Property Rights Foundation of America®

News Brief - January 2007:

Tragic Death on Adirondack Northway Focuses Attention on Environmentalist Obstruction to Cell Phone Coverage

A 63-year old Brooklyn resident died of exposure when he and his wife were trapped in their car when it went off the Adirondack Northway (I 87) near North Hudson at about 2 a.m. on Thursday, January 25. Alfred B. Langner died after about twelve hours, while his wife Barbara P. Langner survived until the discovery of their car by state police on Friday at 9:53 a.m. According to the Glens Falls Post-Star on January 27, her survival was considered a "miracle" by State Police Captain John Tibbitts, considering the sub-zero temperatures. The couple tried to use their cell phone to call from their car, but there was no service. Environmentalists consider that the visibility of cell towners is unacceptable in the "sensitive" region. State Assemblyman Teresa Sayward (R-Willsboro) said, "This should not have happened. No one should have to lose their life to bring attention to a situation that we have talked about for years." State Senator Betty Little (R-Queensbury), reiterated her call for cell phones, "An interstate highway from Montreal to New York….should have cell coverage," she said. Environmentalists would agree only to 8 ft. high towers, the Post-Star reported. Sen. Little called for temporary towers. In March, Gov. Spitzer said that he doesn't want temporary cell phone towers installed along the Northway, but he is seeking a "middle ground" to protect public safety and the "unique environment," according to the Adirondack Journal in Warrensburg.

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