Breaking News out of South Carolina: Armed Officers Arrest and Jail Woman to Enforce “Smart” Meters

Because utilities have no legal mandate to force smart meters on private property, the sheriff in this case is acting outside of the law, and must be held accountable. We must rally and support Michelle and all other victims of smart grid abuse– we stand in solidarity! Note that being arrested for refusing a smart meter is thankfully not (yet) the norm in the rest of the country.

Contact: E. Michelle Mancini • blufftonsc@icloud.com

Bluffton, South Carolina, February 19, 2018 A Sheriff arrested and jailed a woman after she had a smart meter on her home changed to an analog meter due to health issues from the radiation. The arrest warrant for Elizabeth Michelle Mancini states that Palmetto Electric Cooperative, Inc., did not approve the meter, and could not read it.

Ms. Mancini, a Technical Writer with no criminal record, stated, “Palmetto did not, and could not rebut my affidavit of claims related to their having put an unsafe and invasive meter on my home. I didn’t violate any law because I was simply acting in self-defense against an unlawful meter.” She said she had no intent to defraud the utility company, and that “Utilities have been able to read analog meters for over 70 years–a third grader can do it.”

Ms. Mancini began requesting Palmetto to remove their smart meter in 2015, to protect her health and her Fourth Amendment right to privacy in the home. Ms. Mancini described going through an administrative process, serving the CEO of the power company with a “Notice and Demand,” and a subsequent “Notice of Default,” prior to installing a safe, hardwired analog meter. She returned the smart meter, undamaged, to the CEO of Palmetto and included photos of all readings for meter reading purposes and to show she was not attempting to defraud the company. Armed officers came to her home and made the arrest.

“All of us are being harmed by excessive radiation, but only a small percentage of the population are clinically sensitive to radio frequencies. There was no compelling public interest to strip search and shackle me, and there is no public benefit to my prosecution. These so-called smart meters are a profitable fraud. The crime is Palmetto’s gross negligence regarding the health effects from these meters, and also the violation of our right to privacy within the home. They are simultaneously harming and spying on trusting, innocent customers under the guise of delivering the most basic human needs.

Ms. Mancini made recordings of the police when they invaded her home, but law enforcement scrubbed the recordings. (a partial recording is available below)

“I hope my arrest will help lead to people joining together to refuse this technology. Easements are not open ended and do not include the forcing of a radiation emitting surveillance device,” she said. Ms. Mancini has requested a continuance of a hearing scheduled.

Posted in Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, Installer Threats and Assaults, legal issues, Privacy, radio-frequency radiation, Safety, Smart Grid, South Carolina | Leave a comment

The Health of the People is the Highest Law…

From the Latin (Salus Populi Suprema Lex) –  Walworth Clinic, Southwark, London

 

….but some politicians and utility executives seem to have forgotten this.  Let’s help them remember.

Here are the facts about your legal rights with regard to utilities and smart meter installation programs:

1. Put the burden on your utility to demonstrate that they have a legal right to force a smart meter on your property (they do not). Ask them to show you in the easement where it says they have a right to force telecommunications equipment on your property without your consent.

2. If there is an easement at all on your property, most likely it gives the utility the right to read and maintain your (analog) meter. Not install a surveillance device. Not deploy a toxic, microwave emitting computer on the side of your home.

3. Take them to court! Even if you don’t have a lawyer, you can take your utility to small claims court to re-affirm your right to a safer meter.

best regards,

Your Friends at Stop Smart Meters!

Posted in Britain, Democracy | 1 Comment

California Governor Brown VETOES SB649

On October 15th, 2017 Governor Brown VETOED SB649, a bill that would have allowed the telecom industry to bypass traditional planning channels at the local government level, and install new cell towers on every power pole in the state with virtually no oversight.

While the telecom industry is licking its wounds now, they will likely be back soon with further attempts to erase local governments’ planning role. We must keep the pressure on.

Enjoy this poster above by Shelley Masters depicting life and the real threat that wireless communications poses to us all. Feel free to share and pass on (with credit to Ms. Masters please).

Thank you to the thousands of you who traveled to Sacramento, called, faxed, and wrote the governor from all corners of the state, making this veto possible.

This is YOUR victory. 

Also- a special shout out to the folks behind Scientists for Wired Technology who dropped everything and tirelessly worked to defeat this bill at the Capitol these last six months. Thank you!  -SSM!

Posted in California, Democracy, neighborhood organizing, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Plumas County’s Telecommunications Ordinance Process: Opportunities and Threats

Beckwourth Peak in Plumas County, CA. The city of Portola nearby is home to Stop Smart Meters!

This opinion piece appeared today in Plumas County Newspapers:

We probably all agree we want quality internet and phone connections that are fast, secure, affordable, safe and reliable. The Planning Commission is currently drafting a new telecommunications ordinance for Plumas County—an opportunity to achieve these goals. Unfortunately, the process—so far—is leading in the opposite direction.

If the county adopted a tobacco ordinance, I would hope they would not solicit advice solely from the cigarette industry, ignoring testimony of public health professionals. Yet that is exactly what is happening with the telecom ordinance process. Cigarettes and mobile devices are both highly addictive and can cause terminal cancer, according to the best and most recent science. We must protect our families and communities.

Adopting an industry-friendly ordinance means increased fire risk in vulnerable communities, impacts of industrial equipment on what many consider sacred, remote peaks and mountaintops, unnecessary RF exposure, higher user costs and noise pollution from generators.

The telecom industry does not share the goals of the public. They are instead working to eliminate any authority local governments have over their operations. After thousands in “contributions” and heavy lobbying, the industry succeeded in passing SB 649 through the California legislature this month. SB 649 would unconstitutionally ban local governments from regulating “small cells,” allowing millions of new “5G” antennas to be installed on every power pole in California. Forty-seven out of 58 counties oppose this bill. Call Governor Brown today at (916) 445-2841, and tell him to veto SB649.

Doctors are speaking out about wireless development, and SB649. Beatrice Golomb, MD,

Dr. Beatrice Golomb runs the Golomb Research Group at UC San Diego

PhD, Professor of Medicine at UC San Diego’s medical school says: “If this bill passes, many people will suffer greatly and needlessly as a direct result. This sounds like hyperbole. It is not.”  

A $20 million National Toxicology Program study concluded: “exposure to radio frequency radiation has the potential to induce measurable DNA damage under certain exposure conditions.”  DNA breaks can lead to cancer and long term damage to our genetic heritage. 

In 2011 the World Health Organization designated wireless microwave radiation (used by cell phones, towers, cordless phones, wi-fi, etc.) as a Class 2B possible human carcinogen

Dr. Cindy Russell, Vice President Community Health at the Santa Clara County Medical Association, says: “Important questions [about wireless safety] have not been addressed while industry and government policy move forward.” 

What is the solution? Readily available communications technologies that do not rely on carcinogenic RF radiation- like landline telephones and fiber—should be standard. Wired fiber to the home, already available to the “lucky few,” should be available to everyone at an affordable price. We hear the refrain from industry: “it’s too expensive to put in the last mile to each home.” But this attitude betrays a lack of vision, and proper accounting.

One hundred and ten years ago, AT&T promoted universal service,” meaning everyone would have access to telephone service—even if they could not afford it. We need a similar concept today for fast internet which has become essential. Fiber to every home costs money, but we ran telephone wire to every home last century- we can do it again. 

The more costly, hazardous, unreliable, expensive and energy-intensive wireless systems are no substitute for quality fiber connections. We need leadership from the county to coordinate a “big dig” to put all the lines in at once to make this more affordable. If you consider the economic benefits of universal fast, secure internet and reduced risk of expensive (and heartbreaking) diseases like brain tumors, fiber starts looking like a bargain.

According to telecom analyst Bruce Kushnick, AT&T and other corporations have redirected public funds for fiber to hazardous (but profitable) wireless projects. According to Kushnick,“AT&T’s plan is to force-march customers onto wireless service for the home instead of maintaining and upgrading the networks to fiber for residential and business customers—because it makes them more money.” 

In our county, money that should be going to expand the fiber network is being misdirected to new cell towers being planned for our county.

Existing telecommunications equipment on Beckwourth Peak above Portola, CA- Verizon/ AT&T/ T-Mobile would like to build an even bigger and more hazardous complex at the site

Com Sites West, the wireless company who owns these sites, and who represents T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon, plans to build a 140 ft. tower this spring to replace the existing 110 ft. tower on Beckwourth Peak above Portola, and another on Radio Hill in Quincy. This would increase RF exposure to already impacted populations, introduce larger and uglier industrial equipment to our mountaintops, and increase fire risk. 

 According to Com Sites West, the project won’t even increase coverage, nor access to emergency services. They admit that the purpose of these projects is to increase capacity for heavy use of video by mobile phones- a demand that should be met with fiber, not more powerful wireless. Keep in mind estimates say 35% of internet traffic is for pornography. These projects should not be permitted by the county.

Unlike fiber, cell towers are known to fall and catch fire. In 2007, a utility pole overloaded with wireless equipment in Malibu, CA collapsed during high winds, igniting a blaze that burned nearly 4000 acres and caused over $14,000,000 in damage. If the County allowed a 140 ft. tower on Beckwourth Peak, it could collapse well within the area of dry brush, grass, and trees, putting the safety of the Portola area at risk. The risks do not justify the benefits. Eugene, Oregon and many other local governments in the western US limit cell tower height to 100 ft. partly for this reason.

I attended two workshops at the planning commission in Quincy, and both times I was the only member of the public present. Outnumbered by industry representatives, when I spoke briefly about important safety issues, the District 1 Supervisor attempted to limit me to three minutes, even though workshops are intended to facilitate open discussion, and gather valuable input from the public, who bring different perspectives and information to the table.

To increase public involvement in this process, and ensure the ordinance is written so it protects the people and environment of Plumas County—not just the wireless industry—the County should hold a series of public hearings on the telecommunications ordinance this fall, at times and locations people from around the county can easily attend. Just as is being done for the cannabis ordinance, the bike/ped plan, and other public processes, residents of Plumas County have a right to understand and help shape the new law.

What we would like to see included in this ordinance:

1)  Prioritization of wireline over wireless facilities

2) Require wireless companies document a gap in coverage when proposing new wireless facilities

3) Require all new facilities be reviewed and approved by the Planning Commission

4)  110 ft. height limit on all cell towers in the county

5)  No wireless facilities in residential areas

6)  No multi-decade contracts that the county cannot modify or cancel, even in emergency circumstances

7)  Required setbacks of at least 1000 feet for wireless facilities near hospitals/child care/senior centers—no exceptions

8)  Requirements to keep noise to a minimum 

9) Cell towers should not be camoflaged- they should be painted fluorescent yellow—a warning

Under the 1996 Telecommunications Act, local governments have authority to regulate where cell towers are and are not permitted, as long as such decisions do not interfere with wireless coverage. This leaves a lot of flexibility and control to local governments.

We can be a model rural county, providing safe fast and secure wired internet to residents

The Planning Commission considers the new Telecommunications Ordinance, led by industry (at left)

while minimizing the negative side effects which are only set to grow worse. Or we can turn a blind eye to the doctors and scientists trying their best to warn us of this growing threat to our heath and safety. Let’s not waste this opportunity.

 If you would like to send comments to the Planning Commission about these issues, they are holding a workshop on the telecommunications ordinance on Oct. 5th at 10am at 555 Main St. in Quincy.  You can send comments to the planning commission care of Becky Herrin at BeckyHerrin@countyofplumas.com or 555 Main St. Quincy CA 95971 

Josh Hart is Director of Portola-based Stop Smart Meters! and has been a grassroots activist in the fields of safe telecommunications and transportation since 1999. You can find references for the article above and more at StopSmartMeters.org

Posted in California, Cancer, Cell phones, Democracy, health effects, landlines, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, Physicians, Plumas County, radio-frequency radiation, Safety, World Health Organization | 1 Comment

The Invisible Rainbow- Arthur Firstenberg

Released on Earth Day this year, The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life is the culmination of EMF activist Arthur Firstenberg’s long career fighting wireless infrastructure. The Invisible Rainbow is “easy to read, hard to put down, sublimely poetic, and scientifically rigorous,” says architect Jennifer Wood. “A mind-blower,” writes psychologist and author Chellis Glendinning.

If you have not yet read it, this book is different. It will alter the landscape surrounding our issue and make it possible for legislators and judges to change course.

One of the things that has perplexed us working against smart meters these past 7 years has been the massive psychological denial and blind spot that most people continue to have around the wireless health issue, despite the strong evidence that harm is occurring. This excellent, well researched and gripping book goes a long way toward explaining how we got where we are.  The Invisible Rainbow is highly recommended for anyone who wants to go deeper into the “shocking” history of the relationship between life and electricity. Best of all, this hardcover book is now available in the Stop Smart Meters! online store and benefits our ongoing efforts to organize against smart meters.

Pick up your copy today and consider getting one for your local library!

Posted in Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, radio-frequency radiation, Wi-Fi, World Health Organization | Comments Off on The Invisible Rainbow- Arthur Firstenberg