© 2004 Updated: 9/22/04

ANTENNA TOWER - SPECIAL REPORT

Mount Morrison Tower Replacement Proposed

A “community meeting” sponsored by Bear Creek Development on May 24, 2001 at the Taj Mahal attracted an estimated 65 citizens. BCD wants to replace one of two existing towers on Mount Morrison. Although KRMA-TV, Channel 6 is a member of Lake Cedar Group (Channels 4, 6, 7, 9, & 20), which is planning a second Super tower proposal for Lookout Mountain, the PBS affiliate wants to build the tower on Mt. Morrison, if BCD gains approval.

Public radio stations KCFR-FM and KUVO-FM, which have exceeded legal radio frequency radiation (RFR) emission limits adjacent to the Lookout Mountain Nature Center and Boettcher Mansion for eight years, also wants to move to the proposed Mount Morrison tower.

Marti Albright, an attorney with Brownstein Hyatt & Farber, managed the meeting and listed citizen concerns on a large paper tablet visible to the audience. BCD secretary Kathryn Isenberger, RF engineer Jay Jacobsmeyer, KRMA Chair of the Board Bob Bardwell, KCFR Chair of the Board Buzz Victor, and KUVO board member Doloris Atencio were available to answer questions.

Above: May 24 panel proposing expansion of the Mt. Morrison tower site: Bob Bardwell - KRMA, Buzz Victor - KCFR, Dolores Atencio - KUVO, Kathryn Isenberger - Bear Creek Development Corp. Attorney Marti Albright records citizen concerns.

The public stations created “Public Interest Communications” to build a 305- foot replacement tower supported by guyed wires on Mount Morrison. All power and telephone lines, transformers, generators, bridges, retaining walls, parking areas and lighting would be below ridgeline. Strobe lighting would provide daytime visibility rather than red and white paint. A red light would identify the tower for night visibility by aircraft.

The proposed tower could hold 10 FM radio and four TV analog-digital transmitters. Limitless numbers of open-grid microwave dishes, cellular radio, PCS and paging antennas and other transmission devices are proposed. The horizontal projection of devices from the tower would be limited to 10 feet.

A transmitter building, not to exceed 7,000 square feet of ground area or 10,000 total floor area, would be terraced in conformity with existing topography and recessed into the hillside. A 2,000 square feet addition is proposed for an existing building (that serves the existing taller tower), which would be remodeled “to soften its appearance.”

Albright and the public media board members discovered why foothill citizen’s do not trust the broadcast industry. Suspicions over the past 20 years have been documented by CARE’s Antenna Tower Committee since 1996:

    • A consistent industry pattern of illegal behavior without punishment
    • Hundreds of transmission devices added without JeffCo permits
    • 2 million watt emissions of the 1960s on Lookout Mountain grew to 10 million by the 1990s (half on residential zoned land)
    • Zoning violations by many owners of an accumulated 1000 transmission devices on Lookout and Mt. Morrison continue
    • Antenna towers on Lookout & Mt. Morrison damage the integrity of historical sites: Buffalo Bill’s Grave/Museum, Lariat Trail, Boettcher Mansion, and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre.
    • Mass media blackout of balanced reporting on the hazards of RFR
    • RF industry controls the FCC, which does not routinely monitor emissions
    • FCC- and JeffCo-adopted ANSI standard allows four times more RFR than it takes to fragment the DNA of mice in two to five days.
    • Arrogant disregard for human health and safety while gaining $ millions in tower rental profits
    • Sociopathic power politics similar to tobacco, asbestos, toxic chemical and electric power industries
    • 75% of TV viewers pay for reliable signals provided by the expensive infrastructure of cable and satellite services. Sending RF signals over-the-air (accepted as “safe” from the 1920s to 1970s) from land-based towers is a relatively cheap investment to gain huge rental profits.

Denver stations falsely claim that signal coverage from safe alternative sites (which they do not own) is inferior. Genesee Mountain, Green Mountain, North & South Table Mountains and the “dip” into Boulder Valley block signals from Lookout Mountain for at least 100,000 viewers without repeater or translator devices. It is not necessary to sacrifice the health, safety and real estate value of human families at approved sites on Squaw Mountain and Eldorado Mountain.

Above: An estimated 65 citizens attended the May 24,2001 Mt. Morrison tower replacement, “feedback” meeting.

Mount Vernon Canyon citizens (and millions more who communicate via the worldwide web) were told High Definition Television would be less polluting and provide extraordinary quality. They now know HDTV will be multiple “digital” channels for wireless rental profit. Adding RFR will never be “less” as the industry claims.

An opportunity for the industry to regain some credibility was suggested by CARE attorney Deb Carney, “If PBS does exist for the public good, Channel 6 should publicize and broadcast Len Aitken’s documentary film in prime time.” The film Lookout Mountain was edited from Broadcast Blues to include interviews of Channel 6 station manager James Morgese and Channel 9 station manager Roger Ogden. It was one of 12 films (of 1400 submissions) honored at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival at Leavenworth, Washington, April 5-8, 2001.

JeffCo needs more high-end jobs to balance taxation and match its high-end housing. Jefferson County Commissioners will be confronted with three tower proposals in 2001: Lookout “supertower,” Mt. Morrison replacement tower and expansion at Eldorado (Squaw Mountain is in Clear Creek County). High-end, high-tech companies are leery of local governments that allow unnecessary, massive RF interference, and threaten the integrity of historical sites and the well-being of residents.

See Antenna Tower Struggle for more background on this issue. Also many documents and details are available at www.c-a-r-e.org.