LAUSD approves $50 million first phase of WiFi-wireless tablet project

13 Feb
Thanks for Working for Safe Technologies for Nurseries, Schools and College for creating this helpful brochure.  Click this link for a PDF to share with your community: http://wifiinschools.org.uk/resources/safeschools2012.pdf

Working for Safe Technologies for Nurseries, Schools and College created this helpful brochure. For a PDF to share with your community, click: http://wifiinschools.org.uk/resources/safeschools2012.pdf

To update you on our previous post about this issue, LAUSD Board Members at their meeting yesterday  approved  the allocation of $50 million toward the WiFi/wireless tablet proposal, despite the district’s $557 million deficit.

According to eyewitness reports, it was disturbing to watch 6 of the 7 LAUSD Board Members support this Phase 1 of the wireless program.

We’re told that Board Member Bennett Kayser abstained. According to those who saw the meeting, Mr. Kayser felt there were outstanding issues that needed to be dealt with BEFORE moving on to approve Phase I of the wireless program implementation; he also mentioned one of the concerns was whether RF emissions would be harmful and whether hard wired internet would be necessary.

FYI: LAUSD Office of Environmental Health and Safety (OEHS) contracted the URS Corporation to prepare its health report, “RADIOFREQUENCY (RF) EVALUATION REPORT: Use of Wireless Devices in Educational Settings” (2013) to justify the RF safety of this proposed program.

However, according to the URS Corp website, URS seems to represent infrastructure building and industry interests; it also has a board that represents more corporate interests than public health.

In addition, the URS RF report was NOT included in the Board Meeting Materials packet (see Tab 12 that begins on page 111) — i.e., so the Public could not view it prior to today’s board meeting.  This did not allow the Public to prepare Comments or concerns about the URS report in advance of Tuesday’s Board Meeting.  So was transparency and due diligence followed?

Thank you to all of you, from across the state, nation and around the world, who wrote LAUSD Board Members advising them against it and also providing the science and rationale why.

We will create a page of letters from experts entered into the LAUSD public record at Tuesday’s meeting that you can share with local school officials to support healthier school environments in your area.

Kudos and serious thanks also to LAUSD parent Kevin Mottus, and Miss Shane Gregory, administrator of Smart Meter Health Alert, who we’ve been informed did a stellar job representing your concerns and scientific data at the Tuesday LAUSD Board Meeting.

We’ll post additional updates, and video and story links, as we get more info.

Write to LAUSD Board today to deny the WiFi proposal and instead support healthier, faster, and more secure wired technologies

8 Feb

Screen-shot-2012-01-09-at-10.46.05-AMIf WiFi (for example, from a wireless router to a wireless laptop) is unhealthy to have in our homes, especially if your exposure to such wireless EMF/RF emissions is 24/7, then you can bet that leading health and environmental experts are advocating against such chronic exposure at our schools, too.

As we’ve heard and read, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared such wireless radiation as a Class 2B possible carcinogen (which means that it may potentially cause cancer in humans), on par with DDT and lead.  Would you approve of exposing your children every day and every minute to such environmental toxins at their school?

Well, Los Angeles Unified School District Board members will consider at their meeting next Tuesday a proposal for school wide Wi-Fi systems and wireless laptops.  So it’s urgent that LAUSD be informed about why they should instead support wired networks and computers for our children and school employees.  It’s healthier, faster, and more secure and reliable.  Also, wireless networks and computers are not required to meet the new Common Core state standards.

The LAUSD Bond Oversight Committee originally nixed the wireless technology proposal.  But two weeks ago the Committee approved supporting the plan by LAUSD Supt. John Deasy so it can now be considered by the LAUSD Board Members.

LAUSD is the largest school district in California — and the second largest school district in the nation.

Yes, LAUSD Board Members took a very strong stand against cell towers at or next to their schools in June 2000, and May 2009, and then again in December 2009. So what will they do this time?

Please send, today or this weekend, your Letter of Request and Concern to LAUSD Board Members to again do the right thing — ask them to deny Item 12 on the Agenda before their upcoming meeting.   Deadline (read more about that below) is Monday Feb. 11 noon (PST) in order for Ms. Shane Gregory, administrator of the Smart Meter Health Alert website, to make enough photocopies of your letter to present at the Board Meeting and ensure that your letter gets submitted as part of the public record of that meeting.

Thanks to Ms. Gregory for providing the following details on how you can join the letter writing campaign to create  healthier lives and school environments for our children and their teachers and staff working there:

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education will be taking action on Item 12 of their Agenda — Phase I of a three-phase program that will, if all three Phases are complete, install WiFi and tablets or laptops in most L.A. Unified District school rooms. The distribution will very probably be at a 1:1 ratio — meaning every single student will have a device and virtually EVERY CLASSROOM WILL BE SATURATED WITH WIFI.

This means that 700,000 teachers and over 45,000 teachers and will be subjected to constant WiFi in school rooms for 6 hours a day.

If we can bring a stop to this, this will set a very important precedent such as those in school systems in Europe and parts of Canada.  If this gets voted down, we can proudly say that the second largest school system in the United States has made the health of children a priority, while meeting educational goals by using WIRED technology.

Two weeks ago, the LAUSD Bond Oversight Committee approved the expenditure of $50 million for Phase I in a 9-6 vote.

So now, on Tuesday, it goes before the LAUSD Board for consideration — so the Board has not taken action yet. IT’S NOT TOO LATE! By the time Phase III is completed, the program could cost as much as $900 million.

It is CRITICAL that we stop this BEFORE it happens or, if we can’t stop it, it is CRITICAL that we go on record with what we know.

IMPORTANT: It is important that we make the case that we are NOT against technology in education and that we support all the educational goals of bringing L.A. students quality education and access — but with WIRED methods. WE MUST ADVISE THE BOARD THAT FIBER OPTICS OR OTHER WIRED METHODS CAN DELIVER THE EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS WHILE MITIGATING AGAINST HEALTH EFFECTS.

The chairman of the Bond Oversight Committee created an artificial divide between those of us who know that wireless technology has not been proven to be safe, and those who want to further our kids’ education. Nothing could be further from the truth. We want to further our child’s education, including with wired technology that is healthy, state-of-the-art, superfast and efficient. We cannot let this become a polarized issue.

PLEASE take time from your very busy schedules to participate in a very meaningful way.

Here’s what you can do right now — today or this weekend — just these three things!

1. Write emails on Agenda Item 12 to the seven LAUSD School Board Members Marguerite LaMotte, Monica Garcia, Tamar Galatzan, Steve Zimmer, Bennett Kayser, Nury Martinez, and Richard Vladovic, and their Staff BEFORE noon on Monday 2/11/2013, so they will have enough time to review it before their meeting. Their contact info:

2. IMPORTANT: PLEASE E-MAIL ME A COPY OF YOUR LETTER SENT TO LAUSD — so that your names can be read that day and be part of the record for that meeting. They need to be sent to me, because I must also make 20 photocopies of each of your letters to be distributed to the appropriate people the day of the meeting, and to be entered into the public record at the meeting.  My e-mail address is:  info@smartmeterhealthalert.org

3. Contact your colleagues, fellow activists, physicians, engineers, parents of school children, politicians, list members, etc. to do the same (Steps 1 & 2 above).

OUR GOAL IS 100 LETTERS AND EMAILS that speak to the health effects of WiFi, the lack of evidence that it is safe, the irrelevance of FCC guidelines that deal only with thermal effects, and the relatively simple alternative: Wired Technology.

Inform them that the deadline to write and e-mail LAUSD and me their Letter is Monday before noon (PST), Feb. 11, so I will have enough time to make enough photocopies to enter all of your letters into the record at Tuesday’s meeting.

The meeting will be televised so your contributions will be memorialized. There are 51 Agenda Items on the day this will be heard. Again, this issue is Agenda Item 12.  We are organizing people to go to the meeting to cede their time for a few key speakers. It may be necessary to reserve our place in line by camping on the street overnight. One of us will read the names of people and/or organizations at the podium TO GO ON RECORD.

With gratitude,

Ms. Shane Gregory

Administrator, SmartMeterHealthalert.org

E-mail: info@smartmeterhealthalert.org

In case you would like to read a stellar Letter to the LAUSD Board written by international EMF expert Cindy Sage, co-author of the seminal BioInitiative Report, regarding this Agenda Item, go here: Cindy Sage Letter to LAUSD

Ms. Sage has also informed LAUSD staff and representative leaders of organizations associated with LAUSD that:

“No positive assertion of safety can be made by LAUSD on potential health effects of chronic exposure of school children and pregnant women to wireless exposures that will occur with the proposed program your District is considering. This type of exposure has been classified as a Possible Human Carcinogen (Group 2B) as are DDT, lead and diesel exhaust. Wired internet connections are feasible and do not pose such health risks to children.

“I urge you to delay any approvals, funding or implementation of this risky and unwise technology, particularly when safe alternatives are available to provide high-quality technologies for learning and education. “

Regarding Item 12 on the upcoming LAUSD Board Meeting Agenda —  it reads:

12.   Board of Education Report No. 157 – 12/13 Facilities Services Division (Project Definition and Funding Strategy for the Common Core Technology Project Plan and Request for Funding Approval) Recommends approval of an amendment to the Information Technology Strategic Execution Plan to define and approve Phase 1 Planning and Readiness Common Core Technology Project Plan to provide technology infrastructure and software to equip 47 school sites in a pilot program. This project will be funded from school construction bond measures R and Y at an estimated cost of $50 million.

Please familiarize yourself with the accompanying Materials (Report) by LAUSD Supt. John Deasy — worth reading before you write your Letter to the LAUSD Board and send your copy to Ms. Gregory (this is a large document so give it a few minutes to open this link): LAUSD Board Meeting Item 12 Report  

Go to the LAUSD Board website for instructions on how you must arrive early to sign-in if you want to give Public Comment at Tuesday’s School Board meeting.

You can also learn more about WiFi health effects by visiting the websites of:

Update (Feb. 8, 2012): Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, Harvard Faculty and Pediatric Neurologist at Boston General Hospital, has also written a letter to the LAUSD about “Wireless vs. Wired Classrooms” — please read it here: HerbertLetter2013-0208

GAS Company Begins Smart Meter Program – GET DEFERRED NOW!!!

7 Feb

SoCalGas-NoSmartMeterArtwork - CroppedSoCalGas (The Gas Company) has launched its $1 billion smart meter gas program.  At that price, do you think it’s going to result in lower gas rates for you? Wasting a billion dollars on new “smart” gas meter technology to record how much gas you use when is what TURN calls “the dumbest smart meters yet.”

So call SoCalGas’ Deferred Installation Plan department at  1-877-238-0092 and ask for a deferred install today!  Document who you spoke to and when you called for your records.

Read instructions #2 below for more details.

MORE DETAILS:  This timely and important message comes from Consumer Power Alliance (CPA). CPA has been fighting Smart Meter installations since 2009. If you would like to be added to their mailing list click here. To support their efforts, donation are always appreciated.

Gas Company Begins Installing their Version of Smart Meter
With No Opt-Out Program Approved, Offers Deferred Installation

  1. While we await the final opt-out fee decision from the PUC, and in the wake of the disclosure that the Department of Energy itself has been hacked and of China’s massive cyber-spying of US media, So Cal Gas has begun deploying what they call “advanced metering.”
  2. Option – If you do not want a battery-operated transmitting device attached to your gas meter for their wireless network, or if you do not want your current very safe, 30 to 50 year lifetime Bakelite meter removed at the discretion of the utility, So Cal Gas Is offering a free Deferred Installation Plan. CALL 877-238-0092 to apply. Wait for the Advanced Metering Prompt, and select speak to representative; it’s an easy process.
  3. PLEASE NOTE: This is not an Opt-Out. As you recall, the Gas Company Opt-Out Proposal has not been approved by the PUC, since it was challenged by CPA, because it would have meant SCE customers would have been charged two opt-out fees for gas and electricity, when PG&E and SDG&E customers would only pay one opt-out fee for both gas and electricity. In addition, opt-out fees have not been finalized, so collecting fees would be a waste of time and money for both customer and utility, and, as you know, CPA has led the call for free opt-outs via socialization.
  4. CPA fully endorses TURN”s assessment that the Gas Company’s priority should be repairing pipelines, per the PUC’s Ruling after San Bruno, since gas leaks are a major concern in California’s arid climate’s avid production of fire zones. In addition, some experts are concerned about the batteries being compromised by hot weather and earthquakes – and a real life potential threat to the consumer and environment.
  5. If safety is important to you, please consider the Deferred Installation Program. Remember that,if you sign up for Deferred Installation, you will also have to apply for Opt-Out later.
  6. Should you experience any problems with the Gas Company Deferred Installation, please contact CPA at admin@consumerspoweralliance.com, and we will inform our attorneys, headed by Mr. Tobin, who are handling this matter.
  7. Donations should be sent directly to James M. Tobin; Tobin Law Group; 1100-D Mar West Street; Tiburon, CA 94920. Please designate that it is for the CPA Legal Fund.
  8. Thank you for your support.
Consumers Power Alliance (CPA) is a public benefit association dedicated to the ongoing education, representation, and protection of California consumers. CPA participates in the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) regulatory proceedings and other related activities.
Other actions you can take?

  • Have your city, county and state elected representatives approve and send a letter to the CPUC like former California Assembly Member Mike Feuer did!  Mr. Feuer was the Majority Policy Leader and the Calif. Assemblyman for the 42nd District (Los Angeles) when he wrote this Feb. 1., 2012 letter to the CPUC asking to halt the SoCalGas smart meter program — click here to read and share: StayonSmartMeterInstallation.  (Note: In September 2011, Mike Fuerer filed papers to initiate a second campaign for Los Angeles City Attorney, the same position he sought in 2001. The primary is March 5, 2013, with a general election, if necessary, on May 21, 2013.)
  • Sign TURN’s Petition against the SoCalGas smart meters: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/746/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=9189

Naperville armed police assist forced Smart Meter deployment — two moms arrested

24 Jan

Bullying-Stops-HereHere’s the latest on the smart meter front — City of Naperville, Illinois, yesterday deployed armed police to assist the city’s forced smart meter installations on residents who refuse the city’s smart meters and have a pending  federal lawsuit to stop the city’s forced smart meter installation program. In addition, Naperville police arrested two mothers who resisted the installations at their home properties.

Read the press release issued by the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group below.  Also watch their videos.  In one, the male police officer says that the home videographer (one of the moms) has to stop videotaping him — even though the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the ACLU’s assertion that people  have a First Amendment right to record a police officer on the job.

You can also read the Chicago Tribune story, which features a CBS Chicago video news story about it.

Here’s one of the home videos shot by one of the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness moms (the other video that the NSMA shot is at the bottom of this post):

Naperville’s smart meter program is turning out to be a major disappointment not just for trampling over people’s personal, property, human, and civil rights  — it is also now going overbudget.  In fact, it’s currently $1.7 million overbudget, so it’s pricetag now totals $23.6 million.  Funding of these smart meter programs across the country has been criticized for governments and utilities investing in “smart” meter technology that will soon become obsolete.

While Naperville city officials like to keep bringing up that the program didn’t really cost that much because an $11 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy helped get the project started — there’s where another major problem lies.  Did you approve of your taxpayer money to subsidize Naperville city officials using strong-armed police bullying tactics to force smart meters on consumers who don’t want them? Did you approve of your money being used to force mothers (and others) to have smart meters installed at their homes, without their permission, or against their will, under threat of arrest or disconnection of power?

Action you can take?

Support the Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group today: http://www.napervillesmartmeterawareness.org/donate/

Call Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who has opposed smart meters but was over-rided by the state legislators, and inform him and complain to him about what’s happening in Naperville and ask him to right the wrongs there.  Phone his office at 217-782-0244 in Springfield, IL, and 312-814-2121 in Chicago, IL.  (Note: Springfield is the capitol of Illinois.)

E-mail the Naperville, IL City Council Mayor and Members, and complain about their actions and how the world is holding them accountable: mayor@naperville.il.us,chiricos@naperville.il.us,brodheadj@naperville.il.us,hinterlongp@naperville.il.us,fieselerr@naperville.il.us, mcelroyj@naperville.il.us,millerk@naperville.il.us

Call the Department of Energy, which awarded the City of Naperville an $11 million matching grant (your taxpayer dollars) to fund its smart meter program.  The DOE complaint hotline for fraud, waste and abuse of funds is 202-586-4073.   Complain about what’s happening with their stimulus grant and your tax dollars in Napperville.  (They should give all of us a refund.)

Call the Whitehouse and tell President Obama how you feel people in his own homestate are being treated and how your taxpayer dollars are being used: 202-456-1111.

Call the Illinois ACLU and tell them to support the Napervills Smart Meter Awareness campaign against smart meters and the civil rights and First Amendment rights of its residents opposing smart meters: 312-201-9740

Go social and spread and share the news and how you feel about it — post something on facebook and tweet your friends and your favorite news media outlets to inform them and complain about what’s happened in Naperville.  (Keep it clean and civil, so you don’t get kicked out of facebook or twitter!)  Here are some links to the City of Naperville facebook and twitter pages in case you need them:

City of Naperville facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NapervilleIL?ref=ts&fref=ts

City of Naperville on twitter: https://twitter.com/NapervilleIL

SmartMeters-NapervilleNaperville armed police assist forced Smart Meter deployment- Two mothers arrested

Posted on January 23, 2013

(ILLINOIS) From Naperville Smart Meter Awareness (NSMA): Two Naperville mothers were arrested today in conjunction with the forced installation of smart meters. NSMA President, Kim Bendis and Board Member, Jen Stahl were arrested today during a forced installation at Jen’s home.

Details are still pending but Kim was witnessing the event from Jen’s property and was video taping. Three officers shoved her against a tree, pried her camera from her hands, and cuffed her. Both Jen and Kim were taken into police custody sometime in the 2:00 hour CST.

Kim is a mother of 3 school aged children. Jen has 2 school aged children and a toddler at home. All children are safe and are being taken care of by family or friends.

This is an extraordinary tragedy as there is still a pending federal lawsuit and the issue of smart meters has not been decided in Naperville. This demonstrates the lengths to which the city officials have been willing to go to force residents into compliance.

Sources close to the group say that during a closed door council session there was discussion of the strategy the city would use this week to obtain 100% compliance on installations. Residents have been told the city is willing to use whatever means necessary.

Updated Statewide Smart Meter Public Hearing Info for Southern Californians

2 Dec

NO FEESStop OC Smart Meters has provided updated details (read below) about this month’s special Calif. Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Public Participation Hearings (PPH) that will happen on Dec. 17 in Los Angeles, and Dec. 18th in San Clemente. This is YOUR rare opportunity to tell the CPUC about the Smart Meter Opt Out Fees, costs, and program. 

FYI: The other Southern California PPH will be in Santa Barbara Friday Dec. 14th at 3 p.m. at the Santa Barbara: County Administration Building Board Hearing Room, 4th Floor 105 East Anapamu Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101.  

For the addresses of the Northern and Central California PPHs in Bakersfield (Dec. 13 @ 6pm), and Santa Rosa (Dec. 20th @ 2pm), please read our previous blog post, Coming to your region: CPUC Holds Public Hearings on Smart Meters.

Don’t forget: You can also use this opportunity to complain about the SoCalCas costly $1-billion smart meter program.  That’s right, SoCalGas is now installing smart gas smart meters throughout Southern California.  For instance, how do you feel about paying SoCalGas monthly opt out fees to opt out of a gas smart meter, in addition to paying your electric utility fees to opt-out of your electric smart meter?  Is this double-extortion and doubly unfair?

From Stop OC Smart Meters:

SCE IS REQUESTING TO RAISE THE OPT-OUT RATES, IMPOSE MORE FEES, AND MUCH MORE…(SEE AGENDA ITEMS, BELOW)

YOUR HELP IS CRITICALLY NEEDED!!!

Save These Important Dates

CA Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Hearings:
Smart Meter Opt-Out Phase 2

DECEMBER 17* in Los Angeles
DECEMBER 18* in San Clemente

THIS IS A RARE OPPORTUNITY FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE A VOICE AND TO EXPRESS YOU SMART METER CONCERNS DIRECTLY TO THE CPUC (UTILITIES REGULATORY AGENCY)

MEETING AGENDA ISSUES:

  1. Raise The Opt-Out Fees: So. Calif Edison (SCE) wants an outrageous initial Opt-Out fee of $98 plus $24 per month (discounted 20% for CARE) claiming the Opt-Out program will cost a staggering $21 million for the next few years. Are these valid costs?
  2. Impose An Additional Opt-Out “Exit” Fee: Since 2008, all customers have paid 1.6% of their monthly bills towards the Smart Meter program, which includes the cost of installing a Smart Meter. SCE would like to charge this fee again. Do you agree?
  3. Validity of Opt-Out Fees: SCE wants to pass the entire cost of the Opt-Out program directly on to those that will use it – the Opt-Out customers. Thus, an Opt-Out customer pays for two billing systems: a Smart Meter AND an Opt-Out. How many meters and billing systems should a customer be required to pay for?
  4. Vary Fees Based on Meter Type: The CPUC is considering imposing different Opt-Out fees based on the type of electric meter chosen. Remember, their goal is to have 100% Smart Meters. Thus, those customers keeping their old “analog” meters could potentially pay higher fees than those that allow a Trojan Horse Replacement “Analog” Meter to be installed.
  5. Community Opt-Outs: How do entire communities or local governments Opt-Out of the stupid Smart Meter program? Or perhaps the CPUC should ask why these controversial Smart Meters were deployed without customer consent in the first place?
  6. Smart Meter Harassment: As their goal is to have 100% compliance with the Smart Meter program, at any cost. They intend to continue harassment of customers with threats of price increases and forced installations until we all comply. Do you agree?
  7. For more information, see the California Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, Stop Smart Meters and the Center for Electrosmog Prevention websites.
The meetings* are set for:

Monday, Dec 17, 2012 @ 6:00 pm
Junipero Serra State Office Bldg
Carmel Room – Auditorium, 1st Floor
320 West 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

– and / or –

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm
San Clemente Community Center
Ole Hanson Fireside Room
100 North Calle Seville
San Clemente, CA 92672

IMPORTANT: If you are unable to attend these hearings, you may submit written comments to the to the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at the address noted below. Please refer to the application filing number, A.11-­03-­014 et al, when writing.

Please state if you would like a response, otherwise no response will be sent. Your comments will become a part of the formal file for public comment in this proceeding. The Public Advisor’s Office will circulate your comments to the five Commissioners, the ALJ, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA), and to CPUC staff assigned to this proceeding. You may also write to the CPUC if you need advice on how to participate in this proceeding, or would like to receive further notices regarding the date, time, and place of any future hearing in this proceeding:

The Public Advisor
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
San Francisco, CA 94102

E-­Mail: Public.Advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO ANY OTHER FAMILY MEMBER, FRIEND, CO-WORKER, OR NEIGHBOR WHO IS ALSO AGAINST SMART METERS!!!

Let us know if you are going (or want to carpool?) and if you are willing to help get the word out about these hearings. We need you now more than ever!  (If you are going to the L.A. or San Clemente PPHs, or want to carpool, please e-mail: info@StopOCSmartMeters.com)

* The CPUC, SCE and SDG&E purposely designed these PUBLIC meetings to have a minimal number of people attending. Nice. They are in the EVENING DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON (a week before Christmas) when we are all VERY BUSY. This is a disgrace and an outrage for a public agency which is purported to represent the people of California. Voice your own opinion about the choice of these dates/times to the presiding judge.

Coming to your region: CPUC Holds Public Hearings on Smart Meters

14 Nov

Push-back time! Do you want the CPUC to raise your opt-out fees?  Or remove your analog meters  for good?  These are now at stake.  Mark your calendars for December 13-20, 2012 — that’s when the Calif. Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) hosts a series of free public hearings re: smart meters in five key regions of our state.  Let your voices be heard!  This will probably be YOUR one opportunity to provide direct, face-to-face, input, complaints and recommendations to the CPUC regarding the health, privacy, safety, security and financial costs of smart meters and why we should have the right to keep our analog meters and not be charged any fees to opt out.

BAKERSFIELD: Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
Bakersfield City Hall Council Chambers, 1501 Truxtun Avenue Bakersfield, CA 93301

SANTA BARBARA: Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
County Administration Building Board Hearing Room, 4th Floor
105 East Anapamu Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101

LOS ANGELES: Monday, Dec. 17, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
Junipero Serra State Office Building Carmel Room – Auditorium, 1st Floor
320 West 4th Street Los Angeles, CA 90013

SAN CLEMENTE: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 at 6:00 p.m.
San Clemente Community Center — Ole Hanson Fireside Room
100 N. Calle Seville San Clemente, CA 92672

SANTA ROSA: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.
Steel Lane Community Center — Dohn Room
415 Steele, Lane Santa Rosa, CA 95403

CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Amy Yip-Kikugawa is overseeing the CPUC proceeding that is determining the smart meter opt out programs and fees for PG&E, SDG&E, SCE and possibly SoCalGas.

CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Amy Yip-Kikugawa will preside over these hearings (so please say “Your Honor” when addressing her).

The CPUC will most likely NOT have a hearing about smart meter costs  in your region again — so this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to show up and speak out and make a difference now, or else you could get charged higher opt-out fees or have your analog meters taken away from you!

Why?  That’s because the CPUC’s current opt-out program that allows PG&E, SDG&E and SCE customers to retain their analog meters with up-front and monthly fees is INTERIM — i.e., temporary.

According to Stop Smart Meters:

There is a very real possibility that the CPUC will try to INCREASE the opt out fees, and possibly even eliminate the right to retain or replace analog meter altogether- instead forcing a “radio off” meter that has also been linked with health problems. Even groups like the Utility Reform Network (TURN) who have been opposed to smart meters are in fact now advocating for a higher opt out fee. (more to come on how TURN has turned against the public…)”

Unfortunately, the utilities are currently outnumbering the voice of the People (you) at the current CPUC opt-out proceedings that are being held at the CPUC  headquarters in San Francisco.  The utilities, of course, are now pushing the CPUC to charge higher fees.  Sadly, so is TURN, The Utility Reform Network that is supposed to represent consumer concerns and interests.   Read more details about this on the EMF Safety Network’s website.

Important that you should know: Vermont, in contrast, allows residents to keep their analog meters at no cost!  We Californians should be afforded that same right, and be treated equally!

So meet with the staff of your Mayor, County Supervisors, and regional state and U.S. senators and representatives and ask your elected officials to attend the CPUC hearings to support no-cost analog meters like the legislative officials in Vermont did for their constituents!

According to the EMF Safety Network:

“This is an opportunity for customers to comment on cost and cost allocation issues: costs include customer impact; fees; billing overcharges; health costs; environmental costs; interference; fires or burnt out appliances following installation; Banks of Smart Meters; and the need for community Smart Meter free zones, etc.

“In your comments be sure to address cost allocation: Do you think it’s unfair that individuals should have to pay to protect themselves from Smart Meter radiation? Should shareholders, everyone, or individuals pay?

* Encourage politicians to attend. They will be allowed to speak first.

* The length of time to speak will depend on how many people show up: The more people, the less time, for example 1-2 minutes. If hundreds show up the ALJ may ask for one person to represent and speak on behalf of a group of customers…”I represent #’s of customers.”

* There will be a court reporter and the public comments will become a part of the record in the Smart Meter consolidated proceeding (A.11-03-014) that will determine the final CPUC approved opt-out program for California residents who are customer of PG&E, SCE, SDG&E and possibly SoCalGas.

Recommendation: Arrive BEFORE the meeting begins, so you can sign-in with CPUC staffers to speak.  You must sign-in to speak.

If you want to make this more fun and social, carpool with friends, family and other concerned residents in your area.  Make a date to have a lunch before the afternoon-scheduled hearings, or a quick dinner before the evening-scheduled hearings.

If you are serviced by a public utility (LADWP, GWP, BWP, SMUD, etc.) and want to complain about the public utility electric or water smart meters, the CPUC does not regulate the opt-out fees for those utilities.  You could briefly explain how you oppose those meters — and the CPUC may tell you they cannot do anything about it, but if they do, they are wrong – the CPUC does have the authority to issue public safety and health regulations for ALL utilities in California.  The CPUC, however, is instead refusing to acknowledge or address there are any public safety or health problems due to smart meters — by doing so, it is avoiding directing the public utilities’ smart meter programs and requiring that public utilities offer opt out programs, etc.

Most importantly, public utility customers can still participate in these public hearings because:

* Most public utility customers in Southern California ARE serviced by the investor-owned utility of SoCalGas (The Gas Company) — and the CPUC does have the authority to issue a decision about the SoCalGas smart meter opt out program and fees.  So if anyone from the CPUC tells you that because you are a public utility customer you cannot speak out against the costs of the smart meter program at this hearing, remind them that you are also a SoCalGas customer and thus have every right to be here and speak up.

* In addition, many of us in public utility territories have friends, family and relatives in investor-owned utility areas (Northern and Central California serviced by PG&E, San Diego and Orange County serviced by SDG&E, and Orange County and most other parts of Southern and some of Central California by SCE) and so what happens to them with costs (financial, health, public safety and privacy) also affects us.  We are all connected.

IMPORTANT: If you have not already done so, please submit a Complaint today or this week to your Utility about Smart Meters and their opt out fees — also fill out the CPUC Consumer Affairs branch formal Complaint Form at https://ia.cpuc.ca.gov/cimsapp/?key=39949189.  Your written complaints are needed to send a loud message to the CPUC that we oppose smart meters and their costly opt-out fees.

In addition, there are several organizations in California fighting smart meters and their opt out fees on behalf of residents across our state, and some of these organizations are also pursuing legal actions.  Please support them with your donations today:

EMF Safety Network currently has a lawsuit against the CPUC for failing to protect our health and safety when it comes to smart meters: http://emfsafetynetwork.org/?p=7917

Stop Smart Meters: http://stopsmartmeters.org/donate/

Consumers Power Alliance: http://www.consumerspoweralliance.com/

The Peoples Initiative Foundation: http://thepeoplesinitiative.org/index.php/donate

The Center for Electrosmog Prevention: http://www.electrosmogprevention.org/donate-2/

Stop OC Smart Meters: http://www.stopocsmartmeters.com/

For Stop Smart Meter brochures, flyers and posters that you can share and distribute to increase public awareness and education about this issue, go to the websites for the California Coalition to Stop Smart Meters at http://californiacoalitiontostopsmartmeters.org/brochures-flyers/ and the International Day of Action to Stop Smart Meters at http://actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org/?page_id=22

How you can make a positive difference with Oct. 4th “Day of Action to Stop Smart Meters” just around the corner

28 Sep

What have you got planned for Thursday, October 4, 2012, “National Day of Action To Stop Smart Meters“?

Organizations, groups and individuals — from Washington, D.C., to Hawaii, and around the globe — are scheduling a variety of Action Day events, demonstrations, rallies, and activities to protest against smart meters, and to increase public awareness about why we need to stop smart meters now.

The utility and smart meter industries have attempted to marginalize No-Smart-Meter proponents, similar to how the BPA and GMO industries like to dismiss health advocates and right-to-know consumers, as “a small but vocal minority.”  But thanks to actions big and small taken by people like you and me, we are growing in numbers as the masses increasingly become aware about the smart meter issue and why protecting our basic rights to health, privacy, security, public safety and quality of life is the right thing to do.

So how can you become a part of history and contribute to helping move humanity forward on that day? If you don’t come up with any ideas right away, don’t panic.  Organizers are reminding us, “make your event fun and easy“:

“Any action against smart meters will fit, whether it be a protest, door-to-door flyering, a teach-in or a meet up.”

Event organizers advise you simply follow these 3 steps:

You can find other local supporters, make some signs, and locate your utility office or government regulatory agency- then take some photos or video to show the rest of the world why you are fed up with the forced smart grid.  It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

1.  If you are planning an event in your local area, please send an e-mail to info@actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org and we will add you to the Event List.  If you need advice or support, we are here to help!

2.  Use our materials to spread the word about your event.  You can adapt our press release to send out to local media.  Download posters and flyers to distribute in your area.

3.  Send us photos or a video recording of your action. A short 3 minute or less video would be sufficient. You can use a regular digital camera to film the video. An example can be seen in this DC protest.  Please post your video on Youtube or Indymedia and send us a link so we can compile a gallery of all Action Day events!

Thanks to the Center for Electrosmog Prevention, for also recommending these easy action ideas:

1. Plan and participate in a protest in your area, on busy freeway overpass, or main intersection, or in front of the local utility office.

2. Call and write the White House if you can’t participate in a protest event on October 4th. The phone number to call is 1-202-456-1111, and you can also write to the White House at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments. We encourage you to do both and to have everyone you know do the same!

 You may wish to say, “Dear President Obama, I oppose wireless smart meters because of serious health risks and health problems after their installation, loss of privacy, hacking , cyber security risks, fires, and increased costs. Please stop encouraging their use. I would like you to help with a nationwide ban on the use of smart meters and a moratorium on the federal funding of smart meters. Many of my family and friends feel the same way. In fact, a large number of communities including counties and cities have come out against smart meters due to these problems, even to the point of criminalizing their installation. The federal government should not be encouraging or paying for such dangerous and intrusive technologies. This issue may impact my votes in November.” Add your personal reasons. Sign and provide contact info.

Organizers also ask that you “Call your friends in other states and countries to encourage them to take part.  If they are planning something-= even small- please have them e-mail a contact, time, date, and place to info@actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org

Here are more fun and easy ways you can participate:

1.  Need a good excuse to get together with friends or loved ones? Call them up and  schedule it for Thursday.  Or plan an action with your children as a lesson in civics and community building.

2.   Do a group action together — in addition to getting together for a fun meal or coffee/tea or dessert, pass out flyers at your local health food store (ask the owner if it’s okay first).  Or write letters to President Obama, your City Council (here in Burbank, it’s CityCouncil@ci.burbank.ca.us), County Supervisors, State Legislators, Congressional Representative and Senators, and state Governor. Remind our elected officials, as our good residents here in Burbank have pointed out, that we “Elect to Protect” and we want the no-cost right and freedom of choice to have or keep our traditional electromechanical analog meters whenever and wherever we live.

3.  Post a group photo or video of you or yourselves on Facebook or Twitter holding your own personal sign or message about not wanting Smart Meters on your home or in your community.  Then don’t forget to e-mail the link to Action Day organizers (at info@actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org), as mentioned above, who are compiling a gallery of all Action Day events.

And remember — you don’t need to be a giant to move mountains.  You also don’t need to be many, several or some.  Even you as an individual can contribute to Action Day by doing a variation of the any of the above suggested actions,  or coming up with your own idea.   It only takes the power of one to make a positive difference in this world!

The National Day of Action Against Smart Meters is being spearheaded by the National Campaign to Stop Smart Meters and the Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition to coincide with “Gridweek” in our nation’s capitol — where industry, lobbyist & government officials will be holding a ‘Smart Grid’ industry conference.

Flyer and poster artwork, at top and middle of this post, are courtesy of National Campaign To Stop Smart Meters and the Wireless Radiation Protection Coalition. You can get free downloads of these and other professional-style materials that you can use and share with others at the “Day of Action To Stop Smart Meters” website: http://actiondaytostopsmartmeters.org/?page_id=22

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