Not Science Fiction
The 1958 sci-fi flick The Attack of the 50-Foot Woman was hilarious and kitsch. The film adaptation of Ted Hughes’s novel The Iron Giant was poignant and really funny. While I found both of those title characters tremendously endearing in their own special way, I wouldn’t want to see either from my living room window.
On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing endearing about a 140-foot cell tower, which will be visible from many windows in my house if four out of the five North Haven Village Board of Trustee members have their way. And unlike the gargantuan glamour girl or the whimsical iron man, this giant really is scary.
The tower is planned to be constructed for a natural area owned by the village, about 1/2 mile at most from my house, visible from many key vantage points in this beautiful village (they don’t call it “Haven” for nothing). Ironically, it most likely will not be visible from the homes of the four board members who have supported it.
There are other reasons why the idea for this cell tower is not even worthy of a B-movie. While Congress has seen to it that health concerns cannot be a legitimate reason to block such a project, they are real concerns of many in North Haven. How many? Well, in just a couple hours, one resident easily got 30 signatures on a petition to block the tower. It would behoove North Haven elected officials to heed the deep concerns of their constituents .
They might argue that they already did — at the last business meeting, a whopping 15 minutes was slotted for Public Participation. This is not enough for something that looms so large, literally and figuratively. The Board should consider a broad, well publicized public forum where Village residents are allowed more than 15 minutes of fame.
There are 833 full time residents in North Haven. For just four board members to make a decision that will affect them as well as hundreds of residents in the future is as abominable as a hideous 10-foot snowman.
Has anyone ever seen an attractive cell phone tower? The North Haven Village Mayor and Trustees think so when they voted 4 to 1 to allow a 140-foot cell phone tower to be built in a wooded area adjacent to a nature preserve and many homes, including mine.
While I understand that some residents of North Haven have limited or poor cell phone service, there are other ways to address this problem without installing a giant industrial tower that many of us will live next to and see on a day-to-day basis.
The tower will put my children’s health at risk, as well as the health of my neighbors, and decimate our property values. Would you buy a house with a looming tower next to it?
My home is not the only one affected in this way.
During the meeting, two individuals and one trustee claimed that cell phone towers pose no health risks. There is a big difference between no health risks and no proven health risks. None of these individuals lives near the tower. I wonder how they would feel if they did – and with small children.
We are in the early stages of understanding the effects of the low-level radiation from cell phones and cell towers. As anyone who conducts health research knows, there are many challenges to gathering data about long-term health effects. This challenge is evident in the government’s own past mistakes when it claimed that tobacco smoke was safe, thalidomide safe, high-tension power lines safe, and the air at Ground Zero safe. Anyone of us who was there on 9/11 and breathed that air knew it wasn’t safe.
The claim that these towers pose no ill effects defies common sense. Perhaps that’s why the cell phone lobby got Congress to pass legislation in 1996 that does not allow communities to reject a tower for health reasons. In other words, the industry does not want to fight this on the merits; they win this argument on a technicality.
I urge the North Haven Mayor and Village Trustees to stop this tower, and I encourage other North Haven residents to make their voices heard on this important issue. Thank you.
There Goes the Neighborhood
Living in North Haven can pose challenges for homeowners, with its rigorous review process to maintain the serene and rural nature of the village. Some applications are denied or amended to preserve that character, to some people’s frustration. Indeed, Richard DeMato once ran for trustee saying he would turn “No Haven” into “Yes Haven.” Well, with the possible construction of a 140-foot cell phone tower that will forever eradicate the rural character of North Haven, has there ever been a more appropriate time to say No?
I certainly thought Jeff Sander would say no, given what he said to you in 2009. Your editorial of June 11 states “Sander would like to see the village acquire more property for space preservation” and he said “I would like to use whatever funds are available to buy parcels. This is one of the most important [projects] for the village.” And yet, rather than fight for preservation, he has thus far voted yes for the cell phone tower.
Similarly, I would have though R.J. Smyth would have voted no, as in the same editorial you report “Smyth concurred on the need to preserve open space…and beautifying various points in the village, similar to the recent round-about beautification project.” Interestingly, that beautiful round-about is very close to his house, the ugly cell phone tower is not. He too voted against preservation, by voting yes to consider the cell phone application.
I would like to trust my trustees. I would like to believe their words mean something, and that they are honestly committed to the character of our fine hamlet. Perhaps they can find some solace/help/education in the words of the Trustees of Sagaponack who were also approached with a comparatively more minor 80-foot cell phone tower:
“There is a growing body of scientific research linking radio wave emissions to childhood behavioral disorders ranging from memory loss, suppression of immune response to leukemia, and most recently the rapidly rising rate of autism. Granted the evidence is not conclusive but as any well-informed family physician would advise, should we not hedge our bet. Why expose a child’s bio-chemical growing pattern to a potentially dangerous risk factor.”
While there is wide disagreement on the health issues, one thing will be toweringly clear: a 140-foot cell phone tower will be a blight on the horizon of North Haven for generations to come.
Questions on Barons Cove Restaurant
Dear Bryan and the Sag Harbor Express,
We (The Former Rocco’s Neighborhood Watch Group) were all pretty amazed to see the editorial endorsement of the proposed Eighty Seat Hotel Dining area at Baron’s Cove in the April 28th issue of The Express.
The Eighty Seat Baron’s Cove Dining Project was brought in front of The Planning Board on April, 26th during a pre-application “WORK SESSION” which — although it gives the applicant a chance to show their project to The Planning Board — it does NOT allow for ANY input from the public. As you know public input re the project is permitted during the public input session which — I have been led to believe by the planning board — will be in several month’s time after yet another “work session.”
As I was in the audience during that planning board work session, and as I was quite amazed re: Baron’s Cove application for an 80 seat dining facility at the bottom of our street, OF COURSE there were questions I had wanted to ask — but because of the application process was not able to.
For the record, we really do feel that it would have been more “correct” if the SAG HARBOR EXPRESS had held their endorsement until the “Work Session” process had been complete and the neighborhood had had it questions answered in the Public Input Session.
Mia Grosjean for The Former Rocco’s Neighborhood Watch Group
Nix the Ferry
To The Editor,
I read that the Village is going to be purchasing Long Wharf from the government, and that the wharf is in need of repairs. I further understand, from an article in the Sag Harbor Express of April 14, that the Village is floating Jim Ryan’s concept of a year-round, seven-days-a-week, 40 passenger ferry shuttle service to dock on Long Wharf (with two additional boats in the offing should there be more demand), between Sag Harbor, Greenport, Southampton, Riverhead, and possibly Montauk. The number of ferries docking per day, during the four seasons, is not mentioned in the article. What is the goal of having the ferry dock at Long Wharf? Is the goal, to facilitate transit throughout the area, or to facilitate commerce by making Sag Harbor a destination for tourists, or to generate revenue for the upkeep of the pier?
Let’s look at The Big Picture. Sag Harbor Village and its waterfront and environs represent the very best in small-town scale and environmental aesthetics, as well as exceptional quality of life for our families and our homes. If the goal of a ferry landing on Long Wharf is to facilitate transit, then this appears to be contradictory. Sag Harbor is a lovely destination for strolling. However, already, on weekends during the spring and fall, and especially in summer, there is so much traffic congestion on Main Street, and at the American flag – the circular intersection of Main Street and Route 114 – that cars are backed up on the bridge and to the Bulova watch factory site. And who’s to say that “mission creep” would not lead to a car ferry, and more congestion, in the future?
If a shuttle on Long Wharf becomes a reality, it will result in increased auto congestion, lack of available parking, additional bus traffic, need for traffic lights, poor air quality, and pedestrian overflow. It will require additional police and sanitation facilities. The commercial Main Street hub will become, not an inviting small village street, but rather an area to avoid. This will be detrimental to Sag Harbor as a “destination.” There are far better ways to generate revenue for pier repair and, at the same time, conserve our distinctive, historic Sag Harbor Village.
To the Editor,
There has never been a war in history where the invaders openly said, “We’re going to war for money.” There is so much money to be made from war. In wartime the few make huge profits at the expense of the many. Most of the people who benefit from military buildups are already rich. The Pentagon is the largest office building in the world 1.7 miles of corridors where the arms merchants reside. For too many years they have sold 60 percent of the world’s weapons and armed 150 nations planting the seeds for future wars. This death lobby has brought the American taxpayers to its knees.