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Indybay Feature
Thu Jun 23 2011 (Updated 06/28/11)
Stop Smart Meters! Director Joshua Hart Arrested in Capitola
Thu Jun 23 2011 (Updated 06/28/11)
PG&E Threatens Installation in Santa Cruz County, as Showdown with Local Governments Looms
Joshua Hart, Director of Stop Smart Meters! was arrested on June 21st after blocking the entrance to the Capitola PG&E payment center in protest of PG&E’s illegal “smart” meter installations in the County. The County of Santa Cruz, as well as the Cities of Capitola and Watsonville, have adopted urgency ordinances prohibiting the installation of wireless “smart” meters within their jurisdictions. Forty-three local governments throughout the state have formally demanded a halt to the program because of concerns about health, privacy, accuracy, and fire safety.

Contrary to what PG&E and the CA Public Utilities Commission claim, local governments have broad rights granted to them under the California Constitution- including banning installation of wireless “smart” meters, deemed by many experts to be a serious health threat. A showdown is looming between PG&E- who says they plan to disregard local government laws and force smart meters onto people’s homes, and local elected officials who are intent upon upholding the law and protecting the public.

Hart’s arrest follows another arrest on June 18th of San Francisco resident Amy O’Hair for blocking Wellington Energy installation trucks in her Glen Park neighborhood. The controversy over the “smart” meter program has heated up since May 31st, when the World Health Organization identified non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (from “smart” meters, cell phones, and wifi networks) as being “possibly carcinogenic”- in the same category as DDT, leaded gasoline, and chloroform.

PG&E reportedly had plans to begin installation throughout Santa Cruz County on Monday, June 27th. In response, activists began an emergency community protest and blockade of PG&E's contractors, Wellington Energy, each morning at 7am at the corner of 38th Ave and Portola in Opal Cliffs. imc_video.gifimc_photo.gifVideo and Photos

Read more | Stop Smart Meters! | previous coverage: Stop Smart Meters! Disrupts FCC Talk in Mountain View | 32 Local Governments Now Oppose Smart Meters After Health Complaints
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