Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Cell phone towers extra cash for schools / Letter to the Reporter / Too young for a cell phone

Madness in the school system!
What next? Child slave labour to pay for schools? Can't be any more harmful from what they are doing now! Martin
August 3, 2008 - 5:33PM

Cell phone towers dial up extra cash for schools

Hayley Ringle, Tribune

Many East Valley school districts have found an easy way to bring in extra money as they deal with tight budgets: leasing land or easements for cell phone towers.

It's something school districts have been doing for years, most since the mid-1990s, and it's been a lucrative way of getting extra revenue.

Cell phone tower photo by Thomas Boggan, East Valley Tribune; graphic by Hayley Ringle and Jayson Peters, East Valley Tribune

The Mesa Unified School District, which has 38 towers throughout the district, brings in about $419,000 a year from the leases.

The Gilbert Unified School District gets $96,000 annually, enough to pay for two teachers.

The Chandler Unified School District has received about $1.3million from 15 cell phone towers on district campuses, including a 30-year lease at Basha High School with T-Mobile worth $856,000, said Frank Fletcher, an associate superintendent for support services.

"For us it's really pretty painless and we get a significant amount of funding for occupying a piece of our property," Fletcher said. "For us it's kind of like a cash cow. It contributes to our funding issues that we have in the state, and it's a good thing for both parties."

School districts are always looking for new ways to bring in more money to help pay for new technology, school supplies, employee salaries and emergency situations.

Most districts rent out their cafeterias or auditoriums for churches and organizations. The schools offer day care or before- and after-school programs to bring in extra money. Other districts, such as Chandler, offer catering services. The cell phone towers are just another source of revenue.

David Giglio, a site acquisition manager with Vinculums, a California company that subcontracts with SBA Towers, scouts out areas to put cell phone towers. SBA is an independent company that builds the towers and then leases the space out to various cell phone carriers.

"Essentially you get to the area where a carrier wants a cell tower and look for certain spots that work," said Giglio, adding the Phoenix area has several thousand cell phone towers, usually every mile or two. "You want an open area that's commercial, industrial or a field."

Giglio has worked with several school districts, including Gilbert, where the school board approved leasing land Tuesday for two new cell phone towers at Desert Ridge High School. The district already has eight towers on its campuses.

The company will put in new light poles at Desert Ridge's soccer fields to put the cell phone antennas on. This helps the district with lighting their fields, something they couldn't afford before, while giving the cell phone companies the coverage they need.

The district also negotiated extra money for a new digital marquee at Desert Ridge.

This agreement is for five years with 10 additional renewable terms. The first year the district will get $17,000, and then after the first year the lease will convert to a monthly payout of $1,000 per tower, increasing 15 percent every five years.

Some districts have a monthly lease, and some get a lump sum from the cell phone tower companies.

The Florence Unified School District has two cell phone towers at Walker Butte K-8 School, and is in negotiations for a third tower, said Dana Hawman, director of school construction and developer negotiation.

Besides getting extra lights on the baseball fields, Hawman said, the district also negotiated extra money to update Walker Butte's concession stands and to buy a new stage curtain.

The district receives between $22,000 and $24,000 a year from the leases. The money is distributed throughout the district to buy books, software and pay for other needs.

The Scottsdale Unified School District leases land for the towers not only for the money, but also for safety reasons to provide adequate cell phone coverage in the neighborhoods, said David Peterson, an assistant superintendent.

"We're helping to develop that network," Peterson said.

The Scottsdale district has 20 cell phone towers on 14 sites, and receives $22,000 a month from the leases. The money is used to pay salaries for staff members, Peterson said.

While most of the cell phone antennas are on light poles, some of the towers are actually turned into faux palm trees.

All of the cell phone towers on Chandler's elementary school campuses and at the transportation building are the palm tree towers, Fletcher said.

"We have the palm tree towers because palm trees were natural to the setting," Fletcher said. "It just made sense. It blends with the area."

The Chandler district has 15 cell phone towers, with five more in various stages of being put up, Fletcher said.

Some of the cell phone towers have been a concern to parents in the past who say the towers are health risks to their kids.

The issue arose in the Chandler district about three years ago.

Fletcher said there's no documented health-related issues linked to the towers.

"There are studies out there that say cell phones and cell towers are dangerous, but most of them were done under direct radiation," Fletcher said. "That doesn't happen on the school campus. By the time the electromagnetic field drops 60 to 100 feet (from where it's placed on the high towers) it should dissipate to where the kids are."

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 12:51 AM
Subject: Cell phone towers dial up extra cash for schools

Hayley Ringle (reporter)
East Valley Tribune
Hi Hayley
I do not know what sort of people are running the Pheonix school system, but it seems that they are not very bright.
There are masses of scientific studies which show that microwave radiation (as used by cell phones) is genotoxic, causes cancer and a great many other serious adverse health effects. School board trustees have a duty to know this sort of information and to protect their children. They should look at the Bio-Initiative report for scientific information which details the health harm caused by electro magnetic radiation, it can be accessed at . For details of how animals , birds, bees and the environment are being affected by EMR, they can look at .
It is clearly time for some of your civic leaders to go back to school and learn about the dangers that they are putting school children into. I have attached several stories which are relevant to cell phone towers and cancer clusters.
Yours sincerely
Martin Weatherall
Director WEEP - Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Sylvie"
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 6:27 PM
Subject: Too Young for a Cell Phone By Louis Slesin

Too Young for a Cell Phone By Louis Slesin

NEW YORK, New York, July 25, 2008 (ENS) - The brains of young children absorb twice as much as radio frequency energy from a cell phone as those of adults, according to a set of new calculations carried out by Joe Wiart's research group at France Telecom in the suburbs of Paris.

"[Our] analysis confirms that peripheral brain tissues of children seem to be higher exposed than the peripheral brain tissue of adults," Wiart concludes in a paper that appears in the July 7 issue of the journal "Physics in Medicine and Biology."

"Children are not simply small adults," Wiart explained in an interview with "Microwave News."

"Their skin and their skulls are thinner than those of adults, and their ears are smaller too," he said. "Given these differences, the higher SAR for children is not surprising."

SAR stands for specific absorption rate, a measure of the rate at which radio frequency energy is absorbed by the body.

These new findings apply to children who are eight years old or younger. Above the age of eight, the SARs in children are much like those of adults, according to Wiart.

"I agree with Joe," said Niels Kuster, the director of the IT'IS Foundation in Zurich. A team led by Kuster and Andreas Christ recently completed a project for the German Federal Office of Radiation Protection, which like Wiart, found that regions of the brains of young children can have exposures that are twice those of adults - or even higher.

Even more striking, Kuster and Christ concluded that the "exposure of the bone marrow of children can exceed that of adults by about a factor of ten."

They also report that children's eyes are more highly exposed that those of adults.
Whether or not children are at a greater health risk than adults has been debated since at least the year 2000, when a UK panel chaired by Sir William Stewart advised that parents limit their children's use of mobile phones.

Since then, other government groups, especially those in France and Germany, have issued similar precautionary recommendations.

The mobile phone industry has long disputed the possibility that children are at any greater risk. For instance, earlier this year after the French Ministry of Health reiterated concerns over children's use of cell phones, the MMF, an industry lobby group, issued an advisory stating that cell phones do not present health risks to any users "regardless of age."

The MMF has relied heavily on statements issued by the World Heath Organization's EMF Project in Geneva, and the Health Council of the Netherlands.

For instance, in a paper published in 2004, the Health Council concluded that, "There is no convincing scientific data to assume a difference in the absorption of electromagnetic energy in heads of children and adults."

{Louis Slesin is founding editor of "Microwave News," which for 25 years has covered the nonionizing electromagnetic spectrum, with special emphasis on mobile phones and power lines, as well as radar and broadcast towers.}

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.