To the editor:

We live in a desirable neighborhood with beautiful homes. We take offense to people calling it “Shack Town” because of the perceived connotation of that word. Just because of the history of the shacks that accompanied the WW2 Victory Gardens, we should not call it that.

It has taken a long time for us to shift the connotation of us to being home to New Yorkers’ gardens to being proud homeowners of our own. We already have one utility which many residents knew about before moving here. Some grew up here and remember the water tower being installed. Residents did not get a say in that, either. I do not want people to think because of these neighborhoods being referred to as `Shack Town’ that is OK to build a 115 -foot cell tower here. Do people perceive this place as `”low value” so it is OK to get away with not notifying the abutters who live here about the tower? Do we have no say in the public due process?

In the 1940s cigarettes were recognized as the leading cause of lung cancer with the confluence of studies from epidemiology, animal studies and cellular pathology. Cigarette manufacturers disputed this evidence as a conspiracy. In the 1960s only one out of three doctors recognized a correlation between cigarettes and cancer. From 1930 to 1970 lead was added to gasoline despite the overwhelming medical evidence linking ambient lead concentrations to permanent nerve damage, lower IQ and behavioral disorders. Children were especially vulnerable. Despite this knowledge, phase out only happened in 1996.

Dr. Martha R. Herburt, a pediatric neurologist and neuroscientist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and on staff Massachusetts General Hospital with Special Competency in Child Neurology states that, “there are thousands of papers that have accumulated over decades that document adverse health effects and neurological impacts of EMF/RFR. RFR from cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic functions. Children are more vulnerable than adults and adults that are chronically ill are more vulnerable than those who are healthy.”

When we know better, we do better. We know this as Ward 4, not “Shack Town,” and we know EMF’s from cell towers cause harm. Let’s agree to call things as they are.

Larry Chittenden


Published in Berkshire Eagle,604896?