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Nov 12
2014

Class Action Lawsuit Update
Human Rights Tribunal Decision Update
What Happens Next?




Nov 1
2014

Time Sensitive ALERT and UPDATE: Olympic National Forest designated as Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range for US Navy

SECOND EXTENSION: comment period ends Friday, November 28th, 2014 - This will go ahead IF Forest Service approves

Please, send your comments, short, long, get them in so you can be involved later.

N.B. Public input to October 10 has been significant, and so requests to have the deadline extended have been granted TWICE. The second deadline for comments was October 31.  It has now been reset for November 28, 2014.  The current comment procedure is printed below.  Beneath that is our original information with new deadline inserted. 

Examples of Letters


Dear Interested Party:


T
he Responsible Official for the Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment has decided to extend the current public comment. The current comment period was to end October 31, 2014. To ensure the public has had plenty of time to provide comment, the comment period will be extended to November 28, 2014. If you have already provided comments on this project, you do not need to comment again with the same information you've already provided.

 

In addition to extending the comment period, the City of Port Angeles is hosting Navy and US Forest staff for a question and answer session on Thursday, November 6th from 6-8pm in Port Angeles, WA.  The location for this event is the City Council Chambers, located at 321 East Fifth Street, Port Angeles, WA. 

 

Those wishing to provide input and have standing (eligibility) during the future Objection period for this project can be submitted to the project website, http://go.usa.gov/785z , and click on the "Comment on Project" link on the right side. If you have any questions regarding the details of this proposal or have comments, please contact Greg Wahl at (360) 956-2375.

 

The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.  The office location is 1835 Black Lake Blvd SW, Olympia, WA  98512.  Those submitting electronic copies must put the project name in the subject line, and must either submit comments as part of the e-mail message or as an attachment only in one of the following three formats: Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf) or Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf). In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification.

 

Written, facsimile, hand-delivered, and electronic comments concerning this action will be accepted until November 28, 2014. 

 

The EA is available for review on-line at: http://go.usa.gov/785z

 
Original Background:

Beginning next year (2015) the U.S. Navy plans EMF weapons exercises (powerful RF devices) in the Olympic National Forest in Washington State, along the shores of northern Olympic Peninsula.  Callum County faces Victoria and B.C. The frequencies are high, 4-8 GHz, and travel great distances. British Columbia will very likely be exposed to high levels of radiation that the military will be testing.

The US Forest Service issued a draft approval finding no significant impact. 
The U.S. Navy is saying there is no evidence of harm to animals or humans. 

We all know this is not true.  Significantly, the Forest District Manager Dean Millett cancelled his decision (Environmental Assessment) on September 26 and re-opened the Public Comment period. That Public Comment period ends October [31].

All the documents are here Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA)- Electrowarfare

To have standing to make an objection later during the objection period, you must submit a comment now. The objection period will take place after the public comment period closes and District Manager Millett re-issues a decision.

Project name is apparently Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA) That must be in the subject line if sending comments by email.

Those wishing to provide input and have standing (eligibility) during the future Objection period for this project must submit their comments to the project lead:

Greg Wahl
1835 Black Lake Blvd SW,
Olympia, WA 98512.


If you have any questions regarding the details of this proposal or have comments, please contact Greg Wahl at gtwahl@fs.fed.us [only for questions] or (360) 956-2375. The office business hours for those submitting hand-delivered comments are: 8:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Those submitting electronic copies [of comments] must put the project name in the subject line, and must either submit comments as part of the e-mail message or as an attachment only in one of the following three formats: Microsoft Word, rich text format (rtf) or Adobe Portable Document Format (pdf), and can do so to the following e-mail address: comments-pacificnorthwest-olympic-pacific@fs.fed.us

In cases where no identifiable name is attached to a comment, a verification of identity will be required for objection eligibility. If using an electronic message, a scanned signature is one way to provide verification. E-mails submitted to e-mail addresses other than the one listed above, in other formats than those listed, or containing viruses, will be rejected.

For more information and documents on this project, including the Draft Decision Notice (under "Decision"), the Final EA, and EA Public Notice Extension, Sept.26 (under "Supporting"): http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Electrowarfare Information on the extended comment period are under "Supporting". Here are two informative articles on this from the Peninsula Daily News. Post comments on the most recent one below:

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140928/NEWS/309289934/no-people-large-animals-to-be-harmed-in-electronic-warfare-training

http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20140927/NEWS/309279992/for-war-games-next-year-navy-wants-to-post-trucks-with

Excerpts from the first link:

The Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range project would entail the first use of electromagnetic radiation for the Navy training that pilots now simulate by internal aircraft controls.

Dean Millett, district ranger for the Pacific District of the Olympic National Forest, had issued a draft notice of a decision earlier this month in which he had agreed with the Navy's finding of no significant impact, clearing the way for a Forest Service special permit.

He canceled the decision Thursday and reopened public comment because of "renewed interest . . . from members of the public who were unaware of the proposal," notice of which was not published in North Olympic Peninsula newspapers.

Comment is being accepted through Oct. [31] on the environmental assessment, which is at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Electrowarfare.

The purpose is to train to deny the enemy "all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. electromagnetic energy) for use in such applications as communication systems, navigation systems and defense related systems and components," according to the environmental assessment.

Extended exposure to electromagnetic radiation could cause a health hazard, the Navy said in the environmental assessment, available at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-Electrowarfare.

The emitters would operate on a radio frequency band from 4 to 8 gigahertz (GHz).

Navy officials did not know the impact of the emissions on small animals, saying "There are no conclusive direct hazards to human tissue as a result of electromagnetic radiation.

"Links to DNA fragmentation, leukemia, and cancer due to intermittent exposure to extremely high levels of electromagnetic radiation are speculative; study data are inconsistent and insufficient at this time," according to the assessment.

Crew members staffing the trucks would be protected by being under the tower, which is pointing the electromagnetic radiation upward, Sodano said.

The draft decision has been made by one person, Dean Millett, District Ranger for the Park. He decided to let the Navy proceed with their Alternative 2 is because "it meets the purpose and need of the project most effectively". This park ranger is deciding what is best for the Navy instead of what is best for the park.

Please comment and distribute this information widely. According to the press report, if the Forest Service says "No", the Navy can't use the Forest.

Questions? Contact Greg Wahl, Forest Environmental Coordinator

Email: gtwahl@fs.fed.us
Telephone: 360-956-2375.

If you are tweeting a message about the US Navy EMF testing as follows, due to the length you may have to do so in a series of 3 tweets.  Please post, tweet and retweet this to reach as many people as possible in the short time we have.  And please, write, call, visit your MP's and MLA's to demand that they get involved to find out where our governments have been while this has been going on in the U.S.




Nov 1
2014

SaskPower's CEO resigns over dangerous smart meter program; should BC's Bennett be next?

Press Release from the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters, October 28, 2014

Attached is a press release that went out October 28, 2014.  Please send it to your local newspapers, radio stations, etc. People need to be demanding an independent investigation of the ITRON meter failures in BC. The government and Hydro, are denying the failures have occurred, despite their own records to the contrary. This is profound negligence. No politician is willing to stand up and draw attention to this, no government agency has any authority for oversight. It's up to us to raise this to the level that the NDP in Saskatchewan did - and demand a full investigation.

" . . .  It's time for a full independent investigation into BC Hydro's smart meter program.

"There have been far more failures and fires associated with the Itron smart meter in BC than there have been in Saskatchewan, as found in official documents obtained through Freedom of Information (FOI) requests. Yet BC Energy Minister Bill Bennett and the head of BC Hydro's smart meter program, Greg Reimer, continue to deny any have occurred. Mr. Bennett has tried to mislead the public by saying that the brand of smart meters used in BC are not the same as used in Saskatchewan. While this is true, the fact remains that fires and meter failures have occurred in BC.

"Sharon Noble, Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters believes this is not just a coincidence. "It appears as if the government did not want any oversight at all from any agency that has the duty and responsibility to protect the public's welfare. This lack of concern for the safety of the public is alarming."

"A Fire Report was sent to the government in August by the Coalition, with examples taken from FOI documents of "failures" as well as fires that were not tracked officially. Noble believes it is ludicrous for the government to deny that fires and failures have occurred when Hydro itself has reports to the contrary.

 "The Coalition believes that the lives and property of British Columbians are just as important as those of people living in Saskatchewan. It is time for the government to do the right thing and end this dangerous program until and unless it can be proven to be safe."




Oct 27
2014

SaskPower CEO Robert Watson resigns over smart meter controversy

Review said Crown utility didn't adequately look after safety concerns

BACKGROUND

July 15, 2014  Smart meter installations on hold as SaskPower probes fires.
July 30, 2014 SaskPower to remove 105,000 smart meters following fires
July 31, 2014 SaskPower to remove 105,000 smart meters following fires
July 31, 2014 Smart meter recall cost balloons to $47 M, SaskPower says 
July 29, 2014 Saskatoon Light and Power sticking with smart meters
August 6, 2014  SaskPower CEO apologizes for smart meters
August 11, 2014 10th "smart" meter fire hits home in Regina
August 15,2014 Sask. let "unqualified" workers install meters, NDP says
October 24, 2014 Trial period incidents should have halted smart meter program: NDP
October 27, 2014 SaskPowerCEO out after report: 'consumer safety not a priority"
October 27, 2014 Smart meter safety not enough of a priority for SaskPower: Review
October 27, 2014 SaskPower CEO Watson resigns after release of scathing smart meter report / VIDEOS

SaskPower CEO Robert Watson has resigned following release of a report on the smart meter program. 

"The potential for catastrophic meter failure was never identified as a possible risk." CIC Smart Meter Review

Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for SaskPower, said Watson submitted his resignation on the weekend and it was accepted. 

The smart meter review released Monday faulted the Crown corporation for not doing a better job looking after customer safety. During the summer, there were eight smart meter fires.  

Watson was appointed to the top job at the provincially owned power utility in 2010 after six years as CEO at SaskTel, the government's phone company.  

He will not receive severance, said Bill Boyd, the minister responsible for SaskPower.  
SaskPower sent out a press release Monday afternoon, stating it will be examining the review, and "take recommendations forward as planning for new smart meters continues in the next several years." 

"SaskPower employees are working hard to address the challenges faced with the smart meter program," said Boyd in the release. 

"This report provides valuable insight as to where gaps existed. We will be implementing changes accordingly over the next few days."  

SaskPower is the province's biggest Crown corporation, with assets of $7 billion and revenues in 2012 of $1.8 billion.






Oct 18
2014

Support Berkeley's important cell phone safety bill

Op-ed from Kevin Kunze. His recent documentary, 'Mobilize,' explores the possible long-term health effects from cell phone radiation and the influence companies can have on public health.

" . . . The cell phone industry has already threatened to sue the City of Berkeley if they pass this ordinance. The legislation to be considered by Berkeley simply requires that retailers inform their customers about information that is already provided in their user manuals.

"Esteemed Harvard Constitutional Law Professor Larry Lessig has expressed his opinion that this draft ordinance does not violate industry's legal rights. Professor Lessig feels strongly that citizens have the right to be informed of this important safety information, and he has agreed to defend it pro bono all the way to the Supreme Court if industry files a lawsuit. . .

"It's been nearly 20 years since our national government first implemented radiation standards for cell phones. Instead of waiting for federal legislation, it's time for our local government to protect our health and that of our children. Please write to your council member and join us on October 28 to support this important ordinance. Thank you very much for your time and support.

"Berkeleyside welcomes submissions of op-ed articles. We ask that we are given first refusal to publish. Topics should be Berkeley-related, local authors are preferred, and we don't publish anonymous pieces. Please email submissions to us. Berkeleyside will publish op-ed pieces at its discretion."




Oct 18
2014

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Mandatory wireless in all American-made cars

Comment by midnight Oct. 20th - Peril on the Road: Wireless Mandated Vehicles


N.B. Comment deadline is now past. The following is for your information:

"The US Dept. of Transportation is accepting comments until midnight, Monday, Oct. 20.

"When you think things can't get crazier, things get crazier. If this is approved, all American-made cars will be wireless.


"Aside from health, what are the safety implications of ramping up wireless exposures to millions of electro-intolerant drivers?

Not in our car!

"The Department of Transportation is proposing to require "vehicle-to-vehicle wireless communication" in all light vehicles in the United States . . .

"Please make a comment this weekend even if it is a brief statement. Building a record of opposition is very important.

"It's not going to make our roadways any safer if we're causing heart problems, blurry vision, or headaches in drivers. Submit Your Comments in 3 Places:

Comment here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=NHTSA-2014-0022-0002
Comment here (Research Report): http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NHTSA-2014-0022
Comment here: Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards: Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) Communications




Oct 16
2014

CLASS ACTION (Lawsuit) PACKAGE (updated November 7, 2014)

Links to Participation Forms, Q and A and other information for anyone opposed to BC Hydro's Smart Meter Program

CLASS ACTION

COMPLETE THIS FORM TO PARTICIPATE:

Residential PARTICIPATION FORM 

Commercial PARTICIPATION FORM


Questions and Answers relating to Participation Forms


Opt-Out Sign for Analog (Option 1)

Opt-Out Sign for Analog (Option 2) (Class Action Version)


WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW?

Notice of Application November 7, 2014

* Check out the postings under BCUC/BC Hydro Class Action on this website for ongoing news and updates.  

TAKE ACTION IN YOUR COMMUNITY:

FLYER

Mini Class Action Participation Form

Mini Q&A






Oct 15
2014

Societies Act White Paper: Draft Legislation (B.C.)

ALERT - Proposed legislation would silence those with whom the government disagrees . . .

"One of our most important civil liberties is the right to discuss and debate issues of concern within our communities. Silencing those with whom the government disagrees, or allowing others to silence this debate for purposes of their own, is tantamount to limiting our free speech. What is this government so afraid of? In a healthy democracy, debate should be encouraged. Stifling discourse will lead to tyranny, which seems to be the way this government wants to rule. Ruling by fear and through threats does not belong in BC or Canada.

"This is the next logical step in the way the govt. is trying to do business. First, govern by directive so that no opposition can be voiced by the other party. Second, shut down any public opposition by groups exercising their civil rights. 

"This is not a government that can withstand scrutiny, and it wants to make sure it has to answer to no one! 

"Is the opposition going to speak out about this? This should be strongly debated, with significant public input - not hidden as it has been. 

"This White Paper is frightening, and I find this proposal appalling.

Sincerely,
Sharon Noble


Huffington Post: "Christy Clark's Proposed Policy Overhaul is Breathtakingly Stupid"




Oct 14
2014

B.C. Hydro Press Release Refuted (August 26, 2014)

Opinion piece: A rebuttal to BC Hydro's press release of August 25, 2014

In response to the recent Fire Report sent to media outlets in BC, Hydro released a press release in an attempt to refute it, without directly addressing it, saying that the smart meters are improving the safety of the $$mart grid.

Please note that Hydro does not deny that fires have occurred: 
http://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2014/new-meters-making-electricity-grid-safer.html
   
Attached is a rebuttal that Sharon Noble, Director of the Coalition to Stop Smart Meters in BC, has sent out to every media outlet and newspaper.

Please circulate it to your newspapers, and your contacts, too. Thank you!




Oct 13
2014

BC's energy minister admits smart meter FIRES ... but will do nothing

PRESS RELEASE: Coalition to Stop "Smart" Meters - July 30, 2014



JULY 30, 2014    For immediate release

BC's energy minister admits smart meter FIRES

... but will do nothing

Energy Minister Bill Bennett admits to smart meter fires in British Columbia, but rather than do anything, he expresses disappointment that Saskatchewan is taking action to protect its citizens.


On July 30 Saskatchewan Energy Minister Bill Boyd called a halt to the smart meter program, demanding removal of 105,000 meters after 8 "failures", that include fires and exploding meters. www.globalnews.ca/news/1483134/saskpower-ordered-to-remove-all-smart-meters-in-the-province/

"I think the concerns about safety are paramount here, the concerns are significant enough, anytime families are at risk in Saskatchewan, actions have to be taken and that's why we've directed SaskPower accordingly," said Minister Boyd.


In British Columbia, where we've had more "failures", which have also included fires and exploding meters, Bill Bennett and BC Hydro consistently have refused to acknowledge the danger and, instead, put the blame on homeowners' meter bases and wiring. It doesn't matter why a home burns after a smart meter has been installed - whether it was because the inexperienced installer damaged the base or that the meter heated up due to design flaws. The fact is that property and lives have been put at risk and our government is refusing to protect us.


Bennett is sorry that Saskatchewan is taking this action. ""It's unfortunate that Saskatchewan is doing what it's doing..." Why? Because it shows that some provincial governments are more concerned about their citizens than others. It puts BC to shame. www.cknw.com/2014/07/30/while-saskatchewan-yanks-its-smart-meters-bc-wont-do-the-same/  


Finally Bennett is admitting there have been fires due to smart meters in BC. This is a first, but it's way too late. Fires have been occurring for the last 3 years, and Hydro and Liberals have denied it. The evidence has been hidden and people have been living with a fire hazard on their bedroom walls. He's told Hydro to find out how many have occurred. That may be difficult because no agency is tracking them.


Why is Bennett asking for a count? Is it just because he feels he must do something? Saskatchewan doesn't know why the meters have caused fires - they are taking action because fires have occurred. We have had many fires and incidents in BC, and nothing has been done to protect us. Instead the program has been protected with lies and cover-ups. Do we not deserve the same precautionary action as Saskatchewan?


The Coalition to Stop Smart Meters asks, "Please tell us, Mr. Bennett, what is the right number, how many homes must burn before you will stop this dangerous program??"




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Meetings and events on the issue of wireless technologies in homes and communities throughout North America.


Click the button above to sign our online petition to return to hardwired computers in schools.



Click the button above to sign our online petition against Smart Meters in British Columbia.

Smart Meter Petition (Hard Copy)

Download and print this petition form -- Refuse Smart Meter Installation.

Send completed petitions 15 signatures per page to:
Una St. Clair

fax:
1-866-824-8865

e-mail: una@citizensforsafetechnology.org