Cell phone tower proposed for Nealon Park

Outreach held with short notice

Many Menlo Park residents may not know about T-Mobile's plans to install a cell phone antennas in Nealon Park. They reportedly received little more than a week's notice about a community outreach held Wednesday, Jan. 5, to discuss the proposal.

The meeting started at 6 p.m., making it hard for anyone to get there on time after work. Those factors may have combined to explain why only 10 to 15 people attended the meeting.

But some of those who went found the presentation useful.

"I should say that meeting was a good one. I thought the people who held the meeting were forthcoming," said JoAnne Wilkes, who lives near the park. "They answered questions as best they could. In fairness to the people who did the presentation, I thought they did a good job."

No date is set for the Planning Commission to consider T-Mobile's proposal. The company wants to mount three antennas on lighting fixtures around the park's baseball diamond, raising them to 70 feet, and a radio cabinet in the parking lot behind the field.

Nealon Park sits between Middle Avenue and Roble Avenue. Residents wondered whether nearby El Camino Real might provide a more logical home for a cell phone tower, given that the park borders a nursery school and a senior center, as well as residential areas.

Aside from aesthetic concerns, a frequent fear voiced by communities considering cell phone towers is the perception that the radio emissions are linked to cancer. Experts, however, disagree on whether that link really exists.

Menlo Park City Planning Technician Kyle Perata, who attended the meeting, said T-Mobile scheduled it at the request of the city.

The telecomm has not yet responded to follow up questions from The Almanac.

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Like this comment
Posted by Dick Poe
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

The strength of electromagnetic radiation decreases with the square of the distance from the source.

Holding a cell phone right next to your brain may not prove to be such a wise decision. Cellular antennas 70' in the air would seem at much safer distance.

In any event, ask the antenna company for some real world data:

- What is the exposure from a cell phone held against your ear?
- What is the exposure to a ground-level person from the antennas T-Mobile proposes to hang from a tower 70' in the air?
- What is the exposure from the power lines on the street in front of your house (they emit electromagnetic radiation, too)?
- What is the exposure from a TV set?
- What is the exposure from the electrical wiring in the walls of a house (especially right next to the headboard of a child's bed)?
- Is there a documented history of cancer or other pathology in the technicians who service cellular antennas. It would be significant if they are working directly on them at full power without the benefit of distance and without suffering a spike in illness. An unusual incidence of health problems among such technicians would be a cause for alarm.

If any community is or should be one of science vs. ill-informed conjecture, it is MP. Let's ask the questions and act in accordance with the real risks - not imagined ones.

Like this comment
Posted by Marjorie Zimmerman
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jan 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

And what's the chance there's a bomb in my underwear, but it's likely I'll be searched the next time I travel by air. As a neighbor living in close proximity to Nealon Park, I would like answers from reliable sources to the questions of exposure to these rather powerful electric fields. I think there could be MANY better places to plant these things than in this area of fairly high residential density and community use.

Like this comment
Posted by Asked & Answered
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 8, 2011 at 11:49 pm


This is HARDLY the first cell tower erected in the USA, and your question has been answered time and time again in cities all over the USA.

The towers pose no threat to your health, and it's been proven before.

In fact, your health CANNOT be considered as part of the approval's the law.

Like this comment
Posted by Nealon Park area resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jan 24, 2011 at 3:05 pm



Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 24, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Nealon Park Resident:

why don't you want a tower there?

Like this comment
Posted by Roble Apts.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jan 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

There are very real and documented health impacts of living or working within close proximity to cell towers. The International Association of Fire Fighters has taken a strong stand against these facilities being located on fire houses, after fire fighters living in fire houses with cell towers on them started developing health problems, including slow response times, headaches, and other cognitive problems- not characteristics you want to have in your first responders! The details of their resolution is here:

Web Link

T-Mobile could not have chosen a worse location for this tower, adjacent to a nursery school, a senior center, a ball field and dense housing. The land is owned by the City of Menlo Park so contact your city council and ask that they tell T-Mobile NO WAY!

You can e-mail the whole council at:

Like this comment
Posted by A Campanelli
a resident of another community
on Feb 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm

If anyone wants to obtain info about the adverse impacts of Cell Towers, from reducing property values to adverse health consequences, go to, and go to their "Links" and "Questions and Answers" pages. I too once thought that they "must" be safe, or the FCC wouldn't permit them. Then I learned how most other coutries (other than the U.S.) have banned or moved to ban them from near schools, and the reasons why. Before you are quick to assert that there are no health consequences, visit the pages, then form your own opinion.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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