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Letters to the editor, July 1 7

 Posted: 12:05 PM July 17, 2009

Health considerations of cell phone towers

Ashland residents concerned about the potential health impacts of the cell antennas proposed for the Ashland Street Cinemas may wish to add their voices to a new nationwide organization that has formed around this issue.

The Coalition for Local Oversight of Utility Technologies (CLOUT — is working to change the 1996 federal Telecommunications Act's limitations on local governmental authority to consider health and environmental effects whenever cell towers and related wireless facilities are proposed for communities across the country. As it now stands, the City of Ashland is effectively prohibited from denying AT&T's proposed antennas based on residents' health concerns as long as the antennas meet Federal Communications Commission standards for exposures to the low-intensity radiofrequency radiation (RFR) emitted by these antennas. FCC standards are designed to protect individuals from so-called thermal (i.e. heating) effects of RFR like those in microwave ovens, but not the non-thermal effects reported in increasing numbers of scientific studies worldwide (see, for example,

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CLOUT's online petition seeking repeal of the federal preemption of health and environmental considerations by local governments has been endorsed by a wide range of grassroots organizations and elected officials, including New York City Councilor Peter F. Vallone Jr. In June, CLOUT's efforts resulted in the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passing a resolution in favor of restoring local control over these important health and environmental issues. Ashland residents should ask their elected representatives to do the same.

Doug Loranger

San Francisco

Stop the carnage by supporting gun control

Here are but a few recent examples of people killing people with guns:

'Gunfight' with police ends in suspect's death

Bullet finds unintended target in Oakland

Paralyzed boy to gunman: 'I forgive you'

East Oakland shooting victim identified

Man killed, 2 hurt in Richmond freeway shooting

2 women found shot dead in Oakland motel room

Teen on ecstasy killed man, Oakland cops say

Man killed, 7 injured in Oakland shooting

Man convicted in slaying near UC Berkeley

Slain ex-QB McNair mourned as a 'hero,' legend'

5 NJ cops shot in gunbattle; 2 suspects dead

Police shoot, kill armed man near Capitol complex

Shop owner's relative shot to death in robbery

100 explosives found in home where deputy was shot

Suspect killed in Fresno gun battle

2 more people arrested in slaying of Fla. couple

LA man shot day before anniversary of dad's murder

Teen found in car at Antioch park, fatally shot

Man, 63, shot to death in Richmond

Man shot to death in San Jose fight

Killing spree has South Carolina town on edge

Woman in car shot to death in Richmond

We need to stop the carnage. Support gun control.

Need I say more?

Tom Dimitre


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