The Union publisher misses the point on cell phone tower debate

The Union publisher writes:

“Lots of cell phone holes and well-meaning protesters bullying planning commissioners who should know better out of approving much-needed cell towers. Meantime, where’s the council? Nevada City’s recent episode is emblematic.”

I guess he didn’t read Brad Croul’s cogent comment here on Sept 9:

“Regarding Verizon using the Tintle/Probation Dept. building, it all boils down to dollars and cents.

“Verizon saves money by building on a rooftop using “old school” antennas and not having to lease a site and build a large tower/fake tree somewhere.

“Verizon is pretty much a monopoly in Nevada City. If they are committed to providing good service, Verizon should consider that we live in a hilly area and put up more antennas outside of the historic district that will serve the historic district without but not impact the downtown visual landscape – even if it costs more.

“The community might be better served by two (or more) cell tower or rooftop antenna sites outside the historic district rather than the one rooftop location downtown. Verizon would incur additional costs but, overall, it would result in better service throughout the local area.

“It has been decades now, but Nevada City put in a lot of effort to clear the historic district of utility poles (electric, phone and cable) and put them underground. Verizon is the new utility on the block and should respect that philosophy and commitment.

“Satellite TV and cell phone technology were in their infancy when the ordinances and design guidelines were written allowing for antenna installations on rooftops in the historic district. I think the planners were referring to old school TV and radio antennas when they wrote those ordinances and guidelines. I don’t think the planners could foresee that commercial cell phone utilities would be requesting sites for industrial strength transmitting antennas downtown.

“An alternate idea would be to revisit the courthouse location. Since it sounds like there are no monies left in the State coffers to remodel any more courthouses, the courthouse would be a nice, tall location to put an antenna. Between Paulette’s restaurant and Safeway there is a tall flagpole/cellular antenna. Verizon could simply replace the flagpole on top of the courthouse with the cell tower flagpole. The “flagpole” would not have to be nearly as tall as the Brunswick antenna since the top of the courthouse already towers over the town. I think an antenna in that location would be far enough away in distance and elevation that any potential health risks would be minimized.”

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

1 thought on “The Union publisher misses the point on cell phone tower debate”

  1. I read somewhere that this proposed tower is supposed to be experimenting with 94 gigahertz band, which none of our cells can handle, and it is essentially a test site for Verizon, that might ultimately lead to surveillance cameras on every street corner, and great tv reception for gluing the consumer to the tiny screen. In the future, Medicare will go broke paying for neck related treatments.

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