Friday, December 19, 2014

Do Advocates for New Cities Understand Zoning?

There are several pro-city incorporation groups that have formed in DeKalb County, GA, recently and they may be looking for legislative sponsorship of their plans in the upcoming session at the Gold Dome in Atlanta this coming January.  There has been a bit of a city-frenzy that has also caused existing cities to start looking at their own long-term growth plans in terms of annexations.  Many residents have been concerned that they must side with "someone" or they might get "left behind" as Sen. Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody) called it.

So, the groups are currently attempting to prove their worth to the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, which has taken the initiative to assist in the carving up and handing out of the DeKalb County pie.  It seems as though the county will be gobbled up before it erodes completely as was the case in Clayton County not too long ago.  Both Clayton and Dekalb, part of the greater Atlanta metro, were facing serious allegations by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in the recent past, but Clayton's board lost the district's accreditation.  DeKalb only came close.

But, DeKalb is not out of the woods, yet.  The "divisions in the county" are part of the SACS analysis about what went wrong in the first place.  So, the legislators, who claim they support the Governor and his decision to replace some on the board, have determined that the best thing to do is to make those divisions permanent.  One would have expected them to read the full SACS report and work toward actually fixing the problem and encourage working together for the sake of the children.  But, this is DeKalb and things just don't work the way one would normally expect anywhere else.
Former Tucker-Northlake Representative Kevin Levitas
is no longer on the board now that it has been renamed
"Lavista Hills."  Is this a sign of trouble or is it part of a
strategy designed to remove the element of government
for the government instead of "for the people?"

With the help of some former legislators like Kevin Levitas, who represented Tucker - Northlake at one point and now favors a rival proposal for a city named "Lakeside" or "Lavista Hills," new  cities are going to end up on ballots possibly this coming May.  Residents, mostly unaware of the impact, will be asked to vote for inclusion or exclusion if they are personally located inside the boundaries.  Nevermind that they may have never heard of such a community or have any idea what is in the proposed charter documents.  They will be asked to vote based on their own reasons which might be correct or completely off  base.  And they will not have any details about what will happen to those left outside their boundaries, either.   When in self-preservation mode, these consequences too often come as after-thoughts.

Levitas, coincidentally, was also a member of the Tucker Civic Group and the Northlake Business Association.  The latter is the same one that disagreed with the "compromise map" that he had  personally agreed to only hours  prior to their opinion being sought.  He was also on the Tucker Business Alliance, the group that has favored the city of Tucker and that was involved with the city feasibility report that was conducted by Georgia Tech in 2006-07.  It showed Tucker was feasible as a city back then, but the community decided at the time to hold off on incorporating.  Now, Lakeside / Lavista Hills is pushing Tucker or threatening to divide it for good.

Levitas is not the only one wearing multiple hats in the group.  Michelle Penkava has been listed as the contact in the state documents for Tucker Together and Tucker 2015. She also is in control of the Tucker Parent Council, which has not held elections for its board of directors in the past three or more years nor has it posted contact information on its website or on the school system website. She was also the finance manager for a school board member who was the PTA President for the rival Lakeside, the same one that she now claims she is standing up against in an effort to preserve Tucker.

The first group to propose a city based entirely on a community that does not know its own boundaries and cannot decide what to call themselves, was announced in 2013 as "Lakeside City" and they touted that they would be required to take on three services.  Parks, Police and Zoning /Code Enforcement  were the three they thought they would start with.  Later they discussed "Paving" but now that they have had most of their roads paved by the county at large, they have been keeping quiet on that one.  They have spoken a lot about police lately, although that was not their concern when they first started their community discussions. They made a big deal about needing a park in order to manage one, but they have since redrawn their boundaries and left most of the large Henderson Park on the outside of their map.  So, that leaves one other item:  Zoning, Permits and Code Enforcement.  They grouped these together as "Public Works."


Are they just trying to make all their services start with the same letter, or are they really this confused about what each of these things actually involves?  And, if they are confused,  how will we know if they provided correct estimates when they worked with Carl Vinson business colleges to determine city feasibility?

What's worse than a misunderstanding of expected costs, is that there may be a misunderstanding about the actual requirements of the job and the important role it plays in the development of a safe and attractive community where people will want to live and where businesses will want to operate.

And, now more city groups are popping up and basically just copying the Lakeside  plan and putting it into their plans, too.  The main reason?  They all tell their audiences, "because it is one of the least expensive things a new city can provide while getting started."  So, essentially, because zoning is cheap on paper and sounds simple to the untrained layperson, it was service deemed to be good for starting a local government that no one asked for.

Zoning Nightmares Breed Need for More ...  
More Money, More Knowledge, More Time 
to Consider the Consequences of Decisions

We wonder if the new city committees have much insight or expertise on what a zoning board must really do and how the county has made major cutbacks in this area during the time of the recession, when there was little new construction going on and therefore the workload was light.

However, Get the Cell Out - ATL followers surely recall the big zoning issue that arose in 2011.  DeKalb County's school board approved large cell towers for 9 schools without much more knowledge or insight than the average layperson might have on the subject.

They also found themselves in quite a bit of trouble with their constituents over that approval, too.  Here are just some of the things that a county zoning official would have looked for that the average school board member would probably not know they should even be considering.  In fact, should we even want them to know about zoning when they were elected to focus on education anyway?  But, who will run for the city council where you live, if you are inside one on these maps?

Next time you hear a city advocate tell you or someone else about why they want "zoning" control.  Ask them about some of these issues so you can decide for yourself just how wise they are when they say they want to make these decision instead of letting the county handle it:

"The few, specific services that transfer are the ones we would know best 
how to govern for ourselves," says Jim, for the Tucker 2014 group.

What do our residents know about zoning for cell towers and what they should be looking our for when it comes to size, shape and placement of them, especially if they plan to allow them in residential areas or near schools?

The school board thought they knew what they were doing when they approved the old, outdated style of mounting hardware for cell towers that were being planned to go right next to elementary schools, high schools and one school for the disabled.  The outdated hardware had already been reviewed as insufficient by the telecom industry in certain high wind conditions.  And the weight allowed for the top of the tower (based on number of antennas and type of antenna) would have exceeded the maximum wind speed that the hardware would tolerate without fail.

When it was brought it to the attention of the school board members, they had no idea about the hardware issue.  Why?  Because they are not zoning experts.  They were willing to approve contracts based on the money without realizing that they were approving something that could potentially be a huge liability and could  result in an accidental or negligent death or injury lawsuit.

If the towers would have been built according to the old specs, then the laypeople on the board, who should have never been allowed to make zoning decisions, would have been at fault because they were willing to put a substandard structure next to an elementary school building, a busy road and nearby homes.

Another issue that came up was the standard set-back requirement for a cell tower.  The school board did not have any questions about that subject and approved plans to put the towers right next to the schools.   When local parents complained, the process went to the Planning and Zoning Department for review, but if we were all incorporated into cities, this issue would have been one for the city council to consider instead.

The county, which has a lot of experienced employees who know what to look for when approving or denying these type of applications, caught the error right away and returned the application as "incomplete" for a variety of items that were missing or against the existing zoning code.  But, the big error was that the cell tower plans did not follow the county's required set back of one and half times the height of the tower.  That means the school board was willing to violate the code in order to put towers with substandard hardware and too heavy of a load at the top right next to school buildings where children are attending school, well within the expected "fall zone."

The point is:  the average resident who steps up to run for city council seat may or may not be aware of what it takes to hold the office responsibly.  And, city advocates should not be simply "glossing over" the subject of zoning and using excuses about how it is a cheap thing to provide and then moving on to the next subject.   In reality, any of the county provided services could likely be provided in a "cheap" manner.

But, just because something appears cheap right now, does not mean it will remain that way.  And, just because some groups with experience can provide something in a quick or streamlined manner does not mean that a city created by "regular" people will be able to walk through the same steps and end up with the same quality of results.  Maybe they can do better, or maybe they will end up making decisions like the school board once did  - based on what they know and oblivious to what they don't know.

Zoning Isn't a Driver in New City Starts... so, What IS?

Do we really have an uprising of individual residents who want to take zoning away from the county so they can place it in their neighbors' hands?  (Or, one neighbor to represent 7,000 - 10,000 of them?)

Most people in our county don't even vote.  Are we really supposed to believe they are now suddenly aware of these types of administrative processing decisions that take place in our county every day so much that they want to control the entire process themselves?  We have nothing against local control if there is clearly a group of people who can show that they can do something better that would improve the overall quality of life for everyone affected.

So far we have only heard about the general desire to take away power or control from a perceived "other" group, but how will that shift of control benefit us? If we really want a better, stronger county we have to realize that we are the only ones who can decide for ourselves if the solutions before us will really be better, or if they could potentially be worse.  And the "trust me" sales pitches coming from politicians have to be thrown out if they aren't backed up with real information and details here.

This isn't Sandy Springs.  But, this idea of keeping the details quiet so that the public doesn't  have any reason to doubt you is something in the Oliver Porter book on incorporation that is discussed near the very beginning. The city groups aren't the only ones who know how to read.  If you are truly curious about their plans, we suggest you order a used copy on Amazon and follow along, chapter by chapter, with what is unfolding in front of you.

But, this isn't the same year it was when Sandy Springs started and don't share as much in common with Sandy Springs as we wish we did.  We don't have all this "extra" money that we can just shell out to make sure that what we are doing is going to be top of line.  That's simply not possible under the current economy and in this particular  part of the county.  Sandy Springs had 30 years of complaints behind them, driving their residents closer together as they became more involved in their desire to become their own city.  They let as many people into their circle of volunteers as  possible.  But, that's not happening here.

And, some of the same people who were a part of the school system and who were pushing that deal with the cell towers are involved in these city groups, too.  School board members, former school board members,  school system employees.  What do their maps resemble?  They look just like the Tucker and Lakeside high school attendance zones,  not necessarily the "communities" of interest and definitely not anything that shows respect or consideration for the business district being fought over.

If these cities were going to fix the problems, how?   Because a large part of the problems we have right now are directly tied to the schools, where most of these "leaders" were leading before their power was taken away by SACS.

If we can't count on them to lead our schools out of trouble, then what makes us think they can be trusted to control zoning, police, fire, water, sanitation and all the other services that a city will either start out controlling or seek to control eventually?

And, if they really aren't offering anything new, 
then the hassle and expense is all for naught.

We have problems in DeKalb, but the problems call out for CHANGE,
not more of the same.


*  Note:  A previous version of this article made reference incorrectly to ARC, Inc. as the Atlanta Regional Commission.  In context, the ARC actually referred to Ann Rosenthal Consulting.  We apologize to Ms. Rosenthal for the misunderstanding of her company.  She is the lobbyist for the Tucker CID and her own company, ARC Inc. and NOT the Atlanta Regional Commission.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

“Nobody likes towers, apparently.”

T-Mobile US goes to the Supreme Court vs. City of Roswell, GA

by RCR Wireless News

You’ve heard of someone not taking no for an answer, but T-Mobile US took a city’s refusal to the highest court in the land. This week the Supreme Court began hearing the case of T-Mobile South v. Roswell. We first reported this was going to court back in May, but opening arguments began this week.

Here’s a quick recap of the case: T-Mobile US wanted to build an additional tower in Roswell, Ga. The city rejected their request, but only with a vague no. T-Mobile US believes this is a violation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996′s “Preservation of Local Zoning Authority.” In it, when a city rejects the construction or modification of a wireless structure or facility it “shall be in writing and supported by substantial evidence contained in the record.” The city never gave a specific reason with supported evidence, instead turning in meeting minutes that included a laundry list of reasons why they didn't want a tower. The city considers this sufficient reason, but T-Mobile US begs to differ.

The best quote to come out so far from a justice?

“Everyone loves cellphones, apparently,” Justice Stephen Breyer said. “Nobody likes towers, apparently.”

The highest court in the land is now acutely aware of what the rest of us have been aware of for years.

All jokes aside, this case is a big deal for the tower industry as it could set long-term precedent for determining the specifics of tower deployment and how it interacts with local authorities.

Click here for more quotes from the justices hearing the case. We’ll report on this story more as the case develops.

Verizon Wireless goes to federal court vs. Columbia County, GA


It seems it’s the season for carriers to go to court. Verizon Wireless will soon get its day in a federal court. Verizon Wireless is suing Columbia County, Ga., claiming it was denied the right to build a 160-foot tower in the city. The problem? The city didn't put the reasons for the denial in writing. Ouch. With the other case in the Supreme Court with another city in Georgia you would have thought this city would have been a little more careful about that, but alas no. More news on this case as it develops.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Another DeKalb Official Gets Tangled in DeKalb's Web of Destruction

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. from the AJC. — DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker says she will resign when she has finished her work for the year weeks after a flurry of activity in the DeKalb County schools corruption trial.

In a letter, Becker said she already intended to leave office before the end of her term, "not due to any pressure from anyone, but because I am engaged to be married in early spring 2015."

Last month, Becker overturned the convictions of Patricia Reid and her ex-husband, Tony Pope. Two days later, an appeals court judge halted their release from jail.

Both were convicted in a DeKalb County school construction scandal last year. Former Superintendent Crawford Lewis testified during the trial. In her order, Becker noted a “lack of complete and truthful" testimony in nine specific areas from Lewis.

Lewis was accused of knowingly signing off on a scheme in which DeKalb schools' Chief Operating Officer Patricia Pope, now Pat Reid, funneled work to her architect husband, Tony Pope. Prosecutors said the fraudulent payments totaled more than $2.3 million.

Lewis was sentenced to spend one year behind bars by Becker last year, despite striking a plea agreement that would allow him to avoid jail time and spend one year on probation.

At the time, Becker said she was not bound to the plea agreement, but the district attorney said Becker agreed to the terms. Lewis served nearly a week in jail before being released on bond after his attorney filed an emergency motion.

Since then, attorneys for both sides have argued to keep Lewis out of jail.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Cell Towers Still Upsetting People Coast to Coast!

Some neighbors upset by church plan for cell tower
The Associated Press
November 9, 2014
Updated 4 hours ago

HERNANDO, MISS. — Hernando's historic First Presbyterian Church and some of its neighbors are at odds over a proposal to put a 160-foot communications tower on property leased from the 150-year-old church.

Tower foes hope that city aldermen, who heard comments over the past week, will stop the plan.

The Commercial Appeal reports (http://bit.ly/1vZPDt1) that church leaders and members view the C Spire Wireless tower as a welcome source of income. Broadband advocates in Hernando want the improved cellular service.

Some neighbors, however, say the tower won't help the view or the property values.

Aldermen recently heard an appeal by C Spire of the city Planning Commission's denial of an application that would clear the way for the tower. Aldermen voted to send the issue back to the Planning Commission for reconsideration.

"This will not improve the value of my property," said Bruce Naillieux, who lives across the street from the church.

A neighbor, Shane Presley, showed aldermen a photo of the church in its serene setting: "This is a picture of small-town Southern America. Putting a tower here is encroaching."

First Presbyterian pastor Chip Hatcher said the tower would be more than 160 feet behind the church, obscured by trees. Church member Bill Bailey said, "We're for it."

John Wade, Jackson-based attorney for C Spire, and Jerry Skipper, site acquisition manager from Ridgeland, offered compromises that included a "sheath" design and site-elevation options that would lower the tower height by 10 feet or more. Also, they assured Alderman Gary Higdon, whose ward includes the site, that there would be no stormwater runoff problems.

Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2014/11/09/5905028/some-neighbors-upset-by-church.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, November 7, 2014

Judge’s conduct questioned in DeKalb corruption case


By Mark Niesse - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb County prosecutors say Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker knowingly tipped off defense lawyers before throwing out two convictions in a public corruption case, an action that could end her judicial career if found to be true.
Becker’s contact with the defense — without also informing prosecutors — has been reported to authorities, according to a court filing by the DeKalb district attorney’s office. The Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission wouldn’t confirm or deny Friday that it has received a complaint.
Prosecutors suggested in their brief to the Georgia Court of Appeals that Becker’s communication may have influenced the case against Pat Reid and Tony Pope.
Reid, the ex-construction chief for DeKalb schools, and Pope, her former husband and an architect, were found guilty a year ago of manipulating school construction projects for personal gainbut they requested new trials. Reid is serving a 15-year sentence, and Pope got an eight-year sentence.
Pope’s lawyer withdrew his appeal after talking with Becker, clearing the way for her to overturn the jury’s guilty verdicts Oct. 27, prosecutors wrote. The Georgia Court of Appeals then stepped in to put her decision on hold.
Judges are prohibited from engaging in conversations with attorneys on one side of the case, but not the other, except to discuss administrative matters or emergencies, according to the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct.
“If it deals with anything relating to the substance of the case pending, then that’s inappropriate,” said A. James Elliott, associate dean at the Emory University School of Law. “It would be highly unusual for a judge to call a lawyer and say anything about a pending case. They’re generally very careful about that.”
Ashleigh Merchant, a Marietta defense and appellate attorney, said judges shouldn’t give either side a heads-up before issuing an order.
“That’s kind of a big deal,” she said. “Somehow Pope’s attorney got tipped off that they needed to withdraw the notice of appeal. When they withdrew that notice, it gave jurisdiction back to the trial court.”
Becker and Pope’s attorney, John Petrey, didn’t return phone calls seeking comment Friday.
Reid’s attorney, Tony Axam, said he was made aware that Becker was going to sign an order, but she didn't discuss key facts of the case. Becker wanted to know where Reid was incarcerated, Axam said.
“Lawyers talk to judges all the time,” Axam said. “I don’t know of anything the judge did that was inappropriate in her conversations with lawyers in this case.”
Ken Hodges, a former Dougherty County district attorney, said he doesn't see a problem with Becker’s contact as long as she didn’t discuss the merits of the case or give advice.
“She just informed him what she was going to do. If that is in fact the truth, then she didn’t do anything wrong,” said Hodges, who is now in private practice. “If she said, ‘Y’all might want to take this action,’ … that would be improper.”
Becker sought to reverse the guilty verdicts against Reid and Pope because she said she didn’t find the testimony of former DeKalb schools Superintendent Crawford Lewis to be truthful.
Lewis had reached a plea deal with prosecutors to testify against Reid and Pope in exchange for a sentence of 12 months on probation. Instead, Becker decided to sentence Lewis to 12 months in jail.
The Court of Appeals overturned Lewis’ jail sentence Oct. 23, and Becker then dismissed the convictions of Reid and Pope, ordering that they receive new trials.
DeKalb prosecutors made an emergency appeal to halt Becker’s action, and the Court of Appeals agreed to do so last week.
The Court of Appeals will decide the case in the coming days or weeks.

Monday, November 3, 2014

WHY WE SUPPORT SEN. JASON CARTER FOR GOVERNOR OF GEORGIA

When Sen. Jason Carter was called upon to help parents and our local communities, he listened and took action.  He was concerned about our DeKalb County School Board LONG BEFORE the Governor ever got involved.
Sen. Jason Carter was sworn in to Georgia state Senate
in May 2010.  He recently joined the battle against cellphone
towers on public school properties in Georgia by entering
legislation Feb. 28, 2012, to require proper notification
of the public and the adherence to local zoning laws when
a governmental entity such as the school board is
leasing property for non-governmental purposes (such
as the construction and maintenance of a telecommunications
tower.)  Thank you Sen. Carter!

Here's a reminder of his actions to help the parents and communities affected by poor decision making by our local school board on the issue of cell towers:  http://www.getthecelloutatl.com/2012/02/senator-jason-carter-sumbits-state-bill.html

No matter what you may read about  him in the media, those who have been involved in the school system here in DeKalb County can tell you FIRST HAND that Jason Carter was one of THE ONLY members of the General Assembly in Georgia who was willing to sponsor legislation to help us when our school system was failing and selling out our children and our neighborhoods for a fast buck from T-mobile.

If  you have been affected by the abuse that has taken place in DeKalb County's school system and would have been harmed by a cell tower being placed at your school, lowering your property value and placing children in harm's way, PLEASE VOTE TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 2014 for a change in the state of Georgia.  If you do not agree with letting big, rich corporations continue to dictate the policies and issues that our government is willing to discuss, while the issues affecting the people go without attention, please consider a vote for Sen. Jason Carter as the new Governor of Georgia.  

We cannot continue to let ALEC run our state into the ground.  Our children cannot continue to suffer from the lack of concern for their education and their future.  Sen. Carter has stepped up to listen  and take action in his own district, in our school system and has been willing to force ethical standards to the forefront of conversations at the Gold Dome.

He will be an education leader and will help keep a strong middle class in Georgia, just like his campaign ads say that he will.  We know this because he has done these things already, when it wasn't an election year and when no one else was reaching out to help.  He stepped up and will continue to step up because he truly cares about the future of our state and the people who live here right now.

For more information:  https://carterforgovernor.com/


Monday, October 20, 2014

What is the DeKalb County School System Trying to Hide From You?

The parents, property owners, residents and other citizens who are concerned about the impact of technology on the education system have been led down many paths, depending on what is most convenient for the school system to have you believe at the time.

We were once told that cell phone towers were necessary for some schools so that they could provide wireless Internet access and bring their education into the 21st century.  Well, guess what?  They didn't get the towers, but somehow they became wireless anyway and we've  been living in the 21 century for a while now.  So, the towers were not really needed for an educational purpose at all.  If they had been intended for that use, it would not have been an initiative started by the "Finance, Budget and Audit Committee" committee which was chaired by Paul Womack and vice chaired by Dr. Eugene Walker, both notorious for their roles in dragging out the north/south divide of DeKalb County.

We were also told that the digital revolution in our school system would bring children experiences that they could have never had in other way, connecting them to other countries and cultures and taking them to places like the depths of the ocean or outer space.   With rare exception, that is not how computers are being used most of the time.

Smart boards were going to get students more engaged in the learning experience.   Nevermind the expense, the technology would be a way to get kids more involved. Teachers would be encouraged to "think outside the box" as they would have a new tool to get children excited about learning.  In reality, the "new" has simply been a very expensive purchase that replaced the chalkboard, the white board, the overhead projector and the screen that you used to pull down in front of the chalkboard when the teacher had a filmstrip to show in class.

Truth be told, many kids used filmstrip time to fall asleep at their desks anyway, so it's not necessarily a proven fact that  using video/audio presentations in school were ever a good idea to begin with.  One downside to "smart boards" which are now in every classroom is that they also  removed a very effective punishment that was once available to teachers  -  the dreaded "cleaning erasers" chore which was the practice of making kids pound two erasers together outside of the classroom in order to remove the excess chalk.  To clear the display these days, it just takes a click of a button.  But, how is that a benefit worth the expense when everything else was something we could always do?  The information isn't new, but we are all paying for a lot of new ways of getting that knowledge from the teacher to the student.  If the schools are not performing any better, then it isn't about the hardware OR the software.   The system itself is broken and yet, in DeKalb, what has been done to change it?  We have a system wide failure.

The system is broken because the leaders are not focused on the most basic and primary of goals:  educating children.  They were busy spending the windfall sums that came their way when times were good and now they are busy trying to maintain their same levels of spending when times are tough.  Their focus is on themselves.  Instead, they have made promises to the poor to bring federal dollars in while making excuses to the rich about why their demands were not being met when they were paying such a large amount for a system they were being driven out

 So,  the schools are improving, according to Michael Thurmond, the Superintendent who made an Interim position into a real, yet short term, position that required the diplomacy and tact of an international peace keeper.  But, what about the concerns of the taxpayers that led to the complaints to SACS and eventually led to the removal of the board members?

Did the concerns raised by parents ever become something that the new, appointed board was apprised of?  Do they know the actual content of those complaints or were they just appointed because it was the belief of the selection committee and the Governor that they could do a "better" or decent job than the ones who had been elected and therefore they would not create an atmosphere of infighting that could lead to a loss in public confidence?

Well, if you were here during the time of the SACS report (released Dec. 2012) then  you may recall what was going on at the time.  Teachers were upset about furlough days and the firing of media specialists  and paraprofessionals in order to make ends meet financially.  Some magnet school and theme schools were upset because of a threat to end the free transportation for them (even though application to these schools is voluntary).  No one likes classrooms that are overcrowded and no one was very fond of the "balanced" calendar idea or the countless "redistricting" process.  But, those issues come up in other areas, too, and they don't end with a complete removal of an entire board of elected officials.  It is popular to hate standardized testing in schools right now or to dislike a cheating scandal or bookkeeper with sticky fingers.

But, which one of those issues actually caused parents in DeKalb County to throw their differences aside and start working together for a common goal?  Which of those issues caused people to look around and see how the children in other schools were  being treated and start to recognize the pattern of abuse that were taking place?   Which of the above issues actually caused parents and taxpayers to band together in protest so that they were gathered together in an actual march, demanding that a poor decision be reversed?   Which issue resulted in an actual ballot referendum that was supported by nearly every legislator in  the DeKalb delegation, won a referendum vote by a landslide, AND took three full hours of hearings at the Capitol simply for the citizens to voice their demands?

What issue was it that exposed an attempt of a corrupt board to abuse the public's trust by skirting the laws requiring public notification and input?  And what was the one issue that actually had people from both ends of the county finally holding their elected officials to a higher standard of conduct  - one that was truly about fair treatment of all who live here?  What one issue made it perfectly clear that the problem was NOT the people, but the way the people were being represented to one another and the way they were NOT being represented in government decisions?   The problem was with the politicians who were using their positions to gain political power and advantages for their political party, despite the fact that the school board seats were deemed to be "non partisan."

For the first time, parents were understanding that the school system should NEVER be about doing whatever it takes to give your child an UNFAIR advantage over others.   That's not a good lesson for children to learn and  we, as upstanding citizens who want something better, should never allow a benefit to be thrown our way if it will bring harm to someone else.  Education and its policies should NEVER been about harming others.  That's not a goal of education and therefore it should not be the goal of anyone hired or elected to use the schools in that manner, either.


So, you probably know what that ONE ISSUE is that we are referring to, don't you?

Cell towers on school grounds as a viable consideration for "alternative revenue" when tax dollars fall short.
To  seek out agreements that would lease the ground right out from under the tax payers who have already paid for that property and take it away from the children who are already using it for the purpose it was originally intended (education) is not really a subject that requires much thought to the average person.  It's clearly wrong.  When you add in the fact that the normal procedures for notifying the public and for gathering their input about the benefits vs. the costs were not followed, it becomes even more offensive, even if it was not happening to you directly.  The fact that it could happen at all is something that we should all be concerned about because that means that is isn't just a school's property, but maybe even your own that you should be worried about.

Cell towers are large structures that do not conform whatsoever to an area of residentially zoned homes or the small space that has been set aide for the education of young children.  They are clearly incompatible with every possible stretch of the imagination of what one would expect to see visually in a residential area.  They are also high enough on the list of possible carcinogens from the World Health Organization that the last  person one would expect to be in favor of placing them near young children would be a school board member.

This issue made a lot of people very upset in DeKalb County.  Many people stuck with the fight month after month after month.    Yet, somehow the newly appointed school board nor the Superintendent has not viewed this particular issue as one worthy of being addressed.

 In fact, Get the Cell Out - ATL, a group started by some of the very first parents who were faced with this issue in the DeKalb County School System, has attempted to remind the board, very respectfully, that this issue remains out there and they need to place it on their agenda before their tenure on the board has ended.

We spoke at the public comments portion of Michael Thurmond's very first board meeting, before the appointed board was put in place.   Many parents have spoken up at a variety of times since Michael Thurmond's arrival, to voice their concerns about this subject and the fact that they do not want to see this practice of skirting public input  to come up again.  And, we spoke again at two subsequent board meetings as well as to our individual  board member, super district board member, surrounding area board members and not only are we essentially ignored, but the ballot referendum was a complete waste of time as it resulted in no action whatsoever.

But, worse than that ...  the video that is normally made of every board meeting so that those who live here can watch the meeting even if they are unable to attend it in person ... is not posted on the school system's website.  And, in fact, that video is being intentionally withheld from the public domain by people who do not want you to know that this issue is being "buried."

Get the Cell Out - ATL has been very polite and non-threatening in the way we have approached these public officials. We have patiently waited for them to deal with the issues most important to restoring the accreditation of the school system.   But, this board, as it exists today, only has TWO MORE MONTHS in office as a whole.

Their work will hopefully continue even as elected members eventually replace the appointed ones.  But, what have they done to address this issue and why are they okay with the fact that the staff of the school system is trying to prevent you from hearing about the suggestions we have presented?

They have options available to them that do not have to be a complete ban.  They could easily adopt a resolution that would discourage future school boards from engaging in negotiations that would require the leasing of school grounds to commercial entities without the full disclosure of their intentions.   If they did not want to try to provide such a recommendation to a future board, perhaps they could create a thoughtful and effective policy to adopt that would outline a specific set of steps that the board would follow and the administration would respect.


To avoid this subject altogether is a failure on behalf of this school board.  It is a failure to truly understand that issues that led to the downfall of the system and it is a failure to protect the system from falling prey to the exact same scenario from repeating itself in the future.  It is a failure to address the fact that there must be a trustworthy link between the schools and the communities that support them.

 Two months left -  will your board member or the Superintendent ask for an item to be added to next month's agenda to address the fact that the school system has no written procedures or policy to address a very volatile issue that could easily come up again?

If not, what will you do to remind them that this issue is still out there and isn't going away?  How will you hold this board accountable?   How can you make sure that what almost happened to some can not happen to you?


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Johns Creek Fights 400 ft. Monster (of a Cell Tower)

Neighbors object to 400-ft. city-owned cell tower
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
July 18, 2013 03:05 PM | 1
Johns Creek is 

A plan to erect a 400-foot cell tower across the road from an east Roswell subdivision has engendered strong opposition.

The tower is one of three judged necessary to implement the North Fulton Unified Radio System project, which will upgrade and enhance public safety radio capabilities for Roswell, Alpharetta, Sandy Springs, Mountain Park and Milton.

As currently proposed, the towers would go on city-owned land at Roswell Fire Station No. 6 on Cox Road, on Fouts Road and at the fleet/transportation yard on Hembree Road.

It’s the Fouts Road location that has the Twelvestones community seeing red. The tower would be directly across the street from them.

“Keep in mind that we're not opposed to improving safety, but we just believe that this project was hastily put together under the radar,” said resident Bob Richardson. “No one here knew about the Fouts Road placement until your article in the [June 19] Neighbor.”

An online petition against the tower at twelvestones.info had more than 100 signatures by midweek. On July 16, around 50 citizens attended an informational meeting about the tower to ask questions and express concerns.

One of those attendees, Twelvestones resident Joyce Ross, said several neighbors pointed out the fact that, with this project, the city is in violation of its own ordinance.

“There are strict guidelines in place regarding the height of a tower and proximity to homes and neighborhoods,” Ross said. “Roswell code states a tower ‘must be set back from the nearest residential lot line a distance equal to the height of the tower.’ This 400-foot tower is slated to be located 138 feet, measured off by two neighbors, from the street.”

One of the residents, Susan Booth, pointed out there are locations inside the adjacent East Roswell Park where city industrial equipment is being stored. Moving the tower to an industrial area inside the park would be in keeping with other the sites proposed, she said, and the tower would be much less of an issue in that area of the park.

In the June 19 story, City Administrator Kay Love said all three towers are needed to make the new unified system work. “Optimal coverage means towers must be strategically located at sites that provide the highest elevation and coverage of the local terrain,” she said.

And according to the city, the Fouts Road site is the best in that area, considering the elevation and the fact that they own the land, Richardson said. “They conceded that a larger tower on a lower elevation or two or more smaller towers at multiple locations would be acceptable, but they appeared determined to build the tower at the site they just purchased.”

Mayor Jere Wood, who was at the July 16 informational meeting, said the “I think the majority of the neighborhood acknowledges the need for a public safety radio system, but they had a lot of questions about this site for the tower, and I don’t think the city did a good job of explaining why we couldn’t put it somewhere else.

“And I have some questions myself about our options. An alternative that was mentioned but not discussed was why not move it to another location inside the park.”

Wood said he would like input from the recreation and parks department on that issue. The city council is slated to vote on sites for the three tower sites on Aug. 12.

“I believe the council has an open mind. They have not yet made a decision on this site,” the mayor said. “It’s a done deal that were going to put up the towers, but I’d like to hear more explanations as to why this is the best location. I anticipate objections to the tower wherever it goes.”


Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - Neighbors object to 400 ft city owned cell tower 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

New Group of Parents in Maryland Fight Cell Towers

From:  The Washington Post
 September 30 at 8:43 AM 

A new group, made up of residents and activists from across Maryland, has formed to help Prince George's County residents who are fighting the county school system’s plan to build cellphone towers on school property.

The Maryland Coalition Against Cell Towers on School Grounds is the most recent evidence of a coordinated effort by those who oppose the construction of the towers. Last month, Safe Schools for Prince George’s County began collecting signatures on an online petition calling for the school system to stop construction of the cell phone towers.

During a recent school board meeting, numerous speakers voiced concerns about children’s exposure to radiofrequency radiation.

Some of the speakers live in the county. Others are residents of Montgomery, Anne Arundel or Baltimore counties. One was from the District.

“I find it quite shameful that you would put our kids in danger,” said Percie Rutherford, who several years ago successfully fought the placement of a tower near his subdivision in Upper Marlboro.

The board does not respond during the public portion of the meeting.

But Board Chairman Segun Eubanks and schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell have previously defended the school system’s decision to lease property to Milestone Communications, and they gave little indication that things would change.

“The board and the administration did considerable homework when it came to the issue of public safety regarding the cellphone towers,” Eubanks said previously. “There is no reason to believe that the cellphone towers are more dangerous than any other technology that we are exposed to on a regular basis.”

Under the agreement with Milestone, the school system would receive $25,000 for each site and 40 percent of the gross revenue from the towers on its sites. The school system estimates that the agreement could generate $2.5 million over five years.

Before the meeting, members of the new group held a news conference to share the experiences they have had in their own jurisdictions.

Thea Scarato, a member of Safe Schools for Prince George’s County, said she didn't know many of the people who are a part of the group but found that “the lack of transparency in these deals” was something that they all had in common.

In a joint statement, the Maryland Coalition Against Cell Phones on School Grounds, offered 25 reasons for a moratorium.

Among the reasons listed was that schools should in the business of education, not radiation. The group said students and staff should not be constantly exposed to cell tower microwave radiation and put at risk of adverse effects from cumulative long-term radiation exposure.

For months, residents have spoken out against the construction of the cell phone towers. The number of residents testifying has increased with each meeting.

The new coalition is focusing its efforts at the local, county and state level, combining a grassroots campaign with a legislative initiative, according to its press release.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Driving while Texting 6Xs More Dangerous than Driving Drunk


Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),

The federal agency reports that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent -- when traveling at 55 mph -- of driving the length of an entire football field while blindfolded.

Texting while driving a vehicle has now replaced drinking while driving as the leading cause of accidents and deaths of teenage drivers.

Texting in traffic isn't simply a problem among teens and 47% of adults admit that they text while driving. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than non-texting drivers.

Read More Here

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Georgia Power Still Using Smart Meters From Company That Admits to Faulty Meters That Cause Fires!

SaskPower says smart meter company will pay back $24M in cash

This is the SAME company that is supplying Georgia Power with Smart Meters!  One might be installed on YOUR house right now!
SaskPower says it will replace 105,000 smart meters,
a process that is expected to cost $47 million. (CBC

If you are concerned and want your meter changed BACK to an analog meter, you can contact the power company and request an ANALOG meter.  There is a monthly charge associated with reading the meter the "old way" by a meter reader monthly, but the fee is about equivalent to the amount your bill probably increased when the Smart Meter was added.

Fire risks on top of radiation risks?  They simply are not worth taking in exchange for having a meter that provides zero benefit to you as a homeowner and only helps the power company get more data on you, your household and how you use your power while eliminating jobs and creating a greater need for cell towers to be put up in the middle of residential areas to transmit the data.  NO THANKS, Georgia Power!  Take this DUMB METER OFF my house! Thank you to Stop Smart Meters Georgia for calling this one to our attention!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskpower-says-smart-meter-company-will-pay-back-24m-in-cash-1.2760793

Thursday, September 11, 2014

It CAN be done - San Francisco School Board Votes to Cancel Current Cell Tower Contracts!

Posted on Wednesday, September 10 at 7:45am | By Michele Ellson
 Parents at this San Francisco school have waged a
battle to keep cell towers off their school grounds - and they
won!  Congratulations from Get the Cell Out - ATL!  We
KNEW that cancelling existing contracts really IS something
that a school board CAN do, if they want to.
The school board is preparing to cancel contracts that put cell phone antennae on top of a pair of Alameda schools.
In a closed-door session, the board opted to direct school district staff to notify the owners of cell antennae installed atop Maya Lin School and Will C. Wood Middle School that their contracts will be terminated, board president Margie Sherratt announced at the start of Tuesday’s school board meeting.
A vote to terminate the contracts – both held by AT&T – is set to take place on September 23, Sherratt announced. She said the contracts would be terminated in a year.
Families at Maya Lin School have waged a months-long campaign to rid the school of the cell antennae, which they fear could impact the health of students and staff at the school. Some Maya Lin parents also questioned whether the contracts were entered legally.
CONGRATULATIONS to the parents of the Maya Lin School in your victory in this battle.  You have accomplished something very difficult - getting your school board to admit to a bad decisions and then motivating them to take the necessary corrective actions. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

NAACP Speaks Out Against Cell Towers

UPPER MARLBORO – Parents and activists—including the head of the Prince George’s County chapter of the NAACP—continued their fight against cell phone towers being placed on school property.

At the Prince George’s County Board of Education’s first meeting for the 2014-15 year several parents spoke out asking the Board to not allow cell phone towers to be placed at Benjamin Tasker Middle School and Charles H. Flowers High School.

The Board of Education previously approved the construction of cell phone towers on public school grounds on Nov. 11, 2010, during a public meeting. The leasing master agreement between Prince George’s County Public Schools and Milestone Communications, the cell phone tower provider, was signed on Feb. 7, 2011.

Milestone selected 73 potential school sites, including Tasker and Flowers, according to the leasing agreement.

Bob Ross, president of the Prince George's County Branch of the NAACP also spoke out against cell phone towers, compared the cell phone tower issue to Love Canal, a neighborhood in upstate New York where tons of toxic waste was buried without the public's notice.

"The same thing could happen with cell phone towers," Ross said.

Ross went on to further tell the board that they should do their due diligence in researching the effects these proposed cell phone towers could have on students.

"I love technology," Ross said. "But if there's a possibility of harm to our children, we shouldn't do it."

Charlene Bearisto, a mother of a child at Bowie High School was one of the most vocal parents at the meeting against the cell phone towers. She is part of a coalition which has generated a petition with more than 1,000 signatures.

“There are significant health concerns that concern me and other parents about the proposed cell phone towers,” Bearisto said “I don’t want my child, your child or any child to suffer from Leukemia.”

Lynn Beiber, another Bowie resident, also expressed concern about the unknown effects the cell phone towers would have on the health of students.  Read more

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

October 6, 2014: Deadline to Register to Vote

As Americans, no right is more precious than the constitutional right to select our leaders. Yet many eligible Georgia citizens are not even registered to vote. We need your help to reach out to DeKalb citizens who are not yet registered.

Learn the when, why, and how of voting. This training will provide information on the following topics:
Summary of changes in voting laws  Information and Instructions for Voter Registration Events (formerly known as Voter Registration Drives)
  • Voter ID requirements
  • Absentee voting 
  • early voting
  • and many more!

When
Wednesday September 3, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

Where
DeKalb County Registration and Elections Office
4380 Memorial Drive
Decatur, GA 30032

Contact
ONE DeKalb
404-371-3689
onedekalb@dekalbcountyga.gov

A voting booth will also be set up during training to enable trainees to become familiar with its usage. Training materials will be provided. 


October 6, 2014: Deadline to Register to Vote

Saturday, August 9, 2014

How Cell Towers Avoid Paying Property Taxes

Montgomery County, MD, parents and taxpayers took a good look at  a special exception application filed by T-Mobile in 2005 to build a cell tower on the Julius West Middle School playground.  Here is what they learned:

From the Parents Coalition of Montgomery County:  
 "Look at the box (circled in red) that calls for the applicant to write in a tax account number. The numbers on this application are for the property owner, the Montgomery County Board of Education. The Board of Education is exempt from paying property taxes, T-Mobile is not.  
"By using the Board of Education's tax account number cell tower vendors have avoided paying property taxes on cell towers erected on public school land."

Isn't that nice to know?  The BOE is interested in helping out a huge company so that they do no have to pay a property tax bill.  Will they do that for you?


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Stop Paying For Crammed Charges on Your Mobile Bill!

A helpful bit of information from your friendly FTC:

July 29, 2014
by Cristina Miranda
Consumer Education Specialist, FTC


If you are budget-conscious, you’re probably great at tracking where your money goes every month. You pore over receipts, take advantage of sales, and even research prices on big-ticket items to save the most. So how often do you review your mobile phone bill for fraudulent charges that could be draining your wallet?

As part of ongoing enforcement actions to stop alleged mobile crammers, the FTC recently charged MDK Media, Inc., Tendenci Media, LLC, Mindkontrol Industries, LLC., Anacapa Media, LLC., Bear Communications, LLC., and Network One Commerce, LLC., text message content providers, with cramming unauthorized subscription charges onto consumers’ mobile phone bills for random texts to the tune of up to $9.99 a month. The texts included daily horoscopes, romance advice, quizzes or ring tones that consumers never knowingly asked to receive – or agreed to pay for.

How did the s-crammers do this? The FTC alleges they tricked consumers two ways:

  1. by getting people to enter their mobile phone number into deceptive and fictitious websites with fuzzy usage terms in exchange for collecting freebies, playing games or taking quizzes;
  2. by purchasing lists of mobile phone numbers and automatically entering the numbers into subscription services without contacting consumers or letting them know.

Here’s how to spot charges crammed on to your mobile bill:

  • Read your monthly phone bill – every page, every month. Regularly review your phone bill to catch charges that are tacked on without your knowledge or consent. Cramming charges can be buried deep within the pages of your bill, making them tough to find or understand. Contact your carrier directly if you have questions about a charge.
  • Strange or unsolicited text messages that suddenly appear on your phone could be signs of a cram. If you suddenly get a text offering any type of daily advice that you never signed up for, consider it a red flag that you’re being charged for something you didn't authorize.
  • Think twice about entering your mobile phone number or personal information on any website. Certain websites exist to serve as collection baskets for mobile phone numbers; they trick you into providing your number with free offers or access to online entertainment. This can put your money – as well as your privacy or identity – at risk.
  • Delete text messages you don’t want and never click on the links. Text messages that ask you to enter special codes, or to confirm or provide personal information could lead you to spoof sites that look real but could steal your money and identity.


Report spam texts to your carrier. Copy the original message and forward it to 7726 (SPAM) free of charge, if you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, or Sprint subscriber.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Woman dies retrieving cell phone from house fire


Posted: Jul 29, 2014 8:36 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 29, 2014 8:41 PM EDT

BARTONVILLE, IL (WHOI/CNN) – An Illinois woman is dead after escaping a fire then going back into her burning home to get her phone.

Crews were called to the fire after calls that a person was trapped inside.

Police say an officer tried to rescue the woman, but had to retreat because of thick smoke.

When firefighters arrived, they were able to get her out.

She was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Her name has not been released.

An officer was also taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

Copyright 2014 WHOI via CNN. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

DeKalb's School Board - Like It or Not


From Crossroads News:  Only two of Gov. Nathan Deal’s six appointees to the DeKalb School Board – Dr. Michael Erwin and Joyce Morley – will on the new board when it is sworn into office on Jan. 5.

In the July 22 runoff elections, two appointed board members – Dr. Karen Carter and Thad Mayfield – lost their seats. Two of the appointed board members – John Coleman and David Campbell – did not seek election.

Morley, who represents District 7, won her seat in the May 20 election.

They will join Stan Jester, District 1; Marshall Orson, District 2; and Dr. Melvin Johnson, District 6, on the new 2015 School Board. Jester was unopposed in District 1.

Erwin, a college professor, was the only victor among appointees in Tuesday’s School Board runoffs. He won his District 3 seat with 59 percent of the vote over challenger Atticus LeBlanc.

On his Facebook page, Erwin extended “heartfelt gratitude” to everyone who supported his first run for elected office.

“I look forward to serving as your representative to continue building upon the momentum created over the past 17 months,” he said.

Because of redistricting and the reduction of the School Board to seven seats from nine, Carter was pitted against elected incumbent Jim McMahan in the District 4 race. McMahan took the seat with 58 percent of the vote.

In the District 5 race, Mayfield lost to private school founder and operator Vickie Turner, who got 59 percent of the vote.

Turner said it was a long and very hard-fought race.

“I’m grateful to my campaign team for its counsel and to my family, but most of all, the voters of the 5th District,” she said.

The current board members’ terms expire on Dec. 31, 2014.

Deal appointed the six board members in March 2013 after removing six elected members for governance issues after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the district on accreditation probation in December 2012.

Scientists Call on Government to Protect Public from Wireless Radiation Exposure



More than 50 scientists from 18 nations called on government to minimize the public's exposure to the radiation emitted by wireless devices including cell and cordless phones, Wi-Fi, smart meters and baby monitors.


PRLog - Jul. 9, 2014 - BERKELEY, Calif. -- Today, fifty-four scientists from 18 nations who study the effects of radiofrequency (RF) radiation submitted a declaration to Health Canada calling on government's need to minimize the public’s exposure to this pollutant which is emitted by wireless devices including cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors.

The scientists signed a public declaration in which they raise serious concerns regarding Safety Code 6 guidelines finding them obsolete and inadequate to protect the public from RF radiation. The regulatory standards based upon these guidelines allow for wireless devices that emit RF radiation at levels that have been found in many studies to cause cancer, DNA damage, stress responses, and other harmful effects in humans. The document notes that the World Health Organization classified electromagnetic fields at both extremely low frequency in 2001 and RF ranges in 2011 as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”

Currently, RF exposure guidelines in four countries. China, Russia, Italy, and Switzerland, based on biological effects, are 100 times more stringent than Canadian (and U.S.) guidelines.

Unfortunately for their citizens, many nations do not adhere to the Precautionary Principle which is employed when serious risks to the public or to the environment exist but scientific consensus has not yet been established.

Epidemiological studies in humans show links between RF exposure and cancers, neurological disorders, hormonal changes, and symptoms of electrical hypersensitivity (EHS).  Laboratory studies show increased cancers, abnormal sperm, reproductive risks, learning and memory deficits, and heart irregularities.

People who suffer from functional impairment due to RF exposure are increasingly unable to find places where RF exposure is minimal. The medical community in North America is largely unaware of the effects of RF exposure and does not know how to treat those who become ill. Moreover, the typical methods to alleviate symptoms and promote healing are no longer working, in part, due to increasing levels of RF exposure everywhere.

The scientists urgently call upon Health Canada to intervene in this emerging public health crisis, to establish guidelines based on the best available scientific data, and to advise the public to limit their exposure and especially the exposure of children.

For more information about electromagnetic radiation safety, see my EMR Safety website at http://www.saferemr.com/.

In addition, twenty Canadian physicians signed a statement today calling on Health Canada to raise awareness about microwave radiation impacts and minimize exposure in schools and other places where children are commonly exposed.

Further information about these declarations is available from Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST): http://www.c4st.org/.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences


L. Lloyd Morgana, , , Santosh Kesarib, Devra Lee Davisa

Open Access funded by The Saudi Society of Microscopes
Under a Creative Commons license
To read the full report, click here.

Highlights
•  Children absorb more microwave radiation (MWR) than adults.
•  MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen.
•  The fetus is in greater danger than children from exposure to MWR.
•  The legal exposure limits have remained unchanged for decades.
•  Cellphone manuals warnings and the 20 cm rule for tablets/laptops violate the “normal operating position” regulation.

Abstract
Computer simulation using MRI scans of children is the only possible way to determine the microwave radiation (MWR) absorbed in specific tissues in children. Children absorb more MWR than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller.


  • MWR from wireless devices has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood. 
  • The fetus is particularly vulnerable to MWR. MWR exposure can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons. 
  • MWR-emitting toys are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Digital dementia has been reported in school age children. 


A case study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed. MWR exposure limits have remained unchanged for 19 years.

All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to MWR. The exposure limit for laptop computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body.

Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children's use of wireless devices.

Why isn't the U.S. keeping pace with the rest of the world on this issue?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

GEORGIA POWER CUSTOMERS: You Can Now Opt Out of Your Smart Meter!


Click this link for details about how you can Opt Out (for a fee) of your Smart Meter Today!  http://www.georgiapower.com/residential/products-programs/smart-meter/

We have GREAT news for every customer of Georgia Power!  

You can now CHOOSE to have a Smart Meter or CHOOSE to Opt-Out of the program, even asking for your old analog meter to be reinstalled and your (Not-so)-Smart Meter REMOVED!

Thank  you to the hard work of  www.stopsmartmetersGeorgia.Org .  



These meters emit RF Radiation, a growing concern in the medical community for its possible link to a variety of forms of cancer.  

We are sharing the good news with you, our Get the Cell Out readers below:

*******************************************************************************
Dear Get the Cell Out - Atlanta,

Hope everyone had a wonderful, safe holiday.  Safety is usually a big concern in this country, and around the world.  But we here in America are especially used to laws protecting us from unsafe products.
 
Not so in the case of "smart" meters.  These dangerous devices, untested for human safety, continue to cause fires, ruin property, and devastate lives (in addition to emitting cancer-causing radiation, possibly raising your electric bill, and being completely hackable).  There is a video out that shows why "smart" meters are so prone to starting fires, and why you should get rid of yours immediately.  It is posted below.
 
You can now kick your "Spy and Fry" meter to the curb and get a safe analog back on your home by contacting Georgia Power, and paying an extortionate fee of $19 a month.  Here is a link where you can find out more (the info is at the bottom of the page, and is in answer to the last question posted there):  

 
Please share this information with your friends, family, and neighbors.  Fires - and "smart" meters in general - put everyone in a neighborhood in danger!
 
"Smart Meter Fires Explained":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBDgZjR4qHQ
 
Thank you and God bless!

Terri
 
Terri Keller, M. A.

 
P. S.  What do the British know that we don't?  

Check out this quote from a June article in the Telegraph: 
 
"Fewer than half of British households want an energy “smart meter”, research has shown, raising doubts over the Government’s £11bn plan to install them in every home by 2020. 
"The Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB), the organisation set up to drive public support for the devices, found that while 84pc of people had heard of smart meters, just 44pc expressed interest in having one installed in their home."
Word's getting out, and people everywhere are just saying "NO" to these (not-so)-smart meters! 

 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10885122/Homeowners-reject-energy-smart-meters.html