Click Banner For More Info See All Sponsors

  • Share this thread on:
  • Follow: No Email   
  • Thread Tools
  1. TopTop #1
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer,

    I honor all the good work you do for our small town of Sebastopol. I appreciate your organizing and attending many community meetings, your excellent work with seniors, and your good communication skills informing us of city matters.

    So I was disappointed by your lone vote July 7 against the prudent resolution giving Sebastopol more local control over emerging technology. According to Sonoma West, you did a sample that convinced you that the majority of the city’s residents had few problems with cell phone use. I am glad that you consult with some of your constituents. But leadership is not just about pleasing the people one talks to. When we were in the early stages of the disastrous Vietnam War, for example, few leaders spoke out against it. Even when it is unpopular, we need public officials willing to protect our health. We are now in the early years of cells phones and their towers, which bring some advantages. But at what cost?

    I hope you will listen to the mothers and others who have researched the studies that prove that cell phone use can damage, especially the brains of young ones. The resolution merely calls for more research and local control before we rush into more cell phone towers blighting our neighborhoods. What do we have to lose by such research and increasing local control of our special town? It might slow things down as we further discuss this matter. Is that so bad?

    In the Fall, 2008, issue of “The American Trial Lawyer” George L. Carlo, M.D., concludes “Catastrophic trouble lies ahead if corrective steps are not taken to stem the tide of dangers from wireless technology.” Dr. Carlo is a distinguished physician and former medical school professor. He cites over 1000 peer-reviewed studies that establish the direct and indirect links between mobile phone use and a variety of health problems. I am glad that both attorneys on the Council had the foresight to vote for the resolution, as did the retired psychotherapist. I hope that the one absent Council member, a nurse, would also support the resolution, from a health perspective. We should have placed more limitations and safeguards on cigarette smoking decades ago and should not wait decades to do so with this new addictive, harmful machine.

    Legislation often lags behind technological advances. In Sebastopol we are often ahead of other places in practicing the precautionary principle and protecting our citizens. We need to continue to provide such leadership, rather than lag behind because some people benefit or want to speed things up. Similar resolutions were unanimously adopted by governing bodies in Los Angeles, Portland, OR, and elsewhere.

    I request that you study this matter carefully, as I have recently, and consider a vote for more caution next time. We need an open, cordial, and respectful discourse on cell phones and towers, rather than let the federal government--with its many high-paid corporate lobbyists--dictate to our small town what is healthy for us. Let’s not rush head-long into more health problems.

    Your cell phone-using friend,
    Shepherd Bliss, [email protected], Sebastopol
    Last edited by Shepherd; 07-10-2009 at 06:36 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  2. TopTop #2
    jeffreyiam's Avatar
    jeffreyiam
     

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    i looking at this issue it reminds me when many years ago a few of us gathered to bring forth the dangers of using round-up and other chemicals for their possible long term toxic effect to humans pets and the natural resources. It was argued that round-up specifically was safe and we were over-reacting. well based on the latest articles backed by unquestionable studies we were right to question the possible harm. CENSORED News – The Lethal Dangers of “Roundup” Made by Monsanto « Genetically Modified Foods, The Silent Killer

    but the damage has been done.

    Now we are faced with something similar as a possible risk to human and unknown risks to animals and some insects such as bees. Studies are mounting as to the potential risks of radio frequencies going ramdomly through the air. I would love to be able to use my iphone internet anywhere in the city but at what long term cost? We really do not know.

    in regards to safeguarding our community. years ago the city council passed a resolution banning, unless no other choice is available, the use of chemicals on city owned lands. I am grateful now knowing that action has prevented many of from being needlessly exposed to now harmful chemicals..

    So do we wait till its proven or can we accept that there may be risks and allow that to be enough or do we wait and say we should have.....

    I am happy to have wifi at my favorite tea and mate bars and plan accordingly when i need internet access.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  3. TopTop #3
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    I would like to clarify my reasons for voting in support of Mr. Wilson's resolution. FCC rules now prohibit us from denying cell towers based on public health concerns. I voted "yes" not because I am convinced that cell towers present a public health risk, but because I believe that the federal or state government should not dictate what criteria we use to decide what is good for our community.

    I share the concerns of my good friend Shepherd Bliss that cell phones can be problematic for a variety of reasons, but I am not convinced that the towers themselves are the problem.

    There is evidence that prolonged use of cell phones may lead to health problems for some people; however, I don't know enough to make that call. I fully appreciate how they have increased our ability to share information with each other and to be instantly connected; witness the recent events in Iran. In roadside emergencies they have been literally life-saving. I also recognize that cell phone use has enabled people in developing countries, where often land lines simply don't exist, to have phone service. They clearly offer many benefits.

    In any event, cell phones are here to stay and their use will only increase in the coming years. But our dependence on them does have consequences that we would be wise to address. One of those consequences is that they call to us more loudly than does the world around us. The State of California wisely recognized that holding a cell phone while driving is clearly a public safety risk. While the law requires us to keep two hands on the wheel, it still doesn't address the issue of attentiveness.

    Being always connected to somewhere else obscures what is right in front of us: neither the beauty of this miraculous world we have inherited, nor the people sitting around the table with us, nor the problems of poverty or injustice or environmental damage that need our attention.

    Perhaps as much of an issue is that constant connectedness means that we are never alone. This is the reason that I personally don't own a cell phone. The soul needs occasional solitude and time for uninterrupted reflection. Individually and collectively, our lives would be poorer if we never had some time to simply sit in silence.

    Technology certainly has the power to shape the human experience and certainly carries great momentum. But that power need not be the determining one. We can still choose how we use technology to either enhance or diminish our lives, but only if we are honest with ourselves about both the possibilities and the risks. And only if we are willing to engage in public conversation about these issues.

    Larry Robinson
    Last edited by Barry; 07-11-2009 at 09:46 PM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  4. TopTop #4
    kichu49's Avatar
    kichu49
     

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Quote Larry Robinson wrote: View Post
    Perhaps as much of an issue is that constant connectedness means that we are never alone. This is the reason that I personally don't own a cell phone. The soul needs occasional solitude and time for uninterrupted reflection.
    Larry Robinson
    I turn my cell phone off when I don't want it to interrupt my solitude...just say no!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  5. TopTop #5
    Larry Robinson's Avatar
    WaccoBB Poet Laureate

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Mind your phone
    Sep 25th 2008
    From The Economist print edition

    Sham radiation can cause real pain

    WHETHER mobile phones can cause cancer remains moot (see article). But they are also accused by some of causing pain. A growing number of people around the world claim to be “electrosensitive”, in other words physically responsive to the electromagnetic fields that surround phones and the other electronic devices that clutter the modern world. Indeed, at least one country, Sweden, has recognised such sensitivity as a disability, and will pay for the dwellings of sufferers to be screened from the world’s electronic smog.

    The problem is that, time and again, studies of those claiming to be electrosensitive show their ability to determine whether they are being exposed to a real electric field or a sham one is no better than chance. So, unless they are lying about their symptoms, the cause of those symptoms needs to be sought elsewhere.


    Michael Landgrebe and Ulrich Frick, of the University of Regensburg, in Germany, think that the “elsewhere” in question is in the brain and, in a paper presented recently to the Royal Society in London, they describe an experiment which, they think, proves their point.

    Dr Landgrebe and Dr Frick used a body scanner called a functional magnetic-resonance imager to see how people’s brains react to two different kinds of stimulus. Thirty participants, half of whom described themselves as electrosensitive, were put in the imager and told that they would undergo a series of trials in which they would be exposed either to an active mobile phone or to a heating device called a thermode, whose temperature would be varied between the trials. The thermode was real. The mobile phone, however, was a dummy.

    The type of stimulus, be it the authentic heat source or the sham electromagnetic radiation, was announced before each exposure and the volunteers were asked to rate its unpleasantness on a five-point scale. In the case of heat, the two groups’ descriptions of their experiences were comparable. So, too, was their brain activity. However, when it came to the sham-phone exposure, only the electrosensitives described any sensations—which ranged from prickling to pain. Moreover, they showed neural activity to match. Some of the same bits of their brains lit up as when they were exposed to high temperatures.

    This suggests that electrosensitivity, rather than being a response to electromagnetic stimulus, is akin to well-known psychosomatic disorders such as some sorts of tinnitus and chronic pain. A psychosomatic disorder is one in which the symptoms are real, but are induced by cognitive functions such as attitudes, beliefs and expectations rather than by direct external stimuli.

    The paradoxical upshot of Dr Landgrebe’s and Dr Frick’s experiment is that mobile phones do indeed inflict real suffering on some unfortunate individuals. It is just that the electromagnetic radiation they emit has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  6. TopTop #6
    Imagery's Avatar
    Imagery
     

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    This reminds me of the uproar that was created when Sonic.net was offering the city FREE WiFi service in the downtown area. A few people came forward, claiming that it would cripple them and prevent them from coming downtown, because the massive radiation would hurt them in some way. These same people, however don't seem to notice that if you take an iPhone through the downtown corridor, there is nary a place that you're not within reach of a Wi-Fi network. I've walked the downtown area trying this out, so it's not just some made-up theory, it's fact.

    I'd like to see someone DIRECTLY correlate cellular phone use with brain tumors and other maladies that people claim - AND EXCLUDE ANY OTHER external causes. Anyone have any idea why your radar detector goes off as you pass by the grocery store? That would be the RF waves coming from the automatic door "eye" - and that's one simple example of many other external sources which could be part of the cause.

    More cell phone towers? As long as they're creatively placed, and don't present a visual eyesore, I would have to support that idea wholeheartedly. Why? I don't have a landline - I have a cell phone. I ended a nice long bike ride early only due to concern about not having cell phone coverage if anything happened where I would need medical attention. If I didn't have this concern, I'd have ridden home from Bodega to Sebastopol.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  7. TopTop #7
    Karl Frederick's Avatar
    Karl Frederick
    Supporting member

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Quote Imagery wrote: View Post
    I'd like to see someone DIRECTLY correlate cellular phone use with brain tumors and other maladies that people claim - AND EXCLUDE ANY OTHER external causes.
    If you'd like to see the correlations you mention, several are available in the August 2007 Bioinitiative Report. (Weblink The BioInitiative Report)

    More recent scientific evidence continues to strengthen the case for causal links between electromagnetic fields and human responses. Not all are adverse -- there are some therapeutic applications -- but, in general, we are living in an increasingly powerful electromagnetic "soup" that is having undesirable effects on us. The old safe radiation level standards are inaequate. More study is needed now, and in the mean time, I think we should prudently do what we can to reduce our individual and collective exposure. I appreciate very much the position taken by Sebastopol's City Council.

    Karl
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  8. TopTop #8
    Sasu's Avatar
    Sasu
     

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Here's a link to a recent new paper endorsed by scientists from around the world that directly links cell phones to the risk of brain cancer:

    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/reasons_us.pdf

    And if you want a copy of the OCT 8 Updated Results of the World Health Organization Interphone Study send me a request. This study did find significantly increased risk of glioma, deadly brain tumor from the use of cell phones. (cordless phones too)

    Sandi Maurer
    EMF Safety Network

    This website is under construction, but does offer links to a lot more information: EMF Safety Network
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  9. TopTop #9
    Barry's Avatar
    Barry
    Founder & Moderator

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Quote Sasu wrote: View Post
    Here's a link to a recent new paper endorsed by scientists from around the world that directly links cell phones to the risk of brain cancer:

    http://www.powerwatch.org.uk/science/reasons_us.pdf

    ...
    Thanks for posting this, Sandy. The study lists 15 "reasons for concern" and I don't doubt that there are "reasons to be concerned".

    For arguments sake, let's say cell phone use (along with the transmitters) increases brain cancer risk 10%. Brain cancer rates are still relatively low, and while this does increase the risk, it's not a high risk. It pales by orders of magnitude to the risk we all assume by stepping into a car. Cars are clearly dangerous! And yet they are a well accepted part of our society. And it's not only the risk of riding in a vehicle, but also the pollution, whether it's fueled by oil or electricity, that increases risk for even non-users.

    You could make the point that you have a choice whether or not you step into a car, whereas you are subjected to cell phone signals (and wi-fi) whether you choose to accept this risk or not. And that is true.

    However, consider that you, along with 99.9999% of the population regularly use some form of motorized transport.

    While the percent of the population that chooses to use RF Frequency radiation (from radio, TV, cordless phone, cell phone, wi-fi) may be less than vehicles, its still damn high!

    So if you are arguing that RF frequency shouldn't be used or promulgated, because there may be some small increased risk, without counterbalancing that with the benefit to society of using the RF frequencies, along with willing consent of all the current users, who by now have heard that there may be risks, would be unfair to all the willing users. Again, society has determined to accept certain risks because their benefits outweigh them and the vast majority supports this.

    So it's not just a question of whether there is a risk.

    To prevent the access to RF frequency use by the majority of others who would still choose to use it, is to similarly impose your will on them, overriding their free choice. And at the moment, it seems clear to me that there is vast majority that supports their use.

    I applaud your determined efforts to educate the public about the possible risks. What is appropriate local public policy is another question. If the City Council votes with the majority of the citizens, then I think their decision will be clear. I hope this issue, including the option for a free wi-fi zone in downtown Sebastopol (which might actually lead to a decrease to the already high level of wi-fi signals downtown, most of which are not available to the public) returns to the council.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-02-2009 at 09:30 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  10. TopTop #10
    Karl Frederick's Avatar
    Karl Frederick
    Supporting member

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Barry,

    If this field had been studied thoroughly enough to enable informed decisions, it would be possible at least to entertain a conversation about risk versus benefit. I think there are a number of other important factors lurking here, and they’re quite difficult to assess on an individual basis. Some of them include the variables in personal susceptibility based on physiology, proximity, numbers of other potential stressors (electromagnetic and otherwise) present, and who knows what else. The same can be said about the risks of being involved in an auto accident.

    However, auto accidents are well-studied, and there are abundant controls and regulations and social habits in place which allow us to be informed of and prepared for the rigors and hazards of driving. Not so with the still-young field of human electromagnetic sensitivities. Who would willingly walk into an electromagnetic field that has the potential to cause internal changes in the body, without knowing in advance what the changes were?

    We are electromagnetic beings. Our organs and cells create tiny electromagnetic fields, and when an external electromagnetic field is superimposed on those innate fields, there is always some level of interference, and sometimes there is change. Sometimes the body’s repair mechanisms can cope with the change, and sometimes they can’t. We don’t know enough to say these fields are safe. There is a growing body of bioelectromagnetic research, and the trend of the emerging evidence suggests greater caution than is now generally exercised. There is also much promise on the horizon for electromagnetically-assisted healing, and it won’t be random; it will involve controlled exposure to electromagnetic fields of specific amplitude, frequency, modulation, duty cycle, etc. What we have now is an ubiquitous low-power electromagnetic soup that has been overlooked for its subtle effects. And sometimes not so subtle.

    Some people are like canaries in the mine – they’re especially sensitive. Thank goodness for them. I look forward to the day when we can look back from the ease of an electromagnetic pollution-free environment and wonder why it took so long to understand what we have been exposing ourselves to.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of a “tyranny of the majority.” That’s what we had with respect to slavery, prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s what we had in the US Congress when we went to war with Iraq in 2003. Some principles need to be allowed to stand against a majority. I believe we ought to let well-developed science prevail; it’s not here yet, and, in the interim, I believe the available evidence is adequate cause for prudence and limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields.

    Karl


    Quote Barry wrote: View Post
    Thanks for posting this, Sandy. The study lists 15 "reasons for concern" and I don't doubt that there are "reasons to be concerned".
    . . . . . . . . .
    What is appropriate local public policy is another question. If the City Council votes with the majority of the citizens, then I think their decision will be clear. I hope this issue, including the option for a free wi-fi zone in downtown Sebastopol (which might actually lead to a decrease to the already high level of wi-fi signals downtown, most of which a not available to the public) returns to the council.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  11. TopTop #11
    Shepherd's Avatar
    Shepherd
    Supporting Member

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    I appreciate the informative, reasonable tones of the emails by Sandy, Barry, and now Karl on these matters. They make me think, rather than merely react. In addition to the importance of cell phones, a conversation such as this is a good model for other difficult issues that our community is dealing with and is likely to have to contend with in the near future.
    Shepherd

    Quote Karl Frederick wrote: View Post
    Some people are like canaries in the mine – they’re especially sensitive. Thank goodness for them. I look forward to the day when we can look back from the ease of an electromagnetic pollution-free environment and wonder why it took so long to understand what we have been exposing ourselves to.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the concept of a “tyranny of the majority.” That’s what we had with respect to slavery, prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. It’s what we had in the US Congress when we went to war with Iraq in 2003. Some principles need to be allowed to stand against a majority. I believe we ought to let well-developed science prevail; it’s not here yet, and, in the interim, I believe the available evidence is adequate cause for prudence and limiting exposure to electromagnetic fields.
    Last edited by Barry; 09-02-2009 at 09:34 AM.
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

  12. TopTop #12
    undermilkyway2nite
     

    Re: Open Letter to City Council Member Kathleen Shaffer on Cell Phones and Towers

    Very well written. Nice! Thank you!!
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

Similar Threads

  1. Draft of article on cell phones and texting
    By Shepherd in forum WaccoTalk
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-11-2009, 10:32 AM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-01-2009, 12:28 PM
  3. Bush Allows Cell Phones to Cuba
    By Zeno Swijtink in forum WaccoReader
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-21-2008, 09:39 AM
  4. New Council Member and Meetings
    By Helen Shane in forum General Community
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-09-2008, 10:40 PM
  5. Are Wi-fi and cell phones safe?
    By Sasu in forum WaccoTalk
    Replies: 118
    Last Post: 03-01-2008, 07:40 AM

Bookmarks