News

Verizon wins approval for antenna plan

Despite vehement opposition, telecom secures city's permission to mount antennas on utility poles

Verizon Wireless overcame a spotty and, at times, hostile reception from a large group of Palo Alto residents Monday night to secure the City Council's permission to install wireless equipment on 11 utility poles.

In a long, contentious and emotionally charged meeting that was frequently interrupted by heckling and applause, the council voted 6-3, with Councilwoman Karen Holman, Councilwoman Lydia Kou and Councilman Greg Tanaka dissenting, to grant Verizon the green light to mount its wireless equipment on 11 utility poles. In doing so, it rejected seven separate appeals from residents, including one from the group United Neighbors that was formed in opposition to the project.

Most of the opposition focused on Verizon's refusal to place its equipment into underground vaults, a design that the company had adopted in Piedmont and Santa Cruz (among other cities) and that was favored by the Architectural Review Board. Some argued that the proposed cell nodes -- each of which includes an antenna and boxes containing radio equipment -- are unsightly and unacceptable in residential areas.

Verizon has maintained that it had studied the underground option at each of the 18 sites that were initially proposed (seven were ultimately removed from the application) and submitted a "vaulting analysis" for each site. In some cases, the company deemed the vault as infeasible because the site is in flood zones, which would require installation of sump pumps and potentially lead to safety issues. In another case, the site is constrained by a storm-drain channel and a large tree that would have to be removed to make room for the vault. Another site has insufficient space for a vault and would require an intrusion onto a private property, according to the company.

Rather than going down with the radio equipment, Verizon opted to go up. After a series of public hearings, the company settled on a design that places antennas atop existing poles and screens them with "a taper shroud," a narrow cylindrical enclosure that tapers as it descends. The radio equipment in the middle of the pole would be contained in a "box shroud," a metallic enclosure that looks exactly how it sounds.

While the design was enough to narrowly win the Architectural Review Board's approval, it fell far short of sway many of the residents whose houses are located near the pole sites. Appellants rejected Verizon's arguments about the vaults and argued that the telecom giant is simply trying to save money at the expense of local residents.

Jerry Fan, one of dozens of residents who attended the meeting to voice his opposition, said he and his neighbors don't want to live in an "antenna farm." A multibillion-dollar company like Verizon can afford to install its equipment without undermining the aesthetics of local neighborhoods.

"The real problem for Verizon is not that it is infeasible to locate the equipment underground but that it is more expensive to do so," said Fan, who was representing appellant Francesca Lane Kautz.

Jeanne Fleming, who founded the group United Neighbors, which filed one of the seven appeals, concurred. There are solutions, she said, to every "so-called engineering problem" raised by Verizon.

"The only problem is that these solutions can cost more than Verizon wants to spend. But there is absolutely no reason why Palo Alto should compromise the character of its lovely neighborhood to save Verizon money," Fleming said.

But other residents welcomed Verizon's plan, which they argued would provide them badly needed cell coverage.

"I speak on the phone routinely with folks around the works and I have to apologize for Palo Alto routinely because of my terrible cellphone service," said Bryan Polich, a Midtown resident. "I always have to commute to work, when I have to work from home."

While the Verizon design didn't win any plaudits from the council, most members agreed that in the context of a utility pole, the proposed equipment is a relatively benign addition. Holman and Kou dissented from this view and argued that the city should insist on underground vaults.

"It's a box on a pole and I don't see what's elegant about it," Holman said of the proposed design. "It's setting the bar very, very low. I don't think it's acceptable in this community and it shouldn't be."

Kou suggested that if the sites don't work for vaulting, Verizon should just move to a different site.

"If that vault doesn't work for you, just don't do it. It's just as simple as that," Kou said.

Their proposal ultimately fell by a 4-5 vote, with Councilman Tom DuBois and Tanaka joining them. The council then voted 6-3 to accept the motion from Councilman Greg Scharff, who proposed rejecting the appeals and allowing the proposal to move ahead. Scharff acknowledged that utility poles are inherently unattractive, but suggested the Verizon equipment would be hardly noticeable in the context of the pole.

Insisting on vaults, meanwhile, would require Verizon to install a pump and equipment that according to company officials would generate noise. Given the choice between having vaulted equipment in his own neighborhood and a pole with silent antennas, Scharff said he would opt for the latter.

"When you weigh it -- when you weigh the aesthetics, when you weigh the noise, when you weigh safety -- when you weigh all those things, the better choice is to put it on the pole," Scharff said. "It's completely quiet. It doesn't make a sound and you can barely see it compared to the pole."

Councilman Adrian Fine concurred and noted that the application has successfully gone through the city's approval process and has earned the approval of the Architectural Review Board and former Planning Director Hillary Gitelman.

DuBois said he was skeptical about Verizon's assertion that underground vaults would be infeasible at all 11 sites. He also suggested that the company consider each design in the context of its setting, rather than picking one preferred option for every site.

"In some places, poles might be appropriate; in some places, vaulting might be appropriate," DuBois said.

Tanaka, for his part, focused his questions on the financial arrangement between Verizon and the city. Under the existing agreement, Verizon has to pay $270 annually for each pole -- an amount that Tanaka claimed is well below what the city should be charging. He also had broader concerns about mounting equipment on top of telephone poles, given the city's ambition to eventually move utilities underground.

The meeting stretched for longer than four hours and featured frequent interruptions from members of the audience, many of whom ignored Mayor Liz Kniss' routinely made request not to clap or jeer for public speakers. A few audience members continued to clap or wave their hands in approval or disapproval. One man stood up after every speaker to respond with either a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down gesture to the comment spoken.

Toward the end of the discussion, Kniss called for a 10-minute recess after she tried to ask the audience a question about cellphone usage and was greeted with angry shouts.

Even Holman, who sympathized with the substance of most of the criticisms of Verizon, took issue with the tone of the meeting and chided the audience for its behavior.

"I'm disappointed that, for whatever reason, that this community decided it's OK to yell, to show one behind to the speakers, to stand with middle fingers projected toward at the council," Holman said. "It's not acceptable."

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Comments

34 people like this
Posted by Seelam Prabhakar Reddy
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 3:10 am

Seelam Prabhakar Reddy is a registered user.

It’s disheartening.
Locat residents concerns break my heart.
City hall has not listened to their concerns.

Respectfully


16 people like this
Posted by Equal Treatment
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2018 at 6:52 am

AT&T wasn't required to put their DAS equipment in underground vaults. Why would Verizon be forced to do anything differently?

The upset neighbors just need to take a deep breath and accept that wireless is a fact of life now. Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity is NOT real.


37 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 8:16 am

I attended the meeting. After a speaker was applauded, the mayor asked the audience to indicate agreement or disagreement in silence, such as by waving hands. Until he relocated to the center of the room I was very near the man who "spoke with his thumbs". He started out being verbal and then complied with the mayor's request. Frankly, the way public participation is being limited, I am not surprised to see people expressing their frustration

This article leaves out the emphasis many speakers placed on health concerns. Since the mayor limited speakers to 1 minute we did not benefit from hearing all that a Dr. Russell had to say about health risks associated with 5G. Or all that the Councilwoman from Nevada City had to say about the hazards and that city's bad experience with what I assume is a similar installation. Or all that a very articulate teenage girl, Alexis, had to say about her concerns for her generation about the dangers of 5G.

Those in favor of Verizon's plans spoke primarily in favor of better cell coverage, but this need was clearly questioned as was the argument that the additional capacity would serve us well in an emergency.

There are many facets to this issue. What I find disturbing is that Council members had more questions than comments, evidencing a lack of understanding of the technology, vaulting issues, the credibility of Verizon's claims, and the potential serious health issues. It seemed to me that CC wasn't sufficiently informed to make a decision that could well impact us health wise. Furthermore, the director who approved the Verizon plan that prompted the appeals, Hilary Gitelman, was not there to explain her reasoning because she no longer works for the City. So the only option was to rely on her findings which were not well explained.

With frequent comments about time, the need to move on to the next agenda item, Verizon's reluctance to agree to an extension and Staff's concerns about additional work that would be associated with continuing the matter, CC voted. I think this was premature. A big win for Verizon, a small victory for those eager for greater cell coverage, and a potential disaster for the health of this community.

I have been a Verizon customer for years. Last night's meeting will prompt me to look at other options. Suggestions?


36 people like this
Posted by Reinette Senum
a resident of another community
on May 22, 2018 at 8:28 am

Ultimately, THIS is what your city council representatives voted for while Palo Alto Online (and the rest of the media) ignored the justifiable public outcry over health risks. We should all be very concerned:

The Dangers Of 5G – 11 Reasons To Be Concerned

The USA is currently leading the way on 5G. At the June 2016 press conference where the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) head Tom Wheeler announced the opening up of low, mid and high spectrum’s. There was no mention of health effects whatsoever. But the dangers are real.

5G Radiation DangersThousands of studies link low-level wireless radio frequency radiation exposures to a long list of adverse biological effects, including:

DNA single and double strand breaks
oxidative damage
disruption of cell metabolism
increased blood brain barrier permeability
melatonin reduction
disruption to brain glucose metabolism
generation of stress proteins

Let’s not also forget that in 2011 the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio frequency radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen.

More recently the $25 million National Toxicology Program concluded that radio frequency radiation of the type currently used by cell phones can cause cancer.

But where does 5G fit into all this? Given that 5G is set to utilize frequencies above and below existing frequency bands 5G sits in the middle of all this. But the tendency (it varies from country to country) is for 5G to utilize the higher frequency bands. Which brings it’s own particular concerns. Here is my review of the studies done to date – 11 reasons to be concerned.

#1 – A Denser Soup of Electrosmog

We’re going to be bombarded by really high frequencies at low, short-range intensities creating a yet more complicated denser soup of electrosmog – as this diagram shows.

Source: Latest on 5G Spectrum – EMFields Ltd.

To work with the higher range MMW in 5G, the antennas required are smaller. Some experts are talking about as small as 3mm by 3mm. The low intensity is for efficiency and to deal with signal disruption from natural and man-made obstacles.

#2 – Effects on the Skin

The biggest concern is how these new wavelengths will affect the skin. The human body has between two million to four million sweat ducts. Dr. Ben-Ishai of Hebrew University, Israel explains that our sweat ducts act like “an array of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths,” meaning that we become more conductive. A recent New York study which experimented with 60GHz waves stated that “the analyses of penetration depth show that more than 90% of the transmitted power is absorbed in the epidermis and dermis layer.”

The effects of MMWs as studied by Dr. Yael Stein of Hebrew University is said to also cause humans physical pain as our nociceptors flare up in recognition of the wave as a damaging stimuli. So we’re looking at possibilities of many skin diseases and cancer as well as physical pain to our skin.

#3 – Effects on the Eyes

A 1994 study found that low level millimeter microwave radiation produced lens opacity in rats, which is linked to the production of cataracts.

An experiment conducted by the Medical Research Institute of Kanazawa Medical University found that 60GHz “millimeter-wave antennas can cause thermal injuries of varying types of levels. The thermal effects induced by millimeterwaves can apparently penetrate below the surface of the eye.”

A 2003 Chinese study has also found damage to the lens epithelial cells of rabbits after 8 hours of exposure to microwave radiation and a 2009 study conducted by the College of Physicians and Surgeons in Pakistan conclude that EMFs emitted by a mobile phone cause derangement of chicken embryo retinal differentiation.

#4 – Effects On The Heart

A 1992 Russian study found that frequencies in the range 53-78GHz (that which 5G proposes to use) impacted the heart rate variability (an indicator of stress) in rats. Another Russian study on frogs who’s skin was exposed to MMWs found heart rate changes (arrhythmias).

#5 – Immune System Effects

A 2002 Russian study examined the effects of 42HGz microwave radiation exposure on the blood of healthy mice. It was concluded that “the whole-body exposure of healthy mice to low-intensity EHF EMR has a profound effect on the indices of nonspecific immunity”.

#6 – Effects on Cell Growth Rates

A 2016 Armenian study observed MMWs at low intensity, mirroring the future environment brought about by 5G. Their study conducted on E-coli and other bacteria stated that the waves had depressed their growth as well as “changing properties and activity” of the cells. The concern is that it would do the same to human cells.

#7 – Effects on Bacteria Resistance

The very same Armenian study also suggested that MMWs effects are mainly on water, cell plasma membrane and genome too. They had found that MMW’s interaction with bacteria altered their sensitivity to “different biologically active chemicals, including antibiotics.” More specifically, the combination of MMW and antibiotics showed that it may be leading to antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

This groundbreaking finding could have a magnum effect on the health of human beings as the bandwidth is rolled out nationwide. The concern is that we develop a lower resistance to bacteria as our cells become more vulnerable – and we become more vulnerable.

#8 – Effects on Plant Health

One of the features of 5G is that the MMW is particularly susceptible to being absorbed by plants and rain. Humans and animals alike consume plants as a food source. The effects MMW has on plants could leave us with food that’s not safe to consume.

Think GMOs on steroids. The water that falls from the sky onto these plants will also be irradiated. A 2010 study on aspen seedlings showed that the exposure to radio frequencies led to the leaves showing necrosis symptoms.
5g radiation effect on plants

Source: Web Link

Another Armenian study found that MMWs of low intensity “invoke(s) peroxidase isoenzyme spectrum changes of wheat shoots.” Peroxidase is a stress protein existing in plants. Indications are that 5G will be particularly harmful to plants – perhaps more so than to humans.

#9 – Effects on the Atmosphere and Depletion of Fossil Fuels

Implementation of the 5G global wireless network requires the launching of rockets to deploy satellites for 5G. These satellites have a short lifespan which would require a lot more deployment than what we’re currently seeing. A new type of hydrocarbon rocket engine expected to power a fleet of suborbital rockets would emit black carbon which “could cause potentially significant changes in the global atmospheric circulation and distributions of ozone and temperature” according to a 2010 Californian study. Solid state rocket exhaust contains chlorine which also destroys the ozone.

The effects on the ozone are thought to be worse than current day CFC exposure.

Google’s Project Loon is said to bring Internet to rural and hard-to-access areas by using helium balloons. But these balloons only have a 10-month lifespan. We’re looking at a lot of helium being used here, more than what we can possibly have on Earth?

#10 – Disruption of the Natural Ecosystem

Since the year 2000, there have been reports of birds abandoning their nests as well as health issues like “plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship and death,” says researcher Alfonso Balmori. Bird species that are affected by these low levels, non-ionizing microwave radiation are the House Sparrows, Rock Doves, White Storks, Collared Doves and Magpies, among others.

But it’s not just the birds. The declining bee population is also said to be linked to this non-ionizing EMF radiation. It reduces the egg-laying abilities of the queen leading to a decline in colony strength.

A study conducted by Chennai’s Loyola College in 2012 concluded that out of 919 research studies carried out on birds, plants, bees and other animals and humans, 593 of them showed impacts from RF-EMF radiations. 5G will be adding to the effects of this electrosmog.

#11 – Most 5G Studies Mis-Leading

5G will use pulsed millimeter waves to carry information. But as Dr. Joel Moskowitz points out, most 5G studies are misleading because they do not pulse the waves. This is important because research on microwaves already tells us how pulsed waves have more profound biological effects on our body compared to non-pulsed waves. Previous studies, for instance, show how pulse rates of the frequencies led to gene toxicity and DNA strand breaks.
Live Testing Already Begun

AT&T have announced the availability of their 5G Evolution in Austin, Texas. 5G Evolution allows Samsung S8 and S8 + users access to faster speeds. This is part of AT&T’s plan to lay the 5G foundation while the standards are being finalized. This is expected to happen in late 2018. AT&T has eyes on 19 other metropolitan areas such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, San Francisco and so on. Indianapolis is up next on their 5G trail due to arrive in the summer.

Charter, the second-largest cable operator in the US, has been approved for an experimental 28 GHz license in Los Angeles. The outdoor tests will use fixed transmitters with a 1 km or smaller effective radius.

Qualcomm has already demonstrated a 5G antenna system with about 27 decibel gain. According to ABI Research, is “about 10 to 12 more db than a typical cellular base station antenna.” Not a good sign.

Many more private sector companies such as HTC, Oracle, Sprint, T-Mobile are playing a role in the developing of testing platforms by contributing time, knowledge or money.

In the UK the 3.4GHz band has been earmarked for 5G use with contracts awarded to O2, Vodaphone, EE and Three. While the 2.3GHz band, awarded to O2, is likely to be used for 5G too in time.
Call to Action

Research and pre-testing is rampant by companies who are interested to tap into the lucrative waters of 5G. But few are willing to research its effects on health. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) guidelines remain essentially unchanged since 1998, not allowing for the recognition of radio frequency microwave radiation and MMWs as harmful unless there is a heating effect. But a few experts are speaking out.

DariuszLeszczynski from the University of Helsinki and also former member of the International Agency Research on Cancer is one of them. He has brought to attention to ICNIRP intention to classify skin as limbs. Limbs are paid lesser attention to when classifying exposure levels. Research indicates that MMWs affect the skin and the eyes the most. If skin is classified as a limb, this will pave the way for industry giants to introduce even higher exposures and put more people at risk.

The Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARD) addressed a letter to the FCC in September of 2016, bringing to their attention the harm 5G will inflict. GUARD warned the FCC that 5G violates Article 3 of The UN Declaration of Human Rights which states that “everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” The document is laden with research, information and global support.

To learn how to write, call or email the relevant agencies to protest against the 5G deployment go here parentsforsafetechnology.org
What Experts are Saying

Here’s what experts are saying about 5G:

“Along with the 5G there is another thing coming – Internet of Things. If you look at it combined the radiation level is going to increase tremendously and yet the industry is very excited about it…. they project 5G/IoT business to be a $7 trillion business.”
-Prof. Girish Kumar, Professor at Electrical Engineering Department at IIT Bombay

“The new 5G wireless technology involves millimeter waves (extremely high frequencies) producing photons of much greater energy than even 4G and WiFi. Allowing this technology to be used without proving its safety is reckless in the extreme, as the millimeter waves are known to have a profound effect on all parts of the human body.”
-Prof. Trevor Marshall, Director Autoimmunity Research Foundation, California

“The plans to beam highly penetrative 5G milliwave radiation at us from space must surely be one of the greatest follies ever conceived of by mankind. There will be nowhere safe to live.”
-Olga Sheean former WHO employee and author of ‘No Safe Place’

“It would irradiate everyone, including the most vulnerable to harm from radiofrequency radiation: pregnant women, unborn children, young children, teenagers, men of reproductive age, the elderly, the disabled, and the chronically ill.”
—Ronald Powell, PhD, Letter to FCC on 5G expansion

How To Protect Yourself From 5G

My 3 step approach for dealing with EMFs can be summarized as:

Understand your exposures. Understand the different types of EMFs and how they behave – hence the need to read (and share) articles like this one.
Measure – use an EMF meter to obtain readings and identify hotspots.
Mitigate your exposure. Which means either eliminate the source, move further away from the source of radiation or shield your body.

I recommend the same approach with 5G. There is a concern that current EMF meters are not able to measure the frequencies of MMWs. On this point, researcher Alasdair Philips from Powerwatch states “current RF meters cover the frequency ranges proposed for most 5G use in the next three years”.
Endless Possibilities For The Future

5G may bring about a new form of industrial revolution, human connectivity and even a new reality. It offers endless possibilities for the future.

We do need more research. But already what is clear, as the research I’ve shared here indicates, is that there are real dangers.

Which is why it even more important to take action to protect yourself and your loved ones. Please share this article with your friends and family.

Sources include:
A 5G Wireless Future – Dr. Cindy Russell
Latest on 5G Spectrum – EMFields Solutions Ltd
IJMTER ISSN (online) 2349 – 9745 Evolution of Mobile Generation Technology: 1G to 5G and Review of Upcoming Wireless Technology 5G by Lopa J. Vora
Web Link
Web Link


26 people like this
Posted by Midlander
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 8:55 am

Midlander is a registered user.

I am very glad that this was finally approved.

Wireless safety standards feel to me like an issue that should be debated at the national level, not at the city council level. We don't expect the Palo Alto city council to have the power (or the expertise) to try to overrule the FDA on drug safety. For similar reasons, they don't seem like the right forum for arguing over wireless safety issues. Personally, the data and analysis I've seen indicate there are no health hazards associated with small cell towers. But if you disagree, raise it with Congress or the FCC, and have the debate at that level.


20 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2018 at 9:08 am

I applaud the city council by approving these must needed infrastructure to improve wireless reliability in Palo Alto and not buckling to the tin foil hat contingent.


7 people like this
Posted by AllYouCanEat
a resident of Mountain View
on May 22, 2018 at 9:19 am

Tin foil hat... Done!


16 people like this
Posted by RadiationMan
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2018 at 9:28 am

I'm skeptical about the safety concerns. Sounds like the same wacky nonsense surrounding fluoridated water and vaccinations. Given the fact that we are constantly bombarded by cosmic rays, cell phone radiation is a fourth-order effect.
As for aesthetics, once you have a telephone pole, things attached to it are, again, a fourth-order effect. Ordinary people [portion removed] get used to these background objects in our environment and don't even notice it after a while.


36 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 22, 2018 at 9:58 am

Online Name is a registered user.

We watched the meeting from home absolutely horrified and increasingly disgusted as the night went on.

It was obvious many pn the council hadn't done their homework and/or were less than honest on several fronts. Adrian Fine, who'd lived here his entire life ASKED if the city had EVER undrgrounded utilities which they did in my neighborhood about 20 years ago.

Then Greg Sharff, supported by James Keene, said undergrounding is too expensive and hence only a "dream." The city made US pay for the connection to out homes and only gave us a list of approved trenching contractors who charged me around $8,000. I'd like my money back adjusted for inflation.

Why would Ms Kniss insist people wave silently wave their hands and not object verbally? Viewers at home can't see the audience even with the millions spent on to "improve" the council chambers.

A Verizon speaker said they'f spent between $10M and $30M researching the safety issues. That's a mere pittance; PA spends that on road furniture.

The former mayor from Carson City sdrove 7 hours to warn us about the health risks and was only given 1 minute. Did the Council graciously thank her? Nope.

For those talking about emergency warnings, why did no one blame the city for its inaction and inability to provide same?

For those talking about spotty coverage, shop around and/or switch plsns.

Shame on Ms. Kniss for her stage-managing the meeting to call for s 10 minute break when she didn't like the audience comments and not using that time to probe the very real concerns about this.


15 people like this
Posted by Dave
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 10:16 am

Glad to see this was finally approved!! Cell service in the Midtown neighborhood is atrocious. Can't get those extra towers installed soon enough.


33 people like this
Posted by Damn the residents
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 11:19 am

The Corporate Cabal did it again. Residents be damned, there's money to be made here.

Scharff as usual preempted the discussion with his damn-the-residents motion. So immoral. Corporate advocate Kniss helped as best he could bemoaning how long it takes.
Wolbach pretended concern, then fell in line with the cabal. Does he fool anyone?


25 people like this
Posted by concerned
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 11:29 am

This article misses the main points. There are serious health risks that were explained at the meeting. ALso, it was explained this technology has the possibility of being used for crowd control with the ability to snoop on us and to incapacitate us at any time.

Those who lamented about cell phone coverage in emergencies should note that in the Sonoma fires those who used landlines had a better response. These folks should get a land line and ethernet

Firemen have gotten exemptions from cell phone placement because they got ill when cell towers were placed near the. I interviewed Swiss farmers who all got sick (their animals and plants got sick, too) when cell towers were placed near them.

The council members who voted that they want to make all the residents sick should be held personally responsible for the health damages and should be voted out To me people who vote to make us sick are not serving us but are serving something else.


9 people like this
Posted by Not a valid issue
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 11:58 am

For allof you talking about health concerns, you should know that according top the Federal Communications Act, pammi Alito cannot consider health concerns as long as the company follows FCC radiation guidelines. Yes this rule applies to pammi alto as well.


14 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2018 at 12:07 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

not a valid issue,

Sounds like your issue is not FCC regulation guidelines but Palo Alto residents who disagree with you.

Federal guidelines are probably managed by Verizon lobbysts so they may as well be called Verizon federal guidelines.


19 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 22, 2018 at 12:25 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Not s valid issue, one of the outgoing FCC commissioners just slammed the current FCC as a body of corporate stooges much like many of the other federal departments and agencies are becoming.

Have you somehow missed all the news about how the EPA, National Park Service etc. etc. have scrubbed their websites of all mentions of science, health hazards and certain medical condition and procedures? To cite just one example, are you unaware that using the phrase "climate change" is explicitly banned?

Shame on oh-so-green PA here in the heart of Silicon Valley for following suit.





23 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Annette is a registered user.

It was not a good meeting. When the mayor called for a break it was pretty clear that she was exasperated. But the rancor was earned. I went in support of another person and ultimately turned in a speaker card b/c I have unanswered questions about the possible health concerns associated with these transmitters. I think it fair to say that those opposed to the plan felt they hadn't been listened to.

It is worth remembering, I think, that each person on the dais sought the opportunity to sit there. A few paid a lot of money for the privilege. Most residents at a CC meeting are there because an issue is important to them. They do not WANT to be there in the same way that Council members do; there's no benefit to offset the inconvenience of attending or the time spent. But our system hinges on public participation (at least it is supposed to)so when an issue is important to them, they go. Last night it was clear that many people feel very strongly about this divisive issue and they had prepared for double or triple the amount of time the mayor allowed them to speak. Imagine this: something matters deeply to you and the gatekeeper to participation says <you have one minute to speak to what matters so much to you that you left your home to come here and speak to us. 60 seconds, come forward and be ready when it is your turn>.

A minute is akin to an insult. Is it any wonder that the dynamic at these meetings is so often strained?


6 people like this
Posted by Not a valid issue
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 12:31 pm

Resident 3 and online name-- the issue is that the are federal rules that Pali alto and all other cities have to follow with regard to cell phone tower placement. The factis that this law was put in place in 1996, so ithas nothing to do with oor current administration or resident 3 laughable comment. My point is that the city cannot take into account all the speakers that spoke about supposed health risks.


22 people like this
Posted by Bob Gleason
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 22, 2018 at 1:05 pm

Maybe the city can ask Verizon to include noise cancelling speakers to each pole to help block out all those SFO bound planes dropping out of warp speed over our city..


15 people like this
Posted by K3
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm

K3 is a registered user.

Thank goodness this passed. Thank you everyone who has supported this here and in other forums and made the effort to express their views whether in person or otherwise.

If you are concerned about crowd control and surveillance, get informed. For example, read "Data and Goliath" by Bruce Schneier. 5G isn't the issue, the use of data gathered without your knowledge is. Stop using Facebook and Google as a start. Use Apple phones, not Android. Use always-on VPN to encrypt all your data. Don't use free apps, pay for them. Clear your cookies often. If you want to get real serious, turn off your GPS locator when you don't need it, wear face coverings or face recognition-fooling articles. Or, don't go out in public anymore. Many many things that have nothing to do with 5G.

If you're concerned about health, realize that the closer the antennas are, the lower power your phone operates at. Your phone is a transmitter too, and most of the radiation you get comes from your phone, not the tower. Closer towers mean less radiation. If this simple fact from high school physics isn't obvious to you, it may mean you can't discern fake science from real.


2 people like this
Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on May 22, 2018 at 2:46 pm

Annette is a registered user.

@K3 - thank you. It's been a long time since high school . . .


22 people like this
Posted by Shake and Fake
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 3:27 pm

The question that was NEVER answered was: What happens during an earthquake?

Utility poles were never intended to have 1,200 lbs of antenna placed at the absolute topmost position. We NEVER saw any confirmation from PA Utility officials that a thoughtful scientific engineering analysis was performed confirming that the existing utility poles would not SNAP in an earthquake.

Given that ALL of these cell cites are in South Palo Alto, (lets not discuss why the utilities have not yet been placed underground as promised 25 years ago), and ALL of our power, telephone, and Cable TV/Internet come across these poles, when the big one comes, will we have 11 poles snapped off resulting in no power or communications?

Again, we have never seen an independant peer reviewed seismic study confirming that our current utility poles are strong enough for these monstrosities.

Along with the INSANE Ross Road bike-way debacle...this is just another reason to TOSS OUT THE CURRENT CITY COUNCIL.

November cannot come soon enough.


6 people like this
Posted by K3
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 22, 2018 at 3:40 pm

K3 is a registered user.

---
What happens during an earthquake?
Utility poles were never intended to have 1,200 lbs of antenna placed at the absolute topmost position.
---

Now this is the first valid question I've seen raised on this entire issue.


7 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2018 at 3:59 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

not a valid issue

"My point is that the city cannot take into account all the speakers that spoke about supposed health risks."

Yes they can. That's something federal laws allow for.

And they can find a really good reason to vote with residents, they just went with Verizon.


21 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 22, 2018 at 4:03 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Boy, do PA residents look dumb following the mayor's instructions not to protest verbally but to wave their hands.

Web Link

Too bad our multi-million dollar council chambers never show the audience for the many watching from home. Too bad we've been told that only people actually willing to spend 4 or 5 hours sitting in the cc chambers count. Sort of.


4 people like this
Posted by Cynic
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 22, 2018 at 4:30 pm

Verizon states it will be 150 lbs of equipment per pole.


19 people like this
Posted by resident3
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2018 at 4:37 pm

resident3 is a registered user.

Online name

thanks for posting video of the Mayor making Palo Alto look ridiculous

That't pretty much what they do all the time




1 person likes this
Posted by Shake and Fake
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 4:44 pm

Just to be clear here.

There is no need to find magical "found on the internet health" reasons not to put the micro cells on the telephone poles.

When the poles snap off 5 feet from the top in a 6.0 earthquake...tin foil is not going to protect you from the antenna bouncing off your head.

[Portion removed.]


2 people like this
Posted by Shake and Fake
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Cynic,

150 lbs is a laughable value.

Telecon, transmitters, conduit, antennas, power supplies at only 150lbs?

The signal conduit alone probably weights 150 lbs.

Laughable...simply laughable.


19 people like this
Posted by Ripped off
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2018 at 6:55 pm

I am not in favor of the towers but the decision seems to have been made. So disappointing the city council caves to big business and does not respect concerns of residents. I agree with the assertion that there must be some solution that would have allow undergrounding of the antennas.

After city council ignoring concerns of residents what I find most concerning is that the city is receiving $270 annually from verizon for each pole. Is this a typo, is there a zero or two missing? How do these rates get set? Seems to me our wonderful city council got fleeced.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2018 at 12:14 am

To all those worried about the possible health risks I have some questions for you.

Do you have microwaves in your kitchen? Do you grill meats and vegetables with raw flames for outdoor cooking? Do you eat processed foods? Do you eat high fat foods and add sugars to your diet? All these add risks of cancer and other diseases to your body?

Or are cell towers the only thing that concern you?


1 person likes this
Posted by K3
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 23, 2018 at 8:39 am

K3 is a registered user.

Reinette Senum posted a laundry list of fears. I actually took a couple of minutes to look some of them over, since my orientation is to always look for conflicting evidence to my own opinions. All of them I looked at are unsubstantiated by any kind of reference to original research and repeatability. Many are just laughable. "27 dB antenna gain" being something to fear? That's hilarious. It simply means that for the same signal received by the phone, the transmitter can operate at lower power, which is good all around for everyone. Looks like a lot of this posting is copy/pasted from Web Link which reads like a comedy script.


14 people like this
Posted by ENID PEARSON
a resident of Crescent Park
on May 23, 2018 at 11:10 am


This is a perfect example of what happens when the public does not have an advocate for a cause. One of the
most popular projects that the council I served on (1965-1975) and supported unanimously was under grounding theutilities in all Palo Alto neighborhoods. We had hopes that this could be done within 10-20 years. Such a policy would need someone who would continually remind all future councils and especially city managers that this
was a policy to be carried out. It became easier to just ignore it and the policy was lost long ago. But it is still on the books and could be carried out. It has been made difficult because the cost of undergrounding has been placed on the residents and not as a city-wide policy and I am told it might cost each homeowner about $10K. I still think it was a good policy and all of Palo Alto would have benefited. Telephone poles and their lines and all the stuff placed on them does not make for enhancing any neighborhood. And who knows what health hazards may be forthcoming.


15 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 23, 2018 at 12:17 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"It has been made difficult because the cost of undergrounding has been placed on the residents and not as a city-wide policy and I am told it might cost each homeowner about $10K."

It cost us almost $10K 15 or 20 years ago when my neighborhood was undergrounded. All the city did was give us a list of approved trenching contractors and leave us on our own. My contractor did ok but others had some ugly fights with the city and their contractors over what was really required.

It is shameful that certain CC members like Mr. Fine didn't do their homework on undergrounding when ramrodding through yet another decision. He didn't even know that neighborhoods like mine did underground although he's lived here his entire life. I was equally appalled that Greg Sharff and the city manager called undergrounding "an expensive dream" when the city passed much of the cost to residents.

Shame on the CC for not bothering to explore undergrounding the Verizon equipment and summarily dismissing the residents' concerns.

Why was there such a huge rush to ramrod this through when so many residents had so many concerns? Some answers would be special.


3 people like this
Posted by Benjamin Kleschinsky
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2018 at 3:32 pm

I think this is very disheartening, and I hope these people are able to sell their homes. Our government is not doing enough to protect our people, and California so far has been the only state to address the dangers of overexposure to this pollution right next to your home. Perhaps one day the United States FCC will catch up with the rest of the world such as all of Europe and Russia, in lowering what is regarded as safe limits to RF exposure. Our current limits were set before cellphones exited, time for a big change right now.


4 people like this
Posted by Please @.@
a resident of Midtown
on May 23, 2018 at 5:46 pm

@Benjamin Kleschinsky: I hope you're planning on giving up your cell phone and your wifi at home. Those are the lead cancer causing objects in your home right now! And just think, you put your cell phone right up against your brain!


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