Monday, May 23, 2016

VERIZON withdraws their application, a victory for the people!

It's been a year since an organized group of  neighbors from the Golden Gate went to the City of Oakland Planning Commission to oppose Verizon's Macro Telecommunications facility planned for  960 Arlington Avenue in our residential neighborhood. In May of 2015, the commission criticized Verizon and made the bold decision not to approve the plan outright, but rather approval was conditional on Verizon completing a more thorough Alternative Site Analysis and making adjustments requiring the generator to be placed inside the building and not on the roof.  Several planners expressed their concern that the facility would expose the community to unsafe levels of EMFs. For the last year we waited, watching for this project to re-appear on the commission's meeting agenda, thinking any month we would need to reorganize to argue against the plan and that we would eventually go before the City Council. The permitting sign from the city  remained in place, a scary reminder of the battle before us. 

 We contacted the City Planner throughout the year whose response was,  " Verizon will return.  I'll give you two weeks notice before the Planning Commission meeting."  On May 19th of 2016, with some trepidation,  I e-mailed the City Planner who replied, "Verizon withdrew their application."  I couldn't believe what I was reading.  I asked what was the reason and his response was, "they didn't say why".  Our group took a collective inhale and a long exhale, relieved at the outcome. We realize this is the culmination of our group's organized effort which included some of the following;  a community meeting with Verizon, the City planner, and about 35 neighbors,  a demonstration and march to the local Verizon store, a petition with over 200 signatures, numerous letters and phone calls to city officials and Verizon, hours spent combing through the City of Oakland Wireless Ordinance, consulted an electrical engineer, a written editorial to the East Bay Express and an interview on KPFA radio station.  

We spoke with many people who fought similar battles.  Some of the people we would like to thank are:  Josh Hart of Stop Smart Meters for encouraging us to protest Verizon and also try to work with the owner of the building,  and Professor Joel Moskowitz for your dedicated research.  But where will Verizon go next? We have no way of knowing what happened but what we did notice in the last year was several telecom companies leasing utility poles from PG&E and mounting 2 antennas on each pole.  This way they avoid the need for a public notice, ( wait isn't the sidewalk a public domain?) and the public's involvement in the process.  Verizon will or has gone somewhere. The planning process is not democratic and favors corporations coming into our neighborhoods and having control over public space. I know there are many struggles occurring all over the country like this one. Hopefully what we learned and the actions we took can help others in their organizing efforts.

Thank you to all the individuals 
and groups who supported us.

On behalf of the Golden Gate neighbors,
with gratitude,
Deborah Yaffe and 
Greg Henricks

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Public wants safety guidelines on wireless technologies! Two important events next week in the Bay Area.

Next week the Commonwealth Club presentation will focus on:

Cell phones, towers and antennas subject at Commonwealth Club on Monday

 And on Tuesday next week Rose Aguilar is covering this subject on KALW at 11:00 am. Don't forget to call in and express your concern!

Bay Area friends, get tickets to this free event at the Commonwealth Club in SF on Monday at 11:30. We're doing a show about this on Tuesday.
[Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?]
Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Speak Out Against California State Assembly Bill 57

We are very concerned about the latest takeover by the Wireless Industry, California State Assembly Bill AB 57.  This bill gives the wireless industry super-rights, not intended by either Congress or the FCC and special state-level rights intended to make it almost impossible for the public to effectively argue against cell sites that are detrimental to community aesthetics and health. Communities need a voice in this process.

Right now, our community in North Oakland, the Golden Gate, is battling a Macro Telecommunications Facility planned for a residential neighborhood. We have organized and pushed this plan back several times, due to flaws in the plan. We have worked with Verizon and the City of Oakland asking that the needs and desires of the community be considered. If AB 57 was law we would not have this chance to speak out. Telecommunications law is already heavily biased in favor of the Telecommunications Industry. It has been shocking to see our needs as tax payers are not fairly represented by the government whose mandate is to protect the health and safety of it's citizens. We are part of a growing number of communities who are asking for a voice in the planning process of telecommunications sites. This bill would take away what little impact communities have to engage in the planning process.

Please speak out against AB 57.

Write and Call your State Assemblyman and Senator 
In the East Bay:
Assemblyman Tony Thurmond 
1515 Clay Street, Ste 2201, Oakland, CA 94612
Senator Loni Hancock
District Office
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333 Fax: (510) 286-3885
- See more at:
District Office
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333 Fax: (510) 286-3885
- See more at:
District Office
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333 Fax: (510) 286-3885
- See more at:
1515 Clay Street, Ste 2202, Oakland, CA 94612
District Office
1515 Clay Street, Suite 2202
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 286-1333
Fax: (510) 286-3885
- See more at:

Visit our website.

Facebook page: 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Short Video from Producer of "Mobilize" on the Passing of Berkeley's Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance

Thank you Kevin Kunze for including the Cell Antenna issue and our fight!  We are very appreciative, and Thank you Ellie Marks, Executive Director of the California Brain Tumor Association,  for supporting our efforts to remove cell antennas from residential neighborhoods!

From Dr. Joel Moskowitz at

Adoption of Berkeley Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance

"Kevin Kunze, director of the award-winning documentary film, Mobilize, produced a short video (7:32) about the Berkeley Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance which was adopted by the City Council on a unanimous vote (9-0) on May 12, 2015.
Lawrence Lessig (Harvard), Joel Moskowitz (UC Berkeley), Devra Davis (Environmental Health Trust),  and Gerard Keegan (CTIA--The Wireless Association) appear in the film."

Click on this link for the video:

Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig who drafted the ordinance discusses it on his blog site:

For more information about the Berkeley cell phone ordinance including links to the media coverage see my blog site:

For information about the newly released International EMF Scientist Appeal signed by almost 200 experts on electromagnetic radiation:


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley

Electromagnetic Radiation Safety

News Releases:
Twitter:                 @berkeleyprc

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Delay Is a Victory!

A delay is a victory! The Planning Commission almost had enough votes to deny the plan, but at the last minute asked for modifications instead, which in and of itself is historic because usually they just approve cell antenna requests.  There was surprising support on the Planning Commission, including one commissioner, Jahaziel Bonilla, who said something like, "No way I'm allowing this to be sited in a residential community until it can be proved that there is no negative health effects"!  

Another commissioner, Jahmese Myres, pulled us aside after the meeting and said "we've seen this so many times, over and over again.  You need to organize citywide and bring a lot of people to the City council and demand a sensible wireless ordinance."  

Other Commissioners didn't like the lax "alternative site analysis" that Verizon did. So Verizon has been instructed to do a better one, and they also have to make aesthetic improvements on the current proposed site, and we believe they have to do a better propagation study proving that there is a "significant gap in coverage" in our area (we don't believe there is).  Then it will go back to the Planning Commission, maybe in a month or two.  We think it'll probably pass, but maybe not!

Thank you to all the neighbors who came down to provide passionate protection of our community.  Eleven of us spoke and others gave up their their precious 2 minutes to speakers who needed them, and we needed every minute!  And thank you Deborah Yaffe for taking the lead and setting the tone of fierce defense of our neighborhood against a needless unhealthy intrusion by a corporate predator!

See what a small determined group of people can accomplish?!  

Here's a link to the video of the Planning Commission Meeting.  Go to about 1 hour 36" into it.  Our segment starts with Verizon Rep Maria Kim speaking:

Planning Commission May 6th, 2015 

Tibetan Protector-Warrior

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Planning Commission Meeting & Writing to the Planning Commission Opposing Cell Antennas @ 960 Arlington Avenue

Hello Neighbors & Friends, 

Well, its come down to this!  The Planning Commission Meeting that we've delayed for a month and a half through our democratic efforts is now upon us, this Wednesday, May 6th, at 6:00 p.m. at the Mark Dunakin Hearing Room 1, One Frank Ogawa Plaza.  

Please come if you can!  We need our neighborhood's presence to let the Planning Commission know its not ok to site Cell Antennas in our neighborhood, or any residential neighborhood.   If you don't want to speak that's ok, come anyway and sign up to speak, and then donate your two minutes, because there are several people who will need your generous donation of time to make our case before the Commission.

We need to know how many are coming and donating their time, so here's a link to a "Doodle" app so you can let us know.  Its easy and you don't have to sign up for anything:  go to this link:

But even if you can't make it to the Planning Commission Meeting, or if you don't speak, please write to the Commissioners before Wednesday.  We've set up an eMail auto letter at our website.  Go to this link: or click on the link under Resources to your right:  "Take Action - Write to the Oakland Planning Commission."

We put alot of talking points for you there, but just pick one or two to send if you like, or write your own, then send it off.

Thanks so much!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Cell Tower Health Effects

This from Dr. Joel Moskowitz' site,  I highly encourage you to check out his site. 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Cell Tower Health Effects

Federal regulations protect the public only from the thermal risk due to short-term exposure to high intensity, cell tower radiation. The Federal regulations ignore the hundreds of studies that find harmful bio-effects from long-term exposure to non-thermal levels of cell phone radiation.

The federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 does not allow communities to stop the siting of cell towers for health reasons. Nevertheless, landlords may be liable for any harm caused by cell phone radiation emitted by towers situated on their property.

Localities need to organize and change the Federal law to protect public health and wildlife from exposure to microwave radiation emitted by mobile phone base stations.

Following are some resources regarding the health effects of exposure to cell tower radiation.  I will occasionally update this page.

Reviews and Studies

B. Blake Levitt and Henry Lai. Biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell tower base stations and other antenna arrays. Environ. Rev. 18: 369–395 (2010). doi:10.1139/A10-018 
Chronic Exposure Web Site. Research on mobile base stations and their impact on health.

Yakymenko I, Sidorik E. Risks of carcinogenesis from electromagnetic radiation of mobile telephony devices. Exp Oncol. 2010 Jul;32(2):54-60.  

Yakymenko I, Sidorik E, Kyrylenko S, Chekhun V. Long-term exposure to microwave radiation provokes cancer growth: evidences from radars and mobile communication systems. Exp Oncol. 2011 Jun;33(2):62-70.  

Emad F. Eskander, Selim F. Estefan, Ahmed A. Abd-Rabou. How does long term exposure to base stations and mobile phones affect human hormone profiles? Clinical Biochemistry, Volume 45, Issues 1–2, January 2012, Pages 157-161. 


Joel Moskowitz. Press Release: Cell Tower Radiation Affects Wildlife: Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC. Mar 2014. 

Ianthe Jeanne Dugan and Ryan Knutson. Cellphone Boom Spurs Antenna-Safety Worries. Wall Street Journal, Oct 2, 2014.