Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shame in Maine / Help New Denver / Towers of cell power

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

18 March 2010

Shame in Maine

Will the Maine Legislature come to its senses before the crucial Cell Phone Vote?

By Ellie Marks

I am about to embark on the second lap of my journey home from Augusta, Maine after a 10 day stay to work on legislation for warning labels on cell phones. Representative Andrea Boland, a gutsy Democrat from Sanford, introduced the legislation months ago which was to center on children and pregnant woman. It called for a warning on the back of the phone that would read "this device emits electromagnetic radiation, exposure to which may cause brain cancer. Users, especially children and pregnant woman, should keep this device away from the head and body". Lloyd Morgan, lead author of "Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons or Concern" and I flew from Portland to Chicago and will soon be on our way to San Francisco. How I wish I had good news to share with you but that is not the case. The posse drove the Californians out of town!

Unfortunately we had to leave early from the "work session" to catch our plane and we missed the end of the circus. There was quite a bit of media there and one reporter got hold of me while I was at the Portland airport and asked how I felt about the way I was treated. I said I had been met with ignorance, close-mindedness and rudeness the likes of which I have never experienced. I truly felt like the rape victim in the courtroom with the rapist and the jury and judge accusing me of wearing clothing that enticed him!!

Allow me to explain. My husband has a malignant glioma from his long term cell phone use. He had a grand mal seizure and his death sentence 10 days prior to Senator Kennedy. Ironically, our son had interned for the Senator not long before this. When we heard reports that the Kennedy family felt his glioma may be linked to his cell phone use my research began. Alan used one for 20 years and the tumor is in his right frontal lobe; he always held the phone to his right ear. He used it 1.2 hours daily (10,000 lifetime hours). We have confirmation from Dr. Lennart Hardell and Dr. Elihu Richter in writing that Alan's tumor is related to his cell phone use. There is no doubt.

I have studied this extensively for the past 21 months. I have testified to Congress, been on the Dr. Oz show, CBS evening news with Katie Couric, FOX news with Shepard Smith, CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer and more. Since going public with this I have been contacted by hundreds who know their brain cancer or that of their deceased loved one's brain cancer was a result of their cell phone use. I have attended expert conferences and learned more than I ever wanted to know. I attended the Senate hearing held by Senators Harkin and Specter on this issue in September, 2009. That hearing made for a change to the FCC guidelines website. They still do not admit there is a link, but they advise of precautionary measures (just in case?). I know the science, I know of the corruption between industry and our government agencies and I know of many deaths already attributed to this- some in their 20's- most in their 30's and 40's. It is possibly the biggest cover-up in world history. What a blatant disregard for human lives!

The session started with a statement by a representative of the Attorney General's office. On March 2, at the hearing, industry informed the committee that Maine did not have a right to look at this type of legislation as it was federally preempted. However, the Attorney General disagreed and now stated this is not federally preempted. One victory for humanity! They then proceeded by asking Dr. Dora Mills to speak. She is the director of the Maine Center for Disease control and spoke in opposition to the bill on March 2. Her speech mimicked industry statements. She had the audacity, in front of victims, to say if we put a label on cell phones we will need to label everything from apples to xylophones. She spoke again at length (seemingly a ploy by the committee) and stated significantly incorrect information. Did you know when you go out into the sunlight you are being exposed to x-rays? She also commented how she could walk across the room, have a ceiling tile fall on our head and kill her so perhaps we need a warning on the tiles! I could not make that up! She feels children need cell phones for safety reasons. The children may be able to reach mommy and daddy today but sadly we may lose many of them to brain cancer later in life. Doesn't sound safe to me! I think you get the crux of it. She also suggested industry provide money for education. Industry states there are no adverse health effects. What are they going to educate children about – murder, greed, and government corruption?

Several of the committee members spoke against the bill and it was if they had not been there at the hearing the week prior when Dr. Franz Adlkofer, Dr. Devra Davis, Dr. David Carpenter, Dr. Om Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Blank testified. They were only allowed 5 minutes each but they were brilliant.

Several victims testified as did many Mainers. Also, I had dropped off many documents for the committee on Marc h 8, including one with language from different cell phone manuals. Senator Brannigan asked why we had not provided him with the information. I explained that he had it in front of him and he did eventually find it. They did not even bother to read the information we gave them! Even the critical language in the manuals did not seem to matter to them. All of the manuals advise in tiny font (probably not within legal guidelines) that in order to adhere to FCC guidelines one MUST not hold the device to their heads or bodies. Each gives a different distance- usually around 1 inch (and that is for a 200 lb 6 ft. man- how far should a teen hold it?). When the 24 year old son of a man that died from this testified on March 2 he held up his iPhone manual and pointed this out. This caught the attention of the committee and they asked industry what this was all about. Mr. Snowden, V.P. of CTIA- the Wireless Association said he did not know and would "have to get back to them on that". Now we have seen 2 significant blunders out in the open; preemption and the fact that FCC emission limits are not being met if the device is being held to the head or body. Industry did not have to get back to the committee as the committee truly did not care.

The comments from the committee were ludicrous; one representative actually said even though she has friends that have died from brain tumors that she thinks was from their cell phone use, she feels the consumer should use common sense. How insulting. My husband used it 1.2 hours a day. Please tell me in what manner he did not use common sense?

Representative Lewin said the experts presented "junk science" and chewed us out about a one line mistake in the Briefing Book we wrote and presented to each of them with valuable information in it (with the error corrected). She inferred that we could not be trusted. But industry can? Instead, perhaps she should have been concerned about the manufacturer's manuals and the preemption lie. She purposely drew the attention to our one mistake.

She also commented that she needs 2 new knees but there is no warning to be cautious on the stairs in the hallway. Representative Stuckey said there are warnings on ladders and chainsaws nationwide. Later industry said those warnings are needed because of the obvious danger. Excuse me?

No one on that committee ever said that it was the duty of industry to prove safety! That is how our government is suppose to operate but the system changes when a trillion dollar industry is at the helm! Cell phones were excluded from pre-market safety testing in 1984. The person in government responsible for that went to work for Motorola months later. That is only one example of the corruption involved in this genocide.

All of this was minimal compared to Representative Campbell's behavior. He actually said something to the effect of who are YOU PEOPLE (directed to Lloyd Morgan and myself) and "who sent you here?". He was raising his voice and quite agitated and asked who paid for us to be here and told us to go back to California. Lloyd approached the microphone and told him he works for free and had a brain tumor and went into more detail raising the question as to whether or not the industry has liability insurance! That peaked the interest of Senator Brannigan and sent the industry trio racing from the room with their iPhones in hand frantically checking on that.

I then approached the microphone quite emotionally. The abuse and gross negligence had taken its toll on me. I related to them that I spent 6 months of my life helping with this legislation. I flew my sick husband cross country to testify. No one pays me for the advocacy work that I do. I was there to help save the lives of Mainers and I was attacked as though I was part of a conspiracy. The conspiracy was the industry seated behind me and the government sitting in front of me. I was so angry I was shaking but I explained that I was there at the request of Representative Boland and that I would indeed go back to California (per Campbell's statement) and watch my husband die from this. I told them I was insulted and I also said that I was appalled at Dr. Mills statements and behavior as she obviously did not listen to our experts as she was talking non-stop to the legislative lobbyist liaison seated next to her during the expert testimonies. I was directly behind her. I then told them this is serious and all studies, even industry funded tainted studies prove that with greater than 10 years of use there is a significantly increased risk of brain cancer- a 420% increased risk if someone begins using it prior to age 20. I commented that they had the opportunity to hear the best in the world last week and that they behaved rudely by talking and walking around during the testimonies. I told the committee they had not shown our experts or this health catastrophe the respect deserved and that they obviously did not hear or understand what had been said. Campbell jumped out of his seat yelling that he was not going to take this from me and Brannigan had to hold him back, calm him down and tell him to sit down and be quiet. I believe Campbell left the room at that time.

I did get an email from one of the committee members later on apologizing and informing me that Campbell probably has mentally illness issues. Why then is he allowed to be on a committee as important as this? Senator Brannigan did apologize to me.

In the interim, industry returned with their newly found insurance information and Mr. Snowden reported that they were self-insured and rattled off some companies that reinsure them. Our coalition will indeed investigate this further. Per what we have read, Lloyd's of London and several other companies worldwide have refused to insure the industry! There is great doubt industry has adequate liability insurance.

Lloyd and I had to leave for the airport at that point, which actually made quite a statement when we got up to go back to California, as Campbell had told us to do (back to our marijuana as one of the committee members had yelled out). I assumed that Representative Boland had been allowed to speak after we had left, but later discovered that they never allowed her to do so. She had an amendment to her legislation and was not able to share it with them! The stage had been set before we arrived. Democracy in action? No way!

As we were leaving several Mainers in the room came up and apologized and said they were embarrassed to live in a state that would have legislators behave in such a manner and show such disregard for human life. No wonder Maine has the highest cancer rate in the United States! I have testified to Congress and witnessed the Senate hearing and we were treated with the utmost of respect from our federal government. That was certainly not the case in Maine!

Over and over again the committee said that they never heard anything from any of us to make them think there is reason for concern. Perhaps they are hard of hearing or it is just a matter of selective hearing. With the threat of a lawsuit why would they do the right thing for their citizens? Perhaps because they truly care about the health and welfare of their citizens? Nope. They were not about to stick their neck out on this issue and they did not do so with dignity. They did so with blatant sarcasm and neglect. They stated that they do not want to scare people unnecessarily and Dora Mills used the analogy that at one point there was a scare that vaccinations in children caused autism so people did not vaccinate. She did not want to see a repeat of this. I am still having trouble with that analogy!

We all tried valiantly for the good of so many and they seemingly had their minds made up prior to our arrival. They did not listen, they did not care, and we were a bother to them. Obviously industry had a strong influence in more ways than we will ever know. Hard to go up against a $4 trillion industry that manipulates our government agencies. What a travesty as 5 billion people use these devices. The jury is not out. They are causing brain cancer, lowering and damaging sperm count along with many other horrific health effects.

I just changed planes at O'Hare and when I went to use the restroom I had to laugh as an overhead warning told me to wash my hands and explained how to prevent the spread of germs. But with proven science and people as young as 5 holding radiation emitting devices to their heads and bodies , we just need to use common sense! I, for one, find this sickening and no hand washing can eradicate this disease of deception. When will money stop trumping health in this nation? I pray for our children and grandchildren that the time is near.

Ellie Marks

Co-founder, California Brain Tumor Association

Founder, WISE (Wireless Information and Safety Education)

Co-founder – "Campaign for Safer Cell Phones"

Co-author- "Briefing Book – Campaign for Safer Cell Phones"

Wife of Alan Marks, victim of brain cancer from his cell phone use


New Denver - one of the last places in Canada where you can be free and safe from cell phone radiation:

I writing you to ask for your help. We have a Facebook page - 'Protestors of cell phones in New Denver'. It is a place of information and education about microwave radiation and its dangers. The people that want cell service also have a page. Now here is the problem, they have people from all over on their page, most of ours our local. They keep saying Telus "enough already we have 400 members flick the switch" Dave Good keeps quoting it in the press as well.

Please join our Facebook page and show support for our stand. Thank you


Susan Yurychuk


(Childrens Health v Cash from Cell Phone Towers)

Towers of cell power

By: Andrea Koskey
Examiner Staff Writer
March 18, 2010

Proposed cell tower site: South San Francisco Unified School District officials are considering allowing Verizon to build a wireless tower adjacent to Foxridge Elementary School, behind homes on Dairy Way.

The ever-growing reliance on cell phones, wireless Internet and mobile devices has challenged cellular companies to provide for and anticipate demand, but that means more towers in open spaces, a development some people oppose.

Heidi Flato, spokeswoman for Verizon Wireless, said anticipating and providing coverage where needed is one of the main goals of wireless companies.

"We look at capacity first," she said. "How the network is currently working and what is next to come. Then we look at the coverage gap. We don't want customers to experience dropped calls."

Verizon Wireless and dozens of other carriers — including AT&T Inc., Clearwire and Cricket Communications — have towers throughout the Bay Area, including hundreds on the Peninsula.

AT&T spokesman John Britton said people want to be connected.

"We are seeing tremendous growth," Britton said. "People are constantly on their handheld device — it's like an extra arm or finger. We have to keep up with that demand."

Britton said AT&T is doubling its capacity for service on the Peninsula and throughout the Bay Area.

One of Verizon's most recent applications is pending in South San Francisco at Foxridge Elementary School. The company wants to address the Westborough neighborhood, where Verizon says customers experience dropped calls. Residents, however, have appealed the plan's approval by the city's Planning Commission. The permit is expected to go before the City Council again in April.

Brian Josef — director of regulatory affairs with CTIA, the international wireless association — said as technology continues to evolve, more towers will be needed to supply the demand for wireless communication.

"We are definitely seeing an uptick nationwide," Josef said of the number of cell towers across the country. "More and more people are cutting the cord and relying on wireless."

To address that demand, Josef said, CTIA is asking the Federal Communications Commission to increase the airwaves wireless has access to.

Before wireless companies build a tower to address that demand, however, local cities must approve the location, height and aesthetics.

Richard Berger, director of Daly City's economic and community development, said towers must comply with city code, which includes a location that does not detract from the neighborhood, avoids residential neighborhoods and minimizes visual impact.

"The site locations could have multiple carriers," he said. "City code requires co-location where feasible."

Daly City lists at least 39 cell towers within city limits.

San Mateo chief planner Ron Munekawa said wireless is a competitive industry and many carriers are trying to stay ahead of the game.

"I don't think we're seeing an increase in the number of towers, but don't think we're seeing a decrease either," Munekawa said. "I'm not that tech-savvy, but I know Clearwire or Sprint is now trying for a 4G network and I would assume as other carriers develop that technology, we will start to get more applications to retrofit existing towers."

There are an estimated 14 FCC-approved towers in San Mateo. Munekawa said a total number was not available, but at least eight applications for new towers are pending Planning Commission approvals, including one at Seal Point Park.

Though city officials and industry representatives have said residents are not in danger of adverse health effects because of radio waves emitted from towers, some residents are still concerned.

According to the Health Physics Society, a nonprofit organization that specializes in radiation safety, towers emit low-enough radio frequencies, so they pose little threat to those living around them.

"There is no scientific evidence to date that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other health effects," according to a 1999 FCC report on radio frequencies released. "While some experimental data have suggested a possible link between exposure and tumor formation in animals exposed under certain specific conditions, the results have not been independently replicated."

However, a report compiled by the Berkeley Health and Human Services Department in 2006 states long-term effects of cell phone towers cannot be ruled out.

Flato said because of these concerns expressed by the three residents in South San Francisco who oppose Verizon's attempts to build the tower at a school site, the company is willing to compromise.

"We want to be a good neighbor," she said. "We operate well below the guidelines set forth by the federal government, but we understand concerns."

Mike Allen, a South City resident opposing Verizon's tower, said Verizon had an idea of what it wanted the tower to look like, and has done little to compromise. The cell company reportedly lowered the height to 55 feet.

"There needs to be better public policy," he said. "It's just going to be an explosion of these things. If they are allowed to do [it] in this manner," South City is in trouble.

Wireless strongholds bring schools revenue

The Sequoia Union High School District should receive nearly $1 million over the next 25 years for granting cellular companies permission to use a portion of at least three district campuses to build cell phone towers.

Jim Lianides, assistant superintendent with Sequoia Union, said the towers are far enough away from the school building that they should not cause any type of harm that opponents often point to when a cellular company looks to build a tower. The extra money, though, will help save some programs or positions, he said.

"In these tight economic times, it certainly is a source of revenue," he said.

Sequoia Union has not reached a budget reduction target for the 2010-11 school year, according to officials. The district operates on a $102 million budget.

Sequoia Union is one of many school districts throughout San Mateo County that allow cell phone companies to build a cell tower roughly 60 feet high in order to cover wireless company service gaps.

The San Mateo Union High School District and the San Carlos School District have approved lease agreements in recent months. The San Francisco Unified School District has also discussed cell phone towers on school buildings.

California schools are facing a $2.2 billion deficit. This month, thousands of teachers will be laid off as cuts to each district's budget run deeper and deeper.

Ron Little, associate superintendent of business services with South San Francisco Unified School District, said the amount the district would receive from Verizon if a tower was built at its vacated school site was still in negotiations.

The application, though, lists a lease agreement between the school district and the wireless phone company for roughly $3,000 each month for the next five years.

South City announced 50 layoffs and a budget reduction of $4.75 million out of its $75 million general fund.

Residents surrounding South City's Foxridge Elementary School have objected to the proposed tower's location and height.

— Andrea Koskey

How safe is exposure?

The Federal Communications Commission offers advice on the possible danger from various transmitters:

Point-to-point microwave antennas (rectangular antennas used to broadcast TV stations): Significant exposures from these antennas could only occur in the unlikely event that an individual were to stand directly in front of and very close to an antenna for a period of time.

Mobile phone and cellular towers: Because the signal from a cellular tower or base station antenna is directed toward the horizon, normal ground-level exposure is much less than exposure if one were very close to the antenna.

Vehicle-mounted antennas: Properly installed, vehicle-mounted, personal wireless transceivers using up to 3 watts of power result in maximum exposure levels in or near the vehicle that are well below the FCC's safety limits.

Cell phones: There is no proof that cellular telephones can be harmful, but if individuals remain concerned several precautionary actions could be taken, such as a greater separation between you and the device. Using a corded headset is one example.

Source: Federal Communications Commission

Towers everywhere

Cell phone companies are putting up more towers to erase gaps in coverage.


Daly City

Redwood City

San Mateo 

South City

Sources: Daly City, Redwood City, San Mateo, South San Francisco

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