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I think that we can all agree that the safety and well-being of residents in any community should stand above politics. Yet, that is not always the case. Take for example the topic of cell phone reception and adding additional antennas or cell towers to the community to eliminate the dead zones—those areas where calls drop or there is no reception.

According to the various suppliers of landline phones the cord cutting rate is approaching 95%. That means, most people who are either buying a home or already own a home no longer bother having a landline phone. They are relying solely on their cell phones which most carry with them or is in arms-length.

But what happens when you have poor or no cell phone reception at your home? We have all experienced and have gotten use to those spots where calls regularly drop or there is no reception at all especially in the canyons and mountainous areas around SCV. So in the event of an emergency, you may be completely out of luck in calling for help. That is why there is an urgency to fill in cell phone coverage.

In recent conversations with community leaders, county officials and phone company representatives all have agreed on the need but there is hesitation. That pause is in regards to a few ill-informed individuals in every community that complain that the cell antennas or towers will “fry their brains” or “cause cancer.” There is NO scientific basis for their comments and complaints yet one or two of these people can endanger the safety and well-being of an entire community. These same people hold a cell phone to their ear multiple times a day!   

What is more infuriating is that the local representatives and Politian’s take those few crackpots seriously. The term that has come up repeatedly in discussions about cell phone reception is “political cover” for the County Supervisors. It has nothing to do with the safety of residents and everything to do with “political cover.” Getting re-elected; not having to take a stand if there is a hint of opposition no matter how small. And it is always a small, vocal band of local idiots that will make one of these local representatives or Politian’s run for political cover.

It has happened in other communities over the years and even in our own. But, now it is different, with so many homes without landlines there is a real danger brewing to life and safety. All it will take is a major disaster, think the next big earthquake, to create a situation where people lose their lives because they could not get help due to bad cell phone reception. Think about that for a moment because it is a real and present danger.

Dave Bossert—commentary

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on a number of boards and councils. He is an award winning artist, filmmaker, and author of several books. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.