100 More Smart Meters Explode–in Capitola, CA This Time

IMG_0710 CAPITOLA, CA– Yesterday afternoon we received yet another report of exploding smart meters- this time in Capitola, CA:

“On 5.12, the Smart Meters blew off my house and about 100 neighbors, just like in Stockton.  I didn’t see any mention of the Smart Meters blowing up in Capitola on 5.12 on your website and feel like PG&E just brushed it under the rug.  My washing machine broke in the process and PG&E is not helpful at all.”

This follows a similar incident in Stockton, CA in March where meters blew off houses and many appliances were damaged after an electrical surge.

Utilities kindly correct us if we are mistaken, but this is not a phenomenon affecting glass and steel electromechanical analog meters.  It’s too bad that we have such corrupt “oversight” that has not only allowed utilities to deploy this untested, hazardous technology on nearly every building- in violation of numerous laws- but then destroy millions of safe meters so it would be harder for policymakers to order a recall (which of course they now must do).

Sounds like a stitch-up and believe us- it isIf it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Capitola was one of 15 local governments in California to pass an ordinance banning the meters back in 2010 when we had just started our campaign.  If PG&E and the corrupt California Public Utilities Commission had respected local law, things may have been different.

If the Santa Cruz County Sheriff had protected public safety and enforced the law rather than protecting and escorting those who violated it. If the Sheriff had not arrested us for civilly disobeying and rightfully blocking what we knew then was an unsafe deployment, the exploding meters and chronic RF sickness that have become part of the California landscape in 2015 might have been avoided.

How many millions of unsafe meters are sitting on people’s homes right now, waiting for a surge that can instantly transform them into incendiary bombs or flying projectiles?

This morning, we called PG&E for comment (they always love to hear from us), and asked what the cause of the problem was, and asked for evidence of any similar incidents with analog meters. They said they would call us back. (they haven’t yet)

We also contacted the Capitola City Council as well as state legislators for the area, State Senator Bill Monning and Assemblymember Mark Stone and have demanded an independent statewide investigation into these incidents.

We will report here what their responses are, and any updates or more information that comes in.  If you were personally affected by this incident or know someone who was, we would like to hear from you.


If you are living in the area, please contact your elected officials and ask them to step in and protect the public’s safety.

State Senator Bill Monning (831) 425-0401

State Assemblymember Mark Stone (831) 425-1503

Capitola City Council (831) 475 7300

Capitola City Council Meets at 7pm Thursday May 28th at 420 Capitola Ave.  Speak up and encourage action!

Hundreds of thousands of smart meters have been recalled in Saskatchewan, Oregon, Florida, and Pennsylvania because of fire risk. People have died and homes have been destroyed.

One thing is for sure- the only thing the California Public Utilities Commission is protecting is corporate utility profits.

Update May 22nd 10am:  We have not heard back from either PG&E or state legislators. Nothing to see here folks.  Just 21st century utility dysfunction.  The cost of “progress” perhaps?

Posted in California, Fires, neighborhood organizing, PG&E | 5 Comments

City of Berkeley, CA Unanimously Approves Mobile Phone “Right to Know” Warning Legislation

On Tuesday evening, the Berkeley, California City Council unanimously passed legislation requiring warnings be posted at cell phone retailers in the city, simply informing people of what is already in the manual regarding the health risks of cell phone radiation.

This comes the day after 190 scientists and medical researchers from 39 nations called upon the WHO, UN, and member states to begin taking health and environmental impacts from Electro-Magnetic Fields seriously.

Thanks to the Berkeley City Council for their leadership and to Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig who has agreed to represent the city pro bono. More details can be found at the Safer EMR site.

You may remember that Stop Smart Meters! and the CA Brain Tumor Association were tired of waiting years for legislation while people got sick and died, so we labeled phones ourselves in this direct action at the Verizon store in San Francisco last January. Even the Verizon employees thought the warning labels were a good idea and installed one on their phone.

Now Available in the Stop Smart Meters! Online Store: Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy & the “Wireless Revolution

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.44.38 AMTo celebrate these advances made by the EMF Safety movement, we’ve just added Public Exposure: DNA, Democracy & the “Wireless Revolution” to our online store which also features Mobilize: A Film About Cell Phone Radiation as well as other DVD’s and resources to support your local campaign.

Get it now for $19.95 incl. shipping within the U.S.

Posted in Berkeley, California, Cancer, Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, FCC, health effects, neighborhood organizing | 1 Comment

LA School Accommodates Electro Hyper Sensitive Teacher

Anura Lawson is a teacher at Johnie Cochran Middle School in Los Angeles. In 2013, Stop Smart Meters! helped her family get the analog meter replaced on their home. Anura is now speaking to the news media about her family’s nightmarish experience with wireless and how only safe wired technology should be used in our schools, neighborhoods and homes. Kudos to the Lawsons for speaking out!

The original post and video can be accessed here.  (Note that lotteries are a scam and do not really help schools – see here.)

Posted in California, Citizen rebellion, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, EMF Mitigation, health effects, landlines, Los Angeles, Physicians, radio-frequency radiation, Wi-Fi | 2 Comments

Local Coverage of Legal Victory Over PSREC


Click to read and enlarge

The above article appeared on page A2 of the Portola Reporter on Wednesday April 29th, 2015.

Thank you all very much for your supportive comments and generous donations to our legal defense fundEvery dollar you donate supports our stand and helps cover expenses. We remain disconnected by PSREC the local electric “cooperative.”

We would happily pay for every kilowatt hour we use but apparently they don’t want us as customers, even though an analog self read is offered to other PSREC customers who live nearby.  Mr. Marshall claims PSREC does not discriminate but that is exactly what they are doing by treating customers differently when it suits them, but not when required by state law.

As a public utility, PSREC must obey state discrimination law and provide fair and reasonable service.  In this case, they have failed to do that. We are confident that with your help, Judge Hilde’s verdict will be upheld and utilities will be prohibited from charging extortionate opt out fees just to protect your safety- also illegal under state law.

Wireless microwave RF is a pollutant that we didn’t ask for and should not have to pay to avoid.  The utility industry’s ill-advised foray into wireless meters has been an unmitigated disaster and it’s time people who knew what they were doing were in charge.  That’s all.

Please comment on the online version of the article and lend us your support!  Thanks.

Posted in California, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, legal issues, Physicians, Plumas County, PSREC, radio-frequency radiation, Safety, Smart Grid | 6 Comments

Momentum Building for Smart Meter Ban in Sierra Foothills Town Where PG&E Was Founded

Mail Attachment 3By Josh Hart, Director StopSmartMeters.org

Nevada City is an old gold rush mining town in the foothills of California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains. Home to hippies, new agers, and spiritual communities, the area also attracts artists, musicians, and writers and has a thriving local culture. It feels like you are in an old western when you walk down the town’s main street.  That is, until you notice the ugly plastic wall-warts known as smart meters attached to the buildings lining Broad Street. People stand and smoke next to banks of the meters, many unknowingly getting a special two-for-one deal on carcinogens.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company– corporate villain extraordinaire- was founded in Nevada City in the 1890’s, with its first offices located at the National Hotel on Broad Street. What started small has grown so big that some officials are now saying openly what has been obvious for years—that the utility may be too large to operate safely and it’s time it was dissolved.

PG&E deployed smart meters into Nevada City in 2012. Three years of widespread negative experiences with the meters have recently come to a boiling point. In February, dozens of residents showed up to demand formal action by their council to join the 57 other local governments in California that have resisted smart meter deployment, fifteen of which have outlawed the meters.  Two of the fifteeen–Sebastopol and Fairfax–are still enforcing the ban which along with resident action has prevented PG&E from deploying fully in either city.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 1.16.31 PM

Berry Bartolillo

While staying in Nevada City with friends in 2013, I met a woman who would become a key organizer in the area. Berry Bartolillo contacted me after becoming very sick when a bank of wireless AMI smart meters were installed on her apartment building. At that time, very few people in town were aware of the health problems with the new meters.  Having heard the same symptoms and same story thousands of times, I shook my head in disgust— and then advised her to get active.  What was needed was a local group to tackle the issue and raise awareness in the community.  Two years later, Stop Smart Meters! Nevada County is going strong, meeting weekly, and organizing the public around the immediate goal of returning the County to 100% safe analog meters.

Many in the group have been injured and subsequently sensitized to RF radiation. Conveying the health risks such exposure poses, particularly to pregnant women or the elderly, is a priority for the group. In order to get the message out, they have been canvassing outside natural food stores in town, talking to hundreds of people while handing out Stop Smart Meters! cards and brochures that include labels with local information.  Reports from the field are that many people are grateful for the info, and outraged when they learn the facts about the system that has quietly been forced into their community.

According to Berry Bartolillo, Co-Founder of Stop Smart Meters Nevada County,

I could not fathom how the state allowed this big corporation to harm its own people and still allows it to this day. The first step was going to the City and informing them about the smart grid and asking for their help. We are confident that they heard us and are working on a plan. I just hope its sooner rather than later. I’ve just received a diagnosis of Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity–radiation sickness for short. Smart meters have ruined my health and my life.”

SSM! Director Josh Hart presenting to the Nevada City, CA city council in February.

SSM! Director Josh Hart presenting to the Nevada City, CA city council in February.

The council has responded to renewed public pressure by holding a hearing on the matter, meeting with PG&E and Stop Smart Meters! and considering their next steps.

This groundswell of opposition has not flared up by chance but has been kindled by the hard work of dedicated activists who live in the area.

Organizing can and does make a difference!

In February, both Stop Smart Meters! and PG&E were invited to make presentations to Nevada City Council, after a large number of people contacted them with reports of health problems and general opposition to the meters.

More than 30 residents turned out and spoke at the late night council meeting to denounce the problem meters and demand an immediate ban and removal.  The video of the presentations and ensuing public comment can be viewed above.

Greg McKenzie, the PG&E representative at the meeting, was unable to answer reasonable questions posed by the council. Sending a staff person ignorant of the smart meter issue to a smart meter meeting seems to be a key utility strategy to prevent damning details from being acknowledged in public, like we witnessed last November in San Antonio, Texas.

PG&E is responding to the growing public pressure as they always do- putting greenwashed lipstick on their smart grid pig.   Recently, they announced a local renewable energy initiative in Nevada City.  No doubt one of the aims is to distract people and quieten the growing growls of discontent in the town. For renewable energy to be truly sustainable, the effort needs to come from the bottom, from the grassroots, not top-down from one of the largest corporations in the United States.

We continue to work with Stop Smart Meters Nevada County to support their work and provide organizing materials, technical assistance and strategic advice.  The group plans to spread outreach to the Truckee and Grass Valley areas in the near future, as well as take the issue to the County Board of Supervisors.  If you are in the area, why not join the group and volunteer for a shift at a local Stop Smart Meters outreach table? Or with another Stop Smart Meters group near youYou’ll be surprised at how widespread opposition is to the “smart grid” when people know the facts and how isolated and out on a limb the utility companies really are.

The truth is that— through unwise and short sighted technological decisions, PG&E is harming the town where it was born—a renegade, unwieldy (and unregulated) greedy monster despoiling its own nest.

But resistance is fertile in this strapping gold rush town…

To get in touch with Nevada County Stop Smart Meters! call their message line at (530) 277-6070 or find them on Facebook : Stop Smart Meters Nevada County

Sign the Petition to Ban/ Remove SmartMeters in Nevada County

Full Feb. 11 Nevada City Council packet

Coverage in Nevada City’s local paper

Posted in California, Citizen rebellion, CPUC, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, neighborhood organizing, PG&E, Smart Grid | 1 Comment