July 22nd, 2011: Major Santa Cruz Smart Meter Forum Set for August 3rd

MEDIA ADVISORY                               Contact:  Joshua Hart, Director, Stop Smart Meters!

July 22nd, 2011


“Wise Up to ‘Smart’ Meters” Emergency Townhall Forum: How Can Our Community Defend Itself?

Santa Cruz, CA- Critics of ‘smart’ meters say they are anti-consumer, a false solution to climate change and a threat to your health, privacy, safety, and the environment.  More than 45 cities and counties throughout the state of California agree[1].  Thirteen local governments have even gone so far as to criminalize the wireless meters- including Watsonville, Capitola, and Santa Cruz County.  The “Wise Up to ‘Smart’ Meters” Townhall Forum in Santa Cruz, California will feature a panel of national experts who will answer your questions on the subject, including Joshua Hart of StopSmartMeters.Org and Dr. Karl Maret of the Aptos Dove Health Alliance.  The panel will be moderated by Michael Zwerling (MZ), owner of KSCO radio in Santa Cruz.  The landmark event will take place Wednesday, August 3rd, 7-9pm, at the Louden Nelson Center, 301 Center St. (at Laurel) in Santa Cruz.  Organized by a coalition of community advocates led by Stop Smart Meters! As of this announcement PG&E has not responded to an invitation to participate and defend their ‘smart’ meter program that has become a debacle of epic proportions.

Wireless “smart” meters have been widely reported to cause headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears- even memory loss and heart palpitations among susceptible individuals due to the constant bursts of microwave radiation- estimated at more than 22,000 per day.  The movement against “smart” meters is the sharp end of a growing movement demanding health-based standards for wireless technology.

Wellington Energy- a Pennsylvania based contractor for PG&E- has resumed installation of wireless “smart” meters throughout Santa Cruz county as of late June, violating local laws[2] that prohibit installations due to urgent concerns about health impacts from the meters’ wireless pulses, which have been measured at 100-150 times the cumulative radiation exposure of a cell phone[3], as well as privacy violations, ongoing accuracy issues and a series of fires and explosions caused by the new meters.  The company is operating out of a yard at 38th and Portola in Pleasure Point, Santa Cruz County.

Thousands of people have submitted written health complaints to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and on May 31st the World Health Organization made an earth shattering declaration- that non-ionizing radiation- from cell phones, cell towers, wifi, and “smart” meters- is now a class 2b carcinogen in the same category as lead, DDT, and engine exhaust.[4]  Nevertheless, PG&E continues to maintain that their meters are safe.  The utility had been citing the World Health Organization’s reassurances in past public statements.  Now, they are no longer referring to the health issue at all, as no independent health organizations will back up their claims of safety.  Instead, they recently mailed a 4 page glossy brochure to every household in Santa Cruz County, stating that “smart” meters will “cool the planet.”   This is despite PG&E’s own admission that the program has not reduced a single kwh of energy demand despite more than 80% of the meters already being installed throughout California.[5]

Despite decisive action taken by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in passing ordinance 5084 on January 11 2011 prohibiting “smart” meter installation, and a letter from County Counsel Dana McRae indicating that county law enforcement would enforce the law, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak has been arresting peaceful protesters, enabling PG&E’s forced, illegal smart meter installations onto people’s homes.  A number of reports have come in of installations on homes that were on the delay list, or had “no smart meter” signs posted.  PG&E has refused to remove these unwanted meters.

Three arrests of “smart” meter protesters have been made over the last month in Santa Cruz County, and numerous conflicts between residents and “smart” meter installers have been reported since installations resumed in the County in June.

“Every option is on the table,” says Joshua Hart, Director of StopSmartMeters.Org. “When you hear countless reports of serious illness resulting from the installation of these meters, and government agencies sit on their hands, refusing to intervene to protect the public, communities retain the right to defend themselves through peaceful mass direct action, lawsuits, or other means.  This forum will kick off a community discussion of how to keep Santa Cruz County safe from utility attacks.”

The “Wise Up to Smart Meters” forum comes at a time when community anger is building against PG&E for willfully violating local laws and threatening residents.   A large crowd is expected to attend.

Who:  Organized by StopSmartMeters.Org, featuring a panel of distinguished national experts, moderated by local radio personality Michael Zwerling (MZ) of KSCO radio. (see below)

What:  A public forum with expert panelists and an opportunity for the public to have their voices heard

Why:  To provide a forum for the Santa Cruz County Community to learn more about wireless “smart” meters and organize to resist their forced installation in the County

Where: Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St. (at Laurel) Santa Cruz CA 95060

When:  Wednesday, August 3rd 7-9:30pm

“Wise Up to ‘Smart’ Meters” Forum Featuring:

Moderator: Michael Zwerling (MZ) Owner, KSCO Radio,

Michael L. Zwerling is President and CEO Zwerling Broadcasting System, Ltd. Chairman and CEO ZBS Radio Associates, Ltd.  He is owner of KSCO NewsTalk AM 1080 serving Monterey-Salinas-Santa Cruz-San Jose metropolitan areas.


Joshua Hart MSc

Joshua Hart is the Director of StopSmartMeters.Org, an organization fighting the forced deployment of utility meters that harm health, violate civil liberties and endanger public safety.  He completed his Masters Degree in Transportation Planning at the University of the West of England in 2008 and has worked in the energy industry, as an urban planner, environmental advocate, and freelance journalist.

Dr. Karl Maret

Dr. Karl Maret practices Complementary and Alternative Medicine specializing in nutrition, functional medicine and energy medicine at the Dove Center for Integral Medicine in Aptos, California.  He holds an M.D. from the University of Toronto, as well as a Masters in Biomedical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.  As president of the Dove Health Alliance non-profit foundation he promotes global research networks in energy medicine including health concerns associated with electromagnetic radiation.

[1] https://stopsmartmeters.org/sample-letter-to-local-government/ca-local-governments-on-board/

[2] http://sccounty01.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/bds/Govstream/ASP/Display/PdfFinder.asp?Type=Minutes&MeetingDate=20110111&Filename=034-1.pdf

[3] https://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/04/20/daniel-hirsch-on-ccsts-fuzzy-math/

[4] http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

[5] http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/EFILE/CF/134539.pdf

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