Letters for Nov. 1, 2016

• Cell tower will hurt community

Cell tower will hurt community

The idea of having a 150-foot cell tower in Princeville is an insane idea orchestrated by the Board of Sealodge 11 and Verizon. The tower creates disruption of view plain, and “attractive nuisance,” devaluation of property, potential health problems and adverse effects on the bird population.

Thanks to the telecommunication Act of 1996 and the 911 Bill of 1998, citizens have lost the right to petition for their own safety, or to choose what level of risk they are willing to assume for themselves and their families. This the most fundamental right that exists in a free society.

People who have unwanted cell towers forced on them can move and take a loss on their property, or they can stay and live in fear and bitterness. That is about it. The unfairness of this federal provision strikes at the very heart of our democracy and it hits us right where we literally live.

When the telecom industry first started in earnest after 1996, the industry seemed to think they had all the power and legal right to swagger through communities, intimidating towns into giving them pretty much what they wanted. However, there is a legal brief that argues that although the federal government has the power to set health standards in areas relating to interstate commerce, that where it has defaulted on its obligations to protect public health, the federal government may not simultaneously prevent the states from taking action to do so. With the FCC and EPA hobbled by Congress in their respective regulatory roles, the power and responsibility to protect the public health reverts to the people of the states as part of their inviolable sovereignty, a classic federal v. states rights case.

In closing, I hope the wisdom of the Princeville Design Committee and Princeville Association directors prevails so that I won’t have to make this argument in a court of law.

Gary Benoit, Princeville


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