Guest Commentary: KDVS Needs the Landfill Tower

tower.jpgby Neil Ruud

The current KDVS radio tower on Kerr Hall causes telecommunication interference and is not tall enough to legally protect KDVS’ signal beyond the immediate area. In 1996, KDVS’s staff started researching potential sites to build a taller tower and legally protect its listeners in Yolo County and beyond.

Throughout this 15 year process, other radio stations have encroached on KDVS’ airwaves. Already there is an automated out-of-state mini-station in eastern Sacramento preventing many of our dedicated listeners from hearing KDVS. This will soon be a reality in other parts of the valley, including some parts of Yolo County. Without an expanded legal area of protection, KDVS is powerless to protect reception for existing listeners.

 

Results Radio, a company with a technical need to locate a tower near Davis, approached KDVS in 2009 with an opportunity to co-locate on their proposed tower. After an environmental impact report found that the tower would have little impact, a one-year Use permit was issued for the construction of the tower.

A year later, Results Radio filed for a construction extension before the previous permit expired. The extension was necessary because of the time intensive FCC construction permit approval process. The extension was approved. Subsequently, the extension was appealed by a Davis resident who claimed that changes were made to the original project. County staff wrote a report categorically rejecting the all of appellant’s claims and the Yolo County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny the appeal. The appeal is now headed to the Board of Supervisors who must determine if there has been a significant change in the project.

Opponents of the tower also claim that it will impact migratory birds in the Pacific flyway and significantly detract from local aesthetics. They claim that KDVS should search for another location for a tower to avoid these impacts.

The Pacific flyway is 300 miles wide; almost every tower in California is in the Pacific flyway. Additionally, this tower is not inconsistent with the use of the space; there is a taller tower closer to Davis. The proposed tower will have state-of-the-art technology recommended by US Fish and Wildlife guidelines to protect migratory birds. The only changes made to the project were to mitigate environmental concerns and were made prior to the initial, unanimous approval of the tower. These issues were addressed in the original certified environmental document which the public had an opportunity to comment on.

If this tower is not built, there will be an immediate negative impact on KDVS’s coverage. Even more importantly, KDVS’s prospects of relocation will be even more limited than they already are. The Davis City Council’s offers of assistance finding alternate sites were appreciated, but KDVS has already exhausted other options in the extremely technical field of tower location which is constrained by the FCC, the FAA, and local government.

On Tuesday, December 13th at 9am, The Yolo County Board of Supervisors will hear the appeal against extending KDVS’s permit to build a new tower at the Yolo County Central Landfill. KDVS is aggressively seeking the denial of this appeal for the benefit of the citizens, non-profits, and businesses of Yolo County. These groups benefit from local news coverage, free public service announcements and low-cost underwriting messages.

For more information on the KDVS tower project or to learn how you can help protect KDVS, please visit kdvs.org/tower

Neil Ruud is the general manager at KDVS

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87 thoughts on “Guest Commentary: KDVS Needs the Landfill Tower”

  1. rusty49

    This article doesn’t address the higher intensity white strobe lights of the new tower and how that will effect the northeast Davis neighbors and the flashing on the night sky.

  2. Matt Williams

    rusty, the answer to your point is “Not at all”

    First, the lights are not “higher intensity.” Only towers that are taller than 500 feet require the higher intensity lights.

    Second, the new generation of LED strobe lights are specifically designed to direct light upward toward any airplane they are warning, but not lower than the horizontal elevation of the lights.

    As Dialight, the company that has developed the LED strobe lights, says in their website, [i]”[b]Minimized Ground Scatter[/b]

    [b]Sharp Beam Cutoff To Prevent Light Pollution[/b]

    In lighting, it has always been a challenge to direct light where it is needed and cutoff light where it is not wanted. Over the years, flashing beacon lights that direct light downward into residential areas have caused numerous complaints and legal battles. This light pollution is caused primarily by limitations of the optical designs. Dialight has overcome this problem with a patented reflector based optics system designed specifically for the obstruction signals application. Dialight’s optics technology creates the sharpest beam cutoff in the industry by directing almost no light downward.. The controlled beam pattern results in essentially zero light pollution. The chart below shows the light pollution (amount of light seen) at various distances for several 2,000 candela red beacons mounted on a 150-foot tower. The Dialight beacon maintains extremely low light levels to the ground while ensuring that aircraft see the required 2,000 candelas.”[/i]

  3. Matt Williams

    rusty, here is a link to a Dialight documentation page that includes their comment above as well as several graphics and pictures that document how and why Ground Sacatter of light is minimized.

  4. Matt Williams

    rusty, here are links to Dialight documentation that includes their comment above as well as several graphics and pictures that document how and why Ground Sacatter of light is minimized.

    [url]https://www.google.com/search?q=”minimized+ground+scatter”&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images[/url]

    [url]http://html.alldatasheet.com/h…001EU.html[/url]

  5. Anon

    Neil: You are allowing KDVS to be used as a pawn to drive the commercial interests of Results Radio.

    It’s called a give-to-get.

    I reflects badly on the radio station.

  6. David M. Greenwald

    I don’t think that’s a fair indictment Anon. KDVS has a legitimate interest in a radio transmitter, I fail to see how that legitimate interest means they are being used as a pawn. I think reasonable can disagree on the radio tower itself without going there.

  7. medwoman

    I think that this is a fairly clear issue of folks with different interests simply advocating for those interests.
    KDVS certainly has the right to advocate for itself and it’s listeners.
    Results radio has the right to promote actions that favor it’s interest.
    Folks who do not like the proximity to or perceived impact of a tower near their property have the right to protest without being labelled NIMBYs
    or other favored perjoratives of the day.
    And folks who are interested in protecting the bird populations have a right to forward that point of view.
    I do not believe that any one has a moral high ground here ( except perhaps the birds). This is purely a matter of perceived personal best interests and should be treated as such.

    And to Neil Rudd I would point out that stating that there are many other bird hazards already in existence, is certainly no argument for constructing another.

  8. biddlin

    Much ado about nothing . After the tower is in place, everyone will forget about it except when viewing it in daylight, at a distance or overflying it by night. KDVS is one of Davis’ cultural marquees !

  9. E Roberts Musser

    As I asked before, what are the benefits to Davis for this tower? I now have an answer – radio reception for a local Davis station. So what we have here is a situation where we are weighing the best interests of radio reception for customers versus the possible danger to birds in a 300 mile wide flyway. Considering how much of a mess the numerous birds make at University Mall, I personally would choose radio reception as the more important consideration. I doubt one radio tower is going to make that much difference in a 300 mile wide flyway, and the danger is speculative at best. Just my view…

  10. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]I think that this is a fairly clear issue of folks with different interests simply advocating for those interests.
    KDVS certainly has the right to advocate for itself and it’s listeners.
    Results radio has the right to promote actions that favor it’s interest.
    Folks who do not like the proximity to or perceived impact of a tower near their property have the right to protest without being labelled NIMBYs
    or other favored perjoratives of the day.
    And folks who are interested in protecting the bird populations have a right to forward that point of view.
    I do not believe that any one has a moral high ground here ( except perhaps the birds). This is purely a matter of perceived personal best interests and should be treated as such. [/quote]

    Well said…

  11. Wolf

    The landfill lies in the heart of the Pacific Flyway and millions of birds traverse this specific area to reach the many near-by wetlands including the City of Davis wetlands, Willow Slough wetlands and the Yolo by pass and Wild Life Area. Millions of dollars of public and private money have been spent to establish thousands of acres of seasonal wetlands In the Bypass and to establish land management practices to maintain the wetland habitats which provide foraging, nesting and breeding habitat for thousands of birds annually. We have spent millions of dollars on the wetland habitats to attract birds and other wetland species to these areas, and now we propose to erect another tower in the flight path! The landfill itself and its immediate area provide foraging and nesting habitat for hundreds of birds as well.

    It is indisputable that this tower in this location will be responsible for the death of hundreds of migratory and resident birds annually. The unfortunate fact that there is already another tower there is no argument for adding this one.

    Several biologists have testified that the original environmental studies were inadequate and that an EIR?EIS should have been performed along with consultation with fish and wildlife regarding impacts on threatened and endangered species that would migrate through this area.

    The tower will also have a large impact on neighbors of the site and on night time skies. The three white flashing strobes will be visible for miles and will impact both people and wildlife. (Refer to the example that was posted on this site in a previous blog.)

    If KDVS has been having problems for years, why haven’t they applied to co-locate at the many other towers already existing in Yolo and/or Sacramento County?

    I sincerely hope that the BOS will deny the permit extension. This tower should never have been considered for this site.

  12. Anon

    We all value KDVS.

    The City Council members noted how much they loved the station, how they grew up listening to the station, what an asset is was to the community.

    But they still recognized what a horrible project the Results Radio tower would be and voted unanimously to oppose the proposal.

    Steve offered to try and help them locate to a city owned tower and Sue was very disappointed that they hadn’t engaged the City Council for help in solving their location problem.

  13. Anon

    “what are the benefits to Davis for this tower?”

    Elaine: KDVS gets to relocate to the tower. The county gets $18,000 per year income.

    Davis gets:
    (1) Three bright white strobes on the edge of town … 24/7/365 at 40 flashes per minute.
    (2) More pissed-off neighboring farmers that feel like they gotten throw under the bus again.
    (3) Dead birds that we attracted to the area with the Davis Wetlands project.
    (4) The risk of an antenna farm at the landfill.
    (5) Major damage to the Pass-Through Agreement as a consequence of RDA staff (Hess) establishing the precedent that the letter of the agreement is subordinate to the interpretation of the “spirit” of the agreement by staff and whatever council majority is sitting at the time.
    (6) A violation of the Greenline MOU between Davis, Woodland, and the County.
    (7) The precedent that open space preservation under the Pass-Through Agreement and the Greenline MOU is limited to farming operations – forget agricultural vistas, sight lines, dark skies, etc.

    I could go on, but you get the idea.

  14. roger bockrath

    Matt,
    Pretty cool improvements to tower lighting. How is it that you happen to know that the Dialight brand product is the one specified for this proposed tower?

    Nobody has yet explained why Results Radio and KDVS can not broadcast from the existing 500 ft tower located about a quarter mile from the site of the proposed tower.

    Tomorrow at 9:00 A.M is the hearing on the appeal and suddenly, on the day before the meeting, we are told that the local not for profit low power station stands to benefit from allowing this new tower to be erected. What’s with that? This is the first I’ve heard anything about KDVS. Up until now, everything I’ve read on the Vanguard has referred to some radio company I’ve never heard of with a station I have never tuned into. Maybe I need to renew my subscription to the Emptyprise.

  15. Anon

    “The extension was necessary because of the time intensive FCC construction permit approval process.”

    Wrong. The extension was necessary because Results Radio was engaged in a complex scheme to bypass FCC interference regulations that initially led to the FCC denying their application for the landfill.

    This involved exploiting a loophole in the interference regulations designed to accommodate operating stations with preexisting interference.

    This involved staging a fake relocation to an existing Dunnigan Hills tower to get field data for their FCC reapplication to the landfill.

    This involved setting up a transmitter at the Dunnigan Hills site without county permits, and then getting the missing authorizations after they were exposed.

    The idea that they failed to perform under the one year option period because the wheels of bureaucracy in Washington turn slowly is false.

    The FCC approval is under appeal.

  16. Berryessa-Wilcox

    The existing 500′ tower on Road 102 is full. It might not look crowded, but towers can only have so many antennas on them due to wind shear / interference / other technical issues.

    Locating a tower is very challenging. There are minimum distances that KDVS has to keep from other 90.3 FM towers as well as 90.1 and 90.5 towers to avoid interference. Also, the low end of the dial has to take TV channel 6 into account, which adds to the challenge. So there simply aren’t other options to choose from. If KDVS doesn’t get a taller tower now, and protect its existing territory, then static will eventually become a lot more common than local programming on 90.3 FM.

    County Staff did a very good job countering the issues raised in the appeal about impacts from the tower. See the following link for more info:

    http://141.174.195.7/agenda_publish.cfm?mt=ALL&get_month=12&get_year=2011&dsp=agm&seq=455&rev=0&ag=20&ln=6447&nseq=461&nrev=0&pseq=&prev=#ReturnTo6447

  17. Matt Williams

    roger, when one decides to be a NIMBY, as the residents along Mace and in Willowbank and El Macero did when the tower was originally proposed for a location within 100 yards of the Brooks Riding Academy on South Mace, I (and others) took the time to work with Yolo County to present to Results Radio a series of questions about impact. Results Radio provided the Dialight information to the County, as well as to meetings of the Willowbank Service Advsory Area Committee and the El Macero Homeowners Association.

    Results Radio was very proud that they were doing everything that they could to minimize the impact of the tower on the neighbors. At that time the tower was a guy wired tower.

    I answered your 500 foot tower question on 12/6 in another thread. Here is that answer again.

    Matt Williams

    12/06/11 – 11:05 PM

    Excellent question roger. I asked the exact same question of CBS the owner of the 500 ft. tower over 2 years ago. The answer from CBS was that the “tower was full.” Visually, that didn’t make sense to me. There seemed to be plenty of open area on the tower to accept additional mounted equipment. Their answer to me was very enlightening. Bottom-line the “fullness” of the tower is determined by the cumulative amount of wind shear that the mounted equipment contributes. So despite the visual evidence to the untrained eye, the 500ft. CBS tower is “full.”

  18. Anon

    rusty: Matt’s analysis is false. And as far as I can tell, the CEQA analysis of the light impacts was primarily some printouts of web pages.

    At 2.5 miles, the strobe lights will only be approximately 1 degree above horizontal. It will illuminate the ground before it hits Lake Alhambra, old East Davis, and Wildhorse. The bright light from these strobes, by design, travels dozens of miles to alert aircraft.

  19. Anon

    “when one decides to be a NIMBY”

    Matt: You and your NIMBY associates also worked very hard to move the impacts to North Davis. The current opponents are clear that this tower should be banned from the Davis sphere-of-influence under the Pass-Through Agreement. Not dumped on some other neighborhood.

  20. Berryessa-Wilcox

    Actually, Matt provided some very good information.

    Yes, the intention of the medium-intensity lights is to alert aircraft dozens of miles away. But it isn’t to illuminate the aircraft. This tower is far enough out of town that it will fade into the background for almost all East/North Davis residents.

    This tower design, and the state-of-the-art lights will likely be studied by other communities hoping to minimize light pollution and wildlife impacts from their towers. Isn’t that the position that Davis strives for?

  21. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    “Wrong. The extension was necessary because Results Radio was engaged in a complex scheme to bypass FCC interference regulations that initially led to the FCC denying their application for the landfill.

    This involved exploiting a loophole in the interference regulations designed to accommodate operating stations with preexisting interference.

    This involved staging a fake relocation to an existing Dunnigan Hills tower to get field data for their FCC reapplication to the landfill.

    This involved setting up a transmitter at the Dunnigan Hills site without county permits, and then getting the missing authorizations after they were exposed.

    The idea that they failed to perform under the one year option period because the wheels of bureaucracy in Washington turn slowly is false.

    The FCC approval is under appeal.”

    Anon, your statement above is only partially correct. First, there was no scheme, second there is no loophole, third the FCC process is complex by its very nature. If anyone reviews Results Radio’s application filed with the FCC after the Supervisors approved the landfill site in 2010, they will find that the application [u]always[/u] was openly founded on the FCC’s regulations regarding signal overlap.

    What you are overlooking Anon is that the FCC had approved a building permit for Results Radio for the South Mace Boulevard site. It fully complied with all the FCC’s regulations, and was approved as a result. FCC regulations would have allowed Results Radio to build the tower at the South Mace site, broadcast for a single day, and than apply to move their tower to the landfill, and the FCC would have had no choice but to approve the move under its regulations. Results Radio’s 2010 application directly asked the FCC to approve a permit for the Landfill site without going through the actual construction of the South Mace tower and then tearing it down and moving it. The FCC came back to Results Radio saying that after much deliberation they wouldn’t do as Results Radio requested, but that there was a way to accomplish the same end result by using the existing Dunnigan tower. Thus it was the FCC that determined how best to apply its rules in this situation and advised Results Radio of its finding. Results radio then acted on what the FCC told it.

    The appeal Eileen has filed with the FCC will be heard on its merits; however, those merits (demerits?) do not include the words scheme or bypass.

  22. J.R.

    First of all, we don’t “all value KDVS”. Many of us think the station is embarrassingly amateurish, and that it only survives because it is subsidized by the fees of UC Davis students. Come to think of it, there’s a good potential source of fee cuts.

    KDVS can already be heard all too clearly in Davis. They seem to be under a delusion that lots of people in Sacramento would tune in if only they could.

    Finally, I am continually surprised by how quickly Davis leftists discard environmental concerns, whether it be about wildlife, as in this tower, or pollution, as in the well water? It seems that the environment is only essential when it comes combined a need for bigger government.

  23. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”At 2.5 miles, the strobe lights will only be approximately 1 degree above horizontal. It will illuminate the ground before it hits Lake Alhambra, old East Davis, and Wildhorse. The bright light from these strobes, by design, travels dozens of miles to alert aircraft.”[/i]

    Well said Anon, but like Paul Harvey you need to include “the rest of the story”

    The rest of the story is that other than while landing and taking off at an airport, airplanes are always above 200 feet in altitude (the height of the lower strobes on the proposed tower), therefore all light directed at a flying plane will be directed UP. Can you describe even one instance where there is reason to direct light from the Landfill to a plane flying at an altitude less than 200 feet? You can’t.

    Second, the US Patent Office has issued patents to Dialight for the unique design of its new generation LED lights for the way they use reflective optics to ensure that NO light is directed below horizontal. So in your example wher the tower is one degree [u]above[/u] horizontal from Lake Alhambra, old East Davis, and Wildhorse, that means that Lake Alhambra, old East Davis, and Wildhorse are one degree below horizontal from the lights on the tower. The light will fly at least 200 feet above those Davis locations and never hit the ground. If the Landfill is a higher elevation than Davis (as I expect it is) then the light will fly over Davis at an elevation even higher than 200 feet.

    As Paul Harvey would say, “And now you have the rest of the story.”

  24. Anon

    J.R.:

    On the subsidy issue, forcing unmitigated environmental impacts on wildlife, the farmers, and the residents of north and northeast Davis is a form of subsidy.

    On the leftist hypocrisy issue, I assume you are speaking about the NIMBY’s on the proponent side. The environmental community has consistantly opposed the tower at both sites.

  25. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Matt: You and your NIMBY associates also worked very hard to move the impacts to North Davis. The current opponents are clear that this tower should be banned from the Davis sphere-of-influence under the Pass-Through Agreement. Not dumped on some other neighborhood.”[/i]

    Actually Anon, no one from South Davis did any such thing. In fact when the idea of the Landfill as an alternate site was raised, outreach was conducted to the local chapter of the Sierra Club and to residents in North Davis to get their take on the reasonability of the Landfill site. The feedback that was received was not negative on either of those fronts, and as a result, the South Davis residents you falsely accuse stepped back and let the City, the County and the FCC complete their processes.

    In March 2010, with absolutely no input whatsoever from the South Davis residents you falsely accuse, the City determined (through multiple formal steps) that the tower as proposed did not violate the Pass Through Agreement. Where were all the “current opponents” during all those multiple steps (Telecommunications Commission, Planning Commission, City Council and Staff decisions)? Where were the “current opponents” when the tower was written about in the Enterprise in a front page article?

    Regarding “Not dumped on some other neighborhood,” the only neighborhood in question here is the birds’ neighborhood. As Eileen Samitz said when asked about the existing 500 foot tower (that is even closer to the North Davis neighborhoods than the proposed tower is), “What tower?”

  26. Matt Williams

    the final sentence should read

    When asked in early 2010 about the existing 500 foot tower (that is even closer to the North Davis neighborhoods than the proposed tower is), Eileen Samitz said, “What tower?”

    For those of you who don’t know, Eileen is the appellant in both Yolo County and with the FCC.

  27. Anon

    If anyone reading is confused, Matt and friends fought ferociously (including retaining counsel) to move the tower out of their back yard.

    It the strobes are invisible from the ground, then what was the big fuss about when the FCC and Results Radio and KDVS were all happy with the El Macero site?

  28. Matt Williams

    J.R. said . . .

    [i]”Finally, I am continually surprised by how quickly Davis leftists discard environmental concerns, whether it be about wildlife, as in this tower, or pollution, as in the well water? It seems that the environment is only essential when it comes combined a need for bigger government.”[/i]

    No one has discarded environmental concerns at all J.R. At every step along the way in this multi-year process, environmental concerns have been expressed and acted on. The guywireless design is the result of environmental concerns expressed by City of Davis staff and included in the letter from the City to the County telling the County that any Pass-Through Agreement concerns were moot, and that the County should proceed with processing the application.

    The South Davis citizens reached out to environmental groups and received the following response, [i]”Wish you could have stayed last night. I did explain the issue. People were aware of it when it was proposed for south Davis and that that idea went down in smoke. When I described the landfill site, everyone thought that was a good idea for all the reasons you and I both know. I explained the issue of bird strikes and Robin Kulakow’s biologist friend’s reports that she forwarded to me. In short, white strobe affect the birds least. Replacement of “status quo” lighting, which is a combination of flashing and steady red lights on towers, reduces bird kills by 50% to 70% according to one study. All the studies done on communication towers reached much the same conclusion: red steady or pulsing lights confused night migrants the most and resulted in the highest kills. Red strobes with breaks in the light cycle, were a little better. White strobes were the best. The red lights apparently interfer with the birds’ abililties to use magnetic fields for night flying, and the birds fly toward and around and around the towers, hitting the guy wires and dying.

    The tower in question is planned for a white strobe and those little curly cue things on the guy wires, so it looks like they are mitigating as best they can for the bird strikes. I was hoping that we could just write a letter with support for the site and design, but Bob thought we should write a letter asking for a delay of 30 so that there can be further study into the issue. He was approached by the Conaway Group and agreed to submit a letter from Tuleyome to that effect.”[/i] After the 30 day period lapsed with nothing new, the South Davis citizens stepped back and let the County and Results Radio step through the process unabated . . . a process that resulted in Results Radio stepping up and mitigating the design even further.

    Finally, lets talk about that further mitigation for a moment..

    Gehring, Kerlinger and Mann performed a [u]Central Flyway in Migration[/u] study a few years ago that is considered to be the largest scale and most recent study that has been done on migratory bird strikes. You can access the report at [url]http://docs.darksky.org/Reports/Communication-tower-lights-and-avian-collisions.pdf[/url] It clearly shows the substantial mitigation effect on bird strikes that 1) removing guy wires and 2) converting steady red lights to white strobe lights has.

    Look at Table 1 of the report on page 5 of the pdf (page 509 of the journal issue). The table is titled “Comparison of bird carcasses found in Michigan, USA, during 20 days of spring migration in 2005 at 24 communication towers with different lighting systems approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.”

    For the category the proposed tower is in, Unguyed 116–146 meters with a white strobe (L-865) Light System there were three towers and the mean number of carcasses for those three towers was one carcass every 20 days with a reasonability variance of +-1, so that represents an upper boundary of two bird strikes for the 20 day period . . . one bird strike every 10 days. Is that truly “substantial numbers of birds are going to be killed by the tower proposed?

  29. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”Again, why can’t this tower be further south, closer to Dixon? Is there interference there?”[/i]

    Don, the simple answer is “Yes” One of the stations that the FCC uses to calculate the signal overlap distances is in Santa Rosa. The Dixon location is substantially within the overlap map of the Santa Rosa station.

  30. Matt Williams

    All the issues have been addressed in the comments above. If anyone feels engaged to let the Supervisors know their thoughts pro or con, please send them an e-mail by the end of the day.

  31. Don Shor

    @ Matt: I would love to see that overlap map, because that is extremely weird. There is plenty of land in Solano County east of Dixon that is no closer to Santa Rosa than the land east of Davis. Dixon itself is only slightly closer to Santa Rosa, as the crow flies, than Davis. I would urge Results Radio to seek a location due south of their current proposal, in Solano County. there are many radio transmitters east of Dixon already. I imagine there are willing farmers.

  32. Anon

    Don:

    Based on overlap contours, the only allowed location was a small sliver of land just south of El Macero.

    The NIMBY uprising forced them to look to the landfill.

    To deal with interference disqualifying the landfill, results Radio gamed the regulatory system which included a fake relocation to Dunnigan Hills that denied the public appropriate rights to participate in the process.

    The only questions now is whether our Davis sups are going to be a party to this misbehavior and condoning the conduct by granting an approval.

  33. Berryessa-Wilcox

    I believe the issue to the south is a 41,000 watt station called KYCC on 90.1 FM out of Stockton. This station is four times as powerful as KDVS, three times as high, and has a significant protected contour.

    Finding a tower location is like playing whack-a-mole. Every time you think you find a good location a new problem pops up. Many of the locations near Dixon or on Campus that KDVS looked at have FAA restrictions due to the Yolo County or the UCD airports.

  34. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”@ Matt: I would love to see that overlap map, because that is extremely weird. There is plenty of land in Solano County east of Dixon that is no closer to Santa Rosa than the land east of Davis. Dixon itself is only slightly closer to Santa Rosa, as the crow flies, than Davis. I would urge Results Radio to seek a location due south of their current proposal, in Solano County. there are many radio transmitters east of Dixon already. I imagine there are willing farmers.”[/i]

    I don’t have a copy anymore, but going south from the South Mace location was our first suggestion . . . somewhere behind Grasslands Park near the existing NASA facility with its towers. The FCC problem there, as I remember it was with an existing East Bay or Central Valley station, or both. We all recognized at the time that south in Solano County would have been desirable. It still would have been in the Central Flyway though.

  35. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Don:

    Based on overlap contours, the only allowed location was a small sliver of land just south of El Macero.

    The NIMBY uprising forced them to look to the landfill.

    To deal with interference disqualifying the landfill, results Radio gamed the regulatory system which included a fake relocation to Dunnigan Hills that denied the public appropriate rights to participate in the process.

    The only questions now is whether our Davis sups are going to be a party to this misbehavior and condoning the conduct by granting an approval.”[/i]

    Anon, if you were the Brooks Riding Academy with all your stables and horses and two residences within 100 yards of the tower, wouldn’t you be upset. Heck you are upset when that 100 yards is transformed into a minimum of 2.5 to 4 miles from North Davis neighborhoods.

  36. neilruud

    We have looked at applying to already existing towers. We have had the advice of many professionals in the field and in the course of 15 years we have looked at a plethora of alternatives. Here is a brief list outlining some of the obstacles we face:

    1. KDVS cannot relocate within Davis due to KXPR interference concerns, and Davis residents do not want a tower within the core area.
    2. KDVS cannot relocate west of campus because the FAA determined a tower near the UCD and Yolo Airports would be a hazard.
    3. KDVS cannot relocate to south of campus due to complaints from Mace Ranch, and FCC interference overlap from 89.7 FM.
    4. KDVS cannot relocate just north of Davis to the KSFM tower because it was determined by the tower’s civil engineering firm that the tower had reached peak load.
    5. KDVS cannot relocate further north to the KXSE tower because its interference overlap pattern with KXJZ is too close to Woodland and Interstate 5.
    6. KDVS cannot relocate just north of Davis between Davis and Woodland because yet another airstrip resides there, and could not find a willing land owner.

    When I say we have explored the alternatives over the last 15 years, I do not say so haphazardly. Many people have put years of work into this project that was approved a year ago. We have been constantly monitoring FCC databases and other sources to explore our options. This tower is our last and best option.

    Furthermore, I say that there are already other towers in the area because I want to highlight that the tower is not an inconsistent use of the space. Why should kdvs suffer where these commercial stations get free reign? I do not believe the tower will have a significant impact and that it is an opportunity for the community.

    J.R.: We receive a subsidy from ASUCD fees which allow for students to opt of of units they don’t support. We raise the majority of our budget from revenues we raise and from community support. KDVS operates on a shoe string budget and spares no expenses. Eliminating our subsidy would save UC Davis Undergrads $1.84 each– I couldn’t even buy a CoHo medium coffee for that much.

    I understand that not everyone may support KDVS or appreciate its programming but opposing this tower will only hurt local musicians, small businesses, and nonprofits that rely on KDVS for the exposure commercial stations do not offer.

  37. Frankly

    I have often wondered if we need a new type of EIS for certain types of instrucuture & industrial development. This would be an “Economic Impact Study” and would engage certified appraisers to analyze the potential economic impacts to surrounding property values resulting from a proposed project. The project sponsor could then use this to negotiate with property owners having the largest potential impacts to pay them to sign an agreement to support the project. With enough potential opposition dealth with, the project could proceed. The payouts would just be added to the cost of the project.

    Of course there are still environmental impacts to consider… can’t really negotiate cash settlements with the birds.

  38. TimR

    Go to fmscan.org to find the frequency overlaps. KMJE 101.5 has to find a location that minimizes interference with adjacent frequency stations KIOI 101.3 from the Bay Area, KHYL 101.1 from the Foothills, etc.

    I would like to learn more about what Results Radio did in the Dunnigan Hills and how the FCC responded to their action.

    I would also like to know what arrangements, if any, KDVS has with Results Radio. Do they have other reasons to go with Results Radio, or are they looking to pay market rate for an antenna on any appropriate tower? KDVS apparently is also increasing their transmitter power when they move to a new tower.

    I’d like to know more about what was offered by the city for KDVS to use use a city tower.

    Davis Community Network’s KDRT switched frequencies to allow Results KMJE to use 101.5 in this area. What were the details of this agreement?

    Result Radio KMJE is currently licensed to a tower near Colusa according to FCC documents broadcasting on 101.5. KMJE also intend to increase their transmitter power if/when they move to a new tower. What are the reasons for them to move from their current location?

    It would be good to get everything out now rather than have details come out after an uninformed decision is made.

  39. Mr.Toad

    You are all so late to the party. This is an application for an extension of an already approved permit. The time to raise these issues was when the deal went down to move the tower to the dump from El Macero. Most have already been vetted and the new ones seem to be grasping at straws.

    To JR, push the button.

    To Matt Williams: You are a stand up guy. You could have washed your hands once it was moved out of El Mac but you are hanging in there supporting the negotiated outcome.

  40. Anon

    Stand up guy? Stab your neighbors in the back and then try to make sure they can’t pull out the knife.

    “Anon, if you were the Brooks Riding Academy with all your stables and horses and two residences within 100 yards of the tower, wouldn’t you be upset.”

    Of course I would be upset. And I would do my best to run the offending party out of the county. Not dump the problem on another region of town and then show up at the 11th hour to try and squirrel the opposition when folks try to fight back. But then I guess I’m not a stand up guy.

    I’m a NIOBY (not in our back yards) not a NIMBY.

  41. Matt Williams

    TimR said . . .

    “I would like to learn more about what Results Radio did in the Dunnigan Hills and how the FCC responded to their action.”

    Tim, as I understand it the FCC didn’t actually respond to RR’s actions, but rather suggested it.

    The way the FCC rules work (as I understand it) is that a radio station can move from an existing location to a new location without FCC opposition if the new location has a lower “interference contour” with existing stations than the station’s existing location. That was the case with the South Mace location vs. the Landfill location.

    Said another way, by FCC regulations the Landfill was acceptable under the rules as a relocation from South Mace. Results Radio applied to the FCC asking them to treat the South Mace location (which the FCC had already approved) as the “on-paper location” of their station without actually building the physical tower and broadcasting, and then approve the move from the “on-paper location” to the Landfill because that would reduce the station’s overlap contour.

    As I understand it, the FCC staff was of two minds. Half felt that what Results Radio was asking was a very sensible application of the FCC’s long standing regs. Half agreed that it made sense, but didn’t want to break precedent from the historical precedent that previous application of the regs had established. In the end, someone in the FCC realized that the existing Dunnigan tower could act as the equivalent of the “on-paper location” and they told Results Radio about the step-by-step option thaty Results Radio followed.

    So when the FCC received Results Radio’s application to move from Dunnigan to the Landfill, because the interference contour was lower at the Landfill it meant all regs were complied with and a resultant simple FCC administrative approval.

    That is the way it has been explained to me.

  42. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    “Anon, if you were the Brooks Riding Academy with all your stables and horses and two residences within 100 yards of the tower, wouldn’t you be upset.”

    Of course I would be upset. And I would do my best to run the offending party out of the county. Not dump the problem on another region of town and then show up at the 11th hour to try and squirrel the opposition when folks try to fight back. But then I guess I’m not a stand up guy.

    I’m a NIOBY (not in our back yards) not a NIMBY.”

    That is your right to be a NIOBY, but I chose not to go that route because there were many segments of the Davis community affected by this decision. Neil has stepped up and explained how from his perspective and from many UCD students’ perspective there is a “greater good” associated with approving the tower location. However, to torture your metaphor, you are willing to “stab KDVS and its listeners in the back” and make sure they can’t ever get a tower location that will protect them from predatory practices in the radio market” and you are willing to do that over a tower that you will rarely (if ever) see. Further, if Results Radio stands by its promise to bring radio advertising rates to Davis that are 1/10th the level they are currently having to pay, all the local businesses who would like to use radio advertising will benefit.

    Is there a perfect solution? No. There are tradeoffs. It is a decision based in very simple practicality. As I said above, it fits into Joe Friday’s mantra, “All we want are the facts. Just the facts, ma’am.”

  43. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”Anon: no attacks on other blog participants, please.”[/i]

    Don, I don’t feel attacked. I realize that the dispassionate, objective information about this situation isn’t going to be popular with some people, but all I see myself doing is putting open, transparent, factual information out there for people to make up their own minds from.

    I’m sure that Mike McGowan wasn’t popular with the Conaway Preservation Group when he said from the dais that they shoot many, many more ducks on the Conaway Ranch than will ever be killed by the radio tower, but that doesn’t change the factual nature of his statement.

  44. Anthony

    Let’s remember that the original appeal deals only with changes that were made to the project after it was approved. Too my understanding any changes that were made were to decrease the towers impact on the local community so I am confused as to why people are still upset?

    Most of these comments should have been brought up before the tower was originally approved, and discussing them now is besides the point. KDVS seems to have done their homework here and I hope that this community will not throw such a great resource to the side in favor of misinformation.

  45. Briankenyon

    I live in East Davis, but I regularly drive through East Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Elk Grove and points further east. The KDVS signal to my factory-issued car radio antenna always comes through, day or night, clear and strong. I would ask, what was the justification for building a new tower again? In these hard economic times, KDVS should just do what it does best–freeform radio.

  46. neilruud

    Briankenyon,

    I’m glad you listen to the station in those areas. The reason this tower is so important is that those areas are “unprotected” or “fringe” coverage areas that are not protected by our FCC license. If this tower is not built, other pending applications will move in and cause interference in those areas. Our pending application is preventing outside encroachment for the time being, but if we cannot prove that we have found an adequate site, then these other groups will be allowed to move in.

    We need this tower to expand our protected contour and prevent outside encroachment on those areas. Many commuters will lose KDVS in the coming years if we do not relocate soon, and some will lose coverage even sooner.

  47. Berryessa-Wilcox

    Brian,

    You’re fortunate to have a decent radio in your car. It may be factory-issued, but radio price doesn’t always correlate with reception quality. Not every car owner is as lucky. Also, portable radios and home stereos have worse reception than the average car.

    Your reception may be adequate outside of Davis for now, but KDVS has no legal power to fight off interference beyond a close radius from the tower. Right now it is very common for large broadcast interests to use software to find weaknesses like these to exploit. Then they set up robo-stations in these gaps which are just repeaters for their base station in Texas, Nebraska, or the like. They get a slight increase in their listenership, and it wreaks havoc with the original community broadcaster’s signal.

    A taller tower will give KDVS much more leverage to prevent this situation, which has already happened in Sacramento.

  48. Michael Harrington

    Anon: since matt says the light won’t go down maybe he fights so hard because he doesn’t want to step over dead birds on his morning golf outing ??

  49. Anon

    “just the facts”

    Here’s a fact just off the wires. The Road 102 tower is only at 93% capacity.

    How much equipment does KDVS need to mount Neil? Please disclose this information so the community can assess the quality of your due diligence regarding co-locating KDVS on an existing tower.

  50. Adam Smith

    [i]Here’s a fact just off the wires. The Road 102 tower is only at 93% capacity.[/i]

    If it’s a fact, please provide referential info so that others can come to their own conclusion.

    @Don Shor: a few days ago, you suggested that it isn’t “theoretically” possible for an individual to have multiple blogger identities on this site. Can you please explain the site ensures that theory? It seems clear to me that, regardless of theory, in practice some individuals are posting under multiple identities.

  51. Adam Smith

    [i]An engineer’s report will supposedly be entered into the record tomorrow[/i]

    Yes, always “some other time”.

    anon – did you think I directed my comment to Don Shor because of you? Interesting.

  52. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .
    [i]
    “Anon: since matt says the light won’t go down maybe he fights so hard because he doesn’t want to step over dead birds on his morning golf outing ??”[/i]

    Michael, I’m not “fighting” for or against. What I am doing is very simple, keeping the discussion balanced and factual. Almost all of the arguments against this tower have chosen to ignore the scientific evidence. Anon screams about light pollution from high intensity lights, but hasn’t taken the time to verify that 1) the tower will actually have high intensity lights, and 2) the lights will truly shine “downward”, and 3) what the actual effect distance-from-source will have on the visibility of the light. All that is “yelled” loud and long is 20,000 candellas of polluting light.

    When I share the truth about the light factor, it “fights” for itself. I don’t have to do any fighting for it.

    As I have said many times in many threads, the only [u]real[/u] issue for Davis residents is the potential for increased numbers of bird strikes. All the other issues are clouded by emotion.

  53. Matt Williams

    For the record, I don’t play golf Michael, and the peer-reviewed scientific data projects one bird death every 20 days due to a collision with buckshot. That is 18-19 birds per year.

    How many dead birds do hunters take out of the Vic Fazio Wildlife Refuge per year? How many dead birds do visiting hunters take out of the Conaway Ranch per year?

    If Anon is attacking the tower for the death of the birds that are drawn to the Wildlife Refuge, shouldn’t he/she also be campaigning to put an end to hunting on publicly owned lands in Yolo County? That would appear to be the “balanced” thing to do.

  54. Mark West

    I think this discussion is a great example of what this site has evolved into. One side of the argument is being put forward by people providing facts and referenced information while signing their names to their opinions. The other using false claims, innuendo and lies, all the while hiding behind pseudonyms. I frankly don’t care one way or the other about this topic, but I know which side of the argument is credible.

  55. Mr.Toad

    No time for that Mike. Certainly you understand the legal concept of standing as an intervener. This entire thing has been addressed. The process was previously played out. The only issue here is what new information people have to bring forward. What capacity some other tower has is no longer relevant, bird deaths are no longer relevant, location no longer relevant. The only things new are the lights and on that KDVS wins because the lights improve public safety for airplanes and the appellant lives too far away for the light to be a real disturbance. Certainly as an aviation attorney you understand all of this Mike. You must understand how light intensity attenuates by the inverse square of the distance. At two or more miles the neighbors Christmas lights are more of a nuisance. If you or Eileen wanted to bring these other objections you should have done so before the original permit was issued. Bringing these old issues up now is tilting at windmills (or radio towers).

  56. Michael Harrington

    Matt fought it big time when it was close to his neighborhood I remember the howls

    The community will stop this unnecessary nuisance and killer of innocent birds just trying to find food as they fly through

  57. hpierce

    [quote]You will see [/quote]Brilliant riposte… reminds me of a time that a city council member apparently tried to pressure city staff members to extort land from a developer to add to an adjacent owner’s lot. When the staff member refused, and the councilmember implied that there would be “consequences” for that staff member, and the staff member asked what the councilmember meant by that, the councilperson said almost the same thing. Down in Willowbank, as I recall my friend telling me.

  58. Anon

    “anon – did you think I directed my comment to Don Shor because of you? Interesting.”

    Duh. Maybe it was because the comment was in a post addressed to me, and I have already been accused of posting under multiple names.

    It’s certainly easy to keep you interested.

  59. Anon

    [quote]Here’s a fact just off the wires. The Road 102 tower is only at 93% capacity.

    How much equipment does KDVS need to mount Neil? Please disclose this information so the community can assess the quality of your due diligence regarding co-locating KDVS on an existing tower.[/quote]So Neil … where’s the info? You’ve been running a “public information” campaign. Why not give us some specific information on your needs so that the community can help you out?

  60. Anon

    Comment from another post by Neil Ruud …[quote]Michael P. Bartolic says: December 12, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    It is disappointing to have Mr. Ruud fail to note that KDVS is not the primary applicant for this tower, but only brought on board as an afterthought by the corporation attempting to game the system to build a mega-sized commercial tower in an area desgnated as being “of special environemental concern” by the City of Davis, an area of extra concern because of its riparian habitat, significance to native bird species, and a “dark sky” area far from existing light corridors. An additional issue which Mr. Ruud fails to mention as identified at the recent Open Space Commission hearing on this issue is its negative impact on native pollinators due to the incredibly industrial scale of the light pollution, which would effectively destroy the natural diurnal sequence immediately adjacent to one of the most extensive hive sites of pollinators in Yolo County, even at a time when such insect pollinators are under severe stress both here and nationally, and with no apparent cognizance of the huge importance of these pollinators for Yolo agriculture.

    A last disappointment is that I personally invited Mr. Ruud to avail himself of my assistance in examining other, far more viable sites on public land in or adjacent to existing light corrifdors but not in residential areas or environmentally sensitive locations which could serve as viable alternatives for KDVS purposes; and I furthere offered to act in concert with Mr. Ruud to advocate for those sites as could serve KDVS’ needs more appropriately to the County Supervisors, Davis City Council, and other boards or commissions as may have been useful to obtain their support for KDVS’ needs. For reasons only he can know, Mr. Ruud entirely and completely failed to follow-up on my offer, nor even extend the courtesy of notifying me he and other KDVS staff had decided to go forward in blind support of the commercial applicant’s chosen site.

    Mr. Ruud has chosen to paint this as an issue involving KDVS alone, versus a single resistant soul, when he knows the truth is that at the Open Space Commission meeting at which both he and I were present it was shown to be abundantly clear that every wildlife and environmental group in Yolo County opposes the tower due its failure to comply with Federal standards regarding environmental and wildlife impacts. Further, at that meeting Mr. Ruud and other station staff acknowledged the proposed tower far exceeded in scale and size KDVS’ needs, that it was designed to serve its commercial operator for profits which would largely not even flow through Yolo County, and admitted that any tax revenues would go primarily to the benefit of Sacramento County, where the commercial owners’ offices are located.

    Thus, Mr. Ruud’s op-ed piece is disingenuous at best, and for the most part an excercise in misdirection, obfuscation, and spin. UCD students look to the Davis community to support their hopes for fair tuition, proper treatment by UCD police and administrators, and acceptance as part of the larger Davis community. In return, Davis residents should expect to have honesty, at minimum, from UCD students when addressing issues of real, serious and lasting impact to the larger community. Deceit and dissimulation, except under the most severe immediate duress — e.g., in order to save innocent lives — is not the means to effect good works.[/quote]This is relevant to the discussion on the Vanguard.

  61. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington and Anon said . . .
    [i]
    “Matt: so if he tower is so harmless put it back in your neighborhood.”[/i]

    Asked and answered. The very first place we looked in 2009 when this first came up was “in our neighborhood” further south on Mace. The FCC rules for station spacing precluded that location.

  62. Matt Williams

    Anon chose to only post Michael Bartolic’s initial comment, leaving out his followup comment, which appears below.

    [quote]Michael P. Bartolic says:
    December 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I’m not sure what “veiled threat” Berryessa Wilcox finds in my comments. Perhaps she could be so kind as to quote them to me, that I can avoid such in future. From my perspective I stated expectations for giving UCD students the support they call for, and according them the respect of fellow adults in the broader Davis community.

    I do feel I was perhaps less kind to Mr. Ruud than I would like to be, as I much admire KDVS for years of excellent broadcasting. In fact, if KDVS had filed to build a tower, and were building the tower, and the tower were being built in type and scale to match KDVS needs, perhaps this would be a moot issue.

    My point is simply this: in the end, the tower is a commercial enterprise, neither owned nor controlled by KDVS, bringing industrial blight — 24/7/365 — to an area nowhere near as suitable for such a mega-tower as several available sites located adjacent to existing light corridors, and is therefor opposed by credible, mainstream environmental groups such as the Sierra Club.

    Mr. Ruud feels, and probably with good reason, that his organization has been left to wither for lack of support by both the University and ASUCD per meeting its legitimate need for basic infrastructure on some slice of UCD’s fairly extensive land holdings. However, even if it may be true that for reasons of no fault by the City or residents KDVS is between a rock and a hard place, the community must still weigh the larger, very lasting consequences of granting carte blanche to the commercial applicant under the guise of merely approving a small bit of succor to KDVS.

    I do know this; if the application is denied, either now by the County, or on appeal to the Federal authority, or ends up in litigation, I would still be willing to assist Mr. Ruud to achieve a broadcasting tower on KDVS’ own terms, for its own needs. KDVS needs are indeed legitimate, and it is not enough to be against the commercial proposal without also offering some real and meaningful help to KDVS.[/quote]

  63. Matt Williams

    I applaud Mr. Bartolic’s offer of help. Perhaps if we had joined forces back in 2009/2010 this would indeed be a moot issue and the tower would be located elsewhere. If the application is indeed denied I will join Mr. Bartolic in his effort on KDVS’s behalf.

  64. Adam Smith

    [i]Duh. Maybe it was because the comment was in a post addressed to me, and I have already been accused of posting under multiple names.

    It’s certainly easy to keep you interested. [/i]

    My comment was directed at Don Shor. For convenience, I included in my post regarding your comment. Any other interpretations are yours, and, it is interesting that you are the only poster who saw fit to respond. That shoe is looking pretty good on your foot.

  65. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]It seems clear to me that, regardless of theory, in practice some individuals are posting under multiple identities.[/quote]

    It is quite easy to post under various psuedonyms, by setting up various email addresses at free email services such as gmail or hotmail. It is my understanding this is going on regularly on the Vanguard, but I don’t see how the Vanguard can prevent it. As long as the Vanguard accepts anonymous postings, there is always the danger that one person will post under more than one pseudonym. However I, for one, do not think it would be wise to end anonymous postings…

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