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Masked but not muffled
Members of WIreless Radiation Education & Defense (WiRED) have been taking turns with neighbors, occupying planned cell antenna sites on Hopkins at Monterey and at 1321 Gilman, preventing installation. 14 more permits for cell antenna sites were approved near schools, residences, and a convalescent home.
The group is working to improve Berkeley’s telecommunications laws, too. The city adopted, but watered down, many of WiRED’s recommendations. Amendments will be considered in the fall. Other cities’ laws are stronger.
BCA Steering Committee member Phoebe Sorgen also reports Berkeley’s “right to know” cell phone safety ordinance is again under attack. Passed in 2015, the law requires phone retailers to inform customers that a phone may emit levels of RF radiation higher than Federal Communications Commission standards if held or worn next to one’s body while connected to a wireless network. Berkeley’s law was upheld by the US Supreme Court, but is back in federal court, defended pro bono by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig.