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Longboat Key Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010 5 years ago

Letters to the Editor

by: Observer Staff

+ Cell towers are forever
Dear Editor:

(In the photo) is the cell tower located across the bay and visible more than five miles away from all bayfronts on Longboat Key.

To be told by the “pushers” or promoters that the tower at Spanish Main or the church (Longboat Island Chapel) would not be visible from the street is an insult to anyone who can think.

I was told by a homeowner in Spanish Main that the reason they wanted the cell tower was for the $20,000 a month rent — I told him that $20,000 was a year’s rent.

The owner of the tower makes more than $120,000 a year for every tower they own; $20,000 a year rent is just chump change to them.

The resale value of every home in Spanish Main would be reduced by $20,000 if the tower goes there.
Think how nice this chain-link fence and smokestack tower would look by the pool at Spanish Main or next to the church.

Who would want to buy a home near a cell tower when there are better alternatives?

Cell phones are not phones, they are cell radios; radios do not work well in enclosed buildings.

There are better alternatives to ugly towers that destroy the value of all nearby property.

We must get working on an island-wide Wi-Fi soon, because a cell tower is like the IRS, you have it forever.

I have Sprint and have its free phone. I’ve never lost a call on Longboat Key.

Bob Craft
Longboat Key


+ North end needs a cell tower
Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Harold and Fran Blum’s letter to the editor in the Aug. 19 edition of The Longboat Observer.

In their letter, the Blums expressed health concerns regarding radio frequency (RF) emissions, or electromagnetic radiation from cellular communications towers or facilities. Although I understand their concerns, they have missed the following facts:

1. The Federal Communications Commission and other agencies regulate and set limits on the level of RF emissions allowed from various devices, including cellular communications transmitters. For more information, please visit the FCC at

2. A recent British population-based study confirmed that mobile-phone, base-station towers boost cell reception, not childhood cancer risk.

3. The strength of an RF emission or signal drops dramatically with distance from the antenna, e.g., the strength of an RF signal at the base of a cell tower (100 feet from the antenna) is 1/10,000th of the original level at the antenna.

4. Individuals are exposed to significantly higher levels of RF emissions and electromagnetic radiation in their homes and offices from cellular phone handsets, Wi-Fi routers, laptop computers, portable phones, wireless garage-door openers, microwave ovens, high voltage/AC electrical service, AC/DC appliances, etc., than they would receive from a cellular-communications tower.

I was surprised that the Blums are concerned with a cellular communications facility that would be located more than six miles from their residence. They did not mention the two cell sites located on the roofs of condominium buildings close to their home … the Islands West (cell site) approximately one-and-a-half miles north and the Privateer (cell site) approximately a half-mile south of their residence.

Unlike the south half of Longboat Key, where the Blums reside, the north end does not have any tall condos upon which cellular communications facilities could be located. For both convenience and public safety, I believe north-end residents, visitors and workers deserve some reasonable cellular service. A stealth cell tower like the one proposed for the Longboat Island Chapel is the only economically viable alternative given relatively low user density on Longboat Key.

If anyone would like more information on this matter, please feel free to contact me at [email protected].

Jim Eatrides
Alpha-Omega Communications founder and Longboat Key resident

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