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Communities, Governments


Communities and Governments / Cell Towers / Cell Phones / Meters and more.

Information and strategies exist to deal with communication technologies and infrastructure at societal levels, and facilitate awareness and proactive solutions.   Hiding behind outdated Federal regulations (in Canada, Safety Code 6) does not remove the elected official's obligation to act in the best interests of the public. 

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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 26
2014

Reality Check: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

Richard Williams, an American rapper, explains in this video the current state of our social lives.

Why I Refuse to Let Technology Control Me. You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here. :)



Did you know the average person spends 4 years of his life looking down
at his cell phone?

Kind of ironic, ain't it?

How these touch-screens can make us lose touch.

But it's no wonder in a world filled with

IMac's, iPads and iPhones

So many "i"'s, so many selfies, not enough "us"'s and "we"'s
See, Technology has made us more selfish and separate than ever

Cause while it claims to connect us, connection has gotten no
better

And let me express first

Mr Zuckerberg, not to be rude, but you should re-classify Facebook
to what it is:

An anti-social network

Cause while we may have big friend lists

So many of us are friendless, all alone

Cause friendships are more broken than the screens on our very phones

We sit at home on our computers measuring self worth by
numbers of followers and Likes

Ignoring those who actually love us

It seems we'd rather write an angry post

Than talk to someone who might actually hug us

Am I bugging? You tell me...

I asked a friend the other day lets meet up face to face

They said all right, what time you wanna Skype?

I responded with omg, srs, and then a bunch of smh's

And realized what about me?

Do I not have the patience to have conversation without
abbreviation?

This is the generation of media over stimulation

Chats have been reduced to snaps

The news is 140 characters

Videos are 6 seconds at high speed

And you wonder why ADD is on the rise faster than 4G LTE

But, get a load of this

Studies show the attention span of the average adult today

Is one second lower than that of a gold fish

.

So if, you're one of the few people or aquatic animals that have
yet to click off or close this video, congratulations.

Let me finish by saying you do have a choice, yes

But this one my friends we cannot Auto-Correct - we must do it
ourselves

Take control or be controlled, Make a decision

Me? 
No longer do I want to spoil a precious moment by recording it
with a phone

I'm just gonna keep them

I don't wanna take a picture of all my meals anymore -
I'm just gonna eat them

I don't want the new app, the new software, or the new update.

And If I wanna post an old photo of myself who says I have to wait
until Thursday

I'm so tired of performing in the pageantry of vanity

And conforming to this accepted form of digital insanity
.
Call me crazy but, I imagine a world where we
smile when we have low batteries

Cause that will mean we'll be one bar closer - to humanity.




Oct 26
2014

Former Nokia Technology Chief: Mobile phones wrecked my health

Former Nokia CTO's multiple sclerosis and... Nokia's patents to prevent it?

" . . . Nokia's former Technology Chief, Matti Niemela, was involved in the development the world's first mobile phones, but fell seriously ill himself from mobile-phone microwave radiation.

"In addition, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Some studies suggest that radiation may increase the risk of even MS.

"For Tampere-based Matti Niemelä, age 44, life was like in the movies when he as a young man was recruited to work for Nokia in 1997. The brilliant young man quickly advanced to become Nokia's Chief Technology Officer for ten years, and was involved in developing the world's first mobile phones, memory sticks and WLAN [Wi-Fi] connections.

"In 2007, Niemela's career hit a brick wall as his health finally failed. Today, he is only able to move using a walker. Niemela refuses to use a wheelchair.  

"The irony of this is that I'm no longer able to use any of those devices that I had been developing, Niemelä says with a smile. . . .




Oct 20
2014

Digital Dementia - Current Concerns

Dr. Manfred Spitzer: The too frequent use of digital media reduces the mental capacity of our children

by Dr. Rudolf Hansel, qualified psychologist, Lindau/Germany

  • Psychiatrist and brain researcher Manfred Spitzer warns parents and educators 
  • From digital media to digital dementia 
  • Media usage from toddler to adolescent 
  • A TV screen is neither a good babysitter nor a good teacher 
  • Early childhood television viewing, multi-tasking and attention disorders  
  • Insomnia, depression, addiction and physical consequences 
  • Computers and Internet in the classroom 
  • Media literacy as meaningful as alcohol competence 
  • Digital games affect school performance, social contacts and the relationship with parents and friends 
  • Social Networks: Facebook instead of "face to face" 
  • Media consumption in the home to be limited to the minimum




Oct 20
2014

"TORONTO, Oct. 20, 2014 /CNW/ -

"A survey published today shows that a hundred candidates running for school Trustee in next week's election say school Boards must reassess the safety of Wi-Fi.

"The survey, published by Canadians For Safe Technology has revealed that the safety of Wi-Fi in schools is strongly on the radar of parents and teachers across Ontario.

"Wireless technology is being adopted in our schools faster than our understanding of its possible side effects," said Howard Kaplan, Toronto District School Board Trustee for York Centre.

"There are enough teachers unions asking for caution that it's clear we must slow down and examine the safety of so many wireless devices in our schools," he said.

"Kaplan is part of the Toronto Board's Learning Technology Workforce, and is also Chair of the Health and Mental Well Being Committee for Toronto schools.

"I sit at the intersection of technology and health and there are enough warnings that we can't ignore them any more," he said. . . .

" . . . Among the suggestions from candidates is that teachers be allowed to turn off a Wi-Fi router when not in use, and that students be told about the fine-print health warnings that come with most wireless devices installed in their schools.




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 16
2014

CLASS ACTION (Lawsuit) PACKAGE (updated October 16)

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?


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



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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