Friday, March 16, 2007

The Constitution Is Upheld In The Face Of Fear Mongers Hysteria

Gov. Spitzer as usual did the right thing. He upheld the constitution. Despite the fact that national and state government officials have begun believing the contstitution is just some obstacle to be circumvented whenever possible, it is what defines us, and what ultimately determines our rights and the limits of governments powers.

I firmly believe no one died because of lack of cell phone coverage. They died because they were careless and drove off the road. Cell phones don't make you safer, they merely give you a false sense of security. Suppose the Langers cell phone didn't work because it ran out of batteries, should we install chargers along the Northway?

When I was outside Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, my cell phone hardly ever worked. It was an incovenience as I was in the middle of being hired for a new job. I firmly believe he inconvenience of momentarily being out of contact is more the issue to most people in favor of dotting the landscape with cell towers than is safety

People, in this nation of victims, need to take responsibility for their actions. And our local, state and national governments need to run their respective jurisdictions within the confines of the law. Since 9/11 we've become a nation concerned only with the short term. The result is we have failed to protect our rights, and failed to even realize that our long term liberty is more important then the inevitability of death. Government promises us protection and we run for it, even at the expense of freedom.

The area within the Blue Line of NY State is a unique, rare, well planned, and misunderstood area of the country. Most residents of NY don't even understand the protections and uniqueness of the Adirondack Forest Preserve. The ammendments and laws that protect the park are there for a reason. It has been proven time and again, that humans cannot stop their own push for domestication of the wild. Had Article 14 and the APA not protected ADK Park there would be nothing left to protect today.

Once again, thank you Gov. Spitzer for doing the right thing.


Spitzer: No cell towers on Northwayby The Associated Press

ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Wednesday that he won't install temporary cell phone towers along the Adirondack Northway, but said he will continue to seek a solution to limited cell phone coverage in the remote area.

“Despite someone suffering and dying because their cell phone would not work on the Northway - and there being a real threat of that occurring again - the answer to the traveling public is to wait for a permanent solution, which is likely to take years to implement,” Republican Sen. Betty Little said.

Spitzer's office is continuing to “look for the middle path” in providing cell phone service to the area, spokesman Marc Violette said, citing constitutional protections for the Adirondacks put in place more than 100 years ago.“We are reviewing a number of options, and have not ruled out any, to meet a public safety need while also respecting the uniqueness of the environment through which the Northway passes,” Violette said.

Last month, Little sent a letter to Spitzer requesting he issue an executive order to waive the Adirondack Park Agency tower siting policy along scenic Interstate 87 to allow for the temporary placement of three cell phone towers at highway rest stops.Little and other lawmakers have long sought increased cell phone coverage for the highway areas of the road. They renewed their calls for the towers in January following the death of 63-year-old Alfred Langner of Brooklyn.Langner died from hypothermia after driving off a remote area of the highway. Langner and his wife Barbara were unable to get out of the car and were unable to call for help because of a lack of cell phone coverage.“We've been told by the governor's office that the movable cells on wheels would require a lengthy permitting process through” the Adirondack Park Agency, Little said in a statement.

Environmental groups have long opposed the 100-foot towers, saying they would spoil the landscape of a sparsely populated area of the Adirondack Park and violate scenic easements that govern construction in the area.

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Set Me Free, Why Don't You Baby!!!

I'm 12 weeks away from becoming a non caged animal again. If it would warm up I'd be so much closer. I never liked zoos but I now know why I hate them so much. So I'm clear to gradually begin a running program (treadmill), light hiking (nature trails), and within a few weeks mountain biking (Caney is excited).

I had my 12 week post-op at Special Surgery Monday and all went well. After a brief scare (9 days of pain, stiffness, guarding and spasm) my knee feels like a $31,000 knee again. Really had me worried after the last 6 weeks going soooo smoothly.

Well some photos from my day off in Manhattan. It was typical March in the Northeast. Rainy, snowy, windy, cold, sunny, briefly warm, and bitter cold all in a 12 hour span.

Not exactly the mountains but a fun day spent photographing in the city and then dinner with the family.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

A World Without Cell Service....Is It Such A Bad Thing!!!

The APA has set regulations to keep the area within the Blue Line free from the eyesores of radio towers. The height of towers cannont exceed 38 ft which is the average height of trees in the region. Recently there have been several victories that have allowed "Franken Pine" like cell phone towers on land on the park edges, primarily in the Lake George area.

Frankenpine tower
Franken Pine

The problem I have with this is that cell phone coverage is not a right. As a matter of fact I dare say, not everyone in the world even owns a cell phone. And while these dead spots along the Northway are known dead spots, there are millions of similar dead spots in the US. Vermont, which is littered with radio towers has spoty cell service with Verizon which is by far the best service in Vermont. NH, has similar issues, even along I-93. Worse on the secondary roads.

This is certainly an inconvenience but to make it seem to be more than that is absurd. We've simply become too dependent on a connection to the outside world. Anytime that is broken we feel there is a problem.

Personally, I'm adamantly opposed to violating APA regulations for cell towers. If cell service can be delivered without large towers I am not opposed to it. However, cell companies are unwilling to foot the cost for this because smaller towers require more towers. Quite simply they could use the existing phone structures (there is a phone every 1 mile on the Northway) and place mini towers, also put short towers at the rest areas. Would there still be dead spots? Yes. Are there dead spots in Manhattan? Yes.

One of the great things about the Adirondacks, different from Vermont and New Hampshire. Is the lack of towers, satelites, and other man made eyesores from the summits.


Environmental groups back temporary towers

Wednesday, February 28, 2007 1:55 AM EST

It's debatable:

Should the state invest time and taxpayer dollars in setting up temporary cell phone coverage in the Adirondacks, or should it devote its efforts solely to a permanent solution?

The issue of poor cellular phone service along portions of the Northway has received prominent attention since Alfred Langner of Brooklyn died in late January while trapped in his vehicle, which left the Northway, hit a culvert, became airborne and landed in an area where the vehicle was difficult to see from the highway.

Langner and his wife, who survived, were trapped in their vehicle and were unable to get cellular service at the accident site for more than 24 hours, according to State Police.

Other organizations in the coalition are The Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks, Citizens Campaign for the Environment and the Sierra Club's Atlantic Chapter.

In a press release, the group called for the state to fund a cellular phone plan that does not require suspending Adirondack Park Agency and other environmental regulations.

The organizations wanted to show they are united in support of a plan proposed several years ago to erect about 30 cellular phone service polls, about 38 feet in height, along the Northway between the Pottersville and Peru exits, said Sheehan, of the Adirondack Council.

"The environmental community is just as anxious to get service out there as everyone else," he said.

Little said Tuesday it may be possible to modify the original proposal to include a few towers taller than 38 feet, either disguised as trees or placed at rest stops.

"There's room for compromise here," she said.

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