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Concerns over Internet tower at Weston

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POSTED November 17, 2009 3:22 a.m.

RIPON — A concerned Ripon resident, Lisa Weinstein, raised a red flag for Ripon Unified School District trustees last week over the approved construction of a Clearwire Internet tower near Weston Elementary School.

“The adverse bioeffects of this tower will extend on and beyond the area contiguous to Weston School for a 400-meter radius,” she told board members.

She said that after the tower was approved in June her sister Mardee Medeiros – who has one grandchild at Weston – asked her to be her advocate in confirming the safety of the tower.  

Weinstein contacted Susan Clarke of the Environmental Health Advocacy League who confirmed that the levels of the microthermal radio frequency that will be emitted from the tower have been scientifically proven harmful under the health agency’s criteria.

She added that the public notice on the construction of the tower presented to residents living near the school site “were inadequate” because it did not contain a copy of the lease agreement.  If the tower is leased to other wireless providers the output could be several times greater than first thought, she said.

Weinstein claimed that the scientific evidence she submitted to the board that contained studies used to prove the harmfulness of microthermal radio frequencies along with the hour-long testimony provided by Susan Clarke in a conference call with Superintendent Louise Nan, constitutes evidence of a potential significant environmental effect.

Board Chairman Larry Stewart referenced past studies that cleared the fears of dangers from the transmission tower, but said the school district would double check its findings.

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