Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who Did T-Mobile Intend to Notify? Disguised Public Notices for Jolly and Smoke Rise Cell Towers!

BREAKING NEWS...  Why would T-mobile choose to print its required public notifications in the legal organ of the DeKalb County School District, DCSD, eight months ago under a completely different name?  While reviewing the notices located on this site:, GTCO-ATL has located several public notices regarding school cell towers.  We are reprinting them for you below.  These notices were printed in the name of SAI Communications, Inc., a company that offers Site Acquisition and Permitting Services.

According to their website, SAI Services' in-house staff is fully capable and designed to handle some of the most challenging permitting environments that exist within the United States. We have extensive experience working with permitting authorities such as the Connecticut State Siting Council and Boston Redevelopment Authority. In fact, our personnel have served on advisory committee established to create and manage the wireless by laws within several of our regional projects.

SAI Services claims it will:  Locate primary/alternate site candidates within the specified search area; Compile and submit comprehensive site candidate information reports; Negotiate and secure lease rights;
Coordinate title searches; ...  Maintain contact with local officials; Assemble expert testimony as needed;
Attend and present at community and governmental meetings; among other things that T-mobile is apparently too afraid to do on their own.

So, we now have an avoidance of public input and comment from our school board, a dodging of public notification by T-mobile, an ignoring of local zoning laws and regulations, and a refusal to comment by our county CEO Burrell Ellis.  Does anyone out there STILL think these guys might be doing you a FAVOR?  Do you still think these towers are a GOOD thing?  Why would someone who is acting in the best interest of our children been so elusive with announcing their plans?  Unless.... could it be?  Do you think?  Might they really, truly KNOW that what they are doing is WRONG???  Perhaps they are AVOIDING public input because they do not want to face the truth that these towers are BAD?

We hope all our GTCO-ATL readers will do us a favor and begin writing immediately to the contact names listed for each listing below *in red for your convenience.*  Please let them know exactly what you think about their client T-mobile and the way they have skirted the laws here.   Tell them that they do not have a legal lease to our school grounds and they must cease and desist immediately.  Do NOT provide them with any information  you have regarding historical significance of buildings as they are only seeking to find out what you know so they can counteract your case.  AND... remind them that T-mobile is no longer the owner of the towers as they sold them to Crown Castle.  In reality, where we live, that means the entire process must start all overa again!

Tell them Get the Cell Out - ATL is on to them and we won't back down!


Jolly Elementary School:  The Champion; Dekalb County

330-310935 2/9DT PUBLIC NOTICE SAI
8 months ago | 1 views |  | 330-310935 2/9DT


SAI Communications, Inc. (on behalf of T-Mobile South, LLC) proposes to construct a 154-foot mono-pine telecommunications structure (overall height). 

The tower would be located at 1070 Otello Ave., Clarkston, DeKalb County, GA.*  (Jolly Elementary)   SAI Communications invites comments from any  interested party on the impact the undertaking may have on any Historic Properties.

Comments may be sent to Environmental Corporation of America, ATTN:  Dina Bazzill, 1375 Union Hill Industrial Court, Suite A, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004. Comments must be received within 30 days. 

For questions please call Dina Bazzill 770-667-2040 x 111.   

Read more: Georgia Press Association Public Notice Website - 330 310935 2 9DT 


Smoke Rise Elementary School:  The Champion Dekalb County

330-310948 2/9DT PUBLIC NOTICE SAI
8 months ago | 1 views |  |

330-310948 2/9DT


SAI Communications, Inc. (on behalf of T-Mobile South, LLC) proposes to construct a 154-foot mono-pine telecommunications structure (overall height). 

The tower would be located at 1999 Silver Hill Road, Stone Mountain, DeKalb County, GA.* (Smoke Rise Elementary) SAI Communications invites comments from any interested party on the impact the undertaking may have on any Historic Properties.

Comments may be sent to Environmental  Corporation of America, ATTN: Dina Bazzill, 1375 Union Hill Industrial Court, Suite A, Alpharetta, Georgia 30004. Comments must be received within 30 days. 

For questions please call Dina Bazzill             770-667-2040 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            770-667-2040      end_of_the_skype_highlighting       x 111.

Read more: Georgia Press Association Public Notice Website - 330 310948 2 9DT PUBLIC NOTICE SAI

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Public Service Commissioner Candidates in Georgia Who Favor an Opt-Out for "Smart" Meters

Smart Meters are currently being installed on homes throughout Georgia without permission of the utility customer and despite the fact that the radiation is known as a possible human carcinogen.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers on this topic, click here.

And, to find out which politicians support your right to "opt-out" of smart meter installation, please read the email we received below from our friends at Stop Smart Meters Georgia, a grass-roots groups similar to Get the Cell Out - ATL, but with a statewide following and purpose.  They need our help in spreading the word in the metro Atlanta area, though, so please pass this information along to anyone of voting age before the upcoming election.  Thanks!

And, what does this have to do with cell towers and our fight here in DeKalb County?  Smart Meters use cell towers to transmit their data back to the power company.  By placing these meters on every home, they justify a need for more towers in our neighborhoods, closing in on the few areas left without constant low-level background radiation.

At this rate, all of us will soon  be exposed to RF radiation continuously at levels that build upon each other with a cumulative effect that no one is measuring or even considering.  There is no way to escape it and very little we can do to protect ourselves once these devices are installed and begin to operate, so our best chance at protecting ourselves is to oppose them now, before they become common and accepted.  As medical experts continue to warn, the health risks are huge, especially for our children.

We oppose any form of radiation that is simply not necessary, esp. when it is near our homes and schools and against our will.  Being wireless is NOT a right worth protecting.  We can read analog meters without a problem.  We can connect to the Internet using wired connections from home that are faster, more reliable and secure.  We have had phone service for decades.

Wireless is a convenience, pure and simple.  But, just like smoking, one person's choice should not be a luxury that comes at the price of someone else's health or puts a child in harm's way.  By ignoring the warning signs in lieu of the financial benefits, many of these big businesses are putting our health and welfare in the category of necessary losses in order for them to maximize their own gains.

We are tired of coming up on the short end of the stick against the companies we used to trust.  We want politicians who will stand up for the people they are elected to represent.  That's all.  Is that really too much to ask?

To:, et. al.
From:  Stop Smart Meters Georgia
Date:  Oct. 30, 2012
Re:  Please vote for Steve Oppenheimer AND David Staples

Friends, I early voted today, and discovered I need to update my advice:

Please vote for Steve Oppenheimer AND David Staples for Georgia Public Service commissioners in the upcoming election. 

If you’re voting Republican, please do not vote for Chuck Eaton or Stan Wise. They have not come out in favor of an opt out for "smart" meters. 

For safety’s sake, please vote for Stephen Oppenheimer and David Staples, and do *not* vote for Chuck Eaton (think "chuck Chuck!") or Stan Wise ("Stan's NOT Wise")

Thank you for voting in Georgians’ best interests, and please pass this along to family, friends and neighbors.


Terri Keller, M. A.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nationally Syndicated Columnist Takes a Tip from GTCO-ATL

(click for full story)

RE: Virtual Charter Schools are bad news
From: Get the Cell Out - Atlanta []
Subject: Virtual Charter Schools are bad news

Please read this article:

It relates to the charter schools that the state wants to set up. 

FROM:  Dick Yarbrough
TO:  'Get the Cell Out - Atlanta'

Very helpful.


Dick Yarbrough
Syndicated Columnist

YARBROUGH: Why isn’t anyone talking about for-profit charter schools?

Dick Yarbrough
Courtesy:  Gwinnett Daily Post
By Dick Yarbrough (258)
© Copyright 2012 Gwinnett Daily Post

At the risk of sounding like Johnny One-Note, let me go back over my concerns one more time about the charter school constitutional amendment bill in the State Senate that may or may not have been passed by the time this gets to you. (My deadlines and legislative deadlines don’t always coincide.)

I don’t have a problem with charter schools. In concept, charter schools are fine. My problem is that nobody seems to be talking about for-profit charter schools. That is a different matter.

Call me cynical, but you have to wonder why all the enthusiasm by legislators to promote charter schools while continuing to cut public school budgets and furlough teachers, particularly when the State Department of Education recently released a report saying that charter schools in Georgia don’t perform as well as traditional public schools and their graduation rates are no better.

Legislators have gotten downright threatening with reluctant colleagues about charter schools and that just hasn’t made much sense to me. If charter school performance is not that much better than that of their public school cousins, why the urgency?

Thanks to a sharp-eyed reader who suggested I might want to see what is happening in Florida with their charter schools, I think I have broken the code. It’s not about the kids. It is about money and politics and influence peddling. Now, things are beginning to make sense.

The Miami Herald did an in-depth study on charter school operations in Florida in December and says that charter schools are a $400 million business and have turned into one of the region’s fastest-growing industries, “backed by real-estate developers and promoted by politicians” and “rife with insider deals and potential conflicts of interest.” The Herald says state lawmakers in Florida have chipped away at local school districts’ ability to monitor the activities of charter school managers until they are virtually without any government oversight, even though the state donates $6,000 in taxpayer dollars for every student enrolled.

As for the mantra that “parents will be in control,” in many cases it is the management companies that are firmly in control in Florida. The paper says that some charter school managers have rendered governing boards “irrelevant” by ignoring their recommendations.

In Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, the Miami Herald says about two in three charter schools are run by management companies, which charge fees ranging from five to 18 percent of a school’s income and can exceed $1 million a year in income.

Further, the paper says, many management companies also control the land and buildings used by the schools and collect as much as 25 percent of a school’s revenue in lease payments. Think that can’t happen in Georgia?

Let’s take a look at Cherokee County. The board of education had the temerity to turn down a charter school application from for-profit Charter Schools USA headquartered in — you guessed it — Florida. The petition sounds eerily like some of the deals reported in the Miami Herald. The petition proposed that Red Apple Development, a corporation affiliated with CSUSA, purchase the school facility, then lease it back to CSUSA. The for-profit charter school would use tax funds to pay debt service and maintenance on the property, and Red Apple would retain all the benefits of ownership. That is what you call your basic sweet deal.

The board’s rejection didn’t sit well with the local legislative delegation. In redrawing school districts as mandated every 10 years, the delegation seems intent on placing two incumbent school board members in districts with two other incumbents, even though the guidelines suggest not doing that. It so happens that the two were vocal opponents of the charter school petition. A coincidence? I think not.

It is interesting to note than none of the Cherokee County legislators, including State Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers (R-Woodstock) have their children in Cherokee’s public schools, even though the system is one of the best in the state. It is also interesting to note that the delegation has allowed the Cherokee County school system funding to be slashed by $118 million over the past seven years. Do you see where this is going?

I’m not against charter schools in principle, but don’t be surprised if powerful for-profit charter management companies come in and dominate the business with a little help and encouragement from certain politicians. This isn’t about the children. It is about money and political influence and special interests. Why am I not surprised?

 For archived columns, go to

Friday, October 26, 2012

Early Voting is Underway in DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties

From Representative Scott Holcomb (D - 81)
(click headline for full story and locations for early voting)

Early voting began Oct. 15.  This weekend is the last Saturday of early voting!

DeKalb County is keeping regular voting hours from 7 am to 7 pm Monday through Friday, as well as Saturdays, October 20 and Saturday October 27 at the following locations:

Voter Registration & Elections Office
4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300
Decatur 30032

South DeKalb
Community Achievement Center Inc.
4522 Flat Shoals Parkway
Decatur 30034
(For seniors and disabled citizens.)

Tucker Recreation Center
4898 LaVista Road
Tucker 30084.
(For senior and disabled citizens.)

Three additional locations will open through Friday, November 2:

  • Clark Harrison Building, 330 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Room A, Decatur 30030 
  • Chamblee Civic Center, 3540 Broad St., Chamblee 30341 
  • Berean Christian Church Community Center, 2440 Young Road, Stone Mountain 30088 

There will be no early voting Saturday, November 3 or Monday, November 5.

If you live in Gwinnett County, early voting is held at the Elections Office Monday through Friday 8 to 5:

455 Grayson Highway
Suite 200
Lawrenceville, GA  30046

You also can vote at Gwinnett County satellite locations through November 2 (excluding Sunday) from 9 to 7:

  • Centerville Community Center, 3025 Bethany Church Road Snellville, GA 30039 
  • Dacula Park Activity Building, 2735 Old Auburn Road, Dacula, GA 30019 
  • George Pierce Park Community Recreation Center, 55 Bufored Highway, Suwanee, GA 30024 
  • Lucky Shoals Park Community Recreation Center, 4651 Britt Road, Norcross, GA 30093 

Again, we encourage you to visit the Secretary of State’s My Voter Page to check your voter status or for general voting information.

Due to the new Voter ID law, you’ll want to make sure to bring the proper identification.  The six acceptable forms of ID are as follows:

Any valid state or federal government issued photo ID, including a FREE Voter ID Card issued by your county registrar's office or the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS)

  • A Georgia Driver's License, even if expired 
  • Valid employee photo ID from any branch, department, agency, or entity of the U.S. Government, Georgia, or any county, municipality, board, authority or other entity of this state 
  • Valid U.S. passport ID 
  • Valid U.S. military photo ID 
  • Valid tribal photo ID 

If you encounter any problems voting, we want to hear about it.  Email Scott ( or Ann ( with any questions or concerns.

There are two constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot.  Read the language of these on the SoS website here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fight or Flight? This Might Help ...

What requirements do personal wireless communications licensees have to determine whether a site is in a flood plain?

What must they do if the placement of a tower might require disturbing the nests or migration patterns of certain species of birds?

A sign seen in the community near Lakeside High School,
the site of a planned cell phone tower from T-mobile.
What about a tower that is proposed for the grounds of a school that is 50 or more years of age and therefore conidered a historically significant building? 

What if a school's architechture is an example of the efforts made in Atlanta toward true racial integration, creating schools that were intended to end the "separate but equal" time in American history?

Would a cell tower on these school grounds harm the historical value of these significant structures? 

Would a cell tower create an exodus from these schools, especially in light of the potential for new charter schools on the horizon? 

Could cell towers be the way a deceiptful school board plots to close certain schools before their time, possibly leading to their eventual demolition?

Good questions and ones that you should be asking your zoning or contract law attorney to immediately check into if your home is located near:

  • Atlanta's Margaret Harris Comprehensive School for the mentally and physically disabled children throughout the entire county or
  • Lakeside High School, also in Atlanta, which is known for its participation in the Emory Lavista Parent Council. 

Regardless of whether or not the radiation from a cell tower is proven to cause negative health effects, they are undisputed in causing a drop in the value of your property due to the simple fact that people are concerned about the potential health effects.  So, real or imagined, you will likely be losing investment value in your home if you do not act quickly and take action before the cell tower is built.  Once the tower is up and the associated school begins using it for educational purposes, you will have a much more difficult time proving that there is no substantiated need. 

So, if you are currently looking for a way to stop the construction and work on your legal challenge to the school board's authority to ignore zoning laws, here is something that might help at least buy you some valuable time.  T-mobile will have to wait to talk to the FCC if a vaid challenge is brought forward to the FCC on the grounds below.  And, the FCC must post a 30 day public notice to determine the extent of the public concern over these issues.  So, they will have to wait while you get your funds together to challenge T-mobile's right to build.  After all, the original contracts were signed on July 12, 2011, a day after the school board approved the deal.  They had two periods of 6-months each to get their permits.  Those due diligence time periods have expired as of July 12, 2012.
Unless we hear otherwise, Get the Cell Out - Atlanta asserts the belief that there is no legal claim to any of our school grounds.  It is simple contract law and we have readily found all the evidence by requesting the contracts and signatures or approval memos by Interim Superintendent Ramona Tyson, who signed the orginal deal. 

Later, in Dec. 2011,Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson signed a duplicate lease to transfer the legal copy to her name upon completion of her first 90 days as DCSD Superintendent.  but the contracts were already being executed as various citizens have photographed contractors on site at various schools as early as September 2011 and November 2011.  If Atkinson signed the only lease, these contractors would not have been allowed to work on school grounds.  Also, most FCC permits were issued in Sept. 2011 and that would not happen if T-mobile could not prove it had a lease for the property.

The only ones who can take a legal standing on your behalf is YOU!  So, please do not give up.  This fight is one that is worth it and your legal fees will likely be refunded per the FCC Telecommunications Act of 1996.  It states that the judicial branch will be the one to decide the boundaries between the federal legislation and the point that local control may override it in favor of the residents affected. 

In other words, they have expected for there to be lawsuits that would arise from the legislation and have planned to allow them in order to sort out the fine details of such a large and fast expansion.  If you do not stand up for your rights, you make it harder for others to come along behind you and try to take a similar stand when they are the ones being run over.  It is not fair to you or them, but right now our system is not very fair.  But, it can still work if you do your part.  For them to win, there has to be voter apathy and general lack of concern by residents, parents and taxpayers.  If you do not like the sound of that, then you know what you need to do. 

Here is more information to help:

There is a movement throughout the U.S. to preserve our collective history by preserving many of our school buildings and grounds so that we have evidence of the time frames during which they were built.  These schools tell a story about the history and struggle in American to both education a nation as well  as change social values toward greater acceptance of ou

A historical site must also comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). as well as other mandatory federal environmental statutes. The FCC's rules that implement the federal environmental statutory provisions are contained in sections 1.1301-1.1319. The FCC's environmental rules place the responsibility on each applicant to investigate all the potential environmental effects, and disclose any significant effects on the environment in an Environmental Assessment (EA), as outlined in section 1.1311, prior to constructing a tower.

The applicant is required to consult section 1.1307 to determine if its proposed antenna structure will fall under any of the listed categories that may significantly affect the environment. If it does, the applicant must provide an EA prior to proceeding with the tower construction and. under section 1.1312, must await FCC approval before commencing any such construction even if FCC approval is not otherwise required for such construction.

The FCC places all proposals that may significantly impact the environment on public notice for a period of 30 days, seeking any public comments on the proposed structures.

The categories set forth in section 1.1307 include:
  • Wilderness Area
  • Wildlife Preserve
  • Endangered Species
  • Historical Site
  • Indian Religious Site
  • Flood Plain
  • Wetlands
  • High Intensity White Lights in Residential Neighborhoods
  • Excessive Radiofrequency Radiation Exposure

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Scary Truth Behind the Charter School Amendment

Oct. 20, 2012
by crossbones
Crossroads News, DeKalb County, GA

Here is how I see it:  The DeKalb County School Board remains in place because a couple of the board members portray the role of bafoons, but are actually quite the opposite.  While I hate to complement them, they are actually pretty intelligent. So much so that they have hatched a long-term plan with their constituents (who are not us).  The plan is to run the system into the ground thereby the only alternative will seem to be to throw in the towel and run to anyone who can stand up for us poor, voiceless citizens.  Sorry to say it, but we are, so far, doing exactly what they want us to do.

Turn things over to the state?  Great idea.  That way these thieves can sit on their thrones and collect half the money each child is worth per year.  The state-run charter schools (the controversial subject of Amendment 1 on your ballot Nov. 6) can then collect the other half if all goes their way.  Why would anyone suddenly think "the state" cares about the education of our children?  If they did, someone would have stepped in by now and done something to punish these criminals and said "enough is enough."  "We hear you, you are right.  The 52% graduation rate is bad.  Plummeting property values do not help our economy.  People don't want to move here.  We look like the Beverly Hillbillies here."

There are many parents and taxpayers who have written letters for several years.  Nothing has been done.  Why?  Because it is a plan!  What has changed??  Why now??  Because the piece are all falling into place.  The cell towers are arriving, like them or not.  Computers, tablets and other devices meant to evoke the image of a technologically advanced system have already arrived and are being stockpiled.  Teachers are already getting fired or quitting.  Bus drivers are being paid less and less.  Citizens are about to unleash their frustrations upon each other instead of focusing on the true source of the downfall of the once great DeKalb School system.

Then comes ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.  This is the group that was responsible for the Trevon Martin, Stand Your Ground legislation, remember?  The folks who practically legalized murder also want to take control of the education of our children.  Nice, huh?

If you haven't heard of them, I encourage you to do some research before you vote in November.  You can read many of their "model bills" here:

Here's the deal with state commission-run charter schools - approved by a commission to be appointed, not elected.  So, if they screw up there is no way to even get rid of them.  If they approve a whole slew of virtual school options, and miles more cell towers to come along with them, there will not be a way to stop them.  The money will go out the window as the amendment also lets the state "consolidate" school districts.
So, a virtual school in Gwinett County, for example, can pull kids out of DeKalb and take those education dollars with them.  That's our tax dollars going right into the pockets of for-profit companies wanting to cash in on the need we have for better education right here in our own communities.  Do you think any of them will want to open a charter in the poor parts of the county to truly help the children who need it most?

If you know someone who might say "yes" to that, then by all means, please tell them to go right ahead!  Start a charter school!  There are no laws stopping them.  And if they are denied, they can appeal to the state board of education.  If they are denied on appeal, they will find out why and will have a chance to fix whatever it is that the local board does not agree with and then they can re-apply.

What it is really about:  This amendment is about a third method for applying for a charter school and that simply isn't something we need.  It is about outside corporations that want to cash in and supply canned curriculum from out of state and keep our kids at home.

If you are against the idea of virtual schools replacing the need for teachers, bus drivers and quality education, do yourself and your neighbors a favor and get out there and vote on Nov. 6 or during the early voting times.

Vote NO to the charter amendment.  It is not about the kids at all.  It is about taking money away from us and returning empty promises.  And last time I checked, you can't get very far in life on that!

Read more: CrossRoadsNews - entry The Scary Truth Behind the Charter School Amendment

Exactly WHO is building WHAT? Crown Castle Buys T-Mobile Towers

This is a pretty big announcement, but in order to understand the absurdity of it all, let's first take a quick review of the timeline:

In May 2011, just a few weeks before the end of the school year, GTCO-ATL members heard about a meeting planned for 12 schools where the "community" would "be informed" about placement of wireless towers in "various locations in DeKalb County."  Low or no turnout was not shocking as the meetings were designed this way intentionally.

At the end of May 2011, the World Health Organization upgraded its classification of RF radiation to "possible human carcinogen."  DeKalb County School District did not waver in its push forward even armed with knowledge that the school communities had not been properly informed about the risks or asked what they thought about the proposal to put cell towers at their schools.  In fact, it appears there were no other companies even considered besides T-mobile, which was in the process of merging with ATT.

In June 2011, after school was out for Summer, the school board came mere minutes away from voting all 12 schools through on a Consent agenda during the regular board meeting.  GTCO-ATL founders showed up, petition in hand and news crew in tow.  The item was removed from the agenda "until further notice."

In July 2011, the school board put the item back on the agenda with less than 24 hours notice.  They then voted by a margin of  6 - 2 - 1 to lease public property 60' X 60' in size and 150' vertical at 9 of the original 12 schools on the list.  It was explained that there would be two separate due diligence periods that would be possible for T-mobile to seek permits and the public to be heard.

The second of these time periods expired on July 12, 2012, without breaking ground at a single site and without a signed contract for the lone school that initiated the request due to what they said was a poor cell reception area (for ATT only), Lakeside High School.  Regardless of their expired contracts, lack of public notice and refusal to seek proper permits with DeKalb County, the school system continues to move ahead.

July 2012 was school board election time and long-time board member Paul Womack was not re-elected, largely due to his apathy for his district over the cell tower issue, which he reportedly brought forward while he was Chairman of the Budget Committee.  DeKalb voters turned out in force and more than 75,000 of them (or 65%) voted NO on an advisory referendum regarding cell towers on school grounds.  But, the school district continues forward, apparently not deterred.  Several board members, when asked at a public forum, state that they would vote NO if they had to do it all over again.

But still...  GTCO-ATL members all over the county continue to report signs of construction around the vulnerable schools and a lot of high power electrical lines being installed.  A sudden crop of digital traffic light cameras have popped up seemingly overnight, too.  And, a "donation" allows Lakeside High School to finish the construction projects that the taxpayer budget could not justify.  In less than a year, a million and a half was raised during difficult economic times.  Voters near Lakeside are split nearly 50/50 in their area's response to the ballot question.  Perhaps they know something the rest of us do not.

Just this month, Oct. 2012, we have learned that the plans to build are still on.  We posted the timeline on our website.  This timeline was received only after multiple Open Records Requests were made and ignored.  And, a Lakeside contract finally surfaces, signed only early this month.  Read more here.

But, here's a shocker... we've just learned that T-mobile is no longer the owner of the T-mobile towers!  

So, WHO is building WHAT at our schools?  We have seen ATT trucks everywhere, but they did not buy out T-mobile.  In fact, the towers were sold just recently to a company named Crown Castle.

Who on Earth is CROWN CASTLE?  Did the board approve a new contract with them?  What do we even know about this company, their reputation, who they may hire to do contract work, construction, inspections, etc.  This is a potentially lethal weapon we are talking about putting on our school grounds for the next 30 years!  Shouldn't someone tell us if the terms of the contract have changed?  

Company:  Crown Castle Intl Corp (CCI)
Based in:  HOUSTON and BELLEVUE, Wash.

But wait, there's more!!

WHO was trying to outbid them, but LOST?  Keep reading...

Company:  American Tower Corporation
Description:  American Tower (NYSE: AMT) is a leading independent owner and operator of wireless and broadcast communication sites. Our global portfolio includes approximately 49,000 owned or managed sites and is experiencing steady growth. In addition to leasing space on towers, we provide customized collocation solutions through our Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) that support seamless in-building and outdoor wireless coverage.

American Tower is located VERY near Lakeside High School, where the original request for the towers at Dekalb Schools came from in the first place: 

American Tower Corporation
1800 Briarcliff Road Northeast  Atlanta, GA 30329
(404) 320-7845


1.)  So, do we now have a contract with Crown Castle??

2.)  And do we have to honor a contract for towers at 9 schools when the original intent was really just to benefit a company that ended up not even buying the towers at all??

Read the press release here:

And, read more here:  Crown Castle To Buy T-Mobile Cellphone Towers

Sunday, October 21, 2012

SPLOST Oversight Committee Finally Named

Superintendent names school construction oversight committee

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

DeKalb County schools Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson has named a dozen people to serve on a committee monitoring school construction.

Voters in November approved another five-year Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and in June Atkinson began soliciting volunteers with relevant expertise for a Citizen’s SPLOST Oversight Committee.

The panel will oversee nearly a half-billion dollars in construction projects, which will be managed by San Francisco-based URS Corp. The committee members: Christine Avers, Paul Baisier, Cathy Blakeney, Wyvern Budram, Narwanna D. el-Shabazz, B.R. “Billy Ray” Jones, Kimberly Mitchell, Kirk A. Nooks, Charles Rogers, Kerry Williams, A. E. “Gene” Wise and Delilah Wynn-Brown.

GTCO-ATL:  Hope they ask about the wireless expenditures on computers we already have stockpiled in closets and vehicles purchased for the Technology Department.

SACS Wraps Up Accreditation Talks in DeKalb

SACS is here!  
Not sure, yet, what the outcome may be, but here are the early reports from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in terms of what they have been checking into:

The report says we can expect a full report by Thanksgiving.  Oh goodie.  Just in time for the holidays!  (again)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: The Towers Are Coming!


Two very important documents were just released per GTCO-ATL's Open Records Requests and our public comments at the recent Policy Committee meeting at which we directly spoke to Dr. Atkinson.

First, the long-awaited "Construction Timeline" for cell towers at DeKalb County Schools:

Cell Tower Construction Timeline, DCSD

The construction timeline is a document that was referenced in the contracts for property lease between the school system and T-mobile, yet our Open Records Requests for a copy of the timelines have been continuously ignored. After our third attempt, we decided to make one last try with an in-person appeal during the policy committee meeting.  

And, second, we now have signed agreement between DCSD and T-mobile for the lease of public school grounds toward the back of the property, behind Lakeside High School in Atlanta. There has been no explanation about the delay in sending the requested documentation and we were beginning to think that Lakeside High School, the reported initiators of the cell tower request in the first place, would not be receiving one after all.

But, a recently-signed contract shows that there is some intention in attempting to place a tower on their grounds after all. However, we are unsure how this new location will be used since there is another tower on the Briarcliff parking lot side of the school (see photo at right) which may or may not be functional. We will let you know what we find out about these two towers that are so close to Briarlkae Elementay, also slated for a tower.

Here is the copy of the Lakeside tower agreement / lease of land:

Lakeside Cell Tower Lease

Commentary will be posted in future articles on and discussion will take place on our Facebook page. But, for now, we just wanted to get this urgent information out there to those who might be affected.

Margaret Harris Comprehensive School and Lakeside High School appear to be first on the list. Other schools are slated for 2013.

If you live near one of these schools, we urge you to consult an attorney about contract law as these towers will be much more difficult to take down once they are built, esp. if the state charter amendment passes and we see a surge of virtual charter schools. A true educational purpose will be met and could be justification for the school board to claim an exemption to zoning regulations. These regulations that were put in place by our Board of Commissioners to protect our health, safety and property values will essentially be ignored. A judge in a court of law is the only one who can determine if that can legally take place.

For specific questions, please contact an attorney, or email us at if we can assist you in finding a qualified attorney to help you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Scientists of the Bio-Initiative Report Call Out the U.S. FDA

Provided by: Neha Kumar, India. (clck headline for details)

Get the Cell Out - ATL is proud to have met many people during the battle against cell towers on school grounds in DeKalb County, GA, and around the greater Atlanta area. While we expected to speak with other active communities in the U.S., we didn't expect to meet people in other countries! But, we recently received an email from India saying that they were encouraged by our fight.  They wanted to share some of the great work they have done to convince their government to reduce the level of background radiation from towers and education the people. 
From a presentation made by Neha Kumar, India.

Among the important literature they have shared with us, this letter to the FDA, dating back to 2010, stood out to us because it was calling out those who should have known back then that cell phones and cell towers are dangerous, especially for children. Yet, here we are in October 2012, moving forward in a sneaky fashion, likely to install cell phone towers without proper notice and without admitting the truth that is behind them.

UNLESS WE VOTE NO TO THE CHARTER SCHOOL AMENDMENT ON NOV. 6, virtual education is on its way to mainstream classrooms, you can bet on it. The infrastructure is being laid as these words are being written. The gadgets have been purchased. Without a sound educational plan to back it up, our school system is soon to embark on a huge financial investment that will, in the short term, help the bottom line of some equipment manufactuers and education outsourcing businesses that are not even based in Georgia.

In the long term? Our children will likely not be any further ahead than they are now. Since people learn best from other people, it is a very difficult challenge to expect children, especially the very young, to succeed in a school that requires a large amount of self dicipline and motivation. 

And those families without the knowledge, time or resourcess avaiable will be unlikely to know how tto help their own children understand the homework, deal with technical difficulties, impart the lessons of taking care of expensive electronics, prevent theft and damage or even know what it is that is being taught. Will it be worth the money? For some, maybe. Will the children understand when they get sick who did this to them? Will we ever be able to forgive those whom we know were involved? What will we think of ourselves?
It is right around the corner so it is time to start thinking about all the possible outcomes, not just the immediate gratifications.  It will be here soon.  Regardless of your politicial affiliation, you have to object to seeing innocent people run over by laws, legislators, burocrats and CEOs, helpless to stop dangers from popping up at their own child's school, or next door to their own home putting their health and financial welfare in jepordy.
And, if your child is one of the one's affected, how will it feel to know this letter below, and likely many others, were written but fell on deaf ears?

The Interphone study referenced in the letter below was an industry-funded long term study that showed some significant increased risk in cetain types of cancer, yet the cell phone industry covered it up. 

Other countries immediately changed their standards for safe emissions upon the release of this study.  Others waited until the WHO backed it up with a warning of its own.   

What is the U.S. waiting for?  Maybe they are waiting to hear from YOU! 

Scientists of the BioInitiative Report call out the FDA! “All-clear” Wrongly Issued on Brain Tumor/Cell Pho...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Charter Schools: Dialogue Between Dumb, Greedy and Corrupt

Virtual Charter Schools? What the Amendment is Not Telling You.
(click headline to read more...)
Is this what you were expecting from the charter school amendment?

From The Tucker Patch:
Posted on October 15, 2012 at 12:25 am
Are there really charter schools that can operate on only the state's portion of the funding?
Who are these people and what kind of schools are they wanting to open here? 
Changing the state constitution is a big request. Before we vote on Nov. 6, let's make sure we know exactly what is at stake. 
Here's one possible scenario:

Interesting to see that the only locations that voted slightly in favor of cell towers on school grounds appear to be the only places not receiving them.  What do they know that the rest of us don't?Is this what you were expecting from the charter school amendment?"Gee, I wonder how we can start a charter school without a building or enough money to pay lots of teachers," says nonexistent person #1.

"Yeah, and the 13 other charter schools, dozen or so magnet and theme schools, IB program schools, technological schools and neighborhood schools are just not enough. By golly, I need another choice," says fictitious person #2.

"I have a solution," says slick dressed K-12 or "Connections Academy" or "Other New Online School" sales and marketing representative.

"Wow, you look really smart," responds bozo actor #1.

"That's because I am," says the K-12 associate with his General American dialect so as to not give any clue to the fact that he is from out of state, or even another country.

"Have you considered a virtual charter school? Here are some fancy pamphlets I just so happen to have on this high gloss, heavy weighted paper stock, so you know you can trust what is typeset onto its pages."

"Yeah, we thought about that," says well paid spokesmodel #2, "but our local board of education will never approve something like that. We tried and tried to get them to approve a school with a promise of less than 50% graduation rate and a high drop-out after less than a year attendance, but they didn't like that idea. And they have really low standards."

"We can appeal to the state board of education, but they keep telling us we are broke and need to close schools, not start new ones. I'm guessing they wouldn't overturn the decision."

"Looks like we're stuck with the multiple options to choose from that we already have now. Plus, all the church-based schools and community schools. We are in the Bible Belt, after all."

"Don't forget about the private schools, honey. And the home school options," says the Man #1.

"Oh yeah, that's right. We have those options, too. Plus a state run online school and a local cyber-academy."

"Awwwww.... that's too bad," says Mr. K-12 man. "I have an idea for a virtual charter school that I need to sell to someone stupid. I thought you might want to try convincing a bunch of parents who don't know any better and like the idea of free laptops to sign their kids up! Their moms or dads will likely be expected to stay home with them, of course."

"What makes your school better than others?"

"We were first."


(awkward silence)

"And we have better graduation rates than other online schools, but not as good as brick-and-mortar schools."


(Man #1 and Woman #2 start to walk away. But then..)

"Say, did I mention that we make millions and millions in profit? And we hardly cost the school district a thing?" says desperate salesman from K-12. "As long as I can keep signing the suckers, errr... I mean, kids....up, we can keep hiding the actual churn rate of our attendance and bragging about our annual enrollment increases. The more I sell, the more money for me and my bosses."
"Wow, you must be rich!"

"Yes, but don't worry about that. Besides, I have to watch out for some pesky lawsuits coming from New Mexico and Virginia. Oh, and Florida, too, I think."

"Awwww, you poor, misunderstood salesman. It's tough out there, isn't it? Here, let me count how much money you might have in that wallet for me and my friend here. We might be able to help you out," says greedy snake in the grass #1.

"What's your idea, Jim Bob?" says idiot actress #2.

"Well, the way I see it, we can help each other," says paid actor #1. "I have this friend who is in the state legislature. You know, the people who make the laws n' stuff. I will tell him the problems with the local school board and ask if he can help me start a virtual charter school."

"Once he hears about all the money, he'll surely say yes!" says doll face #2.

"Right! And then he can pass a law that says that some kind of a fake, made-up, overpaid board of people can approve our virtual school. Then we can hire Mr. K-12 here to run it for us and we won't have to worry about things like walls, ceilings, or teachers. We won't need libraries, or a football team or even books.  Think of how cheap this could be!"

"Then how will the kids learn?" says suddenly concerned accomplice #2.

"Who cares? Didn't you hear the man say he make lots of money?" says childless man #1.

"Yeah, but... I don't...."

"If we get the state to appoint a board and let them approve schools, then we can probably get a bunch of money, too!! You know, just like they promised the PTAs that kept quiet about the cell towers. Come to think of it, what ever happened with all that ... "

"But the kids..."

"Ma'am, don't worry about the kids. They will be fine. If they do not keep up, we have friends in the private prison industry who will be happy to take them in. They also make lots of money. Not your kids, of course. Other kids. Ones you won't even see because the school is online, remember??" says drooling K-12 representative as he gets out the contracts.

"Oh, I see. But, won't this take money away from the other schools?"

"Yes, some of it, but we will take a lot of the kids away, too. So, that local group of elected folks will actually have fewer kids to pretend to be educating, until ours start dropping out, of course, and returning to their local schools. But we will have the funds up front. That's all that really matters to us. See, It's a win, win!"

"Except for the kids...."

"Yeah, yeah, the kids," says the man #1 as he signs the contract. "There's always THAT, but ... think of all the money! As soon as the plan gets rolling, you will have enough to put your kids in any private school you want, so who cares what happens to the charter after that? We'll be long gone before anyone notices that the drop-out rates are alarming, some of the teachers aren't certified, some classes have as many as 400 students in them at once, the money goes out of state to help a business stay out of Chapter 11, the people can't threaten to vote for a new board since they were appointed, or that the kids are only using their computers to play games and cyber-bully their friends. And, if one gets lost, dropped or stolen, their parents have to reimburse us for 3X what it cost us. Remember, this is GEORGIA. We're #49th in the nation for education. There is no way the people here would ever think of all of the possible outcomes. They are all stupid."

"Wow, honey, you are a genius."

"Yeah, I went to community college for a year before I dropped out."

"Do you think the people in Georgia might vote NO to Amendment 1162 on Nov. 6?"

"Not a chance. Remember, Mr. K-12 is putting lots of money into the advertising. And people here will believe ANYTHING with a fancy slogan. Remember 'Untie Atlanta'? Oh wait... well, that was different... this will be different. It's for the kids."

"Okay, if you say so. Thank you Mr. K-12!"

"Don't thank me. Thank your legislators for joining The American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC, so they can further the profit-generating ideas of big businesses like mine instead of protecting the rights of the people like they were elected to do. You can read about them here."

"And, we can thank our uninformed, easily misled or generally apathetic voters for not showing up at the polls even for a Presidential election," says smug man #1 counting his money.

"Yes, and thank you to K-12 and Connections Academy, T-mobile, ATT and all those sneaky little people behind the scenes who have quietly been laying the infrastructure to make this all possible while they thought we were not paying attention," says woman #2 as she books her plane ticket to Hawaii.

"Thanks are in order all the way around," says man in new leadership position of heading up a charter school for the kids #1. I can now say that I helped bring two great ideas together - profiting off the low achievement and lack of parental involvement in my community and a way to use technology to give the appearance of real education to an entirely new generation of families."

"And, by piggybacking off the national obsession with charter schools, we can use the good reputation of that phrase to trick voters into approving HR 1162 on Nov. 6. Funny how a country can be at war protecting freedom while at home they are willing to just give their rights away."


"Well, not funny ha-ha. More like funny / sad."

Friday, October 12, 2012

Get the Cell Out - Atlanta Receives Attaboy From U.S. Congressman

Just fielded a phone call from the office of our U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson (D - Georgia).  He has been concerned about DeKalb County and the issue with our school board and the cell phone towers.  He said he appreciates the long road we have all been down because of this issue and is glad to know that it has led to greater interest in government and advocacy for the children.  He is going to review our website as well  as the bill we asked him about - The Cell Phone Right to Know Act.

Unfortunately, he informed us that the Congressman who wrote that bill did not get re-elected, so if it is not picked up by someone else, it may die in committee.  Of course, we are hopeful that he will review it and decide that HE needs to be the one to move it forward.  But, without bipartisan support it will likely not get much further than the circular file, like most bills the Democrats try to introduce these days.

We passed along our thanks for the bravery Congressman Johnson showed by calling out ALEC on the floor of the House.  In case you missed it, we'll put the clip here for you to watch again.  What does this have to do with cell towers?

The cell towers are needed for the online, wireless initiative which is the beating drum behind all members of ALEC right now.  Remember SPLOST IV?  Well if you voted "yes" then you have already approved the plan.  You also will soon be helping T-Mobile establish a "need" for their big, dangerous, radiation-emitting towers to go right next to children who are in school for hours a day, every day.  And that same beat is behind the charter school bill, state authorization board, which will be coming to a ballot near you in November.

A state authorized charter school is one that can be opened even if it does not comply with the rules your local board has put in place to protect your investment   A state charter can open without windows or doors.  And, if we give away the power to vote to some unknown appointed board, will our local schools be any better off?  Will education improve?  What is the up-side to giving away the right to vote for the right to be controlled by an appointed board with very deep-seeded ties to ALEC and the attempt to take money away from our children and deposit it right into their own pockets.

Don't believe anything else but this:  ALEC is behind the charter bill.  Not the parents.  Not the teachers.  They cannot be planning to help us when they do not even want us to see what they are doing.  Deception at the beginning of a long-term relationship cannot possibly end well.

Tell ALEC it's over!  We're through!  We're Breaking Up!  We are Voting No - Not to Charters but to a group of politicians and business executives who cannot see the trees for the forest!  The one where they think money trees are in full bloom!

Support H.R. 6358: Cell Phone Right to Know Act

Support H.R. 6358: Cell Phone Right to Know Act

Dear Rep. Henry Johnson:
I support H.R. 6358: Cell Phone Right to Know Act because... my school system in DeKalb County has been involved in the controversy surrounding this issue since May 2011. Our local Board of Education wants to build cell phone towers on school grounds and avoid local zoning laws in the process.

The H.R. 6358 bill would give our local zoning officials the rights to decide what is best rather than being held off by vauge language in the Telecom. Act of 1996. There has been much worldwide research developments that sheds new light on the effects of RF radiation. Health and environmental effects absolutely should be a consideration, esp. when the lives of children are concerned.

Parents need to know the levels of radiation clearly on cell phone and other wireless devices as do all consumers. We need local decisions on zoning. Here in DeKalb we took the issue to our state legislators for a ban.

We gained bipatisan support with nearly unamimous agreement from the House and Senate. We have 75,000 voters who agree based on the issue on our July 2012 ballot titled "non-binding advisory refendum." That's 62% of our county! Please support and consider co-sponoring this bill. Thanks.

Georgia’s 4th district
This letter is pending delivery to Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4].

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

EPA Accused of Conducting Experiments on Humans

Lawmaker wants probe of EPA experiments on humans

Sen. James Inhofe, seen here testifying on Capitol Hill in 2011,
wants Congressional hearings following a lawsuit alleging that the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted illegal
human experiments, including some on health-impaired subjects. (AP)
(click headline for more ...)

A powerful lawmaker is calling for Senate hearings following a lawsuit charging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted illegal human experiments, including some that exposed asthmatic patients to known carcinogens.

( ... )

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., called it “extremely disturbing” that EPA scientists may have exposed people with conditions such as asthma and a syndrome that puts them at higher risk for heart disease and strokes to concentrated, high levels of substances like fine particulate matter and diesel exhaust. The allegations first surfaced after Steve Milloy, an author and publisher of, learned of the experiments through Freedom of Information Act requests.  Milloy's subsequent report led to the lawsuit and now Inhofe's call for hearings.

"Indeed, the EPA may be criminally liable for its conduct.”  - Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla

( ... )

Milloy said records show tests conducted on 41 people exposed them to airborne particulates from diesel truck exhausts at levels 135 times the mean exposure in the United States, increasing their risk of immediate death by 10 percent.

“The law and the rules that the EPA has violated, they’re not just technical, trivial regulations they ran afoul of,” Milloy, who compared the research to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments and to those conducted in Nazi Germany, told “These are among the most sacrosanct federal regulations in that they are protecting human subjects in medical experiments.

Read more:

GTCO-ATL Commentary: 
How this EPA Story Relates to Cell Phone Towers on School Grounds

Placing cell phone towers on the grounds where children play, right outside the window of the public classrooms where they learn for hours and hours each day is becoming an "only in America" phenomenon. And, we do not mean that in a good way.  There are very few places other than the U.S. that profits when people get sick.  There is no incentive for our government, run largely by the influence of the private sector big wigs, to ensure our safety.  It's all relative to who can make how much and how important the issue is to their bottom line. 

There is a lot of money to be made by the entire telecommunications industry if they can extend the reach of their wireless networks to 24/7 access to us in our homes.  And now there is even a private education sector that wants its hands on our money and will go to great lengths to do that, including the "urging" of our local and state politicans to "persuade" them to push through legislation and policies or sign agreements that will help them get their leg in the door to our schools and our children.  Education is just a product to them.  A means to an end.  And, cell towers are just a minor complication - something that needs a "workaround."  Teachers are just expensive "necessary evils" or an obstacle to profit.  Children are looked at as numbers or indicators toward success or failure toward the one and only goal:  to profit.

In DeKalb County, like other parts of the U.S., cell phone towers were selected for schools with poor or disabled populations, or ones that serve minority or immigrant children.  It's been said that the basically unregulated, out of control proliferation of towers and the consumer demand for phones and devices with more and more services at faster and faster speeds is fueling a massive human experiment like none other.  But, is this an intentional experiment using our children as guinea pigs?  If the EPA is guilty of using humans as experiment targets for research on one occassion, how do we know they are not doing that here?

Other countries that may have started out with this same practice of putting cell phone towers next to homes or schools have since reversed themselves and are actually removing towers voluntarily or by threat of legal action. In the cases of wi-fi service inside the classrooms, other countries including the UK, India, Germany and Canada are learning a painful and expenive lesson - electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a real condition that affects about 3% of any population. Children are no exception. With great effort to make their schools wireless, it took an eqaully great and expensive effort to convert them to fiber optics, the next best thing in terms of speed and data protection.

While it may look good on paper, wireless is not worth a child's health or risking their young life when we are already aware of the dangers and reported illnesses that occur after some individuals spend a significant portion of their day exposed to wireless signals.

Please consider the article above and consider whether or not you will address the matter of a transparent government with your board member or the public.  There is much in the news today about our county and whenever a public official is asked about cutbacks or downfalls in the quality education of our children, it is blamed on the economy. Yet, "the economy" does not appear to be hurting any of them and WE are the ones paying their salaries.

So, unless things change, we cannot justify voting for anything just because "they" (state and local politicians) want us to.  In fact, we plan to do the exact opposite.  Let these folks who are running our county into the ground feel the pain of a reduction in their budget.  Let them learn that they are expected to do the people's work, not the work of big business seeking to take advantage of all Americans, and certainally not when the EPA cannot be trusted to make clear decisions in matters involving the health of our children, loved ones and ourselves.

Don't Give Up Your Local Control

VOTE NO to the local bill on a new way of approving charter schools in DeKalb.  This bill is not about charter schools.  It is about giving over our local control to determine our own future to an appointed board with a political bias.  This bill has a hidden agenda to funnel your tax dollars out of the state of Georgia and into the business of providing online education.

And, contact your state representatives to tell them you support The Cell Phone Right to Know Act (H.R. 6358) introduced by Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich on the national level.  It calls for warning labels on cell phones that clearly shows the amount of radiation the device emits.  It also seeks to change the portion of the FCC Telecommunications Act of 1996 that will not allow health or envirnomental factors to be determining factors for denial of a tower by a local zoning or planning authority.