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Great big thanks to activists in North Carolina who won a free utility smart meter opt out provided they submit a simple note from a doctor to the utility.
The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) decision states, “…the Commission believes it is inappropriate to require customers who maintain that they need to avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect their health to pay [Duke Energy Carolinas] DEC’s proposed smart meter opt-out charges.
Andrew McAfee, an activist leader in this case said: “The removal of Duke’s opt-out fees stops that added insult to injury for many who suffer debilitating electrosensitivity conditions and their associated health costs,” “Most importantly, the NCUC order recognizes our medical doctor’s proper role in determining what is healthy, not the FCC.”
The note from the doctor does not need to explain any diagnosis or symptoms, but would need to be signed and notarized and simply state:
“I am a medical physician licensed by the North Carolina Medical Board. ______________(Name of Duke Energy Customer) must avoid exposure to RF emissions to the extent possible to protect ______ (his or her) health.”
In California, and in other states, utilities charge extortion fees to avoid smart meters. This case in North Carolina sets an important precedent.
The city of Berkeley won against the powerful CTIA, the wireless industry association who appealed Berkeley’s ordinance which requires cellphone retailers to provide customers with this notice:
“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radiofrequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”
The appeal was heard by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The judges determined that “there was no irreparable harm based on the First Amendment or preemption, that the balance of equities tipped in Berkeley’s favor, that the ordinance was in the public interest, and that an injunction would harm that interest.”
Thank you to the Town of Fairfax CA who sent a letter to PG&E asking then to “cease the impending roll-out of SmartMeter installations in Fairfax.”
Fairfax writes, “By PG&E’s actions to proceed with the SmartMeter program in Fairfax, in essence, PG&E is effectively attempting to render the CPUC rehearing review process moot. Furthermore, by continuing forward on installations, PG&E will be in violation of the Town of Fairfax’s Ordinance and would therefore be potentially subject to Code Enforcement Violations.”
PG&E has threatened both Sebastopol and Fairfax with smart meter installations even though there are appeals pending at the California Public Utilities Commission, and both cities have laws banning smart meter installation. EMF Safety Network has been quoted in three newspapers recently.
We have asked the City of Sebastopol to enforce the ban on smart meters and they have not responded. However, Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass opened public comments at the last city council meeting with a statement referencing the Marin Independant Journal article,“that basically said that this council doesn’t care about smart meters anymore.” She affirmed Sebastopol still has an ordinance that is not repealed and she stated, “We are concerned with the health of our citizens.”
VENICE, Fla. – Leaders of a coalition of Venice community groups against a proposed cell tower say they’re encouraged that the Sarasota County Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny a zoning exception for a 125-foot cell tower. The tower was planned to be built on residential land in the Plantation Golf and Country Club community. The tower would be visible to hundreds of residents in the neighboring Lake of the Woods of Jacaranda development.
The vote was taken at a public hearing attended by more than 100 residents of the two communities. Residents opposed to the tower wore red to show their disapproval. More than 20 residents spoke at the hearing in opposition to the tower.
Doug Barkley, chair of Stop Tower on Plantation, said, “A dedicated group of property owners has worked for a year to assure that a commercial cell tower was not constructed in the middle of their communities. The recommendation by the Planning Commission to deny the exception to land use creates faith in the integrity of the zoning system and the protection that it offers to property owners.”
The City of Berkeley passed a “right to know” ordinance on Tuesday. Cell phones sold in Berkeley will come with a safety warning:
To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.
Margie Rothwell was having serious problems with the electricity in her home. The power turned on and off for no apparent reason. The house fire alarm kept going off and the noises were scaring her dog.
She called her brother, who was a master electrician, to help her. He found electrical lines not working and the smart meter digital readout was unreadable. He recommended she call the utility SMUD right away, which she did. (SMUD stands for Sacramento Municipal Utility District.)
A couple hours later, the SMUD technician came and when he got closer to the smart meter he said he smelled “burn”.
Margie recalled, “He had a very horrified look on his face when he looked at the burnt smart meter and meter socket.” The technician removed the smart meter and quickly put it in his truck, concealing the evidence.
The technician installed a temporary adapter which left her home with only 110 volts and limited power in parts of her house.
She was left with no dryer, no air conditioner, no electricity in the master bedroom, or anything that required 220 volts.
She asked the SMUD technician for a business card. He said he didn’t have one. She asked him for his name and he would not give her his full name.
The SMUD technician told Margie that she was responsible for replacing the damaged meter base, which included hiring a professional electrical contractor and getting a city permit. Margie asked him if SMUD would fix it. He said no.
She called several electrical professionals to get estimates which ranged from $1,500-$3500.
She then searched the internet for “smart meter problems” and she found out that this is a common problem with smart meters. In California, fire captain Ross had similar electric problems, as did another fire captain Matt Beckett. A fire erupted shortly after a PG&E smart meter was installed in Vacaville, California which killed a man.
She contacted the EMF Safety Network director, Sandi Maurer, who connected her to Eric Windheim, EMF Safety consultant, and director of Sacramento Smart Meter Awareness. Together they helped her write a declaration about the burnt meter and panel, the limited electricity, and her experience with the technician.
Margie sent the declaration and a demand letter to SMUD via certified mail with returned receipt. The following week Eric supported Margie at two SMUD board meetings, where she demanded they pay for the repairs as soon as possible. She reads her declaration in this audio file, at the 6:25 mark. Listen to more of her comments in this video below.
Margie asked the board, “If SMUD’s smart meter is so smart why didn’t it send SMUD a warning message that there was a very dangerous electrical failure going on at my house? Was SMUD going to wait for the fire department to send you a report in the mail?”
Following the board meetings, Margie:
Kept all communication with SMUD in writing
Refused to risk having another smart meter on her home
Demanded the analog meter as the only replacement
Never agreed or consented to the opt-out extortion fee
The smart meter could have burned down her house, with Margie in it. Since it caused similar hazards for other customers, she was not going to take that chance ever again.
Nine days after she went to the first board meeting SMUD repaired the burnt panel and restored an analog meter. SMUD paid for all the repairs, and they returned analog meter without Margie’s agreement to pay their opt-out fees of $127 plus $14 a month.
SMUD denied the smart meter was to blame for the electrical problems. The SMUD representative wrote to Margie, “What I can assure you of, is that the damage to your panel was not caused by the Smart Meter. The origin of the damage was in the meter socket assembly.”
Eric Windheim says, “A Maxim of Law is: “Where damages are given, the losing party should pay the costs of the victor” which is exactly what happened here. Since SMUD is paying for all of this they have admitted causation. If Margie’s wiring was really at fault SMUD would have charged her for all repair costs.”
Click here for more information on smart meter fires and explosions. If you are a SMUD customer and have questions about smart meters contact Eric Windheim at 916-395-7336 or contact him here.
Try to install a Smart Meter in Sebastopol and you could get a $500 fine.
The Sebastopol City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance banning Smart Meter installation in Sebastopol yesterday. They also adopted a resolution asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow communities to opt-out of Smart Meters at no additional cost.
Sebastopol became the 15th local jurisdiction to make Smart Meter installations illegal, along with Fairfax, Ojai, Santa Cruz, and Marin, Lake, Mendocino and Santa Cruz counties and others.
Previously Sebastopol had asked PG&E for a moratorium on installations until the CPUC proceeding was complete. PG&E wasn’t complying. Meanwhile their contractors, Wellington were sending installers into Sebastopol, with many apartment buildings and some areas already installed.
Yesterday it was reported that Wellington was installing Smart Meters in town and the police were called to the scene. Once the police arrived and talked to them, the installer left.
In stark contrast the city of Naperville Illinois has forced Smart Meter installation using the support of armed police. Two mothers were arrested.
THANK YOU to the Sebastopol City Council for their strong stand, and to the City Staff for their support. Thank you also to the City of Fairfax, who has led the way in protecting their city from Smart Meter installations.
Wellington, a company contracted by PG&E, is installing Smart Meters in Sebastopol despite the fact that Sebastopol has asked for a moratorium twice; that Sebastopol council supports a Smart Meter community wide opt out; and that the CPUC has a proceeding pending to investigate the possibility of community opt-out.
This morning residents at Burbank Heights and Orchards (senior housing community) and Sebastopol residents chased off an installer, who admitted he had only two weeks training and was not an electrical contractor, which is a requirement for FCC safety conditions. 83% of the residents there opposed the meters. As he was leaving he said he was going to file a police report, and when I brought the camera out he got in his truck and left. http://youtu.be/nwSlB1y4p9k
Two more Wellington trucks installing gas smart meters were on Murphy Street. When I approached the two men they did not respond or answer any of questions. They eventually packed up their stuff and left, putting the analog gas meter back together.
Smart Meter installers drive small white Wellington Ford Ranger trucks. They are installing throughout Sebastopol now. There were at least three trucks in town today. It appears the installers have been instructed to vacate a scene if they are approached. They also seem to leave town if followed, rather than going to the next house to install.
If you see an installer you can ask these questions: Are you a licensed electrical contractor? Did you know Sebastopol asked for a moratorium on Smart Meters twice? Did you know there’s a CPUC proceeding that’s investigating a community opt- out program? Did you know that the Sebastopol council supports community opt out?
Tomorrow night Tuesday Feb 5 at 6 pm is a council meeting at the Sebastopol teen center. We can bring this issue up at public comments and see if they can take some action to ban the meters after all.