Opinion

Lyons: An open letter to Scottsdale officials about 5G, smart city

Posted 4/16/21

Dear Scottsdale City Council,

Are you sleeping well at night? Unfortunately, many of your constituents aren’t, because you, our council, are not upholding your oaths of office to protect our …

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Opinion

Lyons: An open letter to Scottsdale officials about 5G, smart city

Posted

Dear Scottsdale City Council,

Are you sleeping well at night? Unfortunately, many of your constituents aren’t, because you, our council, are not upholding your oaths of office to protect our property values, privacy and public safety.

The plan to make Scottsdale a “smart” city means erecting unsightly 5G towers 30-50 feet high in front of our homes without our consent. These towers are apparently supposed to be placed about 500 feet apart, which means every third or fourth homeowner could be the lucky recipient of its very own “WTF” (Wireless Telecommunications Facility) the size of a refrigerator outside our bedroom window.

According to Realtor Magazine, homes near cell towers lose 20% of their property value. That means the lucky winner loses an average of $120,000 off the value of their home. I don’t know about you, but that would certainly keep me up at night. WTF?

And what about protecting our privacy? Only 1/10th of a watt ERP (effective radiated power) is needed to provide five full bars on my cell phone, the legal requirement, but these “small” WTFs are emitting thousands of watts, millions of times the necessary power needed.

The reason, apparently, is to harvest personal data, ranging from our private correspondences to our shopping preferences. This data is then sold to third parties both in Arizona and across state lines. Not only is this unconstitutional, but it’s also an egregious waste of resources not in line with Scottsdale’s value of sustainability as outlined in our general plan.

It also happens to violate federal law 47 U.S. Code §324, which mandates that the city use “the minimum amount of power necessary to carry out the communication desired.” I will sleep better once I know that you will turn this power down to a safer level that will allow our private data to remain private.

The final coup de gras is the fact that these cell towers endanger public safety and ruin the quiet enjoyment of streets in our neighborhoods. They emit a very specific type of man-made radiation called pulse-modulated microwave radiation, a class 2B carcinogen.

The effects of these electromagnetic fields (EMFs) is one of the most studied phenomena in the medical literature, with over 10,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers showing links to cancer, DNA damage, heart disease, infertility, and a host of neurological effects including sleep problems.

EMFs suppress the body’s ability to manufacture melatonin, our most powerful antioxidant that not only helps bodies heal from illnesses such as COVID, but also happens to regulate the sleep cycle. No wonder I can’t sleep!

A brief look at the public record shows that you’ve been officially alerted to the problems of property values, privacy, and public safety from citizens, doctors, and legal experts for almost two years now.

The record also shows you’ve been presented with several legal solutions, from creating zoning ordinances to keep dangerous cell towers out of neighborhoods, schools, parks and hospitals to turning down the power to safer levels that would uphold federal law and preserve public safety.

Have you even checked with your constituents to find out if they want a cell tower in their front yard or at their children’s schools and parks? Hint: We don’t!

Why has there been no public dialogue on this problem, and why have you denied your constituents study sessions for the past year that are actually open to the public?

Isn’t it time you do your due diligence and investigate these statistics for the progress of Scottsdale and its citizens, before you forge ahead with turning Scottsdale into a “smart” city, which will lead not to a prosperous future, but instead will no doubt change the “Most Livable City” into the “Most Deadly City.”

If you wish to avoid that, you must enact a moratorium on more new towers in residential areas, turn down the power and size of existing towers, and protect our neighborhoods, because the current direction will affect not just our property values and privacy, but will also endanger the public safety and health of this generation and the generations to come.

Editor’s Note: Leon Lyons is from Scottsdale.

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