APRIL 28, 1997

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Gain support with facts

get the facts Recently, a lot of time and energy has been invested by residents of Ring Hill in lambasting King County officials for announcing their plan to build a tower in their neighborhood, ostensibly for "emergency communications and other purposes."
   What is bothersome is that many of those citizens who have so far spoken out against the tower have done so in a manner that might not have the desired effect and may actually hurt their cause. Rampant emotionalism, pseudo-science, and accusations of skullduggery can serve only to weaken any legitimate arguments of the anti-tower forces. The term "NIMBY" (Not In My Back Yard) comes to mind.
   Citizens hoping to fight against the county on this issue, and hoping to win, would do well to start by scrutinizing the details of the announcement, and then comparing them to what's allowed under the laws, ordinances and policies of the land.
   After past public altercations, when the smoke had cleared, the winning side in the vast majority of cases was the one that made a calm, reasoned, and rational presentation showing that the law favored their position. This suggests that, if the anti-tower forces wish to gain support, they might consider replacing the slogan, "The frequencies are coming, the frequencies are coming," with factual information from reputable scientific sources. They may also want to inquire into whether or not officials proposing the tower have made errors in fact, or law, or both. This means long volunteer hours of work, but it's the most effective way of challenging an action.
   If one wishes to win a fight against the law, one should use the law.