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Did Easton Cell Itself Short?

Chris Wyszymski was texting a friend at the Village Store in Easton when his cell service disappeared. "Maybe this table has no service, but that table has service," Wyszymski said, pointing to the booth next to the bay window.

"Where I work the service is great," he added. Wyszymski, a Norwalk resident and native of Poland, has Verizon service. Stan Morrison drives a bus for the Easton schools and uses AT&T.

"There's a big problem down by the reservoir," Morrison said as he polished off his last bit of sandwich. "It's iffy."

But Pam Pallares, also a bus driver, has no problems with Verizon. "I had T-Mobil, and it was terrible," she said. "I asked the kids what they were using, and they said Verizon."

Morrison smiled. "The kids know about stuff before we do." Easton has two cell phone towers, and a third is in the application process. But residents are divided over the proposed location on Snow's Farm, especially because its barn was recently submitted for historic preservation status.

Resident June Lee is leading the opposition and has said a tower on that site would harm Easton's culture and environment. First Selectman Tom Herrmann has indicated the town's preference for a tower at Veterans Field so the town could collect revenue. The applicant, Message Center Management, prefers Snow's Farm because it would provide wider coverage.

But more coverage isn't necessarily what everyone wants. Bob Ocgueda recently returned to Easton after living in Holland for many years. "A cell tower would be nice," he said. "If they need to raises towers, that's not healthy. The radiation does affect the people around them."

Most studies fail to indicate a causal relationship between cell phones and health problems. However, there is a growing push to study the health effects, given that 4.3 billion people use mobile phones worldwide.

A German study found a threefold higher frequency of cancer among people living within 400 meters of a cell tower compared with people living farther away. Scientists Dr. Olle Johansson and Dr. George Carlo are known for their warnings of health hazards caused by cell phone radiation.

What do you think? Does Easton need another cell tower? Are you concerned that the tower could be a blight on Easton's historic culture? Are you concerned about the health risks of another tower? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

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