By Glenn Mickens on 12 February 2012 in Island Breath -
[IB Editor's note: The following was submitted (and not yet accepted) to the TGI letter Forum.]
Image above: Scene of serfs listening to lord in movie "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". From (http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/serfs/).
Thank you, Ray Songtree for your fine, in depth article (TGI 2/11) "Rogue menace at KIUC." Also I applaud you for your outstanding testimony before the Council on 2/8 which all members except councilwoman Yukimiura seemed very satisfied with. The facts that you point out about the KIUC leadership not being a true representative of the people who "own the co-op" are so vividly true.
Whether it was the "Free Flow" debacle or the latest Smart Meter controversy, decisions are being made by the hierarchy without finding out what the wishes are from the people who own this co-op. There is no doubt that irrefutable evidence points to problems with these smart meters and we, the rate payers, should have the option of deciding if we want them installed in our homes. And we should not have to be home to tell the installers that we don't want them but we should simply be able to call KIUC and say no thank you.
AND there should not be an opt out charge to the customer for keeping their old meters. Has KIUC taken a page from our county's MO of "ready, fire, aim" by spending millions of dollars on these meters before really knowing all the facts including whether or not their "owners" want them? Again, thank you, Ray, for all your time, research and efforts in representing the people.
[IB Editor's note: The following is Ray Songtree's TGI Forum letter.]
Rogue menace at KIUC
By Ray Songtree on 11 February 2012 for The Garden Island News -
In a Dec. 14 response to a letter from American Civil Liberties Union of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative CEO David Bissel wrote, “If during the time of installation, a customer objects to smart meter installation at their particular premises, the installation will be temporarily halted and existing equipment will remain in place until a final decision has been made on any opt-out program.”
First of all there are no electric customers on Kaua‘i, as electricity is provided to owners of the co-op called members.
This policy of “no prior smart meter choice before the day of installation” was repeated Feb. 8 by KIUC Chief of Operations Mike Yamane at the Kaua‘i County Council meeting.
The question was asked, what if a member doesn’t want to “opt in” to the smart meter program and isn’t home? Yamane had no answer. There will be no answer because there is no dialogue between members and KIUC, and there never has been. Try asking a question at a board meeting and the reader will see.
At the KIUC informational meeting on smart meters on Dec. 6, KIUC Plant Manager Brad Rockwell told members of the audience privately that KIUC doesn’t want to offer an opt out in advance because KIUC is afraid too many people would opt out and scuttle the executive plan. In other words, KIUC is afraid of giving members choice. In other words, KIUC no longer believes that members, who are the owners, decide what happens at the co-op, but instead tries to circumnavigate member choice to the extent of endangering our health.
We learned at the Feb. 8 council meeting from Mike Yamane, who repeated it twice that the date of KIUC adoption of smart meter program was Dec. 22, 2010. However the minutes of the Dec. 21, 2010 board meeting do not mention smart grid. It has now been 31 days since I sent an email to KIUC CEO David Bissell asking him for minutes of this decision. He has not responded. There is no dialogue with KIUC.
Kaua‘i Transparency Initiative challenges KIUC CEO or board to produce any evidence that they received commentary and engaged in back and forth negotiation with public in order to represent public desire on smart meters before making this 2010 decision, if indeed that is when it was made.
The second principle of all electric co-ops is stated on KIUC’s website:
“Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. The elected representatives are accountable to the membership.”Kaua‘i Transparency Initiative accuses KIUC of willfully and knowingly making decisions that broke this principle, and is now forcing a defacto “opt into smart meters” policy upon co-op members.
According to Bissell and Yamane, only if you happen to be home and physically confront and stop installation of the smart meter on your home, can you avoid the new wireless Meter.
The board members of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine issued the following statement on Jan 19:
“The Board of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine opposes the installation of wireless ‘smart meters’ in homes and schools based on a scientific assessment of the current medical literature (references available on request). Chronic exposure to wireless radio frequency radiation is a preventable environmental hazard that is sufficiently well documented to warrant immediate preventative public health action. … Hence, we call for an immediate moratorium on ‘smart meter’ installation until these serious public health issues are resolved. Continuing with their installation would be extremely irresponsible.”In order to protect your right of choice, Kaua‘i residents might want to make your meter inaccessible to tampering in the event that you are not home 24/7 to guard your meter against rogue tampering. You can find ways to do this online.
A lawsuit against the individuals at KIUC who were responsible for breaking co-op principals is being vetted at this time. However, the court of public opinion is more powerful than any court of law. What is your opinion? Are you willing to express it?
KIUC ignores letters and emails and never discloses to other members any complaints. There is no dialogue or transparency at KIUC. If you have an opinion, we suggest you call KONG, KKCR, write to TGI, and then show up at KIUC board meeting Feb. 28 at 3 p.m. and demand that your testimony be printed in the minutes of the meeting online for all other members to see.
Remember, you own the co-op, they don’t own you. Smart meters are a health menace.
[IB Editor's note: The following was included by Ken Taylor in his email submission on this subject. It is a statement by Susan Brinchman, Director and Founder, Center for Electrosmog Prevention ] I do want to remind everyone that the best stance is not to have them on the island. Not having one on your home is not enough, you will still be exposed and at risk, inescapably, everywhere on the island. Deadly and dangerous, on schools, commercial buildings, neighbors' homes, community buildings, playgrounds, you name it... You are in the best position now that you will EVER be in to dump the whole program. Opting out should not be the loudest cry.
Susan Brinchman firstname.lastname@example.org
Director and Founder, Center for Electrosmog Prevention
P.O. Box 655, La Mesa, CA, 91944