An Electronic Silent Spring – April, 2016 Newsletter from Katie Singer

From: “Katie Singer”
Date: Apr 30, 2016 1:30:33 PM
Subject: An Electronic Silent Spring – April, 2016 Newsletter from Katie Singer

An Electronic Silent Spring 
April, 2016 Newsletter from Katie Singer
I end with good news.
          –Katie
Children & Schools
The Environmental Health Trust has compiled a spectacular, international list of schools, unions and PTAs that have taken steps to ensure healthier school environments. http://ehtrust.org/policy/schools-unions-and-pta-actions
          PBS’ Education Week reported on problems with students’ privacy and security when education is digitalized. Hundreds of childrens’ Social Security Number have been stolen. School-issued computers can collect info about a child’s food preferences, friends’ names, grades, discipline records and more. Corporations can use this info to create “data-mined profiles.” There’s very little, if any, regulation of the data collected by school-issued computers. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/why-digital-education-could-be-a-double-edged-sword/
          Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, explains that Pearson (a multi-national corporation that writes software for school curricula and testing) “is becoming toxic because it promotes bad policy that puts profit over what’s good for students.” She urges parents and teachers to pressure Pearson to change course. http://www.texasaft.org/tell-pearson-its-time-to-change-course-and-end-its-ruinous-commitment-to-high-stakes-testing/
          “10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12” by occupational therapist Cris Rowan has received more than two million hits. Essentially, Rowan suggests balancing tech time with time spent outdoors, cooking, talking person-to-person, etc.–and thus, tech time is reduced.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cris-rowan/10-reasons-why-handheld-devices-should-be-banned_b_4899218.html. See more about Balanced Tech Management at www.zonein.ca
Preserve Proven Landlines
Californians now push back from aggressive lobbying to eliminate copper legacy landlines. Legislation to this effect may already have passed in 20 states. California Democrat Evan Low recently introduced AB2395, “Telecommunications: Replacement of Public Switched Telephone Network.” AB2395 has passed one committee in the California House. It needs to pass another committee, then move to the California Senate before it’s voted on.
          Three out of five households still have a legacy copper landline.
          “Replacement phones” include Voice Over Internet Protocols (VoIPs) such as Magic Jack, U-Verse and Skype (which require a computer with Internet access)–or a router/modem that provides phone, Internet and cable access–or a cell phone.
          What’s the problem? During a power outage, cell-phone and VoIP-dependent people can’t reach 911.
          Anyone who wants a secure (less hackable) transmission of data via a fax–i.e. a physician, patient, banker, realtor, accountant, retailer, credit-card or Social Security Number user–would want landlines maintained.
          Anyone who wants less exposure to electromagnetic radiation would want landlines maintained. Many people cannot afford and/or tolerate a computer. Router/modems apparently generate tremendous dirty power. Replacing the these “black boxes'” switch-mode power supplies with analog power supplies is tricky, even for experienced engineers; and there’s no universal recipe for doing so. Pregnant women, children, people with medical implants and EHS should not use cell phones.
          So why would telecom corporations lobby to eliminate copper legacy landlines? Copper legacy landlines are heavily regulated (i.e. taxed). Voice Over Internet Protocols are much less regulated. They provide telecom corporations with much more profitability.
          After a major power outage in March, 2016, the Anchorage Police Chief advised Alaskans, “Don’t cut the cord.” http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/att-outage-left-cell-phonedependent-alaskans-unable-to-call-911/38685790
In 2013, B. Blake Levitt wrote a telling assessment about “kissing landlines goodbye” in Connecticut.  http://emfrefugee.blogspot.com/2013/06/kiss-your-landline-goodbye.html
Privacy
60 Minutes recently showed how strangers can hack the phone in your pocket: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-overtime-how-strangers-can-hack-the-phone-in-your-pocket
          Meanwhile, a new law will require drivers involved in an accident to give their phone to officers for analysis of texting-while driving. http://www.electronicproducts.com/Mobile/Devices/Law_will_require_drivers_involved_in_an_accident_to_hand_over_phone_to_officers_for_analysis_of_texting_while_driving.aspx
Energy
We all resist changing our lifestyles and reducing our energy use.
          Steven Gorelick’s review of “This Changes Everything,” Avi Lewis’s documentary based on his wife, Naomi Klein’s book of the same title, questions environmentalists’ enthusiasm for renewables like solar and wind power. http://www.localfutures.org/changing-everything
          For an introduction to installing solar power more safely: http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/safer-solar-power
          For reports about how electronics and the Internet contribute to climate change: http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/primers/energy-cell-phones-wi-fi-internet/
Smart Meters
Insurance companies may soon not pay for fire damage caused by a malfunctioning “smart” meter. http://www.examiner.com/article/changes-are-coming-to-your-insurance-policy
          In Ohio, American Electric Power must prove that “smart” meters save customers’ money before it charges to opt out. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2016/04/27/aep-must-prove-smart-meters-save-customers-money-before-charging-to-opt-out.html
          New Mexico’s largest electric utility, PNM, has laid out its plans to install smart meters.
          For more info about proposed “smart” meters in NM, including a showing of Josh del Sol’s “Take Back Your Power” in Santa Fe, May 15: http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/pnm/
          www.stopsmartmetersbc.com
          www.smartmeterawareness.com
Good News: Argentina’s Chamber of Deputies has presented a bill, “Minimum Prevention and Control of Electromagnetic Pollution.”  It aims to provide a regulatory framework “to radio infrastructure with radiant systems, antennas and all installations capable of generating electromagnetic radiation” in order to “ensure the protection of public health” considering “both thermal effects (and) biological.” The bill would prohibit infrastructure that radiates or generates electromagnetic fields within and less than 100 meters of green spaces, health, educational, sporting and cultural institutions with public access. http://buildingbiologyblog.com/2016/04/06/argentina-seeks-a-national-law-against-electromagnetic-pollution/
Want to read An Electronic Silent Spring?  Despite amazon.com claims, the book is in print. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1938685083/?tag=%20anelesilspr-20
          If you’d like ten or more copies, I can pass on the discount that my publisher extends to me. Depending on your locale, this translates to a 30 – 35% discount in the cover price ($18), including shipping. Please contact me directly to order a box of books: katie  @  katiesinger.  com
Thanks to everyone who’s using electronics as safely as possible, reducing electronics usage and EMR-emmissions.
          Please contribute to keep this newsletter going! http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/donate/
          To healthier ecosystems and communities,
          Katie Singer

ARIZONA-ELECT OFFICIALS WHO ARE NOT IN THE POCKETS OF THE UTILITIES

 

The ACC/APS Revolving Door
Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ April 30, 2016

Most people who are paying attention are aware that APS is the largest corporate political donor in the state — and that’s not even including the millions in APS’s “alleged” dark money contributions.

It is widely believed that APS has bought and paid for its regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission. APS has also made massive donations to the Arizona Attorney General and Governor. Many lesser politicians, both Democrat but mostly Republican, have also been recipients of APS largess. Anyone can go to FollowTheMoney.org to see where the money’s going. Technically the donations are from Pinnacle West, the APS parent company, but in my opinion that’s an insignificant difference. I am sure the people getting the money know who’s buttering their bread and what’s expected.

APS also peddles influence via its so-called “charitable” donations that also total in the millions. A city council member of one Arizona town told me he doubted any of the other council members would go against APS “because of all they do for the community.”

So here is something else to consider when pondering why the ACC staff, who are not getting APS money (that we know of, LOL), also seem to be doing the bidding of APS — perhaps it’s so they can get a job with APS after they retire from or quit the ACC.

Case in point: Former ACC Utilities Division Director Steven Olea retired last year from many years at the ACC. While at the ACC he did a great job doing APS’s bidding on the “smart” meter issue. Olea is now working for APS.

Former ACC Executive Director Ernest Johnson and Amanda Ho, ACC commissioner Bob Stump’s former policy adviser, both work for APS now.

APS lawyer Thomas Mumaw used to be Chief Hearing Officer at the ACC until he was asked to resign for being “anti-consumer.” That was back when the ACC had commissioners with integrity who were real regulators looking out for the public.

So is the prospect of a second career at APS the reason why the current ACC Utilities Director, Thomas Broderick, is in favor of APS’s new rip-off scheme, mandatory demand charges? Is he also pushing for CenturyLink’s new rip-off “facility relocation fee” to show his bona fides?

Treat ’em right and there’s another cush job waiting for you on the other side of the revolving door while you collect your “public service” pension at the same time. Is that how it works?

I am a registered Republican, but I have to say that it seems like too many Arizona Republican officeholders are corrupt cronies and ignoramuses. That often happens when any party is in control for too long.

If you are as weary as I am of the corrupt Republican establishment, consider helping the campaigns of Democrats Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell who are running for the ACC. Chabin & Mundell are running a “clean elections” campaign. That means they are not taking huge corporate donations. In order to qualify they need several thousand people to give them $5 each. You can do that at their websites. Look for the “Donate a $5 Clean Elections Qualifying Contribution” button and take it from there.

I swore off giving politicians money — any money — some time ago, but I made an exception for Chabin & Mundell after hearing them speak at a recent clean elections campaign event. I truly believe they have Arizonans’ best interests at heart and will stand up to APS and the corruption at the ACC.