This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 2, 2010 7:56 AM. The previous post in this blog was Creepy's revenge. The next post in this blog is Rendering not unto César. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

"We hate you!" "We don't care." Meeting adjourned.

The neighbors who are livid that Clearwire's going to stick a very tall, very noisy, very ugly cell antenna array on a giant pole at the Wilshire Market on Northeast Fremont Street are getting their one-and-only face-to-face meeting with the cell phone villains tonight. It's in the office space above the Soluna Grill (formerly Fife), up the street from Ground Zero aways, at 6:00.

Clearwire is apparently required to hold this meeting, after which it can send in its application to the city and start zapping away soon thereafter. What the confab is supposed to accomplish is anyone's guess. If they already have a lease signed with the people who own the market, then the chances of the Clear dudes changing their mind and not putting the installation there are 10,000,000 to 1. If there are two things that the cell companies do well, they are (1) owning politicians and (2) never, ever, ever backing down from a siting decision once they have a cash-hungry landlord signed up.

It's pretty funny -- a guy named David Soloos from something called the city Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management set up the meeting, but when asked if he'd be showing up himself, he wisely said no. "Once the meeting time was set," the neighbors report, "he declined to attend, saying that it wasn't an official city meeting and it wasn't necessary for him to be there."

I don't blame him. If I wanted to observe a half hour of pure vitriol and suspicion, I'd crack open a beverage and turn on Fox News. I hope the police have one of their cool-headed young officers standing by in case things get too heated.

Comments (10)

It is really sad that only the illusion of 'public involvement' exists in Portland, or the country as a whole, come to think of it.
I like the idea that NASCAR type patches be worn by all 'elected' persons, so that we all know who they really represent.

I agree that there is zero chance of the public affecting change is these sitings but I'm pretty sure this is due to the Feds and not the local government. In fact the city council has joined a challenge to the Federal rules:


I'm at the skeptical end of the spectrum in terms of the effects of this type of radiation but this is the second tower sited within spitting distance of a school. Not sure what type of people thinks this project makes them a good neighbor.

Sham public involvement meetings are one reason citizens are so skeptical of government now.

Clear (disclaimer: I use them for internet) is an alternative to Qwest/DSL and Comcast/cable. Sort of. I believe Comcast has invested in Clear/WiMax.

The City tells us that the meetings with Clearwire are "a courtesy" to the community. How thoughtful of them! Unfortunately Clear and PP&L started work on the pole in question yesterday, 30 days before they can even submit their application to the City. I guess they are quietly confident that it will be approved.

The whole process is a sham and residents here are disgusted, but sadly not surprised.

This will be happening more and more in residential neighborhoods in the next few years. Yesterday PP &L contractors started working on the pole at 37th and Fremont. This is BEFORE Clearwire's required meetings with the business associations, before they have submitted their application to OCCFM, which they cannot legally submit until after April 1.
RespectPDX will be releasing a statement on this in the next few hours.

Hundreds more wireless towers and antennas are going in in the next few years. Neighbors near 48th and Powell are battling a new 80 foot cell tower there right near Creston School, the park and the pool. It replaces a 40 foot tower already in place.

The 1996 Telecommunications Act Section 704 says that local governments cannot regulate cell tower siting based on health or environment. Our government is also reluctant to regulate cell phones, which are now being shown to be especially harmful to those under 18.

To learn more about health, finance, and the wireless industry check out this second screening of the movie "FULL SIGNAL" at 7:30pm on March 15 at Pacific Northwest College of Art 1241 NW Johnson
Details: momalley@pnca.edu .

Thank you for getting the word out.

A clarification: tonight's required meeting is with the Business Association. Clearwire neglected to notify them in January when they did notify the Neighborhood Association and held a public meeting. We pointed this out to the city's OCCFM and Clearwire and in order to get them to follow their own rules had to go to the Ombudsman.

It should not be too hard to figure out--it is City Policy, but they cannot seem to follow their own rules. The Fremont and 37th installation was the first under Portland's new policy: "Siting private wireless facilities in city right-of-way". (Binding City Policy BCP-UTL-1.05).


The Clear wireless commercial currently airing on local TV goes to the top of my list for offensive content by suggesting that citizens of Portland should be connected 24/7 to electronic devices and that this is, somehow a good thing and appropriate in all circumstances.

When I go to the dog park, I'm there to exercise my dog, interact with other dog owners and to referee and pick up after my pet. I'm not there to pop open a laptop and begin focusing on jabbering with someone elsewhere ("I'm at the dog park!")

When I'm outdoors, I'm there to enjoy the outdoors, not to play a video game (which I could do at home).

In an earlier commercial, Chase actually showed a guy camping on top of a hill, tapping away on his laptop to access his Chase account!

While cellphones and laptops can be useful in the right circumstances, their use and abuse has gone waaaaay out of control, moving into dangerous and socially insensitive realms.

Cell companies and car manufacturers enable this abuse by encouraging it as normal behavior.

I'm sure we'll see more and more of it and, as a result, more and more cell towers and theft and sale of community services like the analog signals that gave me better and less expensive reception than the digital dreck I fight with on a daily basis.

This is off-topic, but still in the vein of Clearwire and shams. Clearwire has a class-action lawsuit was filed against them for deceptive ads. Apparently, for most part, they do *not* provide fast, reliable internet, and their internet phone service is pretty crappy, not superior to a land line, as they advertise. - Clearwire customers have to deal with an internet sometimes as slow as dial-up, and sometimes can't get connected at all. The lawsuit sez that when the customers canceled this unacceptable service, the company charged them an early termination fee of $220.
A few months ago I was tempted to sign up, so I researched the company. You can look this stuff up yourself pretty easy.

And the insults to the public, in the form of these pathetic dog-and-pony shows just keeps getting more and more blatant.

As for your last comment, Jack, you may watch FOX for that kind of entertainment, I find it on MSNBC (the channel liberals love to love ... but that no one watches).

Speaking of spooky cell stuff, there was a short piece on a news program recently touting new technology that allows you to view rooms in your home from your Blackberry or laptop while you're on the road or away from home, not just for security reasons but to see what family members were up to. One of the shots - represented as "OK" - showed the speaker monitoring a family member moving around in the kitchen of his home. Snap, if I were a kid living in a house using that technology I'd spend as little time as possible at home.

Clicky Web Analytics