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Old 06-02-2006, 07:25 AM   #1
mcdude
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Thumbs down Cell Phone Towers Coming to Alton Bay

These quotes from a Letter to the Editor found in The Baysider.

Quote:
the objective of the people constructing the towers is "to give us 100 percent coverage with the least offensive looking and fewest towers." This is a ruse and deception. The applicant, Industrial Communications and Electronics (ICD), is looking to create the most vertical real estate (rentable tower space) as they think they can persuade the town to permit. Having been previously turned down in Wolfeboro, their plan is to create enough antenna rental space for as many wireless providers as possible to give Wolfeboro as well as Alton near full coverage.

Why is this a bad thing, one may ask?

Aside from the aesthetic issues of having two 120-foot towers placed on the ridgeline of Alton Bay towering 70 feet or more above the trees, there are huge health concerns. The applicant's plans show five tiers of antenna arrays with 12 antennas per tier. A tower equipped in this manner can have the power (wattage) equal to a large radio station.
and

Quote:
The new Personal Wireless Service Facilities Ordinance enacted by Alton's residents clearly prohibits the type of facility proposed by ICE. Instead, it encourages more targeted low powered and new systems such as Micro Cells and Repeaters. One solution could be the use of a camouflaged repeater placed below the ridgeline on Rattlesnake Island. This repeater could take a signal from the cell tower on Old Wolfeboro Road, amplify it and rebroadcast it. Conceivably, it would cover most of Alton's Islands and Lake area, the gaps around Clay Point, Black Point and Robert's Cover and even the gaps in West Alton the applicant's plans will not cover.
I hate cell phones. Do people really need to be gabbing on their cell phones while out on the lake? However, this is probably inevitable. At least PLEASE disguise these towers so they don't ruin the beautiful mountain scenery. Next they'll be trying to put a wind farm with turbines to generate electricity out in the broads.
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:06 AM   #2
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Default Cell

I agree. Remember when you got into your car and that time was yours? What's the first thing that we do when we get into the car now?? Make those calls. Now more than ever we need that time to ourselves, to meditate, reflect collect our thoughts...whatever you want to call it.

On a side note-Can they make a cell tower that looks like a hemlock tree?
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RumGuy
On a side note-Can they make a cell tower that looks like a hemlock tree?
They have them as pine trees, depending on their location they are noticible because of the height to get above the natural trees. They do blend in from a distance though, just looks like a taller fake Christmas tree. There are a few of them along rte 495 in MA and there is at least one that I know of on the west side of 93 somewhere up around the lake exits, not sure what town.
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Old 06-02-2006, 12:50 PM   #4
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Wink It was bound to happen

Well you can blame it on us. After years of crappy reception in the cabin we decided to get a land line. So just as buying new ski's dooms the rest of the winter to snowlessness, Murphy has decided to act up given our new land line. I on Murphy's law and I in his general direction !

ps - I wouldn't worry about health concerns due to RF emissions. All very much "sky is falling" stuff. I've worked around RF all my life and I don't think it caused this stut .... stutt ... stutter and twi .... twit .... twitching
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Old 06-02-2006, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lin
They have them as pine trees, depending on their location they are noticible because of the height to get above the natural trees. They do blend in from a distance though, just looks like a taller fake Christmas tree. There are a few of them along rte 495 in MA and there is at least one that I know of on the west side of 93 somewhere up around the lake exits, not sure what town.
Here is a link to a picture of a so-called pine tree cell tower. I have seen them in Mass and CT and quite frankly they look ridiculous. They are so much taller than anything in its surroundings that it looks very out of place.

http://www.pl8.com/cell/DSCN0524.JPG
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Old 06-02-2006, 02:17 PM   #6
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The hideous, I mean, realistic looking fake tree on 93 is between exits 17 and 18. Oh, and bonus points to you mee-n-mac for the holy grail refrence!
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Old 06-02-2006, 08:01 PM   #7
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The towers will blend in with all the scars on the mountain sides from the houses that have been put up the last few years. Live free or die baby!
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Old 06-02-2006, 09:46 PM   #8
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Sure, the "tree" cell phone towers are fugly, but are the gaudy McMansions devouring Lake shoreline any prettier? Honestly? Folks are more willing to ensure ocean-going 30+ ft. cigarette boats blasting by their shores at 60+ mph than they are a relatively inconspicuous tower. Frankly, I'd rather see fewer BMF boats (and their trailers along 93), and enjoy some better cell reception.

Just MHO...
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Old 06-02-2006, 10:25 PM   #9
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there is one on 106 and I can honestly say it does not blend
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Old 06-03-2006, 12:42 PM   #10
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Default a necessary evil for some

Although I may get hammered for this next statement I thought I'd present another point of view. We are fortunate enought to live in the age of technology that allows certain freedoms. Previously, I hadn't been able to spend time on the lake for over 10 years since I live out West and my boss just wouldn't let me take three months off over the summer (the nerve of him! ). Now I own my own business and because of my cell phone, laptop computer, call forwarding, the internet, and all the other gadgets I can spend the entire summer on Winnipesaukee. I get the best reception on the middle of the lake...when a call comes in I just slow the boat down, address the issue and throttle back up. Without this technology, I would be stuck in Arizona in unbearable summer temperatures. I realize some may just think "stay in Arizona with your business" but why would I deny myself the chance to spend it at a place we all love when I don't have to. Wouldn't you rather be at the lake as much as possible?????
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:05 AM   #11
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Default Safety Issue on Lake

Who among us has not been somewhere on or near Lake Winnipesaukee and suddenly found themselves in an unexpected or even scary situation? The weather on The Lake has suddenly turned and you are now completely disoriented. You've come upon an automobile accident and quickly need help. You're in a major traffic jam and are going to be late picking up your kids.

Whatever it is, the first thing most of us do today is grab our cell phones and try to contact the people we need. That could be anything from "911" to our children's preschool teacher. Most of the time all you get in the Alton/Alton Bay area and, indeed, on most of Lake Winnipesaukee is a "No Signal" message. In my opinion, and I know I'm going to get a barrage of put-downs for saying this, the proposed cell towers need to be built to make critical, safety related, modern day communications in these areas possible.

I speak from first-hand experience. You may remember reading in the paper last fall about a boat crashing into a dock (mine) in the middle of a really nasty wind and rain storm. These folks had been closing up their cabin on Rattlesnake Island. Why they left so late, in the dark, and in what was clearly an impending storm condition, is not for us to judge. That their ability to make decisions may have been impaired in some way is also not at issue here. All that really matters is they were trying to get home to their kids and they were in big trouble.

Having left Rattlesnake, they found themselves suddenly enveloped in fog, on a moonless night, with little control of their boat in huge waves caused by an awful wind. They crashed into an island they never saw coming. With a damaged boat and gravely damaged people on board, they tried to use their cell phones to get help. They were unable to get a cell signal. The only reason they were able to get help was they saw my spotlight turn on when I checked my own docked boat. They followed the light to my dock. When the EMTs and police, all of whom did a great rescue job, tried to use their cell phones at my dock, in my yard to get more advanced EMT help so an IV could be inserted before lifting the most seriously injured person out of the boat, they too were unable to get a cell signal.

This scenario has been repeated many times on our Big Lake, in many variations, to people with no impaired judgment and traveling in full daylight. Some may still use marine radios in their boats and be fortunate enough to reach the Marine Patrol to guide them to safety on the marine radio VHF emergency channel 16. Others, however, may be on our roadways, on snowmobiles, on personal watercraft, in homes, or in businesses where an emergency has caused landline failure. These people have no chance of contacting help unless they or someone with them can use a cell phone. People used to die because they couldn't get help; with a cell phone one at least has a chance.

Marine radios will not solve the problem. Due to limited resources, the Marine Patrol, (who do a spectacular job with the minimal resources they are given and deserve our enormous gratitude), currently only monitor channel 16 during their office hours.That being said, if an emergency happened to me today, all I would have with me would be my cell phone. I, like most people, expect them to work. I, like most people, do not carry a marine radio in our boat anymore. Neither do those in kayaks, canoes, small fishing boats, motorcycles, cars, trucks, bicycles, snow mobiles, or PWCs. Neither do runners and walkers. There are no more phone booths (remember those?) on every corner. Whatever the mode of transportation, we all expect our cell phones to be our link to emergency help when we need it and to communication services for convenience.

Once a cell tower is put up, eventually most folks will not even notice they are there. You will forget about it just as you don't notice the great swaths of forest taken out of hillsides for electric, cable, and phone lines unless you are really looking. There is a place approaching Plymouth on Rt. 93 that has a cell tower and one of these huge swaths side-by-side going up a mountain. You may have noticed, but if not, look for it next time you head North. Personally, I'd rather have the cell tower than all that baldness going up the mountain (not that "bald" is bad on heads, but not for the mountains!) .

What would have happened if we had said "no" to electricity in the late 1800's or cable access in the last few decades? If there is an eyesore in our town, look around you at the wires, poles, transformers and such that cover every street and back road you travel. Are you willing to give up electricity, land line phone, and cable access "for the view"? I really don't see much of a difference except that the cell towers are actually less intrusive. Also, good point , Grant, on the "McMansions"! I'd take a cell tower over these eyesores any day!

The people constructing these towers are doing everything possible to conform to Alton's apparently constantly changing requirements. Their object is to give us 100% coverage with the least offensive looking and fewest towers. They are trying to allow as many cellular companies tower presence with the least possible number of towers. Does Alton really want every cell company constructing their own individual towers instead? Eventually, as with the introduction of electricity, there will be no stopping the spread of cell towers, so I don't understand the objections when the people introducing them are trying to do it in the least objectionable, most compact way.

The people who want to build these cell towers for us are doing us a huge favor. They are ensuring the safety of the people in the Alton/Alton Bay area and on Lake Winnipesaukee. These are places that have barely any cell coverage and more frequently, none at all. The tower builders are giving us, at no cost to us, the convenience and safety most have come to expect as commonplace today. Please note I have no connection to, nor stake in these companies (other than needing their service). I am speaking only as a citizen of Alton.

As far as I am concerned, this is one of those issues we all refer to as a "no brainer". I think we must allow the building of these towers NOWÖbefore you, I, or someone else comes upon another accident, or one finds us, and we have no way to get help. What if it were your child or spouse in the boat or car accident; you dialed "911", and all you got was "No Signal"?

Just my opinionÖ
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Old 06-04-2006, 01:13 PM   #12
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MJP
You make some strong arguments for cell phone coverage and I agree with them with really only one exception:
Quote:
Marine radios will not solve the problem. Due to limited resources, the Marine Patrol, (who do a spectacular job with the minimal resources they are given and deserve our enormous gratitude), currently only monitor channel 16 during their office hours.That being said, if an emergency happened to me today, all I would have with me would be my cell phone. I, like most people, expect them to work. I, like most people, do not carry a marine radio in our boat anymore.
Two points, first if I am correct, MP only monitors Marine VHF16 during office hours because MP vessels don't carry Marine VHF, at least they didn't the last time I inquired. (in my opinion that is a mistake on MP's part)

Second, if I'm in trouble on the lake I want EVERYONE on the lake to know it and come to my rescue! You can't do that on a cellphone but you can on a Marine VHF. A cell phone can contact one person, that's all. Sure that person might be a 911 operator but he/she is sitting on the shore, safe and dry while you're in trouble probably miles away on the water. That means the 911 operator has to take additional steps to contact and dispatch a crew that could be miles away on another part of the lake, and still no one but you and the 911 operator would know about your problem. Wouldn't it be better to allow someone in a boat, already in your area, hear about your problem and provide immedate assistance while waiting for MP to respond?

Just my $.02 on folks that have replaced Marine VHF with cellphones. Add a cellphone to your emergency aresenal, don't replace a Marine VHF with a cellphone.

RE: EMTs not being able to use cellphones from your dock after the unfortunate incident, didn't they carry radios?
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:18 PM   #13
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As I said, It's probably inevitable, however, at this point can't there be an option adopted that does not involve a huge tower on the ridgeline....such as the one mentioned above?

Quote:
One solution could be the use of a camouflaged repeater placed below the ridgeline on Rattlesnake Island. This repeater could take a signal from the cell tower on Old Wolfeboro Road, amplify it and rebroadcast it. Conceivably, it would cover most of Alton's Islands and Lake area, the gaps around Clay Point, Black Point and Robert's Cove and even the gaps in West Alton the applicant's plans will not cover.
I don't know much about this...but....there's a tower on Prospect Mountain down the end of the bay in New Durham. Couldn't that be utilized or is it too far away? Also there's a fire tower already on Belknap Mountain. Why not some amplifiers and repeaters up there?

The proposal recently put forward in Wolfeboro would have placed a tower on Mt. Delight overlooking Lake Wentworth. A "Balloon Test" was undertaken to illustrate how high the tower would have loomed over the lake.
See Photos Here

It just seems to me that now is the time to come up with some creative alternatives. Once the towers go up it's kind of too late.........
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:46 PM   #14
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MJP:

I still think that we could do without a cell tower in Alton Bay. That being said, you present a strong argument. Regarding the couple that crashed into one of the small islands off of Rattlesnake and then putted over to your house in the Roberts Cove area. You make that couple sound like wonderful people trying to get home to take care of their children. I think that you left out one important fact. The guy driving the boat was drunk as a skunk. As far as I'm concerned, that accident, like most, could have been prevented by common sense.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:02 PM   #15
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MJP is 99% correct on the need for cell phones and towers to support them. They are here to stay. For full disclosure, I have been in the phone and cell phone industries all my career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwaves
...
Just my $.02 on folks that have replaced Marine VHF with cellphones. Add a cellphone to your emergency aresenal, don't replace a Marine VHF with a cellphone.
....
The 1% I don't agree with MJP is marine radio. You can get a handheld VHF for $100. No monthly subscription to pay. It's a very small price to pay for the security. Even if the Marine Patrol doesn't hear you, someone will. Plus they usually have built in weather radios. You really shouldn't be on a big lake miles from shore without one.
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Old 06-04-2006, 09:05 PM   #16
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Exclamation Cell Phone Radiation

The article quoted by mcdude made a glaring error:

The writer said:

"Aside from the aesthetic issues of having two 120-foot towers placed on the ridgeline of Alton Bay towering 70 feet or more above the trees, there are huge health concerns. The applicant's plans show five tiers of antenna arrays with 12 antennas per tier. A tower equipped in this manner can have the power (wattage) equal to a large radio station."

First, the radiation angle of those antenna arrays is such that the RF goes outwards, perhaps with a slight downtilt (depends upon the physical angle and the phasing of the elements within the arrays). The RF level is quite low even when standing nearby a tower. On the other hand, if you were to climb the tower and dangle in front of one of the arrays you might have something to worry about.

Second, the concern about RF exposure from the towers is a red herring. You get more exposure from your cell phone when you've got it plastered to your ear.

All that said, I am another one of those folks who detest cell phones when they are used in an inappropriate manner/place/situation. At least folks like winniekid do the right thing and slow down before taking a call (maybe to headway speed?). I see too many people using them while at the helm, paying attention more to their conversation rather than doing what they're supposed to be doing - piloting the boat.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:29 PM   #17
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Regarding where to place and how to camoflage cell towers, the fake pine tree towers aren't all that bad. I have noticed the one on 106 but I will have to keep an eye out for the one on 93 below exit 20!

Boston has some serious historical regulations. Cell companies can get very creative to hide them. There are cell towers at Fenway Park...can you tell? There are cell towers on Beacon Hill, hidden inside church steeples.

In the interest of full disclosure, we lease land to a cell company in NH. There are three different cell phone companies on the tower plus town services. It's 110 feet high and it is below the tree line. It's NOT lighted at night (no complaints from neighbors) and the trees don't distract from reception. Remember, I advocate Marine VHF radios on your boat and to NOT rely exclusively on cellphones.

How about this for a compromise? Allow the cell towers to go up in Alton, keep them below 120' tall and they don't need to be lighted (doesn't matter how high on the mountain they are) and if it's really an issue, you can make the cell company dress it up like a fake Christmas tree. Yep, it'll look like a fake Christmas tree for a while, but then it won't.

You'll have cell coverage, and the town will be getting income from the tower.

Just a thought.
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:57 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude


I don't know much about this...but....there's a tower on Prospect Mountain down the end of the bay in New Durham. Couldn't that be utilized or is it too far away? Also there's a fire tower already on Belknap Mountain. Why not some amplifiers and repeaters up there?

.
McDude, the tower on Prospect Mt has cell antennaes on it. US Cellular and Verizon to name two. The problem is that the frequency band for cellular service requires "line of sight" coverage. As you sit in the middle of Alton Bay south of Sandy Point, you have coverage. Go over to the eastern shore near 28A and the coverage drops off to virtually no signal or actually no signal. In either case, no can talk!
Rte 11 westbound. Sandy Point, can talk, get out by Precious Gardens and you are blocked by the hill with all the houses that stick out like a sore thumb on the hillside and skyline (Lakewood Estates) (and we worry about a couple of towers). Pick up coverage past rte 11 D and lose it going by Mt Major Parking Lot. Ditto for someone along the west shore of Alton Bay.

Cell towers on the east side of the bay will fill the void caused by the terrain we love and provide a high measure of communication.

The ordinance that passed was not well publicized and basically says that antenna companies should place them in concealed place such as Church Steeples and Clock towers. Well folks, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the three steeples in town and the one bell tower (town hall) won't do a thing to improve cell coverage.

I would hope that the powers what be in the town would look to these towers and if their location would also be a satisfactory location for repeaters for public safety and town frequency radios, make space available on the tower for that purpose as part of the approval.

Ooooppppps, got on the soap box again. Sorry.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:32 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secondcurve
MJP:....The guy driving the boat was drunk as a skunk. As far as I'm concerned, that accident, like most, could have been prevented by common sense.....
Secondcurve: You may be confusing the incident at MJP's dock with THIS ONE ?????
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:24 AM   #20
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Hmm…okay, let me see if I can address a few of these comments all at once:

Airwaves and jrc: I just don't think many people, in reality, carry or will carry marine radios anymore but they actually DO carry cell phones. I know it would be nice to think all we kayakers, and all those jet skiers should go out and get pocket size radios, but I just don't think it's going to happen. We have to face that this has already become a cell-phone-based-society. Also, I want to get to 911 as fast as possible if I have an injury, not just the MPs. I think, from my experience, 911 is very good at getting Marine Patrol help when you need it. Also, they can connect quickly to the local police & fire and have the police or fire boats immediately dispatched in addition to the MPs. The locals often won't have to travel as far to reach the emergency as the MPs and, I do believe, most of the large towns have these local response boats now.

Also, if someone is in a boat in my area, hopefully they will see we are in trouble and also call 911 and, better still, come help! Surprisingly, people do that. We have even called about people who have appeared to be in trouble in the Bay from our home, e.g. a motorboat that is drifting and drifting and through the binocs. is seen to be paddling. Actually, if you want help from those nearby, I think the your whistle or horn are really your best bet. In fact, a neighbor's son, a couple years ago, helped a kayaker in trouble who was just using his whistle.

As for emergency personnel not carrying radios, apparently they are only in their vehicles, which, in my example, had to be parked up the street some due to the narrow road. They all pulled out their cell phones, which just makes my point: like it or not, we have ALREADY become a cell-phone-based-society; it's not a choice anymore.

Additionally, people should be clear on what the weather conditions are before they ever venture out. I've been an "outdoors" person and water rat for over 55 years and I know what some guy telling me from Mt. Greylock or even Mt. Washington (p.s. I'm also a licensed ham radio operator), is not necessarily what's happening 2 miles ahead of me. If there is any question about the weather and you aren't extremely practiced at reading the skies yourself, then you shouldn't be out there in the first place. I've been out kayaking and turned around just on "gut instinct" (which I think is really just being familiar with weather and water), had my friend who I paddle with all the time tell me I'm just nuts (ok, we all know that anyway), and yet had it start raining the minute we've pulled into our docks. You have to rely more on reading the sky and water and your gut once you are actually out there; again, just my personal opinion.

mcdude: First of all, the towers that are being applied for are not "huge". The only variance the company is looking for is to have the tower 10' above the tree line, which is really not much. This is to allow better line of site and greater coverage (as mentioned by upthesaukee). They are willing to go with the "fake-pinetree" look if necessary. There have been extensive engineering studies (I've read them!), and the two positions they are asking for are the ONLY available locations that will offer 100% coverage to the lower part of the Lake and all of Alton/Alton Bay. My opinion…if you're going to do it, do it once and do it right the first time. The company has currently been tasked by the Planning Board and ZBA to search for alternatives (church steeples, etc.), but it's not looking good (again, as stated by upthesaukee).

You are correct, mcdude. secondcurve's comments on the intoxication issue are mixing up accidents. In my post (a variation of which was actually posted in "The Baysider" not long ago; you caught me), I mentioned intoxication only because it was a question posed around the particular accident that ended up at the end of my dock. I mentioned it to right up front squelch the very thing that's happening in a few posts here. People are saying these people shouldn't have been intoxicated, which I'm not sure was the case anyway, and I'm making them sound all sweetsie. That was my point…it didn't matter. Good people, bad people, nice people, drunk people, sober…it doesn't matter. "Why" those people had the problem is NOT the issue. The issue is that no matter who you are or why you are in trouble, you have NO cell signal.

Weekend Pundit: You are 100% correct about the RF issue. In fact, it cannot even be addressed in negotiations because the feds. have ruled these towers put out such a low level of RF that it cannot be used by local governments to reject them. So, this is just a non-issue and besides the reality of the fact simply is there just is not an exposure danger.

I believe that much of the backlash to these towers is really a backlash about people who " detest cell phones when they are used in an inappropriate manner/place/situation"(WP's words). I detest this kind of misuse as much as you do. Most of the time, unless I'm following someone's directions turn by turn in my car, for example, I pull my car over to the side of the roar as far as possible in order to talk. And, neither my husband or I ever talk on the phone while piloting the boat. That's the navigator/passenger's job.

Just to be clear once again, as I said before, I have no relationship to the companies involved with putting up the Alton cell towers. I am just an Alton citizen who wants cell coverage!

Soapbox now cleared…next?
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Last edited by Winni; 06-05-2006 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:08 PM   #21
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Post Someone help me

How in heck did we all live 10 to 15 years ago without cell phones. My suggestion is let's go back to those good ole days and use them just for our work environment.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:08 PM   #22
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Lightbulb Photgraphic Proof

I am sorry I may have misled you all. In an earlier post I said this site was around Plymouth, but when I went up to take a picture today, I realized I must have been daydreaming. It is exactly across from Exit 28, Waterville, on Rt. 93N.

I think this is a perfect example showing how a cell tower, even a fully loaded, fully exposed, non-fake-pine tree one, does less damage to our forests and is less offensive in terms of view than the horrible swath that has been cut out to allow the land lines. Here they are, side by side; now which do you think is less offensive?

We've had the land lines cut through our woods all over the place like this for years and now we hardly notice them. Pretty soon you won't even notice those extra ten feet sticking up above the tree line that will probably be ordered to look like a pine tree anyway.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:23 PM   #23
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Wink Phone Booths

Quote:
Originally Posted by RLW
How in heck did we all live 10 to 15 years ago without cell phones. My suggestion is let's go back to those good ole days and use them just for our work environment.
They were called "phone booths"! Seen many lately? And, as I said, everyone on the lakes used marine radios; people just plain don't anymore. PWCs and snow mobiles hadn't been invented, and only a very few of us crazies went out white water canoeing back then! You rarely saw a kayak, though I did do it then. My emergency connection was a ham radio, but I had to be able to get back to my car to use it!

As much as I wish there were still only one stop light between my old house in Mt. Vernon (1978) and Nashua, Rt. 101A now has about 35 there. I'm afraid the wayback machine, as much as we all wish for it, has not been invented yet. I'm with you on this one; life was better then, but whatcha' gonna' do?
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:35 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLW
How in heck did we all live 10 to 15 years ago without cell phones. My suggestion is let's go back to those good ole days and use them just for our work environment.
How did we live 100 years ago without cars, lets go back to horses. How did we live 60 years ago without antibiotics, lets go back to leeches. I could go on forever.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:28 PM   #25
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I agree with MJP on this one. A dead spot in cellular coverage could very easily wind up causing a dead person, whether it's on the lake or on the road. Moreover, if you're driving, marine VHF is not a solution!

If the cellular companies are willing to foot the bill for improving coverage, there's really no excuse for playing games with people's safety!

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Old 06-05-2006, 07:36 PM   #26
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Post What company does things for nothing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Duck
If the cellular companies are willing to foot the bill for improving coverage, there's really no excuse for playing games with people's safety!

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Who are you kidding, they don't do one thing in business for nothing as it gets passed onto you and me.
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:03 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver Duck
I agree with MJP on this one. A dead spot in cellular coverage could very easily wind up causing a dead person, whether it's on the lake or on the road. Moreover, if you're driving, marine VHF is not a solution!

If the cellular companies are willing to foot the bill for improving coverage, there's really no excuse for playing games with people's safety!

Silver Duck
Didn't mean to imply you shouldn't have cell phones, just that a VHF is a great safety device on a boat. A cell phone replaces part of that but not all of it. Maybe on an inland lake you can get by without VHF, and maybe the difference will diminish as cell coverage improves.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:24 PM   #28
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MJP I think you're misunderstanding my point about Marine radios. I advocate ADDING cellphones to your emergency arsenel, not replacing marine radios with a cell phone, especially if you boat (kayak) in areas where you don't have coverage!
Quote:
Also, I want to get to 911 as fast as possible if I have an injury, not just the MPs. I think, from my experience, 911 is very good at getting Marine Patrol help when you need it. Also, they can connect quickly to the local police & fire and have the police or fire boats immediately dispatched in addition to the MPs.
Only if the cellphone works, as you pointed out. Even after hours using a Marine VHF if you can't raise Marine Patrol, and every other boater on the lake is ignoring you, you can raise Coast Guard Group Portland from Winni and have them relay your emergency but if you broadcast a Mayday you'll have more boats around you than you know what to do with in a fraction of the time it will take emergency personel to respond.
Quote:
Also, if someone is in a boat in my area, hopefully they will see we are in trouble and also call 911 and, better still, come help!
Sure, if they SEE you, but what if they are just around the other side of the island, heading the other way. Nope, they won't see you, they could hear you using the radio, but won't hear you on the cellphone.
Quote:
As for emergency personnel not carrying radios, apparently they are only in their vehicles,
That's just plain stupid!

Yes, cellphones are popping up everywhere, I even work with a number of folks who don't own landlines at all, just cellphones. My point is that if I am in trouble on the lake I want all the help I can get, and I want it immediately.

Perhaps the response time of the various towns or MP is good, maybe 5 to 8 minutes. Doesn't seem long does it. Can you hold your breath that long?

I am not saying don't take a cellphone with you on the lake, I am saying don't replace a marine radio with a cellphone and assume that you can contact emergency personnel or get help in an emergency.

Originally Posted by Silver Duck
Quote:
I agree with MJP on this one. A dead spot in cellular coverage could very easily wind up causing a dead person, whether it's on the lake or on the road. Moreover, if you're driving, marine VHF is not a solution!
As I also said, I agree with MJP regarding the need for better cell coverage, but my comments re: Marine radios are for boaters on Winni, not commuters on 93, You're right, a VHF is not an option on the road but I'm talking about the lake.
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:44 AM   #29
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Default Ugly Towers

Hey, I hate cell phones, too. In fact, I hate all phones, including the hard wired type. But lets face it. We are all reacting to an issue that our children's generation won't identify with.

Let's be serious! Are these microwave towers any more unnatural than the telephone lightposts that carry utility service transmission lines to our homes? Boy are they ugly and intrusive. I am constantly reminded of Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon decades ago. He couldn't have completed that historic moment without leaving a boot print on the moonscape surface. Telephone poles and microwave towers are earth's equivalent. It's part of the landscape, get used to it.
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Old 06-06-2006, 05:40 AM   #30
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Airwaves ... you said:
How about this for a compromise? Allow the cell towers to go up in Alton, keep them below 120' tall and they don't need to be lighted (doesn't matter how high on the mountain they are)
That would be incorrect because Alton Bay becomes an air strip in the winter (as can be seen from your marine nav maps). Now the surrounding topology (tree lines, mountain tops) define what needs and does not need lights
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Old 06-06-2006, 06:34 AM   #31
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It's too bad that the wireless technology we use to today was adopted over the alternative satellite technolgy. Fom what I understand, in the early years satellite technology was not cost effective since by definition there were very few cell phone users. Oh, well.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:00 AM   #32
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Default Footing the bill

Quote:
Originally Posted by RLW
Who are you kidding, they don't do one thing in business for nothing as it gets passed onto you and me.
Of course they don't! But, my point is we are not laying out thousands of dollars from the town coffers to get this service. The way companies like this, that construct the towers, get their money is to have cell companies like Verizon, US Cellular, etc. pay for a presence on the towers. Many cell companies can use one tower rather than having a tower for every cell company.

And, of course each of us pays a little more to the cell companies. But, I'd rather pay a penny or two more, and that's about what it amounts to when it's spread across all phone owners, than not have coverage.

As for the marine radios, I'm not saying "don't have them" and I'm not saying "intentionally use cell phones to replace them". I'm just saying the reality is that most people these days don't have them.

Our radio kicked the bucket a few years ago and, having cell phones by then, we just said, "The heck with it." If you want to have both, of course you should. All I'm saying is that we should face up to what is not function on how we would like it to be. Most people will not have them but will have cell phones and thus we should have all the coverage we can get at the lowest price with the least impact to nature.

I don't get what's wrong with my statements.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:17 AM   #33
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Question What is "stupid"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwaves

That's just plain stupid!
I'm sorry, Airwaves, what is "just plain stupid!"? ... what I'm saying or what they did? If it's what I'm saying, I'm only reporting what occurred. If it's what they did, I don't think it's stupid at all.

You weren't here. You don't know where the vehicles had to park. Neither of us knows what their radio reception was like that night for them. (My understanding is that varies greatly with changes in the weather, the time of day, and the ionosphere.)

But, as I keep saying, it is what the reality is/was, and it's not going to change to be what someone wants it to be. In all the confusion, for all I know, besides using my land line they may have run back to their vehicles and used their radios. I just don't know. I was pretty busy helping to hold a boat still, removing their boat canopy, stopping bleeding, mopping up blood, and trying to reassure people who were very scared and in a lot of pain.

All I know is what I observed. They tried to use cell phones standing on my dock and couldn't. My goodness, this seems to be making something so simple so complicated.
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Old 06-06-2006, 10:47 AM   #34
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A simple solution: Erect the towers on lakefront property. It seems that most folks don't take much issue with people building large, ugly, obtrusive structures on the shores of the Lake.
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Old 06-06-2006, 09:16 PM   #35
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MJP
Quote:
I'm sorry, Airwaves, what is "just plain stupid!"? ... what I'm saying or what they did? If it's what I'm saying, I'm only reporting what occurred. If it's what they did, I don't think it's stupid at all.
What's just plain stupid is that EMTs or Police don't have portable radios! Or at least didn't in this case. Not what you're saying. If emergency services have issues with radio communications then they obviously need to install repeaters to handle the dead spots. (and considering the level of my RE tax bill they should certainly have the resources)

Bottom line is if you don't want to have a Marine radio on board that's your choice. I think it's a mistake for all the reasons we have both discussed.
Lack of cell coverage, lack of getting the word out to as many boaters as possible that you're in trouble, but it's your choice.

I just don't want anyone reading this to think that replacing their Marine radio with a cellphone will give them the same level of communitation with others in an emergency situation that they had with a Marine radio, it won't.

EKI wrote:
Quote:
That would be incorrect because Alton Bay becomes an air strip in the winter (as can be seen from your marine nav maps). Now the surrounding topology (tree lines, mountain tops) define what needs and does not need lights
I was under the impression that anything built above the terrain that was less than 120' did not need to be lighted. On the other hand if a 120' tower is surrounded by 125' trees, an unlighted tower isn't going to be a factor for landing aircraft will it?

If the proposed tower is located in the take off or landing pattern for aircraft then that is an argument that would probably be successful in getting them to located it somewhere else.
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:29 AM   #36
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Default Height issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwaves
EKI wrote:

I was under the impression that anything built above the terrain that was less than 120' did not need to be lighted. On the other hand if a 120' tower is surrounded by 125' trees, an unlighted tower isn't going to be a factor for landing aircraft will it?

If the proposed tower is located in the take off or landing pattern for aircraft then that is an argument that would probably be successful in getting them to located it somewhere else.
My understanding is that the proposed towers are to be 10' above the treeline.
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Old 06-07-2006, 11:26 AM   #37
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Default Cell phone or radio

Just wanted to relay a funny (ironic) story. A friend of mine picked up his boat in from the marina out by Alton last year for its maiden run. It was out in the middle of the week and not in particulary great weather. Out in the broads his engine cut out and began smoking terribly (possible fire). He Couldn't open the engine Hatch because power was gone.
There were no other boats in site so he called Marine Patrol (cell phone) and spoke with a dispatcher. They told him that the only other MP boat on the lake that day was responding to a call on the other side of the lake and couldn't get to him for a while. Since they were both concerned that the engine fire could get out of hand. The dispatcher suggested that he put on his life jacket, jump overboard, swim away from the boat and wait for her call.
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:56 PM   #38
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If they are erecting any towers anywhere in the region, I'd certainly hope that they are carrying some GSM...GSM service is LAME on the eastern side of the Lake. Another reason to stay with Verizon if you are pondering a switch to Cingular or another carrier, and spend any time at the Lake when you need to be in contact via cell.

And, yes, I agree that it's a sad commentary on where our society has "progressed" when it's "essential" for people to remain so in touch. Case in point: I took off Monday and went fishing on the beach. Thanks to the cell phone, I fielded no fewer than five work-related calls...all of which could've been handled by someone else...or even dealt with the next day...

But I digress.
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Old 06-07-2006, 06:32 PM   #39
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Exclamation Emergency response, cell phones and VHF

I empathize with the people hurt in the boating mishap described by mjp. Bad weather and a boater out in poor visibility with almost no control of the boat hits an island that they didnít see comingÖ So they want to use a cell phone to call ď911Ē but there was no cell service. What would 911 do anyway? You donít know where your boat is and neither do they. There is no cell phone locator system in place around the Lake.

The real concern as Airwaves pointed out, (msg #35) is that the responders did not have the necessary communications equipment to do their work as efficiently as possible. Their radios should provide them with proper coverage and back-up comm procedures. If not, that issue needs to be addressed. Blaming a delayed response on cell phone coverage that does not yet exist is a hard concept for me to embrace.

Monitoring VHF Marine Radio channel 16 can be very informative. You can hear severe weather alerts from the Captain of the Mt. Washington, Mighty Mo, Marine Patrol and other boaters. Your call for help can reach many people all at once Ė some may be close to you. The new Marine VHF-DSC system on Channel 70 can (if connected to GPS) transmit your exact location and a distress call with the push of a button (the DSC system is not currently monitored by Marine Patrol, Tow Boat US or SeaTow). More and more boaters though are discovering and using the DSC features of Marine VHF radio and do monitor for DSC distress and routine calls.

By the way, kayakers and others who get real wet while boating, most cell phones do not like water. There are various reasonably priced waterproof or submersible Marine VHF hand held radios you might consider.

Even if/when there is cell phone coverage, cell service is not always available and calls do get dropped and lost.
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Old 06-07-2006, 07:56 PM   #40
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Lightbulb Not Quite True

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper of the Sea Que
There is no cell phone locator system in place around the Lake.

By the way, kayakers and others who get real wet while boating, most cell phones do not like water.

Even if/when there is cell phone coverage, cell service is not always available and calls do get dropped and lost.
Regarding the above statements:

* The entire state, I believe, and if not the whole state at least most of it, has E911 locator capability. Most cell phones sold in the past few years even allow you to choose to have location on for anyone to find you or for only emergency (E911) location. Whether or not you choose to keep either or both on is up to you.

* Kayakers have for a long time now kept their cell phones in little waterproof and floatable containers attached to their person. At first we just hooked them to us, but now life jackets come with nice snug little covered pockets meant to hold your waterproof cell phone container containing your cell phone. I bought a new life jacket about 3 years ago and even that had one. I haven't seen a paddling jacket lately that doesn't have one of these.

* The final statement above, "...cell service is not always available and calls do get dropped and lost," is just one more great reason to get the towers! Let's fix the problem in the best possible way! What's wrong with having this in addition to your marine radios if you chose to have one and why not create the best possible odds for the cell phones to work when they are needed?

I guess I'm not really understanding why everyone is trying find workarounds or objections. No one is saying not to have marine radios if you want them; we're just saying why not make today's most common communication method as available as possible?

Sigh.....
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:04 PM   #41
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onthebay:
Quote:
The dispatcher suggested that he put on his life jacket, jump overboard, swim away from the boat and wait for her call.
You're joking, right

While it is obvious that you need to put your PFD on and get away from a burning boat, the dispatcher didn't use their own Marine radio to put out a call for assistance?

You didn't say what time of year this incident occurred but I will assume that water temperature and hypothermia would not have been an issue as it certainly would be in the spring and fall.

Anyone who has ever listened to a Marine radio has heard the Coast Guard put out a Pahn Pahn or Securitay on many occasions to aid a stranded boater or be on the lookout for an overdue boat. Even if the only patrol boat on the lake was 20 miles away a call by Marine Patrol to a nearby marina, a local town with an emergency boat, Sea Tow or Tow Boat/US would probably have gotten a response as well.

You're joking, right?
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:25 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RLW
How in heck did we all live 10 to 15 years ago without cell phones. My suggestion is let's go back to those good ole days and use them just for our work environment.
On this, I have to agree! I can understand using cells for emergencies, but for everyday use? Give me a break! If Andy Rooney hasn't already done at least one commentary on the proliference of cell phone usage, he is way past due. I'm beginning to look at cell phones as an intrusion to "polite society"..... I have heard conversations that should have been kept private, i.e. the following: heard a mother talking to another mother about not only her daughter's first menstruation but the problems teaching tampon usage; one person talking to another about first person's bowel problems; one person talking to another about her son's attempted suicide and his probable emotional troubles........... where is the privacy in life? Do I need to really share in these life traumas? No, I was not asked to be a party to these conversations, but I was made one by said people choosing to carry on their telephone conversations in public, in the grocery store, where they are surrounded by people trying to mind their own business and get their shopping done. I actually consider these public conversations an intrusion into my own life.

There is a reason many states have mandated fines, etc. for people using cell phones while driving a vehicle. I think there should be fines levied if a boat driver is using a cell phone, as a boat can be more dangerous than a wheeled vehicle if the driver is distracted by talking on the phone -- anyone ever seen a boat with brakes? I'm beginning to think grocery cart drivers should be fined, also, if they are chatting away while pushing the cart, lol!

I guess what I'm saying is, I can see both sides of the argument, but enough is enough with the cell phone usage. Does anyone really need to be "connected" at all times? Where is the relaxation time? Where is the private time? And where is the family time? About 7 years ago I shut my cell phone off because I really needed a couple of hours away from a very stressful reality and I missed a very important family meeting - my father had had a stroke and the doctors called a family meeting to make literally a life or death decision in my father's case and I wasn't there because they couldn't get hold of me, but that time away from "life" helped me get through the rest of a very painful time. So, do we really need more towers? I say no.

Off my soapbox now. Maybe in the future, "to tower or not to tower" should become a warrant article. 'Nough said.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:10 AM   #43
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Smile E911 cell location - Wet phones and dropped service

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJP
Regarding the above statements:

* The entire state, I believe, and if not the whole state at least most of it, has E911 locator capability. {snip}

* Kayakers have for a long time now kept their cell phones in little waterproof and floatable containers attached to their person. {snip}

* The final statement above, "...cell service is not always available and calls do get dropped and lost," is just one more great reason to get the towers! Let's fix the problem in the best possible way! {snip} No one is saying not to have marine radios if you want them; we're just saying why not make today's most common communication method as available as possible? Sigh.....
I was trying to keep my message brief but I guess I wasn't specific enough.

Wireless E911 location system (phase 1) is indeed working in many areas. Phase One provides your cell number and the location of the cell TOWER handling your call to the 911 operator. That could put you in a large area inside many square miles. You need a GPS to provide specific location.

Wireless E911 location PHASE TWO is the system that aims at pinpointing your position within 300 meters. I do not believe that phase 2 is available around the Lake (or many other places) even though the FCC deadline was set for 6 months ago (and has since been extended). I haven't followed this as closely as I could have. Cingular and Verizon are each developing independent methods to meet the E911 cellular location mandate but it is still in progress. If you have more updated info about pinpointing cell users please enlighten me (us).

* I was not clear enough regarding cell phones and water. Of course I am aware of the waterproof pouches used to store cell phones and other items. Some plastics bags claim that you can use the item while it is still inside (albeit kind of muffled). I'm talking about USING them in very wet conditions. Communicating in very wet splash situations is better done using a device designed to be used in that environment. That is, an appropriate marine radio, not the average cell phone. Sure you can paddle to a dock or beach and find a calm or dry spot to use your cell but if you are out in the broads and need to call for help, your cell phone may not be the best choice.

* Dropped calls are a great reason to get more towers? Sorry to disagree here. While more cell sites can help, I live in an area where I can SEE several cell towers and I have dropped calls and no signal sometimes. It happens in isolated areas and in major population areas with lots of cell towers as well. Many reasons including cell LOCK OUT (no available channels). I'm not against cell phones (or towers), they have their place as do Marine Radios.

When it comes to locating someone in distress: I can find someone who is using a Marine VHF radio with simple direction finding techniques. Ham Radio operators have made a sport of finding hidden transmitters - we've been doing it for eons. We can not home-in on digital cell phone users.

The topic of WHO puts up the cell towers is something I'll address in another message later tonight (with pictures). McDude's thread starter has some interesting quotes that are important to explore.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:12 AM   #44
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A segment from another letter to the editor that appeared in The Baysider on May 31.

Quote:
The new Personal Wireless Service Facilities Ordinance enacted by Alton's residents clearly prohibits the type of facility proposed by ICE. Instead, it encourages more targeted low powered and new systems such as Micro Cells and Repeaters. One solution could be the use of a camouflaged repeater placed below the ridgeline on Rattlesnake Island. This repeater could take a signal from the cell tower on Old Wolfeboro Road, amplify it and rebroadcast it. Conceivably, it would cover most of Alton's Islands and Lake area, the gaps around Clay Point, Black Point and Robert's Cover and even the gaps in West Alton the applicant's plans will not cover. This is only one possibility. A RF Engineer specializing in Repeater Technology could provide several alternatives for service with safety. These avenues will not be explored by ICE because these options do not support their objective of obtaining critical real estate.

Under the Telecommunications Act (TVA) of 1996, the Federal Government has given Wireless Service Providers certain rights of redress if they feel local zoning ordinances or planning boards have prohibit ed adequate wireless service. Vertical real estate developers do not have these same rights. In an effort to merge the rights, granted by the TCA to wireless providers, with the desires of ICE, Rural Cellular Corp. dba Unicel is listed as a co-applicant. The applicant's attorney, Duval and Associates, has done this to blur the distinction between the two, but the difference between their objectives must remain clear. The objective of ICE is to create vertical real estate, whereas RCC's goal is to provide adequate service. Variances need not be granted to ICE in order for RCC to provide adequate service coverage. Duval and Associates have threatened to sue the town if they do not get their way. Furthermore, when asked if they would camouflage the towers, they flatly refused. These are not the actions of a benevolent service provider cooperating with the town, but rather a greedy developer who is trying to intimidate and bully the town into getting its way.

I applaud the ZBA, Planning Board and Town Attorney for taking the time to get it right. The learning curve on these issues is very steep. The developers and their attorneys are well practiced in twisting the TCA to intimidate small towns to get their way.

Gathered in one day is a signed petition of 152 Alton residents petitioning the Zoning Board to deny the variances for these cell towers. We ask that the ZBA and Planning Board to protect the well being of Alton's residents and the scenic beauty of Alton Bay while seeking the best and safest way to develop wireless service. Deny these variances!

Russ Wilson

Alton Bay

Russ Wilson
Alton Bay
May 31, 2006
Apparently there are 152 Alton residents against the further urbanization of the lake. I would've signed the petition myself if I weren't a non-resident taxpayer (a tax payer who is not allowed to vote).

I am for "seeking the best and safest way to develop wireless service." I am not against cell phones, per se, (I AM against the unsafe and/or intrusive* use of cellphones) I am simply against ruining the ridgeline view with cell phone towers. Let's take our time and explore the use of microcells and repeaters. As I keep saying, once the towers are installed they are not going to be coming down anytime soon.

*referring to the very well-stated response by Waterbaby
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:21 PM   #45
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Unhappy Who's choice? Your's or mine?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbaby
I can understand using cells for emergencies, but for everyday use? I have heard conversations that should have been kept private, ...I actually consider these public conversations an intrusion into my own life.
Your mixing up the opportunity to use a phone by choice with people having poor judgement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbaby
I think there should be fines levied if a boat driver is using a cell phone, as a boat can be more dangerous than a wheeled vehicle if the driver is distracted by talking on the phone...
100% agreed. Again...it's about judgement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbaby
Where is the relaxation time? Where is the private time? And where is the family time?
Whoa now...why aren't all the Live Free or Die-hards flipping over this one? Again, isn't that personal choice? We haven't closed all the cigarette factories even though it disgusts me to have to walk through someones exhaled smoke so I can go inside a store. We haven't forced all the motorcyclists to wear helmets so my insurance rates will stay low (i.e. less injuries/deaths/agony to the "other" person [non-cyclist] involved in the accident). Ditto on the absent adult seat belt law. I could go on and on.

So, it's okay to have "choice" only if it suits you?

"Skipper": I'm actually pretty good at sitting in my kayak and reporting on a cell phone an accident I've seen, laying over my flipped kayak and using a cell phone (never had to try this particular maneuver but have managed more difficult chores in this position), or using a cell phone as a passenger in a motor boat....etc.) Thanks for the info on the locator progress, but the thing is, it is coming, so why not be ready to use it? Also, that is not a good argument against having cell phone coverage available now. Having locator service is just an added plus when we get it!

"McDude": I just don't think it will be that noticeable! We aren't talking about towers "ringing" the Lake. You couldn't find anyone who loves NH forests and lakes more than I (and, yes, I do do something about it beyond just talk about it, so whoever said that can, uh, stick it in their hat?). But, to the point (see my picture a few posts ago), I just don't see how a few feet of pine-tree-looking tower sticking above the treeline is comparable to what the electric/land line/cable companies have done! If we approve these two towers we will be done on this end of the Lake; there will not be more "ringing" the Lake.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:25 PM   #46
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I think you will find the engineering studies have already proved micro-cells, repeaters, and use of such things as church steeples are not going to work because of our terrain. I suggest you take a look at the studies. They are available to the public at the Town Hall.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:43 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJP
If we approve these two towers we will be done on this end of the Lake; there will not be more "ringing" the Lake.
Where are the other towers on the lake located?

Quote:
Who's choice? Your's or mine?
apparently it is the choice of the Alton Zoning Board, the Alton Planning board and the Town Attorney

BTW: these cell towers will not affect the lack of reception for cell phones on Hills Pond in the least which is fine with me. Land line works fine and Alton has recently instituted enhanced 911 (provides location the call is coming from) - works on a land line....not a cell phone.

MJP: You articulate your thoughts well and give us reason to seriously consider what you are advocating.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:17 PM   #48
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Skip of SQ writes:
Quote:
I live in an area where I can SEE several cell towers and I have dropped calls and no signal sometimes. It happens in isolated areas and in major population areas with lots of cell towers as well.
I can attest to this, as someone who is forced to commute along Storrow Drive on a daily basis, I know it is terrible for cell phone communication.
Go figure.

MJP, I am not arguing against the use of Cellphones on boats in an emergency. I am not arguing against the need for more cell towers.

I am saying that even though the "wave of the future" or "the time is at hand" for cellphones, in a marine environment they have a much more limited use (value) than a Marine radio.

Yes, I carry a cellphone with me on board. I also have a marine radio.

I have come to the assistance of other boaters once or twice while I was on the lake during the spring salmon season in years past. It happened when the Marine Patrol had limited or no boats on the water at the time. Why? Because I heard them call for help.

They didn't call me on my cell.

Waterbaby wrote:
Quote:
I was not asked to be a party to these conversations, but I was made one by said people choosing to carry on their telephone conversations in public, in the grocery store, where they are surrounded by people trying to mind their own business and get their shopping done. I actually consider these public conversations an intrusion into my own life.
I agree! But the discussion that I thought we were having has to do with the lack of cell phone coverage ON THE LAKE for EMERGENCY purposes.
Any store can ask patrons to not use cell phones and to turn them off when they enter the premises.

BTW, it is ILLEGAL to listen in on cell phone conversations via scanners etc.

edited to include the response to Waterbaby that I had forgotten to include originally (sorry WB)

Last edited by Airwaves; 06-08-2006 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 06-08-2006, 07:30 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterbaby
...I'm beginning to look at cell phones as an intrusion to "polite society"....
Some things never change, a quote from Twain:

Consider that a conversation by telephone--when you are simply sitting by and not taking any part in that conversation--is one of the solemnests curiosities of this modern life.
- "A Telephonic Conversation," 1880

Another:

It is my heart-warmed and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us, the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage (every man and brother of us all throughout the whole earth), may eventually be gathered together in a heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss, except the inventor of the telephone.
- Mark Twain's Christmas greetings, 1890

Some people don't like change.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:01 PM   #50
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Exclamation Fact check....

Very interesting thread.....

Let me chime in by correcting a few errors of fact woven throughout this particular conversation.

First, Marine Patrol boats do indeed in many cases carry and utilize marine radios. Some of the smallest aluminum boats have no fixed radios but as they move up in size they may have a fixed VHF public safety radio with inserted marine band channels. Larger craft carry a mix of radios including public safety VHF, 800 MHz and marine band radios.

I was very disturbed to read the account of the rescuers that were unable to use their cell phones and not carrying any portable radio equipment. While it may be understandable that some EMT volunteers may not have access to a readily available portable radio, all police officers and Fire/Rescue companies in this State do have access to portable radios and must have one with them while on duty for such occasions as described. The particular area of the Lake where the accident occurred, while lacking adequate cell phone coverage, is well covered by a variety of VHF & UHF public safety radio sites. Not having the appropriate equipment readily available to those personnel was not an issue of technology but one of failure to follow accepted procedure, if indeed the scenario as described was accurate. I monitor the public safety radio traffic in this area (along with DRH, the “Skipper” and others) and appreciate what an excellent job is done by the dispatch centers here, especially the Lakes Region Dispatch Center.

By the way, my good friend the "Skipper" is also correct about Phase II E-911 coverage in NH. While the State E-911 center is Phase II compliant and ready to receive Phase II positioning data, many cell phones still in use and a number of cell phone carriers in the State still are not forwarding the appropriate data for positioning purposes. The cell phone industry has dragged their feet tremendously in implementing Phase II. While we are fortunate in NH to be ahead of the bell curve on its implementation, a disturbing amount of calls to 911 still do not deliver live saving accurate positioning data. On the plus side most other States lag far behind us in meeting the well passed deadline for this technology.

Oh yes, the "engineering data" referenced in an earlier post is data that was paid for by the cell site developer? It is very easy to manipulate radio propagation maps and any two firms using any of a variety of prop loss study RF software can come up with vastly varying data. In many cases it is not the cell phone company attempting to erect a tower, but a "vertical reality" developer looking to create a site and then propagate it not only with cell carriers, but also to co-locate paging and data link (microwave)companies to maximize rental income. It is in the best interest of the Cell Company (or vertical reality company) to curb capital outlay by locating a minimal amount of sites at the highest (and usually most prominent) locations to get the greatest coverage area per site.

By the way repeaters and micro-sites work and they work well in the terrain presented by the Lake and elsewhere in our State. This is the technology that is currently used successfully by the public safety sector to cover the same areas the cell developers are now finally exploring. The reason the cell developers shun them is simple.....it’s the cost. While it is very expensive to build out a single mountaintop site (upward of $500k to in excess of a million dollars) it is still much cheaper for them to cover a wide swath of territory from one ridge or mountain top then to develop a half dozen or more smaller cell zones. It’s all about maximizing profits.

Anyway, I carry both my cell phone and a marine radio while boating. The main reason I continue to carry a radio has already been pointed out here previously....it not only allows me to request aid from nearby boaters that may have no idea that I have a problem if I only had my cell, but it also allows me to monitor my fellow boaters and render aid to them.

But that is my personal choice.

However, the reader must be forewarned that even with a plethora of cell towers being built out, the carrying of a cell phone does not guarantee instant location or rescue. How many times in the last few years have we read the story of the boater, hiker or motorist venturing out into unsafe conditions then demanding immediate rescue via their phone? And even though many of these phones were able to contact E-911 utilizing present Phase II technology, in many cases extensive searches still take place to locate a caller.

Remember, many of today's Phase II compliant handsets utilize built in GPS to transmit location. Unfortunately the same rugged terrain that interferes with cell phone coverage also interrupts GPS signals. If your phone does not know where it is because it does not have a clear LOS to enough birds (satellites) then it does not have enough information to relay accurate positioning to the PSAP (public safety answering point). Network base triangulation would probably have ensured a more accurate way of determining overall location and originally was thought to be the direction cell developers were moving in.....but you guessed it, it was easier to pass the cost along by putting the positioning responsibility on the consumer via the handset GPS then to have the cell companies go back and install the necessary hardware and software on their own equipment to triangulate.

Don't get me wrong, I love my cell phone and wouldn't be without it. I am one of those consumers responsible for the building out of cell sites around this State in my constant demand for new & greater service. But I am also not fooled by the tactics employed by cell site developers to minimize costs by attempting to develop prominent real estate sites that in many cases degrade scenic vistas.

The technology exists to expand coverage by utilizing readily available non-intrusive technology. The difference between utilizing this technology and slapping a big ugly tower on every virgin mountaintop in the Lakes region is simply one of maximizing profit margin.

Unfortunately it’s as simple as that!

(Anyway, sorry for the length of the post...but too much was slipping by and I thought I'd take a stab at it all at once)

In closing and as always, feel free to PM me offline if anyone has any particular interest in my thoughts. As some of you know, this is an area that the "Skipper" and I have extensive personal & professional experience. I am sure he too would gladly field any off-line technology questions you may have in reference to these concerns.

Safe boating….and make sure you keep those batteries charged!!!!

Skip
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:25 PM   #51
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Skip wrote:
Quote:
First, Marine Patrol boats do indeed in many cases carry and utilize marine radios. Some of the smallest aluminum boats have no fixed radios, as they move up in size they have a fixed VHF public safety radio with inserted marine band channels. Larger craft carry a mix of radios including public safety VHF, 800 MHz and marine band radios
Then I stand corrected. (Maybe)

The last time I inquired after trying to hail the MP on Marine VHF16 on Winni (several years ago) and listening to others try to hail MP on Marine VHF16, I approached a Marine Patrol vessel on the water in order to relayed the message they did not respond to, verbally.

I was told by the MP officier that Marine Patrol vessels do not carry Marine VHF Radios. He then radioed MP HQ on their working frequency and left the area.

I certainly hope that has changed!
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:06 PM   #52
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Default No disagreement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airwaves
Skip of SQ writes:
I am saying that even though the "wave of the future" or "the time is at hand" for cellphones, in a marine environment they have a much more limited use (value) than a Marine radio.
I am not disagreeing with you at all!
------
Sorry, mcdude, I don't know about any other cell towers besides the proposed ones. The engineering studies considered all available sites on the southern part of Lake Winnipesaukee. The only places that would give 100% coverage, (yes, less the usual drops we all experience regardless of where we are), are the two going before the joint boards on June 20th at 6:00 pm. There were numerous other sites considered, but no other combination of available sites would provide coverage to all of Alton Bay, Alton, and much of the (lake) area just north of the mouth of Alton Bay.

That being said, if these two give this much coverage, I hope there would be no need for any further towers anywhere around the perimeter of Alton Bay. And, as I've mentioned previously, many cell companies could have presence on these towers thus eliminating a tower for every company. So, if the engineering studies are to be believed, I think this should be it for cell towers.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:31 PM   #53
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Hmmm...okay are you going to keep us guessing or "fess up"??? MP, EMT, Police, Fire..."what" are you? Does your avatar give us the answer?

You make some excellent points, Skip. Yours is the first post that really explained a lot of the issues I did not understand or have not learned about. All I can relate is what I have observed, however. I am the first to admit I have a lot to learn about all this.

As for the accident at my house, all I can tell you is what I saw. What I saw was frustrated emergency personnel whose cell phones did not work. As I have said before, I was very busy with helping and during some of the time I was even in my cellar where some of the injured were being treated (and bleeding all over my floor as well!). So, what they may or may not have done in addition to trying to use their cell phones, I cannot attest to. I did notice the cell phones they did try did not work, however, and the policeman even asked to use my land line. I just cannot tell you why because I don't know. So, please folks, let's stop debating this portion of the issue. It happened and I know no more; okay?

From the meetings I attended and from what I've read over, it appears the engineering studies were not all done by people hired by the company wishing to build the towers. I do believe third party engineers were called upon by the ZBA to do unaffiliated studies. The company may have been asked to foot the bill, but I do think there were some third party engineers doing studies in addition to the company's own.

While I can't attest to knowledge of how other options than these towers work, the fact remains that if no one is willing to build them because they are too expensive, the purpose will still not be accomplished. Isn't that the bottom line?
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:41 PM   #54
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Question Who's who in the zoo.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJP
...Hmmm...okay are you going to keep us guessing or "fess up"??? MP, EMT, Police, Fire..."what" are you? Does your avatar give us the answer?...
Uhhhhh....one of the above, but only my barber knows for sure!
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Old 06-09-2006, 09:58 AM   #55
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Lightbulb Clarifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp
Originally Posted by Airwaves
Skip of SQ writes:
I am saying that even though the "wave of the future" or "the time is at hand" for cellphones, in a marine environment they have a much more limited use (value) than a Marine radio.
Airwaves was NOT quoting me in that post #48 - those were the words of Airwaves (credit where credit is due). If I wanted to talk about preparing for the "wave of the future" I'd be promoting Marine VHF DSC. It's here and it works. But I have no problem with adding more cell coverage around the Lake. I have questions about HOW it is done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp to Skip
Hmmm...okay are you going to keep us guessing or "fess up"??? MP, EMT, Police, Fire..."what" are you? Does your avatar give us the answer?

You make some excellent points, Skip. Yours is the first post that really explained a lot of the issues I did not understand or have not learned about...
Right on mjp. Skip has unique knowledge, talents and abilities. I enjoy his participation in the forum.
Was Skip making you guess? Check out the archives and you might learn a bit more about Skip. As to "what" he is? In my opinion, Skip is a gentleman and a friend. An impartial, credible, level headed well respected expert. He is a communications enthusiast, fellow boater and forum member. He's a HAM Radio Operator and probably a few other things too.

Thanks for the information and another great post Skip.

By the way mjp, if the responders were working on patients in your basement, I assume that they were below ground level and under the house/cottage. I would expect cellular and 2-way radio coverage to be worse there than at your dock.

I too carry a cell phone and a Marine Radio on board - again, my choice.

I'm still trying to compose a post about Industrial Communications and Electronics (ICE) the applicant for the proposed towers. The Quote in mcdude's thread starter (from the letter to the Editor in The Baysider), "This is a ruse and deception" is a topic I feel needs further investigation.

Let's hope the rain stops for a bit so I have a reason to get outside and off the computer

When regular communications systems fail, HAM RADIO works. for information about this great communications hobby visit: Ham Radio
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Old 06-09-2006, 11:54 AM   #56
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A new cell phone tower was installed this winter close to exit 24 in Ashland, and is very visible as you drive south on Rt 93. Not disguised as a pine tree, it is definately an ugly tower! The Town of Ashland get $1200./month in rent according to a newspaper article. It is located bewtween Rt 3 and the Pemigewasset River on land used for the Ashland wastewater treatment facility that was probably purchased by eminent domain. Some of the Bridgewater residents from the other side of the Pemi River went to the Ashland selectman's meeting and complained about the tower's messing up the view and a possible decrease in property valuesn before it was approved and constructed. C'est le vue!
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Old 06-09-2006, 01:14 PM   #57
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Default Already HAM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper of the Sea Que
When regular communications systems fail, HAM RADIO works. for information about this great communications hobby visit: Ham Radio
Have had HAM license since 1978.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:22 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skipper of the Sea Que
... Skip has unique knowledge, talents and abilities. I enjoy his participation in the forum...
Gee Al, now I'll have to bring you TWO "Get out of Jail FREE" cards at the next forumfest....and Mee-n-Mac was thinking he was going to score a couple!
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Old 06-09-2006, 08:16 PM   #59
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I carry cell, vhf and 2mtr in the boat.... ham since 74
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:56 AM   #60
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Maybe the cell companies should bring a few more of these in for the summer.

http://www.sys-con.com/read/232604.htm
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:08 PM   #61
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Exclamation Cell Tower Applicant - From the Headlines

Well Skip, I give credit where credit is due. I might need one of those "cards" if I write everything I want to about Industrial Communications and Electronics (ICE) the applicant for the Alton Cell towers - and their co-founder and President, Francis "Frank" DiRico. However, right now I'll present items from the FREE portion of the Boston Globe archives at http://Boston.com the complete articles are available for a fee or free to registered home delivery subscribers - login or register at https://verify1.newsbank.com/cgi-bin/ncom/BG/ec_signin (or try your local library).

You can see these items (as below) and others on-line at: ICE Towers from Globe archives

A TALE OF TALL TOWERS BUSINESSMAN SKIRTS THE LAW
Published on February 14, 1993
Author(s): David Arnold and Michael Grunwald, GLOBE STAFF

Francis J. DiRico, who owns the controversial new 700-foot communications tower in Quincy and says he operates ''totally by the book'' when complying with local regulations, owns and operates a tower in Miami without a legal occupancy permit. He also owns towers in Foxborough and Farmington, N.H., that are taller than town permits allow. DiRico's 1,044-foot communications tower in Miami, which became operational last year, does not.....
complete article available to subscribers http://Boston.com(1164 words)


FOXBOROUGH DEBATES EXTRA TOWER HEIGHT
Published on April 22, 1993
Author(s): Michael Grunwald, Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH -- An embattled radio communications entrepreneur will have to wait a month before this town's zoning board of appeals decides whether to allow him to maintain a transmission tower at a height 115 feet taller than his original building permit allowed. At a public hearing last night, Francis J. DiRico, president of Industrial Communications and Electronics of Kingston and the owner of a controversial 700-foot tower in Quincy, was greeted by a storm of criticism from.......
(405 words) for complete article see the Boston Globe archives.

TOWER EXTENSION RAISES CONTROVERSY ZONING BOARD TO RULE ON VIOLATION
Published on May 16, 1993
Author(s): Michael Grunwald, Globe Staff

FOXBOROUGH -- Sheila Cloutier was a bit upset about the aesthetics of the 450-foot transmission tower looming above her Hill Street home. She was a bit worried about the tower's possible health effects. And she was a bit irked about her increasingly lousy TV reception, which she blamed on radio microwaves transmitted from the metallic monolith on Dudley Hill. But Cloutier was downright furious about the murky process by which Industrial Communications & Electronics.........
complete article (930 words)

As I recall after the Foxboro tower was first built, it grew over 100 feet without permits. I'm sure it's another reason ICE has developed their business (more vertical real estate - antenna space rental) and probably has many happy customers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp
The people who want to build these cell towers for us are doing us a huge favor.
I personally have trouble putting that sentence together with Industrial Communications and Electronics.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:54 PM   #62
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Interesting. While I agree that cell coverage is needed at the lake everyone needs to play by the rules.

If this gentleman and his company have a track record of violating his permits, and the tower is to be located along the flight path of an annual flyin event in Alton, then perhaps the FAA needs to be involved as well.

Just based on the headlines provided by Skip of the CQ. I don't have access to the full articles.
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Old 06-13-2006, 12:14 AM   #63
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Question Questions about the proposed cell towers

Are they proposing towers that are 70 feet above the trees or 10 feet above tree level? The information is conflicting in different postings.

Who paid for the survey that concluded that this was the only solution for full cellular coverage to Alton Bay and islands? Who conducted the study? Who recommended the firm that did the study?

Will the proposed towers provide service for all cell phone companies or just Rural Cellular Corp or Unicel?

What I've read of the Letters to the Editor linked from the mcdude postings it appears that the proposal seeks variances from current zoning laws. There is also a question of whether the proposed towers will be for cell use or just an excuse to put on many radio transmitters. The letter writer said it could have as much power as a large radio station. How much power is that? How far are these locations from homes?

All things considered, could this be an attempt by Industrial Communications and Engineering to get a foothold and then add lots of antennas to the cell tower ?
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Old 06-13-2006, 03:29 PM   #64
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Default 2 separate tangents

1) I carry both VHF and cell on boat. Being a little older than most I guess, and having started my boating on saltwater, having at least one VHF on board is standard operating procedure. Having a cell phone was a nice addition close to land to call home.

It does surprise me how few boaters have VHF, let alone use VHF, on freshwater.

2) And as far as not using cell phones while at the helm (or driving the car for that matter), prohibiting use makes me laugh. Talking on the phone is not the problem. If it was, then radios shouldn't be used. (How about truckers using CB's??, Or police not using radios or typing on computer while driving?) The issue is the unattentiveness of the operator, whatever the device. Or non-device. Turning around to discipline children, for example. In states where hand free devices are required for the driver to talk on the phone, the problem is not the talking with a hand to the ear. It is the dialing of the phone that is the distraction. How about changing the radio station or cd?

Someone has the tag, "You can't fix stupid." It is not the device, it is the operator. (Here's where we take a left turn and talk about Capt Bonehead.)

Thanx for letting me spew.
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Old 06-16-2006, 09:02 AM   #65
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Lightbulb Miracle Grow ICE Tower

Here's a picture of a Frank DiRico Industrial Communications and Electronics tower in Foxboro (Foxborough) MA. This was mentioned in the headlines as the one with a permit for 450' that grew an extra 115'.

I tried to show the whole tower (there is a very large building under the tower for all the equipment) and added INSERTS to show more detail of the various levels. Note that the lowest insert is the CELL ANTENNA group.
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Old 06-17-2006, 12:29 PM   #66
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Thumbs down Stop the Exaggerations!

Skipper, you are using ridiculous scare tactics, and I hope most people are realizing how really base that tactic is. You KNOW this is not what the proposed towers are to look like. They will only be 10 feet above the tree line, for cell relays only, and probably look like a fake pine tree. Anyone who looks at your pictures and believes that's what we are to get is just...well, you know...the s****d word.

Again, I have no connection to these companies, but I DO NEED CELL coverage. It happened AGAIN just yesterday! My husband was in an accident on the road near the north end of the 11-D/ Rt. 11 junction here in Alton Bay. (One of those lovely huge trucks carrying motor cycles backed into him before he could get the car into reverse. Grumble; grumble...that's another story.)

He tried "911" on his cell phone, but got "No Signal"! So, he tried to get me on his cell phone. All I got from him was that he couldn't get 911; it was an emergency, something about "...in an accident at the end of 11-D...", and the signal dropped because all you can get there is roaming and you drop in and out of cells all over the place.

I called 911 for him on the land line but could give them no information as to whether there were injuries or anything else. So, I just headed out to the scene. I heard the police cruiser whiz by full blast up on Rt. 11, but when I had called on the land line, I had no idea exactly where the accident was.

As it turns out, it was around the bend of 11-D and couldn't be seen from Rt. 11. So, I had to go up and wait for the cruiser to come back and flag him down. No, there were no injuries THIS TIME. But, what about next time and the time after that and if there were injuries where moments counted? Why isn't the safety of everyone, with a technology now available to us, the ONLY issue here? I just don't get it.

As we have hashed over many times in this forum before, people will say, "Well, what happened before we had cell phones?" The answer is, "People died! People hurt more; etc." What about before we had transplant surgery, light bulbs, radio towers, etc.? There will always be "before" and "after" and there will always be people who fight change to the end. But, how many of those people will be glad that change happened when they need emergency services?

These scare tactics are just ridiculous!!! We are in the 21st century. We have the technology to do things better. We are letting huge chain stores like Hannaford into our town which require a stop light, but we aren't going to allow people to have cell service?

This is all about the view issue for a couple of abutters and not about safety or the public good, and we all know it. So, let's stop the silly scare tactics and give up these ridiculous counter attacks! At the very least, admit what the real issue is and be honest about why you are objecting!
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:42 PM   #67
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Exclamation Meeting Location Change!

I called the Alton Planners office today and was told the joint Public Hearings with the Planning Board and ZBA would indeed run from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, June 20th, as published in "The Baysider". What they aren't telling anyone is the meeting is to be held at the Prospect Mtn. High School. I only found out because someone (I think her name was Sharon, but I'm not sure) was nice enough to add that piece of information as an afterthought when I called.

I had to go into the Town Hall on other business today and saw nothing notifying the public of the change in location. One would think that an issue raising this kind of discussion in the town would at least warrant a notice on the entry door! I don't understand this kind of manipulation of the public and I don't understand why the hearings are being limited to the 7:15 p.m. ending time.

If these board meetings run as usual, they will use up the first hour motioning this and seconding that and then checking with each other to make sure they did it. It's highly unlikely the public will get to say much of anything. Sorry to seem so negative, but that is what I have observed. It is very aggravating!

I see no reason to limit the ability of the townspeople to speak their minds on this issue, regardless of whether they are for or against it. After attending the last ZBA meeting, where we were told we would be able to speak and yet were not allowed to, I hold out little hope for many of us being allowed to be heard at this one, but I figured I'd try to get the word out about the location change anyway!
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:56 PM   #68
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Angry Concerns re Alton Cell proposal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
Skipper, you are using ridiculous scare tactics, and I hope most people are realizing how really base that tactic is. You KNOW this is not what the proposed towers are to look like. They will be 10 feet above the tree line, for cell relays only, andÖ..
The TRUTH can be ridiculous and scary. Iíve not seen the Alton proposal. The picture I presented, as stated, was of the Foxboro MA tower built by the Co-Applicant for the proposed Alton Cell towers. I assumed that people would be smart enough to read what Iíve written and realize why I posted the picture. I'll try to illuminate and reiterate my position: itís Not about WHAT may be coming to Alton but WHO. It was but one of a few examples of Industrial Communications and Electronics (ICE) at work.

Once upon a time, ICE eventually received permits to build a 450 foot communications tower in Foxboro MA (pictured above) Ė This tower is WAY BIGGER than what people claim is proposed for Alton. Industrial Communications and Electronics (President, Frank DiRico) had the tower erected. Over a period of time it was discovered that the tower had GROWN an additional 115í higher than the original permit allowed. Put another way. After Mr. DiRicoís company built the tower ďby the bookĒ the tower grew another 25%!!

There are other ICE towers that clandestinely grew taller too. You may find that revealing this story is a ridiculous and scary tactic. That kind of history could well be. It sure causes me concern. Again I say the ONLY things in common between the Foxboro tower picture and the proposed Alton Cell sites are the tower APPLICANT, Industrial Communications & Electronics and cell antennae.

What does the disclaimer in my Mutual Funds say? Past history is no guarantee of future performance Ė or something like that. That could apply here about ICE. They seem to have a thriving business and many satisfied customers. That does not relieve me of my concerns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
Why isnít the safety of everyone, with a technology now available to us, the ONLY issue here? I just donít get it.
You have a point. You are driving a car with ONSTAR, impact avoidance systems, front and side air bags and all the latest safety technology now available to us. So why should anything stand in your way of full cell phone coverage? I donít know. Iím sure you have the best cell service available (with the most roaming capabilities) and the most useful cell phone (multi mode, Tri-band) not just a GSM or a Nextel or digital only phone. You probably have a cell phone docking station in your car to allow for an outside antenna and higher power for better cell coverage. For quite awhile I refused to change from my high power "bag phone" with outside antenna to a tiny hand held phone - I wanted the best coverage. Same with the Verizon REGIONAL plan I had. I didn't want to change to their Americaís Choice Plan because I would lose coverage in Northern NH (and other places) due to contractual agreements between cell carriers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
These scare tactics are just ridiculous!!! {snip} but we arenít going to allow people to have cell service?
I thought the topic had to do with where the cell towers go and who puts them there. Who wants to deny you or anyone of cell coverage? Not me. Why did the Zoning Board turn down the proposal? Ask them. Is there really one and only one way to provide full cell coverage around the Alton Bay area? I would imagine there are more ways to accomplish this worthy goal and more than one provider up to the task.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
ÖAt the very least, admit what the real issue is and be honest about why you are objecting!
OK, I'll stop being subtle. I take exception to the implication that I am anything other than honest. I DO NOT object to adding cell towers in the area. I donít know how to make this more clear. I personally have little confidence in Frank DiRico and Industrial Communications and Electronics. . My concerns are about ICE and not about cell tower aesthetics.

You claim the proposed towers will be 10 feet above the tree tops. Other posts claim a different height. Assuming 10í, is the top of the tower 10í above tree tops or is it the bottom tier (of 4) of cell antennae that will be 10 feet above the tree tops? And what happens as those trees grow? Why maybe the tower will need to grow too.

Iím trying to decide if it would be worthwhile to share one of the personal, one-on-one experiences Iíve had with Frank DiRico and in a different situation an episode I had with ICE. Iíve got more to say but this is already too long. I hope Iíve made myself clear Winni and that you have opened your door to reality . Let us know what happens at the zoning meeting.

73
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Old 06-19-2006, 09:53 PM   #69
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Question Is this TAX item about the same Francis DiRico?

Is this the same Francis DiRico that you all are talking about?

Find CaseLaw Appeal

Very clever man. In this appeal he explains how he pays his taxes. He kept 2 different sets of books with one set hidden from his accountants. Is this the same DiRico? Anyone know more about this tax story?

Long time forum reader.
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Old 06-20-2006, 10:57 AM   #70
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Default Cell Towers

Gotta speak my peace on this one. Verizon or Cingular or someone is trying to put a cell tower in my town here in Jersey. We have NO coverage here whatsoever. Many people are making an issue of it, but there is really no point in doing so. Not one time has a cell company lost a lawsuit about putting up a tower. Not even once. No excuse (health, asthetics, whatever) works. In the end, the tower goes up and the town which protested loses the money. They lose twice in fact. They lose the money spent on the litigation and they lose the money on the lease since the cell company invariably puts the tower on private land.

Look, I don't like the look of those blasted towers, but in weighing the pros and cons including the prospect of successful litigation and the cost, well, just let them put the damn thing up. They are going to anyway and Alton might as well reap the benefit.

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Old 06-22-2006, 07:19 PM   #71
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Winni: I noted in today's Baysider that they posted a photo in the Letters section that looked mysteriously like the one you posted above in this thread.

There was also a rather interesting letter to the editor that began something like this....

Quote:
The hysteria over the proposed cell phone tower in Alton is directly traceable to anti-tower websites. The rhetoric from these sites is the same fear and doom propaganda that has been disproven hundreds of times, yet this is regularly regurgitated as factual.
Anyway, I digress...

You never got back to us about what went on at the hearing the other night?

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Old 06-23-2006, 06:38 PM   #72
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Red face Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude
Winni: I noted in today's Baysider that they posted a photo in the Letters section that looked mysteriously like the one you posted above in this thread.

There was also a rather interesting letter to the editor that began something like this....



Anyway, I digress...

You never got back to us about what went on at the hearing the other night?

McD
Ahhh...it is a mystery isn't it??? Since they did not print my name, I guess I can fess up and say, "Yes, I did submit that picture to 'The Baysider'." I was very pleased they printed it, though I did not expect them to print my comment. My comment was to them. When I sent the picture, I said they could use it only if it was used to make the following point....but they quoted me anyway. I wasn't paying attention to grammar, etc., as I would have had I been writing an editorial, but I guess it doesn't really matter as long as it helps make the point!

As for the hearing...oh, this is SOOOOO bad! First, I haven't been on the forum at all for days until just now and only read this one post of yours, mcdude, so I'm not caught up with what is being said. I was in Boston the past few days.

[An aside: if you can possibly get to see the "Americans in Paris" exhibition of paintings at the MFA, you must. It will absolutely take your breath away. Our son and girlfriend are members, so we were able to go during the MFA member's preview for free. How lucky are we!!!]

As for the hearing, I will have to control my desired use of four letter words. I cannot even tell you how mad I was. Keep in mind this process has been going on for TWO, yes, that's 2!, years. Once again, they made the public wait around and canceled the meeting about 25 minutes after it was due to start. There were two members of the ZBA missing, so they did not have a quorum. You think maybe they could have told us all that at the beginning???

I felt bad for the company and their lawyers. They travelled 3-1/2 hours to get to the non-meeting. Then, the contractor asked if they could get the balloon test done ahead of time in preparation for the next meeting, as he knew they would ask him to do it before any decision could be made, and, of course, they said, "No." Such silliness this whole political business is most of the time!

Here's the rub, however. Kathy M. was the town planner. I do not know if she resigned, was asked to resign, or was fired. I do know that she had a heart of lead and I don't think I've ever seen the corners of her mouth even slightly turn up. I've had trouble with her in the past on other public non-profit projects, so I'm just as glad to see her go.

Now, put these facts together. She was the one asked to poll the Planning Board and the ZBA for last Tuesday's Public Hearing Meeting. She knew ahead of time the two ZBA members (who happen to be in favor of the towers, by the way) could not make the meeting that night. She clearly knew that would cause them to not have a quorum. She apparently didn't inform anyone of this ahead of time. She also made no attempt to tell the public the meeting would not be at the town hall, but rather at the high school. Hmmm...draw your own conclusions....

So, the saga continues. I have no idea when the next meeting is to be or any further info. However, if anyone knows why Kathy M. is so abruptly "gone", I'd be interested!

BTW, this week's editorial was signed, and not by me.
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Old 06-24-2006, 11:11 AM   #73
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.....ah....small town politics at its' best. Thanks, Winni.
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Old 06-25-2006, 03:40 PM   #74
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Default My 2 cents

I cant stand the lack of consideration people have while talking on there cellies , never mind the poor driving that occurs .. However if having reception on a boat or island saves a life , then its worth it. Id really like to see statistics on how many lives were spared by cell phones in emergencies.
The towers IMHO are not such an eyesore.. we've had them as well as flashing red beacons for the air traffic on top of the hills around here for years...
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Old 06-26-2006, 12:37 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayhunt
Id really like to see statistics on how many lives were spared by cell phones in emergencies.
I wonder if a better question would be "How many lives need to be spared to make the cell towers acceptable." (no flaming intended rayhunt, your quote just jogged my mind).

Hopefully in the near future the towers can be made so that no one objects to them being in their view, god knows I don't want to look at them either.
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:24 PM   #76
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Question Another "better question"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayhunt
Id really like to see statistics on how many lives were spared by cell phones in emergencies.
If it were your child/ spouse/ sibling/ parent/ friend, etc. whose live was NOT spared, would it really matter what the statistics were? Isn't ONE enough?
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Old 06-29-2006, 01:35 PM   #77
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Default Or an even better question...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
If it were your child/ spouse/ sibling/ parent/ friend, etc. whose live was NOT spared, would it really matter what the statistics were? Isn't ONE enough?
Err, how about how many people have lost their lives by taking uneccesary risks, feeling they were protected by having a cell phone in hand? Actually, how many people have lost their lives because someone was distracted by the cell phone in hand? Isn't even ONE too many?
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Old 06-29-2006, 03:54 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
If it were your child/ spouse/ sibling/ parent/ friend, etc. whose live was NOT spared, would it really matter what the statistics were? Isn't ONE enough?
Youve taken me out of context.. I am all for better reception in the area.
Yes one is enough , my point exactly
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:08 PM   #79
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Link to photo that Winni placed above...
http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...1&d=1149557303

Winni:
Not sure if you've seen this week's Baysider. Here's what Russ Wilson had to say (in part) concerning this photo....
Quote:
In reference to the courtesy photo that accompanied the June 22nd editorial sheet, a picture is worth a thousand words, this time just one "deception." The cell tower depicted here opposite exit 28 on Route 93N is not in a residential area threatening the health and well being of the residents. Secondly, its location is off and next to a major highway, not affecting any view shed or devaluing anyone's property. Finally, those supposed "landlines" referred to in the photo are in actuality high tension electric power transmission lines and not telephone landlines used for communication. Local government has no control over their placement. They are federally mandated and exempt from local zoning. Local governments do, however, have some control over the siting and appearance of cell towers. Alton Bay's scenic vistas need not be marred to provide adequate cell service!
More adequate cell phone coverage would be nice, however, I reiterate my position, like Russ Wilson I say
Quote:
Alton Bay's scenic vistas need not be marred to provide adequate cell service!
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Old 06-30-2006, 07:51 PM   #80
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Default ....a group of towns!

Here are two examples of utilities that help the local town at the expense of its' neighboring town. In February 2006, a new cell phone tower was installed in Ashland close to Rt 93 and exit 24. It's presence signifigantly impinges on the view of the Pemigiwasset River waterfront residents on the Bridgewater side of the river. The new cell tower is located within the Ashland waste water treatment faciity and does not really impinge on the view of any Ashland residents. The town of Ashland receives $1200./month rent or the new tower.

Similarly the Town of Bridgewater has a large woodchip powered electrical generating utility which sells electricity to the power grid. It is a huge property tax payer for Bridgewater and it abutts the Town of Plymouth.

Both locations for the new cell tower and the maybe 15 year old and very clean electrity power plant were picked for their financial benefits to their host town and to the detrimental view exposure of their neighboing town. You can see that New Hampshire is not really a state, but is a group of individual towns.
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:22 PM   #81
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Default Get over it and get on with it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude
Link to photo that Winni placed above...
http://www.winnipesaukee.com/forums/...1&d=1149557303

Winni:
Not sure if you've seen this week's Baysider. Here's what Russ Wilson had to say (in part) concerning this photo....

More adequate cell phone coverage would be nice, however, I reiterate my position, like Russ Wilson I say
In response to Russ Wilson's comments:

First: The whole "threatening the health and well being of the residents" argument is just baseless and has been addressed elsewhere in this forum. Also, if you want to talk "health", think about the fact that trees, like the ones ripped down for lines on poles, are what process the CO2 we all emit. So, do you really want to get into the "health" argument?

Second: If you don't think that picture is "affecting any view", then you're living in a different state than I am! I think that view, especially of the large swath of forest torn up the side of the mountain, is significantly more offensive than the 10' that the Alton cell towers would be sticking up above trees. Who cares if they are electric or phone lines? Tearing up the hillside for lines on the land is much more offensive to me. I find it particularly offensive as I'm driving toward the North Country anticipating a view of beautiful mountains.

Third: This marring "Alton Bay's scenic vistas" argument is really getting ridiculous. Should we not allow Gunstock to exist because it needs a tower on top due to flight paths? This is really about a couple people's individual property values. We actually don't even know if they will decrease. Hey, someone who wants to buy them may just come along and say, "I get great cell service here so I can work from home! Hurrah!"...and it will increase the value! (No sillier an argument than how much it will ruin Alton's views in my opinion.)

All joking aside, the studies have been done; the arguments have been made. Read through the forum and stop rehashing the same stuff over and over. We need cell coverage and this is the best, if not perfect, way to get it. In a year or so no one will even notice these towers are there.

Honestly...once again I ask, shall we all go back to kerosene lanterns and messenger pigeons so we can rip down all the ugly poles and lines covering massive amounts of our state and every roadway in it?
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Old 07-06-2006, 02:26 PM   #82
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One more note to Mr. Wilson...do hope you don't have a microwave oven in your house! Just think of the damage we must be doing by just about every structure in America having a microwave oven! Remember when they first came out how we were warned fiercely about the health risks? Yeah...and that's why just about everyone has one in their home/office/RV/school/restaurant/etc. today. They didn't go away and neither are cell phones going away, regardless of how much so-called-safety hype Mr. Wilson is spewing forth in his "Baysider" article. Sure, maybe the earliest, earliest microwave ovens had some leakage, but we're way past that stage with cell phones and cell towers.

I would so much like to get rid of the $60 - $70 land line charge I pay in addition to our $70 per month cell phone charge, but I can't. I can't because I need/choose to have and use a cell phone (for safety as well as convenience) and have no service at my home. I wouldn't need a land line phone if I did.

Addtionally and again, I will not be swayed by the naysayers on the safety issue. People who cause accidents due to talking on their phones while driving (anything) are being stupid, reckless people. People who are using them inappropriately in restaurants and other public places are being rude and thoughtless.

It's not the cell phones that are having poor judgement. Gosh, if that were true, because motorcyclists chose not to wear helmets, perhaps we should prohibit the use of motorcycles in NH....hey, now there's an idea worth pursuing! Oh yes, and all that noise, trash, and congestion (not to mention the ten deaths this year!) they generate during Motorcycle Week, well that's the motorcycles' fault, right, not the drivers?! (Just making a point; don't blast me for an analogy!)
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:17 PM   #83
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winni
Skipper, you are using ridiculous scare tactics, and I hope most people are realizing how really base that tactic is. You KNOW this is not what the proposed towers are to look like. They will only be 10 feet above the tree line, for cell relays only, and probably look like a fake pine tree.
What IS the tree line? Is that number taken from a view from the highest tree on the slope?

The average height of all the trees in Alton? The height of Alton's average pine trees? Or the tallest pine tree on record? The tallest pine tree is Maine's, at 240'.

How about a definitive number?
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Old 07-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #84
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Default Hey buddy - see that dead horse? Go give it another whack!


I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of people that are complaining about these cell phone pine trees are some of the same people that would be complaining how BAD cell service is when they're on their drive up to the lake for the weekend. The difference is they want to put the tower in "your backyard". If they were installing another one of these towers on 93 in Concord, you probably wouldn't care so much, yet you'd appreciate the added convenience. The same debate has been made about prisons, long before cell phones were even invented. "There should be more prisons - just don't build one next to me."

At least they are taking steps to minimize the appearance. Let's face it, six months after they put it up, you'll never notice it as much as you THINK you will. Since Memorial Day, I've driven up to the lake three times, and it wasn't until I read this thread that I even remembered that there are 3 HUGE radio towers for WGIR on the way up. I passed them each time (up and back) and never noticed them - not once.

It's as simple as this - If you don't like the Pine-O-Matic cell phone towers, vote "no" when you have the opportunity. If you don't have the opportunity to vote directly on the issue, call your selectmen, representative, etc. and let him know your opinion on the issue. THIS is the way you might actually affect some change.

Cell phones aren't going away. Hell, let's say we could wave a magic wand and they would - people would find something else to complain about. "Man, those CB radio waves from the guy next door are bleeding over into my cable TV. Boy, remember the 'good old days' when we still had cell phones?"

If your argument is about the "technology", then while we're at it let's eliminate other such nuisances as ATM's, portable defribulators, FM radios, ABS brakes, side curtain airbags - all the things that make our lives easier and potentially save our lives. Plus, all this "evil" technology isn't really being forced on us like some might suggest - we're buying this stuff and asking for more (There's a reason why I don't make a living manufacturing and selling Monkey Fondling Reciprocating Transducers - nobody's buying them. But cell phones are another story - show me a family with kids that doesn't have at least two).

You know, it WAS a lot nicer back in the "good old days". Hell, there was a lot less noise on the lake when everyone was sailing or paddling. It's just funny that some of the same people that are beating this dead horse about "why do people need to talk so much on their cell phones while at the lake anyway" are some of the same people who just cruised into Meredith Bay using their GPS navigation system on their fuel injected Sea Ray while listening to their iPod.

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Old 07-14-2006, 09:03 AM   #85
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Question Passion obscures reality

This is a very long thread with some passionate and informative posts.

Ms. Winni. The story of your husband's cellular experiences after an accident at the end of 11-D was interesting. He could not reach 911 on the cell. You claim "No Signal" but it might have been no connection to the E911 system. An inability to connect to 911 does not necessarily mean no cell coverage. He managed to get a cell call through to you with information about the situation and his location. Enough for you to find him, right where he said he was. So what if he could not be seen from route 11, he told you he was at 11-D. So there was some cellular coverage at his location. Even if it was roaming it was coverage. The police would have found him at the end of 11-D just like you found him. If he had not wasted his cell signal on the call to you he could have reached 911 and saved time.

What if he had used that cell call to dial 911 instead of calling you? He would have had his call and location go right to the 911 call center. If the cell system has enough signal to contact you it should contact 911 too, right?


Ms Winni, you seem to want this proposal to go through regardless of any other solution. You claim that the only objections to the new cell towers are the aesthetics and the claim about RF health hazards.

You are a Ham Radio yet you use terms that are not accurate and you do not answer all the legitimate questions put to you. You say the proposed cell towers will be for cellular relay only. A cell relay tower does not take calls from cell phones, it merely relays a group of calls and data from one cell receiving and transmitting site and sends it to another relay or to the switching system.

You talk about the, "Tree line". When asked for clarification about the height of the towers you repeat, 10 feet above the tree line. Tree line is the area on the mountain where the trees stop growing. You don't mean that you probably mean tree tops but you don't answer the questions.

Your description of telephone lines that are really high voltage lines also shows a lack of technical expertise. Maybe you did not want to bring in the topic of radiation concerns from high voltage lines or you just don't know the difference.

Using microwave ovens as an example of misplaced RF concerns is not a fair comparison. What is the frequency difference between microwave ovens and cellular phones? Not close is it. Ever see a sign in a fast food restaurant warning patrons with pacemakers that a microwave oven was in use? Must be some RF concerns there. Do you keep away from all radiation? How about 60Hz?

Ms. Winni, how can you ignore the questionable ethics and tactics in the history of Industrial Communications and Electronics?

Please review this thread and answer the unanswered questions as best you can. Try to keep an open mind. There can really be more than one solution to better cell coverage than this one proposal.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:38 PM   #86
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I have a cell phone for use for the summer. I had to call my daughter in Newmarket from Alton Bay. Could not get on (I have Verison) It took me to Chichester before I could get on. However I can call her from Norwich CT and have no problem. If towers is the problem and they can be so they are not unsightly then do it. I know they have talked about putting a tower in our church tower and the church would get some revenue from it.

Communications has been moving the last few years at an unbelievable state and we have to learn to use it and move along.
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Old 07-14-2006, 02:43 PM   #87
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...I had to call my daughter in Newmarket from Alton Bay. Could not get on (I have Verison) It took me to Chichester before I could get on. However I can call her from Norwich CT and have no problem. ...
John -- Verizon is the BETTER choice in the Lakes Region. I had them for years, and rarely had a problem. About five years ago, I switched to Cingular because Verizon got ZERO reception in my new office building. But with Cingular, I was put on the GSM network, which at the time had not been built out. Well, in New Hampshire, it still isn't built out. If the towers will host some GSM traffic, it will benefit a lot of visitors. The GSM coverage vanishes north of the Epsom circle, and reappears in sparse little pockets north or Wolfeboro. Decent but spotty GSM coverage on the eastern side of the lake. Verizon is good on the eastern side.
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Old 07-17-2006, 11:14 PM   #88
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Ok, I have some serious nit-picking to respond to, but I won't quote all of Commodore's criticism, just the parts I will respond to, as it would make my response too large. If you do not want to read through all this nonsense, I suggest you just go to the hearings, do some listening, and even state your case, that is, if the governmental types ever get around to letting the public speak. However, I could not let Commodore's response go, as his main goal seems to be to discredit me and not to put forth a substantial argument opposing the proposed towers. So, I guess I'll give it a go, though this is going to turn out to be ridiculously long.

"If he had not wasted his cell signal on the call to you he could have reached 911 and saved time." This is just a ridiculous statement! You don't have the facts clear. As I stated, he did try 911 before he tried me and he did not get a signal. It was not because he was unable to connect to E911; it was because the signals are so spotty in this area. You can take 1/2 step away and find a signal, then move another 1/4 step and loose it. In a high tension type situation like an accident, it can be very frustrating. I know this to be true because while I was waiting around for the paper exchange once I got to the scene, I took out my phone and tested the signal strengths. Baby steps made the difference.

"The police would have found him at the end of 11-D just like you found him." Wrong again; they were really ticked off that they went flying by the end of 11-D when they came back and I first stopped the policeman. He clearly was relieved that I could bring him to where the accident scene was and complained right along with me about the terrible cell coverage. The only reason I even knew which end of 11-D to go to (because the connection dropped before my husband could say more) was that I knew he was coming home from the Gilford end not the Alton end. The police wouldn't have known that.

"Ms Winni, you seem to want this proposal to go through regardless of any other solution. You claim that the only objections to the new cell towers are the aesthetics and the claim about RF health hazards." You clearly have not done your homework. These are not the objections I focused on, they are what the opponents (i.e. abutters) are objecting to.

"You are a Ham Radio..." Sorry, no; I have no dials, buttons, or readouts, and am not attached to an antenna. If you really knew what you were talking about, you would have said, "You are a Ham..."

"... yet you use terms that are not accurate and you do not answer all the legitimate questions put to you. You say the proposed cell towers will be for cellular relay only. A cell relay tower does not take calls from cell phones, it merely relays a group of calls and data from one cell receiving and transmitting site and sends it to another relay or to the switching system." NO KIDDING! Really; gosh...I didn't know that! Honestly, if you think I didn't know that then you are really looking for something to pick at. Yeah, we all go around calling them "cell relay towers" instead of "cell towers". Gosh, and I thought there was a little guy sitting up on top of the tower answering my phone for me, too! Would you like me to name the seven original communication layers for you too?

"You talk about the, "Tree line". When asked for clarification about the height of the towers you repeat, 10 feet above the tree line. Tree line is the area on the mountain where the trees stop growing. You don't mean that you probably mean tree tops but you don't answer the questions." You know, I really think you ought to attend some of the hearings before you try to do me in. I'm a hiker from way back (say, how many 4000 footers have you done?) and I am well aware of what a "tree line" is on a mountain top. Unfortunately, the ZBA and legal-type talkers at the meetings are (yes, improperly, but never-the-less are) using this phrase to mean the visual line made by the top of the trees. I'm thinking maybe they just don't want to spout out the words, "Visual line made by the top of the trees..." every time they want to reference it; 'ya think?

"Your description of telephone lines that are really high voltage lines also shows a lack of technical expertise." No, it means you (and a bunch of other people) missed the point. It did not/does not matter what those lines are on the land/ground poles/towers. The point of the picture was that lines that must connect to each other and run along towers/poles on the ground necessarily must have huge swaths of trees cut out around them and are much more grotesque than a simple stand alone tower (be it cell "relay" or anything else). (Hmm......funny one of the two largest companies building air and space craft in this country, which I will not name, used to pay me whole bunches of money to head up the technology areas of entire sites for many years. Glad to hear you are a better judge of my abilities, since you know me so well, than they were!)

"Maybe you did not want to bring in the topic of radiation concerns from high voltage lines or you just don't know the difference." Or...maybe I did not want to bring in the RF issue because it is a non-issue, i.e. the government has ruled it so and in reality, it is so. I'm not going to waste space here rehashing that yet once again.

"Using microwave ovens as an example of misplaced RF concerns is not a fair comparison." Once again you miss the point! (Perhaps you have issues with abstract concepts?) The comparison was not about output! The comparison was to point out that people were scared to death of microwave ovens when they first came out until they realized they were virtually harmless to individuals using them and now they are everywhere. The same will be true of cell phones and cells towers soon. People will get over this silliness about RF. (Note: this is known as an "analogy".)

"Please review this thread and answer the unanswered questions as best you can." Not worth my time and effort to keep repeating (pun intended) myself and the answers others have already given. Instead, why don't you, "Try to keep an open mind," and go to the hearings instead? Why also don't you delve into the stacks and stacks of material available at the Town Hall on all this and then maybe you can answer your own questions, because I think the important ones have already been answered sufficiently.

"There can really be more than one solution to better cell coverage than this one proposal." Yes; it would be nice to get one (as in one, once!) that actually works, though. As far as I can see from the multiple engineering studies, the proposed solution is the best so far.

So, any more arrows you want to throw at me? Go for it. (Oh yes, and if you would like some grammar and punctuation tutoring, I'm available for that as well.) Maybe someone else can pick up my side of it if anyone out there cares. I'm pretty sick of all this. Yes, I am "passionate" because all I really want is for MY CELL PHONE TO WORK!

If you actually read through all this and made it to this point, I thank you and congratulate you on your endurance!
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Old 09-01-2006, 05:10 PM   #89
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Looks like some kind of tower has been erected. Not sure if it is a cell phone tower or not. This tower is located on the east side of the bay toward the Alton Village end and the photo is taken from the west side of the bay from Alton Mountain Road. Regretfully my camera only has a 7.5X zoom so the photo isn't the clearest. Has anyone noticed it from the lake?
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:45 PM   #90
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Looks like some kind of tower has been erected. Not sure if it is a cell phone tower or not. Has anyone noticed it from the lake?
Maybe if it were painted day-glow orange, it will be easier to see from the Lake and where you took this picture.

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Old 09-08-2006, 08:57 AM   #91
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Letter to the Editor of The Baysider

Quote:
Provisions of Ordinance 603 must be revisited

To the Editor:

Over the past several months, the Town of Alton has been confronted with a troublesome, contentious issue over granting a variance to a Zoning Regulation that governs installation of Cell Phone Towers. A Cell Tower Operator, who earlier sought permission to erect new towers in Wolfeboro, was rejected by their town's Planning Board and ZBA. They then turned to Alton and have made application to locate two towers in town on Miramichie Hill in the Lakeshore Residential Zone and at the old campgrounds off Robert's Cove Road.

The issue is still under consideration by Alton's ZBA and presumably, a ruling will be forthcoming in the short term. Originally, the Applicant submitted his request in late 2005 for a variance in the "use" and "area" provisions of the prevailing Zoning Ordinance 270, which limited locating cell towers to only four outlying overlay districts in town, all in the Rural Zone.

In March 2006, the Alton voters, at the urging of the Planning Board, were presented with a warrant article recommending a new Ordinance 603 to supersede Ordinance 270 that had been in effect from 1999 through 2005. The new Ordinance that was passed by the voters, allows permitting of towers virtually anywhere in town but limited to no more than 10 feet above the tree line. With the location regulation no longer a hindrance as to where a tower could be erected, the Applicant immediately revised his application to pursue a single variance to install 120-foot towers in the above-mentioned locations.

In the March 2006 election, the article to be voted on had as a rationale the following: "The purpose of this new ordinance is to improve wireless service in the area and provide alternatives to tall towers with less visual impact upon the town." Limiting the height of the towers is an attractive provision of the new regulation, however, the voters were unaware that the devil was in the details of the proposed new ordinance.

Regrettably the Planning Board's warrant article did not identify a major change in the location provision of the ordinance that would allow towers to be erected in any district of the town including all four Residential Zones. The Lakeshore Residential Zone is now subject to having towers erected up to within fifty (50) feet of public waters including Lake Winnipesaukee. Sadly, proponents of the new measure were outside the voting station urging people to vote for the new ordinance as an improvement over the predecessor Ordinance 270. Without benefit of knowing the implications of the significant revision to the location provisions, some voters believe they were duped into supporting a flawed ordinance that now allows possible encroachment of these towers into the residential areas. Moreover, there were many specific protective provisions in the old Ordinance 270 that were eliminated. They included preserving hilltop appearance and skyline views of traditional areas of the town as well as protecting abutting property values.

Lake Winnipesaukee is unquestionably one of the premier lakes in New England. It offers recreation for the townspeople and it is a major attraction to visitors who enjoy boating and other activities. It is home to a few remaining summer camps for youngsters and vacation facilities for many NH and out-of-state people who summer here each year. The lake and the surrounding areas retain their pristine unspoiled beauty for all to enjoy, thanks to the efforts of town officials who, in past years, have protected the lake by controlling developments in the lakeshore area.

Winnipesaukee is also a boon to the local economy with multiple marinas, motels and rental cottages as well as numerous restaurants and other businesses that benefit from the Lake's popularity. It unmistakably is Alton's treasure when it comes to supporting the Town. Of the town's total collection of nearly $16 million in property taxes, approximately $12 million comes from lake properties. It is the tax base for the town that generates the bulk of the funds for schools, the municipal budget and all other town services. In every sense, it is Alton's greatest resource.

Now we have on the books a Zoning Ordinance that overrides all other residential regulations. If the variance currently under consideration is approved, and should this new ordinance remain intact, it would establish a terrible precedent of allowing commercial enterprises into the Lakeshore Zone and potentially, it could ruin the scenic beauty of the Lake. Alton has a huge landmass, one of the largest in the state, and there are numerous sites in the outlying rural zone where these towers could be located and offer improved cell phone service without disturbing the Town.

Concerned with this prospective development, the writer conferred with many people in town and especially those who wish to protect our Lake. There is a strong sentiment that certain provisions of the new Ordinance 603 must be revisited and revised to void repeat attempts to locate cell towers in or around residential areas and eliminate the threat to the beauty of Winnipesaukee. Who in their right mind wants to see towers popping up around the lake with their flashing lights disturbing the surrounding environment?

The writer met with the Planning Board to urge the planners to consider changes to the new Ordinance 603. We suggested that the protective and preservation provisions of the old ordinance be reinstated and that cell towers only be permitted in the rural parts of town away from the residential areas. Unfortunately, the Planning Board declined to take any action.

The next meeting was with the Board of Selectmen, who were not enthusiastic about addressing the issue and advised that the Planning Board had unilateral authority to handle zoning issues, and that the selectmen were not empowered to get involved. We subsequently learned through the New Hampshire Municipal Association that, in fact, under state law the selectmen were privileged to get involved and could initiate action leading to reconsideration of certain provisions of the new ordinance.

With this information, we submitted a letter on July 17, setting forth proposed changes to amend the new ordinance, together with a specific request that the selectmen move forward with the Planning Board to schedule a public hearing and put before the voters in March 2007, a warrant article calling for an Amendment to Ordinance 603. At another meeting with the selectmen on August 7, they again elected not to take up the issue and instead, suggested that under state law, we could petition the Town to allow a warrant article to be put before the voters next March.

The requisite number of registered voter signatures was obtained and the petition was submitted on August 14. However, the Town advised that such a petition cannot be legally accepted any earlier than 120 days in advance of the election, thus the petition must be resubmitted in early November. Regrettably, most of the seasonal taxpayers who are concerned with this issue will not be able to attend the public hearing sometime in the winter months and registered voters who go out of state for a few months will possibly not be able to participate in any of the proceedings. Any surprise in how Alton handles its affairs?

As matters stand, we will resubmit the petition in the fall and expect the Town will honor the request for this ballot initiative. Meanwhile the ruling on the current application will be the subject of a hearing scheduled for Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. Interested parties are encouraged to attend and if so inclined, participate in the public input portion of the meting. Otherwise for those people who are concerned about this issue, but do go away, write a letter to the Planning Board and arrange for your absentee ballots.

Alden L. Norman

Alton Bay

Alden L. Norman
Alton Bay
August 30, 2006

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Old 09-08-2006, 11:14 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude
Letter to the Editor of The Baysider
The new Ordinance that was passed by the voters
Have to wonder if "the writer" has a problem with Democracy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mcdude
Letter to the Editor of The Baysider
The lake and the surrounding areas retain their pristine unspoiled beauty for all to enjoy, thanks to the efforts of town officials who, in past years, have protected the lake by controlling developments in the lakeshore area.
So, Cell towers are spoilers and McMansions are not?
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:41 PM   #93
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Isn't it surprising that something that is needed, these toweres, for communications in this new day and age and people complain what they look like. I seen these poles sticking out of the woods, big deal, the woods are still there. How about the cutting of trees off a mountain to install new homes, or cutting mountains aside to make highways wider?

I think a requirement of these towers to be painted/coated a Army Green would be an improvement rather than aluminum

How about these areas on 28-A that have been trees removed for houses but then they stop the work. Or all them trees taken down for mcmansions all around the lake.

I have heard it said on this forum that cell phones are not needed on or around the lake. This coming from people who use the internet. Why is it that your means of communications has to be the one that controls how everybody communicates?

I hate cell phones, why, because in and around Alton Bay they do not work. They could be a big asset out on the lake if you break down and need a tow boat, or help. I noticed lately that waving a paddle does not work anymore.
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:08 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by John A. Birdsall
{snip} I noticed lately that waving a paddle does not work anymore.
Well that's probably true. But in true Nawlins fashion you could flash your, err, well maybe not you, but someone could flash their, err, well, aahh, hmmm, well you know and that would certainly get some attention. Now that I think of it even I could flash my, err, hmmm, well, "parts" and perhaps get some attention. Mind you it wouldn't be helpful attention or even welcome attention but I'm pretty sure the MP would be along in short order to find out what the problem was.
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Old 09-08-2006, 01:23 PM   #95
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Post Cell Towers

Letter to the Editor of The Baysider
Quote:
Provisions of Ordinance 603 must be revisited


I being a non-resident, I guess those that fall into that category can justt complain and/or agree with the writer. I myself feel that if one believes in what the writer put on paper should follow the mans words. He appears to have put many hours into the reseach and going to meetings. This way of trying to be heard in a postive way.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:23 PM   #96
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Default Tried to remain silent here.

The Baysider recieved on 9-7 has a rather lengthy letter to the editor disagreeing with Mr. Norman's points, so this is not the only side of the coin. I do not subscribe so I can't copy and paste, and could scan it and paste it, but quite frankly it is a rather long letter and don't feel that I should take up the space in this thread with it.

I just have to smile as I look across the bay and really have to look for the tower that is pictured above, but can see the houses on Lakewood drive from nearly the end of the bay (5 mile away) and can see them also from Rte 11 just after entering Alton from New Durham. The blight of having a couple of cell towers is far less disruptive to the views around the lake than is clear cutting done so that the house(s) erected will stand out for all to see. (wouldn't be so bad if they would landscape the properties like Mr. Bahre has, but then again I digress.

Until such time as we are willing to look skyward and on a clear night, say "Oh look, Verizon 12 satellite and Nextel 22 are nearly aligned...Karma must be pretty good tonight"... we may just have to put up with a few towers. All the talk of the megatowers referenced earlier are from units in major metropolitan area, and are highly unlikely to be seen in NH at all, nevermind in the lakes area.

My humble opinion, we need the towers, and they can be constructed in a manner as to be minimally intrusive.

Upthesaukee signin' off the soap box!!!
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:57 AM   #97
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Wow-
Following this whole Cell Phone Tower Controversy. I must say both sides are making very good points. I read one good post and agreed with it, then the next well thought out post and agreed with that. And so on & so on it went.
I never thought I would put so much thought into cell phone towers. But lately I have in following this particular thread.
As much as people say they "hate" cell phones, nearly everyone uses them, nearly everyone can hardly remember life without them. Whether these towers are erected or not, everyone's lives will move on. I don't believe anyone will have a monumental life change as a result of them. (Except for the arguements as to the use of them in emergency situations.)
As I read over the posts back & forth in this particular part of the forum I can't help but think: "How truly wonderful is it that we (as Americans) live in a place where the 'biggest' concern is how the view from our homes (or vacation homes or boats or waverunners etc) might be 'destroyed' by a cell phone tower?"
I don't know, but so close to the eve of the anniversary of the most horrific terrorist attacks on American soil I can't help but wonder: Aren't there far bigger things to be this passionate and worried about? Does anyone see the Warthogs fly overhead in NH on their practice/ training mission while endless arguements are continuing about the de-beautification of the hillside.
I'm not saying there shouldn't be both sides represented in the arguement. It is important. Just don't forget to keep things in perspective here. We are extremely fortunate- they could be far worse.
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Old 09-14-2006, 08:29 AM   #98
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Quotes from "The Baysider"

Quote:
The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment combined on the night of Sept. 12 to jointly hear the site plan and area variances necessary to construct the two communications facilities, one at 486 East Side Drive (Route 28A), and the other at 1439 Wolfeboro Highway (Route 28).
Quote:
Prior to that meeting, the applicant will perform a balloon test at the proposed site, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30, beginning at 9 a.m. Board members will meet at Town Hall at 8:30 a.m. that morning, to distribute lists of various vantage points from which to observe the balloons.
Quote:
One of the 18 properties listed in the PowerPoint presentation was shown to belong to David and Marilyn Slade, and Delaney said they weren't interested in doing business with Industrial Communications.

But the Slades were in the audience, and David Slade testified that he had never been contacted by the company. The Slade property abuts the proposed facility on East Side Drive.

Slade questioned that the company didn't perform due diligence in fully exploring all its options, and said the company should use several smaller facilities to provide coverage without affecting view sheds
another indication of the questionable practices of Industrial Communications?

Quote:
Donald Cody, director of operations for Industrial Communications, described the monopole towers as being five feet wide at the base, and tapering to 18 inches wide at the top, so, he suggested, when the board and public view the balloon test, which will use a four-foot wide balloon, he asked that they keep in mind that the tower won't be that wide.

But resident Russ Wilson said that was misleading. Yes, the tower itself might be only 18 inches wide, but it will be festooned with communications equipment. "Those antennae stick out from the tower about six feet," in three directions, forming a triangle about 12 feet wide, "so when you have a four-foot wide balloon, they're much smaller."

Photo of a recent balloon test conducted on Lake Wentworth in Wolfeboro. Photo by NomdePlume
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Old 09-16-2006, 07:46 AM   #99
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Exclamation Balloon tether much smaller than 18 inches

Not only is the 4 foot balloon smaller than a cell antenna array, the support structure (tower) is much thicker than the balloon tether. Plus the array, as I recall, is supposed to consist of 4 tiers of cell antenna banks.

The tower is supposed to be 5 feet at the base tapering to a foot and a half at the top. How big is the balloon tether? I'll bet it's less than an inch.

Now, if the tower top (balloon) is going to be just 10 feet above the tree tops they might be hard to see.

---------

If, as Winni claims, the 2 locations are the ONLY places guaranteed to provide full service to Alton Bay then what's with the 18 properties mentioned? And what about the earlier (rejected) application to erect those 2 new towers in Wolfeboro to provide that coverage?

There are still many unanswered questions raised in this thread.
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Old 09-16-2006, 08:25 AM   #100
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While I'll admit to not liking the towers in general, I also am like many in that I don't notice them for the most part and like the fact that I can spend more time at the lake when being able to take work calls from there.

However at night, one in Alton is more noticable than most I've seen. Can anyone explain why it needs the garrish white strobe light as opposed to the more normal, less offensive red beacon?
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