Guardian Cell-Phone Antennas Approved; Opponents Vow Appeal
|Veteran Bayview-Hunters Point activist Espanola Jackson speaks out against the Guardian project|
Foes Assert Project is Un-American, Will Hurt Children...
The San Francisco Planning Commission today unanimously approved San Francisco Bay Guardian Publisher Bruce Brugmann's application to rent the rooftop of his newspaper offices to T-Mobile for cellular antennas over the opposition of dozens of his neighbors.
The approval came despite staunch opposition to the project from multiple members of the public, who successfully lobbied to have it removed from the commission's "consent agenda" -- which is typically reserved for routine, uncontroversial projects -- so they could voice their dissent in a full hearing. After the commission's vote, neighborhood activists said they would appeal the decision.
"I ask you to help protect our children," Leslie de Taillandier, who fears for the safety of her 11-year-old in a city replete with cell-phone towers, told commissioners. "Please, do not give the permit to allow another cellular antenna on top of the Bay Guardian." Other protesters included Bayview-Hunters Point mainstay Espanola Jackson and anti-cellular activist-about-town Sudi Scull, who wears a special hat to protect herself from electromagnetic radiation.
|Yvonne Gavre (left), a neighbor of the Guardian, has led the charge against Brugmann's cellular project|
|Sudi Scull, who urged planning commissioners to reject the Guardian project, wears a special hat to guard against radio waves|
Planner Diego Sanchez said his office has been deluged with "dozens and dozens of calls and e-mails from members of the public" who oppose the project since Monday. Village Voice Media Executive Editor Michael Lacey -- head of SF Weekly's parent company -- sent a letter to Guardian neighbors and other city residents late last week informing them of the project and the upcoming commission meeting. The letter noted the Guardian's past reporting on potential health problems resulting from cell-phone antenna exposure.
Brugmann and his employees have sharply criticized SF Weekly's coverage of their controversial cell-phone project. In a comment responding to a blog post about the petition against the antennas earlier this week, Guardian City Editor Steven T. Jones assailed Your Correspondent as an "errand boy" engaged in "laughably contrived, deceptively presented, and transparently self-serving attacks" on his newspaper.
Please, Steve. Think of the children.
Photos | Frank Gaglione