American Cancer Society: Little risk from cell antennas

Feb 26 2014

Claims that cell towers pose dire health risks have very little basis in medical science, according to the American Cancer Society.

In response to a request for more information about a planned antenna installation at Epworth United Methodist Church, the Rev. Lisa Dempsey e-mailed a Cancer Society information sheet on the topic. Among other things, the information sheet says:

Some people have expressed concern that living, working, or going to school near a cell phone tower might increase the risk of cancer or other health problems. At this time, there is very little evidence to support this idea.

The entire information sheet can be read here. A Federal Communications Commission information sheet on the same topic says much of the same thing.

Epworth's plans have spurred a brushfire of questions about the project in Candler Park over the last couple of days. Many of those questions came from members of the Epworth community who expressed concern that they only learned of plans for the facility through rumors. Dempsey said in an email this evening she's been unable to respond to questions because she's been attending a retreat.

Epworth signs deal for cell antennas inside higher steeple

Feb 26 2014

Epworth United Methodist Church has signed a lease to allow AT&T to place cellphone antennas inside a steeple near the corner of Mell and McLendon avenues, according to church officials.

It's unclear whether the antennas would be housed inside the church's current steeple, although it does appear that the existing structure would have to be extended or a new, taller one would be built to meet cell antenna specifications. We're still trying to find out more about prospective timing of the project, as well as whether the facility will require permiting or any other type of public action.

In response to an email from Candler Park resident Kate Sandhaus, the Rev. Lisa Dempsey copied the following note, which had been addressed "To our community":

Epworth UMC at Candler Park was approached by AT & T to be a site for a cellular service.  The Trustees and I have spent a good bit of time defining an agreement and paying close attention to the aesthetics of the installation. The cellular antennae will be concealed within the steeple. We have indeed just signed a lease in furtherance of that process. Epworth is committed to this for the benefit of both the church and the community as it will greatly enhance the service and communications (i.e. wireless security systems and 911 responses) for our neighborhood.  We hope you will join us in the appreciation of how this installation will allow for a reliable service that will enhance our community life together.


Reverend Lisa Dempsey, Pastor

Trustees Chair, Jim Pelot 

Epworth's plan took Candler Park neighbors by surprise. In email and phone messages over the last two days, several parents of children who attend pre-school at Epworth said they hadn't been told about the project but were hearing rumors; they asked CPNO board members to provide information.

(UPDATE: Dempsey responds with more information about cell antennas.)

The only confirmed information I've been able to obtain so far came in the form of Dempsey's e-mail to Sandhaus, on which Sandhaus had copied me. In a followup response, Dempsey wrote:

I am not in a place to provide specs, but generally, the community should not expect anything but better service.  Our steeple will be higher, but visually, the new way of doing things is to put all antennae inside the steeple, so the presenting appearance is a church steeple.  Some equipment will be on the property behind a brick wall (gated and secured) that will match the building brick.

I've been unable to reach Dempsey or Pelot today via email, but will let you know as we get more information.

Web resources to help you act after Feb. meeting

Feb 19 2014

CPNO members interrogated three politicians, appointed our Master Plan Coordinating Committee, scarfed down a stack of pizzas, guzzled several bottles of wine, and tackled a series of other issues during Monday’s night’s monthly meeting.

Kathie Gannon, Elena Parent appear at CPNO tonight

Feb 17 2014

DeKalb Commissioner Kathie Gannon and state Senate candidate Elena Parent are each appearing at tonight's CPNO General Meeting at the Old Stone Church (470 Candler Park Drive).

Gannon (right) — one of two DeKalb commissioners to represent Candler Park — is coming to get feedback on her proposals to reform DeKalb County government. As you may know, DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis has been indicted on corruption charges, and there's a lot of noise in DeKalb about the county's governing challenges.

Parent, a Democrat from Decatur, is one of three people (that I know of) who already are running for the seat that state senator (and CP resident) Jason Carter plans to give up this year to run for governor. We'll try to get other candidates to CPNO meetings in time for the May primary.

Also on the agenda: CPNO-Trees Atlanta tree planting March 22, Master Plan Coordinating Committee nominees, the CP Music & Food Festival (formerly Midsummer Music) Festival, and many more fast-moving, fun-packed topics for your enjoyment!

Let's pick our Movie Night features

Feb 15 2014

We all love to rank good (and bad) movies. Right? Well, here’s a chance to rank the movies that we as a neighborhood get to view for free in Candler Park at Movie Night 2014.

Friends of Candler Park (which puts on the Movie Night series) has invited members of Candler Park Neighborhood Organization (which is Movie Night’s lead sponsor) to rate movies via this quick survey. The results will go into the selection of features to be shown on seven Saturday evenings in the park this spring and summer. The series kicks off April 19, with an Earth Day feature.

The survey’s quick and fun (and you can just check “no opinion” for the films you know nothing about).

But FOPC does need these survey results very quickly. So please, take the survey now — we need to get the results by the end of this week.

Sign up now for tree-planting mania

Feb 13 2014

Kids help put down roots during a Trees Atlanta planting. Photo courtesy of Trees AtlantaMarch 22 could be banner day for the greening of Candler Park, but we need your help.

Trees Atlanta — the non-profit whose mission is to plant Atlanta all over — is bringing forces to bear on the Candler Park and Lake Claire neighborhoods on March 22. 

It’s an ambitious project. Trees Atlanta’s Alex Beasley hopes to plant 40 or so trees in Candler and Iverson parks, and more than 50 other trees along rights of way and in the front yards of Candler Park homeowners who requested them.

February 2014 Messenger - Available Now

Feb 13 2014

This month's edition of the Candler Park Messenger is available here. In this month's issue - a story about state of our hexagonal sidewalk tiles and efforts to fix them, information about two potential zoning changes for the Little Five Points business district, a story by Don Foos about Glen Lopez and his dog Ranger, and plenty more. There's also information about a new events survey, available here.

Pimsler, Hacker, Dusenbury nominated to MP panel

Feb 13 2014

I’m pleased to announce that Randy Pimsler, Joseph Hacker and Eric Dusenbury are the board’s nominees for CPNO’s new Master Plan Coordinating Committee.

Our next step: A confirmation vote on the nominees at CPNO’s General Meeting this Monday.

CPNO members voted last month to establish the three-person Coordinating Committee to help prioritize the Master Plan’s recommendations and to support CPNO members as we implement the recommendations. 

The bulk of Master Plan progress still will depend on work on specific projects by lots of volunteers. But the idea is that the Coordinating Committee can help by working out conflicts, leveraging contacts, finding money, and prodding things along.

An ad hoc committee composed of Vice President Lexa King, Environment Officer John Skach and me interviewed candidates who’d volunteered to serve on the committee.

• Randy is the board’s nominee to chair the committee. An architect by profession and a longtime neighborhood activist, he’s served as CPNO president and in several other board capacities, with a particular involvement in zoning and land-use issues.

• Joseph is nominated to serve as vice-chair. He and his family returned to Atlanta a year-and-a-half ago from Philadelphia, where he earned a doctorate in planning and worked as a city and regional planner with an emphasis on transit, bicycle, pedestrian and human services. He’s now an assistant professor of planning and economic development at Georgia State's Andrew Young School. He moved to Candler Park last summer.

• Eric is our nominee for transportation coordinator. Like Randy, he’s a longtime neighborhood activist. He served as CPNO president for several years in the 1990s, and has been involved in several successful neighborhood projects, including the Freedom Park gateway and recent Iverson Park improvements.

At this week’s board meeting, all three nominees expressed their strong desire to engage neighbors in an open process — which I’m sure you’ll hear more about during discussion before the vote on Monday. Meanwhile, please take a moment to check out the Master Plan here. What project do you want to help bring to fruition?

Also on Monday’s General Meeting agenda:

  • A motion to support one proposed zoning law change for the Little Five Points Neighborhood Commercial District, and a motion not to support another;
  • A motion to change our bylaws regarding the election process for our NPU-N representative; and
  • A motion to provide a $1,000 grant for facilities improvement for Clifton Sanctuary Ministries.

We also expect a couple of interesting visitors at Monday’s meeting. DeKalb County Commissioner Kathie Gannon plans to join us to discuss her “blueprint” to reform DeKalb County government. And Elena Parent, a Democratic candidate for the state Senate seat representing Candler Park, plans to pitch us (that seat will be open at the end of this year because Candler Parker Jason Carter is giving it up to run for governor).

Spring marks the arrival of a new farmers' market

Feb 13 2014

A new farmers' market is coming to the Carter Center. According to information sent to the Messenger, the Freedom Farmers’ Market at The Carter Center will be open Saturdays starting March 1. The market will be open every Saturday morning from 9 AM to 1 PM. Vendors will be selling locally-sourced food and other products.

The market will be located in the southwest part of the Carter Center parking lots. For information on vendors, sponsorship opportunities, and other details, visit the Freedom Farmers' Market website at

Zoning Meeting - Cancelled

There are no pending applications for consideration by the Zoning committee.  Accordingly, the February meeting is cancelled.

Wed, 02/05/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm
Epworth at Candler Park, 1561 Mclendon Ave, Atlanta, GA 30307