Report from CPUC Hearing in LA from Shane of Los Angeles:
“Last night’s CPUC hearing in Los Angeles had quite a good turn out. I’m estimating that there were about 60 speakers, with maybe 85 people in attendance.
Before the event, there was a demonstration on the street in front of the Junipero Serra Building. Liz Barris did a great job organizing this and bringing people to the event.
Speakers were very passionate and informed. What was most interesting to me is that no one spoke to the various “options” we are being presented. For the most part people said that there should be NO opt out fees at all. The vast majority cited health issues in their testimony. Many discussed security and costs. The general tone was outrage at the fact that ANY charge to opt out would take place. Concern for low-income people who cannot afford to opt out was voiced, as was the situation with multi-family residences with multiple meters.
The word “extortion” was the most commonly-used, incorporated in most of the speakers’ testimonials.
People came from far and wide. There were people from Mt. Baldy who made the point that they do not even have a cell network there, so the meters don’t even function — yet they were deployed. A woman came all the way from Frazier Park. Two people hobbled in on broken feet (this reporter included). An elderly woman made the trip on public transportation, at night, which can be very challenging and sometimes dangerous in L.A.
Judge Yip-Kikugawa seemed to take most of it in and there were moments when she seemed to be a very compassionate listener.
Several people asked why there were no commissioners at the hearing. She told them that they would be provided with a transcript of all the hearings. This did not stop people from being outraged that they were not present.
Several “Occupy” people were in attendance, along with Smeter “veterans” and several relative newbies. Ratepayers whose bills had gone up presented documentation. At least a dozen people whose health has been affected spoke about their experience. Quite a few spoke about the “hum” that so many of us began hearing after grids went up. The point was made that even if we do opt out, we are STILL affected by the grid — making an opt out useless.
Those of us who have been made homeless told of our experiences. A veterinarian spoke very eloquently, as did a criminal defense attorney who was new to the topic.
SCE Reps were there and the Judge told us they were available to answer our questions. This was met with guffaws. Their slick P.R. materials were disparaged by several speakers. Compared with the last L.A. hearing, there were considerably fewer utility representatives present.
Rules of decorum were followed for the most part. The judge was praised by some as being compassionate. I personally felt more “heard” than I did when I spoke before the commissioners. Peevey’s sneer was absent and that went a long way to creating a more communicative atmosphere. We each had 3 minutes. Most of us took the whole allotment. The sound system was terrible.
Judge Yip-Kikugawa told us that she would be writing an opinion that commissioners may or may not accept. She said that a decision would probably be reached in the spring.
Transcripts will be available to the public, but at a per-page charge. Another option is to request a transcript from the CPUC to be sent to a local library where it could be read at no charge. Good luck in Santa Rosa!”
“Overall, the hearing went very well. Approx 80 people attended, and 36 signed up to speak. People came from as far as Riverside, San Diego, and all regions of Orange County. The average drive was approx 45-60 min, and yet they braved a long drive, on a very windy, cold night, just seven days before Christmas to speak out against everything that is wrong with smart meters. Very encouraging to say the least.
Most people were well-informed, and spoke out passionately, and with conviction. The major topic themes included the health detriment from the RF radiation; the lack of protection from the CPUC in regulating the utility monopolies, and the extortionate opt-out. More than a handful gave their testimony on how their health deteriorated after the installation of the smart meter; these testimonies were heart-breaking.
Another handful of folks addressed the dilemma of living near a bank of smart meters, and the need for community opt-outs, as well as the need for businesses to be able to opt-out. Towards the end of their two-minutes, the overwhelming majority stated strongly that charging for the opt-out was punitive, unjust, and extortionate. They further and strongly stated the opt-out should be free, or that smart meters should be banned….period!
Everyone was given two minutes to speak, although some spoke an extra 45 seconds, and nothing was said. When they went past even that, the Judge reminded them that they needed to finish up. All persons had spoken by about 7:40pm, and the Judge moved to end the hearing, but some people asked to say a few more things. The Judge was reminded that the hearing was set for two hours, and that if some folks wanted to share another point, they still had 20 minutes to do so. The Judge basically stated that folks could not speak again who had already spoken, that everyone had had their two minutes, and then ended the hearing. People were not happy.
At the end of the meeting, we passed out many brochures, and many folks took brochures to pass out to their neighbors. We also obtained contact information for potential new members. All in all, we were very pleased with the turnout, and the hearing in general.
GOOD LUCK SANTA ROSA!!”
Stop OC Smart Meters