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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Cell tower debate on its way to Pasco?



Flagpole300x197_2 Parents outraged at the appearance -- not to mention the mere mention -- of cell phone towers on their children's school campuses have made the news lately in South Tampa and New Tampa.

They now are sniffing around Pasco County, where plans call for a new tower (disguised as a flagpole) to rise behind John Long Middle in Wesley Chapel.

Lisa Vignera, who has been involved in the fight at Pride Elementary in New Tampa, blitzed the Pasco district with e-mails and calls late last week and this morning to check their intentions at Long Middle. She's moving north come summer, and her daughters will be zoned for Long, so she wants to learn more.

She also has been seeking advice from the Hillsborough group Expel Cell Towers on how to proceed.

"My concerns pretty much lie with the fact that they don't have enough evidence to say whether or not (cell towers) are safe," Vignera told the Gradebook. "I just feel like, of all the land and property they can put this on, the worst place is a school."

The Pasco School Board approved the tower at Long Middle, which remains in permitting at the county, in February 2008 with nary a protest. Principal Beth Brown said she supports the tower as a safety measure.

"I can't tell you how many times the phones have gone down and we don't have (reliable) cell phone service," Brown explained. "It never occurred to me that there was anything negative" about the tower.

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[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:13am]


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