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Sunday Soapbox: Cell Towers, Schools and NIMBYs

Nobody wants a cell tower near their house. Why should we put them near our schools and daycare centers?

"Will this bring about a change in the law, a ban on cell towers being too close" to gas stations, daycares and houses?

This was a question a bystander asked as he watched flames shoot from the cell tower near Rockbridge on Friday, watched as the tower leaned toward a nearby daycare center and gas station.

About 20 children, including five infants, were evacuated from the Education Statation daycare center during the fire. The kids watched it burn from a nearby Ingles parking lot until their parents could get there and pick them up. Some seemed to think it was great fun, while others looked quietly traumatized.

"It was very scary," said Robin Skelley a teacher at the daycare center. "Especially with all the babies and little kids."

And then there are schools, like Smoke Rise Elementary, that have agreed to put a tower on school property. It's good revenue in these times of shrinking budgets, but is it worth it?

When a Tucker school was considering putting up a tower on its property, a lot of parents were vehemently against it, and some were concerned about possible ill effects on the children's health.

I haven't met anyone who wants a cell tower near his or her home. Why does anyone think it's a good idea to have them near schools and daycare centers?

On the other hand, no one wants to make do without a cell phone, either.

So, where is the best place for them? Or are they no more dangerous than any other tall structure?

Robert Thomas. Sr. December 05, 2011 at 08:23 PM
The towers multiply because cell phones multiply. Therefore, the better initial question is how many people really need cellphones, and if they truly need them how much do they really need to speak on them. This writer may be the last person in a developed country (assuming that the USA is still in that group) not to have one or want one. So, what is the "benefit" and the "need"? 1. So your bossman can keep you on a string at all hours, taking away the peace of mind which comes from real time off;. 2. So your wife can henpeck you some more making you vet even your choices at the grocery store. 3. So you can readily speak with your "friends" from Facebook instead of face to face with any real friends you may have. 4. So you helicopter parents can keep a string on your kids so they never grow up. 5. I could go on, but I'm being overcome by nausea. The only real benefit is emergencies, so with all those eyes and phones, one would guess that the crime rate has plummeted. Just watch the news. Folks, you've simply been sold a bill of good, not unusual in this country. As for location near schools, in Dekalb County the answer is necessity brought about by horrible management. Elsewhere it's simple greed.
Anita December 06, 2011 at 06:51 AM
The World Health Organization now lists cell phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. I would not want one near my home or near my child's school.
Terrie R December 06, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Question- are the parents that are worried about the health of their children around a cell phone tower the same parents that allow an elementary school child to have their own cell phone? My kids are grown, but it amazes me to see that some of the same people that give their young children cell phones to use do not worry about the health risks of them using that phone, they just worry about the tower that received that signal!
Robert Thomas. Sr. December 06, 2011 at 11:57 PM
All of this may be a variation of Louis Mayer's? famous comment - 'you'll never go broke underestimating the taste (or intelligence?) of the American public.

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