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Our View: Auburn needs monopine

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Auburn is evolving and its technology should, too. A 78-foot cell phone tower somewhat disguised as a pine tree is a small price to pay to bring the city up to speed with the Internet and mobile device services that many of us enjoy and need. AT&T is planning to put up the antenna, which it calls a monopine based on how it’s made to look as much like a pine tree as possible. The tower is going on private property and the owner approves. Also, the property is zoned residential and industrial so it’s OK by city standards for the monopine to go up. A small group of residents laments that being in such close proximity to a cell tower is harmful and Auburn has good enough service as it is. Tell that to those who are still using DSL or dial-up at home. The outspoken group posted some videos on YouTube showing their cell reception works just fine in the American River Canyon. In many areas of the canyon, however, there is no reception at all. Despite the group’s concerns, there is no proof that the tower emits harmful radio waves. One could argue that holding a cell phone directly next to one’s ear is a more harmful and certainly closer source of potential harm than the tower. As for service in the canyon, it’s spotty at best. More coverage is truly a need where many outdoor enthusiasts are hiking, running, biking, riding, kayaking and rafting in remote areas. Better cell phone service could make as much difference as saving a life if someone is injured while out on one of the many beautiful canyon trails. Auburn needs the infrastructure for better technology and a monopine is a good step in that direction.