Letters to the Editor

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The letter ("Cell tower could damage our brains," Aug. 14,) deserves a response. It is important to understand the difference between ionizing radiation, which can damage DNA, from non-ionizing radiation, which does not damage DNA.

Ionizing radiation such as gamma rays, x-rays, and ultraviolet rays are high-frequency, short-wavelength, high-energy waves that are the only established environmental cause of brain tumors (Preston-Martin, "Epidemiology of Primary CNS Neoplasms," Neurologic Clinics 14:273-90)

The waves from cell towers are non-ionizing radiation in the radio frequency range which has lower frequencies, longer wavelengths, and less energy than the spectrum of visible light.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reported that there is no evidence that cell phone towers cause brain cancer (Monograph In fact, the incidence of brain cancer in the U.S. has not increased over the past 20 years despite the multiplication of cell phone towers (surveillance.cancer.gov).

Do I work for AT&T? No, I am a retired occupational medicine physician who has studied these issues.

James E. Manning, MD


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 something out 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 AT&T is refusing to take the tower down, something we have been asking for 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 are sending you a speech that we made at one of the meetings we went to. We would like the residents in our town to care about us and our school.

Some people think that the towers are safe. Nobody can promise that they are. 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 after school care. Some even live in the neighborhood. Nothing will happen now but in about 10-20 years, the effects of the cell tower could damage our brains.

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 between children’s safety and money. It’s that simple.

Gabriella Chao and Bennett Salisbury


So many veterans feel confused about benefits and services they have earned. There is so much to know and so many changes from one year to the next.

That is why the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans (DAV) offers help. The DAV mobile service office will visit Alameda to personally provide the best counseling and claim filing assistance available. The office will be in the Central Baptist Church parking lot, 2150 Central Ave. on Wednesday, Aug. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Like all DAV services, help from the mobile service office is free to all veterans and members of their families.

LeRoy Acosta