Cindy Sage Challenges the “Smart” in LADWP’s “Smart” Grid

LADWP project manager guarantees “smart” meters are optional!

Last week at a Woodland Hills City Council meeting, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) presented information about their Smart Meter deployment plans, while environmental consultant Cindy Sage, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report, presented information warning of the deployment risks.

Marcelo Di Paolo, manager of the LADWP Smart Grid project said they received a $60 million dollar federal grant and that the research institutes of USC, UCLA and Cal Tech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) doubled the project funding for a total of $120 million dollars.  Hmmm… what does a Jet Propulsion Lab have to do with smart meters?Hmmmmmm.....

Di Paolo stated this is a demonstration project and would be in three areas around UCLA, USC, and Chatsworth.  LADWP is planning to deploy 52,000 Itron smart meters.  Hmmm, 52,000 meters is a demonstration project?

He also said the meters only transmit 3 times a day!  Hmmm….Haven’t we heard that before?  PG&E used to say their meters only transmitted 6 times a day. Then they admitted up to 190,000 times a day, per meter.

Di Paolo also said that the project is “purely a volunteer optional program” and that the community can “pick and actually choose whether or not to participate.”  

In stark contrast to Di Paolo’s optimism was Cindy Sage who warned about the evidence for health problems from the  pulsed radiation Smart Meters emit.  She stated,  “Those wireless impacts are biologically very similar to the impacts you would have from a cell tower.”  She wisely urged them to learn from the mistakes the Investor Owned Utilities have made.  She asks, “Is this a smart business model, to provide a device for energy conservation…if there are going to be unintended consequences in terms of health impacts for people?”

Di Paolo said the deployment would start in a couple weeks, but two LADWP customers  said they already had Smart Meters on their home, that they were sick from the exposure and that when they complained, LADWP refused to remove it!

Meanwhile, although the manager claims LADWP sent out letters stating at the bottom of the letter that participation was voluntary, nowhere in the Smart Grid L.A. Letter  does it say the meters are optional. At the end of the meeting Di Paolo guaranteed the meters were optional and provided his direct line for people to call: 213-367-1388.

PastedGraphic-1-9Deploying Smart Meters at a time when multitudes of people worldwide are complaining about the health and safety impacts is beyond super dumb, and reckless endangerment of innocent lives.  Our children are the most vulnerable.  Chronic exposure to pulsed radiation is harming everyone’s health.

Thanks to Ecological Options Network for providing the videos of the event. Here’s Part 2 of the meeting:

Family with young children forced to live in the cold and without power for refusing a LADWP Smart Meter

LOS ANGELES- Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has terminated electricity to the family of a middle school teacher, her husband, and their six children for refusing to have a smart meter on their home, which they say caused their family serious health problems.

In July 2012, LADWP installed a Smart Meter on Derek and Anura Lawson’s home without notice or consent.  Their house was part of a smart meter pilot program. Other houses in the neighborhood still have their analog meters.

That same month their four youngest children started to have serious health problems. The mother, Anura Lawson writes they had fevers “out of nowhere”, “as high as 105”, and they “began to have problems controlling their bodily fluids, our five year old began peeing and pooping herself, our four year began to display the same problems…” The mother also struggled with migraines, insomnia, concentration problems and other health symptoms.

The family requested LADWP restore the analog meter.  LADWP then gave them what they said was an analog meter, but the health symptoms persisted.  The family objected.  According to Anura, LADWP ridiculed them.  She says, “When I called customer service, “Jennifer” laughed at me, telling me they would not remove the meter.”

When an agent of LADWP met with the family he said, “This isn’t one of those ‘SmartMeters’ that have been making all those people sick.  These are RF meters. Totally different.”  He talked about how safe radio was and that it had been used for years.  Meanwhile the children’s health problems persisted.

Clearly something had to be done.

In January 2013, after repeated, unfulfilled requests to LADWP for help, the family restored a true analog meter obtained from Jerry Day.   The mother wrote that after the analog meter was restored the children’s symptoms “diminished greatly, they no longer get high fevers, or suffer from loss of their bodily function.”

Two weeks later, LADWP disconnected their electricity.  Anura saw the workers scale a neighbor’s wall, climb the power pole in their backyard and literally cut the wire to their home.   Since February 11th the Lawsons have been living without electricity, without heat, without use of their appliances and without lights.

Joshua Hart, director of Stop Smart Meters! says, “Pilot programs are supposed to be a test to see how a new system operates.  When problems crop up, you don’t punish customers for reporting them- you fix the problem.”

The family has been using candles and battery powered lanterns to see at night.  They are cooking on a camping stove outdoors, and keeping their food cold in ice chests. The family says the incident has been extremely stressful.

This incident echoes other bullying incidents around the country, where people have been cut off after having had their smart meters removed due to health issues.

Sandi Maurer, director of the EMF Safety Network states, “Federal law states customers should be offered smart meters, not be forced to have them on their homes.  LADWP is exceeding its authority by mandating these devices.”

Jerry Day, a video producer on the forefront of empowering customers to stand up for their constitutional rights states, “This is inexcusable.  This is not responsible power company management. This is senseless abuse of utility customers.”

We agree. The Lawsons need their power switched on and an analog utility meter restored on their home.  NOW.

IMPORTANT FOLLOW UP!  Anura Lawson took this issue to the Los Angeles City Council meeting and their power was restored that same day.

In extreme contrast to this situation, Liz Barris of the People’s Initiative Foundation today reports LADWP has removed a smart meter from a property in Hollywood Hills Ca. She says it took two weeks of wrangling with them until a senior manager Vincent Zabukovec 213-367-2725 agreed to the switch.  Here’s her video of the meter swap.

Article written by Sandi Maurer, EMF Safety Network and Joshua Hart, Stop Smart Meters!