Monthly Archives: October 2010

'Smart' Meters? – Not in Our Homes & Backyards

In this invitational PowerPoint briefing for the San Francisco Tesla Society, EON’s Mary Beth Brangan summarizes the case against PG&E’s wireless ‘smart’ meter installation plan. She encourages listeners and viewers to join the growing nation-wide citizen/ratepayer resistance to this dangerous greenwashed corporate assault on democratic choice, public health, safety, privacy, property rights and national energy security. The industry is paying serious note to the growing pushback. They’re saying, ‘Remember what happened when an organized public pushed back against the proposed thousand nuclear power plants nation-wide?!’ Corporados know from bitter experience: Citizen Resistance is Fertile

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Local Bans on Wireless 'Smart' Meters

Democracy v. Corporate Power
In a talk to the San Francisco Tesla Society, Attorney Larry Bragman, a Councilmember in Fairfax, CA. where he co-authored its ground-breaking ordinance banning wireless ‘smart’ meter installation by corporate monopoly giant PG&E, talks about the importance of local legislative pushback in curbing the onslaught of technocratic totalitarianism sweeping the country under the greenwashinig cover of ‘smart’ grid technologies.

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ORDINANCE NO. 752 [download in PDF]


The Town Council of the Town of Fairfax, California does ordain as follows:

Section I. Findings:

A. The Town of Fairfax (the “Town”), through its police powers granted by Article XI of the California Constitution, retains broad discretion to legislate for public purposes and for the general welfare, including but not limited to matters of public health, safety and consumer protection.
B. In addition, the Town retains authority under Article XII, Section 8 of the Constitution to grant franchises for public utilities, and pursuant to California Public Utilities Code section 6203, “may in such a franchise impose such other and additional terms and conditions…, whether governmental or contractual in character, as in the judgment of the legislative body are to the public interest.”
C. Further, Public Utilities Code section 2902 reserves the Town’s right to supervise and regulate public utilities in matters affecting the health, convenience and safety of the general public, “such as the use and repair of public streets by any public utility, the location of the poles, wires, mains, or conduits of any public utility, on, under, or above any public streets, and the speed of common carriers operating within the limits of the municipal corporation.”
D. Pacific Gas & Electric Company (“PG&E”) is now installing SmartMeters in Central and Northern California and will be installing these meters in Fairfax in the very near future. PG&E has already installed antennae to support the SmartMeter system at four sites within the public rights of way in the Town without obtaining permits from the Town as required by Section19.04 of the Town Code. Further, PG&G did not comply with Section XIV of General Order 131-D of the California Public Utilities Commission (the “CPUC”), which requires a utility to consult with the local jurisdiction on land use matters prior to locating its facilities.
E. Concerns about the impact and accuracy of SmartMeters have been raised nationwide, leading the Maryland Public Service Commission to deny permission on June 21, 2010 for the deployment of SmartMeters in that state. The State of Hawaii Public Utility Commission also recently declined to adopt a smart grid system in that state. The CPUC currently has pending before it a petition from the City and County of San Francisco, the Town of Fairfax and other municipalities, seeking to delay the implementation of SmartMeters until the questions about their accuracy can be evaluated.
F. Indeed, major problems and deficiencies with SmartMeters in California have been brought to the attention of the Fairfax Town Council, including PG&E’s confirmation that SmartMeters have provided incorrect readings costing ratepayers untold thousands of dollars in overcharges and PG&E’s records outlined “risks” and “issues” including an ongoing inability to recover real time data because of faulty hardware originating with PG&E vendors.
G. The ebb and flow of gas and electricity into homes discloses detailed information about private details of daily life. Energy usage data, measured moment by moment, allows the reconstruction of a household’s activities: when people wake up, when they come home, when they go on vacation, and even when they take a hot bath. SmartMeters represent a new form of technology that relays detailed hitherto confidential information reflecting the times and amounts of the use of electrical power without adequately protecting that data from being accessed by unauthorized persons or entities and as such pose an unreasonable intrusion of utility customers’ privacy rights and security interests. Indeed, the fact that the CPUC has not established safeguards for privacy in its regulatory approvals may violate the principles set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court in Kyllo v. United States (2001), 533 U.S. 27.
H. Significant health questions have been raised concerning the increased electromagnetic frequency radiation (EMF) emitted by the wireless technology in SmartMeters, which will be in every house, apartment and business, thereby adding additional man made EMF to our environment around the clock to the already existing EMF from utility poles, individual meters and telephone poles.
I. FCC safety standards do not exist for chronic long-term exposure to EMF or from multiple sources, and reported adverse health effects from electromagnetic pollution include sleep disorders, irritability, short term memory loss, headaches, anxiety, nausea, DNA breaks, abnormal cell growth, cancer, premature aging, etc.. Because of untested technology, international scientists, environmental agencies, advocacy groups and doctors are calling for the use of caution in wireless technologies.
J. The primary justification given for the SmartMeters program is the assertion that it will encourage customers to move some of their electricity usage from daytime to evening hours; however, PG&E has conducted no actual pilot projects to determine whether this assumption is in fact correct. Non-transmitting time-of-day meters are already available for customers who desire them, and enhanced customer education is a viable non-technological alternative to encourage electricity use time-shifting. Further, some engineers and energy conservation experts believe that the SmartMeters program–in totality–could well actually increase total electricity consumption and therefore the carbon footprint.
K. Because the potential risks to the health, safety and welfare of Fairfax residents are so great, the Fairfax Town Council wishes to adopt a twelve month moratorium on the installation of SmartMeters and related equipment within the Fairfax Town Limits. The twelve month period will allow the CPUC petition process referenced in Recital E above to be completed and for additional information to be collected and analyzed regarding potential problems with SmartMeters.
L. There is a current and immediate threat to public health, safety and welfare because, without this urgency ordinance, SmartMeters or supporting equipment will be installed or constructed or modified in the Town without PG&E’s complying with the CPUC process for consultation with the local jurisdiction, the Town’s Code requirements, and subjecting residents of Fairfax to the privacy, security, health, accuracy and consumer fraud risks of the unproven SmartMeter technology.
M. The Town Council hereby finds that it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the adoption and implementation of this Ordinance may have a significant effect on the environment. This Ordinance does not authorize construction or installation of any facilities and, in fact, imposes greater restrictions on such construction and installation in order to protect the public health, safety and general welfare. This Ordinance is therefore exempt from the environmental review requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Section 15061(b)(3) of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations.
Section II. Moratorium
1. No SmartMeter may be installed in or on any home, apartment, condominium or business in Fairfax, and no equipment related to SmartMeters may be installed in, on, under, or above any public street or public right of way in the Town for twelve months from the date of this Ordinance, at which time the Fairfax Town Council, shall consider whether to extend or terminate this prohibition in light of the then-current data on SmartMeter privacy, safety, accuracy and health effects.
2. Violations of this Moratorium may be charged as infractions or misdemeanors as set forth in Chapter 1.08.010 of the Town Code or as administrative citations as set forth in Chapter 1.10 of the Town Code, in the discretion of the Town. In addition, violations shall be deemed public nuisances, with enforcement by injunction or any other remedy authorized by law.
3. The Fairfax Town Manager is hereby authorized to direct all Town Departments, including the Town Attorney, to facilitate compliance with the purpose and intent of this Ordinance using the enforcement powers described in the preceding paragraph.
Section III. Effectiveness
This Ordinance, being adopted as an urgency measure for the immediate protection of the public safety, health, and general welfare and containing a declaration of the facts constituting the urgency, upon passage by a minimum four-fifths (4/5) vote of the Town Council, shall take effect immediately upon its adoption and shall continue in effect until modified or rescinded.
Section IV. Severability
If any provision of this Ordinance or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect any other provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.
Section V. Publication
Copies of the foregoing ordinance shall, within fifteen days after its passage and adoption, be posted in three public places in the Town of Fairfax, to wit: 1. Bulletin Board, Town Hall Offices; 2. Bulletin Board, Fairfax Post Office; 3. Bulletin Board, Fairfax Women’s Club building; which places are designated for that purpose.

The foregoing ordinance was duly adopted on the 4th day of August, 2010, by the following vote, to wit:
AYES: Bragman, Hartwell-Herrero, Tremaine, Weinsoff

NOES: None




Town Clerk

Fly-by-Night 'Smart' Meter Perps Flee Demonstrators

As the massive public rejection of the ill-conceived, deceptively greenwashed, wireless ‘smart grid’ idea spreads across the country to the consternation of industry observers, Wellington, the company charged with installing PG&E’s so-called ‘smart’ meters in California, vacated its headquarters in Rohnert Park, CA in the dead of night rather than face outraged citizens protesting the violations of democratic process, property rights and public health and safety which the plan commits.
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This action followed on the heals of another outraged citizen/ratepayer blockade of Wellington’s ‘smart’ meter trucks in California’s Santa Cruz county, that shut down the operation for several days:

Protests Halt PG&E’s ‘Smart’ Meters for 3rd Day in a Row
by Joshua Hart
Monday Aug 30th, 2010 3:55 PM

For the third straight morning, outraged Santa Cruz County residents gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy at 38th and Portola in Capitola, successfully blocking what they say is a forced installation of radiating ‘smart’ meters against the will of residents and nearly two dozen local governments throughout the Greater Bay Area. This morning, about two dozen protesters gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy, peacefully blocking the driveway as trucks started to drive out to install the ‘smart’ meters. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff showed up and asked the protesters to step aside. Once it was clear that protesters were willing to risk arrest, PG&E backed down in order to avoid any additional negative publicity that is increasingly plaguing their ‘smart’ meter program.

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Rackets, Scams, Hotspot Schools & Pushback – EON EMF Digest 10-27-10

Death and Profits: The Utility Protection Racket
By Michael Parenti
October 15, 2010 “Information Clearing House” — Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is a multi-billion-dollar privately owned, publicly regulated utility whose main function is to make enormous profits for its shareholders at great cost to ratepayers. I know this to be true; I’m one of the ratepayers.

Cartoon by Brian Narelle

Better than Bernard
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) permits PG&E to charge rates that are 30 percent higher than the national average. PG&E’s shareholders enjoy a guaranteed 11.35 percent yearly return on equity. That’s slightly higher than the 11 percent that swindler Bernard Madoff pretended to offer his investment victims. After Madoff was exposed, his victims were chided for not having realized that no one pulls down an 11 percent return year after year on the stock market. But PG&E investors take in more than that every year. And unlike Madoff, the company’s earnings are for real, guaranteed at a fixed return devoid of risk.

PG&E enjoys a captive consumer market of fifteen million customers in northern and central California. The utility is a shining monument to state-supported monopoly capitalism. If costs rise, then so do customer rates (in order to guarantee the 11.35 percent return). PG&E carries a $17 million insurance premium and additional millions in insurance deductibles; these expenses too are picked up by its ratepayers.

If northern and central California’s gas and electric services were publicly owned (yes, socialism), there would be no 11.35 percent skim off the top going to rich investors, no fat salaries and bonuses and huge severance packages pocketed by top executives, no billions of dollars in private wealth to be traded on the stock market. Customer rates would probably be one-third to one-half lower than they are today. And gas pipelines would be in better repair.

Swiss take Wifi out of schools
Dr Magda Havas
October 21, 2010. While the rest of the world rushes onwards with the wireless revolution, Switzerland and the country’s largest telecom provider – SWISSCOM – have decided to light up the public school’s wired networks using fiber optics FOR FREE! But there is one catch – the schools must use LAN – local area networks. NO WiFi allowed. And this offer even includes pre-schoolers! Click here to read more about Swisscom’s offer.

We produced a short video that I hope will provide some insight as to why the Swiss government and Swisscom are so forward thinking in matters related to children’s health and education. After you watch the video – explore the links to the Swiss Office of Public Health website. No need to read between the lines, just pay attention to the bold text.

Video on Microwave Radiation Dangers in your Home:

For more information and live links click here.

Dr Magda Havas

Cell-Phone Safety: What the FCC Didn’t Test
By Michael Scherer / Washington [Time Magazine]
Skeptics of the safety of cellular phones have seized upon these warnings as evidence that the ubiquitous devices may be exposing Americans to far more radiation than regulators measure. “Nobody is watching,” says Devra Davis, the author of a new book called Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family. “Is the law broken if something is so complicated that nobody notices?”

State Consumer Agency BLASTS CPUC- Calls for “Public Proceeding” on ‘Smart’ Meters
by Josh Hart
The California Public Utilities Commission’s own Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) last week blasted the appointed members of the Commission for failing to adequately investigate potentially lethal problems with PG&E’s ‘Smart’ Meter program. Saying that ‘there is clearly a high level of public concern’ about the health impacts of ‘smart’ meters, the DRA forcefully asserts that ‘the Commission would be remiss in its duty to ensure “safe and reliable” service if it did not solicit further evidence and perform an analysis.” (on health problems associated with RF emissions, the ignition potential of meters in proximity to natural gas lines, and electronic interference associated with ‘smart’ meters.)

The Division of Ratepayer Advocates is technically a part of the CPUC, “tasked by statute with obtaining the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels. In fulfilling this goal, DRA also advocates for customer and environmental protections.”

Marin County: meter plan not smart
by Nels Johnson – Marin IJ
Marin County supervisors, asserting that proceeding with a “smart meter” project is a dumb idea before health issues are reviewed, dispatched another letter asking the state Public Utilities Commission to suspend the program.

Supervisors said the Pacific Gas and Electric Co. program should await results of a study by the California Council on Science and Technology on whether standards for the meters protect health. Officials noted Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, requested the study, due later this year.

The state panel should review whether locating multiple meters near bedrooms, or near other radio wave devices, comply with standards, supervisors said, adding that those with health concerns should be given “alternative metering options.”

WiFi in schools proven dangerous
WiFi causes heart problems, headaches and other neurological disorders in children. Canadian Documentary exposes the truth. More info at

You can’t see it but it’s everywhere. WiFi connects computers to the internet, no cords required. Now kids are using it in wireless classrooms across the country. But is it an invisible danger? Carolyn Jarvis investigates why some parents say WiFi in schools is making our kids sick.

Upcoming Commonwealth Club Program
On Thursday, November 18th, my organization,, is co-organizing a forum on “The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields” with the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, sponsored by it’s Health and Medicine and Environment and Natural Resources Member Led Forums. The event runs from 11:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and includes lunch. I hope you will be able to attend and that you will share this announcement widely with your colleagues.

I very much hope to see you. We have experts from 5 countries presenting on the biological effects from electromagnetic fields and it is certain to be a very interesting afternoon. To have excellence in care, we really must start considering the importance of this pervasive environmental disruptor of biological systems and I highly encourage you to come and hear presentations of the science from leading experts.
All the best,
Camilla Rees

Media Advisory

Contact: Emily Roberson
Media Relations,
or Camilla Rees
RSVPs to Commonwealth Club: 415-597-6705

Commonwealth Club of California To Host Program on
“The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields” from Cell Phones, Wireless Technologies and Smart Meters
Thursday, November 18th, 11:15 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

October 22, 2010, San Francisco, CA. The Commonwealth Club will host a half-day program on “The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields with leading international experts Thursday, November 18, 2010. Registration and complimentary light lunch start at 11:15 a.m.; program begins promptly at 12:00 p.m. Tickets $20 members, $32 non-members, $10 students (with ID). Register at Commonwealth Club 415-597-6705 or

View Full Program Here

The landmark program at the nation’s premiere public affairs forum is being co-organized by, in association with Citizens for Health, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, Radiation Research Trust, the EMF Safety Alliance and the International EMF Alliance, and will be the largest public forum yet in the United States on the hazards of cell phones, wireless radiation and ‘Smart Meters’.

Is Smart Grid Really A Health Danger? Or are we talking much ado about very little?
The author Paul Mauldin is a former PG&E research director who predictably poopoos health, accuracy, security and privacy concerns about wireless smart grid components. But he does admit, “Of course, fiber optic cable can be used instead of wireless…” but dismisses it as “unacceptably expensive.” For whom? Trenching for cable creates jobs.
He ends with an ominous warning to the industry that should be taken as a great encouragement by activists: “We saw what organized [public] intervention did to nuclear power.“
All power to ‘organized intervention!” Would-be corporate tyrants like PG&E quake when what Henry Kissinger calls ‘the sleeping beast of public dissent’ awakens. [JH]

Scams Galore
By Louis Slesins
October 20… “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public,” H.L. Mencken, the American journalist, famously said years ago. And so it continues today, not only in the U.S. but most everywhere else. The continuing EMF controversy, stimulated by three new books —Sam Milham’s
Dirty Electricity, Devra Davis’s Disconnect and Ann Gittleman’s Zapped, — has fueled the demand for quick fixes. (None of these authors recommends them.) Just about every day, someone contacts us, pitching a new product or, on the consumer side, asking if they do any good.

The gizmos promising protection include bracelets, pendants and headbands. Two of the best-known gizmos are BioPro and Q-Link, which have been around for years. They are really no different from all the others. That’s to say, they don’t work. The most charitable way to describe them would be as placebos, or more appropriately, very expensive placebos.

No Cellphone Liability Suits: court
The recurring question of whether cell phones pose health hazards must be sorted out by the Federal Communications Commission and not through products liability suits in court because Congress has designed a regulatory scheme that gives the FCC exclusive power to regulate all aspects of the cell phone industry.

That’s the central holding in a decision handed down Friday by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Farina v. Nokia.

The ruling is a major victory for cell phone manufacturers and service providers, and holds that consumers cannot be allowed to sue over possible biological hazards allegedly caused by cell phone radio emissions because such suits would interfere with the FCC’s exclusive power to regulate the industry.

Epidemiological Evidence for a Health Risk from Mobile Phone Base Stations
Vini G. Khurana, Lennart Hardell, Joris Everaert, Alicja Bortkiewicz, Michael Carlberg, Mikko Ahonen

Human populations are increasingly exposed to microwave/radiofrequency (RF) emissions from wireless communication technology, including mobilephones and their base stations. By searching PubMed, we identified a total of 10 epidemiological studies that assessed for putative health effects of mobile phone base stations. Seven of these studies explored the association between base station proximity and neurobehavioral
effects and three investigated cancer. We found that eight of the 10 studies reported increased prevalence of adverse neurobehavioral symptoms or cancer in populations living at distances < 500 meters from base stations. None of the studies reported exposure above accepted international guidelines, suggesting that current guidelines may be inadequate in protecting the health of human populations. We believe that comprehensive epidemiological studies of longterm mobile phone base station exposure are urgently required to more definitively understand its health impact. And finally: Check out the resources on

Cellphone Casualties – Pt. 3 of Cellphones & Health

Cellphone Cancer Victims Speak Out
This press conference followed a program on cellphone health risks at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club. Cellphone cancer victims tell their personal stories and those of their lost loved ones.

In the photo on the left brain cancer survivor attorney Bret Bocook shows his own brain tumor caused by his heavy cellphone use.

Speakers include: Dr. Devra Davis – Epidemiologist, Founder –; Bret Bocook – Attorney, cellphone cancer survivor – California; Cristin Prischman, cellphone cancer widow – Illinois; Craig Farver, father of cellphone cancer victim; Stuart Cobb, cellphone cancer survivor – Maine; Stuart Cobb. cellphone cancer survivor – Maine; Mindy Brown, widow of cancer victim Coach Dan Brown; Ellen Marks, wife of cellphone cancer survivor Alan Marks.

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