low parishioner at St. Mar}”s Shrine andrnneighhor of the Dahlgrens), and BobrnWhalcn (an airhne pilot and eonservativernacti’ist) appear on Bowman’s show, andrnthe lines light up with angr)- callers whornsee the 30-day clause as jnst another examplernof Rockford’s backroom politics.rnChris devotes most of his radio show tornthe issne, and when he convinces TomrnPoulos (the president of Vertical Partners)rnto go on the air, Poulos confirmsrnthat the 30-day period expires on ]idy 12,rnthough he claims that Vertical Partnersrnwill not enforce it.rnAhhough Rockford is the state’s second-rnlargest cih’, it has often been calledrnthe biggest small town in Illinois. Usnal-rn1′, that is meant as a put-down, but overrnthe weekend, the Dahlgrens, Bob Whalcn,rnJanine and Bob Schneider, andrnFrancis Gillett, the Dahlgren’s retiredrnneighbor, take full advantage of Rockford’srnstatus, calling each of the 14 aldermen.rnBy Monday, July 9, a much clearerrnpicture has begun to emerge.rnWhile the aldermen had unanimouslyrnoted to approve the agreement betweenrnthe cit}’ and Vertical Partners at the citj’rncouncil meeting on ]ime 11, none ofrnthem had seen the text. All agree thatrnthe- had thought they were simply votingrnto open negotiations with Vertical Partners,rnnot to enter into a binding agreement,rnand certainly not to put VerticalrnPartners in tlie driver’s seat by givingrnthemselves only 30 days to reject potentialrnsites.rnRealizing that much of the oppositionrnto the cell-tower plan centers on CityrnWell No. 10, the Dahlgrens’ alderman,rnDan Conness, schedules a public meetingrnfor shortiy after the cit}’ council meetingrnthat night. Tom Poulos sends a letterrnto Mayor Doug Scott, acknowledging thern30-da’ clause and offering to extend it torn60 days. Still, many of the aldermen arernconcerned, if only because the fact thatrnthey never saw the agreement makesrnthem look like rubber .stamps. Before therncouncil meeting ends. Aldermen DougrnMark and David Johnson introduce a resolutionrnto amend the agreement, strikingrnthe 30-day clause.rnAt Alderman Conness’s public meeting,rnit becomes apparent that we havernonlv seen the tip of the iceberg. First,rnthe issue extends well beyond the cit}’.rnTom Poulos explains that four other governmentalrnbodies in the Rockford arearn(Winnebago County, School Districtrn205, the Rockford Park Distiict, and thernRockford I lousing Authority) have previouslyrnsigned the same agreement withrnVertical Partners, and, in each case, thern30 days have already passed. He estimatesrnthe number of approved cell-towerrnsites at 40 to 50.rnSecond, the federal government hasrnseverely circumscribed the power of staternand local governments to restrict thernbuilding of cell towers. Under U.S. lawrn(47 U.S.C, sect. 332(c)(7)),rnThe regulation of the placement,rnconstruction, and modification ofrnpersonal wireless service facilitiesrnby and | sic State or local governmentrnor instrumental it}’ thereof.. .rnshall not prohibit or have the effectrnof prohibiting the provision of personalrnwireless services.rnMoreover, as Einar Forsman had indicatedrnto Sharon Schuldt, the city is essentiallyrnnot allowed to make decisionsrnabout cell towers based on the environmentalrnand health issues that concernrnthe Dahlgrens:rnNo State or local government or instrumentalityrnthereof may regulaternthe placement, construction, orrnmodification of personal wirelessrnservice facilities on the basis of thernenvironmental effects of radio frequencyrnemissions to the extent thatrnsuch facilities comply with thernI Federal Communications] Commission’srnregulations concerningrnsuch emissions.rnWliile Forsman and City Legal DirectorrnRon Schultz assure the aldermen thatrnthey will have to approve each cell towerrnindividually before construction can begin,rnmany of the aldermen are clearly beginningrnto question whether, under federalrnlaw, tiiey would be able to stop thernconstruction. That, combined with theirrnanger over not seeing the agreement beforernthey voted (and Ron Schultz’s claimrnthat such agreements do not need to berndistributed to the aldermen before arnvote), seems to have turned the tide.rnIt takes anotiier three weeks, but at therncit}’ council meeting on July 30, the aldermenrnvote unanimously to reject therneight cell-tower sites in residential neighborhoods.rnThey approve the rest, though,rnwhich are in industrial and rural areas.rnAfter the vote, Bob Creene, chairmanrnof the council’s finance and personnelrncommittee (where the cell-tower proposalrnwas first considered), rises. “I wouldrnjust like to note for [he record, your honor,rnthat the process worked.” The snickersrnfrom the galler)’ are audible, becauserndie truth, of course, is exactly the opposite:rnIf it had not been for the persistencernof a handful of concerned citizens, Julyrn12 woidd have passed without notice.rnAs we leave the council chambers,rnMark Dahlgren is noticeably relieved,rnbut he is not ready to rest on his laurels.rnJust behind City Well No. 10 lies AlpinernPark, one of the highest points in the cityrnand, thus, a prime site for a cell tower.rnWe still do not know what sites, if any, thernRockford Park District has approved. InrnRockford, the battle never really ends, crnCALL FOR PAPERSrnCHRISTIANITY & THE CREATIVE IMAGINATIONrnEichstatt, Bavaria • June 17 to July 6, 2002rnA Conference sponsored by the International Institute for Culturern& Touchstone: A Journal of Mere ChristianityrnWEDDED to the Creative Imagination from the beginning, Christianityrnhas sometimes found the marriage troubled, and it has been morernfruitful at some times than at others. By “creative imagination” is meant thernuse of images, stories, and literary themes to illustrate and even advance thernChristian mind or worldview, in popular piety as well as high art. Thisrnconference will concentrate especially on that form called “fantasy,” in whichrnan author establishes a Utopian world, or alternative universe, where thernimplications of the Christian thesis are tested in symbolic and implicit ways.rnPapers should be for a general audience that is not familiar with thernacademic language of the field and has no experr knowledge of the subject.rnFinal proposals are due by December 1, 2001.rnFor full details see: www.touchstonemag.com • or write: [email protected]: (773) 481-T090 • International Institute for Culture: www.iiculture.orgrnOCTOBER 2001/35rnrnrn