AT&T school towers putting kids at risk

We are going into the fifth grade at Maya Lin School. We have now spoken at three school board meetings. We don't think we should have to ask to feel safe. We hoped that AT&T and the school district would have worked out something so that the children at our school could start school without a cell phone tower working on top of it. Did you know that the tower is the strongest pointing at our play structure?

We just found out that we are about to go back to school and AT&T is refusing to take the tower down. We have been asking for a long time. AT&T is even asking to do another presentation to the school board. We are tired of having to come to the school board meetings. Kids should not have to work this hard to be heard or to get help.

We would like the citizens in our town to care about us and our school. Some people think that the towers are safe. Nobody can promise that they are. Here is a speech that we made at one of the meetings we went to:

"We are in the fourth grade at Maya Lin, We'd like to speak about the cell tower. As you know, the cell tower emits radiation that may be very, very dangerous to children. We as children are at school six hours per day, five days a week, that is 30 hours a week and there are about 40 weeks in a school year. That's about 1,200 hours a year. Some kids go to school there for six years and to afterschool care. Some even live in the neighborhood. Nothing will happen now, but in about 10 to 20 years, the effects of the cell tower could damage our brains.


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"Kids don't make the choice about where we go to school. We rely on our parents, and if they can't rely on the school district and school board to take action with AT&T, then we are left with no one to rely on.

"AT&T wants to discuss the cell tower with the Maya Lin community. At this point, there is nothing to discuss. You must choose children's safety or money. It's that simple."

Gabriella Chao and Bennett Salsbury

Schools should drop contract with AT&T

As parents of Alameda students, we were saddened but not surprised by AT&T's refusal to remove cellular antennas from Maya Lin School, where they may present a danger to our children. Many community members are concerned that radio frequency emissions from cell antennas may cause long-term harm to our children; they are exposed to these emissions while they are growing and developing. We don't know what the impact of exposure to these emissions may be, but we do not think that our children should be exposed to these potential risks while we wait for evidence of harm. It just isn't worth it.

During its June 24 meeting, AUSD board members instructed district staff to contact AT&T about removing the cell equipment on two of our schools. AT&T, however, is not interested. AT&T claims it has the right, at its sole discretion, to renew its lease with the AUSD for as many as 25 years. This type of contract with a school district is not legal in California, as Education Code section 17534 limits such contracts to five years.

The community wants AT&T to leave and take their equipment with them. We request that the AUSD board direct the district staff to send notices of termination to AT&T. If AT&T refuses and demands compensation, they are even worse than some of us thought- what good is our little bit of money, which should go to our students and teachers, to them? The Board should not let AT&T leverage their big wallet and legion of lawyers against the rights of the community and laws of the state. This item was agendized for this past Tuesday's AUSD board meeting.

AT&T admitted at a meeting at Maya Lin School on June 23 that it no longer looks for cell antenna sites on school campuses, but that the schools in Alameda are "legacy sites." Is this the kind of legacy we want?

Jessica Reed, Jason Wilson, Sylvia Kahn

Thanks to all who've supported Midway

Many thanks to those individuals and groups who have contributed to the Midway Shelter's Adopt-a-Bed program for abused women and their children. Listed below are donors who contributed from July 1 though July 31. A number of them have contributed several times during this period:

Anonymous I, Patti Heimburger, Carolyn Queener and John Platt, Fran Borst and John Porter, Joanne Robinson, Virginia Krutilek, Suzanne Bryant, Barbara Anderson, Tina and Bob Kreitz, Srinvasan Suresh, Najee and Adilah Bilal, Betty Sanderson, John A. Johnson, Margaret, Emily and Joseph Shea in memory of Leslye Mae Robey, Nancy and Leo Stoeber, Jr in memory of Leslye Mae Robey, Sandra and Lance Russum in memory of Virginia Cary, Al Contier, John Castle, Sherman Lee Sr., Jim Russi. Ken Robie, Patrick McCarthy, Fred Dunn, Charlene Andrews; Isle City Institute #51 YLI, Barbara Janowski, Julie Kennedy, First Congregational Church (UCC), Beverly Moore, Janke Schuitema, R.A.C.E., Virginia Crinnion in honor of Mary Ann Quitman's birthday, Ann Casper and Mark Irons, Maxine, Paula Patillo-Dupree, Sotherea Sang, Jane U. Brown, Regina Panzarino-Dimig, Scott Benson and Elana Swartzman, Joanne and George McKray, Diane and Mel Nutter, Lois Pryor, Anna Humphres in memory of Leslye Robey, Joan Adam in memory of Leslye Robey, Christine Buck, Sarah Cruz.

Donations may be sent to Alameda Homeless Network, P.O. Box 951, CA, Alameda 94501. For further information call 510-523-2377 or go to www.midwayshelter.org

Ginny Krutilek