Our electricity remains off more than two weeks after PSREC illegally disconnected us on February 19th. It has been a real challenge to continue living in an all-electric house with no electricity. But we refuse to be coerced or agree to fees based on a medical condition — when such fees clearly violate state law. Why should we pay more when other PSREC customers use analog meters at no extra charge?
We are drawing a line in the sand and saying enough is enough. Charging a fee to protect your health and safety is literally extortion and we will not participate in it.
I went away for a few days to the Bay Area this week. We did a Take Back Your Power screening in San Rafael, and had a productive meeting with local advocates. I also went to visit my good friend and activist powerhouse Deb Hubsmith, a national leader advocating for Safe Routes to Schools for our children– a program long overdue. Deb and I worked together more than a decade ago to open the old railroad tunnels to bicyclists and pedestrians in Marin County (the Cal Park tunnel was opened in 2011 and has been a huge success providing commuting options for thousands of people. It came very close to becoming a parking lot for the Golden Gate Ferry).
Deb and I have also worked together to stop “smart” meters from being installed in the area. The town of Fairfax is still mostly smart meter free 4 years after PG&E’s deployment began, due to a pro-active and educated town, and a council who passed the state’s first ordinance banning smart meters. It doesn’t hurt to have a tough police chief willing to enforce that ordinance. Don’t let anyone tell you that local government or local action is not effective. It is!
Deb was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in October 2013 and has been in treatment for the last several months. She believes her illness was likely caused in part by wireless radiation exposure from smart meters and other wireless devices. Meanwhile utilities are charging people to keep these off their homes.
Please donate to her mounting medical expenses if you can afford to help a little.
When I returned home yesterday, there was a story on the front page of our local paper, the Plumas News, about our dispute with PSREC. The story consisted almost entirely of the utility’s talking points.
Needless to say, this is plain bad journalism, and amounts to an attack piece on us and our work. We have provided the following facts to the paper, and yet these were not included:
- I am Director of StopSmartMeters.Org (they did not even name our organization in the article)
- My physician wrote a letter to PSREC telling them that because of my medical condition of Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS) I should not be exposed to radiation from PSREC’s “smart” meters.
- The radiation emitted from PSREC’s meters is considered a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO)
- Dozens- perhaps hundreds- of PSREC electric customers self-read their analog meters at no extra charge- including in our neighborhood. We are simply asking for the same treatment. We are being singled out and penalized because of our advocacy.
- The “threats” alleged by Bob Marshall were never identified in the article and we were not given a chance to respond to this absurd allegation. The only “threat” we have ever made to Bob or PSREC is bad publicity. Which they bring upon themselves.
- In truth, it was Bob Marshall who rudely interrupted my wife during her comments and was the first to raise his voice at us. This can be verified by watching the video we took at the meeting.
- Bob is not being truthful when he says it is “against state law” to video someone without their permission. The law says you can photo or video any place you are allowed to be. We were allowed to speak at the meeting and there were no signs saying “no photography.” There is nothing in PSREC’s bylaws that prohibits filming, and to our knowledge they have never asked anyone else not to film an open ratepayers meeting. What is so bad about recording a meeting for the public anyway? What are they trying to hide?
- The article also conveniently neglects to mention that we caught PSREC staff photographing into our home with a telephoto lens the day after they disconnected us. This is a 100% certifiable double standard on the part of PSREC.
Should utilities have the right to disconnect someone’s essential utilities because of their political beliefs or a medical condition? PSREC is doing just that, and now they are getting cover for their abusive treatment by the local “newspaper” who are publishing misleading, incomplete, and inaccurate stories as news on their front page.
Letters to the Portola Reporter Editor can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org Please copy email@example.com The deadline for the weekly edition that comes out Wednesday is Friday at 3pm
Call PSREC and demand that they re-connect our electricity and drop the fees. It’s toll free- there is no excuse not to:
Plumas Sierra Rural Electric “Co-Op” (PSREC) (800) 555-2207