The following is a review of Feb 26, 2018 Verizon/Nexius Community Meeting in Santa Rosa that was held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at 637 First St. in Santa Rosa — a building owned and operated by the City of Santa Rosa.
2/27/18 Public Comments re: 4G/5G so-called “Small Cell” Cell Phone Tower Disaster in Santa Rosa
There is one mistake to correct in the video, above. The February video referenced is from Feb 14, 2017, not Feb 2014. The Feb 14, 2017 can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/ih3pS2MRHq0?t=2h8m21s and below:
2/14/17 Santa Rosa City Council Presentation re: 4G/5G Close Proximity Microwave Radiating Antennas (CPMRA) Scheme
Summary and Next Steps
- The Feb 26 meeting had its ups and downs, described, in detail, below.
- The public has an opportunity to request changes to the format of the remaining four public community meetings, listed below.
- For the remaining four meetings, the public can request a better meeting format — one that will answer direct questions that we submit ahead of time.
- By completing this web-form, we can ensure that Santa Rosa residents’ opinions of and questions about the Verizon 4G/5G so-called “Small Cell” cell towers in residential zones will be placed in the public record and given to every City Council member, Sean McGlynn (the City Manager), Eric McHenry (the City CIO), Gabe Osburn (the City Planning/Engineering Manager), Rhada Sharma (Verizon Real Estate Manager), Brett Windham (Nexius Construction Manager) and Clarence Chavis (Nexius Community Manager). There is real strength in numbers; the more that fill out the form, the greater the chance to affect Santa Rosa’s future. For efficiency, we will ensure no duplication of questions and rank order the questions by priority.
- We can bring a list of these submitted questions to the remaining meetings and ask that the City of Santa Rosa/Verizon/Nexius representatives start the meeting by addressing the entire crowd and answering the Top X questions (10-20?) — questions which they received ahead of time, in ranked priority order.
- It would be best to attend the next Community Meeting to get your question asked and answered. The person who submits the question, will have the opportunity to read their question to the crowd and to the City of Santa Rosa/Verizon/Nexius representatives.
Remaining Santa Rosa/Verizon/Nexius Community Meetings
- Call Clarence Chavis from Nexius at at 707-408-1670 if you have any questions.
- Sat Mar 3: 10:00 am–Noon at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa (map)
- The Santa Rosa City Council on Tue Mar 6, 2018 at 3:00 pm will discuss 4G/5G so-called “Small Cell” cell phone towers as an agendized “Study Session” from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm before the City Council meeting which will start at 4:00 pm at 100 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa (map)
- Thu Mar 8: 6:00 pm–8:00 pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa (map)
- Sat Mar 10: 10:00 am–Noon at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa (map)
Review of 2/26/18 Verizon/Nexius Community Meeting
The Verizon people were very polite, the Nexius people and Eric McHenry, Chief Information Officer of Santa Rosa, less so. More on that, below.
We received no sufficient answers from Verizon or their contractors to our direct questions about the levels of pulsed, data-modulated, RadioFrequency Microwave radiation exposures — just a lot evasive answers that started with "generally", "it depends" and "compared to the FCC RF Microwave radiation exposure guidelines".
There was no information from Verizon or their contractors about the well-documented health and safety hazards of 24/7/365 RF Microwave radiation exposures and the harms that could happen to the people, animals, trees and insects living near cell towers that are located 15-50 feet from people’s homes in the public rights of way.
William Hammett, from Hammett and Edison, a Professional Engineer based in Sonoma that writes many of the RF Microwave radiation exposure analyses for Verizon in California, said that he was hired by Verizon to write three RF Microwave radiation exposure reports, one for each execution planned for Santa Rosa (see antenna specs here):
- A 48" high Amphenol antenna that can accept 2,200 Watts of input power installed on PG&E Utility poles about 50 feet from the ground
- A 24" high Amphenol antenna that can accept 2,200 Watts of input power installed on PG&E Utility poles about 25 feet from the ground
- An antenna (of still unknown size/specs) that can accept tbd Watts of input power installed on City-owned light poles about 25 feet from the ground
I asked — and am still asking — both William Hammett and Eric McHenry when the public will be able to inspect and review the RF Microwave radiation reports from Hammett and if the reports would answer four important questions about RF Microwave radiation exposures from these planned Santa Rosa Cell Towers.
The public will insist on receiving verifiable answers to the following reasonable questions:
- What is the radius of the circular RF Microwave radiation region from these Amphenol omnidirectional antennas at two elevations — at antenna height and at ground — from the source antenna to where the RF Microwave radiation signal degrades to -105 dBm at the following antenna power levels: at 100% (2,200 Watts), at 75% (1,650 Watts), at 50% (1,100 Watts), at 25% (550 Watts) and at at 10% (220 Watts)— at the various distances detailed here.
- Will William Hammett please base his answers on actual RF Microwave radiation measurements of both peak and average RF Microwave radiation exposures from the actual Amphenol antennas being installed in Santa Rosa, and not just on theoretical values that are based only on average RF Microwave radiation exposures generated by Hammett’s proprietary spreadsheet calculations — which has been his modus operandi in many other communities, including Palo Alto, Monterey, Piedmont and others. As one can read here, we went head-to-head with William Hammet in Palo Alto: the peak RF Microwave radiation readings from 4G/5G so-called "Small Cell" cell towers installed in downtown Palo Alto are 100x to 1000x higher than the average RF Microwave radiation readings provided by Hammett. It has been scientifically demonstrated that the human brain, nerves, heart, blood cells and cell membranes react to these micro-second bursts of data, not just to theoretical (and immeasurable) contributions to heat. The heating of tissue as the only effect of RF Microwave radiation exposures is the fraudulent and scientfically-disproven basis for the current FCC RF Microwave radiation guideline — which is, in turn, based on a review of science from 1982. RF Microwave radiation scientists from all over the world have learned and published a lot since 1982, but none of this learning is reflected in the FCC RF Microwave radiation guideline, which is not a safety guideline, only a commercial guideline.
- How can we best achieve a balancing of Verizon’s commercial goals with the City of Santa Rosa City Council’s constitutional duty to protect residents’ safety and privacy by ensuring that RF Microwave radiation exposures in residential zones do not exceed a level that provides five bars on a cell phone: -75 dBM (.02 µW/m²) — as you can see here?
- What will be the 24/7/365 monitoring and city-based control that will ensure that any protective city-based RF Microwave radiation exposure limits are enforced in residential zones?
Responses from McHenry and Hammet on 2/26/18: NONE.
In addition, the public was not granted equal participation in the 2/26/18 Community Meeting held at 637 First Street, a building owned and operated by the City of Santa Rosa.
- Only Verizon/Nexius employees and contractors were given spots in the room to set up large poster boards next to small, round standing tables
- Nexius first offered the public a table in the lobby to spread out its handouts and answer questions. We asked Nexius personnel permission to set up, this table was offered to us and we accepted.
- Later in the meeting, Nexius reneged on this agreement and we then set up a card table closer to the door to spread out the handouts.
- Still later in the meeting, Nexius forced us to breakdown and remove the card table and all of our materials from the lobby.
- The public was also not allowed to show its demo of 35 cubic feet (total volume of the Verizon on-pole and on-ground equipment for these cell towers) in the lobby; we were told we had to take that outside — and we did.
- Nexius then attempted to prevent us from carrying our own materials and laptop into the meeting room; we cried foul, insisted on our first amendment rights and carried those items into the room over the objections.
Once in the room, we saw that the "science fair" format of this meeting was designed to separate the residents of Santa Rosa into small groups as a strategy to "handle them" and to not have to address the difficult questions that the public has about this project. At one point, a brave Santa Rosa resident shared some truth with the crowd in the room:
- Despite the presence of three to four officers from the Santa Rosa Police Department (called to the scene by Eric McHenry), the woman who lives at 721 Link Lane (the one shown in the Press Democrat photos) asked for everyone to quiet down and she spoke to the crowd.
- She pointed out the purpose of the "science fair" format was to keep the public from having a voice in the meeeting and said that eveyrone needed to hear the answers she was being given by the Verizon representative next to her.
- For about five minutes, the public addressed everyone in the room about questions they had about the specific RF Microwave radiation transmission radius from the 48" high and 24" high Amphenol antennas (see the questions above).
- We discussed that if everyone just made one simple change: to watch television and videos at home on a wired connection, instead of on their phones, we could say NO to all of these new cell towers and preserve the residential character of our neighborhoods.
- The only interruptions came from the well-dressed and charming outside counsel for Verizon, who apparently, was assigned to me for most of the evening. He greeted me as soon as I arrived, was interested in my economic benefits from being at the meeting (which were none) and we spoke at length about what Verizon is doing to Santa Rosa’s neighborhoods (see below) and the case law he promised to send me to justify Verizon’s actions. I will read and report accurately what I do/do not receive from him.
When the science fair resumed I spoke to the Verizon attorney at length about what Verizon could do to overcome this very poor start to this 4G/5G so-called "Small Cell" cell towers installed in residential zones project. I suggested that Verizon do the following:
- Voluntarily cancel the master license agreement between Verizon and Santa Rosa
- Immediately stop all construction/installation of Verzon 4G/5G so-called "Small Cell" cell towers in residential zones
- Start the process over, treating the project as a "Major Wireless Facility" — as it most assuredly is — and follow the public process laid out in Santa Rosa Municipal Code Chapter 20-44
- Prove with substantial evidence where there is a SIGNIFICANT GAP IN COVERAGE for Verizon in Santa Rosa
- Present various options that employ the least instrusive means to close the identified coverage gap and preserve the residential character of Santa Rosa’s neighborhoods via a long-needed — and required — design review with public input.
- Be open to significant changes to the project including, for example, the need to underground all equipment (except the antennas), to abandon plans to install on city-owned light poles, to exit residential zones and to place new cell towers only in commercial zones.
- Instead of building infrastructure for Wirless Video transmission, consider offering a Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) service to every home in Santa Rosa, similar to FiOS, an FTTP service Verizon offers in many states on the East Coast
In closing, the City of Santa Rosa, Verizon and Nexuis have fallen woefully short in engaging with the public respectfully over this project.
For days, we tried to get anyone from the City of Santa Rosa, Verizon or Nexius to answer questions about specifics of the 2/26/18 Community meeting and how the public would have an equal opportunity to present substantial information about the downsides of this project. No one who participated in the planning and execution of this meeting would respond.
- Clarence Chavis from Nexius told me that he was directed by someone at Verizon to not return my calls; he would not provide the name of that person.
- Rhada Sharma from Verizon (who did provide some Ericcson radio specifications late in the day on Fri Feb 23), was summarily dismissive about the public’s need to be an equal participant in the meeting.
- Gabe Osburn said at the 2/26/18 meeting that he would still return my calls and emails, but the last communication I received from him was on 2/20/18. Gabe said he was very busy.
- Eric McHenry, has refused to communicate at all since 1/26/18: since that date there have been no responses from Eric to 20+ emails and 10+ voicemails and two personal visits to Tara Norman, his assistant. How is this important public employee, the main sponsor of the 4G/5G so-called "Small Cell" cell towers installed in Santa Rosa’s residential zones fulfilling his duties to engage with and inform the public? We see a lot of sticking of heads in the sand.
It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way
Things actually started off quite well with a 1/16/18 meeting with Eric McHenry and four members of the public in his office for 90 minutes from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. From that point, however, despite many, many emails and voicemails to Eric McHenry asking for answers to reasonable questions about this project, McHenry sent only one short email on 1/26/18 and has never returned a phone call:
>>> On 1/26/18, Eric McHenry wrote:
I understand you had trouble locating the council agenda item regarding small cells (on city facilities). It was on February 14, 2017 and is accessible from the public website shared earlier by the Clerk’s office:
It seems that Mr. McHenry has reacted negatively towards the comprehensive California Public Records Act Request that Scientists For Wired Technology submitted on 1/18/18 — results of which anyone can find here in a public DropBox folder called Bliss (named after Sandi Bliss, the City employee who gathered the records responsive to the CPRA request).
We are encouraging Eric McHenry to come out from his cocoon and face the tough questions about this 4G/5G so-called "Small Cell" cell towers installed in residential zones project. Specifically, we asking Mr. McHenry to do the following:
- Answer all questions about this project directly, honestly and in a timely manner (something he has refused to do, to this date)
- Consider seriously the valuable public input he has already received and will continiue to receive.
- Drive the changes to this project that will protect the interests and inalienable constitutional rights to privacy and safety of Santa Rosa residents.