2008-04-04 / Letters

Response To 'It's My Turn' By Ronni Schwab

Dear Editor,

I found it amusing when it stated, "Metro PCS has requested this meeting (03/24/08, which was subsequently cancelled) to make a presentation regarding the safety of a cell antennae…" That would have been analogous to having a fox watch a chicken coop. Of course they would have said the antennae are safe. Would you expect them to have said the antennae are not safe? Was that meeting supposed to placate everyone? Do you assume we, as a community, are that naive?

That article also stated that, "we made sure the plan was okay by arranging for an … expert to explain it to us and to answer questions." If that was a reference to the meeting held at the West End Temple, March 9, excuse me, but wasn't that "expert" hired by Metro PCS? I guess I must be a mind-reader because, amazingly, I knew what he was going to say before he even began. Again, what would you expect him to say? It's not safe. Of course not.

That article discussed the "scare tactics" of the "most recent petition." That made me wonder just how many other petitions opposing the antennae were there? I know that some community members signed one petition. I was advised that Councilman Addabbo sent a letter to the Rabbi, advising that some of his constituents have complained to him and asking her to reconsider the decision. I know that some of the West End Temple's own congregants opposed this lease. I know that some of the parents of the children enrolled at the preschool signed a fact sheet expressing their concern and willingness to remove their children from it if the lease went forth. Were there still more petitions than all of these?

On the subject of "scare tactics," Harold Schwab wrote, in his letter to the editor, that any lawsuit with an injunction will probably spell the death knell for the Temple. It went on to say, "Beware of what you wish for since legal action will, in all probability, result in a new neighborhood…" THAT to me is a scare tactic so that the actions of the Temple are not legally questioned. In a letter to the President of the Temple dated March 17, from the State of New York, Office of the Attorney General, it stated that this "lease… requires court approval on notice to the Attorney General." It went on to say that, the "lease will also require that approval of the members of the congregation." If one assumes this legal authority is correct, one wonders if these compliance issues were ever going to happen if this matter was not brought to the community's attention. I find irony in the fact that the court system is referenced when it suits the cause, yet is not discussed when it does not. Alawsuit by concerned parties of interest, if it had come to that, would have been our right. The last time I looked, we lived in a democracy, a land of laws. If not, what are soldiers dying for to defend?

In my opinion, common sense, not scare tactics, prevailed. In the past, the so-called experts were wrong about cigarettes, asbestos, and the air surrounding ground zero, all touted as safe, then later shown to be otherwise. No one, except a few, wanted to take a chance with our children.

My final word on this topic will be the same words I used to start this conversation several weeks ago. No one wants the Temple to go under. I'm sure they will be resilient and find other ways to generate income and flourish until their 100th Anniversary and beyond. But the cell antennae lease was not the answer.


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