© 2005 Updated: 12/18/05

ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT

Photo: Team that convinced County Commissioners to deny the Supertower, left to right: Golden attorney John Putnam, CARE attorney Deb Carney, Golden attorney Jim WIndholtz, and citizen volunteer and engineer Al Hislop

Denver TV Channels 4, 7, 9, & 20 Supertower denied

On September 27, 2005, Jefferson County Commissioners Congrove and Auburn voted to remand the previous Commissioners approval of a 730-foot Supertower and 20,000 sq.ft. building in the Mountain Backdrop that JeffCo citizens have paid $52 million to preserve. Golden, Genesee and Lookout Mountain citizens have worked diligently for the past eight years to prevent an increase of the public nuisance caused by extreme levels of electromagnetic radiation thrust at 65,000 citizens who live and work in the Greater Golden area.

Previous to the tower denial, on September 8, the Home Rule City of Golden announced the intent to acquire 165 acres of antenna tower land to preserve it for future generations. Golden has worked for many years to preserve the Table Mountains and Mountain Backdrop land on Lookout and Zion. KUSA-Channel 9 told the public that this is an eminent domain issue.

"Their self interest is tremendous hypocrisy," said attorney Deb Carney who represents 9,000 residents of Mount Vernon Canyon. "The Lake Cedar Group broadcasters have been taking away the property rights of residents adversely effected by high levels of broadcast signals thrust at them without their consent. This causes electrical computers, audio equipment, telephones, baby monitors, electrical doors of garages and cars, etc. to malfunction. The residents are abiding by the law while none of LCG’s towers conform to zoning regulations for residential land. These broadcasters pollute our area without any accountability."

Daily television and newspapers usually report big companies that bully communities and pollute their environment. But not in Colorado. The TV stations are business partners with the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News. The only mass media to provide an honest report on this exciting news drama that effects the entire metro area is Westword.

Denver media has not told the public that consultants for Lake Cedar Group, a consortium of TV channels 4, 7, 9, and 20 proposing the Supertower, have bilked an estimated $10 million from Viacom, McGraw-Hill, Gannett, and NewsWeb, who collectively earned $35 billion for profits of $2.4 billion in 2003 (wwwCenterforPublicIntegrity.org). PR professionals, attorneys, engineer and scientist consultants, and former station managers want to continue payment to them.

The most recent LCG corporate-bilkers conducted a "push-poll" designed to steer public opinion in November, 2005. Aurora citizens were told: "Thousands of residents who cannot afford cable or satellite rely on free over-the-air TV, but would not be able to receive any signal at all if the stations are forced to relocate this tower. After September 11th, we know how important it is that all citizens have access to news, weather, and emergency information… Should government put up barriers to technological progress which benefits consumers?"

The LCG pollster did not inform respondents that the U.S. Congress has allocated $3 billion for analog to digital converter boxes; more than 90% of Colorado viewers subscribe to cable or satellite that have provided digital service since the late 1990s; excellent alternative sites for 198-foot towers that do not require red blinking lights are available at higher altitudes; JeffCo planners and engineers recommended denial of the Supertower based on scientific facts, not public opinion. The pollsters did not ask if respondents want a Supertower in their community.

Denver media has not told the public that communications analysts predict the future of television reception is broadband over cable, not electromagnetic signals from antenna towers. Qwest and Comcast are dueling for cable TV/Internet customers, while Direct TV and Dish Network compete for satellite customers. But the broadcast industry apparently owns elected U.S. Congress politicians in need of nice publicity.

The U.S. House and Senate require the industry to convert to all-digital broadcasting by 2009. The terrestrial broadcasters plan to use $70 billion of digital spectrum (provided free by the Congress) to produce extraordinary profit for data service rental, not High Definition (digital) TV as intended by the 1996 TelCom Act. The legislation was written and lobbied for approval by broadcast, wireless and electronics industries.

Since 1997, thousands of JeffCo foothills citizens have conducted research, tested signal strength from many tower sites, attended countless meetings and hearings, provided professional testimony, produced a high quality TV documentary; participated in dozens of fund raising efforts; and participated in demonstrations at the Taj Mahal against this abuse of power by Denver media.

JeffCo Commissioners Congrove and Auburn have ended the 25-year covert tradition of trading unlimited use of antenna towers on residential Lookout Mountain for nice political coverage. Now, watch for an increase of negative publicity about JeffCo.