“CTIA-The Wireless Association® Files Challenge to San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” Ordinance
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 – Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® asked a federal court to block the enforcement of San Francisco’s “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. CTIA’s challenge argues that the Ordinance is barred under the First Amendment and conflicts with federal law governing the safety of wireless devices.
As CTIA explains in its motion, the Ordinance requires retailers to distribute misleading statements and graphics that send the false message that cell phones approved by the FCC are not safe. In fact, the FCC limits radiofrequency emissions from cell phones to ensure that phones sold in the U.S. emit RF energy far below levels shown in scientific testing to have any adverse health effects. The FCC’s standard includes a wide margin of safety for all users. Last year the FDA categorically concluded that there is “No Evidence Linking Cell Phone Use to Risk of Brain Tumors,” and earlier this year the Chairman of the FCC, Julius Genachowski, said that he was “confident that [the FCC's] standards are protecting the health of people.”
CTIA-The Wireless Association Vice President of Public Affairs John Walls released the following statement:
“The materials the City would require be posted and handed out at retail stores are both alarmist and false. The FCC and FDA have repeatedly found that cell phone use does not pose a danger to human health. The Ordinance recommends such things as turning the phone off when not in use, a suggestion that would render critical emergency communications unavailable to San Francisco residents.”
I’ve never used the Verizon – I’m not sure what makes it so great, you know, the way people say it’s so great.
Or some people, anyway:
No matter. We all win when more cell towers go up, right? Hurray!
As here, with the news of a new cellie in the southern part of Marin County.
Of course it’s somewhat absurd to consider each installation a victory over the NIMBYs, but that’s what it’s come to. (When you’re participating in trench warfare, even moving the battle line forward 100 yards is cause for celebration.)
Here it is, a full-fledged press release for just one (1) tower going up.
“New Cell Site Helps Sausalito, California, Residents and Visitors Make More Calls, Download More Apps and Stay Connected
WALNUT CREEK, Calif., July 28, 2011 – Calling, downloading apps and surfing the web on the Verizon Wireless 3G network is now easier and faster for residents and travelers in the San Francisco Bay Area thanks to a new cell site, Sausalito, California. The site expands 3G wireless coverage and capacity along Highway 101, Highway 1 and Tennessee Valley Road.
Verizon Wireless has invested more than $5.7 billion in its California network since being founded in 2000. Nationally, the company has invested more than $65 billion over that same period to increase the coverage and capacity of its network, and to add new services.
In Northern California, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network covers more than five million people. In the San Francisco Bay Area, 4G LTE coverage extends south to San Jose and east to Oakland. In addition, Verizon’s 4G LTE footprint recently expanded in the Bay Area to include parts of Marin and Solano Counties, as well as Fresno and Sacramento. For more information, please visit: www.verizonwireless.com/4G.
Verizon Wireless on Twitter
To stay up-to-date on Verizon Wireless news in Northern California, Northern Nevada and Hawai’i, follow @VZWheidi on Twitter at http://twitter.com/VZWheidi.
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.”
So Tesla, let’s agree that that Top Gear TV show has, at the very least, a flair for the dramatic, a bit of cheesiness built into its DNA. So, why then, did you give them cars to test?
Here are the first two grafs from Tesla’s corporate do-boy:
“Tesla Roadsters in over thirty countries have driven more than ten million real-world miles. [SO WHAT, WHO CARES?] That’s 500,000 gallons of fuel that didn’t burn [HEY TESLA, HOW MUCH JET FUEL DID YOU BUY FOR YOUR CEO OVER THE YEARS? 10,000 GALLONS? 100,000 GALLONS? JUST ASKING, BRO] and over 5.3 million pounds of averted carbon dioxide emissions. [WHY NOT JUST NOT DRIVE INSTEAD, TESLA? AND HOW MANY GALLONS WERE BURNED TO MAKE THE ELECTRICITY TO POWER THE CARS?] The credit goes to approximately 1,500 Roadster owners around the world who drive their electric vehicles in all conditions; [THEY'RE LIKE HEROES, OR SOMETHING, RIGHT?] they’re an enthusiastic group who often talk and blog about their experiences. ["HERE'S A SNAPSHOT OF MY BRAND-NEW SIX-FIGURE TOY" - IT'S JUST LIKE, "LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY GRANDCHILDREN."]
“Tesla is committed to building the best cars in the world. [HAHAHAHAHAHA! AFTER EIGHT LONG YEARS, YOU'RE "COMMITTED," HUH?] And in doing so, [IN DOING WHAT, ACTUALLY? THESE TWO SENTENCES DON'T BELONG TOGETHER - YOU DON'T THINK YOU'RE BUILDING THE BEST CARS IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, OR DO YOU?] catalyzing change in a very traditional industry [OBJECTION, FACTS NOT IN EVIDENCE] by convincing drivers that EVs can match and surpass automobiles run by combustion. [BUT YOUR EV'S ARE MOSTLY RUN BY COMBUSTION] That’s not an easy task. [O RLY? TELL US ABOUT THE MISMANAGED TWO-SPEED TRANSMISSION FIASCO, RICARDO, WHAT ABOUT THAT?] But the Roadster has changed a lot of minds. [THE ROADSTER IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT COSTS WAAAAAAY TOO MUCH MONEY. TESLA MOTORS IS A FAT LITTLE PIGGY WHAT SUCKS ON GOVERNMENT TEAT WAAAAAY TOO MUCH]“
Anyway, check the video, below, if you want.
Why yes, I’m extreeeeeeemely comfortable in this very small, very heavy, very expensive rolling toy. Why do you ask?
And leave us not forget: All hail the Mighty Tesla Driver: “Look at me! Look at me! Ooops.” That was on Geary in the Western A, I believe.
The video you’re not supposed to see. I’d never seen it before, personally. It makes the Tesla Roadster look like the overweight, overpriced, electrified POS that it is.
And here’s part of the defense from the BBC’s cheesy Top Gear show.
1. We never said that the Tesla’s true range is only 55 miles, as opposed to their own claim of 211, or that it had actually ran out of charge. In the film our actual words were: “We calculated that on our track it would run out after 55 miles”. The first point here is that the track is where we do our tests of sports cars and supercars, as has happened ever since Top Gear existed. This is where cars are driven fast and hard, and since Tesla calls its roadster “The Supercar. Redefined.” it seemed pretty logical to us that the right test was a track test. The second point is that the figure of 55 miles came not from our heads, but from Tesla’s boffins in California. They looked at the data from that car and calculated that, driven hard on our track, it would have a range of 55 miles.
2. We never said that the Tesla was completely immobilized as a result of the motor overheating. We said the car had “reduced power”. This was true.
3. Tesla claims we were lying when we said the brakes were “broken”. They now say that all that had happened was that the fuse to the vacuum pump had failed, which meant that the brake just had to be pushed down much harder than usual. Well – to my mind, if the brakes are broken, then they’re broken, and if this happened to your car, you’d take it to the garage to get it fixed. Odd it seems so trivial to Tesla now, because on the day of filming they insisted on repairing the fuse before we could carry on driving the car.
The above points will be argued over in the near future by brainy people wearing wigs, but in a layman’s nutshell, this is where we stand on the matter. Before I finish though, I must clear up one important issue: scripting. It’s alleged by Tesla that on the day of filming one of their employees caught sight of a script that had been written, before the car had even been driven, already containing the verdict that in the “real world” the Tesla doesn’t work. This, they say, proves our guilt, because we’d condemned the car in advance. May I just say in reply:
a) The truth is, Top Gear had already driven the car prior to filming, to enable us to form a view on it in advance
b) Our primary reasoning behind the verdict had nothing to do with how the Tesla performed; our conclusion was based mainly on the fact that it costs three times more than the petrol sports car upon which it’s based. It takes a long time to recharge, so you can’t use it as easily for the carefree motoring journeys that are a prerequisite of sports car driving. You can actually reach that conclusion without driving the car. As it happens, when it did come to the subjective area of how the car drove on the track, we were full of praise for its performance and handling.
c) Just so you understand there’s nothing devious going on, you need to know how this filming business works. When you film a car review, the reviewer is only the tip of the iceberg. Behind the lens is a film crew, and only a day’s worth of light to shoot the eight minute film. This means we have to prepare in advance a treatment – a rough draft of a script so that the director and film crew can get to work right away, knowing what shots they will need to capture. It will contain the facts about a car, and what we think of its looks and so on, but how well the car actually drives is added on the day. If we’ve driven it ahead of filming, as we do with most cars, we will also have an idea how it feels to drive. But, and this is crucial, as we uncover fresh information about a car whilst filming it, it is entirely normal for the treatment to be modified as the day unfolds. Jeremy is always tweaking the scripts to reflect what his driving experience has actually been on the day.
There you go. I’ve said my bit, and now we’ll hopefully shut up and prepare for our day in court.
PS: As this is going through the courts right now, we’re afraid we’ve had to turn off comments on this one, but we wanted to let you all know how we see it.
Andy Wilman is the Executive Producer of Top Gear”
But first, let’s hear from San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. Via Chief Deputy Communications Director Francis Tsang comes this:
MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM’S STATEMENT ON CTIA LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST SAN FRANCISCO’S CELL PHONE DISCLOSURE LEGISLATION
Mayor Gavin Newsom today issued the following statement in response to the lawsuit by the Cellular Telephone Industries Association (CTIA) to block enforcement of San Francisco’s cell phone disclosure ordinance:
“I am disappointed that the association representing the wireless communication industry has decided to challenge our landmark consumer information law in court.
This law is not an attack on the wireless industry or their products. San Francisco is proud to be a magnet for technological innovation and an early adopter of cutting-edge communications devices. This is a modest, common sense measure which merely takes information already made available by these companies and makes it more accessible and easier to find by the point-of-sale consumer.
I am surprised that industry representatives would choose to spend untold sums of money to fight this in the courts, instead of cooperatively working with San Francisco to comply with a reasonable law that provides greater transparency and information without putting any undue burdens on small businesses or discourage cell phone use in any way.”
O.K. then. Now, all the deets from CITA:
CTIA-The Wireless Association® Filed Lawsuit Against San Francisco for the So-Called ‘Cell Phone Right-to-Know’ Ordinance
WASHINGTON, July 23 /– Today, CTIA-The Wireless Association® filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Northern District of California San Francisco Division to block enforcement of the San Francisco “Cell Phone Right-to-Know” ordinance. The ordinance challenges the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) determination that all FCC-compliant wireless handsets are safe by mandating that retailers post Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values. The ordinance misleads consumers by creating the false impression that the FCC’s standards are insufficient and that some phones are “safer” than others based on their radiofrequency (RF) emissions.
All phones sold legally in the United States must comply with the FCC’s safety standards for RF emissions. According to the FCC, its standards limit RF exposures well below the level where RF emissions are potentially harmful and thus all wireless phones are safe as measured by these standards. The scientific evidence does not support point-of-sale requirements that would suggest some compliant phones are “safer” than other compliant phones based on their RF exposure test results. San Francisco’s attempt to regulate the sale of wireless handsets improperly intrudes upon the FCC’s exclusive and comprehensive regulation of the safety of wireless handsets. The ordinance is thus not only scientifically unsupported, it violates the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the United States Constitution and must be stricken.
Here’s the thing about Nathan Ballard – he was almost always in this damn-the-facts-Gavin-Newsom-is-always-right mode. That’s just the way the bulk of his profession does it these days.* Oh well, he won’t be in that mode much longer, see the news release below.
But what if the roles had been reversed? What if the smarter one were Mayor and the more charismatic one were Director of Communications?
Wouldn’t that arrangement have worked out better? For them, and for us? Just asking…
NB on the job, an impossible job, really, when you get down to it. Here he is documenting the goings-on around on Polk Street:
Today Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that Nathan Ballard, his director of communications, will be leaving the Newsom administration.
Newsom praised Ballard’s skills.
“Nathan Ballard is unflappable, smart and a fierce advocate,” said Newsom. “He is a talented communicator and a consummate professional, and we will miss him.”
Ballard praised Newsom for his leadership.
“Mayor Newsom is a gifted leader who fearlessly tackles significant issues such as health care, the environment, education, and equal rights,” said Ballard. “It has been a privilege to serve this administration.”
Ballard took the helm of Newsom’s communications operation in February, 2007. He will be leaving the administration in February, 2010. He said he plans to spend more time with his family and to relaunch the business he founded in 2004, Earned Media, LLC.
Ballard, 40, has served as a spokesman for two presidential candidates, Senator John Kerry and General Wesley Clark. He has also been a communications director for the Democratic National Committee, the California Democratic Party, and California’s largest labor organization, the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.
Good luck Mr. Ballard. Bon courage.
*Speaking of charismatic leaders, even Mussolini would occasionally admit he lost a battle or made a mistake. Those by-gone days of frankness are long-gone, it would seem.
Now let’s see if we can get today’s Prop 8 timeline straight here. This morning, this bit went up on the Azire Times:
“Our source tells us that the [CA Supreme] court has now decided to push pack the ruling for another week or two fearing the ruling would inflame tensions if it ruled on the same date. He said, “‘tensions are running high and the court was asked to move date of ruling.’”
Fair enough. After that, came this “exclusive” from Towleroad.com”
Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with the White Night riots,” said our source.
After that, came this:
STATEMENT FROM NATHAN BALLARD
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, MAYOR GAVIN NEWSOM
“Today a website posted an item that quoted a false allegation from an unnamed source: “Mayor [Gavin] Newsom reached out to the Supreme Court and asked them to hold off releasing their decision so it did not coincide with the White Night riots.”
“This allegation is not true. We have asked the website to correct the item immediately.”
Is this last statement a “pregnant denial“? Seems a little skimpy, anyway. Is this whole thing a big deal?