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Forum Scheduled on Tower Siting
USA Created: 2 Jan 2008
CORNWALL - An educational forum, Responsible Tower Siting: It's More Than Aesthetics, will take place from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, January 12, at the Cornwall Town Hall on Pine Street.

Topics to be discussed include safer tower siting for municipalities, despite preemptions by the Connecticut Siting Council, which has final jurisdiction in this state.

Information will cover zoning and liability issues, as well as the latest research on the health and environmental effects of other wireless technologies, such as WiFi and small wireless computer networks increasingly used in schools, libraries and homes.

The forum is sponsored by the Northwest Conservation District. Co-sponsors include The Housatonic Environmental Action League in Cornwall Bridge; The Housatonic River Commission in Warren; The Housatonic Riverkeeper Mass./ Connecticut in Lee, Mass.; The Housatonic River Initiative in Lee, Mass.; The Housatonic Valley Association in Cornwall Bridge; and The Berkshire Litchfield Environmental Council in Salisbury.

Speakers include Whitney North Seymour, Jr., Esq., former federal prosecutor, author, and co-founder of The Natural Resources Defense Council; Starling W. Childs, president, Berkshire-Litchfield Environmental Council and faculty member at the Yale School of Forestry; and B. Blake Levitt, author of "Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer's Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves," and the editor of "Cell Towers, Wireless Convenience? Or Environmental Hazard?".

Also speaking will be Adam Brown, New England Region Trails resource manager, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, South Egremont, Mass. Invited as well are Martin Blank, Ph.D., professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University, and Raymond Kasevich, chief scientist at the Riga Institute and a specialist in radiofrequency radiation (R.F.) couplings with the environment, as well as R.F. therapeutic applications.

The moderator will be Jean Cronauer, executive director of the Northwest Conservation District in Torrington, who said "We keep hearing that there are health and environmental concerns about cell towers.

"Well, let's find out what that is about and what, if anything, we can do about it. Towns feel at the mercy of both federal and state preemptions over local control, but we need to talk about this in a more intelligent way."

Judy Herkimer of The Housatonic Environmental Action League, one of the organizers of the event said, "Since the advent of cell phones in the late 1980's, wireless technologies have grown to include everything from citywide WiFi to radiofrequency I.D.s now imbedded in consumer products, pets and wildlife.

"We are awash in increasing levels of R.F., but is this safe? Many professionals in Europe now recommend prudent avoidance when it comes to these exposures, particularly in children, but we are clueless about this entire dialogue in America."

Several Litchfield County towns have proposals for cell towers either pending or recently approved by the Connecticut Siting Council, including New Milford, Washington, Kent and Sharon.

Some Cornwall residents have signed leases for towers with telecommunications companies, which are building their next generation of broadband wireless services to include downloadable Internet, photos, text messages, TV and music to cell phones and computers.

Such new services require more R.F. bandwidth and additional use of the electromagnetic spectrum. According to industry site managers, towers now need to go every one-to-three miles apart.

But many professionals today, including government regulators, say that the R.F. exposure standards at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are obsolete and do not adequately protect the public health, in spite of demand for service.

Registration for this program begins at 12:30 p.m. and admission is free. Refreshments will be served. Those seeking additional information may call Jean Cronauer at 860-626-7222 or visit www.jeancronauer@conservect.org.
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Source: Voices - Woodbury, 02 Jan 2008

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