Opposition to Downtown Cell Tower Presents Case

Adam Burgess and Rachel Wooster spoke in front of the Board of Supervisors this morning around 9am. They presented the opposition’s combined research including code violations to them. It is going to be broadcast tomorrow 8/7 at 6pm on channel 26/72.

Streaming Channel 26/72


PDFs and photo albums of what was given to the Board of Supervisors
Main document http://freepdfhosting.com/51a98d3387.pdf

Attachment #1 Sentinel printed article 7/23

Attachment #2 Sentinel online article, title changed

Attachment #3 Notice signs not visible from Big Basin Highway

Attachment #4 Notice signs coming and going

Attachment #5 Verizon coverage maps per their website


53 responses

  1. That is two people out of a town of 5,000. I would say that they are keeping their opposition strong. I wouldn’t say that there is strong opposition to the tower based on the continued verbalizations from just two people.


    • I read that 26 people spoke against this at the public meeting, with no opposition. I know it can be hard to get to these things — I was unable to attend — but I was one of many who signed a petition. Maybe your view is underrepresented for some reason, but there are certainly more than two people who oppose the placement of the tower.


      • I know of a few people who went who were either in favor of the proposal or neutral toward it, but they didn’t speak for various reasons. Even so, 26 people is not a statistically strong number. I’m hoping that more people will hear about the tower and will demonstrate their favoritism for the project.


  2. I posted a very calm and direct response to the post above. I’m wondering why it wasn’t approved by the moderator. Can you please tell me who runs this site?


  3. If these “protesters” were living in an area of “no available signal”, would they be so verbose in complaining, If they could not get a 911 call dispatched?. Please give me their email address I can send them an aluminum foil hat! I am more concerned about 911 calls on “A NO SIGNAL!


    • If you are off grid and unable to get landline service, maybe you should try a different cell phone carrier. While cell connectivity at my home ranges from abysmal to nonexistent (perhaps depending on weather), I’ve found that AT&T has a better signal here than Verizon. Maybe have a friend who uses a different carrier come by and check?


  4. I’m not opposed to a new cell phone tower in Boulder Creek. I’d like to have reliable connectivity at my home, too. However, the site Verizon is pursuing would put an eyesore right in the middle of downtown. I would like to see them working to find an alternative location for the tower.


    • Kim, have you seen downtown recently? I would suggest that the gutterpups who populate the sidewalk in front of Johnnie’s and the gas station; the LaRouche radicals who plant themselves in front of New Leaf with an “Impeach Obama” table; the insolent skateboarders who litter the parking lot of the pizza place; the vacant, overgrown fenced lot where Stellini’s used to sit; the house on the corner of Hwy 9 that is festooned with broken down cars and a Confederate flag, and the dilapidated houses and cabins that are one offense away from a Red Tag–THOSE are the eyesores in Boulder Creek. Heck–the very lot where the tower is planned to go is a mess of weeds, trash and vagrants. Installation of the tower and fencing around the property would improve the scenery there, not diminish it. The things I chronicled above are far more of an eyesore than a monopine tower that will be camouflaged by the surrounding trees.


      • Christina Wise you forgot about the community garden on that location. I know you are very for the cell tower, but I am wondering why you are so invested in it? How does it impact you? Do you actually live in an area it would cover? Our downtown actually gets very good coverage, so it is not going to help that. We also have DSL and Fiber-optics in the downtown area so it is going to do nothing for internet either. Just wanting to understand your reasons.

        Thanks for taking the time to respond,
        Rachel Wooster

        PS: I am so opposed because of it’s distance for your only elementary school, how ugly it will be, and how it will affect real estate values.


      • There’s a committee working with Supervisor McPherson to implement a town plan that, I believe, is intended to address some of those concerns. I have hope it will lead to improving our downtown area.

        However, your list of unrelated issues with unrelated solutions doesn’t convince me that adding a big tall eyesore to the mix is a good idea — it only makes me feel that you are more generally discontented with our town. That just feel terrible for you, but you have inadvertently insulted me. I rode a skateboard when I was younger. I like to see people out in public pursuing their causes. I am one of the people who populates the sidewalk in front of Johnnie’s, along with others waiting for the bus.

        There are other avenues to pursue cleaning up that lot than lobbying for the installation of a cell phone tower. And there are better avenues to getting what you want than attacking people.


  5. I’m sorry to have insulted you, Kim. I, too, rode a skateboard when I was younger, but I was considerate of pedestrians and property. The contingent that I frequently see running through the BC Pizza & Pub parking lot are not. If you are not the one crashing your skateboard between cars in that parking lot, then I’m clearly not addressing my comments to you.

    And people who are waiting for a bus are not the people that I am talking about. I’m talking about people who are there for no other purpose because they have no purpose. They sit along the sidewalk or the raised bricks in front of the gas station, barely containing their dogs, drinking booze from a paper bag, littering the sidewalk with cigarette butts and yelling at passing cars. If you don’t fit into this category of people, then I’m clearly not addressing my comments to you.

    I attacked no one in my comments. I merely brought to light other issues that populate downtown that are far more of an “eyesore” than this tower could ever be…and there are many items that I listed that you didn’t address. I don’t think my comments were inaccurate.


    • Apology accepted. You did, however, attack people who sit in front of Johnnie’s. Having sat there for a considerable accumulated amount of time waiting for the bus, I can tell you that sorting the bus riders from the loiterers is not as easy as you might guess.

      Just because there are some less-than-pretty things already doesn’t mean adding another is a good idea. I don’t think, as you seem to imply, downtown is so far gone that it can’t be made worse.


      • We can agree to disagree about the people in front of Johnnie’s. I’ll limit it to the people in front of the gas station for sake of clarity.

        Downtown isn’t too far gone, and I know that McPherson is working to remove some of the blight in terms of a town plan. I’m excited for that. I’m also excited because if the Currier’s do get the cell tower, that’s money that’s coming into Boulder Creek, in the form of additional tax revenue and in-town expenditures. Do you know what else Chris and Nancy do? They buy houses in the area, restore them into modern homes and either rent or sell them. By virtue of them obtaining the tower, that income will generate a fresher town appearance.

        One monopine shrouded by other trees in the area is not the eyesore everyone fears it will be. I oppose the opposition on this point. πŸ™‚


      • Yes, I agree to disagree. πŸ™‚

        I’d certainly like to see more money coming into the town’s economy. Also, incidentally, I think those who actually harassed the Curriers should be ashamed of themselves.

        I’ve seen a monopine tower elsewhere — hideous. I haven’t seen a good mockup showing how it would be concealed by trees at the proposed site, just sketches from the opposition. I used to live downtown where I would have had a view of it. I happen to go to a dentist whose office I love in part because of the beautiful, calming view I can admire while waiting for the novocaine to kick in — that tower would be in view.

        It’s not that I am opposed to improved cellular service (I’m all for that) or a new tower to facilitate it. I just feel, based on what I have read, that there was not enough done to investigate other potential locations for the tower which might not have an impact on the view downtown or for tourists on the way to Big Basin. I understand that part of the town plan involves increasing income from tourism.

        But I support democratic process, and I would like improved cellular service, and if someone could point me to a drawing or 3D model or something to show how that monopine will be effectively hidden I would be very happy to take a look. I wish those who are in favor of the tower location had spoken up at the meeting, because I had the impression that people in our community are mostly opposed to the tower. I can accept being outvoted — as much as I love the scenery here, I love our community and am willing to compromise. Even more, I would like to be convinced the monopine will be concealed and wouldn’t hurt the view at all.

        I don’t want to debate — I want to be convinced. πŸ™‚
        How wonderful it would be if cellular service at my home was good enough that I could still get online and work when the power and cable are out!


      • Kim, you’re very even-keeled and measured. I like you already.

        It’s funny how, even in a small town like ours, there can be such divisive issues that arise. In re: people that are in favor of the project attending the meetings–I wish they would, too. Unfortunately, I work 40 hours/week, and am not able to take time off to voice my opinion. I will, however, submit a letter to the planning department and hope that it provides some momentum for the pro-tower folks.


      • Christina, I like you, too.

        A newspaper article or two and a few partisan documents from either side really don’t serve us the way an actual discussion does. At least there is this forum, but ideally the meeting shouldn’t have been scheduled at such a time that it essentially limited the ability to participate for so many people. Even though I still have this awful mental image of the tower’s potential impact on the view, I have to say that the timing of the meeting could certainly have skewed the opportunity to be heard away from those with typical nine-to-five jobs and the lifestyle and concerns that go with them.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment here and the patience to work through the digression about our town’s existing blighty bits. I’m glad to know your perspective.


      • Christina, I thought we had come to understand each other’s views a bit — I came to see that perhaps for some reason your view had been underrepresented. I thought you came to understand my view, as well. However, I see that below our discussion you went on to re-post that “gutterpups” stuff and the exact same argument again, without comment or amendment, and slung a bunch of personal attacks, as well. That makes me feel I wasted my time, your apology was not sincere, and that you have lost a bit of credibility. It’s just disappointing. It is clear to me that you feel people who have health concerns about the tower are crazy. My Opponent Is Crazy is not, however, a valid debate tactic, and This Town Is A Dump, repeated, makes me angry. This is about the placement of a tower, not about which residents of the town you don’t like.


  6. @ Rachel: I’m invested in it because as technology grows, so must our ability to adapt to it. I’m invested in it because with increased technology comes increased commerce, and that will benefit our town overall. I’m invested in it because I’m familiar with the science of RMF’s and EMF’s and all the other things that people are afraid of, but I’m not afraid of any of those things because I’ve educated myself on the different positions. I’m invested in it because I’ve lived in this town since 1996, and as our town grows in population, we’ll need that additional coverage that will be provided by the tower. And I’m invested in it because, as a friend of Chris and Nancy Currier, I’m outraged that people could be so vicious and cruel towards them. Chris and Nancy own the property. Chris and Nancy own the house across the street from the property, and Chris and Nancy have always looked to do the right thing by our town. This is no different.

    I know some people have applauded your activism, but it makes me angry that someone who has lived here for six months is going to start a movement to influence our townspeople by spreading misinformation about radiation, cancer and danger to our children. Yes, my child goes to BCE. And no, I’m not the least bit fearful of her being on the playground after that tower is installed. I’m more fearful of your fanaticism towards this project.

    And I’m curious: What do you do for a living?


    • Christina Wise, I am not sure what I do for a living is any of your concern but I am a nanny by trade, a college student in her 30s majoring in Photography, and my background is in the tech industry and assistant work including law and construction.

      We moved here for a more natural life, for our son to experience 4H, gardening, and all the greatness this small historic town has to offer.

      My activism is not just me, it includes long time members of our community such as Adam Burgess, many shop owners (I personally know of 5 that are strongly opposed), teachers, and many other families who have been hear a very long time and have lot invested in this town. I just represent who is new and why they would want to live here as well. We are quite diverse as you can see.


      • Rachel, I’m all for diversity, but I’m against ignorance. You may recall that my colleague, Peter Kraatz, outlined the various issues with the “proof” you presented online. He not only gave you information about the brainless hacks you were quoting, but also gave you links to some studies, including one by the CPUC, that fully refutes the points being made in your links.

        And after you had been introduced to this new information, you not only failed to address it, but went so far as to call Peter and I trolls and block us from your Facebook page. And yet you continue to rev up the townsfolk by trying time and again to figure out a new tact to keep the tower from coming in, although the clear truth of it is that you are afraid of the health risks that you believe will evolve.

        You have every right to your beliefs, just as I do to mine. The difference is, my beliefs are grounded in science and forward momentum; yours are shrouded in fear-mongering and deceit.

        Let me know when you’ve read some of the articles that Peter turned you on to.


      • Christina Wise the article that Peter pointed out was a good one, but it came to the conclusion that the evidence for either side is insignificant and that additional studies need to be done. I also agree that additional studies do need to be done, but while this is still an unknown issue I don’t want it that close to the school. It’s like cigarettes, asbestos, and so many other things. At the time we didn’t know they were a risk and now we do. The evidence currently may be inconclusive but it is not final either way. Regardless of that people avoid what they perceive as dangerous, as a town the relies on tourism that is not something we want. Also it will affect real estate values as well, something else we don’t need.


      • Rachel, this is in response to the bunch of garbage written on IndyBay.org:

        With credit to my colleague Peter Kraatz, I wanted to add some accurate information to the mix that is contrary to what’s being said.

        “Boulder Creek’s economic viability depends greatly on the seasonal influx of tourists and the quality and authenticity of their experience visiting the host town of such a remarkable Historical Landmark.”

        1. Our town’s economic viability is *augmented* by tourism, not reliant upon it. Let’s not discount the locals who shop for groceries and gas, get their hair done, purchase gifts and prescriptions, take martial arts, eat dinner out, get their oil changed or start every day with a cup of coffee and a croissant. While tourism will ebb and flow, locals will continue to keep Boulder Creek humming just by sheer force of necessity. Tourism helps the bottom line, but it doesn’t shape it.

        2. What do tourists bring when they come to Boulder Creek? Money and cell phones. No matter what the proposed monopine tower looks like, it will be an essential component to continuing to boost our town’s economy. Cell phone towers are crucial to commerce–not just for tourists who can’t be separated from updating their every move on Facebook and Instagram, but for locals, many of whom rely on their cell phones during the chronic outages we experience every winter. Think about places like San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Seattle. What is one of the main components of their success? Thriving local commerce. And if you look up each of those cities online, you’ll see an overwhelming number of cell towers plastered across those towns. Now, none of us want to LIVE in those cities–that’s why we live in Boulder Creek. But a plethora of cell phone towers doesn’t lead to a downturn in their economy–it kicks it up, because cell phone towers are a big part of successful commerce, thereby translating into increased revenue.

        3. The quality and authenticity of a visit to Boulder Creek will not be upset by a monopine cell tower. Such an argument is laughable. I would suggest that the gutterpups who populate the sidewalk in front of Johnnie’s and the gas station; the LaRouche radicals who plant themselves in front of New Leaf with an “Impeach Obama” table; the insolent skateboarders who litter the parking lot of the pizza place; the vacant, overgrown fenced lot where Stellini’s used to sit; the house on the corner of Hwy 9 that is festooned with broken down cars and a Confederate flag, and the dilapidated houses and cabins that are one offense away from a Red Tag–THOSE are the things that will negatively affect a visitor’s experience in Boulder Creek. Save the hype about a tower turning people away–that is just a crock. Heck–the very lot where the tower is planned to go is a mess of weeds, trash and vagrants. Installation of the tower and fencing around the property would improve the scenery there, not diminish it.

        4. Finally, with the amount of accidents that happen on our local roadways, cell phones are an essential component to calling for help. Of all the arguments FOR a cell tower, I would say that the safety of everyone–locals and visitors alike–is the most important one.

        “After reading the historical name plaques in the shop windows on their stroll back to their cabins they’ll soon pass the huge fake pine tree buzzing on the street corner and hunker into bed under its bluish-green metal pine needles wondering if driving that far is really worth sleeping under a cell phone tower.”

        You should write children’s books. Really–you have a gift for imaginative brain hysteria. Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe? Do you know how many cell towers are in the immediate Tahoe area? Nine. Nine cell towers. And for all of the people from all over the world that visit Lake Tahoe, I would bet my house that not ONE of those people will “hunker into bed” at night. No. They’ll be grateful for the natural beauty and clean air, and will promptly pick up their phones to start documenting their trip via Facebook.

        “The town has suffered immensely during the economical downturn. Shop owners and citizens alike have struggled to make ends meet as tourism has been hit hard in the past few years. Adding more insult to injury by building a cell phone tower in the heart of a town that depends on authentic natural beauty as part of its tourism industry is absolutely thoughtless and is already threatening to drive out several shop owners in search of new towns.”

        1. First, I’d like to see your citation as to how the economy of Boulder Creek has been altered for the worse in the past few years. Are you sure you live there? Rainbow’s End was sold, revamped and is now more popular than ever. Boulder Creek Pizza and Pub has taken over the old Round Table and is doing GREAT business. There’s a new martial arts school in Boulder Creek. BCRPD is doing amazing work by offering a wide variety of classes and activities for all ages, and we’re just a few months away from getting our own radio station. If anything, I’d say we’re rockin’ better than we have in years.

        2. The cell tower isn’t threatening to drive out small business owners in town–ignorance is. People like Lizzie Fenton and Emelia Nahinu are fanning the flames of fear by spreading hysteria about radiation and cancer, even going so far as to be concerned for the health of a pet parrot. Who sits outside. Where there is sun. Which gives off–wait for it–radiation.

        For additional information that relies more on truth than tin foil, you can visit Peter’s blog here:


        I could do this all day, and if someone responds to my post with a bunch of inane comments that begin with, “But cancer!!” I’ll be sure and chime back in.


      • Christina Wise, how does personally attaching and accusing people of things such as (2 shop owners picketing) which you state in your article solve anything or add value to this conversation. Those shop owners have not picketed in front of Chris’s business, and they are by far not the only shop owners I have talked to that is very much opposed to this cell tower. I would give you names but I don’t think they need to be falsely accused of anything like you seem to enjoy doing online.


  7. I am so shocked by the complete ignorance of those who claim health risks. I am by no means science-savvy, but even I can comprehend the nonsense about the danger of cell towers. I have read up on the subject for almost ten years because there are two where I work. Dangers are more imminent from the food you eat, your phone itself, and driving down the road without cell coverage, I really resent Ms. Wooster’s implication that only “new” residents want this tower? I am a long time resident, a teacher and have a lot invested in this town. The tactics of those who opposed this tower are ridiculous. Threatening other people? Putting up flyers that are blatant lies? Non-science/fact based claims? What is more scary to me is how a small faction of people are trying to control others’ lives through ridiculous scare and fear tactics.


    • Denise, I do not believe I said that, and I am sorry if what I did said was interpreted that way.

      The case we presented to the Board of Supervisors had nothing to do with health.
      1. It was requesting that new notice go out because of so much misinformation in the press.
      2. It was quoting county code that has be violated or not even enforced
      3. Asking why we have not received the answer that Wanda Williams asked at the last hearing and gave a 1 week deadline for.
      4. Errors in the staff report for the application. and so on.


  8. Just so those who are concerned are aware the tower application is still going through.

    Yes I am a resident and property owner in Boulder Creek. Yes I am a father of two and work full time. I’m sorry you feel the need to continuously insult the residents of this town who share a different opinion to yours.

    I know for a fact this town depends on a seasonal influx of tourism. I’m not sure if you live here but perhaps you’ve noticed in the winter there is nobody passing through town, restaurants are empty and the golf course loses money.

    In the past year 4 businesses have shut down. Rainbows End is in a transitional state right now. I hope it prospers and commend them often on the improvements they are making.

    Justin, who owns the Pizza Pub, told me the other day that he depends on good summers because winters are so slow.

    Lizzie of Luminescence Spa is a very good-hearted person who has invested a lot into a wonderful business. For you to insult her, and her bird (who at this latitude gets fewer of the sun’s rays than it would in its native equatorial habitat) is disheartening.

    As far as threatening to drive out business. The Yoga Studio is leaving. As might two others that I don’t feel in the position to say. So yes it is affecting the local businesses.

    Its actually the little woodsy cabins that make this mountain town so interesting. Insulting those who live here again reflects deeply of your character. We all live different lives and for many uncontrollable or deliberate reasons we end up in different circumstances. If you are so appalled by your surroundings in Boulder Creek then perhaps its not the town for you.

    As for the Tower. I’m merely asking Planning to co-locate the tower on one of the 8 existing sites in Boulder Creek as opposed to smack in the middle of town. If you had been following the facts of this application you would know that despite whatever you’ve heard from others
    1) Verizon announced twice at the Cell Tower hearing that this was NOT to improve service to Boulder Creek or fix any service gap in Brookdale. It is to accommodate an anticipated non-voice data load in the future for 4G service.
    2) Both their engineer, the Verizon rep and Frank at planning had no idea Boulder Creek already has a tower on Rebecca Drive
    3) It is a bluish-green long needle Ponderosa Pine Tree that’s going in. Not a redwood model because the company OnAir doesn’t offer that model.
    4) It will be surrounded by 3 very large 8 foot tall car-sized equipment and generators
    5) These towers are essentially data billboards. The carriers build them for roughly $200-$300K and lease space to other carriers recouping most of the cost in one or two years.
    6) Co-location is a zoning guideline for Santa Cruz County for new towers, there is also a moratorium of 300 feet from residential lots and schools. Frank has decided to waive them all for this application.
    7) In town planning meetings we’ve discussed the future of that lot to accommodate for a park or town plaza much like Los Gatos.. unfortunately, unlike Los Gatos, there are some residents fighting adamantly for the tower to be placed directly in the middle of town for reasons I’m not entirely sure. For one to say the proposed site is just a pile of weeds and junk cars already so why not just throw a 50′ cell tower on there its beyond me. Its such poor reasoning, which brings me to:
    8) SC zoning guidelines for WCTs and FCC regulations ensure that once a tower is approved and placed it can be expanded vertically, more panels can be added and more towers can be co-located on the same parcel without having to have planning approval or any further regulations. That site is zoned for towers up to 87 feet. Again, I’m just trying to preserve the integrity of our historic town. I generally don’t oppose development, I’d love to have a BC radio station and I tried to help the planning process for the Rec Center Application for the grant. But when it comes to deciding the long term future of a lot that could serve this community for decades to come I’d like to think that others would also rather not eat a sandwich or relax in the sun under a forest of 87′ cell phone towers.


  9. We need a cell tower. There are multiple dead zones. I am 100 percent for it. There is no proof that cell towers cause any physiological problems. Are there any other proposed sites that are higher in elevation ? If there aren’t any other property owners besides Mountain Mechanic offering their land then it should be approved. I will email the planning dept supporting the tower.Do the opponents believe smart meters can make people sick too?


  10. Dave, I don’t think any reasonable person would not want expanded cell phone coverage. I mean really, duh.

    The issue of course is the location – It does not belong in the middle of town. Any reasonable person should be able to see that. How anyone would argue for this location, that isn’t either profiting directly (Chris) or owns Verizon shares, is beyond me. I’m not concerned about the health aspects either, but us allowing this to be put in the middle of town is foolish.

    It’s comes down to being a cost issue for Verizon. It’s easier and cheaper for them to run power and fiber to a central location like in the middle of town. Well, that’s too bad for them. They’ll need to incur the extra expense by locating it outside of town in a less conspicuous area. Period. Full stop.

    I work in Campbell and spend a lot of time in Los Gatos and Saratoga. For some strange reason, I don’t see cell phone towers in the middle of those two towns. You know why? Because people there aren’t foolish enough to allow such a monstrosity in the middle of their town.

    Also, to Christina: I agree that there are several issues that make downtown less than ideal, but those have absolutely nothing to do with putting a cell tower in the middle of town. I would highly recommend removing them from your argument.

    For the record, I’ve lived here for just over 41 years and my family has been here since the 50’s.


  11. For those who are following this thread, Rachel and Adam are two of the people whose first response to the cell tower were in regards to health concerns. They are now changing direction and going with the zoning/public notice angle. That’s in addition to the earlier embraced “bad for esthetics” angle. This different tact is disingenuous at best, and comical at worst due to its transparency.

    In regards to my posts above, I don’t see my actions as attack-oriented. I’m stating facts about our town, the people who live there and the response of the mob mentality in regards to this issue. There are other people who are strongly in favor of the tower, but are unable to speak up due to political connections in the county. As for me, I was called a troll by Rachel Wooster and banned from the STOP Boulder Creek Cell Tower Facebook page. When you’re busy condemning me for name calling, I certainly think that should be added to the top of the list.

    Seeing the issues in our town doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate all that Boulder Creek has to offer. That’s why I’ve lived here since 1996. It does mean, however, that I’m not blind to the faults of our town and am aware that others see them as well–especially tourists. You paint Boulder Creek as some utopian environ that will be ruined by the installation of a cell tower and whose economy will plummet in the face of such a monstrosity. In reality, people look on the ground before they look in the air, and driving into town past the aforementioned Confederate house, vacant Stellini’s lot and assorted characters on the streets will set the flavor for the town far more than a cell tower would. Acknowledging these imperfections in our town is hardly detrimental to my character; I argue that refusing to acknowledge their existence is more detrimental to yours, and lends credence to your myopic view to suit your argument.

    I understand that you want to preserve the “integrity” of Boulder Creek, but I’m not sure what that means. When our townsfolk made the transition from horses and carriages to motor vehicles, did that ruin the integrity? When the town went from wooden sidewalks to concrete? When the town went from dirt roads to pavement? Hung lanterns to street lights? At what point do you argue that the “integrity” of the town is being harmed by progress? Is it only when it’s progress that *you* oppose to? If so, you’ll find yourself in minority as our town continues to move forward and you are stuck at the intersection of technology and integrity.

    The argument regarding the Los Gatos towers is a good one, until you realize that Los Gatos is a thriving, wealthy community of 11.16 square miles, and Boulder Creek is 7.5. In addition, Los Gatos has three cell towers serving its populace and 48 antenna towers. When you drive through Los Gatos, you are surrounded by beautiful shops, upscale homes and well-kept parks. I’m not sure I can name one vacant, overgrown lot in the entire area. In addition, the topography of Los Gatos means that cell towers in Campbell and Saratoga can provide additional service to the town. Boulder Creek doesn’t have the luxury of camping off signals from other area towers because of our placement in the valley.

    To add to the conundrum, not only does the communication company have to find a lot for the tower, they have to find one where the property owner is willing to lease the land for that purpose. So, when I’m ridiculed for calling out members of our town that harassed, picketed and threatened Chris and Nancy Currier, I would say that those points are indeed germane to the conversation, because they lend credence to the idea that standing up to the mob mentality is an important component to having the emotional strength to house the tower. And in terms of accuracy–yes, my statements about the harassment are accurate. I had them verified by several people, including Chris Currier. I won’t call out the picketers as they know who they are and what they did, but when individuals go online and post ridiculous statements, I will comment on them directly, just as you all have done with me. If you take offense to having someone argue with your opinions or ideas, then maybe posting them online isn’t the right avenue for you.

    Finally, Kim, I’ve read each comment on here very carefully. I can acknowledge the feelings of the author without changing my mind on the topic. And no, I don’t side with people who are fearful of the health issues regarding the tower since they have been debunked as myth and theory. The reason the FCC advised communication companies not to install towers on or near hospitals or schools was not because of any safety issues, but because the FCC knew that Joe Q. Public would start petitions, hold protests and create general bad feelings about the cell towers, even though they provide a service that all of us have come to expect at a moment’s notice. As we’ve learned, the FCC was correct in all cases.

    Enjoy your weekend!


    • Christina Wise all I am going to say as you know per the Telecommunications Act of 1996 we can not argue health reasons at the hearing per FCC. Because of this we are basing our arguments on county code and so on. Some of us do believe there is a health issue / danger with cell towers, some of us are undecided, and some of us don’t care about the heath issue at all. What we do all agree on is that we don’t want the cell tower in the center of town, in such a visible spot from Big Basin Highway and Highway 9, as well as how close it is to the elementary school.


      • Rachel, I know that. Which is why I said your new arguments are disingenuous. They are still based on your fears and inability/unwillingness to listen to the factual science instead of the cheaper, easier-to-swallow junk science. And that’s part of the reason I’m staying with this stuff. I know your deeper motivations, and it’s not about any of the shiny new ideas that you’ve built your arguments around. It’s still about health concerns, and I’ll keep referencing your earlier conversations on Peter’s blog where he blew up the faux scientists’ articles that you’re referring to.

        Why would people who are not concerned about the health risks of the tower care about its placement as to the elementary school?


    • I look up when I am sitting amongst the other gutterpups, at the fog pouring over Ben Lomond Mountain, and the ravens, and the sky, and that cluster of tall trees. I didn’t move here 22 years ago to look at a giant fake tree. I didn’t say anything about EMF, but you didn’t address what I did say about your ad hominem attacks. Instead you implied I had said something about health issues and used that as a springboard to make some more assertions. As if condescending to John Q. Public is a neighborly way to have a discussion!

      I don’t give a flying fig about EMF risks from that tower. I already read the research before this issue came up, and I am not worried. However, I didn’t move to this town for a giant fake tree, or to live in a community that would allow such a thing in the middle of its downtown if there were other options. In fact, if that were the only site available, I would still say don’t put the tower there. I am willing to put up with bad cellular service. If things like keeping up with technological advances (and making sure there were no run down cabins or gutterpups) were my top priority I wouldn’t have moved to a town that Sunset characterized as “absurdly rural.” I came here because it is absurdly rural, and neighborly.

      You seem to think you’re smarter than John Q. Public, not as unsightly as a gutterpup, saner than someone concerned about EMFs, more aware of the future of technology than someone who might set up a table with petitions in town, and I guess you have never lived in a run-down cabin. You say others don’t have evidence or facts, but waste our time with your personal attacks and straw men. You are not superior — your posts are not neighborly.

      In closing, you have made me angry, and your methods of debate make me feel that I need to get solidly on the opposition to counter them. I was just going to make a couple of trivial posts here yesterday and move on to the next article in the Insider, but now I’ve dumped a lot of time into this, your tactics have begun to make me suspect your motives, and I think I will write to the planning department to oppose the tower.


      • Well said Kim and thank you for staying on topic. We also moved here because of how rural it is, that was a very big draw for us.


      • I’m confused by your comment, WOW, because I didn’t do any name calling. Maybe you read more into my post than I actually said, or maybe it’s just hard to keep track of all of all of the diverging threads here.


  12. Christina, I read all your comments, but I still don’t understand why you so strongly oppose building the cell tower elsewhere. You talk about coverage and cell phones and that a tower is necessary, but I didn’t see anyone here seriously arguing against building a tower. The debate is almost entirely centered on *where* to build it.

    You argue that downtown is repulsive, so making it worse won’t matter? If your kitchen gets a little dirty, do you give up and dump trash on the floor? You cast our downtown in such a bad light, I can only wonder if we live in the same Boulder Creek. The downtown may not be perfect, certainly things can be improved, but I love living here and have not given up and written it off. Alternatives have been proposed for that lot, such as a park or community center. Surely that, even among “gutterpups,” would be an improvement?

    You ridicule local business owners as ignorant, yet I suspect they know much better than you what their customers want and expect. I understand at least one of the businesses is very much involved in new-age wellness. While I’m sure that violates many of your scientific principles, science rarely guides how we feel, and many obviously believe that visiting these places makes them feel well. If a nearby cell tower impinges upon this feeling, whether due to danger real or imagined, the effect on those businesses’ bottom line is very real. If they feel a cell tower close by will turn away customers, whatever the reason, who are you to belittle them?

    While we’re on the subject of health, have you actually read that link you are so quick to flaunt? I have, and although it cast a lot of doubt on any health effects associated with EMR, its hardly the truth you imply. It draws reasonable conclusions based on growing evidence, but “no clear health significance” is not the same as guaranteed safe. I can understand others’ worry and doubt, even if I personally do not share in it. You pass judgement and paint people as churlish fear-mongering out-of-towners, when in fact I believe they are mostly just concerned parents who remember time and again when both science and government insisted something is safe only later to discover in fact it was not. Perhaps you are better at science, but perhaps they are better at history.

    You mentioned you are a friend of Chris — I admit I do not know him, but from the great things you and others have said about him, I don’t think he would appreciate anyone denigrating concerned parents, insulting local business owners, and condemning our downtown.


  13. The idea that this tower would be ugly just shows how little research has gone into seeing what they could look like. everyone notices the ugly towers but NOBODY sees one that is well camouflaged.they are out there! to say it would be an eyesore is absurd. it would be in a dirt lot, (a former gas station if I recall correctly), that has shipping containers, a pile of dirt, and sheds on it. Yes it also has a small garden as well. not sure what that has to do with the discussion however. lets stick to the fact that this tower, which will look like a tree, will be placed (according to the mock up) in front of a small grove of redwoods that will dwarf the tower, and hide it from view when looking from the center of town.

    Ignorance of the laws of Physics does not constitute the right to provide inflammatory comments exaggerating the facts about the technology.

    Additionally, it does not allow folks to create inflammatory flyers with people’s personal contact information, and it certainly does not give ANYONE the right to harass another because they have a differing opinion on the safety of this technology, especially since this individual and their family would be the closest persons living near it.

    quoting the county laws is good information but it needs to be taken with a grain of salt as there are more words than are being shown here, easily allowing for ways to deal with issues as to proximity to schools. the laws say it is a guideline to be 1000 feet from schools, it does not require that. There are MANY of these types of antennas closer to schools and homes elsewhere in the county, area, state and country.

    People chose to make this an emotional battle when it is not- it is one of physics and aesthetics and so far the detractors have only presented a weak case as to the risks of this type of technology. This whole battle was started by a group of people who don’t even live in this valley, stirring the pot with their misinformation, getting everyone up in a lather with fear tactics.


    • I did my research. That post with strings of flags on it downtown, I thought it was there to indicate where the monopine cell phone tower will be placed? It didn’t appear to be hidden in trees. It was perfectly visible to me. Someone else posted here that zoning would allow Verizon to increase the tower to nearly 90 feet tall — is that true?

      I looked up photos of monopine structures on manufacturer websites, and even their best examples are less convincing to me than a fake Christmas tree. And, of course, much larger. They’re awful! As well, a simple Google search turns up countless photos of monopine cell phone towers. You can look at these, or promotional material from manufacturers that can be paid to refurbish the monopines, to see how poorly they age. The needles come off and litter the ground, and these needles do not appear to be made from anything biodegradable. According to my research, they’re fiberglass.

      So we’d start out with an obviously fake tree with a bunch of electronics visibly poking from it, and end up with some sort of huge denuded, faded thing with even more visible electronics and a bunch of fiberglass that can end up in the river. I have yet to research what becomes of them then and the wildlife that encounters them, but I suppose that’s next.

      On what schedule does Verizon intend to pay a monopine cell phone tower manufacturer to refurbish this tower? What is their plan for controlling dropped imitation needles?


      • Hi Kim!

        Hope you had a great weekend! I had a 3-day and spent some time putting together an awesome video essay about Boulder Creek. I’m psyched to go to the meeting on the 23rd and present a pro-tower case to the planning department. Will I see you there?

        I looked at the picture of the monopine that you posted, and I was intrigued to hear that you don’t think it looks like a tree. What exactly do you think it looks like if not a tree? I’m seeing a cross between a hippopotomus and Queen Elizabeth, but maybe that’s just me.


      • It looks like an upended beam with square corners, and it has a few fake branches attached to metal straps near the top.

        The meeting is on my calendar.


    • I still find it astonishing that anyone is still arguing for the initial location in the middle of town. How could any thinking person justify this location when the “tree” can just be located elsewhere?

      It’s mind boggling.


      • So all we need then, Dave, is for a new property owner, whose property is flat, easily accessible and not atop a hill, to come forward and offer up their land to Verizon while being willing to defend themselves against the barrage of insults and threats that will surely accompany the tower’s installation.

        Any ideas?


  14. No, but luckily, that’s not my problem.

    I can’t imagine they can’t find SOME area around BC that this tower can be placed besides smack in the middle of town. Heck, even in the lot that the old burger joint used to be near Video 9 would be better than the current location. I mean really, there has to be a better place. I guess Verizon will just have to keep looking. Too bad for them.

    Besides, if it goes up in that location, hopefully it ends up like the traffic lights that went up in the 80’s. They lasted about a week.


    • That’s interesting, Dave. Why would that space work better? Isn’t that just as much in town as any other space? I imagine that the lot you’re talking about (the former Stellini’s place) isn’t a fit because of setbacks and zoning issues. I’m not positive, but that’s my best guess.

      Funny how you say that finding an appropriate lot for the tower isn’t your problem, yet you’re opposed to the location they’re currently scouting. I would think you’d be calling all Boulder Creek landowners in an effort to find an alternative spot.

      And for the record, I’m not attached to the tower going into a certain plot of land. I’m invested in seeing the tower go *somewhere* in order to improve both current and future coverage of talk/text capability in our town. It just so happens there’s a perfect place for it on Chris and Nancy’s property.

      Mostly, though, I’m standing in support of the Currier’s because of the blowback they got from the community once the tower issue became public. I’ll take a stand in order to align with some of the best people I know.


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