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Western is urged to reconsider decision

There is a proposed 120 foot tall cell phone antenna tower for the north end of the Happy Valley neighborhood - by Douglas and Taylor Streets. Sprint needs an antenna up here for cell phone coverage of Happy Valley and I-5 from Lakeway the Fairhaven Parkway.

Virtually every resident of Happy Valley is against the tower. But, they are not the ones blocking modern progress. It turns out to be Western Washington University.

Sprint actually prefers to place the antenna on top of Buchanan Towers apartment building on the WWU campus. Placing it there would add cell phone coverage for the campus. The Douglas Street location is blocked from the campus by Sehome Hill. But Western decided in mid July to not allow the antenna on the building, writing that it did not provide any "direct benefit" to Western.

Western said it subscribes to another cell phone service and so does not need campus coverage from Sprint. What is wrong with this thinking is that it takes no account of the personal cell phone services of the students, faculty and staff. Many of them no doubt have Sprint service and they will not have coverage on campus. Thus, the antenna on Buchannan Towers would provide a benefit to the Western community. And perhaps even life saving service in an emergency. There was no other reason given for refusing the antenna.

Perhaps there is little hope that Western can be convinced to change its organizational mind. Vice President George Pierce is the person who wrote the letter and has the driving influence on campus.

I encourage letters directed to President Karen Morse and any of the Board of Trustees that you may know. Urge them to please reverse this decision. By accepting the antenna, they will do two things that will benefit the Western community:
1. The antenna will provide coverage on campus for many personal cell phone accounts, which is a direct benefit and safety issue.
2. It will spare Happy Valley the vision of a gross tower on the edge of our neighborhood. The placement on Buchanan Towers will be hardly noticed - by the Western or the Happy Valley communities.

Also consider a letter to the Herald. We need to bring many voices to this plea. We only have till the end of next week, Sep 15, before the city may give Sprint permission to build this tower. Sorry for not spreading the word on this sooner.

Send to:
Karen Morse, President
WWU - Old Main 450
Bellingham, WA 98225
phone and leave a message: 650-3480

Two Trustees live in Bellingham. Mary Swenson and Red Haskell. If you know them, call them. Ask that they suggest to Karen Morse that reversing this decision is in the best interests of Western. You can email to them care of their secretary:

I urge you to take the little time needed to make this communication. There may be only a slim chance Western will decide to accept the antenna, but the only chance we have of avoiding a 120 foot antenna tower in our neighborhood is if enough of us write Western to cause them to reconsider.

Thank you.


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