Friday, September 30, 2011

Princeton Elementary School - T-mobile and DeKalb Police Apply for New Towers Nearby

BREAKING NEWS: M.L. King, Jr. High School Cell Tower Application Filed

M.L. King, Jr. High School appears to have its application filed for the T-mobile cell tower. If the standard 30-day rule is in effect, that gives nearby homeowners and parents until Oct. 19, same as Flat Rock Elementary, to oppose the location. Contact your county commissioner or Andrew Baker, the DeKalb County Interim Director of Planning & Sustainability, 404-371-2881.

Also, please join the growing number of citizens who have signed the petition to let lawmakers and school board members know that we opposed cell towers at all schools in our county:

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BREAKING NEWS! Flat Rock Permit Application Spotted!

It appears that T-mobile has submitted its application for a permit at:

Flat Rock Elementary School

4603 Evans Mill Rd
Lithonia, GA 30038
(678) 875-3202

Ownership Company: T-MOBILE, USA
Contact: Not Recorded
Phone: Not Recorded
Email: Not Recorded
Address: Not Recorded

Structure Characteristics Filing #: 2011-ASO-5645-OE
Latitude: 33.660
Longitude: -84.159
Structure Type: Tall Structure
Status: Unknown

Date Filed: 09/19/2011

Parents, nearby residents and taxpayers will have no more than 30 days (10/19/11) from the date of this application filing date in order to oppose the construction of this tower.

If you know anyone who lives near this school or has a child who attends Flat Rock Elementary, please urge them to speak to their county commissioner's office and sign the DeKalb county petition against cell towers at our schools:

They should also contact Andrew Baker, the DeKalb County Interim Director of Planning and Sustainability to ask when the county will be hearing public comment on the proposed site for this cell tower.

Andrew Baker’s information can be found here:
He may be reached at the CEO’s office: 404-371-2881 Executive Office.

Since another application was just recently approved for a site directly across the street from this school, it will be interesting to find out how T-mobile plans to prove there is an actual “need” for the additional tower right on school grounds.

Please report any news to us so that we may assist if possible. You can email your updates to us at or make your comment on our Facebook page:

WSB-TV NEWS VIDEO / TRANSCRIPT: Fight Brews Over School Cellphone Towers

Note to GTCO fans, members and other supporters:  We have been asked to provide a link to this original news coverage from WSB-TV as there has been a lot of interest in determining how the schools removed from the original cell tower list were able to do without much time by which to organize. 

Here is a link to the news story that ran immediately after the July 2011 vote:
Originally Posted: 10:52 am EDT July 12, 2011

How We Did It - Notes from Get the Cell Out Founders:

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

CROSS ROADS: School cell towers not a done deal

T-Mobile USA may have the approval of the DeKalb School Board to operate cell towers at nine DeKalb schools, but the towers are far from being a done deal.

With its lease from the school system, the company still must get approval from the county to construct the towers.

Andrew Baker, DeKalb’s interim director of Planning and Sustainability, said Wednesday that all cell towers have to get approval from the county before they are constructed. 

“Per DeKalb County ordinances, telecommunications towers and/or antennas are allowed in non-residential districts,” he said, adding that a Special Administrative Permit along with a “building permit” are required before the final approval is given. 

Cell phone tower operators also must fulfill required setbacks and other screening related standards.

Some of the nine schools, including MLK Jr. High and Flat Rock, Princeton and Narvie J. Harris elementary schools, are in residential areas that will trigger public hearing and input before the Community Councils and the DeKalb Board of Zoning Appeals.

The School Board approved the lease for T-Mobile to erect and operate cell towers at six elementary schools, two high schools and a comprehensive school at its July 11 meeting. Over the 30-year lease, the school system will make more than $2.3 million in rent, and each of the schools’ PTSAs will get a $25,000 one-time payment and an additional $25,000 each time T-Mobile co-locates other cell phone providers on the towers.

Most schools are in south DeKalb. Schools approved for towers include Margaret Harris Comprehensive; Briarlake, Jolly and Smoke Rise elementary; and Lakeside High.

Read more: CrossRoadsNews - School cell towers not a done deal

Monday, September 26, 2011

CROSS ROADS: Board had health information when it voted for towers

Dear Editor,
Please consider implementing a local version of PolitiFact, Truth-O-Meter Pants on Fire and make Jay Cunningham its first recipient for DeKalb County.

Why?  The quote Jay Cunningham gave your paper was a blatant lie.  I am extremely disappointed that he would mislead the public on such an issue that affects our quality of life particularly in Central and South DeKalb.  Jay Cunningham and the Board of Education members who voted for these cell towers overlooked the harm this would cause our children.

Jay Cunningham was quoted in the July 16 issue of Cross­Roads­News saying that he didn’t hear anything from the community against cell towers on our school grounds.  There is never a statement that is further from the truth.

On June 6, 2011, we emailed the entire DeKalb Board of Education information that detailed the fact that cell towers would increase heath risks and decrease property value.  We also sent the email to our local state representatives in the House and Senate.

To make sure no one would have an excuse on this issue, we hand-delivered a package containing a DVD with all the information and research to include a memorandum stating our position on the issue of cell towers on school grounds.  At least two parents spoke at the June 6, 2011, Board of Education meeting opposing the cell towers.
We went to Cobb County and photographed six local schools with cell towers that T-Mobile was responsible for constructing.  We wanted to educate our local school board with present day pictures to demonstrate how the cell towers were placed right next to open playgrounds and stadiums where children play.

We researched the fact that the parents in Cobb County were adamantly against cell towers on their school grounds to the point that they sued the school district and tried to recall one of the members of the board.  The same school board member later forced the taxpayers to pay for his lawyer’s fees when the recall failed.

We produced two PowerPoint presentations and videos and placed the videos on YouTube titled, “DeKalb Parents Against Cell Towers.”  Once again, every piece of this information was placed on a DVD that was hand-delivered to the entire DeKalb Board of Education, which includes Jay Cunningham.

We also presented data to motivate our local Board of Education to implement a solution that would deliver over $30 million dollars to our school system.

We requested our local school board join our state representatives to put up a united front to stop the removal of over $100 million dollars from our school system by the state of Georgia.  We questioned the rationale of seeking $30,000 from cell towers which cause increased health risks and decrease property value vs. $30 million dollars from $100 million dollars our state takes from DeKalb to redistribute to other school systems.

I want to inform the employers of this government (taxpayers and voters) that their employee (Jay Cunningham) told a bald-faced lie and needs to be publicly corrected.

Viola Davis is CEO and founder of the Stone Mountain-based Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter.

Read more: CrossRoadsNews - Board had health information when it voted for towers

Sunday, September 25, 2011

School Children Protest Cell Tower on Briarlake Elementary School Yard

Reprinted from
By Brigitte

Holding signs that spell out, "Save our school yard. No cell tower at Briarlake," elementary school students and their parents are horrified to learn upon returning to school this fall that over the summer Dekalb County School Systems agreed to allow T-Mobile to build 150' tall cell towers on 9 area school yards.

While BOE representatives tell the communities affected that it's a "done deal," several groups are demonstrating against losing limited and valuable school property to DCSS business interests without adequate notice. Opposition group, Get the Cell Out - ATL, is working to publicize the issue affecting the nine elementary and high schools in Decatur, Atlanta, Lithonia, and Stone Mountain at

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Of course HEALTH should be a concern!

Finally, some local governments are coming to their senses and taking a closer look at that pesky little FCC ruling of 1996 that states that "health" cannot be a reason for local zoning officials to deny a tower application.  With these towers popping up everywhere these days, it is about time someone starting thinking about the cumulative radiation of so many towers. 

For example, the Margart Harris Academy, a DeKalb County school selected for a cell tower during the vote they held this past July, has 155 cell phone towers in a four mile radius of their school!  And, folks, we only have a total of 5 carriers in all of great Atlanta!  AND, they all must co-locate on each other's towers before they are permitted to build a new one. 

So, even when a company states it is "well below federal standards," you should not assume that this is the promise they will live with once their zoing is approved.  The application is usually for only one provider, the one building the tower usually.  But, as soon as it is up, you will notice more and more and more antennas being added.  These are all the new providers they are receiving nice sublease income from that likely offsets anything they had to pay for the tower in the first place.

Friday, September 23, 2011

LA County Calls For Repeal Of Federal Cell Tower Health Preemption

Here's the latest from our environmentally friendly state to the West... the far, far West. Exactly how long does it take before good ideas catch on and move across the country anway?

Posted on by rosetta

(2009) The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 2, to actively seek and support federal legislation to repeal portions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that limit the authority of state and local governments to regulate cell towers and related wireless facilities on the basis of their health and environmental effects.

The vote follows similar action taken by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education at its May 26, 2009 meeting.

The motion by Supervisors Zen Yaroslavsky, Michael D. Antonovich and Mark Ridley-Thomas cited “ongoing debate within the scientific community and among governing bodies throughout the world regarding how thoroughly the long-term health effects of low-frequency electromagnetic and radio-frequency emissions are understood” and “questions . . . regarding how well the existing regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] protect more vulnerable populations such as school-aged children, and how well they protect against the cumulative effect of radio-frequency emissions on people who live or work in close proximity to multiple cellular facilities.”
While the City Council of Portland, Oregon passed a resolution in May of this year calling on the FCC to work with the Food & Drug Administration and other federal health and environmental agencies to revisit and update studies on the potential health effects of wireless facilities like cell towers, Los Angeles is the first major local government to directly take on the federal preemption of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Petition - Please Sign and Circulate Today!

Before you do anything else, please make sure you have signed the petition at The Petition Site:  It is giving us the proof we need to show our elected officials that we have the backing of a growing number of residents, parents, taxpayers and citizens who do not want cell towers at our schools!

We have been in contact with many of our county commissioners this week.  They are now aware that T-mobile and our DeKalb County School Board have joined forces to allow the building of cell phone towers at 9 of our beloved schools, right in the middle of our residential communities.

We will be having further discussions with them over the next 2 weeks, ending with a meeting in Clarkston at the Women's Center, thanks to the hard work of some of our members who represent South / Central DeKalb.   They brought the Mayor into the loop and now he wants answers, just like we do.  We applaud his willingness to help us and to listen to his community!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

TRANSCRIPT: Meeting with Paul Womack at Briarlake Elementary School

Transcript of Meeting Between School Board Vice Chair Paul Womack and Concerned Parents and Residents

discussing the cell towers

Transcription of 8/31/11 (Reprinted with permission from DeKalb School Watch Blog.)

Womack = Paul Womack, elected again in 2008, having served for twelve years in the 1970s, currently District 4 Rep - School Board Vice Chair / Acting Chair During July 11 board meeting in which a contract was agreed to that will put cell towers at 9 public schools in DeKalb County. Womack is the district representative for 5 schools on the original list of 12: Lakeside, Briarlake, Brockett, Jolly and Princeton.
Interesting to note that this meeting was assembled on short notice within about two days time and 22 people attended, many of whom were not actually invited and the meeting hosts were unsure how they even found out about it. The meeting that was held in May regarding T-mobile’s proposal that Mr. Womack mentions in the transcript below, was supposedly highly publicized and every attempt was made to let the community know about it. That meeting had only 3 attendees from Briarlake. (The Lakeside meeting was held at the same time one mile away.) The Brockett meeting had 5.
Womack: You can use [the money from T-Mobile] for improvements, things for the school, room parties, things like that. It’s up the community how you’re going to spend that $25,000. There has been no location so far. They have looked at a couple of sites, but I have been assured by T-Mobile that the community will be able to say yeah or nay as to the actual placement. Questions?
F1: The literature from the World Health Organization from December, 2010, mentioning the RF that comes from cell phones as inconclusive regarding damage as well as the RF from cell phone towers. Five months later they came out with a major study that’s conclusive that long-term usage of cell phones can be (damaging). There’s also a study due out in 2013 about cell phone towers and exposure to those. Shouldn’t we consider waiting until…
Womack: (Steps on speaker) The contract has already been signed. That’s a given. Uh, you get more radiation from your microwave than you do..
F1: But that’s not constant exposure.
Womack: I understand, but when you use this, that’s your choice. That will not be your choice. (chatter) Excuse me, one at a time, please. One at a time. Uh, I can’t say that that study is right or wrong, but I know that the federal government says that it cannot be taken into consideration. But there is no concrete, proven fact. I haven’t seen that study, but I will ask the administration to look at it. I will get an answer.