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City Council to Take Up Cellphone Radiation, Bergamot Transit Village

The Big Blue Bus, the Palisades Garden Walk—and salmon consumption—are also on the agenda for Tuesday night's meeting.

On Tuesday night, the will tackle a wide-ranging agenda that includes usual topics such as the and , but also salmon consumption and cellphone radiation. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at .

Mayor and Councilman Terry O’Day have requested to discuss the subject of consumer and environmental protection for producing and consuming genetically engineered salmon.

Another requested topic is Councilman Kevin McKeown’s concern over the World Health Organization’s recent report on the possible cancer-causing effects of cellphone radiation. In the meeting agenda, city staffers state a desire to find “public protective measures” against such harmful side effects, and suggests putting state or federal government sanctioned warning labels on cellphones.

According to the WHO, a recent study of cellphone users who were exposed to an average of 30 minutes a day over a 10-year period showed a 40 percent increased risk for a type of brain cancer called "glioma."

Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square Project

According to the staff report on the Palisades Garden Walk and Town Square project, the landscaping design of the Garden Walk requires about 55,000 cubic yards of extra soil.

However, another construction project, the Village Housing Development, has a planned excavation with soil that has been tested and approved to be clean and appropriate for the Garden Walk’s needs. Utilizing this soil could save the park about $2.8 million, since it wouldn't be required to bring in soil from other locations or sources.

The council has to address the project's needs soon because of scheduling issues between the park project and the housing project. Construction on the Garden Walk is slated for summer 2012, however the excavation of the Village Housing Development will begin in the fall.

To make room for soil storage and to begin the process of preparing the land for future construction, the park site needs to be prepped by removing and relocating trees, demolishing and removing existing asphalt and structures, and improving underground structures to prevent damage to utilities during the construction process.

In addition to the trees within the grounds of the park project, trees located around the Town Square project area, as well as several directly adjacent to City Hall, are under consideration for relocation or removal in the future.

The Big Blue Bus

Taking up a large portion of the meeting’s agenda are issues concerning the Big Blue Bus, including replacing the roof of the administration building at 1660 Seventh St., contracting a trailer company to house the displaced offices during the remodeling, and other automotive maintenance issues pertaining to vehicle upkeep.

The council recently approved to several lines within the Big Blue Bus system, which will be put into effect starting Aug. 28.

The changes include rerouting and rescheduling Lines 1 and 2, enhancements to the Rapid 7, reduced frequency of the Local 7 and Route 13, changes to the stops and name of the Express 10 to the Rapid 10, and the addition of a new Downtown Ride.

(Go and to read opinion articles about the changes to the Big Blue Bus.)

Bergamot Transit Village

The study session will focus on updates on the progress of the controversial  after a community workshop in February. The next step for the project is the development of a policy framework, with an evaluation of canvassing development ideas planned for July.

The policy framework will involve parking strategies, conducting market demand studies, evaluating locations for public gathering spaces and coordinating with light-rail authorities on station access and design.

(Go to read Gary Kavanagh's commentary on the Bergamot Transit Village.)

-by Grace Lim

Eddie Greenberg June 18, 2011 at 02:06 AM
Warning us about the danger of radiation in cell phones is a great public service. So many of us speak too much holding the device close to our ears and expose ourselves to that serious kind of danger. I am more cautious now because of this.

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