Northwest NEWS

May 3, 1999

Editorial

King County appears to be going ahead with cellular towers

   The April 19th letter from a communications engineer requires a reply from a retired biologist who lives within about 500 feet of the proposed "ugly" and unknown health-problem-causing commercial tower.

   Where are my grandfather-clause rights? I've lived and paid taxes on my five rural acres for 40 years; however, I have no rights. Only developers and corporations have these rights. The 300-foot tower is a commercial-zoned tower that rises 200 feet above the tallest trees in the area. Our rural area is now a commercial area.
   As the communication engineer stated, it would cost the cellular phone corporations about $1,000,000 to build a tower of their own. King County, with the assistance of our representative Louise Miller, says, "We'll build one for you with taxpayers' money and lease it to you for a nominal sum far less than a million dollars." (Another case of corporate welfare.)

   The ruse is that the tower with four dishes and 14 antennae is for emergency purposes. There has been no public news of specific failures with the present systems.

   The engineer complains about the cost to taxpayers for appealing the invasive 300-foot tower, yet ignores the taxpayers' million-dollar cost for building it. He claims public safety was hindered by the appeal. Give one instance of a public safety failure due to the appeal. The response time to any emergency will not improve. It will only get worse due to the explosive traffic problems.

   The letter writer claims that we citizens must all give something for the common good. In this case, it is for the good of the corporations and private greed at the expense of our way of life.

   The letter writer also claims that the appellants did not care about where the tower was built except near the appellants. I proposed it be built in uninhabited areas in King County along the Snoqualmie Ridge. The 300-foot commercial tower is okay for the letter writer because it is not in his backyard. Let the people who benefit from these amenities pay for them; let the cellular corporations build their own towers.

   The fact is omitted that should the moneyed powers decide to erect the 300-foot commercial tower in a rural inhabited area, the crust over the garbage below will be broken by the heavy equipment used to build the tower. Pollution will then leach out into the surrounding streams.

   Talk about the restraint of trade: King County goes into a business deal with private cellular corporations, then passes laws forbidding anyone else from building other towers in the area. This business deal has no conflict of interest appearance because there is only one interest, and that is to cater to the cellular corporations.

   As the mayor Woodinville stated, letters to the editor accomplish nothing. True. King County ignores its citizens, and letters amount to nothing. Even citizens' votes amount to nothing. They voted against the most expensive baseball stadium in the nation that is now being built.

   Cities have wised up and declared a moratorium on cellular towers, but King County appears to be going ahead with them.

George F. Slusser, Woodinville