Exceptions to the “Smart” Meter ROO Filed

Exceptions to the “Smart” Meter ROO Filed
Information and Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ September 8, 2017

Last week the administrative law judge at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) filed her Recommended Opinion and Order (ROO) regarding the “smart” meter issues in the APS rate case. The ROO is her recommendation as to what she thinks the commissioners should do.

Yesterday was the deadline to file “Exceptions” to the ROO. “Exceptions” are what an intervenor does not agree with. Her ROO gave APS everything it wanted regarding “smart” meters, so I filed an Exception to the whole thing yesterday.

Among other issues, in my filing I expose the massive amount of bias and prejudice the judge engaged in both during the rate case hearings and in her ROO. I also expose what looks like an attempt to cover up accounting fraud. Persons interested in “smart” meter issues and the never ending injustice and lawlessness that has come to define the ACC will want to read my filing in full. It’s here: http://docket.images.azcc.gov/0000182579.pdf

The ACC commissioners will be deciding what to do this coming Tuesday, September 12. There is no agenda item for public comment at the meeting. It’s clear from the first APS rate case meeting the commissioners held last month, in which they voted for the rate increase and the rest of the dreadful rate case proposals, that the commissioners don’t listen to the public. So it’s probably just as well that no one wastes their time going to speak anyway.

PS – An Arizona Republic newspaper story posted today reports on a poll that shows two thirds of Arizona voters think the ACC is corrupt. It’s here: https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/energy/2017/09/08/poll-arizona-voters-say-corporation-commission-corrupted/642401001/


Hate smart meters? What it will cost to opt out

Spend the extra few bucks to protect yourself and your loved ones. That is what is most important….Sandaura

Hate smart meters? What it will cost to opt out

Don’t Waste Your Money

LATONIA, Ky. — Duke Energy workers showed up at Latonia homeowner Bob Horine’s house this week, to disconnect his 50 year old analog electric meter.

They were replacing it with a brand new smart meter, as they begin a rollout of thousands of meters into the state of Kentucky.

From now on, Duke will read his gas and electric meters remotely, which means no more meter man visit.

“It’s a little easier, not worrying about whether the door is open, whether the meter man has a key,”  Horine said.

Smart meter advantages

Duke says smart meters not only eliminate the need for that annoying monthly reading (if the meter is inside the house), but give homeowners more options.

Robert Ries of Duke Energy said “you can pick your own due date, there are usage alerts, things along those lines, and customers will be able to check their usage on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.”

In Ohio, most Duke customers received smart meters three or four years ago.  Duke completed its Southwest Ohio rollout in 2015.

Now, it’s finally Kentucky’s turn to have old analog electric and gas meters replaced. But anytime there’s change, some folks are always concerned.

But some people don’t want them

Some Northern Kentuckians — like homeowner Phyllis Palluci — are not so sure they want radio controlled meters in their house.

“No,” she said. “I’m sorry but I trust people more than I trust electronic gadgets.”

Others worry about electromagnetic radiation, and possible adverse health effects. (However, supporters of smart meters say that the cell phone in your pocket hits you with much more radiation, as does the WiFi router in your family room)

So Duke will now allow you to refuse a smart meter if you want to keep your old analog meter. Until last year you could not refuse the changeover, but Ohio and Kentucky rule makers have now made opting out an option.

Opting out

But “opting out” won’t be cheap. Expect to pay:

  • A one time replacement fee of $100
  • A $30 a month meter reading fee if you live in Ohio.
  • A $25 a month meter reading fee if you live in Kentucky.

(You must pay the monthly meter reading fee even if you read it yourself, or get an estimated bill)

But the majority of homeowners, like Bob Horine, says new technology is fine with them.

“It will be a good thing, to be able to do it remotely,” he said

That way you don’t waste your money.



Russia-linked hackers are infiltrating the US power grid: report

Russia-linked hackers are infiltrating the US power grid: report

Their unprecedented penetration could spell chaos.

Getty Images

Hackers linked to the Russian government have broken into energy companies supplying electricity to America’s power grid — and potentially now have the ability to to cause major blackouts in the US.

Researchers at the American cybersecurity firm Symantec published a report on Wednesday that detailed how the group of hackers has waged a cyber espionage campaign that has broken into dozens of energy firms in the US, as well as in Turkey and Switzerland. The attacks date back to 2015, but the pace accelerated this spring.

“This is the first time we’ve seen this scale, this aggressiveness, and this level of penetration in the US, for sure,” Eric Chien, technical director of Symantec’s Security Technology & Response Division, told BuzzFeed News.

The hackers have tapped into the key operational networks of these energy companies, meaning that they could potentially control parts of the power grids that they supply. Those power grids provide electricity for millions of people.

Symantec said it believed that the hacking group was state-sponsored but didn’t specify which country it could be.

Yet we have a big clue: Symantec says that the group carrying out the attacks is Dragonfly — a hacking group which many cybersecurity firms like CrowdStrike believe to have ties to the Russian government. Dragonfly has carried out cyberattacks on the energy sector in various countries since 2011, but its operations seem to be picking up the pace after a dormant period a few years ago.

Text string in the code of their hacks appears in both Russian and French, but the presence of either language could technically just be intended to cloak the true identity of the hackers.

Department of Homeland Security spokesperson Scott McConnell told Vox that “DHS is aware of the report and is reviewing it. At this time there is no indication of a threat to public safety.”

Why the hacking campaign’s access is so dangerous

Foreign hackers have attempted to break into US energy companies that support the US power grid before. But Symantec says that no hacking group has gone quite this far — and it means that the power grid is more vulnerable than it’s ever been before.

“What’s most concerning is we now see them intruding on operational networks of energy companies,” Chien told Ars Technica’s Dan Goodin. “Before, we were talking about them being one step away, and what we see now is that they are potentially in those networks and are zero steps away. There are no more technical hurdles for them to jump over.”

As Goodin notes, the hackers’ access to and control of US energy companies’ operational networks means that hackers could remotely control their equipment, like circuit breakers.

In fact, hackers could potentially coordinate a shutdown of multiple energy suppliers plugged into the same power grid and cause millions of people to lose electricity. Any adversary of the US would undoubtedly consider that a potent weapon for use in some kind of war or terrorist attack.

Hackers have caused substantial power outages before. Cyberattacks on Ukraine’s power system in December 2015 cut off electricity for over 200,000 people outside Kiev for several hours.


Safety calls for removing wireless technology from schools

Safety calls for removing wireless technology from schools

  • By Catherine Kleiber | local guest columnist
  • Aug 31, 2017
Use of cellphones and other wireless devices is now so pervasive that it’s impossible to avoid exposure to RF radiation. But researchers are continuing to find that such exposure has detrimental effects on health.

BEBETO MATTHEWS — Associated Press

Wireless technology must be removed from schools, libraries, and other public buildings because it is carcinogenic, is an endocrine disrupter, and causes other detrimental biological effects.

Wireless technology — used by cellphones and other devices — works by sending messages encoded in radiofrequency (RF) radiation, often in the microwave range. For instance, Wi-Fi operates at the same frequency as microwave ovens.

The Federal Communications Commission based its safety standard for RF exposure on the amount of tissue heating, but evidence shows that tissue heating is not the only mechanism by which RF radiation can cause harm.

The Department of the Interior has called the FCC limits “nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.” The Environmental Protection Agency stated that the FCC limits “are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, nonthermal exposure situations.” The EPA also said, “The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.”

Exposure to RF radiation from wireless technology is now universal because society today has made this exposure unavoidable. This is a serious problem because researchers continue to find exposure to RF radiation causes detrimental biological effects at levels far below the FCC limits.

Most people are unaware that carrying a cellphone in a pocket or holding it against your head is not an FCC-approved use.

“The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored,” Dr. Anthony Miller, an expert cancer researcher, said July 31 at an event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sponsored by the Environmental Health Trust where international experts presented the best available science on cellphone and wireless radiation. Miller, who was a senior epidemiologist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer when it evaluated the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation in 2011, is one of the experts now calling for reclassification of the radiation emitted by wireless technology from Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) to Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans).

The U.S. National Toxicology Program released results last yearshowing that exposure to nonthermal levels of RF radiation emitted by wireless technology causes cancer and DNA breakage. According to Miller, the study provides the final piece of evidence needed to classify cellphone and wireless radiation as a human carcinogen.

Cancer is only one of the possible deleterious outcomes of exposure to RF radiation from wireless technology. Studies show that such radiation is an endocrine disrupter and can affect cardiac function, increasing the risk of cardiac arrest.

Contrary to industry assertions, studies have identified mechanisms by which RF radiation can have serious biological effects at levels far below the outdated FCC limits. These mechanisms also explain why some people can experience immediate adverse cardiac and neurological effects upon exposure to RF radiation.



URGENT! If you live in California, see below for urgent action to take to stop SB649.

 Josh Hart via ActionNetwork.org info@stopsmartmeters.orgHide

If you live in California, see below for urgent action to take to stop SB649.

If you live outside California, please pass this message on to CA residents for immediate action.

Proposed bill SB 649 will allow the wireless industry to install large, noisy and hazardous cell tower equipment on all utility poles and street lights in every neighborhood throughout the State – with NO public input! These could start showing up soon right outside YOUR home or your child’s school – unless you take action NOW to call your elected representative and tell them to VOTE NO on SB 649.
In spite of the opposition from almost 300 cities in the State and many environmental and social justice organizations…..it appears as if this bill is about to pass the vote in the full Assembly (which could happen as early as Wed or Thurs of this week).
Please CALL your State Assembly member and tell him/ her to Vote NO on SB 649!
1. email (from their website) your Assembly member to oppose SB 649, and

2. find the phone number for the Assembly member’s DISTRICT office on the member’s website and make a call to the district office to urge your Assembly member to Vote NO on SB 649. 
Here is a good website with more information:
See also this fact sheet “8 Reasons to Vote No on SB 649” published by the CA Alliance for Safer Technology.

Thank you for taking action to show that California will not be irradiated without resistance.

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The Strange Connection Between Vision Loss and Alzheimer’s

…..it seems clear that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can play a significant role in dementia and that as a society, we need to take this very seriously.


The Strange Connection Between Vision Loss and Alzheimer’s

September 04, 2017

Story at-a-glance

  • Loss of vision is associated with a higher risk for certain subtypes of Alzheimer’s; having distance vision worse than 20/40 is associated with a nearly threefold higher risk of cognitive impairment
  • Amyloid beta protein plays an important role in both vision loss and Alzheimer’s, and studies suggest noninvasive ocular testing may help with early Alzheimer’s diagnosis
  • Microwaves emitted from wireless devices trigger a chemical cascade that significantly raises your risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s

By Dr. Mercola

Alzheimer’s disease, a severe form of dementia, affects an estimated 5.2 million Americans;1 200,000 of which are under the age of 65. According to recent data, Alzheimer’s disease kills more than half a million Americans per year,2 making Alzheimer’s the third leading killer in the U.S., right behind heart disease and cancer.

Since there’s no conventional cure, it’s really important to take prevention seriously. There are also few if any successful medical treatments available once Alzheimer’s sets in. For example, memantine (sold under the brand name Namenda) is approved for moderate to severe cases of Alzheimer’s, but doctors also prescribe it off-label for mild cases. Unfortunately, the drug has been found to be practically useless for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s.3

Other go-to drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s include cholinesterase inhibitor drugs such as Aricept, Exelon and Reminyl. These too may do more harm than good as they provoke slower heart rates, significantly increasing your chances of getting a permanent pacemaker. They also raise your risk of hip fracture.

Surprising Link Between Vision Loss and Alzheimer’s

Interestingly, recent research4 shows loss of vision is associated with a higher risk for certain subtypes of Alzheimer’s. As reported by Reuters:5

“Based on data from two large studies of older Americans … [t]he research team found that having distance vision worse than 20/40 and even the perception of having bothersome vision problems were associated with almost threefold higher odds of cognitive impairment.

Near-vision problems were less associated with higher odds of dementia or cognitive impairment … Regular vision screening of older Americans could help to catch people at greater risk of cognitive problems and dementia, the study team writes …”

This isn’t the first time this link has been made. Two papers6,7 published last year also concluded that ocular changes could be used as biomarkers for Alzheimer’s, suggesting noninvasive retinal imaging and visual testing could help with earlier diagnosis. In the first of these papers, the authors present a hypothesis for the link between declining vision and dementia:

“Alzheimer’s disease … has multiple cognitive subtypes. These are usually broken down into memory, language, executive, attention and visuospatial functioning. The variant of AD in which visual symptoms are prominent due to the localized pathology in the parieto-occipital region is often referred to as visual variant Alzheimer’s disease …

The interconnection between eye and brain suggests that it is reasonable to look for ocular manifestations of neurodegenerative disease and regard the eye as an extension of the [central nervous system] CNS. In embryological development, the eyes and brain have a similar origin. The eyes are formed from the anterior neural tube, an area that later gives rise to the forebrain.

Ocular development occurs through specification of the eye field post-neural induction. This process involves specific transcription factors that are also conserved in brain development. One such factor, a ‘master regulator’ gene of the development of the eye field, Pax6, plays an essential role in neural development. When expressed ectopically, Pax6 can induce ocular formation in other parts of the body, whereas its impairment or knockout disrupts neurogenesis in the cortex.”

The Role of Amyloid Beta in Vision Loss and Dementia

Amyloid beta also plays an important role in both conditions. One of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease is the buildup of amyloid beta protein in the brain. The subsequent formation of brain plaque leads to progressive decline in cognitive and social functioning. Research has also linked amyloid beta deposition to neurodegeneration in the retina.8

For example, amyloid beta has been found in retinal drusen9 (yellow-colored fatty protein deposits beneath the retina) and is a hallmark of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the most common cause of blindness among the elderly. As noted in a 2015 study:10“Multiple studies now link amyloid beta with key stages of AMD progression, which is both exciting and potentially insightful, as this identifies a well-established toxic agent that aggressively targets cells in degenerative brains.”

Peripheral drusen has also been linked to a higher risk for Alzheimer’s.11 In short, researchers suggest that by analyzing the presence of amyloid in the eye, one may be able to predict amyloid buildup in the brain with a fair degree of accuracy. As noted in the second paper published last year:12

“Kerbage et al. suggested using a florescent amyloid binding ligand in order to maximize the chances of detecting Aβ [amyloid beta] in the lens.

By compounding the ligand substance (aftobetin hydrochloride) into a sterile ophthalmic ointment suitable for topical application; in combination with an in vivo pulsed laser fluorescent spectroscopy in a group of 20 AD [Alzheimer’s disease] and 20 healthy controls the authors were able to detect supranuclear amyloid in the lens of most AD patients with a sensitivity of 85 percent and specificity of 95 percent …

The authors found a correlation between fluorescence uptake values in the lens with amyloid burden in the brain detected quantified using PET.”

Zinc and Antioxidants Help Protect Against Vision Loss and Alzheimer’s

Health conditions that have similar or identical causes can typically benefit from identical treatments. When it comes to vision loss and dementia, both are heavily influenced by nutrition. Zinc, in particular, appears to be a very important component. Previous research13suggests abnormal zinc mobilization in cells plays a role in the development of Alzheimer’s. According to this study:

“Zinc, copper and iron have recently been reported to be concentrated to 0.5 to 1 mmol/L in amyloid plaque. In vitro, rapid Abeta [amyloid beta] aggregation is mediated by [zinc],14 promoted by the alpha-helical structure of Abeta, and is reversible with chelation. In addition, Abeta produces hydrogen peroxide in a [copper/iron]-dependent manner, and the hydrogen peroxide formation is quenched by [zinc]. Moreover, zinc preserves the nontoxic properties of Abeta.15

Although the zinc-binding proteins apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele and alpha(2)-macroglobulin have been characterized as two genetic risk factors for AD, zinc exposure as a risk factor for AD has not been rigorously studied. Based on our findings, we envisage that zinc may serve twin roles by both initiating amyloid deposition and then being involved in mechanisms attempting to quench oxidative stress and neurotoxicity derived from the amyloid mass.”

Studies have also shown that supplementation with antioxidants plus zinc and copper helps slow the progression of the wet version of AMD.16 The study in question looked at two different antioxidant formulations. The first contained vitamins C and E, beta carotene. The second contained lutein and zeaxanthin in lieu of beta carotene. Both were effective against early-stage AMD.

Antioxidants have also been investigated for the prevention and/or treatment of Alzheimer’s. One such study,17 published earlier this year, found that cryptocapsin, cryptocapsin-5,6-epoxide (a carotenoid found in ripe red mamey18) and zeaxanthin effectively inhibited the aggregation of amyloid beta. According to the authors, “Our studies provided evidence that cryptocapsin, cryptocapsin-5,6-epoxide and zeaxanthin have anti-amyloidogenic potential and could be used for prevention and treatment of AD.”

The Role of Iron in Alzheimer’s

Iron also plays a role in Alzheimer’s, but in this case, excessive iron is the problem. As explained in an article published by the University of Melbourne,19 “Iron has a special property that allows it to exchange electrons, which is crucial in allowing our bodies to generate energy from oxygen and fuels such as sugars. But it can also damage neurons in the same way that iron metal rusts in the presence of oxygen.”

Using magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers measured iron levels in the brain, finding that people who had high levels of both iron and amyloid experienced a rapid decline in cognition over the course of six years. Memory loss was particularly pronounced when the iron buildup was located in the hippocampus, which controls short-term memory. Similarly, when the iron was primarily located in the temporal and front lobes — associated with language processing — language skills rapidly declined.

Those with high levels of amyloid but low levels of iron, on the other hand, remained stable. Interestingly, the amount of iron found in the brain does not clearly correlate with the amount of iron a person ingests or the level found in blood. Hence, serum level of iron cannot be used as an indicator of Alzheimer’s risk.

That said, I’ve often stressed that high iron is a significant risk factor for chronic disease, and recommend getting your iron tested annually to make sure it’s not too high. People with hemochromatosis, a genetic disease that results in chronically elevated iron, also appear to be at increased risk for Alzheimer’s, according to some research.20 So, the link between iron and dementia is definitely worth considering.

Ideally, your serum ferritin should be somewhere between 20 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), certainly no higher than that. As a general rule, somewhere between 40 and 60 ng/mL is the sweet spot for adult men and non-menstruating women.

Here, antioxidants may again be helpful. For example, astaxanthin has been shown to upregulate heme oxygenase-1 expression (a protein produced in response to stress, including oxidative stress), thereby protecting against beta-amyloid-induced cytotoxicity and inhibiting amyloid beta-mediated production of harmful ROS.21 Previous research has also shown astaxanthin helps improve cognitive function in seniors complaining of age-related forgetfulness.

Astaxanthin — A Potent Brain Food That May Protect Against Dementia

This natural pigment, a cousin of beta-carotene (albeit a far more powerful one) has also been found to reduce the accumulation of phospholipid hydroperoxidases, better known as PLOOH — compounds known to accumulate in the red blood cells of people who suffer from dementia22 — and some scientists believe astaxanthin could help prevent dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

As a fat-soluble nutrient, astaxanthin readily crosses your blood-brain barrier. One study23 found it may help prevent neurodegeneration associated with oxidative stress, as well as make a potent natural “brain food.” According to yet another article in the Alternative Medicine Review:24

“Astaxanthin improved cognition in a small clinical trial and boosted proliferation and differentiation of cultured nerve stem cells … Astaxanthin’s clinical success extends beyond protection against oxidative stress and inflammation, to demonstrable promise for slowing age-related functional decline.”

The human diet does not contain very high amounts of astaxanthin, unless you eat loads of microalgae and sea creatures that consume the algae (such as salmon, shellfish, red trout and krill).

The typical dose of astaxanthin when taken in supplement form is 2 to 4 milligrams (mg), but emerging evidence suggests you may need a lot more, depending on your health status. Dr. Robert Corish, author of “A Guide to Men’s Health: Easy Tips for a L


Last year, Dr. Martin Pall published a review25 in the Journal of Neuroanatomy showing how microwave radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi routers and computers and tablets not in airplane mode is clearly associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders, including Alzheimer’s. My interview with him was published yesterday.

What Pall discovered is that microwaves emitted from devices such as these increase intracellular calcium through voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs), and the tissue with the highest density of VGCCs is your brain. Once these VGCCs are stimulated they trigger the release of neurotransmitters, neuroendocrine hormones and highly damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS), significantly raising your risk for anxiety and depression and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and brain cancer.

Based on this mechanism, it seems clear that chronic exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) can play a significant role in dementia and that as a society, we need to take this very seriously. On a personal level, be sure to limit your exposure to wireless technology. Simple measures include turning your Wi-Fi off at night, not carrying your cellphone on your body and not keeping portable phones, cellphones and other electric devices in your bedroom.



PA-Woman worried about health effects of new smart meters


Woman worried about health effects of new smart meters

Smart meters are coming to homes across the Susquehanna Valley. But one woman says she doesn’t want one at her house because she’s worried about the effect it will have on her health. Brian Roche looks into her concerns. Watch his investigative report above.

Note: The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies radio frequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” It still isn’t clear if there is any risk from living in a home with a smart meter.

According to the Public Utility Commission, about half of the 5.7 million meters have already been installed throughout Pennsylvania.

Get consumer updates from Brian Roche on Facebook. LIKE his page 




 AUGUST 17, 2017 11:40

While Twenge writes mainly about teenagers, a survey by Common Sense Media found that it’s not teens spending the most time in front of screens – it’s their parents.

Smartphone.. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Israeli rocker Shalom Hanoch was at his best. Performing in an intimate concert at the state-ofthe- art theater at the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel in Zichron Ya’acov, Hanoch crooned for over two hours, reinterpreting 50 years of hits on acoustic guitar with just Moshe Levi on piano accompanying him.

At 71 years old, Hanoch is a bundle of white-haired, lean-bodied energy. The audience, who’d paid top shekel, should have been sitting, clapping or dancing in appreciative reverence. Instead, the darkened concert space was awash in a sea of light.

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People were on their phones. In the row in front of me I could see one person checking her email, another WhatsApping with his kids, a third flipping through Facebook and reading the latest news on the Bibi bribery crisis.

The man to my left gripped his phone ferociously throughout the concert. He checked his screen every few seconds to see if he’d received a new message, and seemed compelled to respond to messages immediately.

As Hanoch sang his heart out on stage about love and longing, audience members were receiving their dopamine hits not from the passionate melodies of Israel’s “King of Rock,” but from the banal notifications they were unable to banish on their smartphones.

And it drives me nuts.

“They’re being rude to the performer,” I seethe. “That’s not how an audience should behave!”

But I’m also aware of how much I’m being triggered by the pull I feel to check my own phone. I’m embarrassed by the addiction that I’ve developed with my device.

And it is an addiction. Think otherwise? Ask yourself this: When was the last time you went to the bathroom and didn’t pull out your phone to check your messages while you’re doing your business? I know I can’t.

Jean M. Twenge is a professor of psychology at San Diego State University who studies these public displays of over-texting. Her latest book focuses on teens; it’s called iGen: Why Today’s Super- Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood – and What That Means for the Rest of Us.

Twenge describes this “iGen” as young people who came of age in the late 2000s at the exact moment when the percentage of Americans who owned a smartphone surpassed 50%.

Smartphones have made young people more comfortable in their bedrooms – where they can chat for hours on their phones – than at a party or in their cars (shudder the Baby Boomers), Twenge writes in the September issue of The Atlantic.

Ironically, that has made today’s young people safer than ever before – they are less likely to get into a car accident, and have less of a taste for alcohol, than their predecessors, she points out.

But the rates of depression and suicide in the iGen have skyrocketed, Twenge explains. “There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands… are making them seriously unhappy.”

That’s not a radically new insight. But the data Twenge presents are shocking.

“Only about 56% of high-school seniors in 2015 went out on dates. For Boomers and GenXers, the number was about 85%,” Twenge writes. Eighth-graders who spend six to nine hours a week on social media are 47% more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to Facebook.

Moreover, heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27%, and teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely to have a risk factor for suicide.

Twenge admits that other factors could be at play. “But the smartphone, its blue light glowing in the dark, is likely playing a nefarious role.”

While Twenge writes mainly about teenagers, a survey by Common Sense Media found that it’s not teens spending the most time in front of screens – it’s their parents.

It seems likely. I see the same trends Twenge points out for the iGen happening with friends my age. And I’ve felt more isolated, lonely and depressed since an iPhone became my new best friend.

That scares me. But the impact for our kids is that much greater.

Twenge says she realizes “that restricting technology might be an unrealistic demand to impose on a generation of kids so accustomed to being wired at all times.”

Instead, she preaches the benefits of moderation. “Some mild boundary-setting could keep kids [and their parents] from falling into harmful habits,” she writes.

Given that “significant effects on mental health” appear after just “two or more hours a day on electronic devices,” says Twenge, that’s sage counsel.

In a Jewish context, that’s why Shabbat and holiday meals, with no screens allowed, remain so important in our household (even if we’re checking in the bathroom). Same with not using cellphones in synagogue – not a universal idea by any means, but a good one.

MIT professor Sherry Turkle agrees with Twenge. Turkle is another researcher with a book about how social media is rewiring our brains (2011’s Alone Together).

“We did the sacred space thing,” Turkle told USA Today. “No computers or phones in the kitchen, at the dining table, or in the car. Those are the places I think where you create family space.”

We may not be able to resist the buzz in our pockets and purses entirely, but proactively practicing some purposeful restraint may allow us to be more present in our day-to-day family interactions – or the next time Shalom Hanoch performs in concert.

The writer’s new book, Totaled: The Billion-Dollar Crash of the Startup that Took on Big Auto, Big Oil, and the World, will be published in September. http://www.brianblum.com

Massachusetts EMF Bills

Massachusetts EMF Bills

The following two documents provide background information for our public servants, journalists and the public on the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of radiation emitted by all of today’s wireless technology:


In January 2017, Massachusetts introduced five bills to address wireless radiation and public health.

    • S.1268 Resolve creating a special commission to examine the health impacts of electromagnetic fields will look at non-industry-funded science and recommend public protections. Sponsored by Senator Karen E. Spilka and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health. This bill may come up for public hearing in December 2017. Click here for updates.

S.1864 An Act relative to utilities, smart meters, and ratepayers’ rights gives utility customers the no-fee choice of retaining non-wireless radiation-emitting water, gas and electrical meters and refusing installation of “smart” utility meters. Sponsored by Senator Michael O. Moore and referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy. This bill is scheduled for public hearing on June 20, 2017, 1-5 p.m., Gardner Auditorium, Massachusetts State House (3-minute limit per speaker). Click here for a S.1864 written testimony submission template, including recipient list.

    • S.107 An Act relative to disclosure of radiofrequency notifications requires manufacturer warnings be prominently displayed on product packaging of wireless radiation-emitting devices. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional LicensureThis bill is tentatively scheduled for public hearing on September 26, 2017. Click here for updates.

S.108 An Act relative to the safe use of handheld devices by children requires specific language be included on product packaging, as modeled by an ordinance unanimously passed in Berkeley, California. Sponsored by Senator Julian Cyr and referred to the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure. This bill is scheduled for public hearing on June 20, 2017, 1-4 p.m., Room A-1, Massachusetts State House (3-minute limit per speaker). Click here for a S.108 written testimony submission template, including recipient list.

  • H.2030 An Act relative to best management practices for wireless in schools and public institutions of higher education requires the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish wireless technology standards to protect the health and safety of public school students and staff. Sponsored by Representative Carolyn C. Dykema and referred to the Joint Committee on Education. This bill is scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 10 a.m., Massachusetts State House, room TBA (3-minute limit per speaker). Click here for a written testimony submission template, including recipient email list.

    • Please note, Maryland has a similar bill in their legislature this session too, House Bill 866: AN ACT concerning Primary and Secondary Education – Health and Safety Guidelines and Procedures – Digital Devices.

    • The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is the first state agency in the United States to issue a report on Wi-Fi in Schools, and recommends using hard-wired internet connections over wireless:
In April 2017, Senator Donald F. Humason, Jr., introduced two additional bills written by a constituent:
  • S.2079 An Act reducing non-ionizing radiation exposure in schools. Referred to the Joint Committee on EducationThis bill is scheduled for public hearing on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 10 a.m., Massachusetts State House, room TBA (3-minute limit per speaker). Click here for a written testimony submission template, including recipient email list.

  • S.2080 An Act increasing medical awareness and insurance coverage of non-ionizing radiation injury and reliance upon credible independent medical research. Referred to the Joint Committee on Financial Services.

Note: The information provided here is publicly available on the Internet. 
It is intended to provide a starting point to inform you of EMF dangers. 
Please do your own research, draw your own conclusions, and act accordingly to protect those you love and serve.

Anti-smart-meter group gathers as Ann Arbor resident prepares to have power cut

Posted on August 14, 2017 5:10 PM | Updated August 14, 2017 10:05 PM

Linda Kurtz holds a lock she had installed on her meter. Dozens of people gathered to protest the potential shut off of power to Ann Arbor resident Linda Kurtz’s home on Monday, August 14, 2017. DTE has plans to shut off her power because Kurtz has refused installation of a smart meter. Melanie Maxwell | The Ann Arbor News
Read full article:  http://www.mlive.com/news/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2017/08/dte_energy_shutting_off_power.html
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