Serious Opposition From Community-Based Environmental Groups To Proposed Radio Tower

towerOpponents of a 365-foot radio tower, that in September 2010 the Yolo County Board of Supervisors approved to be located at the county landfill, argue such communications towers kill millions of birds annually.

This tower will be near a number of sensitive locations, including the City of Davis wetlands, Willow Slough, and near the Yolo Bypass wildlife area, “all of which provide foraging, nesting and breeding habitat for thousands of migratory and resident bird populations year-round.”

In an Op-ed published in the Davis Enterprise, Eileen Samitz, Pam Nieberg and Alan Pryor wrote, “The proposed tower, at 365 feet, will be taller than the Statue of Liberty.  This massive structure will be 30 feet at its base and have three extremely bright white strobe lights (one at the top and two at the 200 foot level).”

They add, “Wildlife experts have concluded that because the proposed tower is located in the heavily-used Pacific Flyway adjacent to the Davis Wetlands Project and the Vic Fazio Wildlife Area, the disorienting effects of the strobe lights on birds would cause unacceptable bird deaths due to numerous bird collisions.”

And worse yet, they add, “To add insult to injury, Results Radio wants to locate their visual and environmental blight in Yolo County, but move their offices and jobs to Sacramento!”

Back in 2009, a proposed radio tower, which was originally to be located to the south of Davis, was shifted to the Yolo County Landfill after landowner and stakeholder objections.  In September of 2010, the Board of Supervisors, over the objections of Davis residents, approved the radio tower at the landfill location.

At that time, the redevelopment agency determined that the new radio tower would not be in conflict with the city-county pass-through agreement.

However, the council at that time opposed the project.  The county would ultimately approve the project, “that incorporated the City’s design comments to reduce impacts to biological resources (e.g. elimination of guy-wires, revised pole design from a lattice structure to monopole, and improved tower lighting), but did not address the comments on the location of the tower.”

The Davis City Council will take this matter up on Tuesday.  City Staff makes four recommendations.

First, they recommend the council “reconfirm the March 2010 Redevelopment Agency determination that the proposed new radio tower is ‘urban development’ under the Pass-Through Agreement, but that the project would not interfere with the intent of the agreement and there are no objections to the proposal from the Redevelopment Agency.”

Second, for the city council they recommend the council determine that “the proposed project for the new radio tower is consistent with the rural nature of the agricultural buffer area between roads 27 and 29.”

However, at the same time, they say to argue that “despite improvements in the project design, the proposed project is inconsistent with the US Fish and Wildlife Services’ communication tower locational guidelines and will create a potential bird strike hazard due to the close proximity to wildlife habitat areas and bird migratory routes.”

Finally, the city staff will direct City Manager Steve Pinkerton “to submit a letter to Yolo County Board of Supervisors restating its 2010 comments on the proposed tower and recommending that the Board not support an extension of the permit to construct the tower, based on the potential impacts to biological resources associated with its proposed location.”

In their op-ed, the authors note, “But now, despite strong opposition from environmental groups including the Yolo Audubon Society, Tuleyome, and the Sierra Club Yolano group, as well as numerous Davis residents, they are back for a second try at the landfill.”

“After apparently gaming the FCC regulatory process, they quietly flew a FCC reapplication in under the radar, and are now seeking discretionary approval from the Yolo County Board of Supervisors to renew their expired building permit,” they write.

This hearing will be held at 9 am on Tuesday, December 13th in Woodland.

Supervisor Matt Rexroad, who is the current chair of the board, informed the Vanguard that he has received a large amount of communications on this issue – all of them are opposed to the project.

In advance of the December 13, 2011 meeting, the Council now needs to send a strong message to Yolo County, according to the op-ed authors, “that this proposed tower is unacceptable anywhere near Davis.”

They urge council opposition on six grounds:

1)     The Open Space and Habitat Commission has passed a resolution opposing this enormous tower and any future towers near the wetlands.

2)     It violates the historic “Greenline” Memorandum of Understanding between Davis, Woodland, and Yolo County which calls for the exclusion of all urban uses between County Roads 27 and 29.

3)     It violates the Pass-Through Agreement between Davis and Yolo County which gives the city the authority to exclude urban uses within the Davis sphere-of-influence (which includes the landfill).

4)     It violates Federal guidelines from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the location of towers to minimize wildlife impacts, which state that towers “should not be sited in or near wetlands, other known bird concentration areas (e.g., State or Federal refuges, staging areas, rookeries), in known migratory or daily movement flyways, or in habitat of threatened or endangered species.  Towers should not be sited in areas with a high incidence of fog, mist, and low ceilings.”

5)     It would create highly intrusive visual blight that will ruin the agricultural vistas and dark skies throughout the entire area.

6)     It would cause huge quality-of-life impacts to all the surrounding farms and residences along the north and northeast edge of the city.

“Davis has invested a tremendous amount of effort and resources in protecting both the agricultural heritage and the natural environment and habitat around the outskirts of the city,” they write.  “If Yolo County is allowed to advance the proposed Results Radio tower, it would make a mockery of these many efforts.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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113 thoughts on “Serious Opposition From Community-Based Environmental Groups To Proposed Radio Tower”

  1. Adam Smith

    AS to numbers 5 and 6, there are very, very few people who live in the area, and I know several of them. It’s a non-issue for the ones I know. And, there is already a 500 plus foot tower located nearby at County Roads 102 and 29 that is even closer to Davis than this one, and it already disturbs the night sky in the area. There is another tower about 5 miles due north, near Woodland.

    Most folks in Davis don’t even realize there is a 500 foot tower even closer to Davis than this one. In my view, the city council and city staff has much more important issue to deliberate.

  2. rusty49

    The difference is this new tower will have the bright, white strobe lights. The towers that are currently there have red lights that do not have the huge visual impact that these new strobes will have.

  3. Anon

    Adam Smith: There is a huge difference between the existing Road 102 tower and the proposed tower – the white strobe lights.

    There is absolutely no comparison between the soft red beacons on the existing tower and the white strobes required under new FAA regulations.

    Your claim that the adjacent land owners don’t care is also contradicted by the facts. Two of the farms have showed up at public hearings and spoken out strongly against the proposal. There is more landowner opposition that will apparently come forward at the BOS meeting.

    As to the density of residences, the lights are so bright that they will constitute significant blight for many miles. They will absolutely enrage homeowners on the edge of the city – not to mention most of the local farmers that Katherine Hess and Mitch Sears are apparently attempting to screw.

    Note to Mitch: Do you really think you will ever sign another sign another Measure O deal with local landowners after you stick it to the farmers to the northeast of town if/when your weak and insincere-sounding response to the county fails?

  4. medwoman

    Adam Smith

    ” Adam Smith

    12/05/11 – 07:10 AM

    Most folks in Davis don’t even realize there is a 500 foot tower even closer to Davis than this one. In my view, the city council and city staff has much more important issue to deliberate.

    1) Your evidence for the assertion that most people are unaware would be …?
    2) Assuming you are correct, ignorance would seem an argument in favor of education and discussion, not one against it
    3) As addressed by others, the lights emanating from the two structures are not equivalent
    4) The existence of one source of environmental degradation, no matter how slight you may consider it, is no argument for the addition of another.

  5. Observer

    Is there any possibility that the soft red lights be substituted for the bright strobe lights? Would that ameliorate the problem? In the world we live in, I don’t think we can continuously object to every cell phone tower, every radio tower, every microwave transmitter, every power line etc. We all use these conveniences, even us Sierra Club members, and they have to be put somewhere.

  6. Anon

    To clarify my objection to the staff report – I am very disappointed and concerned that the staff is trying open up a loophole in the Pass-Through Agreement and the Greenline MOU. They are attempting to narrowly interpret these agreements to establish the precedent that the “spirit” of the agreements (in this particular case, as interpreted by Hess and reaffirmed by Sears) trump the actual language.

    Their argument is that even though the tower constitutes urban development, we should look the other way because it won’t interfere with farming operations. They try to justify their position with the canard that the proposed tower will be just another tower in the landscape – ignoring the new impacts of the white strobe lights. In the process, they completely ignore the open space preservation mandates of these two important agreements.

    This is what Katherine did when the previous Results Radio proposal came before the council, and the result was a response to the county that was so weak that they chose to ignore objections from the community. A classic example of staff finessing a controversial issue to the detriment of the city.

    It should also be noted that if the Results Radio tower is allowed to go onto the landfill in violation of the Pass-Through Agreement and the Greenline MOU, the path is paved to build an antenna farm at the county landfill.

  7. Anon

    Observer: No. That white strobe lights are mandated by new federal regulations. The FAA is not going to make a special accommodation for Davis.

    The tower doesn’t belong near the wetlands regardless of the lighting.

    Results Radio does not have entitlements to build in Yolo County and the County does not have the right under the Pass-Through Agreement to locate this blight within our sphere of influence.

  8. Adam Smith

    medwoman:

    1. Ask your friends in town if they know of any radio towers near Davis. I attended a recent Yolo Planning Commission meeting where several folks opposing the tower were present. Half of the ones I asked didn’t know there was radio tower already in the near vicinity.

    2. My point is that if you don’t know about the one that has been there for many years, an argument that it ruins the night time view is not valid. We don’t need to educate folks on things that are obvious but are so unimposing that they don’t know it’s there.

    More generally, our society needs communications towers,and they are going to have to be somewhere. Anyone and everyone can object to any location. This location is located at a landfill, in a very sparsely populated area. It has been through rigorous studies, which are available on the yolo county board of supervisors website, if you care to become educated in a balanced way. It actually provides income to Yolo County, which is very helpful these days.

    IMO, this is another example of a small group with a extremist opinion driving government. I do believe the opponents care deeply about it, so they are making a lot of noise – but the population at large is ok with this location.

    [i]To clarify my objection to the staff report – I am very disappointed and concerned that the staff is trying open up a loophole in the Pass-Through Agreement and the Greenline MOU. They are attempting to narrowly interpret these agreements to establish the precedent that the “spirit” of the agreements (in this particular case, as interpreted by Hess and reaffirmed by Sears) trump the actual language. [/i]

    Isn’t the landfill a violation of the pass through and greenbelt agreement?

  9. rusty49

    Adam, how conveniently you choose to ignore the fact that the new towers will have much brighter white strobe lights due to FAA mandates than the other towers with the much less intrusive red lights.

    “I do believe the opponents care deeply about it, so they are making a lot of noise – but the population at large is ok with this location.”

    Ask the people who live in the northeast part of town, for example Wildhorse, how they feel about it. This tower with its bright lights is going to be located as to where it will be intrusive to those residents.

  10. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]And worse yet, they add, “To add insult to injury, Results Radio wants to locate their visual and environmental blight in Yolo County, but move their offices and jobs to Sacramento!”[/quote]

    What is not clear to me is what specific benefits will be brought to Davis residents by the tower? Anyone know?

  11. newshoundpm

    I think that the bigger concern than the affect on people is its affect on the Pacific Flyway. The Yolo bypass is the freeway for bird migrations. Putting a tower right in the middle of it would seem unwise, particularly if there might be other options. Does anyone know what the locational parameters are for this tower? What are the geographical boundaries within which it would likely work. I think that the initial assumption that the location furthest away from the most people would be the best was flawed. Perhaps it could be placed closer to population centers but possibly with some shielding so that the strobes don’t direct light down, but only horizontally and above at night. Does anyone know if the FAA allows something like this? Small planes wouldn’t be flying around at night and the big planes are flying higher than 500 feet. Are there any of these newer white light strobes around in the vicinity so that we could get a sense of the true impact?

  12. Adam Smith

    [i]Ask the people who live in the northeast part of town, for example Wildhorse, how they feel about it. This tower with its bright lights is going to be located as to where it will be intrusive to those residents. [/i]

    I live in the NE part of town, and the people of wildhorse will generally not be able to see this tower while in their yards or on the streets, because their view will be blocked by trees and houses. There will be some who can see it if they live on or are situated at the perimeter, where there is a view to the bypass unobstructed by trees. Night golfers, of course, will be terribly impacted while playing certain holes.

    [i]What is not clear to me is what specific benefits will be brought to Davis residents by the tower? Anyone know? [/i]

    Although the tower isn’t in Davis, it will bring much needed revenue to Yolo County.

    [i]he landfill predates the passthrough agreement.[/i]

    Thanks Don.

  13. Anon

    Everyone that travels north on the Mace curve will be subjected to this blight. I can guarantee you that if this thing gets built there will be very large numbers of voters on both sides of the growth issue that will routinely curse the Board of Supervisor members that allowed it to happen.

    Selling out Davis for a trivial revenue stream to the county is a bad idea.

  14. Adam Smith

    [i]Everyone that travels north on the Mace curve will be subjected to this blight. I can guarantee you that if this thing gets built there will be very large numbers of voters on both sides of the growth issue that will routinely curse the Board of Supervisor members that allowed it to happen. [/i]

    Again, most folks that travel RD 102 don’t know that there is a 500 foot tower located less than 1000 feet east of that road. You are describing a “blight” for something that is 200 feet shorter than the tower on 102 and located about 2.5 miles from the most northerly point of Mace. This will only be visible during the dark hours of each day, and drivers would probably be better off watching the road than looking out into the darkness of the horizon.

  15. Don Shor

    Previous discussion of towers on this blog….
    [url]http://davisvanguard.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3115:Proposed-radio-tower-in-south-davis-generates-controversy&Itemid=99[/url]

  16. Anon

    Adam Smith: The fact that you keep ignoring the intensity of the white strobe lights clearly shows that you are uninformed. The lights are extremely intrusive and distracting. Until you have first hand experience observing lights that meet the current FAA standards you should not try to run interference for this ill-advised project.

    Such lights are clearly visible until they disappear on the horizon – even at high noon on a bright day. Think flash bulb on a camera.

  17. rusty49

    Once again Adam, the tower has much brighter strobes than anything currently out there, which you fail to respond to because you have no answer to how that’s going to affect wildlife and the residents in northeast Davis.

    “THREE VERY BRIGHT WHITE STROBE LIGHTS, EACH BLINKING 20,000 CANDELAS BY DAY, AND 2,000 CANDELAS IN THE DARK 40 TIMES A MINUTE ON OUR NORTHERN DAVIS BORDER WHICH WOULD TRAVEL FOR MANY MILES (INCLUDING INTO OUR RESIDENTIAL AREAS.)”

  18. Don Shor

    Maybe it will look something like this:
    [img]http://files.abovetopsecret.com/images/member/8f2a129c2196.jpg[/img]

    I still wonder why this isn’t being located near the many towers that are down east of Dixon. Maybe it would interfere somehow with something else that is already there.

  19. E Roberts Musser

    [quote]Although the tower isn’t in Davis, it will bring much needed revenue to Yolo County. [/quote]

    So the county agreed to this at the expense of Davis – for money? How much money? And Davis will see no benefit in service?

  20. E Roberts Musser

    To me, those that benefit should carry the burden of placement. This reminds me a bit of the tall electrical towers that were slated to go through Yolo but serve Sacramento. Please tell me this is not the same thing…

  21. Anon

    Don: Results Radio is trying to penetrate the Sacramento market. Therefore, the closer the better. According to their proposal to the FCC, their studio (i.e. jobs) will be in Sacramento and their impacts will be dumped on the outskirts of Davis.

  22. Anon

    Elaine: Perfect point. If Results Radio wanted to serve Yolo County, then they already have approval from the FCC to move to an existing tower in the Dunnigan Hills.

    Since this tower is already built and far from the Pacific Flyway – no new lights, no new wildlife impacts.

    This is a case where Yolo County will get exploited for economic gain in Sacramento County if the project is built. Pure and simple.

  23. Adam Smith

    Wow Rusty – you are joining in with the wildlife crowd? You are going to have give up your lifetime subscription to Fox News.

    Seriously, significant wildlife impact studies were completed and reviewed by the Yolo County Planning staff. You can educate yourself in a fair and balanced way by reading their report here [url]http://yolocounty.org/index.aspx?recordid=2184&page=428[/url]. Concerns about the so-called visual blight were addressed, as well as concerns from California Fish and Game.

  24. rusty49

    “Night golfers, of course, will be terribly impacted while playing certain holes.”

    “Wow Rusty – you are joining in with the wildlife crowd? You are going to have give up your lifetime subscription to Fox News.”

    Wow Adam, we almost made it through a whole blog without the ever so typical and boring reference to Fox News. Instead of being confrontational, why don’t you respond to the powerful white strobe lights?

  25. Anon

    “Maybe it will look something like this”

    Don: Actually, there will be three white strobe lights. In addition, the tower will have a massive free-standing design 30 feet across at the base.[quote]“Davis has invested a tremendous amount of effort and resources in protecting both the agricultural heritage and the natural environment and habitat around the outskirts of the city,” they write. “If Yolo County is allowed to advance the proposed Results Radio tower, it would make a mockery of these many efforts.”[/quote]

  26. Adam Smith

    [i]why don’t you respond to the powerful white strobe lights? [/i]

    Read the link Rusty.

    [i]Same with the Planning Staffs analysis of wildlife impacts. [/i]

    Staff didn’t downplay anything. They implemented and reflected what CA Fish and Game provided to them.

  27. Anon

    rusty49: The strobe light issue is the third rail for the proponents of dumping this tower on the outskirts of Davis.

    The staff and the county decision makers won’t talk about it except to try and marginalize it with the false and misleading analogy to the Road 102 tower.

    The only way they can get this built is to keep the Davis public ignorant about how incredibly noxious these strobe lights will be to the community.

  28. Anon

    Opposing the strobe lights is not a green or environmental issue. There are plenty of pro-growth individuals that don’t want to see this happen.

    Blight is something we can all agree on.

    Trying to marginalize the opponents as environmental nut-jobs is just a tactic.

    What I have a problem with is the attitude of screw-the-farmers as well as the people that own property on the edge of the city.

  29. Dr. Wu

    I have been bombarded by emails and phone calls from the usual suspects on this one.

    Frankly I don’t buy the NIMBY arguments, but I cannot say there will be no impact on birds and I’d like to know the science here. Does anyone know? And what does a City Council vore man given that its on county land? Or am I missing something?

  30. Matt Williams

    Lots and lots of inaccurate information being shared on this issue. Bottomline, the only issue that has any serious weight is the potential for increased bird strikes. But before I deal with that issue, here is some accurate information.

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”rusty49: The strobe light issue is the third rail for the proponents of dumping this tower on the outskirts of Davis.

    The staff and the county decision makers won’t talk about it except to try and marginalize it with the false and misleading analogy to the Road 102 tower.

    The only way they can get this built is to keep the Davis public ignorant about how incredibly noxious these strobe lights will be to the community.” [/i]

    The new generation of strobe lights are specifically designed to direct light upward (see black lines in image below) toward any airplane they are warning, but not downward toward any animal life lower than the horizontal elevation of the lights (see red lines in graphic in the image link below).

    [url]http://html.alldatasheet.com/html-pdf/426898/DIALIGHT/D464-A13-001EU/1582/4/D464-A13-001EU.html[/url]

    Unless there is an object in the upward light path to reflect light downward, humans on the ground won’t even see the lights because they are below the vertical path of the light beams. Similarly any birds flying at elevations lower than or equal to the elevation of the lights will not see any light produced by the lights. Correct me if I am wrong, but migrating birds are likely to fly much, much higher than the 300 foot elevation of the lights, and local birds, especially those resident at the landfill (gulls, etc.) are likely to rarely fly higher than the lights, and even more rarely at night. What do your studies say about the new generation of directional white strobe lights?

  31. Anon

    The City Council (specifically as the Redevelopment Agency) is the controlling authority under the Pass-Through Agreement.

    You do a disservice to the entire community by framing this as a nimby issue. The strobes will effect the entire region and degrade the open space that we have all invested huge amounts of time and money in preserving. The taxpayers just spent millions of dollars under Measure O to preserve 500 acres due south of the site.

  32. Anon

    Matt: If the lights are not an issue, why did you work so hard to get it pushed out of your area and over to a site adjacent to the wetlands where bird strikes are a much bigger concern?

  33. Anon

    Matt: It is my position that this does not belong anywhere within the Davis sphere-of-influence. Are you signalling that it would be OK back on the site South of El Macero?

  34. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Concerns about visual blight were white-washed – much like you are trying to do now.”[/i]

    Using Google Earth, the distance from the [u]front entrance of the landfill[/u] to Eileen’s neighborhood is 2.7 miles. The final approved location added 1.3 miles to the spacing from Eileen’s neighborhood, making the total distance 4.0 miles. The relocation also resulted in the first 100 feet of the tower no longer being visible from Davis because it is behind the landfill mound.

    Of course all of that is just numbers that is essentially meaningless given Eileen’s initial comment in June 2010 when asked about the tower.

    [i]”I have been following the tower issue. I know that Eileen is opposing it and is getting Wild Horse folks to do likewise, as she fears the tower lights will affect her/them. I told her that there is an existing tower that is about 500 feet tall and is closer to her than this would be. She was not aware of it, so it is obviously not affecting her.” [/i]

    If Eileen and her neighborhood doesn’t even recognize that a 550 foot tower is already in the same area but closer to them, is that tower actually visual blight for their neighborhood? You tell me. If it truly is in their neighborhood, then where were they on March 16, 2010 when the Council considered it on the Consent Calendar. Then add to that the fact that the strobe light design will make no light visible from the Results Radio tower . . . visual blight is simply rhetoric.

    The only REAL issue regarding this tower is bird strikes.

  35. rusty49

    Greenandgolden

    “Rusty Dude. I cannot see you in this green enviro mode. And I promise not to mention Fox News.”

    Equally surprising is the environmental liberals who are for the tower and the intrusion to wildlife and our northeast neighbors.

  36. Matt Williams

    Dr. Wu said . . .

    [i]”I have been bombarded by emails and phone calls from the usual suspects on this one.

    Frankly I don’t buy the NIMBY arguments, but I cannot say there will be no impact on birds and I’d like to know the science here. Does anyone know? And what does a City Council vote mean given that its on county land? Or am I missing something?”[/i]

    Good lead in to the bird strike issues Dr. Wu. This is the one assertion of the OpEd that is hard to argue with.

    With that said, the FCC after communication with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the mitigation steps that Results Radio had taken (removal of guy wires and conversion from red lights to white lights) met both the letter and the intent of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service words “minimize wildlife impacts.”

    However, from my discussions with Shawn Smallwood, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a very scanty record of challenging a FCC ruling.

    Also based on my discussions with Shawn and Pam Nieberg, there has not been any study of bird strikes done for the Pacific Flyway. Therefore one has to go to studies for other Flyway areas.

    A relevant study of the issues surrounding the mitigation steps Results Radio has taken can be accessed at [url]http://docs.darksky.org/Reports/Communication-tower-lights-and-avian-collisions.pdf[/url] (page 509 of the journal issue). This study by Gehring, Kerlinger and Mann was done a few years ago and is said to be the largest scale and most recent study that has been done on migratory bird strikes.

    Shawn Smallwood’s email comments to me about this study were as follows:

    [i]”I’ve met Joelle Gehring, and I have no reason to mistrust her. I also trust the third author, Al Manville. Kerlinger is the problem, though I don’t think he’d be able to bias Gehring or Manville. As I recall, Gehring worked under Manville on the project while she was a grad student. I discussed the project with her at length while on a bus ride in Alaska, as part of a field outing of the Raptor Research Foundation.

    I’ll read the paper again to check on methods and assumptions, and I’ll get back to you. In the meantime, my positions remain that (1) the study in Michigan may have limited bearing on a tower placed in the Pacific Flyway, and (2) impacts will remain unknown until scientific monitoring is performed. We need monitoring at tall structures in the Pacific Flyway, because we need to identify the impacts so that we can begin to mitigate them. So far, Californians have put their heads in the sand, not wanting to know how many and what kinds of birds get killed by communication towers in the Flyway.”[/i]

    For those who want to quickly look at the study’s results and see if they pertain, it is useful to look at Table 1 on page 5 of 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. 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 [u]two bird strikes for the 20 day period[/u] . . . [u]one bird strike every 10 days[/u].

    In the end, one is left with the two questions, 1) whether the study’s results do pertain to the Pacific Flyway, and/or 2) whether that level of bird strikes qualifies as “substantial numbers of birds are still killed by tall communication towers” for the type of tower proposed?

  37. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Matt: If the lights are not an issue, why did you work so hard to get it pushed out of your area and over to a site adjacent to the wetlands where bird strikes are a much bigger concern?”[/i]

    Anon, the answer to that question is very simple. The tower would have been less than 100 yards from the nearest South Davisresidence rather than over 3 miles from the nearest North Davis residence (4 miles from Eileen Samitz’ neighborhood).

  38. rusty49

    Anon stated: “Matt: If the lights are not an issue, why did you work so hard to get it pushed out of your area and over to a site adjacent to the wetlands where bird strikes are a much bigger concern?”

    So is this not an issue as long as it’s in somebody else’s backyard?

  39. Adam Smith

    [i]What I have a problem with is the attitude of screw-the-farmers as well as the people that own property on the edge of the city. [/i]

    I own farmland (and am a farmer) and and live on property that has a clear view of the existing tower that most Davis residents don’t even know about. I also have as good a view as anybody in the city of the new site. I don’t feel that I am getting screwed, and I don’t need your help preventing it.

    And before anyone asks, I have absolutely no financial or other interest in whether the tower is built. I see the current tower everyday, and will see the new one also. I’ve never considered that view as blighted, and neither do most folks.

    For any of you interested in facts, read the county’s negative declaration report. It is a balanced report, acknowledges issues and requires appropriate mitigations from entities’ like Cal Fish and Game.

  40. Anon

    “So is this not an issue as long as it’s in somebody else’s backyard?”

    rusty49: That’s apparently Matt’s position. My position is that it should not be in anyone’s back yard.

    All we control in Davis is our sphere-of-influence via the Pass-Through Agreement. My argument to the CC is that they should invoke the agreement and exclude the tower from both the site adjacent to Wildhorse/Mace Ranch and El Macero/Willowbank.

  41. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Matt: It is my position that this does not belong anywhere within the Davis sphere-of-influence. Are you signalling that it would be OK back on the site South of El Macero?”[/i]

    Anon, see my answer above. If it were 3-4 miles from the nearest South Davis residence, I don’t think there would be much South Davis opposition. Our initial questions to Results Radio in 2009 asked them why couldn’t they locate the tower down by the NASA towers behind Grasslands Park. Unfortunately FCC regulations did not allow such a location due to signal interference.

    With that said, where were you on March 16th 2010 when the Davis City Council considered the tower on its Consent Calendar? Why weren’t you raising your concerns at that meeting.

    Contrary to David’s assertion in his article, [i]”[b]However, the council at that time opposed the project.[/b] The county would ultimately approve the project, “that incorporated the City’s design comments to reduce impacts to biological resources (e.g. elimination of guy-wires, revised pole design from a lattice structure to monopole, and improved tower lighting), but did not address the comments on the location of the tower.”[/i] the 3/16/2010 Meeting Minutes reflect that no Council member asked for there to be any discussion of the tower consent item and [u]the Staff Report recommendations were adopted as written[/u] (Zoe Mirabile’s words when I called her this morning). For those who care, the Staff recommendations were as follows, and the change to a guywireless design mitigated all the concerns expressed.

    •Determine that the proposed project for the new radio tower is “urban development” under the Pass-Through Agreement, but that the project would not interfere with the intent of the agreement and there are no objections to the proposal from the Redevelopment Agency.

    •Provide comments to Yolo County to follow the recommendations for reducing potential wildlife impacts for its consideration in reviewing the County use permit as outlined in Attachment 1 and described in this staff report.

    Attachment 1 said the following:

    ATTACHMENT 1

    Memorandum

    To: Eric Lee, Assistant Planner, CDD

    From: John T. McNerney, Wildlife Resource Specialist, PW

    Comments and Recommendations Regarding Pass-through Agreement Planning Application for Communication Tower Installation at Yolo County Landfill

    Recommendation

    I have reviewed the project application as it relates to potential biological resource impacts. Despite good efforts in the applicants planning to reduce bird strike hazards, I recommend against the installation of the communication tower, as proposed, at the Yolo Landfill location. My recommendation is based on several factors (below) relating to the relatively high concentration of bird use of the proposed area and conflicting tower design using stabilizing wires (guy wires). I would recommend in favor of the project with an alternative, non-guyed, tower design.

    Comments

    1.Communication towers, and associated guy wires, are well documented to present a bird strike hazard. A nation-wide annual estimate of 4-50 million birds are mortally injured via collision with communication towers.

    2.The proposed site is located within close proximity of three water bodies that attract high concentrations of avian wildlife throughout the year. These include the landfill drainage ponds (located 162 meters south/ southwest of proposed tower), the Willow Slough Bypass (located approx 0.62 km to the south), and the Davis Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) oxidation ponds (located approx 0.43 km to the east/ southeast).

    3.The proposed location of the communication tower sits in the middle of the daily migration path of thousands of gulls. During the day gulls seek food on the active face of the landfill. The landfill drainage ponds and WWTP oxidation ponds are used by the gulls for loafing and nighttime roosting. The gulls make frequent trips during the day to and from the landfill and ponds, thus increasing their potential for collision with the tower and/ or guy wires.

    4.The installation of “daytime visibility markers” to the guy wires may help to reduce collisions on clear days. However, the area is subject to frequent and persistent fog conditions. Fog will reduce, if not eliminate, the mitigating effect of the visibility markers.

  42. Matt Williams

    5.An alternative tower design that does not employ the use of guy wires would significantly reduce the risk of fatal collisions by birds. The applicant’s “Bird-strike Mitigation” plan (Recommendation #3) suggests that a non-guyed tower design was “not feasible due to concerns over visible impact”. However, the applicants “Alternatives Analysis” (Alternative 4) suggests that the there is “..no esthetic value attached to an active landfill and that currently permitted uses of the landfill have esthetic impacts that are ‘significant and unavoidable’”. I recommend that the applicant reevaluate the use of a non-guyed tower design as an acceptable bird strike mitigation measure at this site.

    6.Disturbance associate with construction may directly or indirectly impact sensitive ground nesting species. Biological impact information submitted with this referral is incomplete. It is unclear if the applicant intends adopt the mitigation measures for biological resources identified in the Yolo County Central Landfill Permit Revisions DSEIR, 2004. It is recommended that the applicant fully identify and mitigate for any potential impact to sensitive ground nesting species. Site specific surveys and resulting impact mitigation should be conducted for, at a minimum, burrowing owl and northern harrier.

  43. Matt Williams

    rusty49 said . . .

    “So is this not an issue as long as it’s in somebody else’s backyard?”

    As I stated above, Google Earth shows the tower is 4 miles from Elieen Samitz house. The closest North Davis residence to the approved location is over 3.5 miles from the location. As has been posted earlier, the tree canopy in Wildhorse will fully block most homes from seeing the tower.

    Finally, as I noted above, when Eileen was asked about the existing 500 foot tower that is closer than this one will be, and not behind the landfill mound and 200 feet taller, Of course all of that is just numbers that is essentially meaningless given Eileen’s initial comment in June 2010 when asked about the tower, she was not aware of it, so the existing tower is obviously not affecting her.

    Bottom-line the only REAL issue is bird strikes.

  44. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”So is this not an issue as long as it’s in somebody else’s backyard?”

    rusty49: That’s apparently Matt’s position. My position is that it should not be in anyone’s back yard.

    All we control in Davis is our sphere-of-influence via the Pass-Through Agreement. My argument to the CC is that they should invoke the agreement and exclude the tower from both the site adjacent to Wildhorse/Mace Ranch and El Macero/Willowbank.”[/i]

    No that is not my position. My “backyard” position is that the typical North Davis, South Davis, East Davis and West Davis backyard does not run for 4 miles.

    But even more important than that is the fact that after 3 years of deliberations in many venues, as well as discussion here on the Vanguard, not a single person asked Council to remove the Consent Calendar for discussion on 3/16/2010. Not a single person showed up to comment. Did the definition of “backyard” change in the past 18 months?

  45. Alphonso

    It is interesting how much discussion there is about cell and radio towers. The entire country is littered with telephone/power poles and lines yet all of the complaining is over relatively few cell/radio towers.

  46. Anon

    Matt: As one of the apparent architects of the plan to move the impacts from South Davis to North Davis, I can understand your gusto in defending your actions. But you must recognize that nobody made this an issue until you came out aggressively trying to undermine the current effort to make this aberration go away. Instead of being a disruptive force, why not join with us and be the community leader that you aspire to be. Right now you’re acting like a petty nimby that is pissed off that you didn’t get the help you thought you deserved in 2010. I don’t fully understand nor care about what happened in 2010 – my awareness of the issue is relatively recent. We could use you on our side, so why play the spoiler?

  47. Anon

    In actual fact, the nearest homes to the approved site are 2.5 mi. Given the intensity of the strobe lights, this is an inadequate separation from existing neighborhoods. There are several farms much closer. At least three landowners that I am aware of are strongly opposed (and apparently one doesn’t care).

  48. Matt Williams

    Interesting comment Anon.
    First, there was no shortage of support in 2010.

    Second, being a NIMBY carries with it a [u]responsibility[/u] to (wherever possible) propose a positive alternative to solve the issue. Results Radio and KDVS stated clear benefits that a Yolo County tower would bring to both the Davis and UC Davis communities. Downtown Davis businesses will have access to radio advertising in their target market at rates that are 1/10th the rates they currently have to pay. Results Radio argued (and continues to argue) that that will mean less “bleeding” of business/sales to locations outside Davis, and as a result more sales tax revenue to the City coffers.

    Third, when identified, the possibility of the landfill site was robustly outreached to the Davis environmental community as well as here on the Vanguard to make sure that the [u]possible[/u] alternative identified wasn’t problematic. The response we got was as follows:

    [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 sight 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]

    The 30 day delay came and went.

    Which brings me to . . . Fourth: if Davis can’t pay enough attention to get these issues (and the bird strikes issue is definitely meaningful) on the table in a timely way, and then wants to redefine the rules of the game after the fact, then it deserves its reputation as being “Business Unfriendly.” If we want a self-sustaining community that preserves the quality of life we all enjoy in Davis, we need to avoid being so labeled.

    Bottom-line, the only REAL issue is potential increased bird strike risk.

  49. Anon

    Matt: Geez Matt you just don’t quit. It’s obvious that you’ve rationalized all this in your head. Unfortunately, your comments are self-serving and disingenuous. The record contains considerable opposition to the landfill site from the environmental community. You, on the other hand, dropped out of site as soon as the problem was passed to North Davis.

    You’ve now emerged out of nowhere to try and put sand in the gears.

    If bird strike risk is the only REAL issue in your mind, then would you object to the FCC putting it back in South Davis? Clearly this site is better with respect to bird strikes and it does not violate FCC regulations regarding interference with existing stations.

    Somehow I suspect you would.

  50. Don Shor

    [i]Downtown Davis businesses will have access to radio advertising in their target market at rates that are 1/10th the rates they currently have to pay.[/i]

    Huh?

  51. Matt Williams

    Anon . . .

    [i]”If bird strike risk is the only REAL issue in your mind, then would you object to the FCC putting it back in South Davis? Clearly this site is better with respect to bird strikes and it does not violate FCC regulations regarding interference with existing stations.

    Somehow I suspect you would.”[/i]

    Asked and answered earlier. No suspicion needed.

    For the record, from an avian perspective the South Davis location is just as close (3.45 miles) to the Wildlife Refuge as the Landfill (2.65 miles) is.

  52. Matt Williams

    Don, as presented by Results Radio to the Davis Telecommunications Commission and numerous County meetings including the Supervisors

    [i]Helping Local Yolo County Retailers

    KMJE footprint won’t challenge Sacramento stations

    What does this mean to the local retailer?

    Big Sac stations charge $200 to $300 for a :60 spot
    KMJE’s rates will be $20 to $30
    12 spots/week, one week/month:
    Big station cost: $3,000
    KMJE cost: $300[/i]

  53. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”In actual fact, the nearest homes to the approved site are 2.5 mi. Given the intensity of the strobe lights, this is an inadequate separation from existing neighborhoods. There are several farms much closer. At least three landowners that I am aware of are strongly opposed (and apparently one doesn’t care).”[/i]

    Using the following US Coast Guard table, at 2.5 miles unimpeded light reduces in luminocity by between a factor of 11 and 1,000 depending on the background lighting available at the point where the light is being observed. In the case of the tower strobes, no light is allowed to escape below horizontal, so the only light visible from the ground will be that which is refracted off of particles in the air. Thus the functional amount of the night-time 2,000 candelas will be less than 10 candelas at 2.5 miles, and substantially less than that in the daylight because of the very high background lighting factor during daylight hours.

    At Eileen Samitz neighborhood, the luminocity will be further decreased by a factor of 7, so the functional luminocity will less than 2 candelas.

    [code]Meteorological_Visibility

    Background Lighting

    DistanceMinor Considerable
    In MilesNone Intensity Intensity
    0.5 02 20
    1 110 97
    1.5 326 264
    2 657 567
    2.5 11107 1,068
    3 19185 1,854
    3.5 30304 3,044
    4 48479 4,794
    4.5 73732 7,317[/code]

  54. Anon

    Don: I can assure you the advertising rates posted above are not written into the conditions of approval. If Results radio is approved at the landfill, they will move their operations to Sacramento (per their FCC application) and will become a “Big Sac station.” Their rates out of Sutter County are irrelevant.

    This is just another example of the scummy tactics of Results Radio. We haven’t even gotten into the issue of how they scammed the FCC.

  55. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .
    [i]
    “We haven’t even gotten into the issue of how they scammed the FCC.”[/i]

    Do tell. You are privy to less than fully informed communications between the FCC and Results Radio?

  56. Matt Williams

    For those who care, the reason I have “resurfaced” is because of the kind of unsubstantiated innuendo like Anon’s above that has characterized the actions employed by the lion’s share of the opposition to Results Radio’s open and transparent application.

    The bird strike objections are the notable exception to that pattern. Pam Nieberg, Shawn Smallwood and Alan Pryor have all been very forthcoming and specific with their concerns . . . both objective and subjective. They have also not hidden behind pseudonyms.

  57. Anon

    “For the record, from an avian perspective the South Davis location is just as close (3.45 miles) to the Wildlife Refuge as the Landfill (2.65 miles) is.”

    You seem to have a math problem Matt. This is the second time you have suggested that 2.5 = 3.5. Both times favoring your argument.

    The other habitats that are affected by the North Davis option that are not affected by the South Davis option are the Davis Wetlands Project, Willow Slough, and the rice fields and riparian habitat on the Conaway Ranch. But this is irrelevant to my argument since I don’t think the tower should go in either location. And I certainly wouldn’t mount an argument that the tower would be better suited for some other location within our sphere-of-influence.

    W

  58. Anon

    “Using the following US Coast Guard table …” Your intensity / high tech light design argument is complete nonsense. Go look at an existing installation with modern 20,000 candela strobes and then we’ll talk.

  59. Anon

    “… hidden behind pseudonyms.” Ahh, there we go. I wondered if you would launch that smear.

    I prefer to remain anonymous. You obviously like to see your name in print.

    [edit]

  60. jrberg

    [i]

    “Using the following US Coast Guard table …” Your intensity / high tech light design argument is complete nonsense. Go look at an existing installation with modern 20,000 candela strobes and then we’ll talk.
    [/i]

    OK. Where is one close to Davis?

  61. rusty49

    “OK. Where is one close to Davis?”

    Jrberg, exactly, where does one actually see these high powered strobes in action? My fear is we will only be able to see them when the tower is already built and it’s too late to do anything about it and if they turn out to be too intrusive the residents of northeast Davis will just have to deal with it. Obviously this project needs to be shelved or at the very least it needs more vetting.

  62. Anon

    jrberg and rusty49: The closest one was in Natomas on Radio Road east of the river.

    For all you conspiracy buffs, the tower went dark simultaneous with the submission of the Yolo County appeal in which the Natomas tower was cited as an example of the light pollution that Results Radio would bring to Yolo County.

    A caller to the tower operator was told that there was a “malfunction” and that the strobe would be operational in a few days. That was about a month ago.

    So much for air traffic safety.

    I’m told there may be another tower with this type of strobe at Twin Cities (wherever that is) but haven’t had time to investigate.

  63. Anon

    Just to clarify …

    I think the wildlife impacts is a very serious issue – and sufficient in and of itself to justify rejection of the tower proposal. Light pollution just happens to be my pet peeve.

    The other issue that should get serious consideration is the sanctity of the Pass-Through Agreement and the Greenline MOU. Staff has conceded that the tower represents urban development under the Pass-Through Agreement, but then recommends that the CC look the other way based on a “spirit” of the agreement argument.

    This is crazy.

    Do we really want to see the Pass-Through Agreement gutted by sitting silent while staff and counsel try to convince our elected officials that these agreements should be subject to some discretionary determination by the city. In this matter, I am a “strict constructionist.” If the city feels it needs to allow this type of urban development in the Greenline or areas subject to the Pass-Through Agreement, then these agreements should be amended after the appropriate public hearings.

  64. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”If there is significant local opposition to this tower, they should move it. This is a rural county. There are other sites.”[/i]

    Don, your point is spot on. The reality is that there hasn’t been significant local opposition to this tower for the vast majority of its 4 plus year lifespan. The first significant opposition was filed in writing as part of the FCC application process. It was from environmental groups, and was well considered and well documented. Other than those environmental groups, there really was only one citizen . . . Eileen Samitz and one non-Davis landowner . . . the Conaway Preservation Group.

    The drums are being beaten now, but it would be very interesting to hear just how many e-mails Matt Rexroad has actually gotten. Then it will also be interesting to compare that number to other recent populist communication efforts. The number of e-mails the Planning Commission got in its most recent hearing was 35 . . .

  65. rusty49

    Matt, for many of us, myself included, we’re just hearing about this now. Most of the masses have lives outside of trying to ride heard on the City Council and the Yolo Supervisors.

  66. Michael Harrington

    I support the tower going away from the wildlife areas Anon’s points make sense and as an aviator I can say that those strobes are meant to be seen from ALL altitudes if the plane is above then way aim up ?? Those bulbs ate aimed DOWN. Meaning, right into your face

  67. Matt Williams

    I don’t dispute that rusty, but does the that fact mean that all the various process steps that have been followed and completed by others should be thrown out the window when you do happen to see an issue on your radar?

    With that said, for people, like Eileen Samitz, who clearly do spend a substantial portion of their lives “riding herd on the City Council and the Yolo Supervisors, should they be held to a higher standard than you are?

  68. Matt Williams

    Michael Harrington said . . .

    [i]”I support the tower going away from the wildlife areas Anon’s points make sense and as an aviator I can say that those strobes are meant to be seen from ALL altitudes if the plane is above then way aim up ?? Those bulbs ate aimed DOWN. Meaning, right into your face.”[/i]

    Michael did you click on the link provided that showed how the new LED bulbs work? If you had you wouldn’t have made such an uniformed statement. Here is the link again for you. [url]http://html.alldatasheet.com/html-pdf/426898/DIALIGHT/D464-A13-001EU/1582/4/D464-A13-001EU.html[/url]

    Further, since the lights are set at 350 feet and 200 feet, in your considerable aviation experience, what proportion of all planes that come into the vicinity of a radio tower will be flying at an elevation under 350 feet? My guess is less than one hundredth of one percent. Why would the lights be aimed DOWN when more than 99.99% of all airplanes will be ABOVE 350 feet in altitude when in the vicinity of the radio tower?

  69. Mark West

    Anon:

    [i]This is just another example of the scummy tactics of Results Radio. We haven’t even gotten into the issue of how they scammed the FCC.

    Hmmm … never been called a shrew before. I do tend to bite back. Consider yourself forewarned. [/i]

    An unsubstantiated claim and a threat to another poster all the while hiding behind your pseudonym. Impressive.

  70. Anon

    Michael: Thanks for the expert opinion. What do you think of the Natomas tower going dark? The lights have been out for almost two months now.

    Matt: Do you have some issue with Eileen? Frankly, you keep bringing her up and your position sounds more personal than dispassionately fact-based. I’m picking up a kind of “you didn’t support me and now I’m going to stick it to you vibe.” BTW, lot’s of people are now involved in this issue even if you can’t see all the moving parts.

    Rusty: It is entirely appropriate for you and anyone else that’s interested to engage. Results Radio had a permit. It expired. They now need approval from the BOS to renew the permit. The approval is purely discretionary. They have no vested right to build anywhere in Yolo County. They never have. Although the BOS votes on the permit, the controlling authority is the Davis CC. The Pass-Through Agreement gives us the right to veto urban development within our sphere-of-influence. The landfill falls under the control of this agreement.

    Bottom line – You can and should weigh in with your representatives.

  71. Anon

    Mark: It’s only unsubstantiated if you haven’t read the FCC appeal.

    Regarding my comment to Rifkin, since you seem to have taken offense … are you endorsing his misogynistic slur?

  72. Mark West

    Anon:

    [i]Mark: It’s only unsubstantiated if you haven’t read the FCC appeal. [/i]

    Post the link or cite the reference. Then it isn’t unsubstantiated.

    [i]Regarding my comment to Rifkin, since you seem to have taken offense … are you endorsing his misogynistic slur? [/i]

    I am offended by your hiding behind a pseudonym regardless of what you have to say. If you won’t sign your name to your comment, then you shouldn’t make it. Just my opinion.

  73. jrberg

    [i]
    I’m told there may be another tower with this type of strobe at Twin Cities (wherever that is) but haven’t had time to investigate. [/i]

    Just north of Galt on 99. 15 seconds on Google to find.

  74. Matt Williams

    Mark West siad . . .

    [i]”Anon:

    Mark: It’s only unsubstantiated if you haven’t read the FCC appeal.

    Post the link or cite the reference. Then it isn’t unsubstantiated.

    Regarding my comment to Rifkin, since you seem to have taken offense … are you endorsing his misogynistic slur?

    [b]I am offended by your hiding behind a pseudonym regardless of what you have to say.[/b] If you won’t sign your name to your comment, then you shouldn’t make it. Just my opinion.”[/i]
    Mark, no need to be offended. I could be wrong, but I suspect he has posted both with a pseudonym and his real name within the last 10 posts in this thread.

  75. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Matt: Do you have some issue with Eileen? Frankly, you keep bringing her up and your position sounds more personal than dispassionately fact-based. I’m picking up a kind of “you didn’t support me and now I’m going to stick it to you vibe.” BTW, lot’s of people are now involved in this issue even if you can’t see all the moving parts.”[/i]

    No specific issue Anon. Eileen is the one person who has filed the appeals, as well as contributed the key non-environmental points to the OpEd. One of the beautiful aspects of posting/filing with your real name is that there is a clear provenance. That is the reason I post under my name. If I say something I stand behind it . . . and if the facts don’t support what I have said, then I step up and acknowledge my error.

    On that score I did make a misstatement earlier in this thread. The mileage to Eileen’s neighborhood is indeed over 4 miles, but the mileage from the final FCC approved coordinates of Antenna Coordinates: North Latitude: 38 deg 35 min 47 sec West Longitude: 121 deg 40 min 49 sec to the nearest Wildhorse home is indeed 2.51 miles according to Google Earth.

    Of course as Mike Harrington can tell you, any knowledgeable aviation attorney knows how to read the Coast Guard luminosity table which says that at 2.5 miles unimpeded light reduces in luminosity by between a factor of 11 and 1,068 depending on the background lighting available at the point where the light is being observed. Because of the manufacturer’s design of the tower strobes, no light is allowed to escape below horizontal. The only light visible from the ground will be that light which is refracted off of physical particles in the air. Thus the functional amount of the night-time 2,000 candelas the strobes will produce will be less than 10 candelas at 2.5 miles, and substantially less than that in the daylight because of the very high background lighting factor during daylight hours.

    At Eileen Samitz’ neighborhood with its 4.0 mile distance, the luminosity will be further decreased by a factor of 7, so the functional luminosity will less than 2 candelas.

    Meteorological_Luminocity_Degradation

    __________Background Lighting Level
    Distance
    In Miles__None__Minor______Considerable
    0.5________ 0 ____ 2 _________ 20
    1.0________ 1 ___ 10 _________ 97
    1.5________ 3 ___ 26 ________ 264
    2.0________ 6 ___ 57 _________567
    2.5_______ 11 __ 107 ______ 1,068
    3.0_______ 19 __ 185 ______ 1,854
    3.5_______ 30 __ 304 ______ 3,044
    4.0_______ 48 __ 479 ______ 4,794
    4.5_______ 73 __ 732 ______ 7,317

  76. Matt Williams

    Don Shor said . . .

    [i]”@ Matt: In theory, that isn’t possible. Now everybody please stick to the topic.”[/i]

    Don, need I refer you to Edgar Bergen and Charley McCarthy?

    Just a little light humor to ease the thread along.

  77. Anon

    Matt: Your “luminocity analysis” is meaningless. When the BOS has voted and the Natomas tower mysteriously comes back on you can go see for yourself.

    I really can’t figure out why you would be pushing this so hard. The empirical data is clear … and you are setting yourself up to be blamed along with individuals on the BOS for the strobe lights at the landfill if the tower is ultimately built. I assure you that the Natomas tower is highly intrusive and people will curse the individuals responsible for bringing this type of blight to the outskirts of Davis.

  78. medwoman

    Rich

    Once again I find myself envious of your picture posting abilities. In my quest to gain more information on shrews, I found many delightful pictures of shrews that I would have like to have posted, but alas, nary a word about the effects of strobe lights on the little creatures.

  79. medwoman

    Michael Harrington

    What species of birds migrate at night? For reasons known only to themselves, many species populate the list of nighttime migrants, including owls, thrushes, thrashers, catbirds, wood warblers, vireos, kinglets, nuthatches, creepers, wrens, gnatcatchers, cuckoos, buntings, rails, woodcocks, tanagers, orioles, blackbirds, bobolinks, and most species of sparrows. Some species that migrate either by day or by night include loons, grebes, ducks, geese, swans, shorebirds, swifts, and swallows hummingbirds, auks and murres.

  80. Anon

    “Anyone care to enlighten me.”

    You don’t want to be enlightened. You want the spotlight. Don has removed the slur, yet you persist in little childish antics to try and keep it alive.

  81. Anon

    “Are birds attracted to flashing lights at night?”

    Michael: From what I’ve been told, the strobes disorient birds at night. Apparently, fog makes the situation worse; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines state that lighted towers should not be located in areas that are frequently foggy. The wetlands, rice fields, and settling ponds adjacent to the proposed landfill site make this area particularly prone to fog.

  82. Matt Williams

    Anon

    12/05/11 – 11:01 PM

    [i]”Matt: Your “luminocity analysis” is meaningless. When the BOS has voted and the Natomas tower mysteriously comes back on you can go see for yourself.

    I really can’t figure out why you would be pushing this so hard. The empirical data is clear … and you are setting yourself up to be blamed along with individuals on the BOS for the strobe lights at the landfill if the tower is ultimately built. I assure you that the Natomas tower is highly intrusive and people will curse the individuals responsible for bringing this type of blight to the outskirts of Davis.”[/i]

    Light is only meaningful if it can be seen, and light degrades 1) as the distance from its source increases and 2) based on the backlighting at the point where it is being observed from. That is exactly why FAA regulations require 20,000 candellas in the day but only 2,000 candellas at night. The backlighting degradation of the visibility of the light during the day is upwards of 1000 times what it is at night.

    Regarding the Natomas tower, you do realize that the issue was an electrical malfunction. 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. Because the Dialight beacon maintains extremely low light levels to the ground while ensuring that aircraft see the required 2,000 candelas, if a Natomas-like malfunction did occur the increased light would be reflected upward.

  83. Matt Williams

    Anon said . . .

    [i]”Michael: From what I’ve been told, the strobes disorient birds at night. Apparently, fog makes the situation worse; and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service guidelines state that lighted towers should not be located in areas that are frequently foggy. The wetlands, rice fields, and settling ponds adjacent to the proposed landfill site make this area particularly prone to fog.”[/i]

    Actually, again you are wrong. You may find it useful to look at Table 1 on page 5 of [url]http://docs.darksky.org/Reports/Communication-tower-lights-and-avian-collisions.pdf[/url] (page 509 of the journal issue),the Gehring, Kerlinger and Mann study that was done a few years ago and is said to be the largest scale and most recent study that has been done on migratory bird strikes.

    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. 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.

    White strobe lights are 14 times less disorienting than the lighting system on the existing Pole Line tower (which in addition has guy wires). What are the bird strike rates for that existing tower? If they are high, do you think the environmental community wouldn’t be waving that data in front of all to see. They, rightly so, want to keep the number of towers in the Pacific Flyway to an absolute minimum . . . and the most powerful tool in doing so is data. In such a highly incented situation, one can’t help but ask, where is the Pole Line bird strike data? And once it is produced, the mitigation results of the Gehring, Kerlinger and Mann study need to be applied.

    It isn’t me that needs attention, it is the objective facts that need attention.

  84. Matt Williams

    When presented with new information, the typical next step is to take the time to find out what you can about the new information. You presented me with new information, so I did some research. I will do more today.

  85. Matt Williams

    rusty, based on the media coverage of the Natomas tower incident, the answer to your question appears to be no. The tower is owned by American Tower and is leased to Entercom Communications which broadcasts three stations in Sacramento, 1320 AM, 107.9 FM and 98 Rock FM.

    Based on a call I made to Dialight in New Jersey this morning here is what I found…

    — The lights that malfunctioned on the Natomas tower in October 2007 were High Intensity lights (270,000 candela in day mode… and 20,000 canella in night mode). High Intensity lights are required by FAA on any tower 500 ft tall or above. They are over 10 times more powerful than the white strobe lights that meet FAA regulations for the Results Radio tower

    — The malfunction caused the lights to operating in day mode (270,000 candelas) during the night time. This was obviously incredibly bright and it is easy to see why it was of such concern.

    —- The Natomas tower lights were the old xenon flash tube based lights. These lights don’t control the ground scatter nearly as well as the new Dialight LED based lights do for several reasons, and the higher level of ground scatter clearly contributed to the magnitude of the impact of the problem on Sacramento and Yolo County residents.

    — The lights were not manufactured by Dialight. Dialight only produces LED obstruction lights.

    I will look into this further by calling both American Tower and Entercom later today to get more information.

  86. Rifkin

    [i]”I found many delightful pictures of shrews that I would have like to have posted …”[/i]

    There are a number of different species of shrews. Here are two of them, the elephant shrew followed by the northern tree shrew:

    [img]http://wordinfo.info/words/images/shrew-elephant.gif[/img]

    [img]http://www.hoglezoo.org/images/animal_finder/Shrew1.jpg[/img]

    And to repeat because it is important to me, I have never uttered a single misogynistic comment toward anyone. I know it is popular to call people names like racists or misogynists with no regard for the other person’s feelings. But these sorts of charges are very hurtful and without some evidence of that kind of animus should be avoided. Hopefully the person who falsely claimed I am a misogynist will have the courage to apologize.

  87. Anon

    Rich: Your comment to me was “try not to be such a shrew.”

    And since I can also cut-and-paste …

    Definition of SHREW

    2: an ill-tempered scolding woman

    In the context of your unprovoked slur (I was not debating with you when you decided to add your 2 cents about my character), the use of the word “shrew” was, IMO, intended to be synonymous with b***** (or worse).

    And as a point of clarification – I labeled your slur as misogynistic. I did not label you as a misogynist.

  88. newshoundpm

    Does anybody know how high the fog is above the ground? I know you can’t see a darn thing at ground level, but don’t know how high it gets. I’d be concerned that with fog that all sorts of birds, and particularly migratory birds, might not see the tower in the fog, even with the strobes. Additionally, from my experience with headlights and fog, when a bring light hits fog, you get this big bright spot reflecting off of all of the fog, making it even more difficult to see at times. I’d be concerned that the strobe could make it even worse for the birds in the fog. Finally, I’ve heard that the section of the Pacific Flyway between Davis/Woodland and Sacramento is particularly narrow in practice because the birds have a tendency to want to avoid the lights of the respective cities and fly in between right over the dark Yolo Bypass at night. If this is true, we may have a much higher concentration of birds flying through this area than in other parts of the flyway, which could mean greater conflicts with the ducks and geese. If the strobe lights cause the birds to not want to fly in this area, is this not akin to removing available habitat for them? Will this reduce bird popluations in the region and at the Vic Fazio Wildlife Refuge in particular? That would be my concern.

  89. Matt Williams

    Excellent questions newshoundpm. I don’t have answers to them, and will defer to members of the environmental community to provide answers.

    With that said, your questions do prompt a follow-on/add-on question. If the answers to your fog questions are “yes, fog is an issue for lighted towers” then why haven’t we seen anything written or said about the impact of the 500 foot tower just west of the landfill off Pole Line . . . especially since the lighting system of that tower is of the red variety that is well documented as being more disorienting to birds?

  90. Rifkin

    [i]” I labeled your slur as misogynistic. I did not label you as a misogynist.”[/i]

    That is a distinction without a difference. Moreover, my comment was not misogynistic. I have never made a misogynistic comment. Your claiming it was is incorrect.

  91. Rifkin

    [quote][b]mi·sog·y·ny[/b] [mi-soj-uh-nee, mahy-] [i]noun,[/i] hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women. [/quote]

    Anon, if your argumentation and writing style seemed shrewish, my saying so does not make me a person who hates, dislikes or mistrusts women. If you cannot understand that, I cannot help you.

  92. Anon

    Rifkin,

    You called me a shrew. I did not call you a misogynist.

    There is a distinction, and it does make a difference. Please spare me the crocodile tears.

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