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Snohomish Co. residents fighting new radio towers
USA Created: 2 Apr 2008
NEAR SNOHOMISH, Washington A big showdown is brewing between a local radio station and property owners. 1380-AM KRKO wants to build six radio towers in the Snohomish River Valley, but opponents say the towers could put their health at risk.

Mark Craven, who owns a farm known for its annual pumpkin patch and rustic wedding hall, fears for the future.

"It's not easy farming nowadays. It's a struggle to keep things going," said Craven.

About a quarter-mile from the farm is the proposed site for the six towers and would be easily seen. The towers would broadcast signals for 1380 KRKO and the new 1520-AM. They would each operate at 50,000 watts, generating electromagnetic radiation.

"There are literally hundreds of studies out there that show there are effects of electromagnetic radiation," said project opponent Angela Day. She says those effects include a greater incidence of childhood leukemia.

There are some 7,000 children living within a few miles of the proposed site, along with a school.

"So you've got the ones just in the area, plus you have some being bussed in," said Craven.

"They've taken the chicken little approach to scare everybody," said Andy Skotdal, president and general manager of KRKO. He says the studies opponents point to are flawed.

"The amount of energy coming off this project that you can absorb is less than that of your cell phone," said Skotdal.

Craven remains skeptical and fears just talking about the danger could scare customers away.

"I have hope that the whole thing is going to be killed and that land will stay as farm ground," said Craven.

Skotdal says the station is awaiting final approval from the Federal Communications Commission to build the towers, which could come within 60 days.
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Source: KING5.com - Seattle, ROB PIERCY, 31 Mar 2008

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