The Atlantic: McCain cabin not on sacred site?
"Yesterday, the Washington Post’s James Grimaldi published a fairly damning piece suggesting, with a good deal of evidence, that John and Cindy McCain were beneficiaries of special treatment from Verizon and AT&T—the implication being that the companies had sought to curry favor with the former Senate Commerce committee chairman by erecting cell phone towers at the McCains’ remote Arizona ranch.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers responded that the towers were temporary, the result of a Secret Service request and, while conceding that Cindy McCain had made a separate, earlier request for the towers that predated her husband’s status as Republican presidential nominee, added, “Mrs. McCain's staff went through the Website as any member of the general public would—no string pulling, no phone calls, no involvement of Senate staff.” Today, a Verizon spokesman, Jeffrey Nelson, took greater umbrage, attacking the Post story as “wrong” and stating that the company, after studying McCain’s request, decided in August not to install a permanent tower at the ranch. “It doesn’t make business sense for us to do that,” Nelson told the Post.

Here, for instance, is the 200-page environmental assessment Verizon commissioned to study McCain’s land, and filed with the FCC. It was no small process. The group that Verizon hired to conduct the study, EBI Consulting, in turn had to subcontract a local archeological firm, Aztlan Archeology (page 145), to make sure the tower wasn’t erected on Indian burial grounds or risked causing an eyesore. Laurie Slawson, the archeologist who wrote the report, explained to me that Aztlan had examined a “prehistoric rock ring” (page 160) discovered at the proposed site and contacted about a dozen local Indian tribes, from Hopis to Havasupai, to make sure no cell phone tower arose on ancient Indian burial grounds (which, she says, does happen periodically and necessitates an expensive relocation process to less-sacred areas). The McCain site did contain archeological evidence of a long-ago Indian presence—a fire pit that Slawson attributes to the Hohokam, a prehistoric agrarian tribe—though apparently nothing sacred enough to stand in the way of wireless technology."

Get the Story:
This Story Doesn't Cell (The Atlantic 10/16)
Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for McCain Ranch (The Washington Post 10/16)

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