CA Leg. Update: Newsom Vetoes SB 556 but Signs Slew of Other Bad Bills

According to SmartMeterHarm.org: The good news: on October 4th, Gov. Newsom vetoed SB 556 on small cells but signed AB 537, which is very bad news.
Key provision in AB 537 
“(h) A city or county shall not prohibit or unreasonably discriminate in favor of, or against, any particular wireless technology.”
 
That means a city or county cannot prohibit 5G.  This new law seems to be industry’s move, in concert with author Quirk and Gov. Gavin Newsom, to invalidate / eliminate the 2019 Mozilla ruling. The Mozilla ruling opened the door for states and their political subdivisions (cities and counties) to regulate the internet and 5G. If I’m correct, that “loophole”  has now been closed in California by this bill. The state’s new policy through this bill is allowing 5G and wireless broadband. Cell tower bills AB 955 (Cal-Trans, streets and highways) and SB 378 (microtrenching) were signed by Gavin Newsom October 8.
Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on CA Leg. Update: Newsom Vetoes SB 556 but Signs Slew of Other Bad Bills

Opposition to California Bills SB 556 and AB 537- URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO STOP TELECOM POWER GRAB

Sometimes when you are up against overwhelming odds against a corrupt system intent on depriving you of your rights of due process and health & safety, you need to get creative to get your message across. That’s what two guys did the other day in the California state senate, in order to draw attention to two bills quickly moving through the state legislature that would destroy local governments’ right to regulate 5G and other wireless infrastructure on the public right-of-way. Particularly alarming is how COVID is being used as a pretext to get these bills through with minimal public involvement. Watch the last 20 minutes of the video above, to get an idea of what we are facing, and how bold activists are raising the alarm. Now it’s your turn.

If you live in California, your urgent action is required to preserve local control over wireless cell siting decisions. Your options are now limited to the following if you want to avoid a 5G cell site going in 6 feet from your kids bedroom:

  1. Speak out now against these bills by going to Wire California

or

2. Prepare to take direct action and get arrested, with uncertain effect

If you don’t fancy being stuffed in the back of a patrol car with handcuffs, or having your health destroyed by Crown Castle or Verizon, I recommend you contact your state Senator and Assemblymember right away. Even better is to go to Sacramento and tell them in person. Thank you- we appreciate you making some noise on this one. Also, make sure to post this video on social media. Let’s make this go viral and put some grassroots pressure where it belongs- on the ruthless telecom industry and their lackeys. -Stop Smart Meters!

Posted in 5G, California, Citizen rebellion, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, radio-frequency radiation | Comments Off on Opposition to California Bills SB 556 and AB 537- URGENT ACTION NEEDED TO STOP TELECOM POWER GRAB

PG&E Refunds Smart Meter Opt Out Fees to EMF-Disabled Customer

MONTEREY, CA– On April 16th, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) refunded Smart Meter “opt-out” fees paid by the family of Nina Beety who is disabled by electromagnetic sensitivity.

Beety requested disabled accommodation from PG&E to have analog electromechanical meters on her family’s home when the company initiated its wireless Smart Meter roll-out in her community. She explained that EMF-emitting devices cause her disabling health effects.

PG&E ignored Beety’s requests for disabled accommodation, and refused to allow
residential customers to have analog, non-digital meters without paying a so-called “opt out” fee. The family was forced to pay $415 in fees to avoid Smart Meters on their
home.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits surcharge fees for disabled people.
When PG&E filed for bankruptcy in 2019, Beety’s family then filed a proof of claim with
the Bankruptcy Court for the “opt-out” fees they paid, stating the claim basis as “Smart
Meter opt-out fees that were unlawful surcharges against a disabled person (ADA Title II
Technical Assistance Manual, II-1.3000 Relationship to title III)”

PG&E objected to this claim, and on February 25, 2021, asked the court to expunge it.
“The simpler Customer Bar Date Notice made clear that Customers were not required to
file Proofs of Claim for ordinary and customary refunds, overpayments, billing credits,
deposits, or similar billing items. The Customer No Liability / Pass through Claims listed
on Exhibit 1 arise from either (1) Customer Security Deposits or (2) Claims that arise
from Customer Billing Disputes…Accordingly, for the reasons set forth herein, the
Customer No Liability / Pass through Claims should be expunged because, in
accordance with the Bar Date Order, they will be resolved in the ordinary course.”
On March 24, 2021, Beety submitted this timely Response to the Bankruptcy Court:

Our claim is not an “ordinary and customary” customer billing item. We have a special type of billing claim dispute that rises on the fact that I am disabled, and unlawful charges were placed on the household account that interfered with my disabled accommodation. Those unlawful charges were surcharges that are not allowed under the ADA/ADAA and FHAA.

This is a meritorious disabled rights claim that was never resolved. It should be resolved by a full and complete refund. Closing my claim would be yet another burden, abrogating my civil rights. Please ensure that my rights are protected.

Faced with a federal judge who had read Beety’s response, PG&E withdrew its
objection to the family’s claim to the Bankruptcy Court and did not further contest it
(recorded in Judge Dennis Montali’s ruling, April 5, 2021).

On April 20, Beety’s family received a full refund check from PG&E for the $415
surcharge fee, plus $24.17 interest which they had not requested. It is noteworthy that
this refund was not a percentage of claim or pennies on the dollar which bankruptcy
claims often receive, but a complete refund with interest.

It took facing a bankruptcy judge in court for PG&E to quit fighting and refund fees that
were unlawful surcharges under the ADA and that discriminate against disabled people.
Beety said, “With this action, PG&E and other utilities must now halt their practice of
charging unlawful “opt-out” surcharge fees to customers disabled by electromagnetic
sensitivity or who have other EMF-sensitive medical conditions, and the companies
must refund all unlawful surcharge fees already paid by these disabled customers.
Utilities must allow the simple, readily achievable, and reasonable disabled
accommodation of analog, electromechanical, non-digital utility meters for all disabled
persons who require them.”

See also the court decision HartDecision Complete Plumas Co 4-6-15 which found that our utility’s opt out fees were illegal and discriminatory. For a list of North American opt-out policies, click here. For more on our court battle against the electric “co-operative” PSREC, click here.

Posted in Changing a Meter, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, EMF Mitigation, health effects, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, PG&E, PSREC, radio-frequency radiation, Smart Grid | Comments Off on PG&E Refunds Smart Meter Opt Out Fees to EMF-Disabled Customer

Bad Reception by Doug Loranger Now Online: Documentary About Resistance to 3G Cell Towers in San Francisco

This great documentary by Doug Loranger chronicles early resistance to “3G” cell towers in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in San Francisco. These campaigns paved the way for later efforts to “stop smart meters” more than a decade later. Our favorite clip is when former Supervisor and mayoral candidate Matt Gonzalez calls out the telecom industry’s lies at a public hearing. Run time: 55 minutes. Co-produced by Gordon Winiemko.

Posted in California, Cell phones, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, Democracy, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, Environmental Concerns, health effects, legal issues, neighborhood organizing, radio-frequency radiation, San Francisco | Comments Off on Bad Reception by Doug Loranger Now Online: Documentary About Resistance to 3G Cell Towers in San Francisco

Court Rules LA Teachers Disability Claim Based on Wi-Fi Microwave Sickness Legit

California Reinstates Claim Based on Wi-Fi-Induced Illness

http://www.metnews.com/articles/2021/WiFi_Illness_02192021.htm

Justice Wiley Says in Concurring Opinion That Cause of Action Was Adequately Pled, but Expresses Concern That ‘Green Light’ Is Given to Claims Based on Idiosyncratic Reactions to Common Circumstances

MetNews Staff Writer, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Feb 19, 2021

The Court of Appeal for this district yesterday ordered reinstatement of a cause of action by a teacher against the Los Angeles Unified School District for failure to accommodate a disability—an adverse physical reaction to a Wi-Fi system—with a concurring justice remarking that under California’s lax pleading standards, a demurrer was improperly sustained, but expressing concern that offbeat disability claims will be encouraged.

Justice John Shepard Wiley of Div. Eight said in his concurring opinion:

“I worry about giving any sort of green light to this unprecedented and unorthodox disability claim. Plaintiff’s counsel was most reluctant at oral argument to admit it, but it seems clear we are the first court in the United States of America—a nation of over 300 million people—to allow a claim that ‘Wi-Fi can make you sick.’ ”

He said that “[u]p till now, the main published appellate opinion” on the subject “seems to have been” that of the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Hirmiz v. New Harrison Hotel Corp. There, summary judgment was affirmed in an action against a hotel by a fired desk clerk who claimed discrimination in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”), citing a disorder caused by prolonged exposure to electromagnetic voltage at the work site.

Black Cat Phobia

Then-Judge Richard Allen Posner (now retired) wrote:

“There is debate in the medical community over whether sensitivity to electromagnetic voltage is a physical disorder or a psychological one….If it is psychological, the symptoms might not constitute a disorder that would entitle Hirmiz to the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. A great deal of psychological distress is trivial—fear of black cats, for example.”

Wiley observed that Wi-Fi systems are ubiquitous, and remarked:

“Nearly everyone wants the phenomenal convenience of the virtual world in your hand, everywhere you go, and the faster the better. All the potential defendants responding to this popular demand may take solemn note of news that, as of today, their Wi-Fi systems now may possibly invite costly litigation from members of the public who say that Wi-Fi made them sick. And potential plaintiffs and their counsel will have an interest too.

“The law worries about junk science in the courtroom. One concern is that a partisan expert witness can bamboozle a jury with a commanding bearing, an engaging manner, and a theory that lacks respectable scientific support.”

Court-Appointed Expert

Wiley had a suggestion: appointment of an expert by the court, pursuant to Evidence Code §§730-732. He commented:

“The option of a court-appointed expert has been available in California for generations. Few judges have tried this option, though, because the parties never suggest it. The last thing trial lawyers want is another source of uncertainty in the case: something powerful and beyond their control….

“The trial court may want to consider this option in this case.”

Once an expert is appointed, he said, “it can be startling how fast the case settles.”

Stratton’s Opinion

Justice Maria E. Stratton wrote the majority opinion, in which Acting Presiding Justice Elizabeth A. Grimes joined. The opinion reverses, in part, a judgment of dismissal that followed the sustaining of demurrers without leave to amend by then-Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Rico (now a private judge).

Stratton expressed agreement with Rico’s dumping of teacher Laurie Brown’s causes of action for employment discrimination based on a disability, retaliation for her complaints, and failure to engage in an interactive process. But Rico erred, she said, in sustaining a demurrer to the cause of action for failure to accommodate her disability—which Stratton labeled “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” (“EHS”), otherwise known as “microwave sickness.”

She found unpersuasive federal cases such as Hirmiz which do not recognize EHS as a disability, noting that Brown sued under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) which defines a disability more broadly than the ADA. Under the FEHA, Stratton pointed out, a physical disability includes a condition that “[a]ffects one or more of the following body systems: neurological, immunological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitourinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin and endocrine” and also “[l]imits a major life activity.”

The jurist quoted the operative complaint as saying that Brown suffered “chronic pain, headaches, nausea, itching, burning sensations on her skin, ear issues, shortness of breath, inflammation, heart palpitations, respiratory complications, foggy headedness, and fatigue, all symptoms of Microwave Sickness or EHS.”

Stratton wrote:

“These described symptoms affect one or more of the body systems listed in the statute and limited Brown’s major life activity of working as a teacher…. Brown adequately pled physical disability within the four corners of the statute.”

She went on to say:

“Brown has adequately pled failure to accommodate. The FAC alleges that she suffers from a physical disability, but can perform the essential functions of the position with the accommodation ‘to which LAUSD initially agreed to but subsequently refused to honor and/or other reasonable accommodations, such as use of paints, fabrics and/or other shielding materials to block or minimize exposure to electromagnetic frequencies.’ ”

The case is Brown v. Los Angeles Unified School District, 2021 S.O.S. 729.

Attorneys on appeal were Joseph M. Lovretovich and Jennifer A. Lipski of JML Law in Woodland Hills, for Brown, and Anthony J. Bejaranoand David V. Greco of LAUSD’s Office of General Counsel arguing for an affirmance.

http://www.metnews.com/articles/2021/WiFi_Illness_02192021.htm

BROWN v. LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

No. B294240.

View Case

Cited Cases

LAURIE BROWN, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. LOS ANGELES UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant and Respondent. Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Eight.Filed February 18, 2021.

Posted in California, Citizen rebellion, Class Issues and Social Equality, Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity, health effects, Wi-Fi | 2 Comments