A cellphone company tried to make peace with Bay Ridge, but parents hung up on the offer.
Moms and dads from Ridge Avenue’s PS 185 are calling on Verizon to remove cellular antennas from the roof of an apartment building across the street from the school — even after Verizon moved the antennas 80 feet further from the school.
“There was a perception that the antennas were a problem, so we moved them back and oriented them away from the school,” said Verizon spokesman David Samberg.
Verizon maintains that the antennas — which are now about 150 feet away — are safe. But concerned parents want the antennas to be removed until data conclusively proves they’re safe.
“This is for the safety of the children,” said Marilyn Mahfouz, whose grandchildren attend PS 185. “Right now, we just don’t know what the repercussions are.”
Verizon has agreed to fund a third party study of the effects of the antennas, which first appeared across the street from the school in December, but parents are still fighting.
“We want them gone from that roof completely,” said Tressa Kabbez, co president of the PS 185 PTA. “We won’t stop protesting until they take them down entirely.”
On May 1, about 100 parents and students marched from the 87th Street school to a Verizon Wireless store at 86th street and Fifth Avenue, chanting “Hey, hey, ho ho, Verizon towers have got to go,” and holding signs that read: “Verizon: I am not your lab rat.”
Ridgites have fought against cell towers since 2006, when protestors thwarted the construction of a Sprint/Nextel tower near St. Anselm’s School on 83rd Street. Last year, 81st Street residents protested against cell towers installed atop an apartment building.
©2008 Community News Group
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