CELL TOWER PLAN CRITICIZED

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About 50 Fair Haven residents turned out for a special meeting of the zoning board last night to object to a proposal by two wireless phone carriers to build a 125-foot-tall cell tower next to the Church of the Nativity on Ridge Road, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Some of the complaints centered on the purported health effects of radiation from the tower. From the story:

“The tower is proposed to be over my backyard. I’m concerned for my five children,” Marianne Grosso of Dartmouth Avenue said. “If it’s perfectly safe, it can go somewhere else where there are no people.”

However,

The board’s radio frequency expert, Bruce Eisenstein, testified that the tower proposed by Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile is about 400 times lower than the Federal Communications Commission standard for electromagnetic emissions.

“That puts it substantially below FCC limits,” Eisenstein said. “That’s all they (the applicant) have to show.”

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RBR ADOPTS TEXT MESSAGE ALERTS

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Prompted by the shootings last month at Virginia Tech that left 33 people dead, Red Bank Regional High School has become the second school district in New Jersey to implement an email and text message alert system, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.

The system will employ cellphone text messaging and email to alert parents and students about developments as innocuous as weather-related closings and as serious as security-related lockdowns.

From the story:

Superintendent Edward Westervelt said letters will be sent to parents later this week about the instant notification system and how to sign up. The school security and safety committee took steps to implement the system after the Virginia Tech shootings, he said.

“It came out of that terrible incident at Virginia Tech. We think it will be very helpful,” Westervelt said. “You never know when an emergency or some safety issue will come up when students are on their way to school or on a field trip.”

The text message system also is a way to get information to students in the midst of a lockdown, which they have practiced during the year, he said.

“We’ve practiced them where students are brought into a classroom and the doors are locked and the windows covered, everyone wants to know what’s going on,” Westervelt said. “We could communicate with students . . . without using the school PA, which we might not want to do with an intruder in the building.”

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STATE HANGS UP ON CELL TOWER SWAP

Those dead spots you keeping hitting in Fair Haven when talking on your cell phone? They’re no closer to being filled, thanks to a decision by the state Department of Environmental Protection that the borough may not use Green-Acres funded land as a site for a cell tower.

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And Mayor Michael Halfacre says he thinks the DEP officials who heard the borough’s hourlong presentation on the request had made up their minds in advance, according to a story on the Asbury Park Press website.

From the story:

The application, which could have set a statewide precedent if it had been approved, was denied after Fair Haven officials made an hour-long presentation to about five state officials.

“When we were through, they left the room and came back after two minutes and said, “we’re not doing this,'” said Mayor Michael Halfacre, who was at the meeting. “It was clearly a predetermined denial.”

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WHERE HAVE I SEEN THIS?

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It’s a sad tale, or so we imagine, of a tree limb that grew too close to a wire, and then around the wire, and then became orphaned, clinging to the wire as the tree from which it grew was cut down.

Now, it just hangs there, suspended, immobile, inert as the strands of twisted steel that keep it from falling to the sidewalk below, on Peters Place. We imagine, too, legions of bored schoolchildren catching sight of the lonely limb from their classrooms across the street at St. James Elementary School and wondering, ‘How did it get there?”

We’re talking, of course, about last week’s ‘Where.’ Ken Ameika identified its location, no doubt aided by the fact that he lives on Peters Place. Congrats, Ken.

Do you recognize this week’s entry? Email us your answers, please.

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DOIN’ THE CELL-TOWER SHUFFLE

The Fair Haven Borough Council has once again changed the designated site for the town’s first cellphone tower, should it ever be built.

The Asbury Park Press reports that the council voted 3-1 to locate the tower three doors west of the police station and youth center on Fisk Street. Turns out the police station property, which the council had approved last month, would require an OK from the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The DEP had previously rejected a borough plan for a land swap involving Green Acres property at Fair Haven Fields on Ridge Road. Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck of Red Bank has asked the DEP to reconsider that decision, the Press reports.

Some of the neighbors of the new site are not pleased with the three-doors-down solution. The Press story has this quote:

“I can’t believe they chose that location. It is a horrible location,” said John Hanson of Maple Street, which is around the corner from the site. “It is 45 feet wide by 100 feet deep. You’d think it was someone’s side yard.”

Meanwhile, Verizon Wireless and a partner still have a plan pending before the zoning board to construct a tower on property owned by the Church of the Nativity on Hance Road.

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