from the door where every day children are dropped off by bus. In case you were wondering, there are published studies in the US as recently as 2010 documenting that children are more susceptible to RF radiation.
Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, Dekalb Co School Board Superintendent
Dr. Atkinson thoughtfully sent each of us who spoke at last Monday’s School Board meeting a letter outlining her assertions that the School Board provided notice to the community of Briarcliff Heights. I will cut to the text that appears in most the letters:
“After much discussion and receipt of public input, the Board of Education voted to approve the placement of T-Mobile cell towers on properties owned by the DeKalb County School District. Over a period of time between 2010 and 2011, three presentations regarding cell towers were made during Budget, Finance, and Facilities Committee meetings. These meetings were announced and open to the public. Prior to the vote in July, public information sessions were advertised and held at each site slated to receive a cell tower. Citizens provided comments and information regarding cell towers during televised Board meetings in June and July. The AJC and other local newspapers provided press coverage regarding the issue. Finally, before the final vote was taken on July 11, 2011 during the monthly Board meeting, the Board of Education held an extensive discussion regarding placement of cell towers on school properties.”