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Beline Obeid
October 31, 2013
GROSSE POINTE FARMS — There’s no love for surveillance radar among candidates racing for city council.

All four candidates in the Tuesday, Nov. 5 election either oppose or are leery of letting the U.S. Border Patrol place radar on a 60-foot tower at the Grosse Pointe (Little) Club to monitor cross-border activity on lower Lake. St. Clair.

Some Grosse Pointe Farms residents living near the proposed 50,000-watt installation fear exposure to radar waves. Others oppose the idea on privacy grounds.

“First and foremost is the safety and health of our residents,” said Councilman Louis Theros. “Until I’m convinced otherwise, I’m not sure this location is the appropriate spot for the radar installation they want to put in.”

He and other city council candidates addressed the topic at an Oct. 16 voter forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Grosse Pointe.

Border agents said at a meeting with residents in July that the radar is harmless to humans.

“It is safe if it works property,” said Councilman Martin West during the forum. “My concern is what happens if there’s a malfunction? I’m not seeing anything from the community saying we should go through with this.”

“I’m against the installation completely, even if all the reports say it’s safe,” said candidate Elizabeth Vogel. “Besides the safety issue, we’re talking about privacy and property value issues.”

“They should look for another place to put their tower,” said Councilman Peter W. Waldmeir.

The tower was erected nearly two years ago on land the federal government leased from the Little Club, located lakeside behind Grosse Pointe Memorial Church.

Agents are expected at the next council meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18.

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