Feds are pushing 5G; Woodstock might not want it

The Woodstock Town Board, on April 16, once again heard from a roomful of residents concerned about harmful health effects of the new 5G wireless technology.

Those who came to speak about 5G were disappointed about having to wait until the end of the business meeting to speak, some two hours later, but it didn’t dampen their passion. But there were audible groans and gasps when Supervisor Bill McKenna explained limitations against local regulation.

The town has discussed placing a hold on applications for 5G facilities until it studies the health ramifications and it can sort out what it can and can’t do, but that might place it in legal jeopardy. “According to the federal government, moratoriums are not legal and would land us in court,” McKenna said.


It also seems the federal government is putting a rush on applications in order to get the technology built. It has imposed “shot clocks” giving municipalities 60 days to approve 5G equipment at an existing facility or 90 days for a new structure.

When reviewing applications, or discussing legislations, towns are also not supposed to talk about the health effects and are discouraged from dictating aesthetics for cell sites, McKenna said.

The new 5G technology is intended to provide higher speed communications for entire communities, but that will require placing cell sites as close as 200-300 feet apart. The industry says it can effectively eliminate the need for individual wifi routers in homes and businesses, but concerned residents say it can result in blanketing every square inch of a community with radiation.

Councilman Richard Heppner urged the board to review zoning regulations because the existing sections on communications are outdated when compared to current wireless technology.

“Although it may not be legal, I’m for putting in a moratorium,” said Councilman Lorin Rose. “I’ve never seen anybody come in and say they really want 5G.” Rose said he lives at the edge of what he calls “Radio Free Bearsville” and he likes being out of cell phone range.

“I’m in favor of doing whatever we can to stop it,” said Reggie Earls, who suggested it might be better if everyone isn’t on their phones all the time.

“I want to know what this insane rush is to inflict this on the population,” resident Abbey Mitchell said. “It’s madness.”

Steve Romine, who has been outspoken on the topic, warned it must be stopped and said that there are no peer-reviewed studies showing the technology is safe. “Humanity as a whole has never really lived with the amount of radiation that they’re going to dump on us,” he said.

“We’re not trying to cause problems,” said Raji Nevin. “We’re trying to come up with solutions,” she said, strongly objecting to being cut off after a one-minute-per-speaker limit. Nevin said she and Romine have given the Town Board “massive amounts of documentation” and were disappointed by McKenna’s response.

Based on a recommendation in the recently adopted Comprehensive Plan, the board plans to form a telecommunications committee to address 5G concerns and come up with solutions to a lack of cell phone coverage in the western part of town.

There are 6 comments

  1. andrew cowan

    Here’s an idea- instead of rushing to get 5g into Woodstock and the surrounding areas why not first get 100% cell service coverage in Saugerties and Woodstock – regardless of it being 3G, 4G or 5G?

    There are miles and miles of totally dead areas in Saugerties and Woodstock- the 8 mile stretch from Bread Alone in Lake Katrine all the way up to the Verizon store- ironic isn’t it- is devoid of any cell coverage at all.

    Several areas in Woodstock, Bearsville, Shady, Willow, Hurley are also dead. Why there’s debate starting about getting 5G into these areas that are currently without ANY service is absurd.

    First hold the cell providers for providing 100% coverage; then worry about if its 3,4 or 5G.

  2. Dave Channon

    5G is the wavelength that microwaves use to cook. Very bad for health. It also interferes with satellite weather measurements. False readings! Also bad! We don’t need 5G. Big Media wants it so they can charge us more and make more money. Feh!

  3. Dave Channon

    A problem with cell towers is they can’t transmit through hills. That is why some areas have bad service. I live two miles from a cell tower and get no signal. In West Virginia, mountaintop removal for coal mining actually improved cell service. Cut down the hills? 5G operates at SHORTER distances than existing service. It will not improve service to remote areas, in fact it will do much worse. Plus, a nation of children growing up with “smart phones” are more alienated and depressed. Kids should not use “smart phones” or they will grow up dumb.
    Satellite based cell service is the answer for poor service areas, but the telecoms make more money with cell towers, so they forced us into accepting an inferior technology with worse health impacts.

  4. GT

    You people need tin foil hats, seriously, get a god damn grip, these anti vaxxer, chem trail, 5g microwaves pseudo science mantras are no diff than the climate change deniers. And also, get off the damn internet if you don’t like data networks.

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