Saturday, May 6, 2017

THREE Articles in Opposition to the Eleanor Roosevelt Milestone Cell Tower in GreenBelt News Review

THREE  ARTICLES In The Greenbelt News Review on the Milestone PGCPS Eleanor Roosevelt Cell Tower

Greenbelters Argue Against Cell Tower on School Site 
by Julie Depenbrock

Dasan Bobo has lived on Mandan Terrace in Greenbelt for 22 years. “I bought the home from my mother two years ago,” said Bobo. “I love the town I live in.” But now a proposed cell tower at Eleanor Roosevelt High School has Bobo and his wife Lena Pratt ready to move. Edwin Monono has been a Greenbelt resident for 16 years. He and his family live on the same street as Pratt and Bobo. Monono’s son, an eighth grader, plans to attend Roosevelt next year. Monono said that if the tower is built, he too will move. “We don’t need this in our school community,” Monono said. He, Pratt and Bobo were among the crowd packed into a backroom of Seabrook Seventhday Adventist Church on April 25 to discuss the Roosevelt tower. A number of residents oppose the tower, citing health concerns associated with radiation, property devaluation and visual impact. 

Julie Depenbrock is a University of Maryland graduate student in journalism writing for the News Review

The link to the preliminary report from the National Toxicology Program is (Watch a video of June 15 Presentation at NIEHS on this study)

 Read the full article by Julie Depenrock at

New Cell Phone Tower Dominates Heated Discussion by City Council 
by Diane Oberg

Judging by crowd size, the topic of greatest interest to residents at the April 24 City Council meeting was clearly the proposed construction of a T-Mobile cell phone antenna tower on the grounds of Eleanor Roosevelt High School (ERHS). Council unanimously approved motions to send a letter expressing their concerns to Milestone Communications, which would install the antenna, and to send additional letters to County Executive Rushern Baker and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Maxwell of Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS). Council was to collaborate with staff to refine the draft letter to Milestone and the letters to Baker and Maxwell. The ERHS tower would be one of many authorized under an agreement between PGCPS and Milestone. The school board has approved the contract but is not involved in the selection or review of tower sites. The tower would have three vertical supports upon which several large signs would be placed. As an example, Milestone showed a photo of a tower installed at Corkran Middle School in Anne Arundel County, which has panels showing the school mascot, the name of the school and three panels each containing one letter of CMS. 

No to the Cell Tower At Eleanor Roosevelt 

On Tuesday, April 25 I attended a community meeting at the Seabrook Seventh-day Adventist Church in Seabrook to discuss the proposed cell tower to be erected on the grounds of Eleanor Roosevelt High School by Milestone and T-Mobile. Both Milestone and T-Mobile had representatives present at this meeting. I do not believe the meeting was held in “good faith” to hear the concerns and frustrations of Greenbelt residents on the proposed cell phone tower. The meeting was deliberately not held in Greenbelt as to significantly impact attendance. (I learned after the meeting that Derek Green, communications liaison for Milestone, is a member of the Seabrook Seventh-day Adventist Church.) The meeting was held on the same day the Prince George’s County Board of Education had their board meeting, therefore there was no representation from the board. Sufficient notice was not provided to Greenbelt residents. Milestone and T-Mobile had apparently satisfied the requirement in sending out 3,000 notices to residents, however, neither company could answer questions on how the notices were mailed and to whom. Many attendees from the Greenwood community whose homes border the site where the tower is to be erected did not receive notice. 

Parents in Bethesda, concerned about the health consequences and dangers of being near a cell tower, were successful in stopping a similar tower from being erected on the grounds of Wootton High School due to outraged opposition and activism of concerned parents and residents. I learned at the meeting that  the proposal and approval process is different and easier to satisfy in Prince George’s County than Montgomery County. In Montgomery County, if residents say no, then it’s a no go. Not the case apparently in Prince George’s County, unfortunately. It is interesting to note that only one representative from T-Mobile present at Tuesday’s meeting lives in Prince George’s County. Other representatives from T-Mobile and Milestone present at the meeting live in Virginia, even Derek Green, communications liaison for Milestone, whom I thought was disrespectful and spoke condescendingly to those in attendance. He said several times during the meeting, “we will have to agree to disagree.” Well, Mr. Green, I assume we will have to agree to disagree on the harmful effects of cell tower radiation on those in close proximity. 

Fortunately, there was a representative present from the Environmental Health Trust and the Maryland Coalition Against Cell Towers at Schools, Theodora Scarato, who provided information on the dangers and harmful effects of cell tower radiation. We will also have to agree to disagree that Milestone and TMobile are being shady. Did you know? That one cell tower can accommodate up to six antennas. That means that this cell tower, if erected, could significantly impact the safety and health of residents, not to mention the value of our homes. All the while T-Mobile can increase their profits by selling antenna space to other cellular providers. 

A long-time resident of Greenbelt said, “When I think of Greenbelt, it conjures up feelings of a beautiful, green, environmentally friendly neighborhood,” and that the proposed cell tower would diminish this image. Those residents in attendance unanimously raised their hands and voices against the erecting of a cell tower on the grounds of Eleanor Roosevelt High School. I’m not sure if frustrated and concerned residents can do anything to stop the cell tower from being erected at this point. But, I believe that knowledge and information is key. Residents need to be made aware and become community activists. 

Contact your local officials and say No to the cell tower at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. 
County Executive Rushern Baker, 
Chief Executive Officer Prince George’s County Public Schools, 
Dr. Kevin Maxwell, ceo@pgcps. org, 301-952-6000 
Councilmember Todd Turner,, 301-952- 3094 
State Senator Paul Pinsky, 
Greenbelt Board of Education Member, Lupi Quinteros-Grady,
by  Jacquelyn Hair