Changes or not, just say no to the pole

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Letters to the Editor

Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 11:08 PM PDT

If you have had your eyes and ears open here in Yu­caipa over the past few years, you are familiar with Oxnard-based Lazer Broadcasting’s proposal to construct a metal lattice radio tower and grade or cut 6,700 feet of trenches for utilities across the most prominently visible section of land overlooking the unspoiled Wildwood Canyon State Park, right here in the backyard of Yucaipa. You may even be aware that Lazer’s latest re-design now suggests a 43-foot monopole instead of a tower; same exact location, same major defacing of the land in this area.

No matter the size of the tower or pole however, the current construction site is in the most prominent and visible of locations, overlooking the State Park. If this site is used, the tower or pole along with all the trenching and activity required for construction will redefine the entire surrounding area — for our life time and for decades beyond. And whether the construction is for a tower or a pole, the result would stand visible over the majority of the park and be easily seen by residents and visitors alike.

Meanwhile, the recipients of the radio waves will remain oblivious to where this broadcasting structure actually re­sides. Maybe Lazer could have a broadcast commentary every once in awhile … “brought to you by the residents of the City of Yucaipa, who gave up a landscape millions of years in the making so you could hear this tune…”

The residents of Riverside coun­ty will happily listen to their music or news and when they are done listening, they will switch off their radios and go on their way. But the thousands of us who actually live here or who visit the State Park will never, ever be able to switch off the view of the offensive and obviously man-made scars construction at this particular site will leave behind.   There will be no escaping a view of this site unless you never visit the park, or do not live in the area.

If allowed to proceed, all of us who live in the area, as well as visitors to the State Park will be greeted with a view of the remaining construction site for the rest of our lives.  Gone will be the pristine natural beauty and feeling of solitude and escape from the man-made world that is so evident that the State saw fit to preserve this space when it declared this area a State Park in the first place, and which draws thousands of visitors here every year.

The tenacity that Lazer exhibits in wanting to build at this specific site after offers to help them find a new location remains a mystery.  (Interest­ingly, there are reports of engineering studies which indicate other locations that would work for this tower/pole construction that are not prominently visible from the State Park.) The current location has been rejected by our city and county officials, opposed by numerous community groups and conservancies, and been petitioned by our community, yet Lazer persists in making minor changes to their design on the original site request and have returned again and again for approval.

One would suspect that they believe we residents will eventually tire of the fight, and yield through lack of action. But the Giant Lazer has yet to realize that the David Yucaipa will not stand idly by and watch our cherished wilderness laid to waste from lack of interest.

We the residents of Yucaipa, ‘get’ how precious the look of this unspoiled area is, and have been saying no to construction at this Lazer site for a few years now. Unfortunately, we have to continue with voices of opposition and petitions for a little while longer.

Please do not give up — your efforts are thus far making a difference. Please, Yucaipa, remain resolute and continue to help in the defense of this, our cherished and very visible open space. Citizens in opposition — you are really needed at the next San Bernardino County Planning Commission meeting, on May 5 at the County Gov­ernment Center’s Board Cham­bers, 385 N. Arrowhead Ave. in San Bernardino.

Your physical presence will help enormously. Remember, if this application is somehow approved, not only will we lose our beautiful existing vistas, it will set a precedent for more tower constructions in our area.

If you are willing, you can help even more by using the Public Comment portion of the meeting to voice your opposition; the public is allowed three minutes per speaker to comment.

To determine if this item will be in the 9 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. portion of the meeting, the agenda can be viewed 72 hours prior to the meeting on-line or give the county a call at 387-8311.

If you haven’t already, please also consider adding your name to the petition to stop this construction at www.stopthetower.org and/or www.facebook.­com/stopthetowernow.com.

Thank you for remaining vigilant and keeping up the good work, Yucaipa.

KT Gates-Waldrup

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