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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions June 28, 2016

10/12/2013 8:56:00 AM
Editorial: Local arena wrong venue to debate Smart Meters

Last week's APS Smart Meters discussion before the Clarkdale Town Council should serve warning to Camp Verde and Cottonwood that they might want to take a bye on this one.

What's happened with the grassroots campaign against Smart Meters in Sedona and the Verde Valley is typical of what too often is the case with environmentally based lobbying efforts: The message is one-sided. It is often exaggerated. And the proponents are often rude and disrespectful.

As we reported earlier this week, the Clarkdale meeting was punctuated by gasps, scoffs and shouts from some of the audience, especially when members of the council questioned facts or reigned in public comments that went over their allotted time.

And when Councilman Bill Regner correctly emphasized that a local municipality cannot prohibit Smart Meters, he was rudely rebuffed in what can only be described as mob mentality.

To which Mr. Regner politely replied: "This is where your argument loses people. This is where you lose me."

The current scare tactic campaign against Smart Meters is reminiscent of what we have previously heard in years past about everything from cell phones to microwave ovens.

Our local city and town councils have more important matters to discuss and debate, and they can do it with people who can be civil.

Finally, Mr. Regner is absolutely right in questioning why such a debate is even taking place at the local level. The Arizona Corporation Commission is the governing body that has regulatory authority over Arizona Public Service. Take your beef to them. They actually can do something about it.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Robert Savant

Corrected: Higher than normal copper in human bloodstream may be linked to higher risk for early onset Alzheimer disease. The animal studies have already concluded thus and human trials are next. Similar animal/human studies with higher than safe levels of mineral absorption/consumption show high correlation.

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Article comment by: Local Arena is the place to educate

Very funny, Editor, 100% of the audience that night did not want these dangerous meters. They were smart people. What exactly was the debate when not a single one of the council member felt qualified to prove to us the absolute safety or lack thereof of these dangerous meters? By the way, it was supposed to be an informational presentation. Debate implied that both sides were equally knowledgeable on the subject matter. It was not the case. The purpose of the presentation was to bring to the attention of the issues of these dangerous meters and to bring our council up to speed. People cared about the health and privacy of others because these devices are Class 2B Carcinogen as classified by the World Health Organization May 2011. A council truly cares about its people would absolutely do its best to find ways to protect them from harm. We were watching the enactment of tobacco and second hand smoke. Only this time, microwave radiation is odorless, invisible and can go through walls.

Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Article comment by: Paul H

"Fear mongering"? how about "people with big hearts looking out for the human race"? Something the Mayor doesn't have.

You would be rude too if you knew first hand how nasty these meters are. The health complaints are very real. Everyone's blood shows high levels of copper,TGFb1, and MMP9 after installation. There is a reason why the World Health Organization classified this type of emission as a possible carcinogen. I wouldn't want to be the Mayor on the wrong side of this catastrophe.

Why would an "environmentalist" reject something touted as "green" and going to help save the planet? Maybe because they did their homework>

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Is Verde Still Absolutely Independent?

Does our editor know that Arizona Corporation Commission asked the Department of Health Services to conduct a study on the health effects of Smart Meters? This decision was based on the responses ACC received when they asked for submission of studies concerning health. Laws are tested in court every day. If one party wins, then the case will be cited in all future case. Is our editor aware of this fact? Thank goodness for some very wise and creative audience telling the council that they can send a letter to every single resident of Clarkdale to inform them they all have the rights to refuse Smart Meter and ACC had not approved any opt out fees. Does the editor know that ACC had said in their last meeting that nobody had to have a Smart Meter if they did not want one. The town certainly has the right to do so and achieve the same result as prohibiting Smart Meters. Wake up folks. Do not let your elected officials hide behind the excuse of jurisdiction. If they really care about you, they will find a way to get the message across to everyone to keep Smart Meters out. And yes, it is not just health issues, it is the cost, the privacy, the interference of medical devices, the interference of electronic equipment and appliance. We heard all the council members admitted that they were not qualified to assure us that the Smart Meters are safe, so what's the big deal to tell ACC that Clarkdale will wait until the meters are independently tested and proven safe. Sedona, Bisbee and Big Park have all done that because the issue was brought to their attention.

Posted: Monday, October 14, 2013
Article comment by: Are the mayor and councilman informed?

It's not only the health issues, it's the cost.

If putting meter readers on unemployment saves APS money, shouldn't that savings be passed on the consumers?

The reality has been quite the opposite. Smart meters enable time-of-day billing, which will increase consumer cost.

There is also the issue of programming. These meters are computers in which rates can be programmed remotely. An incorrectly programmed meter can cost a consumer a lot of time getting their meter reprogrammed and their overpayment reimbursed.

A group of Stanford graduate students who had a smart meter installed saw their bills increase 2-1/2 times.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: T. Hearn

Reply to the Editor:
I don't completely agree. The Sedona anti-Smart Meter representatives were a bit over the top. But municipalities have a louder voice with the ACC than their individual citizens do. They also do have some authority over safety standards within their communities and can insist on placement, shielding, and privacy precautions. Where would you suggest these issues be researched and discussed if not in town and city council sessions? Wouldn't the ACC benefit from their considered input on the potential impact in their locale?

I'm old enough to remember the hue and cry over the proliferation of high tension power lines. This was shouted down, ridiculed, and shrugged aside in the 1950's, but half a century later we do have a higher per capita incidence of the maladies opponents were ascribing to high tension whine exposure (although not to the degree predicted by horror films at the time). And most city planners, electrical engineers, and utility companies today agree it would have been better to invest the extra time and money needed to bury the lines in shielded conduits in the first place.

I don't understand APS's rush to implement a technology that has been experiencing difficulties in Europe as well as the United States. I question just slapping these Smart Meters up wherever the analog meters were located. I wonder why anyone needs a reading every second of every day. I'm concerned about the employment prospects of meter readers in today's economy. And I'm somewhat puzzled by your contention town and city councils "have more important matters to discuss and debate" than how to move forward with new technologies without repeating past mistakes or creating new problems.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Freedom of the Press is For Facts and Truth.

The VI is an independent voice for the people.

Could the VI health dept look into the health
questions that many citizens have been bringing
up over many years with regards to electromagnetic
radiation (EMR)?

Thanks for news coverage on this subject.

Frank Henry
Tel: 928-649-0249
e-mail: fmhenry4@netzero.com

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Good Boy

Gosh, I am glad you were not around during the revolutionary war.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Don't paint all enviromentalists with the same broad brush

"Proponents (of the environment) are often rude and disrespectful"?

If protecting the Verde River, protecting forest land, watershed and open space, and protecting air quality are all environmental issues, then that probably makes nearly all of us around here environmentalists.

So it's really unfair and inaccurate to paint proponents of the environment with the same broad brush as these people who are very narrowly focused on smart meters.

If anything is rude and disrespectful, it's making a stereotyped and undeserved accusation like that.

Posted: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Article comment by: Wake up, PEOPLE

Well, lets be very polite and civilized and wait patiently while the moneymakers and the corrupt tell us nothing is wrong.
Meanwhile, they are all installed and the analog meters are gone for good. destroyed
Civilized fools you are, little well behaved sheeple.
Did you know that wireless companies pay people to troll the internet and disrupt informative conversation? They are called trollers.
No, of course you didn't, it would not be polite or civilized to know these things.
This way toward the showers, just throw your eyeglasses into that pile.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Warren Woodward

After reading this editorial I can only wonder if the writer was in attendance at the Council meeting.

Look at these unsubstantiated claims: "The message is one-sided. It is often exaggerated. And the proponents are often rude and disrespectful."

How was my presentation one-sided, because APS wasn't there? Guess what? After their poor showing in Sedona where they were unable to answer basic questions, APS has quit going to public forums where an opposite side is presented. I was scheduled for a "re-match" with APS at Big Park Council in Village of Oak Creek but APS backed out. If the Verde Independent had any kind of nose for news then the Verde Independent would know that.

And just what exactly was "exaggerated"? My presentation has been thoroughly fact checked. This editorial is really little more than name calling.

As for "rude and disrespectful", it was actually Clarkdale Council who was rude and disrespectful. I was interrupted repeatedly during my presentation by both Council Member Regner and Mayor Von Gausig. I had the floor but that didn't matter to Mr. Regner and Mr. Von Gausig whose constant interruptions were more like heckling and an immature game of "gotcha" than an earnest desire for truth.

I have given “smart” meter power point presentations to Sedona Council, Big Park Council, Sedona Rotary and the Arizona Hospital & Healthcare Association and have never experienced such rudeness. At every one of those presentations people listened respectfully and saved their questions and comments for the end. That's basic respect for someone who has the floor.

The poor editorial writer displays complete ignorance of the subject with this line: "... Councilman Bill Regner correctly emphasized that a local municipality cannot prohibit Smart Meters ...."

In actual fact, Mr. Regner and the editorial writer are incorrect. PG&E's "smart" meters in California were successfully kicked out of the Town of Fairfax by the Town having the guts to enforce its nuisance ordinance -- something I pointed out Clarkdale could do via Arizona's nuisance ordinance.

PG&E tried to claim a variation on “diplomatic immunity” by asserting they were regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission and therefore untouchable by a local jurisdiction. However, that is only a utility talking point, not a matter of settled law. Oftentimes power goes to those who take it. Fairfax took the power that was rightfully theirs. They asserted themselves and remain “smart” meter free.

In the future, both Mr. Regner and the editorial writer would better serve the public by being honest and saying what they don't want to do, not what Clarkdale can't do.

Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2013
Article comment by: Alarmed and paying attention

Thank you for this editorial. Your common sense may not prevail, but at least you pointed out what needed to be said.

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