Armed guards for Smart meter installers?

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True Heart

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:08 am    Post subject: Armed guards for Smart meter installers? Reply with quote

Just don’t call them “smart”
by Gary Alexander on Dec 1, 2013 • 6:30 am

When Kevin O’Brien answered a knock at his door on November 7, he didn’t expect to be facing a state trooper.
O’Brien, a textile designer living in Wittenberg with Myoshin Thurman and their two children, aged 5 and 2 years, listened to the trooper explain that he was there to escort a Central Hudson employee who had come to replace their analog electric meter with a new digital model. “I asked if we had an alternative? Could the old meter be replaced with another of the same model?” O’Brien recalled and said that he was told the old analog meters were no longer available.
When presented with an inquiry about the legal basis, civil or criminal, of the police escort, a N.Y. State Police dispatcher, after several computer searches, could find no record of the incident. Central Hudson spokesman, John Maserjian, however, supplied a ready answer to that question.
“There are some residents who place barricades on their meters. That is illegal,” Maserjian said before later sending a section of Utility Law which did not appear to exactly support this claim. “Any barricade placed on a meter is very dangerous because it blocks our employees from access to disconnect power in the event of, say, a fire or some other emergency situation.” Asked if power could be shut off remotely, he replied, “No. Not yet.”
The “not yet” refers to a still pending Public Service Commission decision on whether to permit the deployment of “smart meters” in New York State, which would allow the utility to disconnect meters remotely, as well as receive a two-way feedback from ratepayers, which would then officially fall under the industry’s definition of “smart.” The meters currently being deployed in a test pilot program, Maserjian points out, lack that two-way capacity.
Utilities have also been backing away from the “smart meter” title because of its negative usage by numerous groups which have sprung up in recent years to resist the roll-out of the multi-faceted meters. Opposition from these groups, based on concerns about harmful health effects from radiations emitted by the devices, privacy violations and other issues, are perceived by pro-industry sources to have given the very term “smart meter” something of a black eye. Opponents commonly use “smart meter” in reference to any meter transmitting microwave radiation, two-ways or not.
Grassroot “Stop Smart Meters” organizations have proliferated around the world, spawning websites like a “bare bones” one in Woodstock added this week at which will soon be adding content. Others offer advice to ratepayers on topics such as how to protect old analog meters that have functioned well for generations, by building a lockbox or cage around it so it can still be read but can’t easily be replaced with a digital meter. Utilities operate on an assumption of “implied consent,” which generally means that if a customer has not notified the utility that the “improvement” was not wanted, it will automatically be installed. Critics of this policy argue that ratepayers cannot object to something about which they have not been informed. This argument was advanced by Myo Thurman in September when a Central Hudson meter installer came to change the meter. Politely explaining that she did not want the meter because she was very concerned about its possible health effects, she said he declared “You’ve won the lottery! You’re part of a pilot program!” and that the meter was absolutely inactive and powered by a ‘double A’ battery.”

“I said ‘I have two little children and, even if it turns out to be the most wonderful thing in the world, if I don’t understand what it is, I don’t want it on my house.” Thurman said she was told that “a lot of people have these misunderstandings about it.”
She asked the installer, “Well, if you feel it’s so safe, why don’t you educate the public, send out flyers, letters; put up a website? Put it in writing, explaining everything. People are very worried about this.’ He said ‘No, no; we don’t do that. There’s so many people.’”
But Thurman was adamant. “Actually, there aren’t that many people. This is a new thing, right?” she told him. “It seems to me you could send information to the hundred people you’re putting this on.” Thurman said that the installer left, saying someone would be back. That “someone” returned with a uniformed escort to a meter which had now been “caged,” leading Central Hudson to anticipate that they might be met with firmer resistance to the replacement, despite Thurman’s polite prior refusal, and in need of government support to protect their installer.

No UL certification
Concerns about the meters have been rising in pace with the number of those becoming aware of an issue many consider under-publicized. Civil rights advocates are protesting about what they call the spying capabilities of the meters, which send details of domestic activity to the utility, including which appliances are in use or not, what TV programs are watched, indications of when no one’s at home — information that experts have declared can be intercepted by hackers. This data is the property of the utility and it might be sold or exploited in other ways, though there is a provision in New York’s current Public Service Law, Article 4 stating “No gas or electric corporation shall sell or offer for sale any list of names of its customers.”
Proponents of the meters say that the ability to gather information on when and how consumers use electricity will be important for modernizing the distribution grid, dealing with renewable energy and will allow for less usage and lower prices. According to PG&E’s website, “The SmartMeter system collects electric and natural gas usage data from your home or business. SmartMeter electric meters record residential electric usage hourly and commercial electric usage in 15 minute increments. SmartMeter natural gas modules attached to gas meters record gas usage daily. This data is periodically transmitted to us via a secure wireless communication network.”
Of foremost concern to most meter opponents, however, are the health effects reported by those with personal experience with the microwave frequencies they emit. Last week the international non-profit medical association, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called for a “moratorium on smart meters and implementation of safer technology.”
Citing “compelling research” and the experiences of its own physicians, the AAEM quoted a study by Dr. Federica Lamech, MBBS soon to appear in a peer-reviewed journal, which notes that smart meters “may have unique characteristics that lower people’s threshold for symptom development.” Despite claims by the industry and the FCC that electromagnetic frequencies do not cause notable biological effects below a thermal threshold (meaning strong enough heat tissue), a massive Bioinitiative Report issued last December contains thousands of case studies demonstrating such effects. The AAEM notes close correlations with their own clinical findings and those in the scientific literature, reporting that “many of the symptoms reported including fatigue, headaches, heart palpitations, dizziness and other symptoms have been shown to be triggered by electromagnetic field exposure under double blind, placebo controlled conditions” and that “the ‘vast majority of cases’ were not electromagnetically hypersensitive until after installation of smart meters.”
Another factor cited by opponents is that the meters are not certified as safe by Underwriters Laboratories, as required for electronic devices sold to the public, because, the argument goes, they remain the property of the utility. Unfortunately, say meter opponents, they do not also remain on utility property.
Fires are reported to have been caused by the meters, raising liability questions with insurance providers as to whether they are responsible for damage caused by instruments which have not been safety approved.
Central Hudson’s Maserjian said that, at present, the new meters are being distributed and tested randomly, “as required by our regulators,” to test for “proper” function at a rate of about 4 percent of their total meters per year. Full deployment “will depend on what the Public Service Commission may decide, whether it will be a staged roll-out, system-wide or a limited area we don’t know at this point. We don’t know when and if the new generation of smart meters will be approved for use in New York.”
For now, it’s just for those who “win the (Central Hudson) lottery.”
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True Heart

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:12 am    Post subject: A small victory Reply with quote

LADWP (Los Angeles Dept. Water and Power) Smart Meter Director, Marcello DiPaulo Receives Death Threats, Resigns From Post, LADWP Puts Free Opt Out Policy In Writing.

One of my many illustrious jobs is I manage a building in LADWP territory and was finding my job very hard to do, as I was getting attacked by microwave RF pulses every time I went over there. So after speaking for HOURS with 3 or 4 different LADWP managers, I finally went into great detail with the senior manager about our lawsuit against Edison and PG@E for health effects from smart meters and smart grid and said that we would be adding them as a defendants in the suit if they refused to make the switch back to an analog meter. That seemed to do it. Magically, the analog meter was granted THE NEXT DAY!!! Smile Not coincidentally, at the exact same time, another LADWP customer, Anura Lawson and her family, had her electricity SHUT OFF FOR WEEKS because she and her family got sick from the radiation from the smart meter that LADWP had stuck on her property, LADWP would not allow her to opt out, she had to remove the meter herself and they shut her power off. It was only after she went to the city council in the above video was her meter switched back to analog. Hmmm, they gave me an opt out but not her…isn’t that discrimination?

Unfortunately, after mine and Anura Lawson’s meter being switched back to analog, LADWP customers were still being told, “No, there is no opt out of smart meters!” So in the coming months, we started raising awareness in LADWP territory. I gave power point presentations to various communities and at one of these presentations, I went head to head with the LADWP director of the smart meter program, Marco DiPaulo, the person who got the $60,000,000 grant for the program. We obtained his cell # that night and I put it on a flyer and emailed it out to all of my Los Angeles list asking them to pass it on and to call DiPaulo to opt out of the damaging program. DiPaulo did say at the presentation that people could opt out, but he began receiving death threats about the program and his involvement in it. When I recently spoke with him, he said people were even coming to his home to harass him!! He was afraid for his life and his family, so he resigned from his position as director of LADWP Smart Meter program. Although this may not be very American of me, I do believe in solving things through non violence. However, I truly understand the anger around this violating, and in fact, violent program. This program puts people lives in danger and the lives of their family. People are angry about it and rightfully so, myself included. My preference to solving this through violence would be getting the laws changed so that this kind of thing is punishable by jail in addition to fines, or of course, the possibility of getting our representatives to actually represent and protect us, which is the purpose of

LADWP customers who wish to opt out of this horrific program may now call Sungly Chiu 213-367-2797 Manager IT at LADWP for a FREE opt out with no rate increase.

When I had initially asked, LADWP refused to put in writing that they were giving me a free opt out with no rate increase (even though they did give me the analog meter with no extra charges). I am happy to say that last week was the first time LADWP finally agreed to to put their opt out policy in writing.

LADWP is the first utility in the state of CA to offer free analog opt outs of their test pilot smart meter program with no rate increase and joins the state of Vermont and one utility in the state of Oregon with this policy. Bravo LADWP!

Although this is a step in the right direction, opt out customers are still involuntarily exposed to microwave radiation from smart grid (their neighbors smart meters and collector meters) and the electricity in the neighborhood is still dirty from the SMPS.

Also, this is not time to relax about LADWP and their opt out policy. We must continue to put the pressure on them and spread the word. Their opt out policy could change at any moment…it is not law, it is just a company policy. Now is an EXCELLENT time for people to opt out since it is free so LADWP customers should take advantage. We may be able to quash their whole program if enough people opt out, discouraging them from further rolling out in their territory.

Their current roll out is only in a few “experimental areas.” Let’s make their great experiment a total failure!! Please pass this page on to ALL LADWP customers!

The below letter is from an email Doug Cragoe of North Hollywood, received from LADWP regarding their FREE opt out policy.

Hello Mr. Cragoe,

To answer your questions, a LADWP customer could have a smart meter installed even if the customer did not contact LADWP after receiving notification of a pending smart meter installation. Customers in the Smart Grid LA program may opt out of the program at any time, including after the smart meter has been installed. If a customer opts outs after a smart meter is installed, the smart meter will be replaced with the same type of analog meter that the customer had prior. There are no customer fees to opt out and have a smart meter uninstalled.

Rates will not be affected for customers who have smart meters installed. Similarly, rates will not be affected for any customer who requests to have a smart meter uninstalled and replaced with an analog meter.

If you would like to provide your address, I can confirm whether you are scheduled to participate in the Smart Grid LA program.

I have also attached our FAQ for the program that provides information regarding health concerns for smart meters. No health risks have been proven to be associated with smart meters.

I will be able to answer any further questions regarding the Smart Grid LA program. Please let me know if I may provide further assistance.

Thank you,

Lucas Smart Grid LA
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True Heart

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:18 am    Post subject: Nevada energy sends armed men to disconnect power Reply with quote ends-armed-men-to-disconnect-power-just-for-opting-out/

See article below. (I always copy and paste the article after having links quietly disappear.)

Smart meter or no power at all? Nevada energy sends armed men to disconnect power – just for opting out

The Watchers
September 22, 2012

Nevada is supposedly one of those states with a smart meter ‘opt out’ policy. On the ground, however, the reality is a little different.

Mona Orkoulas lives in the mountains outside Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works in real estate. Like many Americans she has been impacted by the downturn in the economy and is struggling to make ends meet. Mona was born in the US and raised by an Egyptian/ Greek family. She has always paid her bills on time, and makes protecting her health a priority. For years Mona worked on humanitarian projects in the Middle East: drilling wells, and providing drinkable water and renewable power to remote villages. So she is familiar with the need for safe, reliable public services. Now, it turns out that she may need some humanitarian assistance herself — not in the developing world but right outside Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

The story starts when Nevada Energy (NVE) installed a ‘smart’ meter on Mona’s bedroom wall in January without permission, or even so much as a few days’ notice.

Mona reports that she does not have any prior history of medical issues. Shortly after NV Energy installed the smart meter, she started noticing an increase in her heart rate first thing in the morning and an elevated blood pressure. She felt fatigued, and started having headaches. A low grinding sound had started when the meter was installed and this made it difficult for Mona to sleep, or even be in her own home during the day. She tried different things to get rid of the symptoms, but nothing worked. Finally it dawned on her: the only thing which had changed in her life was the meter. When she started researching the issue, she realized she was not alone. Others were experiencing the same annoying humming grinding sound, the same adverse health impacts — and linking it to recent smart meter installations. She has amassed a whole binder of studies about the negative effects of EMF’s on health.

A letter from Mona’s doctor to NV Energy reads:

Neurological and cardiological findings may be associated with pulsed EMF… EEG, ECG, MRI and sleep study changes may be associated in some hypersensitive individuals to pulsed EMF. If multiple Smart meters are in use in her area, the possibility of constructive and destructive interference between the various EMF signals is a distinct possibility whose effects may be potentially more dangerous. I recommend that this patient be allowed to have NVE reinstall an analog meter at her house.

So she called the power company, expecting that they would remove the unsanctioned meter right away — or at least come out and do an analysis to find out what was causing the grinding noise. Months later, frustrated after at least six failed attempts to have NVE address the problem, Mona finally purchased a standard analog meter and had an electrician install it at her residence. She carefully photographed and recorded the readings on the old and new meter, to be sure that she paid for every kilowatt-hour used. She attempted to return the unwanted smart meter to NVE offices, but was turned away.

On August 6th, at about 10:30am, three men from Nevada Energy, armed with guns, arrived unannounced on her property, removed the analog meter from the socket, took her analog meter as well as the unauthorized smart meter she had removed, and left her living without electricity. One of the men identified himself as an investigator with the company and said that he was investigating her for “criminal tampering.”

She was in tears, visibly shaken by the encounter, and recalls asking the men, “Why are you on my property with guns?” Their response: “this is procedure Ma’am.” (If this has become the “procedure” then we need to act to stop this kind of utility intimidation and abuse.)

More than a month later, the lights are still off and Mona hasn’t budged. “They’re not putting that thing back on my house,” she says.

We asked Angel de Fazio, who has been on the front lines working to fight NVE’s smart meter program, what is going on here? Doesn’t Nevada have an ‘opt out’ choice?

Angel says “Nevada residents only won the right to be placed on the ‘delay list’, not a full ‘opt out’.”

In other words, if you wised up before the installation trucks came and still have your analog, NVE has a ‘delay list’ you can sign to ‘delay’ your installation date. But if the power company managed to sneak on your property and install a smart meter — even without permission — then your choice is a smart meter or no power at all, as Mona discovered. Even if you have a letter from your doctor, the power company apparently thinks it knows best what’s good for you.

While awareness about smart meter problems has been greater in states like California, Maine, and several other states, the “take a smart meter or lose your power” policy remains quietly in force in other states where awareness may not be as widespread. However, people in these states (like Mona) have had enough and are standing up to the utility industry in increasing numbers.

Angel tells Stop Smart Meters! that Nevada’s opt out proceeding has been a sham. “The Nevada PUC will be holding hearings on October 3rd-5th to determine which of the ‘non-transmitting’ meters they will trial to replace people’s analogs and how much they will charge for the ‘privilege’. Even the ‘right’ to have a non-transmitting meter is under threat.” In other words, there may be no official ‘opt out’ at all unless people organize and make more noise.

“NVE has conned the PUC into believing that only a certain number of people can opt out or their Federal Stimulus Grant will be in jeopardy. That is a lie,” Angel says.

NVE has been calling people on the ‘delay list’ who want to ‘opt out’ and repeatedly pressuring them to accept a smart meter. The company admitted that they lied to utility customers, telling them that the meters are federally mandated (which they are not), and telling people their power would be cut if they didn’t accept the meter (which they do not have the legal authority to do). Similar stories abound about other utilities including Southern California Edison, Detroit Edison, Duke Energy, and Oncor.

Now NVE is accusing Mona of tampering with their equipment, which she says is ridiculous, because she gave them plenty of opportunity to remove the problematic smart meter. “I had no intention of stealing electricity,” she says. “I just wanted the grinding noise and headaches to stop.”

California Penal code defines “tampering” as:

(carrying out)(1) specified acts with the intent to obtain utility serviceswithout paying the full charge, or with the intent to enable another person to do so, or with the intent to deprive any utility of its full lawful charges for utility services.”

Nevada laws are similar. Despite this, NVE claims that Mona “tampered” with the meter and are now charging her hundreds of dollars in fees and forcing her to obtain an expensive County inspection. For the last month, Mona has been ‘camping’ in her house, unable to use her appliances, lights or hot water. The laundry that was in the washing machine when they cut her power was locked in, and by the time she could get it out it was totally destroyed by mildew. The NVE agents came without warning.

Mona has borrowed a gas generator that she uses for an hour a day, but she’s worried that this is a fire hazard in the forest where she lives. The power cut has had a devastating effect on her life, she says. “My business has taken a nosedive since I have had to travel into town to access my e-mails. I can’t use my computer, fax machine, or any lights. I’m cooking over a camp stove in my living room.”

Back in December, Stop Smart Meters! raised more than $1000 from supporters like you to help families who had been cut off by PG&E try to have a decent Christmas. These donations helped people through a difficult time, and the outpouring of community support gave them strength to take back their power from the utility. In part because of the strength of these families who refused to accept a forced smart meter (or a ‘non-transmitting’ meter), we now have an official analog ‘opt out’ policy in California. It’s extortion for sure, but it’s better than the policies they still have in places like Nevada.

Mona doesn’t know what she’s going to do, and was even thinking for a time about allowing a smart meter back on her home — at least for the time being. “Winter comes in these mountains a month before everywhere else,” she says.

It’s hard to stomach the fact that in 2012 in the United States, men with guns from a private corporation and no warrant show up and threaten us for not accepting a hazardous device on our homes. As a community we must come together and reject these Gestapo tactics. Under the US Constitution, we have a right to be safe and sovereign in our homes. If you turn a blind eye while the rights of your friends and neighbors are being violated, they may be at your house next.

We’ve been speaking with Mona and she doesn’t want to give in to NVE. She’s willing to rough it, to protect her health and to prove a point to the utility and to America — if that’s the way the utilities are going to behave, maybe we’re better off without them!

Mona says “Some of us eat organic foods, buy our nice bottled waters, exercise daily, but where is the point in all of this wellness when we are forced to have a radiation box attached to our homes?”
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