1st Letter to Boy Scouts of 3:
Dear Ms. Lynne Leach,
Volunteer President at Mt. Diablo Council
Boy Scouts of America
800 Ellinwood Way
Pleasanton, California 94523
My name is Jane Frank, I have lived next to Camp Herms in El Cerrito, CA. for 25 years, and loved being your neighbor. Having such a wildness area in such a large urban area for the Boy Scouts to use is wonderful. Please do not destroy it!!
I would like to express my opposition to the installation of the Cell Phone Tower above the Arlington Park at Camp Herms.
I as an architect and a planner strongly feel that this is not the proper location for a Cell Phone Tower:
1. Located it in the middle of the Boy Scout Camp, where children and parents use the facility for camping and Scout activities, where they will be constantly exposed to the Antenna's radiation. In Europe the studies are starting to report problems from exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation. And they are recommending that schools, parks, homes, hospitals and elderly homes be kept at least 1300 feet from any cell tower. Keeping people out of the “hot zone".
2. Having the ranger's home so close to the tower raises a great concern, regarding the liability that the Boy Scouts may have regarding a safe environment that could become a legal issue with CAL-OSHA.
3. Within 200 feet of the Arlington Park where families from the community highly use this wonderful recreational park, bringing their children to a safe and natural environment.
4. The Cell Phone Antennas, with its fake tree look is not aesthetically pleasing and can be seen from the Arlington Park, as well as right as you enter the Camp Herms, an ironic welcoming tower. This destroys the nature of this wonderful area, as well as the character and quality of the community. And I do not see how a Fake tree and the Boy Scouts go together. Might this cell tower have an effect on wildlife and birds that the scouts our sworn to protect.
5. It seams to me that you have not asked the opinion of the local Boy Scouts that use Camp Herms about how they feel about the tower. Especially since the Council is only the caretaker of this property for the future generations of scouts.
6. Our entire neighborhood will be adversely affected by in their property values if this cell phone tower is installed. This is not the way to keep good relations with your neighbors. This is important to you with respect to all your proposed building projects in the future.
7. The Boy Scouts should consider the voices of the local citizens and it own members to stop this cell phone tower installation, which this is the wrong place for it.
8. Are the Boy Scouts indemnified by T- Mobil from any claims resulting from the environmental effects of Radio Frequency radiation?
I urge the Boy Scouts not to sign the contract with T-Mobile (or cancel it is already signed) or at least to look at alternative site father back on your property so it would have far less impact on the scouts and the neighbors.
I do hope that the Boy Scouts Council lives up to the principles of scouting. To quote part of the mission of the Boy Scouts of America - “The Boy Scouts of America believes and, through nearly a century of experience, understands that helping youth puts us on a path toward a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.” It seems that these actions will teach the scouts that greed wins out over community harmony, safety and our health concerns.
The community, the Boy Scouts and I personally will thank you very much for making the right decision.
2nd Letter To Boy Scouts:
I am a resident in the neighborhood of the Boy Scout Club in El Cerrito and a visiting scholar at the University of California, Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. I am writing to express my vehement opposition to the proposed construction of a T-Mobile cell tower on the Boy Scout property at Camp Herms. After reviewing the data for the project and the research available on similar projects, I am convinced that this tower poses a significant health hazard to residents of the community, as well as to native flora and fauna. Construction of this tower is also a violation of some of BSA’s proclaimed values.
The FCC states that cell towers are safe, yet there have been no long-term studies done in the US that prove this claim. There is a growing body of research concerning the health hazards posed by extended close proximity to cell towers. Numerous studies (primarily in Europe where independent studies not funded by the telecommunications industry exist) conclude that living, working or spending the day near such emitters is dangerous, especially for children. Several schools and school districts have wisely chosen to not allow cell towers within 1,000 feet of their property. Surely these schools could use the money, but they have decided it would be in the best interest of their students not to be constantly exposed to electrical fields with unknown, potentially detrimental health effects. Some studies show that living within ¼ mile of such antennas increases cancer 3 to 4 times. BSA teaches scouts that public health is the responsibility of every individual in a community:
The field of public health deals with maintaining and monitoring the health of communities, and with the detection, cure, and prevention of health risks and diseases. Although public health is generally seen as a community-oriented service, it actually starts with the individual. From a single individual to the family unit to the smallest isolated rural town to the worldwide global community, one person can influence the health of many.
Would the construction of a tower with such questionable public health effects be setting a good example for the members of your organization?
This project also would appear to violate the ecological ethics guidelines set forth by BSA. From your description of the Leave No Trace program: “We must learn how to maintain the integrity and character of the outdoors for all living things. Leave No Trace is not simply a program for visiting the backcountry, it is an attitude and a way of life.” The proposed construction would certainly alter the integrity and character of the site and negatively impact wildlife living in close proximity to the tower and the RF fields it will emit. Allowing T-Mobile to build this tower on BSA property is not demonstrating a desire to “protect and conserve these [natural] areas for future generations.” In fact, it is a travesty of those values.
The precautionary principle is becoming increasingly accepted in the global scientific community as a wise standard for gauging environmental risks. If the precautionary principle is applied here, the burden of proof that this technology absolutely will not negatively impact the health of the community or the environment falls squarely on T-Mobile and BSA. The precautionary principle states:
When an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof. The process of applying the precautionary principle must be open, informed and democratic and must include potentially affected parties. It must also involve an examination of the full range of alternatives, including no action.
In 2005, the city of San Francisco passed a Precautionary Principle Purchasing ordinance, requiring the city to weigh the environmental and health costs of all annual purchases – for everything from cleaning supplies to computers. The EU has made the application of the precautionary principle a statutory requirement.
As an organization committed to teaching young people the importance of living mindfully in our communities and on our planet, BSA has a special duty to uphold these values and set a good example. I urge you to carefully consider the impact of the proposed cell tower on our community and our natural spaces and follow the example of the many schools and other individuals who had the integrity to resist the temptation to take money in exchange for leasing space for a neighborhood threat.
Even if you choose to ignore the multiple environmental and health concerns that this project poses and its travesty of Boy Scouts values, you cannot dispute that cell phone towers in residential neighborhoods instill fear and resentment in local residents. The additional reality is that such placement negatively impacts property values (in some studies by as much as 25%). I urge you to take all these concerns seriously, so that the Boy Scouts Club can remain a welcome addition to our community.
Marti Kheel, Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
3rd Example Letter to BoyScouts:
Al Westberg, Executive
Mt. Diablo Silverado Council
Boy Scouts of America
800 Ellinwood Way,
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
March 3, 2010
We are long-time (45-year) residents of Albany, and every week we take our grandchildren, who live in El Cerrito, to Arlington Park to play. We are writing you to oppose the proposed construction of a Cell Phone Tower next to Arlington Park, in the Boy Scouts’ Camp Herms, El Cerrito.
Arlington Park is our favorite place to take our grandchildren. We think it is one of the most beautiful and safe parks in the East Bay, with wonderful trees and wildlife. We love it, and we bring our two toddlers, Susie (age 5) and Phillip (age 3), at least twice a week to play. We meet toddlers, children, and families from El Cerrito, Albany, Berkeley, and Richmond in the Park, with families, friends, and grandparents all in a wonderful mix.
We value and love the Park because it is a safe and quiet place for mothers, kids, and families to play and spend time together. It is our home-away-from-home. We also see schools and day camps come to use the Park.
Please don’t change this. We were upset to recently learn that the Boy Scouts are constructing a 77-foot (6-story) Cell Phone Tower (20X30 feet at base) next to Arlington Park, close to neighbors (300 feet) and to children playing at Arlington Park (300 feet), and right on top of Boy Scouts at Camp Herms.
Cell Towers continuously emit RF/EMF 24 hrs/day. We do not want our grandchildren exposed to electromagnetic radiation, as these Cell Tower emissions are “dangerous to human health”. [Health Effects from Cell Phone Tower Radiation http://www.mountshastaecology.org/Archive/Health_Effects_from_Cell_Phone_Tower_Radiation.html] [ Cell Phone Towers : How Far is Safe? www.emf-health.com/articles-celltower.htm] http://www.emrnetwork.org (Santini 2002).
We have learned that health studies – primarily in Europe – conclude that living near Cell Towers is especially hazardous to children; Cell Towers should be no closer than 1300 feet (¼ mile) from residences, schools, and parks frequented by children (Resolutions to Regulate Cell Tower Sitings www.cloutnow.org/lacbos/ ) www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35421-2004Dec29_2.html http://repfloren.com/?p=163 ].
We understand that Cell Towers have been rejected by Mira Vista Golf Course, Arlington Community Church, El Cerrito High School, West Contra Costa Unified School District, Colusa Avenue Building, Kensington Circle, Albany High School, Albany School District, Berkeley Unified School District, EBMUD, Walnut Creek School District, Marin County Superior Court in Tiburon, Los Angeles Unified School District, etc.
The International Fire Fighters Association will not allow Cell Towers on their sites. They state, “IAFF oppose the use of fire stations as base stations for towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until a study with the highest scientific merit and integrity on health effects of exposure to low-intensity RF/MW radiation is conducted and it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of our members.” [ www.iaff.org/hs/Facts/CellTowerFinal.asp ]
Please don’t put a Cell Tower here, next to all our kids. Stop the Boy Scouts Tower! Please keep Arlington Park safe for kids. If not, we will no longer use the Park. To discuss our concerns, we can be reached at XYZ.com, or at 510 526-xcdf.
Jane Q. Public