The Importance of Avoiding Nighttime EMF

    • 02 NOV 17

    The Importance of Avoiding Nighttime EMF

    Excerpt from the Dr. Mercola website. Even though this is primarily about powerfrequency magnetic fields, sleep disruption is also now being widely reported by people who have had an active RF transmitting smart meter placed in close proximity to their bedroom. However, to date, absolutely no research has been done on sleep disruption and smart meter RF exposure.  It is a disgrace that In Australia the research $$$$ focus of ACEBR and recommended by ARPANSA is trying to show that EHS is just a nocebo effect unrelated to exposure. More on this to come.



    The Importance of Avoiding Nighttime EMF

    Another factor that can have a significant impact on your sleep quality and health is EMF exposure. This is true regardless of the time of your exposure, but it’s particularly problematic at night. There’s evidence showing EMF exposure reduces melatonin production,17 making it really important to eliminate EMFs in your bedroom. One of the easiest ways to do this is to pull the circuit breaker to your bedroom before going to bed.

    Also remember that melatonin not only regulates your sleep-waking cycle; it’s also a powerful antioxidant, and low levels have been repeatedly linked to an increased risk of cancer. As noted in one 2014 review:18

    “The melatonin secretion by the pineal gland is generally regarded as particularly sensitive to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic field influences. The effects of these fields on pineal activity have been analyzed in epidemiological studies and experimental investigations carried out using different in vivo and in vitro models.

    The epidemiological studies provided interesting and very important data on the influence of electromagnetic fields on melatonin and its metabolite — 6-sulfatoxymelatonin — in humans. Many of these investigations concerned the effects of an extremely low frequency magnetic field (ELF-MF), which is generated by outdoor high- and medium-voltage electricity power lines, indoor electrical power supply, and electrical appliances …

    Davis et al. suggested that domestic exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field decreased pineal activity in women, primarily those using medications. The level of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion was lower in infants kept in incubators and rose when they were moved to a place free from electrical devices.

    The analysis performed by Juutilainen and Kumlin suggests that exposure to a magnetic field with a frequency of 50 Hz may enhance the effects of night-time light exposure on melatonin production …”



    Desynchronization of Body Clocks Is an Underlying Factor of Chronic Disease

    While the master clock in your brain synchronizes your bodily functions to match the 24-hour light and dark cycle, each and every organ, indeed each cell, has its own biological clock. That’s a lot of clocks! As mentioned in this NPR interview with Fred Turek, a circadian scientist at Northwestern University, this was a rather stunning discovery. Even half of your genes have been shown to be under circadian control, turning on and off in cyclical waves.

    Turek suggests a good way of thinking about all of these body clocks is to envision each organ clock as an instrument in an orchestra. All of them, while having slightly different rhythms, are synchronized to the master clock — the conductor in this analogy — in your brain. When these clocks become desynchronized, health problems ensue. Take the example of a shift worker: His brain is telling him that, since it’s nighttime, he should not be eating.  SNIP



Smart meters: Presentations this month will outline stances by SMOG, Jefferson PUD

Smart meters: Presentations this month will outline stances by SMOG, Jefferson PUD

PORT TOWNSEND — While some say that new electrical meters the Jefferson County Public Utility District plans to install for customers next year are potential health hazards, PUD officials say they are safe and represent an upgrade that will save money and reduce the utility’s carbon footprint.

Both groups will outline their thinking later this month.

The Smart Meter Objectors Group (SMOG) called for a moratorium on the new meters, citing a potential of health risks, fire danger and vulnerability to hacking.

“Most people we’ve spoken to don’t know what a smart meter is,” group member Ana Wolpin said. “They haven’t heard of the rollout. It’s been under the radar.”

In a press release dated Oct. 11, SMOG said the new meters, touted by the PUD as part of its plan to modernize infrastructure, could lead to problems ranging from higher utility bills to headaches and dizziness.

Noting that other communities, including Port Angeles in 2013, have elected not to use smart meters, SMOG also raises the possibility of the devices serving as a conduit for invasions of privacy.

According to the release, “Smart meters have the ability to communicate with all ‘smart’ appliances, transmit data that shows if you are home, how and when you use power, and allow two-way communication that can remotely control your energy use. The data collected is being sold to third parties.”

PUD communications manager Will O’Donnell prefers to call the new devices “advanced” meters and said many of the concerns voiced by SMOG have no basis.

“There is no electric danger,” he said.

The advanced meters would not be inside customers’ houses, would give the PUD no personal information about customers and would not communicate with any home appliances, O’Donnell said.

“These don’t work that way,” he said. “Our meter only transmits the usage data that’s collected out to us.”

SMOG will present a free screening of the 2013 anti-smart meter documentary “Take Back Your Power” at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St. An open discussion will take place after the film.

O’Donnell said the PUD will hold a “special meeting for the purpose of discussing new meter installation” at 5 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Chimacum Fire Hall, 9193 Rhody Drive in Chimacum. Members of the public are invited to participate.

SMOG members voiced their concerns at the Sept. 5 meeting of the PUD commissioners, but they said they think the utility needs to communicate more with the public.

“We are engaged with them to the degree that they’ll participate,” Wolpin said.

While praising PUD Board President Ken Collins for his efforts to respond to SMOG, Wolpin said most of the group’s questions have gone unanswered.

“There’s been hardly any outreach by the PUD,” SMOG member Sebastian Eggert said. “One would think the PUD would want to know what their constituents would be interested in.”

Eggert said different PUD officials have given out conflicting information about the new meter installation, and he worries the company is not prepared to make a good decision about what equipment to buy.

In a March interview with the Peninsula Daily News, then-PUD General Manager Jim Parker said installation of the new devices would begin by the end of this year. He expected it to take about four years to replace the company’s 16,000 meters.

That installation is now set to begin in January, according to O’Donnell, following a decision by the PUD to begin buying the new meters in December.

Echoing Parker’s earlier statements, O’Donnell noted the new equipment’s advantages and the need to replace the current “hodgepodge system of analog and digital meters” in various conditions that the PUD inherited from its predecessor company in 2013.

He said the old meters come with a contract with Landis and Gyr Meters that costs the PUD more than $300,000 per year for data collection. He said many water meters in Jefferson County work the same way and the company would love to be free of the expense.

O’Donnell said that besides saving that money outright, the advanced meters’ communication ability would allow the utility to quickly identify and fix outages, without a call from the customer. Also, the PUD would reduce its carbon footprint because no one would have to drive around the service area to collect data.

Collins said the board will use the Oct. 30 meeting to explain their reasons for getting new meters and hear customers’ concerns. He acknowledged the potential exists for halting installation if a large enough proportion of customers want that.

But in any case, the PUD will offer a cost-based opt-out alternative for customers still not comfortable with the advanced meters, Collins said.

“It would not be punitive,” he said. “We would charge them what it costs [for us] to put in the extra effort.”


Drew Herman can be reached at or 360-452-2345.


Woman says DTE shut off power because she won’t get smart meter

Woman says DTE shut off power because she won’t get smart meter

POSTED: OCT 30 2017 05:57PM EDT


 – A Ferndale woman says DTE Energy shut off her electricity, even though her bills were paid in full.

The problem she says, is that she didn’t want the utility to install a smart meter at her home.

“Basically you are being blackmailed,” said Kay Watson. “(They are saying) you either take it or we cut power.”

Kay Watson is outraged, she says she paid her bill, but DTE disconnected her service on Sunday over her refusal to get a smart meter.

“The guy was here at the door telling me they’re going to put in a smart meter and I said no,” she said. “He said you’re refusing? And I said yeah, so he said we’re cutting your power.”

Watson says she has a major concern about the smart meters: “They’re proven to have radiation that’s affecting our bodies,” she said. “We know radiation is not safe.”

But DTE says that claim is unfounded. The company maintains radio frequency exposure from a smart meter is far below other common electric devices, including TV remotes.

DTE also says old analog meters use obsolete technology that is no longer supported and must be changed out. Watson says until this issue is resolved, she’s turned to another source to power home – a generator.

DTE says it contacts customers on several occasions before it takes action. But Watson considers the action a violation

“I consider it a threat to all of our freedoms,” she said.

The utility company says it has has installed more than three million smart meters since 2008 and plans to install the remaining electric smart meters this year.

DTE says Watson called Monday asking for a smart meter in order to get her power turned back on.

But Watson says she never requested that and only wants the “opt out.” A program which allows a few customers who have concerns to have a smart meter installed with a digital signal turned off.

DTE says at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon a crew went out to Watson’s home and provided her with the opt-out option, and her power has since been restored.

DTE says customers who choose to opt out will be charged a one time fee and $9.80 per month for meter readings and related services.

PUD backs off on smart meters

PUD backs off on smart meters

  • Kirk Boxleitner
PUD smart meter
Karen Sturnick adds her voice to the chorus against the Jefferson County Public Utility District decision to switch over to smart meters during a public meeting Oct. 30. Photo by Kirk Boxleitner

The Jefferson County Public Utility District (PUD) has put the brakes on plans to switch to “smart” meters, after more than 25 members of the public offered their input, which was overwhelmingly against the new meters.

“This has been an education for me,” said Kenneth Collins, PUD Commission president, after fellow commissioners Jeff Randall and Wayne King had already weighed in following an informational meeting at the Chimacum fire station Oct. 30.

Collins, sitting at the center of the table, described himself as “both literally and figuratively” between the positions of Randall and King.

Randall opened the commissioners’ responses to the public by suggesting the PUD not commit to its proposed contract with Itron, a meter manufacturer based in Liberty Lake, until it has obtained more information.

“From what I’m hearing, the people of this district are happy that we’re a utility and want their power consumption measured as reliably as possible, but they don’t really want this utility to collect additional data,” Randall said. “We should keep things as simple as possible.”

King followed up on Randall’s remarks by refuting the accuracy of the “Take Back Your Power” documentary, which focuses on allegations of hazards supposedly presented by smart meters. The film was shown at the Port Townsend Community Center Oct. 25.

“There were claims in there [the film] that were absolutely a lie, designed to get people excited,” said King, who also objected to accusations that the PUD had “blindsided” the public with its smart meter plans. “We started talking about it in 2013. We put out an agenda every month.”

While Collins echoed some of King’s concerns with “Take Back Your Power,” as well as King’s warnings of the expenses that would be incurred for personnel to read the analog meters called for by the public commenters, Collins also suggested that meters could be read through power lines by extending the county’s fiber-optic cable coverage.

“This hits close to home for me, as a resident of Marrowstone County,” Collins quipped, referencing Marrowstone Island’s relative isolation, “which has abominable cell phone service.”

Given that PUD attorney Richard Hughes had confirmed that the PUD has not yet contracted with Itron, Collins recommended the PUD “step back for a number of months,” not only in response to the expressed concerns of its customers, but also to allow for the possibility of funding for fiber optics in the county.


The commissioners’ remarks came after a contentious public comment period, which was punctuated by outbreaks of applause in spite of Collins’ admonitions to refrain, and which began with wrangling over how much time each speaker should be allotted.

A sign-wielding Karen Sturnick, by her own admission, reiterated the remarks of her fellow public speakers for the most part, but in accordance with her neon sign reading, “Where’s the ‘Public’ in P.U.D.?” she views the act of adding her voice to theirs as vital in its own right.

“My voice is just as important, even if I’m saying the same thing,” Sturnick said. “And my biggest issue is the lack of transparency in this process. It feels like the train has already left the station, and that needs to be said again.”

Dorn Campbell, the first member of the public to speak that evening, set the template for many of the speakers who followed, first by pointing out that he’d cast his ballot to create a public utility district in 2008, and then by criticizing the PUD for moving to adopt smart meters when so much controversy exists over their potential impacts on customer security, human health and the environment.

Despite assurances from PUD Assistant General Manager Kevin Streett and members of the PUD Citizen Advisory Board (CAB) that the only data transmitted by the smart meters would be serial numbers and usage levels, and that even those would be encrypted, Campbell warned against the potential for further surveillance, which he feared could be sent to third parties.

Likewise, even after CAB member Peter Lauritzen had cited statistics showing that the magnetic and electrical fields generated by the smart meters are a fraction of what current safety standards allow, Campbell compared the “anecdotal evidence” of health and environmental risks allegedly posed by the smart meters to the early evidence that smoking causes cancer, which was initially refuted by more authoritative sources.

“I voted for the PUD to take local control over our energy,” Campbell said. “With the lack of consensus that exists here, you should be responsive to your customers’ concerns.”


Rosemary Sykes, who also said she voted for the PUD in 2008, was the first to object to what she and several others identified as the relatively short lifespan of the smart meters – from five to seven years – with Ana Wolpin following on these concerns by estimating that the meters’ physical lifespan – from nine to 10 years – would outlast that of the software inside those smart meters.

“Under the present system, our meters have life-spans of more than 40 years,” Wolpin said, suggesting that, instead of spending the $3 million that the PUD was requesting to convert to smart meters over the course of three years, it could recondition analog meters for a cost of a little more than $500,000, leaving nearly $2.5 million free to explore creative energy alternatives such as solar power.

“The industry regards the new technology as necessary because the old meters only perform a single function,” Wolpin said. “You’re pushing something with a shorter lifespan on us.”

Alby Baker cited 130 community organizations in 40 states that have taken action against smart meters, including having fines issued against utilities that have implemented them. He then joined the chorus of public speakers decrying what they see as the PUD’s lack of outreach in planning to adopt smart meters.

“These smart meters are generating record blowback across the country,” Baker said. “If there are reasonable doubts, why not slow down? Instead, the evidence has been deemed inconvenient, dodged and dismissed.”

Doug Milholland speculated that the signals sent out by smart meters, along with cell phone and wireless internet signals, could be contributing to the decline in bee populations and the health of other wildlife.

“I’m addicted to power,” Milholland said. “I use it every day, but worry we may be rushing toward our own demise.”

While Sebastian Eggert offered praise for what the PUD has accomplished since its inception, he criticized its scheduling of the meeting at 5 p.m., as opposed to a later time that would allow more working people to attend.

“We are the public in the PUD,” Eggert said. “This is a serious enough concern that it warrants a careful decision, which should include all of us.”

Annette Huenke quoted from internal documents by Itron, indicating “cost adders” of $50-$90 per smart meter, and noted that the cost of Seattle’s conversion to smart meters ran five and a half times more than the original estimate.

Huenke additionally cited research by the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency, indicating that, contrary to claims that smart meters’ transmissions can be limited to once every four hours – as opposed to the current meters’ rate of once every five minutes – smart meters instead “emit almost continuously,” and that “it’s not possible for them to emit less than 100 percent of the time.”

Perry Spring presaged Collins’ suggestion by warning that an upgrade to smart meters could soon be rendered obsolete by a national trend toward increased fiber-optics-based networks by 2020.

Spring then suggested assembling a task force made up of community stakeholders to “bring everyone to the table.”

Tim Lambert earned laughs by comparing the proposed move toward smart meters to the fondness of plumbers for above-counter sinks.

“It’s their joy in over-complication,” Lambert said. “But by bringing in more wonderful things, you risk waste. Some things are OK simple, so why not go with the wave of enthusiasm and desire here?”

By his own admission, Chris Jones was the “outlier” among the public speakers, as the lone voice in support of adopting the smart meters.

“Climate change is my biggest concern, so I support anything that can make the electrical grid more efficient and reduce the use of electricity,” said Jones, who was “impressed with the presentations by Streett and the CAB members. “I want to trust the PUD, and I think I can. I don’t think it’s a good idea to try and micromanage them.”PUD backs off on smart meters.

CALIFORNIA-Celebrating the defeat of SB 649 and Next Steps

Celebrating the defeat of SB 649 and Next Steps
On Sunday, Oct. 29 Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass joined us for a photo to celebrate the defeat of Senate Bill 649, which would have created a state mandated system of cell towers in California. Governor Brown vetoed SB 649 two weeks ago. Sebastopol was one of 300 CA cities who opposed the bill.
The defeat of SB 649 was won by a consortium of organizations, especially the League of California Cities, RCRC representing Rural Counties, Best Best and Krieger, and the many cities, counties, and organizations who opposed the bill.
As for our contributions, early on EMF Safety Network (EMFSN) partnered with Ecological Options Network (EON) and formally opposed SB 649 when it was first introduced in March, and re-introduced our opposition to the subsequent committees.
We were fortunate to have Environmental Working Group who advised us and also lobbied against SB 649.  We created a letter template and brought in many groups to oppose SB 649.
We kept our list members informed via email, website, Facebook and Twitter. We gave people the science, tools, flyers and information on how to take action to oppose SB 649.
We lobbied with EON and other groups in Sacramento. In July we allied with Californians for Safer Technology who launched a media campaign, including radio ads, and hiring of a union lobbyist.
In August EMFSN quantified the amount of opposition to SB 649 by analyzing multiple Committee Analysis, hearing videos, the League of CA Cities and RCRC opposition lists, and by calling and emailing a couple hundred CA cities and counties to inquire about their opposition. We raised the number of confirmed opposed to 300 cities, 47 counties and 110 organizations and used that information as a tool to educate.
With EON we hired artist Brian Narelle to design a cartoon to illustrate SB 649 as a warty cell tower wielding monster.
Finally EMFSN launched a postcard campaign to ask Governor Brown to veto SB 649. In less than three weeks we distributed 2500 postcards to activists throughout California and mailed another 500 postcards to the Governor from a sign- up form on our website.
We did all this from donations from members and supporters, all on a shoe string budget. The defeat of SB 649 is a very big victory for California and the thousands of people who took action.
Next steps.  As great as this victory is, it could easily be wiped out in a matter of 2 months by Federal preemption bills.  In order to stop this we need to re-group and take aim at Congress to tell them to stop the expansion of wireless.
This week EMFSN will mail 543 postcards to Congress members to alert them about Governor Brown’s veto of SB 649. Next we’ll study the 41 pending Federal bills which are in some way related to the expansion of wireless. Then we will contact the sponsors of the bills and tell them why the promotion and expansion of wireless is harmful to people, and to the environment.
In order to do this we will need to raise funds for this campaign on Congress. Your donations helped EMFSN accomplish all our contributions listed above. Did anyone believe SB 649 could be stopped? Many people were skeptical- but we helped make it happen and we can do it again!
With your support we can defeat these bills and continue to raise the bar of awareness to reduce EMF in our communities.  Thank you!
Sandi Maurer,
EMF Safety Network
PS. If you’d like to make a comment on the above you can post it on the website here. Please note if you have had trouble posting comments to the website that problem is fixed:

ARIZONA:Letter: Environmental hazard to wild life from Smart Meters

Letter: Environmental hazard to wild life from Smart Meters

I was bullied to have my analog utility meter changed; after two months of fighting hard, I had it changed back to analog. APS’ lie was that the meter maid was afraid My old dogs were never near her. She is not afraid of dogs. The Smart Meter at the pole burned the heavy wiring to my well and to the house. I have an immune disease and am deathly allergic to EMF and RFs. My raised garden’s plant leaves for the first time this year are affected. There are no longer neighborhood small birds or bees since smart meters I have combated the EMF and RF best I can with natural stone floors, and go barefooted. I bought expensive equipment I keep inside, and on my body to help. The problem is lessened, but far from normal or cured. Abolish Smart Meters….save everything and everybody!

Thank you

New River, Ariz.

CALIFORNIA-Guest opinion: Smart meters are coming

Guest opinion: Smart meters are coming

Smart meters are coming! And Pacific Power is going to give you one if you don’t “opt out.”

Smart meters are coming! And Pacific Power is going to give you one if you don’t “opt out.” The catch is that you have to pay if you don’t want one.
Pacific Power has already started rolling the smart meters out in Siskiyou County. Information to opt out is at the end of this letter.
Smart meters are the result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 package to develop a “smart” grid, including “smart” meters for every home’s electricity, gas and water. In this bailout the U.S. government allocated $11B of taxpayer funds for smart grid projects across the United States.
A smart meter replaces the analog meter on the side of your house (the one with the little dials), and records usage of electrical energy and sends the information to the power company.
According to the Pacific Power Fact Sheet for Oregon customer benefits are: “Customers will be able to track their own electric energy usage via a secure website. Using the daily data, customers can determine how much power is being used and compare the usage to their activities for the day. With that knowledge, they can develop their own strategies for saving energy and money. Customers connecting or disconnecting service will receive faster service due to the remote connection and disconnection capability of the smart meters. Customers may also see improved service restoration when an outage occurs.”
Some say smart meters will save energy and thus aid the environment, increase power reliability, and give customers more control of energy used in their own homes.
Despite those claimed benefits, you might want to consider opting out because of the side-effects of smart meters, and there are many.
Health: People’s health may be compromised by radio frequency waves from 10,000 to 190,000 pulses daily at a power level of about 1,000 milliwatts from the smart meter going through their home’s electrical system. In 2011, a different power company in California was removing smart meters and putting the old analog meters back in place because of electromagnetic frequency (EMF) health concerns. The take-back stopped when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) made a final ruling in late December 2014, and electric companies started a big roll-out of smart meters.
Safety: Smart meters are prone to over-heating, catching on fire, and in some cases, catching houses on fire. In 2015 a dump truck in Stockton, California, crashed into power poles causing a power surge that made dozens of smart meters explode and catch on fire. Right now officials are looking into power lines and possibly smart meters in fires both in California and Hawaii. We have frequent power surges where I live in Scott Valley, so this is a major concern.
Another safety concern is the ability for Pacific Power to turn power on, off, or down remotely. Great harm or loss of lives may occur if the power is turned off and essential medical equipment used in people’s homes cannot function, or appliances such as electric stoves get left on when the power is turned off and overheat when power is turned back on when no one is in the home. A great potential for fire.
Billing issues: It is unclear whether Pacific Power will go from a usage-based billing system to a peak-hour billing system, because Pacific Power’s parent company, PacifiCorp, requested deferral of all related rate and cost recovery issues to the general rate case application to be filed in 2018. It is also unclear whether the power company gets to decide when “peak-hour” happens. Based on numerous reports of over-billing by other utility companies after smart meters have been installed, Pacific Power bills could very well go up after their installation of smart meters. I have yet to learn what happens in the event of power surges, and if that could affect the amount of energy use being reported – especially if it occurs during peak-hours when billing rates would be higher.
Privacy: The potential for customer’s private information being hacked is high. Not only could a customer’s private information be at risk, but a hacker could shut down the customer’s electricity or provide false information to the power company. Also, utility companies have admitted providing customers’ information to government and third parties. All of these are concerning in today’s world of compromised information.
Loss of jobs: Smart meters are going to replace meter readers. A Pacific Power representative told me that the 100 meter readers losing jobs in Oregon would be offered other positions within the company, but I think the 100 jobs number is understated. When governmental officials state that jobs are being created, I wish someone would have the courage to ask if these are jobs for humans or jobs for robots, such as smart meters.
If you decide to opt out, here is the information you need.
The PacifiCorp filing with the CPUC states in part, “PacifiCorp proposes to charge both residential and non-residential customers an initial opt-out fee of $75 and a monthly meter reading fee of $20, with a 20 percent discount on both the initial opt-out fee and the monthly meter reading fee for PacifiCorp’s CARE program customers. PacifiCorp proposes waiving the initial opt-out fee if a customer elects to opt-out prior to a smart meter installation.” A protest has been filed by the Office of Ratepayer Advocacy ORA, so these fees may be lower depending on the CPUC’s final ruling.
If the waiver for the initial opt out fee remains, the most it would cost to keep your analog meter would be $20 a month, which as I said might be lower.
To opt out: Call Pacific Power at (888) 221-7070. Select the Web Support, App Support and All Other Matters option. Ask for the AMI Meter Department (Not smart meter dept.). The rep will ask for your name and date of birth (so your name should be the one on the account). The rep will ask if you are aware of monthly fees to opt out. The process took me about 10 minutes. Pacific Power will send you a letter confirming your request to opt out. You should receive the letter in about two weeks. It would be a good idea to put a “Do Not Install” sign near your analog meter on your house, so a smart meter won’t get installed by mistake. If you don’t receive a letter confirming your choice to opt out, be sure to call Pacific Power.
You may contact me via email if you have questions. My contact email address is


Washington State-PUD smart meter issues surface

PUD plans hearing after group screens film questioning use

PUD smart meter issues surface

  • Allison Arthur,

Jefferson County Public Utility District’s (PUD) pending switch to smart meters has prompted a surge of questions.

Although PUD commissioners voted last summer to choose Itron, a company based in Liberty Lake, Washington, to supply 19,500 new meters to replace all of the system’s aging meters (many of which are 30 years old), PUD spokesperson Will O’Donnell said commissioners are still taking comments on the project.

Former PUD general manager Jim Parker had said the project could take three years to complete, would begin at the end of the year and cost an estimated $2.5 million.


PUD commissioners are to discuss the new meters at a meeting scheduled for 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30 at the Jefferson County Fire District 1 station, 9193 Rhody Drive in Chimacum.

Before that meeting, a new citizen action group, Smart Meter Objectors Group (SMOG), plans to show a film about smart electrical meters. “Take Back Your Power” is to be screened at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 25 at the Port Townsend Community Center, 620 Tyler St., as a way to introduce people to what organizers are calling a “global controversy.”

Joey Pipia, a member of SMOG, said the group has 6-10 members, who are raising objections to the smart meters based on cost increases and concerns about health, safety, privacy and security.

“It’s still kind of a new technology,” Pipia said. “Maybe a couple of generations down the road, these problems will be ironed out. I think people who see the movie will understand why it’s something that we should be talking about.”

In a press release, SMOG members said there are organizations around the United States opposed to smart meters.


PUD assistant general manager Kevin Streett and PUD communications manager O’Donnell met Oct. 20 with some members of SMOG, including Ana Wolpin, Annette Huenke, Sebastian Eggert and others, to hear their concerns, O’Donnell said.

O’Donnell acknowledged that Streett has the answers to the technical questions SMOG is raising, and since Streett took over for former PUD general manager Jim Parker, he’s had additional responsibilities.

One thing that PUD officials say people may not realize is that there are already “smart meters” in Jefferson County – depending on the definition of smart meter.

“Every meter in Jefferson County, whether digital and less than a year old, or digital and over 10 years old or 30-plus-year-old analog, has a radio transmitter inside of it that sends an RF [radio frequency] signal every five minutes for reading remotely,” O’Donnell wrote in response to questions from The Leader.

That is the system inherited by the PUD when it purchased the local holdings of Puget Sound Energy in 2013, O’Donnell said.

“Some folks want to call these meters (even if they are analog meters retrofitted with a radio broadcaster inside) smart meters. We don’t call them smart meters. We call them AMRs [automated meter reading]. But if you think a meter that can send out your usage data via radio frequency to a remote source is a smart meter, then it’s a smart meter,” O’Donnell wrote.

The proposed new meters, O’Donnell wrote, “will be smarter than before” because the new meters can be programmed to transmit once every four hours instead of once every five minutes.

O’Donnell said the new meters won’t be sending and receiving signals to other “smart” devices in homes, such as a programmable thermostat.

“You won’t be able to call your meter and tell it to tell the water heater to chill out for an extra three hours while you’re away from home or on an extended trip,” O’Donnell wrote. “You will, in the future, be able to get daily rather than monthly readings of your energy consumption,” which is available on a SmartHub app. (Smart Hub apps are available at and connect customers to data the PUD collects about power consumption, for example.)


O’Donnell said the purpose of exchanging the old meters for new meters is because of the hodgepodge of meters that are failing.

“Sixty percent of the meter population is the high-failure, low-accuracy mechanical type,” Streett told commissioners earlier this year when he gave a PowerPoint presentation that noted that 450 meters fail each year and that 30 percent are incapable of being read daily because of their age.

The new meters should help the PUD respond more quickly to outages, ensure fewer power spikes and allow the utility to read meters remotely, Streett said earlier this summer.

At the same time, Streett acknowledged that some customers could see their bills go up.

“We don’t like to say their bills are going up. We like to say they’ll be charged the correct amount,” Streett said.


Since that presentation, the PUD has been looking at a possible opt-out program for those customers who don’t want the new meters. That has not been finalized, O’Donnell said.

There also is a new lower-cost option from a company called Powerline Communication that would have the meter send a signal, via power line, to a transformer. Then, a transmitter on the transformer would catch the signal and broadcast it from the pole, instead of the house, O’Donnell explained.

“For those looking to avoid an RF-emitting meter, this option could be a solution,” O’Donnell wrote. “It would also eliminate the need for a meter reader to come to the site, costing the PUD and the homeowner less money.”


Pipia said concerns being raise by SMOG include higher bills after smart meters are installed, as well as concerns about pulsed microwave radiation and electrical pollution.

There also are concerns about smart meters not providing surge protection, being susceptible to catching on fire and communicating with other “smart” devices.

SMOG members also are concerned about smart meters potentially being able to communicate with “smart” appliances and then having that data collected and sold to third parties.

 (1) comment

Arics Dad 

My main issue with these smart meters are they are not even basically smart. 20 years ago when I lived in King County the meters there allowed one to choose different charge options, IE where electric was more expensive during the day but drastically cheaper at night. We don’t have this option and if I understand correctly we still won’t after installation of smart meters. It is wrong that Jeffpud offers business much cheaper rates than struggling residents.

Personally I believe Jeffpud be privatized as business seems to do a whole lot better at running a reliable utility than our local government is.

An Electronic Silent Spring – October, 2017 Newsletter

An Electronic Silent Spring – October, 2017 Newsletter from Katie Singer

The consequences of “smart”phones & meters 
by Katie Singer  *

1. Depletion of natural resources

The Internet (including the Internet of Things and the smartgrid) is the largest thing that humanity has built. As it grows, the Internet demands exponentially increasing amounts of electricity, water and conflict minerals and generates tremendous electronic waste. With the introduction of the smartphone in 2007, mobile access to the Internet increased exponentially. The Internet’s energy hogs include embodied energy(energy required to mine and ship raw materials, assemble the product in a factory and ship it to the user), data storage centers (whose computers require cooling systems and water) and access networks (infrastructure). According to a 2016 report from the Semiconductor Industry, by 2040, there won’t be enough global energy produced to power computers.

2. Addiction

Addiction can happen when a drug or behavior acts on the brain’s neurotransmitters by creating pleasurable sensations and a “reward” system that keeps the user using more. Microwaves (frequencies required for mobile devices to operate) increase activity of brain endorphins or endogenous opioids, the biological base of addiction to opium, alcohol and morphine. (See studies by J. Tirapu et al, 2004 and M. Paz de la Puent and A. Balmori in Proyecto, March, 2007.) Watch this 1 1/2 minute video to see a baby illuminate what smartphones do to human society.

FYI, “Inviting Discussion About Safer Tech Use in Schools” provides lots of options and resources for parents and school communities.

Designers of the “like” feature on Facebook and the “pull-to-refresh” feature on smartphones have begun voicing their concerns that smartphones have “hijacked” our minds. We’ve created an Attention Economy, which “erodes our ability to remember, to reason, to make decisions for ourselves–faculties that are essential to self-governance.”

When Paul Lewis, a reporter from the Guardian asked former tech designer James Williams, “If Apple, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are gradually chipping away at our ability to control our own minds, could there come a point at which democracy no longer functions?” Williams responded: “Will we be able to recognize it, if and when it happens? And if we can’t, then how do we know it hasn’t happened already?”

3. Loss of democracy and liability

Around the U.S. and the world, municipalities face legislation to allow telecom corporations to install 5G “small cell” antennas on public right-of-ways (PROWs) such as lamp posts and traffic lights without democratic processes like local authority over the antennas’ placement. Such installations will support our increasing data traffic. They may also create liability issues for municipalities.

After Santa Fe, New Mexico’s City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to design guidelines for PROW-mounted antennas (on August 31, 2017 at 12:30 am), a citizens’ group issued a letter through an attorney to demand that the City demonstrate:
* proof of liability indemnification in the event of damages and/or injury caused by said installations.
* that a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) certify that said installations safeguard the public’s life, health and property (i.e. that each PROW can bear the extra weight of the antenna and its accompanying gear; that sufficient neutrals will be installed to prevent stray voltage generated by the additional electricity on powerlines); and
* protection for workers (who could be exposed routinely to radiofrequency radiation emitted by PROW-mounted antennas).

The group’s attorney, Eric Sirotkin, warned that the City will be liable for any damages and/or injuries that occur that involve PROW-mounted antennas. The group has asked the City to delay action on all telecom buildouts until such time that these liability, professional engineering processes and worker safety compliance issues are resolved.

For more info on why a city council might pass legislation that allows PROW-based antennas, read last month’s newsletter.          Meanwhile, on October 15, California’s Governor Jerry Brown vetoed Senate Bill 649 (to establish a uniform permitting process for small cell wireless equipment…on PROWs) because he values the “managing rights” of cities and counties.

Portland, Maine’s City Council has voted unanimously to purchase $8.5 million worth of street lights that will also provide Wi-Fi. One Portland legislator sees “nothing but upside” to this new technology.

Beware of lamp postsPhillips Lighting Co. now makes posts that have cellular antennas hidden inside.

Check out Shelley Masters’ poster about 5G’s dangers.

4. Fire

Smart meters (digital, wireless, transmitting meters that allow two-way communication with the utility) cause fires. Many mechanisms may cause smart meter fires: forensic investigations have shown that smart meters’ remote disconnect switch has caused fires. Meter manufacturers may suggest that each utility determine the proper size of fuse before installing meters by conducting a coordination study. But I know of no utility that has conducted such a study–or that has hired a professional engineer to determine (and certify) that a smart meter installation safeguards the public’s life, health and property. Further, smart meters are typically installed in sockets designed only to hold analog-mechanical meters. They’re made of (meltable) plastic and contain (potentially explosive) batteries.

For more info on smart meter fires, check out  Sharon Noble, this site’s webmaster, recently posted a report that tracks smart meter-caused fires in British Columbia.

Since batteries in laptops in checked bags can self-ignite, the Federal Aviation Administration and the UN’s Int’l Civil Aviation Organization recommend banning electronics with rechargeable batteries from checked luggage.

5. Death by distraction

Traffic fatalities have surged 14.4% over the last two years, after decades of decline. Could this spike be caused by drivers’ increased use of smartphones while they drive? The young man who killed Jennifer Smith’s mother readily admitted that he was texting before he crashed–but government data on traffic fatalities does not consider the danger of making and taking calls or texting while driving. In response, Jennifer Smith started

6. Brain tumors

Brain tumor rates are rising in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Sweden.

For an overview of technology’s hazards–and solutions, check out “Intimate, Invisible Matters” by Katie Singer in the 2018 Stella Natura Biodynamic Planting Calendar. The calendar is available through and through Rudolf Steiner Books (publisher of An Electronic Silent Spring),

Please contribute! to keep this newsletter and other projects going. Katie Singer is currently writing about the Internet’s footprint and raising funds to support the Santa Fe citizens’ group effort to require the City to include proof of liability and worker protections when telecom corporations install antennas on public right-of-ways.

Donations are welcome through PayPal.

For tax deductible donations, the EMR Policy Inst. serves as our fiscal sponsor. Please address checks to EMRPI, and write “Katie Singer newsletter” or “Santa Fe Legal Project” in the memo portion of your check. Please mail your check to:

EMR Policy Inst.
PO Box 117
Marshfield, VT  05658
EMRPI’s tax ID # is 30.019.8811

Thanks to everyone who uses technology as safely as possible, reduces their energy use and EMR emissions.

To healthier ecosystems and safer communities,
Katie Singer

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California: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill easing permits on cell phone towers (5G)

    • 17 OCT 17

    California: Gov. Jerry Brown vetoes bill easing permits on cell phone towers (5G)

    NOTE: While in California where wise heads prevail, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)  plans to fast track  5G in the 26GHz frequency range for a nationwide rollout of 5G antennas.


    From The Mercury News ( California), By Tracy Seipel, October 16, 2017

    Gov. Jerry Brown late Sunday vetoed a bill backed by the cell phone industry that would have made it easier to install microwave radiation antennas.

    Senate Bill 649, authored by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego and co-authored by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, proposed to scale back the permitting process for antennas and other equipment in an effort to meet demand for wireless services.

    In a signing statement, Brown wrote that while he saw the value in “extending this ​innovative technology rapidly and efficiently,” the bill took too much control away from cities and counties.

    The bill was primarily supported by the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the main trade group for the U.S. wireless telecommunications industry. The group said SB 649 would help boost the economy.

    Yet the bill had alarmed many local government officials around the state. They worried if SB 649 became law, it would cap how much they could charge phone companies for leases to $250 a year. Others raised concerns about the risk to public health from cell towers.

    Grass-roots activists and scientists said that if SB 649 became law, a projected 50,000 new cellular antennas would be installed on public buildings and utility poles in California neighborhoods, creating a risk to public health because of the dangers of radiation and electromagnetic frequencies emitted by cell towers.

    “I am thrilled that Governor Brown showed strength and stood up to this powerful wireless industry and said no — you are not going to do this in my state!” Ellen Marks, a San Francisco-based leader of the California Alliance for Safer Technology, wrote in an email  after Brown’s decision was posted online.

    “This is a tremendous victory for democracy,” said Marks, whose group is trying to keep cellular antennas away from homes, schools, offices and parks.

    An industry spokeswoman said the bill maintained local authority for “small cell” antennas, particularly in historical or coastal areas, and that governments could recover capital and administrative costs.

    San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo was among several Bay Area leaders who voiced their opposition to the bill.

    Quirk and Hueso called the health concerns overblown, saying the cell towers are safe.

    Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, was heartened by Brown’s veto, coming on the heels of a federal appeals court ruling last week that supports Berkeley’s landmark cell phone “right to know” ordinance.

    The city law, which took effect in 2016, requires retailers to warn cellphone customers that wearing their device next to the body could result in exposure to radio frequency radiation exceeding federal guidelines. Cellphone retailers must either post the message or provide a paper copy to anyone who buys or leases phones.

    “The Governor’s veto of SB 649 protects Californians from exposure to millimeter radiation from as many as 50,000 new cell towers,” Moskowitz wrote in an email Sunday night.

    He noted that more than 180 scientists and doctors have signed a declaration calling for a moratorium on the increase of cell antennas required for 5G deployment, “as we are concerned about the health effects including neurological impacts, infertility, and cancer.”

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