Aug. 30th, 2010: Protests Halt the ‘Smart’ Meter In Santa Cruz County For Third Day In A Row

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                     Contact:  Joshua Hart, Stop Smart Meters!

joshuanoahhart[at]gmail[dot]com

August 30th, 2010

PROTESTS HALT THE ‘SMART’ METER IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FOR THIRD DAY IN A ROW

After Watsonville Acts, Santa Cruz County Considering Emergency Ordinance Banning Radiating Meters

For the third straight morning, outraged Santa Cruz County residents gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy at 38th and Portola in Capitola, successfully blocking what they say is a forced installation of radiating ‘smart’ meters against the will of residents and nearly two dozen local governments throughout the Greater Bay Area.  This morning, about two dozen protesters gathered at the gates of Wellington Energy, peacefully blocking the driveway as trucks started to drive out to install the ‘smart’ meters.  The Santa Cruz County Sheriff showed up and asked the protesters to step aside.   Once it was clear that protesters were willing to risk arrest, PG&E backed down in order to avoid any additional negative publicity that is increasingly plaguing their ‘smart’ meter program.

Despite the fact that the $2.2 billion program is being funded by ratepayers, and the new meters installed on people’s homes, there has been virtually no public consultation in advance of what PG&E itself admits is one of the largest rollouts of technology in history.

PG&E’s smart meter troubles mounted significantly last week.  Last Tuesday, the City of Novato demanded a halt to the program, and Watsonville unanimously passed the most stringent law in the state banning ‘smart’ meters within city limits, following the lead of Fairfax in Marin County.  Santa Cruz County, Capitola and numerous other local governments throughout the state are planning to follow their lead, responding to inaction by PG&E and the CA Public Utilities Commission in the face of peer-reviewed scientific studies that suggest the meters may have serious unintended health consequences, similar to cell phones which have been linked with brain tumors in many recent studies.[1]

Heidi Bazzano, one of the protesters at 38th and Portola this morning, said, “there are so many problems with ‘smart’ meters. PG&E, the government, and any hacker worth his salt will know when you wake up, what appliances you use, when you go on vacation.  The meters overcharge people, increase carbon emissions, expose us to EMF which is a confirmed carcinogen, and worst of all, we’re paying for them through hikes in our electric rates!”

Those who are electrically sensitive have reported that the intense bursts of radiation from ‘smart’ meters are amongst the worst they have ever experienced.  People throughout the state have been reporting headaches, nausea, dizziness, sleep disruption and other health impacts after smart meters are installed.   PG&E has declined to remove the new meters even though they are causing adverse health impacts.

Residents vow to continue their protests at the Wellington site at 38th and Portola in Capitola until the County of Santa Cruz passes an emergency ordinance banning smart meters in the County.

The following local governments, politicians, and organizations are calling for a moratorium, have enacted a ban, or are opposing Smart Meters:

The Utility Reform Network, State Senator Dean Florez, the City and County of San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Marin County Board of Supervisors, Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo, the cities of Sebastopol, Berkeley, Cotati, Fairfax, Santa Cruz, Piedmont, Scotts Valley, Capitola, Watsonville, Sausalito, Belvedere, Monte Sereno, Novato, Richmond, Ross, Bolinas, Camp Meeker, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Marin Association of Realtors and The EMF Safety Network.

Video footage and stills of protests available upon request.   More information at https://stopsmartmeters.wordpress.com

[1] http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/59296/title/Interphone_study_finds_hints_of_brain_cancer_risk_in_heavy_cell-phone_users

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