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OP-ED: Sinclair responds to the Town of Alfred in cell phone tower emmissons squabble

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If you are following the debate over 5G/Microwaves on Jericho Hill…..

A Letter to the Editor by Frederick Sinclair

Town Board Failure to Protect

Here is my response to the Richard Buck, Town of Alfred attorney, analysis of  my statements regarding the dangers of  increased exposure to microwave radiation, which are the result of the modification of the Crown Castle –T-mobile tower on Jericho Hill. The modification, going from a basic cell phone call based service to 4GLTE / 5G capability, is configured to transmit  high speed intensive video and raw data streaming and faster internet access. This is being done utilizing focused pulse modulated beams of high frequency in more powerful signals with a range of ten miles. Mr. Buck states that “The Town Board is mindful that some community members are apprehensive about the potential microwave emissions” and Town Supervisor Acton has stated “The Town Board is and has been concerned about the health of our community and we have acted over the years to that end.”  Town concern, prompted by public comment, did indeed result in review of the science and health issues, movement toward increased understanding, initial environmental review, formal public comment, and the enactment of a local law establishing a Microwave Moratorium. The Moratorium was enacted to temporarily suspend the issuance of wireless based building permits or special use permissions. This was to be in force, until a Local Telecom Law could be established and discretionary process put into place. The Town Planning Board advised, strenuously recommended and repeatedly requested, that the Town of Alfred follow through and adopt such a local law. Such a law would firmly establish local discretionary authority to require in depth information from telecom applicants, authorize environmental review of potential impacts, investigate alternatives and recommend mitigation or special conditions under a Special Use Permit process. Credible scientific proof and published medical reports as well as prompting from the NYS Association of Counties supported the adoption of such a local wireless telecom law. The Town also was provided access to a highly experienced attorney currently writing and defending such laws. Estimated cost was $8,500 . The Town Board failed to act upon the repeated recommendation of their own Town Planning Board to establish a Law and meet the goals of their own adopted Microwave Moratorium.  A timely establishment of a local telecommunications law would have avoided the recent smackdown of the environmental review process brought about by Mr. Buck’s legal opinions.

 The Crown Castle – T-Mobile application had repeatedly been declared and remains incomplete. The Town Board Environmental Quality Review, identified potential negative impacts, formal SEQR statements were officially filed with NYS DEC and an Environmental Impact Statement was to be required.  The Town attorney, Mr. Buck, after contact with the applicants lawyers, reviewed all actions of the Town, in light of objections of the applicants, and made the determination that the Town lacked legal authority to continue review or exercise Town discretion. His several reasons were published in his “Town of Alfred – Response to Fred Sinclair” article.  The Town was quick to abandon a yearlong environmental review process and failed to give the Planning Board, or the concerned public, any opportunity to review and or comment on Mr. Buck’s advice. Supervisor Acton simply proclaimed that on the advice of the Town Attorney, the Town is going to issue the Building Permit. There was no, open Town meeting, official motion, discussion or vote prior to this blindsiding announcement.

Mr. Buck concludes that “The Town Board upheld their oath to faithfully discharge their duties, which includes obeying and acting in accordance with the law.” The FCC laws and regulations in fact reflect control by a captured agency owned by Big Telecom. Hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying of Agency as well as Federal and State lawmakers have tailored these laws in order to feed their Telecom greed. How then, are we the citizens to respond to this Alfred Town government’s washing of the hands? Their oath also includes upholding the Federal and State Constitutions, which protect our rights to health, safety and quality of life? It all boils down to the fact that the Town of Alfred, for whatever reasons, has failed in the protection of the public.

I Frederick Sinclair, residing in the microwave shadow of the Tower on Jericho Hill, do not consent to increased exposure and will continue to resist the unbridled proliferation of harmful wireless radiation.

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