FIGHTING CELLPHONE TOWERS: A Trumpeter-maker's Battle
Cellphone towers have become ubiquitous and although the jury is out on their safety, few people bother anymore to fight new ones going up in their neighborhoods. The common wisdom is that you can't win. Even local jurisdictions, like city and county governments, have little power to stop the siting of a new tower.
But brass instrument maker Dave Monette is a rare fellow who not only took on the cellphone establishment but actually won. Dave loves to make trumpets and mouthpieces for brass instruments and his clients include many notable musicians including Thara Memory and Wynton Marsalis. He would much prefer to spend all his time doing what he loves, but recently he has spent a lot of time learning about cell tower placement law, because a cell tower was slated to go up next to his property on Mt. Hood. On this Locus Focus episode, Dave recounts his tale of battling the cellphone industry and how he emerged victorious. In the course of our discussion we talk about how little is known about the safety of these weapons of mass convenience that we sidle up to on a regular basis.
What Dave Monette has to say about himself:
I am the owner of a small trumpet factory. I choose to work in Portland and live in the forest near Mt. Hood. I have been an amateur radio operator since 1970, and I am somewhat familiar with radio theory and RF engineering. I believe that eventually we will learn, as we have with tobacco, asbestos, pesticides, leaded paint, etc., that the health risks in using cell phones far exceed what is commonly understood. In my opinion, it is simply common sense that holding a microwave transmitter up against the side of your head is detrimental to one's health and well-being.
In my opinion, the convenience and the profits cell phones generate make this current world-wide wave of cell growth unstoppable - at least for now. In the last three or four months I have learned more about the law regarding cell tower placement than I could have ever imagined. I believe we should at the very least require cell transmitting equipment to be as far away from residential areas as possible. I also believe that government and private industry should actively work towards developing the next generation of communication technology that hopefully isn't also used to cook hamburgers!