2003-10-17 / Editorial/Opinion

Like Doppler Radar, Cell Phone Towers Are Welcome

Like Doppler Radar, Cell Phone Towers Are Welcome

When the Federal Aviation Agency first announced that a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar was to be placed in Floyd Bennett Field, right across the bay from Belle Harbor and Neponsit, many local activists and self-proclaimed experts argued that the federal agency was going to "microwave" the community, that the radar was unsafe. Even in the face of expert testimony, many in the Rockaway community chose rather to believe the Websites they found on their computers. Years ago, there were stories that electrical wires cause cancer. Those rumors were dispelled as well. Now, come cell phone towers. When cell phones first came out, we were convinced that only doctors and those who work in the West Wing needed to be in instant contact with others. Now, however, when the ubiquitous devices are all over the scene, we understand how important they can be. To have cell phones, we must have cell phone towers. Those towers are springing up all over the peninsula for a number of reasons. They are necessary for the technology and they provide lots of bucks for those who allow them to be placed on their property. For example, one recent report says that a parochial school earns $18,000 a year for allowing a cell phone tower on its school building. As with the Doppler Radar, many Websites tell of the dangers of cell phone towers. As with the Doppler Radar, local residents and experts are lining up against allowing cell phone towers. There is no reasonable evidence, however that they can cause harm. Until there is that evidence, we believe that the technology that has become so much a part of our lives should be allowed on local buildings.

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