The Coast News Group

Encinitas residents vocal in opposition to 5G cell towers, council agrees

ENCINITAS — Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear announced during a council meeting on Sept. 25 that the council had unanimously approved joining a coalition to oppose the FCC’s petition to restrict municipalities, such as Encinitas, from having the ability to say no to 5G expansion and wireless facilities.

Two days prior, about 150 people showed up to a town hall meeting Sept. 23 in strong opposition of 5G cell towers going up in Encinitas.

The crowd, holding signs and at times chanting “Stop 5G,” had a list of reasons they want to keep the towers off their streets, including a number of possible health risks, the devaluing of property and aesthetic impacts.

One opposer who spoke at the forum cited that 5G technology is 10,000 times more powerful than the existing 4G and 3G and “may well be the atomic bomb of our contemporary world.” Another stated that new research shows that electromagnetic fields, or EMF, could lead to heart attacks and strokes, Alzheimer’s and neurological disease from brain degeneration. A middle school student packed a punch with her statement: “You will be long gone by the time people realize the truth. You are literally putting the weight of the world on us.”

The two-hour workshop, held at the Encinitas Community Center, seems to only be the beginning, as a conversation about the city’s new 5G ordinance continued the next day on a Facebook page called Encinitas Votes, described as a public group for those who know, or want to know, what’s up in Encinitas, especially as it relates to political issues. At last look the post had garnered 77 comments.

“There are legitimate questions that need to be answered before wholesale implementation of a technology that relies on focused beams of high-density radiation at frequencies that are higher than any previously used in large scale systems,” Eleanor Musick wrote.

Musick added in another comment that more study is needed, writing: “You’d think we would have learned from past experience with tobacco and chemicals that when an industry stands to make huge profits, they don’t give a crap about the long-term effects.”

Last month, the Encinitas City Council adopted its new “urgency” ordinance to regulate small wireless facilities and other infrastructure deployments in the public rights-of-way. This was in response to the latest ruling by the Federal Communications Commission, which has ordered local governments to remove any regulatory barriers and speed the transition to the new technology.

The city’s previous cell phone ordinance was adopted in 2001. At that time, wireless communications carriers were rolling out a major expansion that resulted in the large antennas we have today, placed high above the ground that service a wide area.

In order to support 5G technology, small wireless antennae, which provide spot coverage to a relatively small area, would need to be installed. Because of its very limited coverage areas, many more antennae would be needed and they would have to be relatively closer to the ground, in close proximity to homes and businesses.

The industry plans to install the vast majority of these antennae in public rights-of-way, affixed to existing pole infrastructure — streetlights, traffic signals, and utility poles, or on new purpose-built small cell poles.

Several California cities are voting to place strict regulations on the federal directive, including Monterey, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Palo Alto and Mill Valley.

At least a couple people on the Encinitas Votes page noted that they’d like the council to take their time with this decision and not rush into anything.

“We have an opportunity here to delay the 5G infrastructure as so many towns and cities around the world are doing to demand more research on the effects of our health and the health of our children,” wrote Nellie Stein Jensen.

Cardiff resident Jim O’Hara concurred, commenting: “It seems like at the very least, there should be a pause while this debate gets hashed out. If there’s even a concern about health, it’s the council’s responsibility to observe it. Once these towers are up, it’ll be a lot more work, and more expensive to remove them.”

Some commenters felt that people might be getting all worked up for nothing. Glen Johnson, the original poster of this topic on the Facebook page, said he attended Monday’s forum and his one observation is that 5G causes mass hysteria.

“This should be interesting,” Johnson wrote. “93 million miles from us is a major source of EMF radiation and it has been shown that UV can cause skin cancer and sunburn. Yet the beach is a major attraction in Encinitas and people are not affected immediately.”

The next city council meeting to take up this issue is set for Oct. 30.


Patrick V October 29, 2019 at 11:16 am

The letter from Dr. Golomb opposes all wireless technology – what she calls “electrosmog” – not just 5G. The concept of “electrosmog” has been debunked by basically all major researchers, including the World Health Organization. I assume you’ll say they’re in on the big-business conspiracy to destroy our health? This is starting to sound like anti-vaxxers, who believe what they believe and if you oppose them it’s because you’re on the payroll.

Look, I’m no 5G or wireless industry apologist, but if your goal is to go back to a time before wireless, I wish you luck. Are you practicing what you preach? No cell phone? No Wi-Fi? You typed this comment on a computer, which, according to EMF theorists, is also a source of electromagnetic frequencies that are harmful.

The reality is that 5G is no more harmful than 4G or 3G that came before it, and in many ways less intrusive because, over time, those big 4G cell towers will be replaced by small antenna on nearby infrastructure, and because an antenna that only needs to connect a few dozen yards away requires much less power than a cell tower a half-mile away. This is very simple, and understood by anyone in the wireless industry or indeed anyone with college-level physics.

Jason M. October 30, 2019 at 6:17 pm

You’re a sheep my friend. Pathetic

Susan Brinchman September 28, 2019 at 7:51 pm

The concept that this is mass hysteria is obviously being promoted by the uninformed. Try reading what a highly respected UCSD scientist /MD/physicist/EMF researcher with a CV you could wrap around the equator has to say about the dangers of the 5G rollout, and she is just one of thousands of scientists doing so – Letter from Dr. Beatrice Golomb UCSD researcher on dangers of 5G It might surprise some but not most that the wireless industry, like the chemical industry and the tobacco industry before it, doesn’t care about our health. They’re only seeking profit. Our federal gov’t is hard at work destroying every environmental protection built up in the last century while promoting irradiating the entire nation with hazardous microwave and millimeter microwave radiation. This is a fact.

taxpayerconcerns September 27, 2019 at 11:51 pm

From all information the lawsuit that the city is joining is not about public health concerns. Rather, it is more about the FCC $270 maximum amount per year a city or county can charge a wireless service provider. Encinitas currently charges the companies about $2,600 a year for each 3G or 4G installation. With the new 5G’s limited range and the need to be within 400 or 600 feet of each radiating box, streetlights, utility poles, and new poles with be required. There are approximately 3,000 streetlights in Encinitas. If Encinitas could continue charging $2,600 a year for the new use of the streetlights, the city coffers would be enriched by $7,800,000 from just one wireless service provider. Don’t expect the Mayor and Council to be concerned about exposure in residential areas. It’s all about the money.

Will September 27, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Silicon Valley isn’t a city

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