Marin IJ Readers Forum Letters, June 2021

June Marin IJ Readers Forum Letters

A. Letter to the Editor, June 5, 2021

Adapted from a letter by Roberta Anthes, San Rafael,CA

Local control of Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) is Needed

I’m writing to encourage the town councils of Marin to oppose Senate Bill 556 which will be heard June 9 in the Local Government Committee and then move on to the Communications and Conveyance Committee. This bill essentially eliminates the authority of local elected officials in deploying Wireless Telecommunications Facilities in their respective towns and hands it to private, for-profit telecom companies.

Nearly all the towns in Marin, together with knowledgeable citizens, have spent considerable time and energy crafting wireless ordinances to comply with the federal law and still retained the powers inherent in that law. This bill does an “end run” around the intent of our local ordinances and the express desires of Marin residents.

I did not vote for my Assembly representatives to give away this power and allow telecoms to impose on the public wireless services they may not want or need in undesirable locations. I do not want wireless facilities next to my home, school, day-care center or playground. I don’t want them in fire-prone areas. Local elected officials should be making these decisions — not big Telecom companies.

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Get the Money Back From Those Who Created the Digital Divide — Big Telecoms Verizon, AT&T et al.

Adapted from an article by Bruce Kushnick June 17, 2021 | Original Medium article here.

The 2020 Verizon-NY Annual Report details billions that can be used to close the Digital Divide in the state of New York — offering lessons that can be applied to every other state. Solutions without any government subsidies. . .

What Is the Verizon-NY 2020 Annual Report?

On May 28th, 2021, the Verizon-NY 2020 Annual Report was published. Verizon-NY is the primary state public telecommunications utility (SPTU) and New York is the only state we know of that requires and makes public a financial annual report for the SPTU.

This is not the Verizon Communications Inc. Annual Report, which is for the entire holding company. Verizon-NY is just one of Verizon’s many East Coast public telecommunications utilities: that means there are Verizon SPTUS ranging from Massachusetts to Virginia. The FCC aided and abetted this scheme because it stopped publishing SPTU information in 2007, covering the tracks for massive cross subisides that flowed from SPTUS to other subsidiaries owned by the Telecom Holding Companies.

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Dense 4G/5G Rollout in Tucson Meets Strong Opposition

Adapted from an article and news report by Chorus Nylander, June 14, 2021 | KVOA News 4 Tucson article here

TUCSON (KVOA) – It’s the highly anticipated future for mobile service but for many Tucsonans 5G is not a future they asked for. These days dense 4G/5G Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (WTFs) are popping up just about everywhere, and many homeowners tell the News 4 Tucson Investigators that they are furious.

Tucson resident Bryan Goldkuhl said:

“They Hid It From Us Until the Last Minute.”

Goldkuhl is outraged after a 4G/5G WTF was put up across the street from his home:

“They started by jacking pipe underneath the street that was probably three months ago. When we asked them about it, they told us they were just putting in fiber optic cable then when we found out it was for a cell tower, now we’re being told it’s too late to do anything about it,”

He’s not alone, a group of neighbors from Tucson’s Peter Howell neighborhood held a protest a couple weeks ago against the installation of several towers in the area, one by a school.

“This is happening because Verizon and AT&T would like to implement what our future should look like nobody asked us if we wanted this,” said Lisa Smith.

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Gov. Newsom Grants Cal Cities’ Request for Continued Brown Act Flexibility

June 2, 2021

In an effort to provide local governments adequate time to prepare for in-person public meetings while remaining in compliance with the Brown Act, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that Executive Order N-29-20 will remain in effect after the June 15 reopening plan.

The announcement came in response to a request by a local government coalition, which included the League of California Cities.

In a May 18, 2021 letter to the Governor, the coalition requested guidance on how local government agencies should proceed with Executive Order N-29-20 following the Blueprint’s conclusion. The Executive Order provides local government agencies with the necessary flexibility to conduct business meetings in a virtual format.

Today, in response to the local government coalition request, the Governor announced that the Executive Order will not terminate on June 15, and all local government agencies can continue to conduct virtual public meetings as needed. The additional time will allow local governments to modify or keep any pandemic-era changes and provide sufficient notice to the public, honoring city obligations to prioritize access and transparency, along with the safety of the public.

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Palo Alto Votes For Citywide Fiber Optics Expansion

City Council approves plan to build out fiber backbone, bring municipal internet to all neighborhoods

by Gennady Sheyner / | May 25, 2021 | Original Palo Alto Weekly article here.

Under a proposal from Magellan Advisors, Palo Alto would expand its existing fiber network into a 43-mile fiber backbone, which would later be used to create a Fiber to the Home system. Courtesy Magellan Advisors.

After nearly two decades of debate, Palo Alto took a significant step Monday toward transforming the city’s fiber system from a small network that mostly serves critical city facilities and large commercial customers to one that could deliver high-speed internet system to every local home and business.

By a unanimous vote, the City Council advanced a work plan for gradually expanding the city’s existing fiber ring to all areas of the city — a project that over the years has been referred to as Fiber to the Home or Fiber to the Premises. The expansion would take place in at least two phases, with the first one focusing on expanding the fiber backbone to make it available for more city departments and the second one targeting neighborhoods throughout Palo Alto.

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No Water Fluoridation and No Wireless Signal Strength Beyond That Needed for Telecommunications Service

Adapted from a May 25, 2021 Public Comment in Santa Barbara, CA
Public Comment by Katie Mickey

By a 5 to 2 margin on November 23, 1999, the City Council of Santa Barbara voted in favor of a resolution that, “… disagrees with and rejects the State’s recommendation to fluoridate the city’s public water system.”

The resolution was fashioned by the City Council in response to a request for a protective ordinance from the local chapter of Citizens for Safe Drinking Water that involved appearances by more than 150 citizens before the Board of Water Commissioners for Santa Barbara.

City Attorney Dan Wallace replied that no matter which approach the Council took, should the State elect to force compliance the city would most likely invoke the “municipal affairs doctrine.” This doctrine applies to cities that have their own constitutional charter, which among other tests requires that any law of statewide concern be “narrowly tailored” so it does not intrude on the rights of cities to manage their own affairs.

Mayor Harriet Miller, referencing her background in chemistry, stated that adding a chemical to the water supply to medicate everyone was not the right approach and requested that the City’s staff draft a letter to the appropriate health agencies to look into other programs that are intended for children from birth to 5 years of age to devise a method of getting the appropriate care directly to the individuals who truly need it and when they need it.

Council Member Tom Roberts called into question whether the City’s mission in managing the water was to deliver the purest potable water or to mass medicate, and asked why adding Prozac (fluoxetene, another fluorine-based product) to counter depression wasn’t of equal rationale.

Council Member Marty Blum favored, “… a treatment plan to address the specific problem, not to medicate the whole city on the chance that the kids may drink the water.”

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Localities Would Be Fair Game for Telecom Companies, if SB-556, AB-537 and SB-378 Pass

Adapted from an article by Anne Thomas, May 23, 2021 | Original Santa Barbara Independent article here.

Three Horrible Telecom-Friendly State Bills Would Forever Change the Landscape of California Communities for the Worse


A trifecta of three Wireless Telecom California State Bills stand to negatively change the landscape of our communities forever if they pass in Sacramento. Sponsored by the Big Wireless, SB-556, AB-537 and SB-378 will shift the decision-making power over where so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) will be located in our communities from the local planning departments to the Telecom industry itself.

You’ve heard that right. Should these bills pass, the wireless telecom industry will then have full control over where those small cell towers are located: which street light pole, which traffic light pole. They will all be fair game for them, no matter how close to your residence they are located. How would you like to have a sWTF installed within feet of your bedroom window? This will happen to many if these three bills pass.

All three bills are Telecom-friendly bills that aim to rush the deployment of wireless infrastructure, bypassing the local government authority to decide what is best for each community. Many of the provisions included in the bills have cost-reduction and profit motives for the wireless industry, and strip away local control from the decision-making process over new projects. These bills are touted as remedies to closing the so-called “Digital Divide” yet they do nothing to require that be done. These three bills do not solve these problems, but will create new problems that communities will have to endure for decades to come.

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CA State Legislature About to Give Telecoms Immense Power

Adapted from an article by Tim Redmond, May 10, 2021 | Original 48 Hills Article here.


Proposed 2021 Bills would block most local control over placement of cell towers and antennas — and the Opposition has not been strong enough.

A pair of bills that would profoundly deregulate the placement of cell-phone towers and antennas— in essence giving the telecom companies complete control over where these facilities can go and overriding most local laws— are moving quickly through the state Legislature with almost no news media attention.

[Small Cell Image]

The measures would give companies vast power to place antennas on any public light or utility poles anywhere in the state and the bills contain no effective considerations for preserving the quiet enjoyment of streets, protecting against noise and negative health consequences and delivering actual public safety.

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Be Aware of Astroturf

Astroturfing & Media-Parroting

We found some right here . . . no consumer-driven group would parrot the very propaganda points of the Wireless industry. This is so laughably “fake”, it is unfathomable that anyone who is not in on this Wireless Industry Heist would think this is legitimate:

The petition we found this morning (see links that follow) is obviously paid astroturf , i.e. fake grassroots, as explained in the John Oliver video, below.

  1. Care2 Petition →
  2. Petition from “Communities for a Connected Future” →
Part A: John Oliver an Astroturfing

Astroturfing is Fake Grassroots

Last Week with John Oliver on Astroturfing

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CA SB.556: A Bill That Would Severely Limit Local Government Control of sWTF Deployment in the Public Rights-of-Way

Adapted from the original BBK article here.

Note: sWTFs are so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities, which may be small in dimension, but are large in maximum power output.

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Oppose SB.556 (and others)

Four years after California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 649, an industry-sponsored “sWTF” bill, the wireless industry is back with another bill: SB.556. — actually a triple threat 6-7-8 of CA Bills in 2021: SB.556, AB.537 & SB.678.

In the words of Yogi Berra, “Is this Déjà Vu all over again?” Back in 2017, the people of CA secured a veto of an earlier version of the combined triple threat of CA Bills in 2021: SB.556, AB.537 & SB.678 . . . that was CA SB.649 California’s misguided Streamline so-called “small” Wireless Telecommunications Facilities (sWTFs) Bill.

This is what we learned back in 2017 from the League of California Cities: while over 300 cities opposed SB.649 (Hueso), the Governor vetoed the bill stating:

“I believe that the interest which localities have in managing rights of way requires a more balanced solution than the one achieved in this bill.”

So, why are our CA Legislators wasting everyone’s time and the taxpayer’s money to attempt this same corrupt industry heist all over again? . . . Follow the $$$ Money $$$!

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