Northwest NEWS

March 20, 2000

Editorial

Deception and half-truths return

   Once again deception and half-truths emerge in the Woodinville Weekly's March 6th article titled "County erects emergency radio tower."

   This tower was first described in a flyer to just a few homeowners in the Ring Hill area with a community hearing at the Duvall Fire Station. This flyer described a 300-foot tower with four dishes and fourteen antennae. It was called an "emergency tower" then.

   Word got out about this urban commercial tower which would impact a much greater area, so a much larger community meeting was held to discuss its impact upon a rural-residential area. In that meeting, King County had to admit their secret. The secret was that a cellular corporation would be using the tower for a rental fee. Allowing the cellular phone-use was in direct contradiction to the local homeowners, who turned down rental money for a tower on their properties.

   The name of the tower is now changed to a "telecommunications tower," and King County saved the cellular corporations big dollars in construction expenses. To this day, King County has not revealed all the users of this tower and what kind of usage will occur, other than emergency usage. Half-truths are or can be very deceiving.

   The present article now returns the "emergency tower" name to the tower with usage only by two-way radios. Due to its diminished height, it looks to me like a cellular phone tower, however, variable uses certainly can occur.

   I voted in all the 1992 elections and saw nothing pertaining to a commercial tower for a two-way radios. I am confused about the inability of two districts not being able to communicate with one another. If both districts receive the same emergency call--each district signal overlaps the other--then they should be able to talk to each other.

   The only emergency that would require the notification of the entire King County area would be a war or an earthquake. Traffic as it is today at all waking hours would shut down all highways. Only air and water vehicles could move.

   What happened to the 300-foot tower with four dishes and 14 antennae? Could it be that the extra 150 feet above the trees would impact the view for all surrounding areas--especially the expensive Saybrook Development?

   Right now, from dusk to dawn, there is an eternal red blinking light at the northwest horizon in the tree tops. The red blinker is stronger for the homes to the north of me. It's like living in a low-income hotel in the downtown area of Chicago with flashing neon lights.

   It would be interesting to know if all these two-way radio towers are being used by the cellular phone corporations. Now that this tower is only a two-way radio tower, homeowners in this area can rent their properties to cellular corporations for tower erection.

   In that Louise Miller, King County Councilmember, promoted this tower, it should be christened the Louise Miller Tower.

George F. Slusser, Woodinville