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Letters to the Editor (unpublished)

To: The Denver Post - Merciful interevention in TB tower dispute
Date: Tuesday - December 12, 2006

It was really disappointing to learn this morning that the Post's moral compass is so badly damaged -- perhaps beyond repair.

You now have joined the ranks of those who believe that the end justifies the means, a moral
and philosophical position that the Post in the past has shunned.

On the substance of your editorial, you continue to ignore the reality that the broadcasters had options other than the Lookout Mountain site for their HDTV antennae; they simply didn't want to pay for them.  (There are a lot of Socialists wearing  Capitalist suits.) You say that after seven years a local resolution appeared unlikely.  Hardly.  The Jefferson County Commission is under a court order to make a decision on a requested zoning change.  If it refused to do so, the broadcasters always had the right to seek relief in the courts, just as residents of the Lookout Mountain area have done.  You offer the view that you wish Congress had not big-footed the city
of Golden and Jefferson County.  I am offended by your crocodile tears. Sorry, Denver Post, but you fall in the category of "we know what you are, we are only haggling over the price.) 

In your zeal to support the broadcasters, you ignore the sleazy,  last-minute, introduction of the federal preemption of local rights in a package of non-controversial bills.  This one, in case you hadn't noticed, is not non-controversial.  Nor has it had to withstand the normal legislative process of hearings, debate and recorded votes.  That doesn't seem to bother the Denver Post, though. 

There is no difference between what Senators Allard and Salazar did and Rep. Young's earmarking of money for the infamous bridge to nowhere last year.  Both were sneaky maneuvers to avoid the cleansing effect of sunlight on the legislative process.  That the Post cannot tell the difference is particularly sad.  I hope you can find someone to repair your badly damaged moral compass.  The next time it may be preemption of something to which you object -- and you will not have any credibility then.

Lawrence K.
Golden (Genesee), CO


Subject: The Denver Post: Atop the TV-tower fight
Date: Saturday - 12/09/06

I was originally surprised by Ken Salazar joining Wayne Allard in supporting Senate Bill 4092.   I did not expect the freshman Democrat to support a bill that tramples local government authority and ensures that a high-risk tower be constructed in a residential area. Nor did I expect Senator Salazar to stand behind actions that exclude public debate on this issue in favor of the financial best interest of the Lake Cedar Group (LCG) 

While Senate bill 4092 was presented and passed under the cover of darkness, it is not possible to hide what I believe to be the real motivation for Mr. Salazar.  After spending a few minutes researching Senator Salazar’s largest contributors, I quickly noticed a sizable investment by the law firm of Faegre & Benson.  It turns out that Faegre & Benson are the attorneys representing the Lake Cedar Group on this hotly contested issue.  It seems that LCG’s investment with Mr. Salazar quickly paid off and his action’s now seem much more understandable to this voter. 

Don G.
Golden, CO

Sources: 

Campaign Contributions: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.asp?CID=N00026892&cycle=2006

LCG Transcript: – Attorney’s Faegre & Benson – David Stark 
http://www.c-a-r
-e.org/pdfs/Hearing%20transcript%209-27-05.pdf


Subject: Denver Post - Atop the TV tower fight
Date: Saturday, 12/09/06

Ann,

Do I understand this right?

In the past 3 days, the two Senators from Colorado introduced a bill (S.4092) into the U.S. Senate to benefit a special interest group. That bill passed the Senate without anyone voting for or against it. It also then passed the House without anyone voting for or against it. It directly benefits the Lake Cedar Group at the expense of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, bypassing all public review and comment, and overriding all local city, county and state review, regulations, and laws.
How is this possible? I'd like to see our elected representatives explain it to our children.

The bill does not limit it to only 1 tower.

When I heard about this Friday, I asked our members of Congress to find out from the FCC what the levels of interference to high tech, nanotech and biotech businesses in Jefferson County. The FCC computes and publishes that to prevent broadcasters from interfering with each other. From the information of the FCC website, in my estimation, it adds up to a radiofrequency interference dead zone for high tech from Ball Aerospace in the North to Lockheed-Martin in the South, and possibly as far East as the Denver Tech Center.

I teach and do research at the Colorado School of Mines. The school has not taken a position on the SuperTower. However, the existing broadcasting facilities already interfere with my ability to use certain equipment in teaching and research, such as that used to locate underground utilities and prevent damage to underground gas pipes from excavation. When the digital televsion comes online, there will be an overlap period of several years with the new digital adding to the existing old analog broadcasts. How many jobs will be lost in Jefferson County from that increased interference?

-Gary R. Olhoeft, PhD
Professor of Geophysics
Colorado School of Mines

--------------------------------------------------

S.4092
Title: A bill to clarify certain land use in Jefferson County, Colorado.
Sponsor: Sen Allard, Wayne [CO] (introduced 12/6/2006) Cosponsors (1)
Latest Major Action: 12/9/2006 Passed/agreed to in House. Status: On passage Passed without objection.ALL ACTIONS:

12/6/2006:
Introduced in the Senate, read twice, considered, read the third time, and passed without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
(consideration: CR 12/7/2006 S11382; text as passed Senate: CR
12/7/2006 S11382)
12/7/2006 2:42pm:
Received in the House.
12/7/2006:
Message on Senate action sent to the House.
12/7/2006 3:28pm:
Held at the desk.
12/9/2006 2:09am:
Mr. Barton (TX) asked unanimous consent to take from the Speaker's table and consider.
12/9/2006 2:09am:
Considered by unanimous consent.
12/9/2006 2:09am:
On passage Passed without objection.
12/9/2006 2:09am:
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.

-------------------------

A few words about interference. Any piece of metal can be a radio antenna. If it's not the right size and shape, it will not be a very efficient antenna. A desirable voltage on the metal is called signal.
An undesired voltage is called noise, and may be caused by interference. If I'm using a seismic geophone to explore for oil, water or minerals on the plains east of Denver, the noise is
much lower than on the CSM campus at the base of Lookout Mountain.
Looking at the frequency content of the noise with a spectrum analyzer clearly identifies the FM radio and TV broadcasts from existing Lookout Mountain broadcasters as the source of noise. This noise interferes with my ability to see the desired seismic signal, so it is called RFI or radiofrequency interference.

When the first HDTV broadcast in the US was turned on in Dallas, it caused interference with medical systems in the nearby hospitals (this is documented on the FCC website). This is the kind of problem the high tech industry in Jefferson County is already seeing, and it will get worse with the Lake Cedar Group's added SuperTower. That will cost jobs.

"Banana Skins" (see attached) briefly describe reports of electrical/electromagnetic interference. Some are personal anecdotes, some come from research, and some are extracted from official documents and reports. Some of these interference incidents had harmless or even amusing results, some lost companies significant amounts of time and/or money, even to the point of bankruptcy, and some resulted (or could have resulted) in injury or death.


Subject: Rocky Mtn. News - Congress steps into tower fray
Date: Saturday, 12
/09/06

The Rocky Mountain News editorial today is an example of selective memory -- and the degree to which the RMN has sided with broadcasters on this highly controversial issue.  Big media must stick together; at least that is the message you give when you publish such a one-sided and misleading editorial.

You would persuade readers to condemn the City of Golden rather than the sleazy, last-minute attempt by our two senators to preempt the will of residents (taxpayers, too).  There is a fundamental difference.  The City of Golden is representing the interests of its residents.  The senators are representing the commercial interests of the broadcasters.  If there were any validity to their action, they would have introduced their legislation earlier in the session.  They would have put the measure to hearings and debate, and would have obtained a recorded vote.  This was not done.  They slipped the bill in on the eve of adjournment and managed to secure an unrecorded vote by "unanimous consent."  This is democracy?  No wonder Mr. Bestor said what he did ("Congress has a right to debate, but this last-minute bill is why people hate government."  He's right, whether the RMN chooses to acknowledge that or not.  In attempting to portray the City of Golden as the "bad guy," the RMN has engaged in the old legal tactic I learned as a young police reporter half a century ago of making the victim the perp.  It is used routinely by those who do not have the facts or the law on their side.

Your editorial has selectively chosen certain facts in a rather pathetic effort to support a weak argument.  You ignore the fact that over the years this dispute has been before the Jefferson County Commission, there have been last-minute amendments and changed proposals from the broadcasters, which was the reason why one court sent the measure back -- so the Commission could consider the issue legally and properly.  I'm almost surprised that you didn't inveigh against "activist" judges.  By my reading, Judge Jackson and others who have dealt with this matter were upholding the law.  The RMN manages to trivialize the fact that the tower issue has been blocked by several courts on several occasions.  There was a member of the Commission who cavalierly told a witness at a hearing: If you don't like it, move.  Some representative of the people.  Of course, that commissioner later was forced to resign in the face of his own ethical lapses.

You would have readers believe that there is a federal mandate to put the tower on top of Lookout Mountain.  This simply is not so.  There is an FCC mandate that broadcasters transmit digital signals by a certain date -- which deadline has been postponed numerous times.  The FCC has taken no position on siting the tower.  In fact, while the RMN chooses to ignore it, the fact is that there are other sites that are less controversial and which do less damage to neighboring property values or health.  As with most commercial disputes, this really is all about money.  The broadcasters would have to pay for repeaters if they were to use one of the other sites -- or they might have to pay higher rent for use of an alternative site.  If so, so be it.  There is nothing in the FCC digital transmission rule that would preempt local government from denying use of any specific site.

The Rocky Mountain News has been highly biased on this issue for several years.  Your editorial today only serves to prove that.  Shame on you.

My greatest objection to your editorial is the way you dismiss any lack of propriety on the part of Senators Allard and Salazar, while beating the City of Golden about the head and shoulders for its behavior.  Are you suggesting that because their actions support a position the RMN has taken, such anti-democratic behavior is acceptable?  Please explain how the end justifies the means this time.

Lawrence K.
Golden (Genesee), CO

 


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