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Sun, Feb. 23

Letter: Demand your right to be healthy and safe

Editor:

Do you know what a Smart Meter is? Most people don't. A Smart Meter is a new type of electric meter that emits electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) and sends out pulsed radio frequency (RF) radiation, also known as microwaves, not unlike cell phone towers.

This coming Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6 p.m. the Clarkdale Town Council will have an agenda item discussing these meters.

These types of meters are being installed all over the world, with the electric companies claiming a pass-along savings to the customer and stating that there is little or no health risk involved. APS is installing these meters in Arizona without a proper health risk assessment, and without asking. APS is requesting a $75 fee and a monthly recurring $30 fee to not have one installed on your home. Quite a deterrent.

The truth is that there has been no savings shown. More importantly, health issues have arisen that have been associated with close proximity to the meters. In addition, these meters collect data on your electric usage instantly and transmit that information to APS constantly. Not just once a month, but daily, all day long. All day, every day. Once you have a Smart Meter attached to your home, APS will know just how much electricity you are using at any time of the day or night, which, to extrapolate from that truth, is able to suggest what you are doing and when you are doing it, as long as it involves electricity.

I do not know where Mr. Skoblin got his information. His letter reads like the information put out by the electric companies. These companies have an investment in Smart Meters. Perhaps he should just Google "smart meter" for more and different information.

At the last regular Clarkdale Town Council Meeting a presentation was made about Smart Meters and their possible problems. The council treated the presenter, Warren Woodward from Sedona Smart Meter Awareness, with such rudeness that he felt compelled to write an eight page letter chastising them and their actions. I highly recommend that anyone interested in the contents of the full letter go to Clarkdale Town Hall and request a copy. It is a public document. The letter itself is a bit caustic and biting, else I would have submitted it here. Unfortunately, it is all true.

Mr. Woodward was interrupted during his presentation at least five times that I can remember, maybe more. Mayor Von Gausig interrupted three times to question Woodward's information. It should be noted here that the agenda item called for a presentation, then a Q&A from the council, then public comment.

Mayor Von Gausig challenged Woodward during his presentation about accuracy. It turns out that the Mayor was wrong every time, yet he couldn't help himself to try to show up the presenter each time. How embarrassing.

Councilmember Regner interrupted twice to tell Woodward how he should make his presentation. Mr. Woodward was so frustrated he stopped his remarks to state "Next time you can make the presentation."

When the presentation was over, it was time for the Q&A. Sadly, no one on the council had a question, comment, or remark. By contrast, after the same presentation at a Sedona City Council meeting, there was a number of questions lasting over an hour.

During the public comment portion one could easily discern the boredom and impatience on the council's faces and in their mannerisms. Mayor Von Gausig specifically called out those who lived in towns other than Clarkdale, making the comments "You're from Cottonwood" and "You're from Cottonwood, too." I would hope that when the mayor makes a presentation in Cottonwood that he is not treated with the same disdain that he showed those commenters. Many of the comments were about the health risks of having an electric meter giving off EMFs attached to the home. A few comments were about the invasion of privacy issue.

At the end of the public comment Mayor Von Gausig was so blunt as to say "No more comment? Ok, let's move on to the next agenda item." It took us all by surprise, it was so quickly dismissed. Many people in the audience started to get up and leave when Councilmember Radoccia called out the mayor and demanded that the council make some sort of comment given that an hour was just spent listening to the presentation and the public

That so stunned Mayor Von Gausig that he didn't know what to say. Clearly he didn't want anything to do with the subject. He had already made up his mind that since a health study was made by the electric companies claiming that the meters were safe - despite private studies showing the definite health problems attributed to these same meters - there was no room for discussion. What a shame that he can be so easily swayed by corporate sponsored studies.

Councilmember Dehnert waved a piece of paper in the air and scoffed at the list of items in the home that give off RFs and EMFs and stated that if it was true he should be afraid to go home. The list was created by the City(?) of Santa Cruz, California. Are they so wrong and he so right? And yes, councilman, if you have Wi-Fi, cordless phones, cell phones, and other items giving off EMFs operating in your home all at the same time, and then add a Smart Meter attached to your bedroom wall, you should be afraid, very afraid.

Then Dehnert tried to change the subject, and complain that the 200 page information packet should have been printed on both sides of the page; shame on us all for wasting so much paper. Really? Obviously the councilman does not know that a councilmember from Sedona created that packet and it is a regular occurrence for the council of Sedona to receive a complete package of information on a subject. Has Dehnert never heard of recycled paper?

At the end Councilmember Regner rose above the smog and said that he would write a letter to the Corporation Commission stating his opposition to the exorbitant fees that APS is asking permission to charge those who do not want a Smart Meter on their home. Thank you Mr. Regner.

Bottom line, I encourage everyone, Clarkdale, Cottonwood, the whole Verde Valley, to show up on Tuesday and let the Town Council know that this is not just an issue relegated to one small town's interest. This is an issue that is valleywide, nationwide, worldwide, and the Council should step it up and pay attention.

The health and welfare of Clarkdale should be Mayor Von Gausig's concern. If there is even one medical study that claims ill effects from the use of these Smart Meters, then he should protect his townspeople from being forced to submit to APS until all medical studies conclude that these meters are finally considered safe.

Go to the meeting. Make public comment. Make the council hear your voice. Don't let the mayor tell you that there is not enough time in the evening to hear everyone.

Demand your right to be healthy and safe.

Andy Schauffler-Vircsik

Clarkdale

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