OREGON PUC TO CONSULT WITH COURT OVER JOSEPHINE COUNTY SMART METER ORDINANCE

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OREGON PUC TO CONSULT WITH COURT OVER JOSEPHINE COUNTY SMART METER ORDINANCE

The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) has asked a Marion County court to ‘confirm its exclusive authority to set customer rates’ in response to Josephine County’s recent smart meter ordinance.

Posted: Nov. 29, 2018 4:09 PM

SALEM, Ore. — In the face of Josephine County’s recently ratified smart meter ordinance, the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) said on Friday that it has asked a Marion County court to weigh in on the dispute.

“[The PUC] asked a Marion County court to confirm its exclusive authority to set customer rates for investor-owned electric utilities and to prevent a Josephine County ordinance from limiting Pacific Power’s ability to charge PUC-approved fees related to advanced meter installation within the county,” the Commission said in a statement.

The County adopted their ordinance at the end of October, stipulating that they would prohibit all opt-out fees leveled by Pacific Power on customers that refuse to receive the new smart meter and instead insist on keeping a hand-read meter.

Pacific Power argued that the County did not have the authority to set fees or to set them aside, appealing to the PUC for help. Since the PUC is typically in charge of approving rates and fees, they quickly threatened legal action against the County.

“This is not our preferred course of action,” said Megan Decker, PUC chair. “But we need to be clear with customers and other jurisdictions that Oregon’s legal structure requires Pacific Power to charge rates set by the PUC. Our exclusive authority and obligation to set nondiscriminatory rates across a utility’s service territory prevents the ability of one jurisdiction from transferring the cost of its local priorities to other communities.”

But earlier this month, Josephine County responded that they would stand by their ordinance.

“Choice and local control are highly valued in Oregon. Local governments are free to raise revenues to fund local priorities, including expanding access to manually read meters. They can ask local residents to provide financial support to customers who cannot afford the opt-out charge,” said Decker. “What local governments cannot do is require Pacific Power to charge customers different rates for electric service in their jurisdictions.”

In Southern Oregon, Pacific Power currently charges a $36 per-month opt-out fee for customers who refuse the upgrade to a smart reader. While Josephine County has argued that the opt-out fee method leaves their residents with no choice, the PUC disagrees.

“The customer’s choice to have a manually read meter has a cost,” said Decker. “The questions are what is the cost and who pays for it?”

 

TEXAS-Haltom City Agrees to Test Water Meters After Community Uproar

Haltom City Agrees to Test Water Meters After Community Uproar

The city says residents were undercharged on their water bills for years

Dozens of residents in Haltom City have expressed anger with city leaders and their new smart water meters.

“We might as well just move out of Haltom City because we’re not going to be able to afford to live in Haltom City,” Mary Hunter said.

Homeowners are trying to figure out why their water bills are so high.

“There’s one day that I looked up that it shows 25 gallons of water every single hour,” Melanie Montgomery said. “How is that possible?”

Montgomery said it all started when the city installed smart water meters, and got rid of the old ones.

According to one of her bills, she used 3 1/2 times more water this year compared to last year. But she’s not buying it.

“The last four years, we’ve used the same amount of water every year,” she said.

Back in August, assistant city manager Rex Phelps told us residents had been undercharged on their water usage for decades.

He said the old meters were simply inaccurate.

“You had a good situation for a long time because you simply weren’t paying all your water usage. And now, you are,” Phelps said. “We do empathize with them, but we do know that the new meters are accurate.”

Today, Haltom City told NBC 5 officials are taking a closer look at the smart meters that many of its residents deem inaccurate.

The city has hired a third-party utility firm to audit and test its water meters and it’s billing platform.

Forty smart meters will be shipped to a nationally certified lab in New Jersey for testing.

If results from those tests are not satisfactory, the city said it will test an additional 373 meters.

“I think the city has responded because it has been on NBC 5,” Montgomery said.

She’s glad that her meter is one of the 40 that is on its way for testing.

Now, Montgomery said she hoped the results would shed light on what she believes is a major problem for residents in Haltom City.

“They’re called smart meters, but they’re not that smart,” she said.

The city said meters selected for testing will be replaced with a brand new meter.

City officials will continue to meet with residents one-on-one to help them understand the water bills and regain their trust.

If you need help from NBC 5 Responds, click here.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Haltom-City-Agrees-to-Test-Water-Meters-after-Community-Uproar–501481831.html

Leading Experts in a Conference in Michigan Hosted by Senator Colbeck 

 Dafna Tachover dafna@wearetheevidence.orgHide
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Hi All, 
 
A busy few weeks are ahead of us – We are continuing our diligent efforts to educate the public and save lives.  Please forward to people you know in MI, NY, NJ,  MN and WI. 
 
Leading Experts in a Conference in Michigan Hosted by Senator Colbeck 
 
On Decemebr 4, 2018, Michigan State Senator Colbeck is hosting a conferenceWireless Technologies: Benefits and Risks. The conference is unique in bringing together both industry and health advocates with the hope to start a discussion that hopefully will lead one day to developing safer technologies. Although Senator’s Colbeck team approached all the leading wireless companies, Congressmen etc,  only a couple of wireless companies agreed to participate and we appreciate their participation. 
 
Participating Experts
The conference is also unique by the large number of leading experts who will participate including: Dr. Ron Melnik who headed the NTP study; Attorney Dafna Tachover from We Are The Evidence, Dr. Paul Heroux from McGill University; Dr. Devra Davis from Enviromental Health Trust; Dr. Anthony Miller, Frank Clegg, former CEO of Microsoft Canada; Cece Ducette from Wireless Education; Eng. Bill Bathgate;  – expert on Driverless cars technologies and smart meters and others.
 
Where and When:

When: Tuesday, December 4th from 1 to 5 PM | Drop-ins welcomeWhere: Mackinac Room (5th floor), Anderson House Office Building (across from the State Capitol), 124 N. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933

Sponsorship & Thanks
The Event is sponsored by the people of Michigan who raised the funds for the event. Thank you to Jeanine Deal from Michigan for Safe Technology, Pam Krupp and David Lonier; Many thanks also to Gina Johnson from Senator’s Colbeck’s office.  
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Lectures This Month – Wireless Radiation – Keeping Safer In a Wireless World
On the way to the conference and on the way back, I will be giving a few lectures in our continued efforts to educate the public and awaken communities to the harms of wireless. Following is the list of lectures and locations and the flyers to the events is attached: 
 
Dec 1, in New York: 
Mountain Laurel Woldorf School
16 South Chestnut Street, New Paltz, NY
Saturday, Dec. 1st,  11 am. 
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Dec 15, in Minnesota 
Assisai Heights Spirituality Center
1001 14th St. NW, Rochester, MN
Saturday, Dec. 15th, 4:30 pm 
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Dec 16, in Minnesota
3601 Minnesota Drive, Edina, MN
Sunday, Dec. 16th, 3pm
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Please BUY GENERATION ZAPPED as a Gift for the Holidays
THE BEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THESE HOLIDAYS – I have been encouraging people to give a copy of the movie Generation Zapped as a gift for their friends and family for the holidays. I cannot think of any better gift – the movie contains information everyone must be aware of and will help people protect their health and that of their families. Many people are resistant to this information and by giving them a movie you are giving them an easy way to be exposed to this information. I really think no gift is better or more important. One of my favorite sentences is “Every time you spend money you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”. I hope this season you buy meaningful gifts and this is a gift of care, health and one which promotes a better world. A perfect gift!  
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Happy Holidays, 
 
Dafna

Dafna TachoverManaging Director
Attorney (NY, Israel), MBA
Phone: (845) 377 0211
Sent from my WIRED Internet connectio
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Are Smartphones Destroying a Generation?

Are Smartphones Destroying a Generation?

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola
smartphone mental health

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Kids spend an inordinate amount of time on their smartphones, communicating with friends (and possibly strangers) via text, Twitter and Facebook, and work to keep up their Snapstreaks on Snapchat
  • Abrupt changes in teen behavior and psychological health emerged around 2012. Post-millennials spend more time alone, engaged in online socialization rather than face-to-face; they drive less, date less, have less sex and have poorer social and work skills than previous generations
  • Rates of teen depression and suicide have dramatically risen since 2011, and data suggest spending three hours or more each day on electronic devices raises a teen’s suicide risk by 35 percent
  • Between 2007 and 2015, the suicide rate for 12- to 14-year-old girls rose threefold; the suicide rate among boys doubled in that same time frame
  • Data reveal the more time teens spend online, the unhappier they are. Those who spend more time than average on activities that do not involve their smartphone are far more likely to report being “happy”

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2018/11/20/smartphones-effect-on-mental-health.aspx

 

BPU approves smart meters, opt out solution

BPU approves smart meters, opt out solution

By Tris DeRoma

 

Residents that don’t want a smart meter hooked to their home may soon have the option of not getting one if the Los Alamos County Council approves a decision made by the Board of Public Utilities Tuesday

At Tuesday’s meeting, the board approved a smart meter contractor and an opt-out solution for residents who don’t want the contractor to install one.

The board approved a $6.5 million contract for Ferguson Incorporated to switch out 8,000 existing electric meters and attach communication modules to 14,000 gas and water meters.

During a BPU hearing in September, some residents complained that the data the meters collected and stored about their energy usage could be used by criminals to determine when they are home, when they’re not, and how many people are living in the house.

Criminals and others could get the information through the Inspection of Public Records Act, since the utilities are publicly owned.

Los Alamos is one of three counties in the state that owns its public utilities.

The decision of the contract was then tabled. Tuesday, Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities officials came back with a provision where the DPU would have to give residents a clear and well-publicized option to opt out of getting a smart meter if they didn’t want one.

DPU Deputy Manger Robert Westervelt told the BPU Tuesday the only way to assuage people’s concerns was to simply not collect the data.

“If a citizen has those privacy concerns, if we offered them the option of opting out of having a smart meter installed at their home… simplest terms is we don’t collect the data, so even if there is an IPRA (Information of Public Records Act) request, we don’t have any data that is available to release,” Westervelt said. “The citizens’ privacy issues are then dealt with in that manner.”

While meter information has always been collectable through IPRA, smart meter technology will allow for more accurate information about usage to be sent to an offsite database every 15 minutes.

DPU officials have said smart meter tech will make monitoring energy and utility usage easier for customers and the department.

Resident Cornell Wright approved of the board’s decision.

“Although the opt out is not in the long run an ideal solution, it’s very reasonable thing to do under these circumstances,” Wright said.

Los Alamos County Councilor Antonio Maggiore, speaking solely as a resident, asked the BPU and the DPU for assurances that the option to install and uninstall meters at the request of residents will not have a negative financial impact on the renter community through rent hikes and other means.

Westervelt assured Maggiore and others that the DPU would be absorbing the costs of resident refusal and installation.

If the opt outs started to become an economic burden, then a provision in the contract would allow the DPU to cancel the project, Westerveld said.

“I think we can absorb a 25 percent opt out, although I don’t expect it to get anywhere near that,” Westervelt told the board.

Westervelt also said that if the board went ahead and approved the contract, then the DPU would go back and formulate an opt-out policy the BPU could approve later, before Ferguson Incorporated start work on the project, which may start as soon as this spring.

BPU voted 4-1 in favor of the contract. BPU member Stephen McLin was the the dissenting vote.

“I’m encouraged by the opt-out option,” McLin said. “That’s a positive step in my mind. I’m still a little reluctant to support the project without seeing the (opt out option) in writing however.”

The BPU’s approval of the contract and the creation of an opt out option for residents now awaits final approval by Los Alamos County Council.

https://www.lamonitor.com/content/bpu-approves-smart-meters-opt-out-solution

Clear Evidence Of Heart Tumors From Cellphone Radiation Found

Clear Evidence Of Heart Tumors From Cellphone Radiation Found

Posted on Nov 25, 2018, 4 a.m.

Government studies have found clear evidence or heart tumors from cellphone radiation.

Cellphones were classified as Group 2B possible carcinogens in the 2011 International Agency for Research on Cancer, based in evidence showing that EMF radiation from cell phones can trigger abnormal cell growth and tumors.

Just as smoking, as it turns out this may have been a mistake and it should be recategorized into 1A carcinogen. This change would be based on findings from two published government funded animal studies that further support cellphone radiation has clear carcinogenic potential.

Reports of these two studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program were preliminarily released early in 2018 which significantly downplayed findings with subsequent peer review upgrading the findings of risk; and finalized reports were released November 2018. The lowest level of radiation in the federal study used was equal to the maximum exposure that federal regulations allow for cellphone users; highest level was four times higher than the permitted maximum.

The National Toxicology Program rates cancer risk using 4 categories: Highest = clear evidence; Medium= some or equivocal evidence; and Lowest = no evidence. Their final report on both studies done animals of both sexes found 6.

  • Clear evidence for heart tumors, malignant schwannomas, in male rats. These types of tumors started developing around week 70, and are very similar to acoustic neuromas found in humans linked to cellphone use.
  • Some evidence of brain tumors, malignant gliomas,  in male rats. Glial cell hyperplasias are indicative of precancerous lesions, and began developing around week 58.
  • Some evidence of adrenal gland tumors in male rats, both benign and malignant tumors and/or complex combined pheochromocytoma
  • Equivocal or unclear evidence of tumors in female rats and mice of both genders

The studies also found evidence of:

  • Low body weight in female rats and newborns exposed to high levels of radiation during pregnancy and lactation
  • DNA damage and damage to heart tissue in exposed male and female rats, but not mice
  • Prostate, liver and pancreatic tumors in both rats and mice

Incidence of glioblastoma multiforme more than doubled in the U.K. between 1995 and 2015, according to the authors of the analysis, the dramatic increase is likely due to “widespread environmental or lifestyle factors,” which would include cellphone and mobile device usage.

Although the NTP insists that the exposure of 9 hours a day for 2 years is more extensive than that of a heavy cellphone user many would very strongly disagree. Especially those with children, teens, or any of the younger generations that seem to be surgically attached to their mobile devices 24/7/52; many of which sleep with their devices under their pillow. Added to that cellphones are not the only source of RF EMFs, one must take into account Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tablets, computers, laptops, smart TVs, wireless baby monitors, cordless phones, smart appliances, smart meters, and don’t forget nearby cellular phone base stations and towers which are sources of similarly harmful radiation. Most of us are exposed 24/7, taking this into account duration of RF EMF exposure is actually greater that what was tested for in the study, depending on the person it could actually be far greater.

While these studies used RF levels comparable to 2G and 3G cellphones another study simulated exposure to cellphone towers. Ramazzini’s rats were exposed to 1.8 GHz GSM radiation at electric field strengths of 5, 25 and 50 volts per meter40 for 19 hours a day, starting at birth until the rats died either from age or illness; converting measurements to watts per kilogram of body weight. Radiation dose administered in this study was up to 1,000 times lower than the NTP’s, and below the U.S. limits set by the FCC,  yet it produced similar results.

What is more alarming about these study findings is that they were conducted using 2-3G technology that is now outdated. We now use 4G, and with 5G launching which was untested, what could possibly be instore, it is currently unknown, and to be honest frightening.

Despite the final reports being given to the US Food and Drug Administration and FCC the agencies are unwilling to change their stance on cellphone safety, believing existing safety limits remain acceptable for protecting public health. This should come as no surprise as the telecommunication industry has more political lobbying influence than that of Big Pharma and Big Food combined.

The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome

The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome

Unexplained brain injuries afflicted dozens of American diplomats and spies. What happened?

Smart meters rollout labelled a ‘fiasco’ as consumers face extra £500m bill

Smart meters rollout labelled a ‘fiasco’ as consumers face extra £500m bill

National Audit Office says that with 39m meters still to be replaced, government has no chance of hitting 2020 deadline

A person holding a smart meter.
 Smart meters automate readings, make energy use easier for householders to understand and are considered a critical upgrade of the energy system. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Consumers face paying half a billion pounds more than expected for the rollout of smart meters and the programme has no chance of hitting its deadline, the UK’s spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office said that with 39m old-fashioned meters yet to be replaced, there is “no realistic prospect” of meeting a goal of all homes and businesses being offered one by the end of 2020 as planned.

In a damning report on the £11bn infrastructure project, the group said that energy suppliers were expecting just 70-75% of households and small businesses to have a smart meter by then.

The NAO urged the government to consider whether a new deadline should be adopted. An influential group of MPs said they would examine whether ministers should stick to the 2020 timetable.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/nov/2018-11-22T13:44:39/embed.html

Smart meters automate readings in an attempt to make energy use easier for householders to understand and are considered a critical upgrade of the energy system.

Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “Costs are rising, and timescales slipping, but smart meters can still succeed over time.”

Labour said the report was evidence the government had failed and had created a “fiasco” with a botched rollout.

The NAO said bill payers would be hit with an increase in costs over the rollout of £500m above the government’s last estimate, or an extra £17 per household.

However, the watchdog said that estimate was conservative and the true cost was likely to be much higher. The extra £500m, for example, does not include energy companies’ marketing costs.

The NAO also noted that the central body established to handle data from meters, run by the outsourcing firm Capita, had already incurred costs of £329m, 69% higher than expected.

The cost of the scheme could have been reduced if the government had chosen to take a “simpler, lower-cost approach”, the group said.

The report was strongly critical of the government allowing 12.5m first-generation smart meters, known as SMETS1, to be installed – more than twice as many had been expected by this point.

Around 70% of SMETS1 meters “go dumb” when customers switch energy supplier, and nearly 1m are operating in dumb mode, meaning those households still have to manually submit readings.

“This means that many consumers will face a choice between remaining with a more expensive tariff or losing the benefits of their smart meter,” the NAO said.

https://interactive.guim.co.uk/charts/embed/nov/2018-11-22T13:46:43/embed.html

By comparison, the number of second-generation meters, which do not suffer problems after switching and have greater functionality, has been a tiny fraction of what was expected.

Just 109,000 such SMETS2 meters have been installed so far, rather than the 23m expected by now.

The report also laid bare the geographical divide in the rollout. Just 3,000 of those second-generation meters have been installed in the north of England because of technical problems in the region.

Rebecca Long Bailey MP, the shadow business secretary, said: “What should have been an uncontroversial technology has been mired in costly delays and self-defeating technical mistakes.”

Consumer groups urged a rethink of the 2020 deadline. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “We firmly believe that 2023 is a more reasonable timeframe. This would allow technical problems to be fixed and to ensure that consumers get the best experience.”

The energy minister, Claire Perry, said: “We’ve said everyone will be offered a smart meter by the end of 2020 to reap these benefits and we will meet that commitment.”

Smart Energy GB, the body tasked with promoting the meters, said the rollout was an essential but “hugely complex and challenging infrastructure upgrade”.