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NYT on Cell Phone Tower Controversy

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the cingular-can't-even-properly-cover-seattle dept.

Communications 481

prostoalex writes "The New York Times discusses the controversy of placing cell phone towers on top of hills, a practice to which many people object. According to the article, people frequently complain about the visual impediment and are afraid that property values will decline or some health damage will be done with radio waves. At the same time, people get quite irritated when proper phone service is not provided by the operators, and the calls keep dropping or coverage is poor outside of densely populated areas. Phone companies also lease the land to place the cell phone tower for $30,000-$50,000, which is attractive to many landowners, but some, like Sammy Barsa from NYT article, find themselves persona non grata in the community."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403284)

Frosty Piss, mofos!

We Need Reception (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403290)

Fuck the eyesore. We need to the reception. fp?

business model (4, Funny)

appleLaserWriter (91994) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403294)

Fro $50k / hill / month, I'll be happy to play the role of persona non grata.

New ebay auction. (5, Funny)

mctk (840035) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403328)

For $50k a month, I'd be happy to host a cell tower on my head.

Re:business model (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403395)

Exactly. If I owned the land, I should decide what to do with it, even if it does mean screwing the community's view for a cool $50k.

Contrawvessie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403441)

that's how the english prounounce it.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403295)

NIMBYs. That's new.

It's actually a pretty sweet deal (5, Interesting)

Ahkorishaan (774757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403300)

As someone who has had a cell phone tower on their property, I think it's a pretty sweet deal. And they aren't really that intrusive anymore, some designs are actually rather low profile, of course those are only meant for rural town coverage, but it's still not so bad.

And the 28,000 we recieve a year is as much as the income of a low-income family.

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (5, Interesting)

eUdudx (880557) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403362)

In passing, I mention my kin in NH who declined the (approx) $10k/year becaue of previous experience with property owners who allowed the addition of 7/24 blinking lights on their horixon. It was as if they didn't want to be remembered as the ones who "were the beginning of the end" in their rural area.

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (5, Informative)

anagama (611277) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403532)

In my town, there is a cell tower that looks like a Douglas Fir tree. If you know it is a cell tower, you can tell that it's false, but people usually don't notice it until being told it is a cell tower. Something like -- "do you see something odd on that hill over there?" isn't usually enough. Something like "see that tree next to the _____ and up from the _____, that's a cell tower." That's usually enough to help people pick it out.

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403599)

The fake tree cell towers I've seen are 1) much taller than the surrounding trees, 2) not shaped like the nearby trees, and 3) regular in shape, unlike real trees.
For instance:
http://campus.champlain.edu/faculty/whitmore/img/w ireless/Cell-Tower-Tree.jpg [champlain.edu]

or

http://danbricklin.com/log/0f010790.jpg [danbricklin.com]

or

http://www.80acres.com/Stupid%20things/stupid_thin gs.htm [80acres.com]

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403375)

Of course, what I find hilarious....is that while complaining about sparsely located hilltop towers, these people somehow managed to overlook the residential power lines, telephone lines and cable TV lines strung haphazardly from pole to pole every 100 feet at varying heights all throughout their countryside. I think I'd rather see a couple of towers than a mess of wires hanging every which way through my neighborhood.

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (2, Insightful)

Achromus (810984) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403594)

The Not-In-My-Backyard people also are ignoring water towers, which are considerable more visible. Interestingly, water towers can be used as a landmark to tell your relative location. I would find the idea that someone could use the cell phone tower as landmark intriguing. I get lost so easily...

Re:It's actually a pretty sweet deal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403497)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Why not make them really thin (3, Insightful)

Azadre (632442) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403304)

That way no one can see them from afar ;)

Re:Why not make them really thin (3, Funny)

joetheappleguy (865543) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403667)

Just make them hill-shaped and you won't be able to see it. :)

Not just cell towers (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403306)

Wind farms are seen the same.
Its an expansion of the technological lifestyle, and a shift away from the purity of nature.

I'm all for people reusing industrial/hidden rundown areas for these eyesores, and prefer to keep the countryside views clear.

A Little Creativity Please ... (1, Insightful)

rewinn (647614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403313)

Cannot most of these towers be esthetically disguised as, say, eagle-nesting platforms, power-generating windmills, or some sort of tall, carbon-based, sunlight-absorbing life-form?

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403340)

I would prefer to have nests of small transitters enclosed and contained within a treeline.

Use more smaller masts and coverage of an entire valley can be performed without being visible at all.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (1)

rewinn (647614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403372)

>nests of small transitters enclosed and contained within a treeline

That sounds cool. After all: The best disguise is the real thing!

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (2, Interesting)

Daverd (641119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403350)

There's a radio tower next to a highway near where I live. Whoever built it decided to put some branches and some needles on it to make it look like a tree.

You can tell it's a radio tower. It's the one tree that's twice as tall as all of the other trees, plus it looks fake. If anything, it's more of an eyesore.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (5, Informative)

BrowserCapsGuy (872795) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403396)

Here in Coral Gables, Florida (The City Beautiful) there are quite a few cellphone towers disguised as trees. http://www.fraudfrond.com/ [fraudfrond.com]

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403400)

I've seen ones that look like trees (not very realistic, but I suppose better than the normal). Now you couldn't nest eagles, the RF could seriously hurt them at close range if powerfull enough (I don't know the wattages those things use, but they are up in the microwave range of frequencies). As for widmills, I suppose that would be possible, but people complain about those too so you're back to square one. Let's face it, people will complain when ANYTHING is put up on that hill that they think disrupts the view. Even a building with a small antenna on top to provice cell coverage (the most normal looking thing) would be complained about I bet.

Utility Camo ... (4, Informative)

Kozz (7764) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403445)

A company named Larson has done exactly as you suggest [utilitycamo.com] for lots of different towers.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (3, Interesting)

anubi (640541) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403450)

Yes - a little creativity now could save a helluva lot of irritation!

Where I go to college, there is a cellphone antenna array on the top of the tallest building - but you will have to really know what you are looking for to find it... its hidden in a work of art - and looks like part of the building!

Very well hid.

Maybe they should send some of their people to Disney to work in some of the theme parks to discover how Disney makes art. They are damn good at making one thing look like something else. And making it look good.

Even the cable company around here is finally getting into the act and now installing the aboveground workings of their neighborhood distribution electronics in faux fiberglass boulders which blend in with the decor of the neighborhood... those ugly green "breadboxes" they had were an eyesore, graffittied on, and often kicked in disgust. Nobody wanted that ugly thing gracing their front yard.

The thing looked as out of place as an abandoned old car battery.

They need to hire some artists... and use a little creativity so they don't create neighborhood eyesores.

RTFA - Or just look at the pictures (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403467)

Go team slashdot.

"The towers, sometimes disguised as fir trees, cacti or flagpoles, were once confined mostly to sparsely populated stretches of highway or industrial zones. More are being planted in residential areas as the wireless companies - responding to subscriber demands - race to build their networks for seamless coverage."

Look at the article to see the pictures of the mentioned cacti and fir tree

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/business/01tower s.html?ei=5058&en=6871db49a586b2da&ex=1115611200&p artner=IWON&pagewanted=all&position= [nytimes.com]

Re:RTFA from Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403612)

Mod +1 Irony

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (1, Redundant)

mikael (484) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403517)

In the UK, the companies have done deals with the local churchs to have the transmitters installed inside the church towers.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ...[bell ringing] (1)

rewinn (647614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403580)

>transmitters installed inside the church towers

... thus ringing in a whole new set of changes on the art of change-ringing ... The Ringing World [ringingworld.co.uk]

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403692)

Now the silly christians can sit and cook their brains a little each sunday. Hell, the really devoted ones will be sizzling their cells 6 or 7 days a week. Hopefully it'll affect their overall ability to breed.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (1)

nrlightfoot (607666) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403589)

STFU noob, RTFA.

Re:A Little Creativity Please ... (1)

rewinn (647614) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403669)

Why waste time on unoriginal insults? I'm sure that you can actually add something creative to the discussion with only a little effort.

Your "STFU noob" is not doing anything about your "$23,304.01 in loans and no job" whereas you might actually get somewhere with a well-reasoned response or, alternatively, something that is creative and funny.

Good luck!

Sweet Deal (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403326)

It's a sweet deal if you happen to own a piece of land that a phone company wants to use for a tower. For whatever reason, they prefer to lease land rather than buy, and they pay pretty well for the priveledge of doing this. My mother has such a piece of land, and it nets her around $1000/month last I heard.

What really makes the deal sweet though is that the amount of land taken up by the tower is really small, and you're free to do anything else on the land that you want. I suppose what they're really leasing from you is the privlege to put a tower on your property.

In my mother's case it's a rental property with a fair amount of land, and the tower sits back far from the house. So it doesn't really interfere with the tennants lives, and it basically gives her money-for-nothing every month.

Re:Sweet Deal (4, Funny)

sik0fewl (561285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403440)

... and it basically gives her money-for-nothing every month.

And her chicks for free..?

Re:Sweet Deal (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403560)

A girl died in 1933 by a homicidal murderer. He buried her in the ground when she was still alive. The murdered chanted, "Toma sota balcu" as he buried her. Now that you have read the chant, you will meet this little girl. In the middle of the night she will be on your ceiling. She will suffocate you like she was suffocated. If you post this, she will not bother you. Your kindness will be rewarded.

Re:Sweet Deal (2, Insightful)

grommit (97148) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403473)

The cell phone companies most likely don't want to have to deal with real estate taxes were they to buy property to put towers up. There's many municipalities that get the majority of their tax base from property taxes and things like cell phone towers would most likely be taxed highly due to "impact."

NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (5, Insightful)

PornMaster (749461) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403331)

Not In My Back Yard for...

Cell phone towers
Windmill farms
Nuclear power plants

People would love the benefits of all three, but only if they're nowhere to be seen, or in the case of the nuke plants, just far, far away.

I hope for karmic retribution for these people.

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (1)

karearea (234997) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403416)

Another NIMBY is ...

Prisons

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403423)

Don't forget landfills.

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (2, Interesting)

sgt-at-arms (601239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403693)

Just outside Augusta, Georgia, in the summer of 1997 (?), a huge regional fight between two towns occurred about whether or not to build a Wal*Mart distribution center. The town which stood to gain more of the deal (employment, tax revenue, and what springs from those) was the town prepared to sell the land. The other town (affluent, tax-healthy, mostly white) didn't want it, and took the first town to court in a higher level of government, and defeated the proposition. Who should have won that battle?

A few years later, a Wal*Mart store was built in the affluent town. What's NIMBY about a distribution center as opposed to a retail storefront?

The American Public knows what it wants, it just can't reconcile opposing factors.

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403487)

The thing about cell towers is that they aren't especially dangerous and they don't produce noise or polution or much of anything anyone should bitch about. This sounds like pure technophobia to me. They can't even come up with a reasonable complaint about why they don't want the towers near them.

If you don't want something in your line of sight then buy all the land around where you live. Otherwise fuck off. Stop telling other people what they can and can't do with their own land.

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (2, Funny)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403547)

If you don't want something in your line of sight then buy all the land around where you live. Otherwise fuck off. Stop telling other people what they can and can't do with their own land.

Remember that sentiment when your upwind neighbor wants to build a pig farm or a junkyard.

(not equating a pig farm with an innocuous cell phone tower, but blanket statements about land use are silly)

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (4, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403680)

I've lived next to a pig farm. It sucked but I didn't try to tell them they couldn't have pigs.

Farming, I think, does have more reasons for some controls. There should be some control as to the waste output of farms. I've seen to many that just dump their sewage into the local water system without any treatment or anything.

My experience with living in rural areas is that you always live next to a junkyard. You always have some enighbor who thinks it's a good idea to have 50 scrap cars, a few refridgerators, etc spread across their property. Again it is none of my business as long as they aren't imposing a safety risk to the community.

If you're not creating a danger to others and you're on your own land then you should be left alone. I hate community nitpicking. Home Owner's groups are the worst. Noooo you can't build your kids a tree house.. that might look tacky and lower land values. Doh. Then you have endless hassles over installing solar or wind power because neighbors don't like the way it looks. Who cares if it's better for the enviroment. :p

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (4, Funny)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403521)

NIMBY is old-school. The joke among developers and those who have to site projects today is that NIMBYs have turned into BANANAs

Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (4, Interesting)

duffbeer703 (177751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403734)

That's funny.

It reminds me of some of the events that happened in Upstate NY in the last few years. Its a region where the only real employer left is government, and new jobs are supposedly a highly desired commodity to local leaders.

The first was a microprocessor fab, to be built in an existing industrial area and to employ nearly 2,500 skilled people. The objections from the surrounding suburban communities that tipped the county legislature's decision?

Increased traffic.

The second was a concrete plant intended to replace an existing plant that was built during World War 2. The new plant would use newer technologies that would decrease most types of air pollution, but increase particularate matter emmissions slightly; while tripling output and doubling employment.

The construction wasn't approved, after a multi-million dollar advertising campaign... now the existing plant is going to be expanded, which will translate into a net increase in pollution and less new employment.

But some wealthy land speculators won't have their pristine views spoiled! Thank goodness!

Re:NIMBY is what's going to screw us... (3, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403689)

I hope for karmic retribution for these people.

I'd mod them down for you, but most of them don't use Slashdot.

Simple fix (2, Funny)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403333)

"but some, like Sammy Barsa from NYT article, find themselves persona non grata in the community."

That's easy to fix. If anybody complains, threaten to turn up the power!

Recent Police Murder (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403336)

The MURDER of Frederick J. Williams

Greetings. I am Melvin Johnson, a friend for 18 of Mr. Williams' 31 years of existence, as well as Attorney (now along with 2 others) on this matter. Unfortunately, I just recently read your article regarding Mr. Williams' tragic death. On behalf of Mr. Williams and the family and supporters, thanks for your humility and conscience regarding this 31 year old lost (and never to return) father of 4 very young children (ages 1 thru 9), husband, only child, church deacon, beloved friend, etc. Secondly, I wish to correct some statements in your article (again sorry that I am responding so late, I've been very busy).

(1) All evidence clearly suggest (to any objective-minded-red blooded-human) that the incident which started at the Williams' home was a medical emergency and an eventual MURDER. From all of the 911 calls Ms. Williams did describe Mr. Williams' threatened violent behavior, but clearly and repeatedly explained to the dispatcher that Mr. Williams had problems with his medication and this problem was causing his behavior. Even the 9 year old son repeated the same. In fact, this child's last plea to the Dispatcher was "please bring the truck with the medicine," not the taser guns.

(2) Although Gwinnett is refusing at this time to provide the entire 911 tape (which should include conversations between the dispatcher and all emergency authorities). I am certain that said recordings will indicate that the dispatcher communicated that Mr. Williams behavior was due to a medical problem.

(3) Even assuming arguendo that the dispatcher failed or forgot to mention the cause of Mr. Williams' behavior to the authorities, when the first officer arrived on the scene and before he even approached the home or Mr. Williams, Ms. Williams and a deacon from the church greeted the officer and clearly explain the situation. In fact Ms. Williams and the deacon pleaded with the officer not to approach Mr. Williams but to wait for more officers, since the officer was smaller and appeared much older than Mr. Williams, Mr. Williams was not armed, had not left his property (Mr. Williams was in his garage/drive way), was not harming or threatening anyone and was only 'talking crazy.' The officer told Ms. Williams and the deacon to 'back-up' and the officer pulled out his asperton [baton] and approached Mr. Williams. This officer states in his own post-incident report that Mr. Williams was unarmed, in his drive-way and talking crazy when he approached Mr. Williams. Nevertheless, the officer approached Mr. Williams shouting commands for Mr. Williams to be quiet. When Mr. Williams (who is still 'talking crazy') did not comply, the officer states that he strikes Mr. Williams several times with his asperton. On either the third of fourth strike, Mr. Williams reacts and grabs the asperton. A struggle ensures over the asperton and the officer states that he "loses his balance" and falls. Not once in his report did he state that Mr. Williams intentional makes contact with him. The only contact between Mr. Williams and the officer was pursuant to the struggle over the asperton when the smaller officer falls and is injured as a result of the fall. Mr. Williams neither attacks nor even retaliate against the officer for the blows with the asperton while the officer is on the ground. In fact, Mr. Williams never even took one step towards the officer. The officer states that Mr. Williams essentially continues his 'crazy' speech and behavior and is pacing. The injured officer pulls away and indicates on the radio that he is down and injured. There is no further encounter between Mr. Williams and the officer. Mr. Williams reportedly continues his 'crazy' behavior and his pacing in and out of the house and about the drive-way. Back-up arrives (reportedly 10-15 officers) and storms at Mr. Williams who is still neither armed nor attacking nor threatening anyone.

(4) Mr. Williams is hog-tied (arms bound behind him and feet tightly bound) and is seen carried by police "like an animal" says one witness, is and place in the back of a patrol unit. Ms. Williams', the deacon and others on the scene begged the police to please take Mr. Williams to the hospital for treatment as Mr. Williams appeared unconscious. The police respond that "this guy has injured one of our own, we will take him to the jail and deal with him, we have all of the medicine we need at the jail." Persistent, Ms. Williams goes in the house, grabs and tenders Mr. Williams' medications to the officers. The police refused it and repeat the foregoing. Scared from the reaction of the police at the scene, the deacon calls Mr. Williams' pastor via cell phone and begs him to do something before "these people kill Fred." The Pastor request to speak to an officer. The Pastor reiterates the reason for Mr. Williams' behavior and pleas for medical attention, but he is told the same. An ambulance arrives and is seen treating the injured officer, so the family and witnesses go and plea with the ambulance for medical attention for Mr. Williams. They are turned away by police. Mr. Williams is transported to the jail. This entire incident is witnessed by Mr. Williams' 4 very minor children. This is the last memory that they have of their daddy alive. This is the last memory we have of our husband, only child, deacon, friend, etc., alive. An officer who eventually transports Mr. Williams dead body to the hospital tells the medical staff (and this is documented in the medical reports) that he observed Mr. Williams foaming from his mouth and uncontrollably jerking in the patrol car at the scene at the Williams' residence.

(5) At the jail, while still hog-tied and securely bound, Mr. Williams is tasered at least 5 times according to the autopsy reports. I say at least 5 time because not every taser attack results in an identifiable burn mark. There are mounted cameras at the jail and an officer reportedly had a hand held camcorded to record the entire ordeal. Of course, at this point, Gwinnett has refused to provide either of these recordings. Gwinnett County justifies the tasering under these conditions because according to another written report by a senior officer at the jail, Mr. Williams was reportedly thrashing and jerking his body upon arrival at the jail. Nowhere in this second report does the senior officer indicate that Mr. Williams attacks any of the officers, throws a punch, kick, bite, or anything; nonetheless, Gwinnett County officials, in the media, justifies the MURDER of this young father, husband, only child, deacon, friend, etc., because his apparent thrashing and jerking was "combative" while he is still hog-tied and securely bound. In fact, the senior officer records in his report that Mr. Williams is conscious at least for a moment, and utters his last and only words "PLEASE DON'T KILL ME." Upon arrival of Mr. Williams' body at the hospital, Doctors record that there were plastic instruments that were apparently used to hog-tied Mr. Williams at his house. Doctors' examinations revealed acute with suspicion of chronic renal failure, negligible brain activity, negligible pulse, and negligible blood pressure. His hands and feet were cold and capillary refill was poor. He had no eye movements, no muscular movements and his entire body was flaccid. His pupils were dilated 6 mm and fixed. Doctors' impression were that there was cardiac arrest, brain hemorrhage, pulmonary embolus and/or seizure. Mr. Williams reportedly lost all pulses at about 1948 hours. He had no gag response.

Re:Recent Police Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403403)

Sad, but the solution is to call up the ACLU, get a lawyer, and sue for $1, admission of wrongdoing, and legal fees, and refuse to settle (assuming you're not a greedy fuck, its the admission of wrongdoing that you're really after).

Trolling with the story here on slashdot isn't helping anyone.

Re:Recent Police Murder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403616)

YHBT.

Cell Phone Towers & Light Pollution (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403338)

I know cell phone towers are becoming a bane for us amateur astronomers. They are even sprouting up in remote dark sites that were once safe havens from light pollution. At a minimum if the towers would use red instead of white light the problem wouldn't be as bad.

Re:Cell Phone Towers & Light Pollution (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403545)

Unfortunately the red lights confuse the migrating birds.

from
http://migratorybirds.fws.gov/issues/towers/beason .html [fws.gov]

"Two aspects of tower lighting that can attract birds are its color (white lights, ultraviolet, or specific wavelengths) and the duration of light (strobes, flashing lights, or steady lights) as pointed out previously. Both these aspects remain unresearched. Unfortunately, there have been no controlled experiments as to which colors birds find most or least attractive. Anecdotal reports, again as Al has pointed out earlier, are that white lights seem less attractive that red lights, and strobes might even be less attractive, but we really don't know."

Re:Cell Phone Towers & Light Pollution (1)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403552)

At least that is a real, valid, complaint that could be taken into account and done something about. Just not building towers isn't a solution. Building towers that don't pollute the night skies though is a solution. I assume they use lights for safety reasons? (Planes etc). What do radio and tv station towers do to reduce this problem?

Re:Cell Phone Towers & Light Pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403639)

I assume they use lights for safety reasons? (Planes etc). What do radio and tv station towers do to reduce this problem?

Safety for light aircraft which for some reason fly at low altitudes.

Radio and TV towers tend to be centered near already light polluted towns, and there are less of them. Power transmission lines use a low intensity red lights plus they aren't built as high. These cell phone towers on the other hand are just popping up everywhere with their bright obnoxious strobe lights that can be seen for miles.

Re:Cell Phone Towers & Light Pollution (3, Interesting)

ces (119879) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403687)

Radio and TV masts generally will have solid or flashing red lights to warn low-flying aircraft.

Some of the more recent towers use white xenon strobes instead of the more traditional slow flashing red lights.

I suspect the strobes are what the astronomers are complaining about.

Damage via cell phone rad (3, Informative)

doublebackslash (702979) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403343)

Ok, lets just get ONE THING F*ING CLEAR:
Radiation is not like other everyday occurances, either radiation ionizes your molecules/atoms, or it dosen't. It's not like pushing a car down the road, where you will get thre no matter what, its just a mater of time, no. It's more like pushing a car up a hill, either your strong enough, or not.
Thats is why lab rats get cancer, or other assorted forms of doom, when they are exposed to "Cell phone like radiation", they get a higher dose to 'accelerate' (change the outcome of, whatever) the experiment. If they were given the dose that you recieve from standing a few hundred feet from a tower, or holding a cell phone an inch or so from your brain the rats would have jack.
Do some research, folks. Better yet, how bout the media do a bit of reporting! Tell folks what I just did, DUMB IT DOWN, make peoiple understand that unless the tests are fair, they mean SQUAT.
Sorry for all the shouting. False science makes me angry. You should hear me in my programing class.

Re:Damage via cell phone rad (5, Insightful)

Easy2RememberNick (179395) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403609)

Yes and people strap magnets to every part of their body thinking it affects their "magnetic blood" (which it isn't) in some way. Lord help you if you put a 300 foot high cell tower ten miles away from them...they're gonna die!!

Meanwhile they get an MRI which is 50,000 times stronger than the entire Earth's magnetic field.

I can see how dictators do it, it's so easy.

Re:Damage via cell phone rad (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403651)

False science makes me angry.

You mean false science, such as claiming outright labrats "would have jack" if a cell phone was held an inch from their heads, without ANY shreds of scientific scrutiny, calculations, citations, or even useful links?

It's amusing how you criticize the media and others and yet you do the exact same thing yourself!

Re:Damage via cell phone rad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403691)

shut up fag

Re:Damage via cell phone rad (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403712)

You mean false science, such as claiming outright labrats "would have jack" if a cell phone was held an inch from their heads, without ANY shreds of scientific scrutiny, calculations, citations, or even useful links?

No he didn't. He quite clearly explained the concept of the photoelectric effect and band structure to you, perhaps you missed it?

Typical "yes, but not in my backyard" syndrome (1, Interesting)

malraid (592373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403354)

People want to have their cake and it also. Right in front of my house is a huge electric tower that take power to an Intel fab about a mile away. Yes, they wanted Intel to set up a plant here. No, nobody was willing to sacrifice a little for the benefits. Anything new to see here? no, I don't think so

Re:Typical "yes, but not in my backyard" syndrome (1)

suresk (816773) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403397)

This occurs in any sort of public project, and comes down to home values (ie, how much can I cash out this month to pay for my boat or whatever) in most cases.

There are some light rail & commuter rail projects being planned here, and they would greatly benefit the whole region in many ways. Unfortunately, they fight angry homeowners every step of the way, because they don't want current tracks utilized more, or old ones being used again, because it makes their property values go up less.

I guess I can see their point, but it also sucks to have public projects derailed because people want to make tons of money off their houses.

Re:Typical "yes, but not in my backyard" syndrome (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403453)

I admire your stoicism, but how about finding better solutions that are less objectionable?

Instead of ugly power lines, let's lay power and telephone lines underground, even if it does cost a few extra bucks. Instead of hundreds of cell towers, how about a high altitude airship?

Re:Typical "yes, but not in my backyard" syndrome (1)

malraid (592373) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403481)

Hey, I'm all for it, but in the meanwhile it's not like Intel is going to work with candlelight. Let me put it this way: we're a small country. Last year our gross internal product grew 5%, but 2% of the figure is solely due to Intel. And even then our economy sucks, imagine without Intel

Re:Typical "yes, but not in my backyard" syndrome (1)

Otterley (29945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403514)

Burying cable seems less objectionable only with the shortest of foresight. Underground cables can break or wear out (especially in earthquake prone areas), and they can't be easily upgraded to accommodate new technology. Every time maintenance needs to be done, the street needs to be dug up.

Ever priced out a trench to bring new cable to your house? As soon as you do, you'll be smacking yourself upside the head for railing against "those eyesore utility poles." Everything artificial is an eyesore for the first hour or so; after that you barely even notice anymore.

For crying out loud.. (1)

beldraen (94534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403361)

Make the tower look like a tree! Sheesh!

Re:For crying out loud.. (2, Funny)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403398)

There are no trees in NY.

Re:For crying out loud.. (1)

sik0fewl (561285) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403461)

Then make it look like an apartment building.

Re:For crying out loud.. (3, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403550)

I don't know about elsewhere, but the fake-tree cell phone towers in New York look awful. Yes, we do have real trees, and no, this [fraudfrond.com] doesn't look like a tree. It looks like a fucking cell phone tower with a few tiny fake branches at the top. Is it so hard to make it look a little more realistic?

Re:For crying out loud.. (2, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403724)

But...but...doesn't a tree grow in Brooklyn?

IMO Cel towers better than phone poles (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403381)

The visual blight caused by regular phone poles and electrical poles is far worse than for cel towers. Why do people accept regular phone poles but make such a fuss over cel towers? Regular phone poles are much more dangerous as well - consider the number of people who are hurt or killed when they hit them with cars...

Re:IMO Cel towers better than phone poles (1)

Peyna (14792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403582)

Regular phone poles are much more dangerous as well - consider the number of people who are hurt or killed when they hit them with cars...

Only because they hit telephone pole instead of the tree right behind it. If you were going fast enough to die hitting a telephone pole, chances are you weren't going to make it no matter what you hit going off of the road.

Re:IMO Cel towers better than phone poles (2, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403742)

There are places in the Grand Rapids area where long roads end in quick, 90-degree turns, with a house on the corner. Most of these places have large rocks between the road and their house, in case someone falls asleep at the wheel.

Make them less ugly (4, Interesting)

hugzz (712021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403382)

I live on a hill in a very foresty area. it's very beautiful, but there's TV towers directly across a few kilometers on another mountain. They really dont stand out too much so i really wonder how much extra effort it would take to camoflage them in

Surely just painting them light blue or white to suit the sky would make them half dissapear. Cheap and easy solution for a non problem.

Oh, and for the record- our TV reception SUCKS.

Re:Make them less ugly (4, Insightful)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403421)

Surely just painting them light blue or white to suit the sky would make them half dissapear. Cheap and easy solution for a non problem.

Tell that to the first guy to fly into the tower because he COULDN"T SEE THE TOWER. There is a reason the toweres I see are neon orange with red blinking lights. Make them hard to see and you are asking for a helicopter/plain pilot to fly into one. Although, I wonder how you can camoflage a 2,000 foot tower. Making it look like a tree is a joke. Making it dark makes it harder to see, and a danger to pilots.

As for you TV reception, try tuning to that channel. It could be the multipath interference, or maybe you just aren't tuning to that channel.

Church steeples are a good spot (5, Interesting)

_merlin (160982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403426)

In Australia, they've started renting space in church steeples. They make the antennae very unobtrusive, and their RF and SONET gear doesn't take up much space. Pumps quite a bit of money into churches that can be used for community projects, aid, missions, etc.

Re:Church steeples are a good spot (5, Funny)

F13 (9091) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403503)

Improves ones reception to God too.

Re:Church steeples are a good spot (1)

Soko (17987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403513)

Excellent idea. Truly excellent.

Though, it reminds me of how my dad used to answer the phone on occasion.

"Heaven, God speaking."

Soko

Re:Church steeples are a good spot (2, Interesting)

templest (705025) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403548)

Didn't Jeebus flip out and spaz at a bunch of people for doing just that (Pimping out the church, or conducting business around it)? Although I do see the social benefits of such a thing, wouldn't it go against the morals of Christianity? Kind of offtopic, I know (Mod accordingly if you want). But perhaps there are limits to where one can and cannot conduct business.

For example, instead of going about sticking massive recievers in housing sectors, why not find a way to make them less obtrusive (note: obvious)?

And as a side note: Find a way to fix these fucking towers. Whenever I plug ear-phones into my speaker's earphone jack, I get the fucking radio on it. Same goes for the phone. And to top it off, It's one of those "Classic Rock" stations. For fucks sakes. Look at this [939bobfm.com] and vomit. I hate Bryan Adams with a passion. One could say, Christ-like passion... No? Yeah, kinda shitty joke. Whatever.

Re:Church steeples are a good spot (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403615)

Valid point. Jesus, on two occasions, was recorded as driving people out of the temple for selling animals for sacrifice. Maybe this is inappropriate use of church buildings.

And I agree, it'd be nice if they could make all their towers unobtrusive. Not those weird-arse disguised towers as shown on the NYT article. Just try to blend them into the buildings.

you FaiL It. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403459)

BSD has always use the sling. NetBSD posts on OpenBSD, as the may be hurting the do and doing what Effort to address *BSD has lost more auvailable to and personal 7ate. Let's not be free-loving climate you. The tireless join in. It can be To predict *BSD's (7000+1400+700)*4 [nero-online.org]. Claim that BSD is a To say there have for trolls' erosion of user rotting corpse look at the From now on or from the sidelines, revel in our gay Free-loving climate There are only more stable FreeBSD used to subscribers. Please copy a 17 Meg file operating systems, noises out of the risk looking even EFNet, and apply are about 7000/5 problems that I've to foster a gay and

Yes, it is a health hazard to live near the towers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403468)

Forget "this study" versus "that study."

Use common sense. Do YA THINK it probably is unhealthy? Does it SEEM like it's unsafe?

Well, then, it probably is.

For example, some people actually BELIEVED the EPA when they said the air in downtown Manhattan was safe right after 9/11.

But what did common sense tell you? Did it seem like the air could possibly be safe?

Use common sense.

Re:Yes, it is a health hazard to live near the tow (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403577)

Mesmer's patients honestly felt that he had helped cure them. You know, come to think of it, we should build more cell phone towers. I mean, all that EM radiation is good for you.

It is great to see in America (3, Interesting)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403484)

That you no longer have property rights to do what you please with your property you own. You can't build without a permit, you can't build without getting your plans ok'ed by local zoning boards. You can't develop on your land if it isn't zoned right.

The one thing that retains best value in America and you can't do what you please with it when you own it. Property rights are the biggest thing for a free society, without them you have nothing.

If you had proper property rights for land you own you wouldn't need the EPA becuase you could sue those big companies that polute your land and get the proper restitution for them destroying your land. But perversions in propery rights have made people dependent on the State to receive alimony for damages.

Re:It is great to see in America (2, Insightful)

2short (466733) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403704)

Yes, it's true, the rest of us think we have some right to tell you what you can and can't do with your property. We'll be happy to change our minds, and concede that your land is yours to do absolutely whatever you like with if you will please show us the deed that was issued to you by God. What? It was issued by the State? You mean your ownership of the land is derivative of the society you live in in the first place? Interesting.

I can sue companies for poluting my land right now. So the absence of this ability is clearly not why we need the EPA. Why we do shall be left as an exercise for the student.

Nobody wants them neaby, so hide them (2, Interesting)

DJHeini (593589) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403495)

In my town there are two cell sites (although I still can't get service at my house, so for some reason Verizon Wireless doesn't seem to use these towers, but that's beside the point). One is hidden away in the town church's steeple, which is nice because it gets the church money that it needs and also provides cell service without an eyesore. The other is disguised as a giant (and I mean giant) flagpole next to the main highway. So both provide service (or so I'm told) without making the eyesore of a traditional tower.

Beware of link in summary (2, Informative)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403499)

There's some spammy/spyware like "iWon" thing wrapped in that link. It places a little "iWon" banner at the top of the NYT page, which of course links to some bullshit "iWon" page, which of course probably makes our friend prostoalex a bunch of money.

I'm not sure what else it does as I'm running OmniWeb on my Mac, but Windows users beware.

Clean link: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/01/business/01tower s.html [nytimes.com] ?

More info. . . (1)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403534)

This tool's email address is moskalyuk@gmail.com in case you want to send him some spam of your own.

Re:More info. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403579)

Yes, lets fight spam with... more spam!

Great thinking and intellectual consistency!

Closer is actualy better. (3, Insightful)

Mateorabi (108522) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403523)

As a regular cell phone user, even if you start from the assumption that cell phone ratdiation is bad, it's still better to be close to a tower. Why? Because modern handsets will adjust their power output depending on how far you are from the tower. Yeah, the tower may be putting out 100x the power, but your brain is >>100x closer to your own handset. Its 1/r^2 folks. In fact the taller the tower the better.

Now an eye-sore, it still can be.

A grand solution (1)

blueadept1 (844312) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403536)

Make cell phone towers look like trees? Enormously mutated trees?

Re:A grand solution (1)

rah1420 (234198) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403575)

mutated trees

being done already along Interstate 287 in NJ, among other places. Right at the 202/206 interchange on the southbound side, there's a 'tree' with no leaves except an odd triangle shaped assortment at the top. The trunk is hexagonal as well.

It doesn't bear intense scrutiny, but it kinda sorta blends in.

Hide them as trees (0, Redundant)

a3217055 (768293) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403561)

There is a cell phone tower of the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey that looks like a tree. So don't worry about the towers look bad. They just look like wierd towers unless you don't care that they don't look that bad.

A precursor to wind power problems... (1)

stomv (80392) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403567)

Wind power turbines tend to be placed on monopoles taller than cell phone towers. Furthermore, the "best wind" is often near mountain ridges. The result is that the wind towers that would produce the most electricity tend to be the worst aesthetically.

The cell phone tower v. skyline blight wars will pave the way for (or bottle up) the deployment of wind farms on ridges across the United States. Standard NIMBYism continues with cell towers, and more NIMBYism will come down the pike with wind power.

Much as I hate to... (1)

menace3society (768451) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403608)

As much as I hate to side with phone companies, 'cos I think they're ugly, I do like to see people who bitch about "property values" get rammed in the ass even more. I think it's bullshit that people are allowed to dictate to others what they can or cannot do based on the effect it will have on their property values. It's just yet another way to infringe on personal freedoms so someone else can get richer.

Loud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12403631)

OK, I haven't been at an actual cell tower station, but the last time I was on top of a hill with a lot of radio stuff I didn't hear anything louder than normal. (Hill had I think 3 towers and each tower had a building at the base. The tower(about 70 feet) with the big microwave antennas only had those antennas on them. Cable(waveguide?) was only about 3-4in in diameter and I think that building was the only one I heard anything from. This was all in the middle of 85F heat so if they had A/C it would probably be running). The top of the hill was a few miles from the nearest house, so while they could have made lots of noise, they didn't.

The bit about having a generator running that is mentioned in the article. I doubt it will be running unless there isn't power. Unless electricity costs more than a generator, fuel, and constant refilling of the tanks.
Although, for all I know it is a natural gas generator and they are just on the naturual gas line. In which case it may be a problem, but that is what noise ordanances are for.

Leave it to the NYT (2, Interesting)

unassimilatible (225662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403653)

To report on a "controversy" that about 12 people were talking about.

More agenda-setting, just like with Augusta and the Masters not allowing women members. Only a "controversy" because the NYT ran 100 piece on it.

Yawn.

The one time (2, Funny)

MHobbit (830388) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403684)

or some health damage will be done with radio waves.

The one time wearing a tin foil hat would be optimal...

Well (1)

KingHippo2600 (877977) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403696)

Who are you to say what somebody else should do with their property?

Federal law trumped local wishes (1)

ChrisCampbell47 (181542) | more than 9 years ago | (#12403720)

If you read the article, I think you'll see that the key point of the article isn't the usual NIMBY issues, it's that the town basically rejected the cell tower so Verizon used federal law (and the appelate courts) to trump them and get it put in anyway. The locals were willing to live with spotty coverage, but the cell tower was forced on them anyway.
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