"Civil Rights for Cell Tower Corporations?
You've Got to be Kidding!"
Paul Cienfuegos' April 21st, 2015 Commentary on KBOO Evening News
(His weekly commentaries are broadcast every Tuesday evening. You can view or listen to them all at PaulCienfuegos.com, CommunityRightsPDX.org/podcast, or subscribe via ITunes.)
Greetings! You are listening to the weekly commentary by yours truly, Paul Cienfuegos.
Yesterday evening, I attended a two-hour informational meeting about T-Mobile Corporation's
imminent application to the City to mount a new cell phone antenna on a utility pole in a residential neighborhood just a few blocks from Mount Tabor. The City requires that the corporate applicant hold such an informational meeting at least 30 days before they file their application.
90 residents from the immediate neighborhood attended the session. Although the meeting was
officially facilitated by a fellow hired by the City, most of the packed agenda was filled up by one
corporate employee after another -- first from T-Mobile Corporation, then by Odelia Pacific
Corporation (the company contracted to install the new antenna -on a pole owned by PGE
Corporation), and finally by a certified health physicist who is an expert in non-ionized radiation. He too was paid by T Mobile Corporation to make the presentation, so you can imagine how little his claims were trusted by the very agitated audience of 90 neighborhood residents. The energy in the room became even more unsettled when an oncologist specializing in brain cancers challenged the corporate-funded physicist's claims that there was absolutely nothing to fear by having a cell phone antenna placed on a pole just twenty feet from the nearest home bedroom -- and just about 100 feet from the oncologist's home down the street.
What struck me as most surprising is how tone deaf the City's hired facilitator was. What did the City think would be the inevitable outcome when yet another corporation appears to be forcing yet another corporate project down the throats of its unwilling victims? The two-hour agenda provided a scant fifteen minutes for "Additional Q & A". But this crowd of angry home owners wasn't going to take this lying down, so they interrupted every few minutes with one insistent question after another, not willing to wait until the very end of the meeting to express their opposition. And only questions were permitted by the facilitator -- no statements were allowed at all -- which just further cemented an assumption among all of the attendees that this meeting was held merely as a legally-required formality, after which time the City would rubber-stamp the permit.
As listeners to my weekly commentary have learned by now, I focus a lot of my educational work on spreading the word about how corporations have been granted one new constitutional "right" after another by the Supreme Court, starting in 1819 -- that's 196 years ago!