Elisa Cafaro battled Verizon to protect her daughter’s school, but now she’s fighting the cellular giant closer to home.
After months of protest by Cafaro and other PS 185 parents, Verizon agreed to remove cellular antennas from a building across the street from the Ridge Boulevard elementary — but the wireless provider put the antennas on a rooftop a block away from Cafaro’s 87th Street home.
“I protected my kid at school, but now I’ve got to be worried when she plays at home,” said Cafaro, whose 7- and 4-year-old’s bedrooms face the antennas.
“What can I do so that my kids aren’t guinea pigs for their radiation?”
Verizon and other cell companies maintain that cellular antennas are harmless.
But Cafaro — who is now considering selling her home because of its proximity to the antennas — wants them to be removed until data conclusively proves that they are safe.
Verizon spokesman David Samberg said that the cellular company chose the new site at 8701 Shore Rd. — a building that got its first batch of Verizon antennas in August — because it is a “location that worked from an engineering standpoint.”
PS 185 parents are relieved that their 11-month battle against Verizon is over, but they doubt that Cafaro’s next fight against the cellular provider will be successful.
“You have to stop it before it goes up,” said Tressa Kabbez, president of the PS 185 PTA. “What happened here is rare. Once they’re up, they’re almost impossible to deal with.”
The conflicts at PS 185 and 8701 Shore Rd. aren’t the first altercations between Bay Ridge residents and cellular antennas.
Ridgites have fought against cell towers since 2006, when protestors thwarted the construction of a Sprint/Nextel tower near St. Anselm’s School on 83rd Street. Last year, 81st Street residents protested against cell towers installed atop an apartment building.