The headline for Debra Keipp’s letter last week (AVA, 9/21/2011) could more accurately have been “Hallucinatory Bedfellows.” Miss Keipp seems to have a ten-year repeating pattern (like a mental stutter) of public accusation in these pages against my person and her perception of my sexual behavior. Last time, in a massively libelous and equally bizarre and implausible claim, she mentioned particular acts and a specific venue, which — embedded in a longer diatribe — went unnoticed by the editor, who subsequently apologized in print. This time, her mysterious statement of “fact” is so brief that it can’t be overlooked and yet vague enough that the editor is able to present it.
I’m actually glad in a way, because clearly these things are being discussed at that locus of political activity, the Sign of the Whale bar in Point Arena. At least in the pages of the AVA I can have a voice as well. I don’t hang out in the bar — having kids and a happy home life — so I am never present to point out inaccuracies or — gasp — even lies. Here in this venue, at least I have the opportunity to respond and I thank the paper’s management for that.
Let me start with Miss Keipp’s admission that the recall was “nasty” and was indeed based on the personal vendetta of the individual she names. That person’s misunderstanding of what actually happened did in fact lead — as I have stated previously — to countless hours of phone calling on this person’s part, calls made to everyone drawing breath between the Sea Ranch and Elk. Whatever was said was convincing, as we saw in the election results, but exactly what was claimed remains obscure. The people who called me about it revealed that the accusations were accompanied by a vicious yet vague homemade “petition.”
Later, the early assertions of immorality were glossed over by new horrors (the city’s wastewater plan, the subdivision ordinance, senior housing) so that the voter would have time to forget that the agitator’s husband, the person believed to be romantically involved with me, would therefore perhaps be unqualified to gain office himself. Back then, the agitator didn’t want to say something like, “Hey, you need to know that this unmarried Jezebel has lured an unwitting married man, my husband, into a mentally deranged state, convincing him to leave me, turning his head, but at the same time he is innocent and should be elected and even be made Mayor instead of her.” Most people have busy lives and they forgot the particulars before long, simply remembering the “evil woman” part, the Eve and the apple perception, as familiar as it is.
Perhaps now is the time to make available a full list of dates and places that her husband’s advances were rebuffed, exactly what he requested, what and when he was refused and so on. Perhaps this information should be fully released to those who are interested, especially in light of my own email snafu where a message intended for a close family member managed to get sent to a local list instead. Since some have seen that, why not all? Most importantly why not this original recall proponent herself? The list of dates and requests to go apartment hunting, to leave town and live in Sacramento, etc. — all of this is water under the bridge occurring quite a while ago and would normally be inappropriate to publicize, if it were not for Keipp’s new printed accusation.
And now she subjects us to the assertion that something occurred with more than one of the recallers!?
Since it is just as mystifying to me as it is, I am sure, to all of them, which recall candidate and current councilmember Keipp is alleging to have been my second lover, let’s examine all three. First there is Doug Burkey, the only one with whom I have a cordial, working relationship. He and his wife were my bosses when I worked at the Point Arena Bakery briefly in the year 2000. All of our contact since then has occurred within the context of the Point Arena Design Review Board and other city functions, at which no sex was involved, let me assure you. (Chuckles are appropriate.) Then there is Trevor Sandors: a local teacher and bartender with whom I have a non-cordial and limited relationship as a neighbor, the “high” point of which consists of two bizarre and profanity-laced emails he sent to me after a friend of mine complained about his barking dogs. It is both disturbing, but maybe fortunate, that he has my son in class this year and that some civility might flow from that. In the case of the third recaller, Brian Riehl, Miss Keipp’s suggestion is literally unspeakable.
I am quite certain that every one of these three individuals will agree with me, if asked, that sexual congress between us has always been, currently is, and forever will be completely unthinkable.
WHAT’S BEST FOR US
The community spoke out last Wednesday at the CSD meeting. Over 30 folks were there to protest the placement of a marijuana dispensary in the middle to downtown Boonville. Laura Hamburg and her partners were there to try and convince us that selling medical marijuana and paraphernalia in the middle of our downtown area was a good thing.
Yes, Ms. Hamburg stated that she was sympathetic to our feelings about the location and has decided to find another location in the valley to sell her marijuana products. She also stated that she plans to keep the dispensary that is located between Lauren’s and the Bible Fellowship open to dispense information and was vague when questioned about selling paraphernalia.
Once again we have the County dragging its feet on developing ordinances to regulate these activities. Last week the Board of Supervisors voted three yes and one no to initiate an “urgency ordinance” to put the breaks on any new dispensaries being opened in the County. Since the vote required 4 yes out of 5 it was not passed. (Mr. Hamburg excused himself from the vote.)
So here we are again being railroaded into yet another enterprise in the Anderson Valley by a group who does not reside here and feels that they know what is best for us.
ms notes: See my Supervisors report this week for what the Board actually did with regard to the proposed moratorium.
WHY A DOWNTOWN DISPENSARY?
I have been a resident of Mendocino County for 28 years. I am in favor of medicinal cannabis and think it should be viewed an asset to our community. I think that it should be allowed next to churches, schools, restaurants and any other business. People should be encouraged to learn more about the wonderful benefits of medicinal cannabis and I am looking forward to the new information center, Mendocino Generations in downtown Boonville.
As a child I watched my father, Army Captain R.H. White, go from a standing healthy man to a crippled and blind man who could only lie in bed day after day. My dad was a kind and gentle man. 6’2” tall. He tried every sort of medicine that the doctors we giving him and nothing seemed to work. He had a rare version of Multiple Sclerosis where he experienced excruciating pain daily. He even went to Washington State where there was a pain clinic to see what they had to offer. They started giving him this tonic and after about a week there he finally found out what they were giving him was methadone! He said forget this and insisted on being discharged from the clinic. They urged him to wean himself off the methadone slowly as it is very addictive and they thought it might be fatal if he were to quit all of a sudden.
Where my dad may have been weak physically he made up for it in will power and personality. He quit the methadone cold turkey and it almost did kill him. He got down to 125 pounds. Us kids and my mom were really worried! My dad started smoking marijuana to increase his appetite and slowly gained the weight back but what was even more amazing was whenever he smoked marijuana his vision would come back from about 15 minutes to three hours and we could all visit and he could look us in the eyes and see us. He loved to use that time to play a game of chess with us kids although we would have to move the pieces for him on account of the tremors in his hands. It was sad when it wore off and he got that straight gaze in his eyes and a blank look on his face.
My dad, Army Captain R.H. White, never took addictive drugs again. Whenever we could get some marijuana he could get relief from his pain and agony so we moved to Humboldt County and eventually Mendocino County where the good “kind” grows.
My dad, Army Captain R.H. White, died at age 45 on September 25, 1993. That was ten years longer than the doctors from the Massachusetts General Hospital neurology and psychology departments gave him to live. Maybe he would have died sooner if he stayed on the path of western medicine.
Mr. McCowen, I’m sure you didn’t get to be on the Board of Supervisors by not having a clue to what is in the best interest of your constituents. I hope you see through all of this rhetoric and can see the value of medical cannabis for what it is worth both in a medicinal and fiscal sense for this county and eventually the country.
These people from Mendocino Generations are trying their very best to appease the opposition but now it’s looking like the opposition is on a malicious witchhunt. I personally have friends who feel threatened by the opposition and are afraid to speak their mind in support of Mendocino Generations and this cannabis issue. The opposition is playing dirty and saying that they will have their members boycott any business that supports the cannabis clubs.
At the Boonville Fire Department Tuesday September, 21st, 2011 when asked the for a raise of hands on “who believed that cannabis has medicinal properties” more than half of the opposition raised their hands in agreement that it is beneficial and some even stated that they have used it for their own illnesses. This seems to be very hypocritical to me. The Bible Fellowship Church’s back property line adjoins with a vineyard and you don’t hear anything about that.
As we all know “the genie is out of the bottle” and “medical marijuana is not going away,” so please do not discriminate against it by limiting the locations of the dispensaries thus limiting safe access to patients. We voted for it and we voted for you too.
I am very much looking forward to the meetings and future public forums. Let’s take a lead in this issue and get the tax dollars rolling into Mendocino County before some other county gets smart enough to take them.
This is not meth. It’s medicine!
WHO STARTED IT?
Republicans are calling Obama's tax plan class warfare. This is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
Class warfare has been going on over the past decade in this country. Through Republican tax policy, Republican-driven deregulation of the financial markets, Republican efforts to sustain the dominance of Big Oil, Republican changes to bankruptcy law, and Republican wars feeding the gluttony of the defense industry. America's wealth, once shared more equitably, has been confiscated by a small but voracious class now sitting at the top.
Class warfare? It's been going on right under our noses for a long time.
MISSING CHI-TOWN, ET-AL
Saw the Aurora for ten glorious minutes from Fairbanks two nights ago. Took a 14 hour round-trip bus ride to the Arctic Circle. Why? Bragging rights?
Miss the AVA. Finished my last issue on the Empire Builder to Seattle. It is tough to live without the humor and insight that you provide. Probably a big part of the reason for starting to get homesick. I also miss my granddaughter.
We are now settled in a cozy cabin just outside Denali National Park which we rented for a week. We will fly back to Chicago on September 21.
PS. How is your recovery going on your roto-rooter? Is it working? I know it's gruesome but then is there an alternative? Best wishes.
THE FACE OF BOONVILLE
When Laura Hamburg puts up a marijuana dispensary or “information center,” I will put up a whorehouse on the second floor. (A great stress reliever.) And then we need a military recruiting center nearby. We will make a city of this town yet. I apologize for what I said at the meeting. At first I thought the issue was similar to a witchhunt, but as people spoke at the meeting I realized the issue is different: What do we want to see on Main Street? How do we want to present ourselves to the public? A cheerful, healthy town with movies and ice cream and a hotel and maybe a bank and a gas station and a post office.
What's next on Main Street? If we are going to have a dispensary or “information center” for sick people to make their pilgrimage to Boonville, it is perhaps appropriate to have it next to a church. All the sick and despondent who come here will find the healing powers of the church right there. And someone can convert that shabby building down the street into a spa with healing waters and massages. Then Boonville will be a magnet for healers. Even rattlesnake venom can be collected and dispensed. It has been reputed to cure arthritis. There's a place in Texas that does this.
The image of Main Street makes me think of Market Street in San Francisco where we girls wore white gloves, a skirt and a hat when we went downtown. I remember that as if in a fuzzy dream. I still see the white gloves when I clean the drawers. I can't throw them away. I don't have much proof those days even existed and my memory is fading.
So the issue is the face of Boonville. We have a bar but we are desensitized to that. Only the locals go there. So it doesn't draw in barflies from the outer world.
Actually, Laura, you understand image. You were all dressed up real spiffy at the meeting. You did not project the image of a nurse.
You explained why you favor marijuana. It helped your grandmother deal with the stress of dying. But you never said why it needs to be on Main Street. You said you won't dispense marijuana there but you will still bring in the flies. That is the issue.
By the way, there is a really nice, chatty fellow who rents a place next to the rock shop in Navarro. He has a marijuana “museum.” He's open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. He's not selling anything and needs help with the rent.
THE BOORS NEXTDOOR
To the Editor:
I called the Ukiah Police Department last Friday night — again. I have neighbors who refuse to adhere to the city ordinance regarding late, loud parties. These parties occurr not just on weekend nights.
Over the last ten years I have frequently reminded my neighbors that, as a nurse, I get up early. How early? 3:45am for one job and 5am at the next. I work weekdays and weekends.
I have received notes from the neighbors telling me their party would go to 9:30, then had it in full swing at 11pm. I've had bongo drums at 3am, repeated underage drinking parties hosted by their child when they were gone, screaming girls and techno music until the wee hours. I've been offered a white noise maker, an air conditioner to drown out the noise that they make, and mediation so that I could agree to let them party on (and not sleep prior to getting up to go to work for my 12-hour shifts). Talking to them has been fruitless as they both believe they have the “right” to be out late on their patio. I have no objection to that reasoning of course, as long as they follow the rules that everyone in Ukiah is asked to follow.
After the police have talked to them I am subjected to their guests yelling their goodbyes and then for the next 45 minutes I'm kept awake by the sound of yard furniture being dragged over the slate patio, bottles dropped one at a time into the recycle bin, the heavy wooden screen door slammed hard — really hard — a minimum of one or two dozen times, and the slamming of crockery.
I'm not a “mean” person, nor am I “unreasonable.” I believe if you have a party or are at a party you can be ebulliant, but at 10pm show respect for the people around you and take it inside and quiet down. As a guest when it is time to leave be aware that the neighbors are sleeping and say your goodbyes inside or quietly at the door.
The the city ordinance is an important rule for everyone. It allows you to enjoy yourself and after 10pm allows others to sleep in preparation for the business of the next day. It is wrong to excoriate the person who is trying to sleep, labeling them publicly as “mean” and “unreasonable.”
It makes me angry and I deeply resent being put in a situation of needing to call the police over and over again because my neighbors cannot behave in a mature manner. That, coupled with their unwillingness to treat me with thoughtfulness and respect and the childish behavior after their guests have gone (being further disrupted by slamming things around), is a poor reflection on you as neighbors, Mr. Hawkes and Ms. Landis.
LUCKY READERS & ROOSTERS
You have claimed on several occasions that a reader can find more good writing in a single issue of the AVA than in any other newspaper or magazine on the market. I agree. And if you are ever called upon to defend that statement in court I suggest you present Jake Rohrer's remarkable series “Fortunate Son” as Exhibit A. The fact that I am a big fan of CCR and John Fogerty certainly enhanced my enjoyment of that portion of his story. I am glad to hear that Jake continues to hold the time he spent with John and the band in such high regard. Beyond that, I admire how he was able to describe his subsequent time in the drug trade and prison with such candor, intelligence, humor and — regret? He taught me a great deal about a subject that I knew very little about.
In addition, I have been thoroughly enjoying Larry Livermore's less frequent but equally engaging “Spy Rock Memories” series. (Well, it looks like rock-n-rollers make the best writers. Who'd have guessed?). His story of how the city punk rocker moves to the country and slowly starts to get along with the weather, the relative isolation and (some of) his neighbors is fascinating. It's absolutely perfect in its written form but, in the right hands, I think “Spy Rock Memories” would make a great movie too. I have read other articles by Larry on his website and they are all up to this quality. He really needs to write a book or two.
Anyway, my sincere thanks to both Jake and Larry for taking the time to share their stories. And thanks to you, Mr. Anderson, for enabling them to get their work in front of us lucky readers. They are two of the best writers you have ever published.
Regards to all,
Downers Grove, Illinois
PS. A farmer in financial straits has about 70 hens that he is looking to have “serviced.” To save money he is hoping to find a single rooster with the stamina to handle all of them at once.
The farmer goes to market and explains his predicament. One of the vendors thinks for a minute, snaps his fingers and says, “I think I have just what you're looking for.” He goes off and returns a minute later carrying a rooster. “This is Randy,” he tells the farmer. “Randy is the most amorous animal I have ever seen. I'm sure he will meet your needs.” Not having any other viable options, the farmer shrugs and says, “Okay. I'll take him.”
The farmer brings Randy home, takes him out to the barnyard and kneels down beside him to give him a pep-talk. “Okay, Randy. You know what I need you to do, right?” Randy nods. “All right, buddy. Go to it!”
Randy struts across the barnyard and enters the henhouse. There ensues a tremendous cacophony of squawking and beating wings, and a near blizzard of feathers flies out the door and the windows.
Ten minutes later Randy comes charging out of the henhouse and goes straight into the horse stables, slamming the door behind him. A great ruckus follows with all of the horses kicking their stalls and whinnying loudly.
After about five minutes Randy swaggers out of the stables and runs into the pigpen where he proceeds to have his way with the sows.
A few minutes later Randy comes storming out of the pigpen and the astonished farmer tries to restrain him as he runs by. “Randy! For heaven's sake! Take it easy! You're going to kill yourself this way!” Randy just brushes the farmer aside, charges out to the meadow and starts jumping on the sheep.
It's no use. Randy is simply unstoppable. Over the ensuing afternoon and evening he mates with every single animal on the farm.
The next morning the farmer looks out his window and sees Randy lying prostrate on the lawn. There are flies buzzing around him and a buzzard is slowly circling overhead. Distraught, the farmer runs out of the house and goes over to his new rooster. Randy's eyes are rolled back in his head, his tongue hangs limply out of his beak and he is just barely breathing and clinging to life.
“Randy!” cries the farmer. “What have you done? I begged you to slow down and now look at you! Why didn't you listen to me?!”
Randy gasps for air, rolls one eye toward the farmer and whispers, “Shhhh. Get lost. I'm trying to get that buzzard to fly in closer.”
BEAT THE DEVIL
Mr. Cockburn, in response to Jim Houle (AVA Sept. 21), writes that “'Truthers,' by definition, have nailed their colors to a theological commitment — 'truth',” and he dismisses these people as religious cultists: “David Ray Griffin, the Truthers' Aquinas, was raised in Oregon in the Disciples of Christ.”
Aha! And these theologians of 9/11 truth “remain studiously vague about anything other than the most blurry contours of this amazing conspiracy.” In contrast, “JFK conspiracists at least produce fully fledged scenarios, with names spelled out, guilt carefully apportioned.”
Count me with his call for careful apportionment of guilt, except that the burden of proof rests first upon himself and his mainstream colleagues for their own prevailing conspiracy theory. For support, they could refer to the fully-fledged forensic investigation, had there been one.
Diabolism too is an aspect of theology, Mr. Cockburn. Is there a deal with the Devil behind this smell of sulfur?
Alexander Cockburn replies: There’s plenty of data outside of the government report to support the “Bush didn’t do it” and related Truther speculations, Gordo. Too bad the Truthers aren’t interested in reading it.
I'm writing to request a correction to the Valley People section in last week's 9/21/11 edition. The third paragraph about the AVUSD School Board items stated, “An approximately $2 million contract was awarded to Advance Power Inc. in Calpella for the school district’s new solar system. According to the analysis provided by Sage Renewables Consulting who reviewed the bids, the District will save almost $2.5 mil!lion over the next 25 years from the new solar system. Advance Power was selected over three other area solar contractor-bidders, which greatly pleases us because we’ve seen their work and it’s first rate.”
This statement is incorrect on several fronts. First, the Board did not award a contract for the solar photovoltaic project. The board accepted the proposal review panel's recommendation to enter into negotiations with the preferred proposer. The actual contract for this project will not be awarded until after the 10/10/11 board meeting, at which the Board will vote on a resolution to enter into a contract for the solar PV project, giving the Superintendent the power to enter into the contract on behalf of the board.
Second, the preferred proposal was submitted by Real Goods Solar, with their Suntech option. Advance Power Inc. did not submit a proposal for this project. The total cost of the preferred proposal was $1,712,838 for a combined system size of 277.48 kW, including a 25-year maintenance agreement and electrical panel upgrades at the elementary and high school campuses. We are currently in negotiations with Real Goods on behalf of the District to come to a final system size and cost for the contract.
Third, under terms of the original proposal, the District will save almost $3.8 million in their General Fund due to avoided electricity costs over the first 25 years of the PV systems' operation. These figures are calculated using very conservative financial assumptions. The $2.5 million figure is considering bond repayment, which is not required since it is a General Obligation Bond.
Thank you, and please don't hesitate to call if have any questions.
David Williard, LEED AP
Principal, Sage Renewables
ms notes: Thanks for this correction. We were initially misled by the Superintendent’s report at the last Oversight Committee meeting that Advance Power had been awarded the contract; then we compounded the error by misreading your lengthy and technical report somewhat in attempting to summarize the result. It’s too bad Advance Power didn’t bid; they would have saved the District some serious money and probably would have delivered a better system.
ADMIRAL POOBAH'S ORDERS
Proclamation: let it hereby be known that from this date henceforward no naval vessel shall sail upon the Mediterranean Sea without the express written authorization of the State of Israel.
Issued this day, September 11, 2011, by the Honorable Admiral Poobah of the United Nations.
Ronald Del Raine
A rather interesting exchange in your Off The Record column you have had with Ms. Borcich about her crusade for alternatives to traditional medical vaccinations. Unfortunately, there will always be a group of people who for whatever questionable reasons just do not want their children to undergo safe vaccinations that will protect them from very serious diseases. They’d rather play Russian Roulette with their children’s lives. I totally agree with you that the alternatives discussed in your dialogue with Ms. Borcich— “this stuff is pure quackery.” Also, aren't the parents who will not have their children vaccinated endangering their lives? If so, shouldn't the schools report these parents to the Mendocino County Child Protective Services Department?
James G. Updegraff
Please tell Darren Delmore, whoever he may be, that he has at least one massive fan here in Humboldt County. That sounds like the AA Bar & Grill that I sort of know.
I'm happy to see that new talent still gravitates toward the AVA. A little jealous, but happy.
Dear AVA & Co.,
Please sign me up for a year.
I went to Santa Rosa last weekend and came home through Clearlake. I stopped in every wide spot in the road and could not find one of your newspapers. In fact, no one had even heard of it!
A friend here — a guy from Ukiah — found the information for me online. I'm so happy you are still out there producing your newspaper. My husband subscribed to your paper for years a while back and has missed your comments and reporting. I'm anxious to surprise him with our first edition.
Thank you, Tom Wodetski for your upfront statements re: Jere Melo. I never understood how an employee of G.P. could also serve as mayor of Fort Bragg; wasn't that a conflict of interest? Wasn't the legal system supposed to monitor the forests, not a former mayor?
What's with the Fort Bragg Police Department and the ava? Assuming schizophrenia is somehow caused by marijuana is nonsense; if the AVA has any insight into this destructive illness, such a blythe claim is unconscionable. Obviously mental illness is not caused by pot; it is exacerbated by use of
A hallucinogenic which distorts one's ability to organize thoughts, particularly schizophrenia. Please read up on mental illness. Contact National Alliance For Mental Illness (NAMI) for in-depth information, rather than opining about a serious illness. My heart goes out to the Bassler family: my son is mentally ill and homeless in Seattle, (last I heard) yet with HIPPA I am not allowed to know his mental status; rather I have to wait until he is arrested for psychiatric intervention. Our “legal” system is blatantly ignorant and seems to refuse acknowledging a family's fear and grief over our loved one's illnesses. What would you do, AVA, if this was someone in your family? Leaving them to the mercy of uninformed cops has obviously not worked. (Let's all give a great big thanks to Ronald Reagan who closed the mental hospitals in California, stranding thousands of mentally ill people).
Also disturbing is the rush to claim Aaron Bassler as the murderer of Matt Coleman. Based on what proof? Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply in Fort Bragg?
As a Conspiracy Truther, I take issue with Alexander Cockburn's dismissive attitude for those of us who do not accept the Bush/9-11 Commission as truth. The same goes for Cockburn's assumption that global warming is untrue. Such denial is detrimental to our environment and the quality of our lives.
Lastly, what ever happened to local unsolved cases like Kathy La Madrid, Katelyn Long (her murderer enjoys his freedom as a scion of a Fort Bragg business)? The deliberate persecution of Aaron Vargas, the ignoring the very brave pleas of others who had been damaged by McNeil. Is it a pattern of local cops to ignore those who ask for help, especially if the crime(s) are sexual abuse? I wonder.
Our cops have the duty to protect and serve each and every person in this community, not just those who are wealthy/well connected. I propose all law enforcement be mandated members of NAMI, be educated about the people you serve. At least bring Fort Bragg out of the dark ages and into the present thereby creating a safer environment for all citizens.
Ed note: Without deconstructing the whole of this errant communique, I suggest Ms. Ryan read Patrick and Henry Cockburn's harrowing account describing how heavy pot use during his teen years dragged Henry into full blown schizophrenia. The Cockburns make the point that persons born with a predisposition to mental illness can bring it on in their adult years by smoking pot at an early age. Regarding Bassler, you simply haven't read what we've said on the subject of his mental health.
Long time no Smart stuff. I took a vacation of sorts from the insanity of it all.
I am still amazed that PG&E in collusion with the so called regulatory Calif. Public Utility Commission, have ignored our county and 24 other cities and counties, not to mention some ten other organizations and rolled over citizens with concerns or health issues. This issue has been heating up for years! The CPUC is more of a cheer leader engager then regulator of disorganized PG&E that loses documents, does dangerous things with gas, uses modestly trained subcontracted installers instead of their skilled staff electrically and somehow is allowed to charge us the rate payers for things that will increase their profit margin while downsizing during an economy where every job counts. Most interesting about their installations is that it has been done by out-of-state contractors. This includes their grid improvements contractors like Hotline. Hotline to their credit is a competent company, but what about Californians? Interesting in that is that PG&E failed to give Hotline contact information to install poles and new transformers behind locked gates. They had to scramble to get the job done. PG&E is running par with big orange (CALTRANS) in terms of organization.
In an interesting development, PG&E admitted four months after the first failures in Bakersfield that Smartmeters were failing to the tune of 1600 found problems. These failed because of hot weather tweaking the so-called well-tested SmartJunk, overcharging ratepayers. Let’s see, four months times say 400% overcharges x 1600 with maybe an average of $100 a month charge equals $1,920,000. That is what I call SmartCompany or SmartExtortion. Then add late charges and lost time to ratepayers, not to mention cosmetic cost to pull-out, replacement ratepayer hair costs! The company, of course, says that is all they’ll find, using a medium borrowed from an out of state carnie group. If you caught the SF CBS news where reporters found a PG&E-claimed good meter failure, you where chuckling as the PR guy writhed in his seat and claimed it was the first problem they found. Post the 40,000 complaints in 2009. Yet more revealing is The Utility Reform Network, (a real watchdog group that you can join and get satisfaction on any utility problem,) found that the numbers of failures rise above the bench test (Structure Report) ratepayers paid for via the CPUC (for reasons I still do not understand). These failures push the errors above the levels in the Structure Study. Looking back, this study was the response to State Senator Dean Flores demand for investigations into real problems. If PG&E had done that then, we would know about many problems that are now left to us ratepayers screaming about and they would have been corrected.
The CPUC is close to clueless even though they receive complaints. Revolving door and ex-Con Edison CEO, President Peevey and Commissioner Simon left town to Sweden on a Utility paid junket. You think we did not pay for that in the end?
Here’s a bit more history. The first SmartMeters were installed in Kern County using a wired system that used PG&E wires double time. It failed thankfully, as the extra signals would add to dirty electricity issues that are causing leukemia in Southland schools. Google “Dirty Electricity” for an eye-opener. The CPUC allowed (get ready and sit down) PG&E to reinstall them with a rate increase to pay for the error (stay seated) and then PG&E discovered they forgot their Human Area Network system (the Surveillance system that violates wire tap laws) and they had to revisit and install the corrected one again with rate increase okayed by the CPUC, or PG&E enabler. Bad enough that PG&E did it wrong, but charge us for their errors per the CPUC? Don’t you see something wrong here? As you can see from the errors above and they can be that significant and are, PG&E gets the significant benefit of errors when they have a consumption track record for most of us. They look at the track record and have the nerve to say that their $%&%^*& IdiotMeter is accurate. We need to bench test PG&E office employees.
Be aware that the meter can cause sleeping disorders, high pitched ghost hearing issues (no external sound or tinnitus), cognitive problems and heart issues. If it does, your recourse is not great. You can try to opt out, but the old meters are already recycled. You can replace the meter with an analog, but document it carefully, send PG&E and the CPUC photos of both meters and get someone skilled to do it as improper replacement can cause a fire. Real Goods, Friedman's and Hialeah Meters in Florida (google it!) have analogs that keep on working! You can scream at your sleeping representatives Evans, Chesbro and demand Governor Brown do something. Maybe he should fire Peevey? Remember Davis went down on the coattails of the Enron debacle. SmartMeters could be Browns Waterloo. It could be yours too. If you do nothing and have health issues, you can become very electrically sensitive and that is not readily resolved.
Meanwhile, the Opt Out is on the slow tract so the rest of the meters can be installed to support the installation of the Smart infrastructure our county did not want. I am hoping the counties will continue to peck at Profit Grubbing and Extortion company and eventually boot out this unwanted bogus system we never wanted.