Guest Column: Woodland Park, let’s take back our power

Guest Column: Woodland Park, let’s take back our power

Growing Grid Costs
This photo taken Friday, July 13, 2018 shows a newly installed smart meter at a residence in Raleigh, N.C.

A “smart meter” is an electronic two-way transmission device that records consumption of electricity and communicates the information wirelessly to the electric supplier for monitoring and billing purposes.

My introduction to the world of smart meters came when I watched the documentary “Take Back Your Power,” which covers the history of these data-collection devices that emit radiation. It documents the uphill battle of ordinary citizens and communities against government and utility interests who are apparently determined to cover the earth with this radiation-emitting technology. When I found out my dear friend in California had become seriously ill after the installation of a smart meter, the issue became personal.

I contacted Intermountain Rural Electric Association and learned that the installation of smart meters in Woodland Park is set to begin in January 2020. When I expressed my concerns I was told, “We’ve looked into it, there isn’t a problem.” As I continued to list the problems other people and communities have experienced — such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, Tinnitus, heart palpitations, decreased immune and cognitive function and irritability — the IREA representative said again, “We’ve looked into it, there isn’t a problem.”

At that point I knew we had a big problem!

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‘We are guinea pigs’: Protesters sign wave against 5G in South Kohala

‘We are guinea pigs’: Protesters sign wave against 5G in South Kohala

  • A group of concerned citizens protest the installation of 5G networks Tuesday on Queen Kaahumanu Highway at Waikoloa Beach Drive. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • A group of concerned citizens protest the installation of 5G networks Tuesday on Queen Kaahumanu Highway at Waikoloa Beach Drive. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

WAIKOLOA BEACH — While a debate into the safety of 5G technology takes place in communities across the world, a group of people waved signs in front of Waikoloa Beach Resort on Tuesday to warn the public of potential health hazards — as they see them.

Organized by Naomi and Yoav Melamed, the group wanted to educate people about perceived dangers of wireless technology, especially 5G and Smart Meters.

he FCC, however, doesn’t see a link between 5G — the fifth generation cellular technology that will vastly improve speed and connectivity — and health risks.

But demonstrator Yoav Melamed said 5G is a new generation technology that hasn’t been safety tested.

“We are guinea pigs,” he said. “We have reason to believe it will be harmful.”

Because 5G uses a shorter bandwidth, smaller antennas will be placed closer together, often on utility or light poles, opening up more space for the ever-increasing use of smart objects, also known as the Internet of Things, where all household devices are connected to this system wirelessly for remote control.

Yoav Melamed said that since the 5G antennas are closer together than the existing cell towers, they’re emitting higher radiation in closer proximity to human habitation. He indicated there were over 1,700 scientific studies that show the radiation causes harm.

An internet search provides a plethora of information on both sides of the issue.

Claims of the possible health effects include cancer, DNA damage, and oxidative damage that can cause premature aging. Disrupted cell metabolism and potential other diseases through the generation of stress proteins and infertility are also on some of the lists of risks.

“The FCC ignores the research,” Yoav Melamed said. “This is a global, federal and state problem.”

According to the FCC website, guidelines and rules regarding radiofrequency, or RF, exposure are based upon standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) as well as input from other federal agencies.

These guidelines specify exposure limits for hand-held wireless devices in terms of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is a measure of the rate that RF energy is absorbed by the body.

Several U.S. government agencies and international organizations work cooperatively to monitor research on the health effects of RF exposure. According to the FDA and the World Health Organization (WHO), among other organizations, to date, the weight of scientific evidence has not effectively linked exposure to radio frequency energy from mobile devices with any known health problems.

In June, Gov. David Ige signed House Bill 2651 into law. The bill establishes a process to upgrade and support next-generation wireless broadband infrastructure throughout the state.

It establishes a permitting, application, review, and approval process for small wireless providers or communications service providers to install wireless facilities on state- or county-owned utility poles, or install associated utility poles, in the right-of-way.

Yoav Melamed said that law takes away the county from having a say in whether the technology is wanted.

“There should not be any 5G in the whole world. It’s even harmful to the bees,” he said.

He said they are not against technology as it is a means of interconnectivity and access to information, but rather than using wireless, he would like to see more fiber optics going into people’s homes. He said with the introduction of 5G, people will not have a choice and will not be able to consent to it because it will be all around the entire population.

The group protested in from of the resort because it is hosting the 2019 IEEE Global Communications Conference this week through Friday.

The the flagship conference is themed “Revolutionizing Communications,” and includes 13 symposia and a variety of tutorials and workshops with keynotes and panels from prominent research, industry and government leaders, business and industry panels, and vendor exhibits, according to its promotion.

Outside the conference, Naomi Melamed added every smart thing will cause radiation from smartphones to smart refrigerators. She said she is also concerned about privacy issues.

“Third parties will have all information about our lives. We will be paying for our own surveillance. 5G will make data collection easier. It’s very Orwellian,” she said.

“We want to protect ourselves. There is power in masses. The most important thing happening right now and nobody is talking about it. Once it’s installed it’s harder to remove,” she said.

Mara Stevens came to wave signs because she said she loves the Earth and all of her children. She said 5G has a bigger plan other than communications.


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