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TMCNet:  Setbacks don't thwart anti-Wi-Fi crusader

[January 14, 2013]

Setbacks don't thwart anti-Wi-Fi crusader

SANTA FE, Jan 14, 2013 (Albuquerque Journal - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Despite recent legal setbacks, Santa Fean Arthur Firstenberg continues to pursue his anti-wireless crusade.

Firstenberg has filed an appeal in District Court contesting the city of Santa Fe's recent decision to allow the Hotel Santa Fe to put a telecommunications tower project on its property.

The city's Land Use Department issued a building permit for the project in October. Firstenberg appealed the decision to the City Council, which unanimously dismissed his motion in November.

Firstenberg filed an appeal earlier this month in District Court against the city, telecommunications provider AT&T Mobility Services and Hotel Santa Fe, which is located on Paseo de Peralta in downtown Santa Fe. He is acting as his own attorney in the case.


City Attorney Geno Zamora said the city is reviewing the appeal and "we will defend the litigation appropriately." Management at Hotel Santa Fe declined to comment on the case.

The tower attracted some attention this summer and was the subject of a small protest.

"The progressive (Hotel Santa Fe owners) Picuris Pueblo has been Teleconned into placing a hidden cell tower on their roof at Paseo de Peralta and Cerrillos," an email written in August by protester Felicia Trujillo of anti-Wi-Fi organization Doctors W.A.R.N. (Wireless and Radiation Network) declared.

"It is important to note that the Picuris are not scientists or medical doctors and this contract has been promoted by non-Pueblo corporate reps ... Like the majority of Americans, they (pueblo members) do not have the time to study the science," Trujillo wrote.

Firstenberg says he suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity. He has taken various related battles to court.

In October, a District Court judge ruled against Firstenberg in a lawsuit against his neighbor claiming her electronic devices adversely affected his health.

Among other things, Judge Sarah M. Singleton found that scientific evidence indicating electromagnetic hypersensitivity doesn't exist and did not allow Firstenberg to go to trial with witnesses he contended would show otherwise.

Firstenberg has said he will appeal Singleton's dismissal of his suit.

He has said he also will appeal a U.S. Court of Appeals decision in a separate case he filed against the city of Santa Fe and AT&T, claiming the city had failed to properly regulate AT&T's use of its cellphone towers.

In October, the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reserved a lower court's ruling and sent it back to the state level, saying federal laws do not apply. The court did not decide on the merits of Firstenberg's complaint.

___ (c)2013 the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) Visit the Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, N.M.) at www.abqjournal.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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