5G in Woodstock? Not so fast, say some residents

The Woodstock Town Board heard pleas to stop the buildout of 5G wireless service and implored people to be civil in the ongoing debate over a referendum to dissolve the library district, at its October 16 meeting.

A large group showed up in opposition to the next generation of wireless communications, referred to as 5G, in Woodstock. The new technology is intended to blanket towns with high-speed wireless internet and phone connectivity. The downside is it requires many more transmitting antennas, sometimes as close as 200 feet apart. Those in opposition fear ill health effects from increased electromagnetic radiation.

Toni Weidenbacher said town residents don’t need to be guinea pigs subject to unproven technology. Abbey Mitchell echoed that sentiment. “Don’t believe industry propaganda that wireless is safe,” Mitchell said, noting children are most vulnerable.

Advertisement

Steve Romine said he has a god-given right to live in a world that was here for millions of years.” I demand the town join all of us and stop this all-out assault,” he said. Weston Blelock presented a petition with 300 signatures of town residents asking the town oppose the buildout of 5G technology.

Supervisor Bill McKenna said the town has been looking into the situation for quite some time. He is concerned because the Federal Communications Commission appears to be usurping home rule by requiring municipalities to allow companies to build a 5G infrastructure. He believes they should be subject to planning, zoning and other review just like any other entity.

Setting facts straight on library debate, calling for civility

Sam Magarelli spoke in support of a November 6 referendum to dissolve and terminate the Woodstock Library District, saying it’s time for a change in governance. He praised the Town Board for its handling of building projects and suggested it would be best for the town to handle the library rebuilding project, then hand it back over to a library board.

“Eighty-five or more percent of the people want to see a better library,” Magarelli said. “It’s really a tragedy we’re at this point.” Magarelli is part of a group that waged a successful petition campaign, gathering more than 700 signatures to get the referendum on the ballot.

McKenna, who has been largely silent on the subject, attempted to calm fears and uncertainty over what happens if the referendum passes and if the town then assumes control.

“Were the library board wanting to give it to the town, I would take their budget and put it into the presentation for the town budget,” he said. McKenna added it takes a majority vote of the Town Board to pass a budget, but he is confident there would be no objection to including a library budget as proposed.

“Our library will not go away, no matter what happens, now or a year or two down the road,” he said.

McKenna also cleared confusion about funding for 2019 by noting the library’s budget was approved by voters and that is not in danger. The town will collect taxes on behalf of the library as it always has, then pass it on to the library in either January or February.

In response to those who raise doubts about what happens several years in the future, he acknowledged there is no guarantee how a future board may act.

Councilwoman Laura Ricci, who is the library liaison, said there is no guarantee the library will go to the town if the referendum passes. Town control is one of many choices. It could go to one of the three school districts that cover Woodstock or a nonprofit entity. It may also revert to an association library, as it was before becoming a district in 1989. Ricci said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill’s office has informed her the state Legislature will not approve any new library districts, so dissolution may be permanent.

McKenna noted the push from the governor’s office is for consolidation.

Councilman Lorin Rose said he hasn’t seen animosity get so ugly in a long time. Rose said he had Friends of the Library members “cuss me out in front of my wife” while at a local establishment. Rose has taken part in meetings with the pro-referendum group.

“Some of the stuff is getting out of hand,” Councilman Richard Heppner said. “I had to stop reading it,” he said, referring to a growing number of Facebook discussion threads. 

County referendum defends against gerrymandering

Former Ulster County Legislator Gary Bischoff reminded people of a referendum on the November 6 ballot that would amend the County Charter to form an independent commission to make redistricting more equitable and combat gerrymandering. He serves on a committee that has come up with a structure where the minority and majority parties on the county Legislature each appoint to people to the commission every ten years ahead of the Census, who then choose three additional people.

“The idea is to get independent people appointed,” Bischoff said, explaining the commission is intended to one party from imposing influence on the redrawing of legislative districts.

Water, sewer budgets pass with no fanfare

The Town Board held public hearings for the water, hamlet sewer and on-site sewer districts in which only one person spoke to ask a question about water rates.

The water rate is unchanged at $17 for the base meter fee and 42 cents per 100 gallons.

In the on-site sewer district, assessments total $51,550, down from $52,103.

The hamlet sewer district base meter fee is unchanged at $17, while the rate per 100 gallons is up 1 cent to $1.03.

A public hearing is scheduled for November 8 at 7 p.m. at  Town Hall for the General Fund and Highway budgets.

There are 8 comments

  1. Paul Chauvet

    There is absolutely no legitimate science showing health effects from cellular/Wi-Fi signals. We shouldn’t have to live in the stone age because people are either being misled about these effects – or are doing the misleading themselves.

  2. Steve Romine

    Thank you Nick for spotlighting the 5G issue. Here is exactly what I said to the Woodstock Town Board :
    “I am a flesh and blood living man. I am a being of frequency. I am, and all of you, are electrochemical biological systems that depend on inter cellular signaling which uses electromagnetic signals to function properly as do all animals, birds, fish, and bees.

    The introduction of a multitude wireless devices that produce and create artificial man made electromagnetic fields pulsing 24/7 interferes with the natural electromagnetic web of life. I have a God given right to live in the natural environment that was here for millions of years before wireless showed up.

    If someone wants to trade their natural birthright for an artificial man made pulsing electromagnetic environment they are free to do so. What they are not free to do is force me and my family to live in that environment so they can have all kinds of wireless gadgets such as 5G I- Phones, driver less cars or robots. Our natural environment is precious to life itself and belongs to no one and is not to be co-opted and supplanted with analternative environment the rich technological despots think they can force on us through fraud, in their unholy quest for filthy lucre. I demand this town protect all of us from this 5G assault.

    Stop listening to the FCC, The Telecom Industry and the Federal Government. They are all boldface liars. I am demanding this town join in with the hundreds of towns and cities nationwide opposing 5G and pass an ordinance prohibiting 5G transmitters. Stand on the US Constitution ,the supreme law of the land, all town officials swore to obey, uphold and defend. We have a God given right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s time to act like it.” Steve Romine

  3. Steve Romine

    Mr Chauvet, obviously has not read the most current research on the many bio-effects of microwave radiation. Eminent Physicist and bio-medicine expert Prof. Martin Pall has published a scientific study in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of WiFi ,”WiFi Is An Important Threat To Human Health” published in July of 2018 issue of Elsevier Environmental Research (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355?via%3Dihub). Here is a link for approximately 50 peer-reviewed studies on the harm of WiFi in schools: http://wifiinschools.org.uk/30.html
    I would suggest Mr Chauvet read Prof. Pall’s 90 page report on the danger of 5G titled “5G-Great Risk”
    (http://peaceinspace.blogs.com/files/5g-emf-hazards–dr-martin-l.-pall–eu-emf2018-6-11us3.pdf) and see that we who object to being irradiated 24/7 in our homes and in the schools have the science to back up our claims of harm besides the moral high ground as we seek to protect ourselves and our children who are the most vulnerable to microwave radiation (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213879X14000583).

  4. Steve Romine

    I would like to respond to Mr. Chauvet’s comments and say one does not have to live in the “stone age” to implement new technologies safely. The telecom industry seems to want to fast track everything through before anyone has any idea what is going on . The Industry has no medical peer-reviewed science to assure it’s biological safety for the weakest in society like children, pregnant women and the elderly. Consider that the same frequencies used in 5G are used by the military and law enforcement for crowd control so we already know those frequencies can be harmful .
    There is extensive scientific peer-reviewed literature that says cellular/WiFi is harmful including the latest study on cell towers published in 2018 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300367). in 2017 we have the peer-reviewed paper by eminent physicist and bio-medical expert Prof Martin Pall, “WiFi is an Important Threat to Human Health” (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0013935118300355?via%3Dihub).
    Let us not forget the 50+ peer-reviewed studies already done on the industrial WiFi units used in schools and those studies all document harm (http://wifiinschools.org.uk/30.html). So who is misleading who? The ones that warn of harm and provide the “legitimate” peer-reviewed science to back up their claims or the one who parrots Telecom Industry propaganda of absolute biological safety yet provides no medical peer-reviewed medical science ?

  5. George Conant

    Regarding 5 G build out. There is no question anymore about the clear and present danger 5 G wireless technology is. The arrival of radio and the electrification of our civilization some 130 years in the making, has impacted all living creatures (not just humans) with man made electrical power grids and radio and television broadcasts. These now obsolete systems are damaging to biological living things. In a word radiation. Radiation is not just caused by unstable radioactive elements such as uranium. Nor is radiation only a byproduct of nuclear power plant reactors or nuclear weapons. Radiation is also manufactured. All radio signals are a radiation man made with electricity driven machines/devices. The X-Ray camera your dentist uses makes radiation. Which is why when your get x-ray photographs of your teeth a lead apron is draped over you and the dental staff leave the room when the pics are taken. 5 G wireless radiation is a pulsed millimeter wave broadcast system that will literally microwave us all. Think about you microwave over turned inside out and mounted on a telephone pole and aimed at you where ever you go. The frequency range 5 G involves is a fatal blow to living biological creatures and plants. The best way to advance a computer driven society is fiber optic cable. Wireless technology is already irradiating us and causing a myriad of illnesses including cancer. Damage to the genetic integrity of all life is now a serious reality. Stop 5 G. Scale back all wireless tech. The future of life on this planet is at stake.

    George Conant

  6. Patricia

    Thank you all for contesting this issue. The communications industry has suppressed the dangerous health effects of WiFi use in favor of their monumental profits and the “Thumbsters” just don’t care. They won’t care until they are hunchbacked and tumor ridden. Then they’ll want to start class action lawsuits.

  7. Raji

    Peter Z ~ your “counter argument” is simply an article written by someone who is a geek and is most likely someone who works for the Telecom Industry. Try looking at some real facts, such as the links Steve Romine provided. These are NON-Industry REAL studies – not just some ridiculous article that is one person spouting off ridiculous lies. The Telecom Industry THEMSELVES are now posting inside the Smart phones, a warning! indicating that people need to hold the phones at least 1 inch from their bodies. Hmmmmmm….. wonder why they would do that? Do some real research before you post ridiculous “counter arguments”!

Post Your Thoughts