Cell Sites Threaten Santa Cruz Wildlife Area- Protest Planned

This mock up of a “micro” cell tower- an inappropriate industrial scar in one of the most pristine and wild locations in Northern California-will become permanent and start emitting carcinogenic radiation if the CA Coastal Commission issues a coastal permit in August

Apple’s recent iPhone ad highlights the beauty of California’s central coast, with two shivering Easterners asking ‘what’s the best way to Santa Cruz, California?’.  Now it appears that Santa Cruz, California is asking, ‘ what’s the best way to protect scenic views and stop 4G radiation damage to wildlife?’

A battle is on between Santa Cruz County north coast residents and Verizon Wireless, who are attempting to violate local laws and install a series of 6 cell sites along Santa Cruz County’s North Coast, as part of their 4G LTE (“long term evolution”) network.   Here at StopSmartMeters.Org, we think their network should be renamed LTD (“long term devolution”) because of the documented damage from wireless to human DNA (pdf).  A local group- Coastal Neighbors Against Unnecessary Wireless Facilities- has been fighting the proposed antenna, holding meetings and lobbying local officials.

In cooperation with Coastal Neighbors Against Unnecessary Wireless Facilities, Stop Smart Meters! is planning a major protest against the smart grid and wireless proliferation- for Saturday July 21st at 4pm in front of the Verizon store on Pacific Ave. in Santa Cruz, California. (cross street Cooper)

Amphibians- like this California Newt- are particularly at risk from wireless development: A Spanish study found that frog tadpoles exposed to a cell site at 100m “remained sideways or tilted and swam (in) circles” and had a “90% mortality rate.”

In addition to forcing unwanted cell towers into communities, and fighting health warnings on their products, Verizon also partners with PG&E and other utilities to collect your private utility usage data via their wireless network.  Those suffering from electro-sensitivity, cancer, and other conditions linked with wireless  along with their friends and family- are encouraged to attend and share their stories, in public- in front of the store.

The Coastal Commission will decide whether or not to issue a permit for this development at its meeting sometime between August 8th and 10th (exact date tba) at the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 701 Ocean St. 5th Floor.  Mark your calendar, plan to show up and speak, and/ or send a letter (see below).

The following opinion- by our Director- appeared last Sunday in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and is re-posted here in its entirety:

Keep Our Wild North Coast Beaches Cell Tower Free

By Joshua Hart MSc

Perhaps a good time to consider the sanity of blanketing our County in microwave radiation- a Class 2B carcinogen according to the World Health Organization(pdf)- is the moment right before the last few wild and free areas of the County are about to be put at risk because of our seemingly insatiable appetite for mobile technology.

In January, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors quietly approved a plan by

Verizon kills for profit- boycott wireless!

NextG (now called Crown Castle)- for Verizon Wireless- to install seven cell towers- so called “distributed” or “microcell” antennas along a remote stretch of Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Waddell Creek in Big Basin State Park.  This latest project is part of the “Distributed Antenna System” being promoted by industry and waved through by the CA Public Utilities Commission, an agency adept at bullying local governments into accepting a wireless smart grid that no one wants.  “Distributed” means a new cell antenna could appear on the pole right outside your bedroom window- pulsing microwaves 24/7- potentially reducing your property value, not to mention your libido and mental function – and there would be little you could do to prevent it.

Evidence of wireless health damage is mounting.  Dr. Poki Namkung, the top Public Health Officer in the County, issued a report in January entitled “Health Risks Associated with Smart Meters.” Her report cites research showing harmful effects on sperm, double strand breaks in DNA, and cancer.   The dream of high-speed, on-the-go, smart phone connectivity is hitting up against the reality that this dream may only possible at the expense of our health, our environment – and for some so sensitized to even the weakest signals — basic access to the necessities of life.

This proposed cell site is less than 100 yards from Big Basin State Park and endangered red-legged frogs who inhabit the Waddell Creek Wetlands

For Santa Cruzans, our stewardship of the most pristine natural ecosystems in the County is at stake.   The northernmost antenna is proposed to be located only yards from Big Basin State Park, directly adjacent to the Waddell Creek wetlands, home to endangered species such as the Red Legged Frog, Western Pond Turtle, and Coho Salmon.  Scientific research indicates a myriad of impacts on plants and animals (not to mention humans) who are exposed. In one study of the effects of cell tower radiation on tadpoles, a 90% mortality rate was observed.[1] Other studies show links to bee decline. [2]  The Waddell and Scott Creeks are both teeming with life and are conservation success stories. It would be extraordinarily short sighted to put that at risk.

There is a reason that the Telecommunications Act– signed by Pres. Clinton in 1996- prohibits local and state governments from rejecting cell towers because of environmental concerns.  It’s because those concerns are justified.  Such a restriction is of course blatantly illegal and unconstitutional, prohibiting local governments from carrying out the duty they are sworn to uphold- to protect public health and safety- but the telecom firms have well paid lawyers.   And consumers are left with unexplained headaches and damaged landscapes.

Fire concerns have also been raised.  NextG Corp. is a defendant in a lawsuit filed by residents of Malibu who suffered nearly 15 million in damages from a 2007 wildfire caused by overloaded power poles that blew over and sparking in high winds.  The last thing Bonny Doon needs is another wildfire.

Emergency communication is an important issue. AT&T and Sprint have service along Highway 1 in this area- any cell user dialing 911 has access to these.  There are also call boxes along remote stretches.  Streaming 4G video is not an essential emergency service.

The existing cell panel mock ups at seven locations along the coast give an idea of what is proposed to be made permanent, but only if the California Coastal Commission issues a Coastal Permit in July. There is still time to stop this ill-conceived project from going forward, if the community mobilizes.

When it comes to the beauty of the North Coast, the safety of our communities, and the survival of entire species, we should all question whether we even want to use cell phones on our wild North Coast beaches.

What to Do:

1.  Write to the CA Coastal Commission- c/o Susan Craig 725 Front Street, Suite 300, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Include all the reasons to oppose the project: safety, aesthetics, and health/ environmental protection.  Brief is okay.

2.  Come to the protest July 21st 4pm Verizon Store Pacific Ave. (across from Cinema 9)- link your friends to this page- using a safe, wired connection!

3.  Speak out at the CA Coastal Commission Mtg in Santa Cruz Aug. 8-10 (exact date tba)

4.  If you- or anyone you know is (god forbid) a Verizon customer, switch to another provider (and tell them why!) or even better lose the cell entirely.  Call Verizon customer service at: 1.800.837.4966  You have the power to quit!

5.  Learn more about the project by downloading and reading the files below.

Documents to download for more information:

Santa Cruz County Planning Commission Staff Report

Santa Cruz Sentinel Article

Initial Appeal by Coastal Neighbors Against Unnecessary Wireless Facilities

NextG Response to Appeal

Coastal Neighbors Response to NextG

CNAUWF Appendices

See August 14th 2012 update on this project here.

Overloading power poles caused the $14 million Malibu fire in 2007

Print this flyer out and distribute it!!

[1] Balmori, A. (2009). Electromagnetic pollution from phone masts. Effects on wildlife

This entry was posted in Animal Harm, California, Cancer, Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, Environmental Concerns, FCC, Santa Cruz County, World Health Organization. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Cell Sites Threaten Santa Cruz Wildlife Area- Protest Planned

  1. Pingback: Before It's News

  2. Those “pole extension” antennas are pretty disgusting looking.

    What happened to phone booths?

  3. Redi Kilowatt says:

    As if people traveling on beautiful highway one need to be connected to slow speed internet on smartphones. What a joke, they should be watching the road if they are the driver, and taking in the beautiful scenery if they are a passenger.
    Very soon, the corporations will have sold billions of smart phones and transmitting towers to a new generation of zombies. The people will spend endless money to drive out on the coast only to view very slow speed 4G little screens, not knowing or caring where they are, ZOMBIES !

  4. Stop Minnesota Meters says:

    Way to go Josh! Thanks so much for the opinion piece. So important to fight this.

  5. Cory says:

    In Huntington Beach, Calif. our city council member, Connie Boardman, voted against cell towers in the Bolsa Chica wetlands with the logic that by law, we’re not allowed to protect humans but by her reasoning, she CAN protect the wildlife. Fortunately it kept one of dozens of new cell units from being installed near people’s homes on a city-owned parcel. The newest versions are placed inside huge, fake flagpoles. Their very existence should be posted for the public to know about. Finally, if you really care about this issue, please quit using cell phone service. It’s a drastic measure but the only measure that can work in slowing the invasive spread of this harmful technology hurting all humans and animals.

  6. J. Petard says:

    Smart meters are too dangerous to deploy.
    This was always true. Yet the executives of the utility cartel operating in California forced deployment of the dangerous devices and started ticking time bombs across the state.
    Before going any further, PG&E and the other cartel members must be made to post bonds at their shareholder expense to cover the estimatable losses that their deployment of the new devices may reasonably be expected to incur in the next 30 years including harm to wild life, property, and people. Human harm will manifest slowly with exposure and exposure will be greatly enhanced with the full nightmare grid and the possible if not likely harm will be massive chronic illness, curtailment of lifespan for possibly millions of people. Curtailment of lifespan through willful negligence by the utility cartel top stockholders and executives; this is so obviously the stuff of sociopaths/psychopaths it is jaw dropping that they are getting away with it!
    The CPUC cannot accept responsibility for the utility cartel reckless wilful negligence. But the current CPUC members must be made to account in a non-masonic court of law at some point for their psychopathic willful indifference to the harm they are currently actively facilitating. Ignorance will certainly not be an excuse nor blarney about the FCC 1992 regulations make it seem legal to deploy clearly dangerous meter devices.
    Meanwhile the CPUC commissioners MUST address the safety issue of the wifi smart meters very soon. It is irrational beyond belief for them to demur any longer; it is their duty and responsibility to hold evidentiary hearing that will be part of the permanent record and that clearly and directly address the specific issues and evidence of danger and harm posed by the wifi smart meter devices. No doubt the miscreant commissioners would like to delay forever the permanent record of their reckless incompetence; and indifference to the most vital issues, the issues of harm and unsafet. They must not be permitted any further delay.
    Nothing else makes sense; how did they get away with evading hearings on the vital issues of danger to health and hearth? The CPUCV Mission statement specifically proscribes subjecting the captive utility customers to dangerous utility company infrastructure.
    Perhaps the commissioners should be required to have the CPUC Mission statement tattooed on each of their foreheads so when they gaze at each other rolling their eyes at the whiny supplicants urging them to not deploy harmful devices to their homes,they will be reminded of what they are actually supposed to be doing to earn their paychecks.

  7. Josh says:

    This is a well-done article, Josh.

    I would point out, though, that it might prove difficult to get ES people to hang around in front of a Verizon store because of the elevated microwave radiation levels often found in such an area. One way to get around this is to have those who can attend read testimony from ES people who can’t; this could also help highlight the nature of the problems ES people face and how such people are often placed in a sort of invisible discard pile by society. The testimony at http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?page_id=2292 might provide a good starting point, and you could also have ES people submit a succinct statement to be read on their behalf at the protest and written just for the occasion.

  8. Letta Mego says:

    Keep wireless out of your home. Don’t buy cell phones, IPads and that nonsense.
    Run wireless junk out of business.
    Wireless will take your freedom, keep you sick a long time, and finally kill you.
    It does so initially by altering the cell membrane of every cell in you body…
    Proximity and cell type are a factor.
    Thus we have all this breast cancer…and prostrate cancer….lung cancer etc.
    The alterations in cell membranes cause alterations of the cells’ ion channels and alterations in DNA repair…so that after a dozen or so mutation there is a high probablility of developeing cancer. It takes a long time…so probably you’ll die about retirement time. The wireless technology is classified as a 2b carcinogen on the same level as DDT, lead, and deisel exhaust. Wireless is stupid.

  9. Letta Mego says:

    Do not go along with the deployment of “smart meter” weapons. You don’t need a meter with the potential of being a weapon strapped to you home. Smart meter weapons are the worst possible wireless devices. Smart meters are tunable. These two-way transmitters with operating systems are like having a mini cell phone tower on you house…..and soon the appliances will have chips that act as cell phones so that the smart meter interacts with the appliance chip.

  10. Excerpted from: Sorry, the wireless cloud isn’t green – it’s an energy monster
    A closer look
    “Our team at the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET) set itself the task of finding out how much energy the wireless cloud will consume in 2015 compared to 2012.

    We analysed product specification sheets, publicly available reports and white papers, peer-reviewed journal articles, and used all of the available information to create a wireless cloud energy consumption model.

    Our energy calculations from this model show that, by 2015, wireless cloud will consume up to 43 terawatt hours (TWh) worldwide, compared with only 9.2 TWh in 2012. That’s a 460% increase in just three years.

    In terms of approximate carbon footprint estimates, this is an increase in carbon footprint from 6 megatonnes of CO2 in 2012 to up to 30 megatonnes of CO2 in 2015 – the equivalent of adding 4.9 million cars to the roads.

    We found 90% of this consumption is attributable to wireless access network technologies (WiFi and 4G LTE). Data centres account for only 9%, with the remaining 1% accounted for by the network.

    The full results and are contained in our recently released white paper The Power of Wireless Cloud.”

    Complete text:


    You fools are destroying the planet with your cell phone addictions. Next time you prepare to pay your cellular phone subscription service, ask yourselves if it’s a good investment…

  11. whistle blower says:

    6 people have died at the base of a cell phone tower in Oakley Ca in the past 6 months. Who will believe me. West Cypress and Main St. Senior Moble Home Park. NOT TO MENTION THE TWO TODDLERS RIGHT underneath, ot the BASE ANTENNA. These seniors dont have a chance. No one is wise to it either. I feel powerless and dont want to be the whistleblower. SBA Tower.

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