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Cell Phone Tower Breaking News Flash!!!

Published on: March 1, 2007 01:12 PM
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Verizon Wireless is starting a cell-phone tower plan rolling!

Due to the pressure exerted by many, including the hardworking Senator Elizabeth Little and our Vos Iz Neias readers, people have taken action.

Verizon Spokesperson, John O’Malley confirmed  that the company has found sites from where to create blanket coverage of the area. “This is obviously an area that we and the rest of the industry know needs attention,” he said. “But we will spend more on our network here in New York than any other carrier will.”

Congratulations to Verizon for taking this first major step, and kudos to our devoted readers who have spent valuable time and resources on this crucial issue! All of us share the great “zechus” of toiling in the valuable mitzvah of “Pikuach Nefesh”.

Verizon Wireless is the first responder, and while initially only its customers are the beneficiaries, the company is the modern-day “Nachshon Ben Aminadov.”

Thank you Verizon, we are sincerely grateful for the lifesaving work you have started.


U/D: 03/01/07 12:31
In a statement released exclusively to VIN News, Senator Elizabeth Little stated. “I’m pleased to learn that Verizon Wireless is pursuing a cell phone plan that would ensure coverage on the Northway, and I look forward to learning more about it.  They have indicated publicly that the plan is in the very early stages, but have expressed confidence that they will be able to provide the blanket coverage desperately needed on the highway,” she said.  [VIN]

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Read Comments (37)  —  Post Yours »


 Aug 30, 2007 at 08:55 AM Anonymous Says:

A Press Republican Editorial, Plattsburgh, NY
Published August 29, 2007 09:45 pm - There is no reason to be optimistic about seeing cell-phone service invigorated along what is now dead space on the Northway, and that can spell disaster. One ace in the hole remains, however: Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

EDITORIAL: The governor is our best hope for Northway cell-phone coverage
There is no reason to be optimistic about seeing cell-phone service invigorated along what is now dead space on the Northway, and that can spell disaster. One ace in the hole remains, however: Gov. Eliot Spitzer.

State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) discussed the situation with the Press-Republican's Editorial Board recently and conveyed frustration with the small amount of progress to date. "We can't go through another winter without cell-phone coverage on the Northway. I don't want to have to say again, We're working on it.'"

It's not for lack of effort on the part of our state representatives that the coverage is so spotty. Little and the Assembly delegation have made the cell capacity a personal crusade for at least five years. That delegation includes Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) and Janet Duprey (R-Peru), as well as Duprey's predecessor, Plattsburgh Republican Chris Ortloff.

They have all spoken with the people in government and in industry who would have to be part of a solution to the problem. They have all driven along the Northway and tried making cell-phone calls to ascertain the extent of the gap in coverage.

Verizon has said it could install towers to transfer signals, but the Adirondack Park Agency has strict requirements on where the towers could go, how many could be installed and how high. If the agency's rules don't mesh with Verizon's business needs, the company cannot, of course, be compelled to build.

COWS were thought to be a solution. They are the cell towers on wheels -- aptly named for this heavily agricultural area -- that could be placed either temporarily or permanently in three rest areas on the Northway and transmit adequate signals. The APA, however, ruled them out.

So, as we approach the end of August, prospects for cell phones by the first snowfall appear bleak. Last winter, two motorists died in the dead of winter and the dead of cell-phone coverage when they became disabled and were unable to summon help. (Cell phones may not have helped in one of the cases, which occurred in snow so deep and thick no one should have been driving in it.)

Nevertheless, chances of survival are seriously reduced without cell phones.

If all else fails, the last hope will be Spitzer, who, upon taking office, spoke encouragingly of seeing that cell phones were able to penetrate the 47-mile dead zone between exits 28 and 35 of the Northway.

The assumption is that he could be persuaded by either legislation or, more likely, by executive order to render APA requirements less stringent.

It's easy in sunny, 75-degree weather to call for a solution and hope it happens. When the snow and ice prevail, however, the urgency will be more apparent.

Little has discussed this inevitable crisis with Spitzer and feels confident of corrective action. She is absolutely right: "We're working on it" is no longer good enough, as we learned so painfully last winter.


 Mar 23, 2007 at 08:15 AM Anonymous Says:

Cell towers: lesson in land use
Precedent exists for tall structures

Staff Writer
March 23, 2007
LAKE PLACID — Communication towers can fit Adirondack Park land-use plans.

They fit best on existing tall structures in village areas.

A general permit to install one can be ready in about two weeks.

Adirondack Park Agency Regulatory Programs Director Mark Sengenberger reviewed the cell-tower permitting process with about 60 local lawmakers Thursday in a workshop at APA Local Government Day, an annual event that started 10 years ago to encourage dialogue with Adirondack village, town and county officials.

The cell-tower issue has become a subject of hot debate recently, particularly as it relates to public safety on the Adirondack Northway.

Why the environmental concern about visual impact?

Sengenberger asked the question and answered it in Tower Policy terms.

According to state law, he said, strict regulation protects the "natural scenic character and beauty of the Adirondack Park" as "the foundation of the quality of life and economy of the region."

Simply, a legal issue protects how the landscape looks.

Any tower more than 40 feet tall or any tower installed for major public-utility use requires an APA permit.

The myth, he said, is that APA rejects tower permits out-of-hand.

"All communication tower projects brought before the agency have been approved," Sengenberger said.

"Most of the towers were well over 40 feet, some 100 to 125 feet, and properly sited. Based on a complete application, general-use permits for communication towers are typically signed in two weeks."

Sengenberger affirmed that communication issues are a real concern in remote areas of the Adirondacks.

"Half of my staff are women driving to remote wilderness areas across the Park. We have a very real concern about safety, too."

Companies that have approached the problem with a positive attitude and some creativity have been able to solve the wilderness cell-tower conundrum.

"We've been seeing an increasing number of proposals from providers with complete applications," Sengenberger said.

Recent discussions with cell-phone companies indicate they are willing to work together in finding an Adirondack solution.

"Hopefully, we'll see a flurry of co-location applications over the summer."

Lawrence Weintraub, senior attorney with the Department of State, offered legal advice to area lawmakers concerned with cell-tower zoning.

Tower "real estate" is sometimes the mechanism driving cell-tower proposals — phone companies attempt to site where they can rent co-location options.

"That became one of the profit centers of the industry," Weintraub said.

But, he warned, if towns don't have zoning, they can't regulate tower use or placement.

Zoning variances sometimes become mandatory under a state law called the Rosenberg Public Utility Test.

"If there is a service gap and no other way to build (a communication tower) that is economically feasible and unobtrusive, you may have to grant a variance to allow them to build it."

One lawmaker from the audience asked why towns should create local zoning when most towers fall under APA jurisdiction.

Only 17 of the 104 towns and villages in the Adirondack Park have APA-approved zoning laws in force.

"What is the advantage of a local law?"

"If you don't have zoning, you can't assess where the towers go," Weintraub said.

"With no zoning and no site-plan review, are you up a creek?," asked another town lawmaker.

"It's not that you're up a creek," Weintraub said. "You don't have your own authority, and you're going to have to work through the APA."

Town planning also gives cell companies a continuum of options.

Working together, Sengenberger said, towns could provide coverage on some of the Adirondack travel corridors.

And, he said, cell-phone providers need that kind of cooperation.

"It is helpful for (phone companies) to hear this in as coordinated a process as possible."



 Mar 20, 2007 at 02:00 AM Der Ragachover's Assistant Says:

I think that it's appropriate to say that while her name is "Little" she does "much", as our sages have stated thousands of years ago; "Emor Me'aat V'aaseh Haar'be". Tranlation: "Say little, do much"


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:41 PM B.A. Mentsch Says:

At least Verizon should give Shloma Shamos a free unlimited cel phone plan. Don't you think?


 Mar 01, 2007 at 07:45 PM Anonymous Says:

verizon should invest in towers for the following org. hatzolo motreal nyc why not shomrim shmira chaverim.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 04:15 PM Anonymous Says:

We cannot settle for short 38 foot towers on I87. There will be scant coverage on the highway. This also will not give coverage to the surrounding areas. If the state of ny picks up the tabs for short towers, we still have the little communities with no coverage. Travelers who dare venture off the Interstate for gas or food will also be at great risk and in the same boat with the Adirondack people in the small towns nearby. I say hang tough and get what we need and let the free market pay the costs by having a larger pool of users to make it worth their while.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 03:58 PM Anonymous Says:

I will bet that the enviros will pressure the state to put up the 38" towers on I 87 and the state of ny will cave in to the extremists as they always do. The enviro groups have lobbyists sitting in Albany and constantly in and out of all the ny legislators and govs offices. I hope we have some people on our side there to counter along with the petitions and phone calls.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 02:54 PM Anonymous Says:

Anon 2:40

We aim to please here at VIN,
Yasher Koach!!!
Happy now? :o)


 Mar 01, 2007 at 02:40 PM Anonymous Says:

what in the world does SHKOYACH mean? WHat a ridiculous truncation of an important word used to express a positive sentiment to others.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 01:45 PM Anonymous Says:



Only CDMA phones (Verizon, Sprint) will work on a Verizon tower. GSM/TDMA (Cingular, T-Mobile) will not. Everyone used to support analog (AMPS), but all the carriers are in the process of disabling it, in favor of digital (CDMA or GSM.)

This is true for 911 or any other wireless service.

We need other carriers to install towers there as well.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 01:00 PM Anonymous Says:

According to some people I spoke, and who I belive have some insides to this,

Verizon has hired the biggest law firms to fight the APA laws, so they should be able to put up the towers quicker.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 12:46 PM Anonymous Says:

This is great news I hope it will materialize very shortly. Being a frequent traveler on
I- 87 I stopped driving at night & I encourage everyone to stop driving at night, particular in the winter when black ice or snow squalls form in minutes. Chap a Schloff & leave in the morning. “Better to lose a minute in life than life in a minute”. Your caring neighbor from the North


 Mar 01, 2007 at 12:46 PM Bency Herbst Says:

I firstly have to express sencere thanks to Shlomah and crew. I also have to caution all of you that we should not forget that this has happened before. The last 6 years have been a battle for Sen. Little. We cannot know what this interview from Verizon means. Don't forget it is very good for them to be "THE ONE TO SAVE THE DAY" for public press. I don't think we should celebrate just yet. As far as I know the APA will still have to approve the plans that Verizon come up with. The mere fact that Verizion said that they are working on the issue does not say much. It will still be regulated by the APA. This is just another advantage for the environmentalist and gives them time to let things cool of by us thinking that something is being done and the pressure will stop. After that the APA will not approve their plans or they will approve 38 foot towers as they have done before and this whole thing die down.
I must addmit that it is a step in the right direction but we are not out of the "WOODS" yet. Also as far as I was told 911 works on every signal. Cingular, Verizon Sprint and T-mobile. If i am wrong someone please correct me.
Bency Herbst


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:57 AM Anonymous Says:



 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Does anyone know where the announcement of Verizon agreeing to put up towers was posted (by Verizon)?


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:25 AM FF Says:

all of my family and extended family use Verizon.

Yasher Koach to them for their commitment.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:02 AM Anonymous Says:

I will put up shortly an email to Verizon.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:02 AM Anonymous Says:

Dov told yesterday to all people who called him, "No one has asked me to help on this", so stop with your BS telling us Hikind was involved.

Don't try to give Dov any credit behind the scene, he is a sore loser.

The credit rest purely on Voters like myself, people who called, and the Honorable Sen. Little.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 11:01 AM Bruce Says:

Maybe we as individuals can email Verizon to show our Hakoras Hatov. Is
their anyone we can thank? Email address?


 Mar 01, 2007 at 10:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Just because Hikind didnt do it loudly doesnt mean he wasnt involved.


 Mar 01, 2007 at 12:25 AM nuch a chosid Says:

Gevaldig!!!! thank you!!!


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:50 PM O.Gevald Says:

Shloma, I think you should discuss "merger" talks with Verizon.
I mean, they now see how powerful Vos Iz Neias is. Right?
I think Verizon will have a "Heimishe" branch called "Vos Iz Neias".
What's Mr. O'Malley's number? Maybe we should start a phone campaign?


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:45 PM chassidei VIN Says:

now, I beg you, please dont talk on the phone when driving. please dont let this campaign, have a bad name.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:44 PM Anonymous Says:

Maybe we replace Sen. Little on the Seat of Dov Hikind, she gets things done with out talking so much as Dov


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:37 PM Anonymous Says:

I have a Wireless Store, i will put up a big sign on my front window with a message "THANK YOU VERIZON FOR THE TOWERS"


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:27 PM Anonymous Says:

My promise: The minute SHLOMA confirms that there is a signal my company with 23 cell phone users will switch to VERIZON for being the first responder in this great act!!!!


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:27 PM THANKS Says:

anon 11:10

not quite, shlomo deserves a thank you now, for everything he's done already!

Kol Hakovad Vos Iz Neias


 Feb 28, 2007 at 11:10 PM Anonymous Says:

Let's wait until it happens and then come up with an official Thank You!


 Feb 28, 2007 at 10:56 PM B.A. Mentsch Says:

Let's put thngs in perspective.
Later, we can thank Verizon when we get a signal working across the border.
Let's all have a drink now together. L'chaim.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 10:40 PM Thank You Verizon Wireless!! Says:

Lets thank Verizon Wireless for caring and actually saving peoples lives. Lets support them when we buy our next cell phone, and don't forget to tell them to keep up their great work!

They anyways have the best coverage. Now we know why, they invest the most on towers/network.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 10:10 PM Anonymous Says:

sheloma you deserve mishloach munis from the community at large you took the word munis and converted to ashiris god bless you a freilichen pirim from canada.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 09:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Who cares about the bill life is priceless.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 09:45 PM Anonymous Says:

now lets all call the politicians to thank them.


 Feb 28, 2007 at 08:09 PM Anonymous Says:

To Anon 7:53.

I was just about to post the same info but, you beat me to it. Your entire post is factually correct & accurate. Shkoiach!


 Feb 28, 2007 at 07:56 PM Nachman Says:



 Feb 28, 2007 at 07:53 PM Anonymous Says:

No carrier is required to allow customers of other carriers to use their network.

Nevertheless, Verizon and Sprint have a cross-roaming agreement. Any Sprint user can pick up a Verizon tower. All new Sprint plans include roaming at no cost. All other Sprint customers can still roam on Verizon's network, but will be billed for it.

Cingular and T-Mobile cannot roam on Verizon since they use a different technology (GSM/TDMA instead of CDMA.)


 Feb 28, 2007 at 07:41 PM O.Gevald Says:

Mazel Tov!
Indeed this is great news.
I am not so sure that Verizon can utilize it's towers for their exclusive use. Perhaps they can benefit most as it is their property but I beieve the Telecommunications Act prohibits carriers from refusing others to piggy-back off their towers. "Pay" they'll have to. But they cannot be refused.


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