Residents of Alamo Heights in San Antonio, Texas Win Support of City Council in “Spark Meter” Battle

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Dozens of residents speak to Alamo Heights City Council on Monday evening

Dozens of res­i­dents speak to Alamo Heights City Coun­cil on Mon­day evening

Res­i­dents of Alamo Heights in San Anto­nio, Texas Win Sup­port of City Coun­cil in “Spark Meter” Bat­tle

Dozens of res­i­dents speak to Alamo Heights City Coun­cil on Mon­day evening (Sept. 22, 2014)

ALAMO HEIGHTS, TX— Mon­day evening, more than 20 res­i­dents spoke out at the city coun­cil meet­ing of this San Anto­nio, TX sub­urb where munic­i­pal util­i­ty CPS Ener­gy plans an immi­nent instal­la­tion of smart meters. After hear­ing from dozens of res­i­dents, the city coun­cil vot­ed dur­ing closed ses­sion to send a let­ter to CPS ask­ing for a 1 year mora­to­ri­um on any smart meter instal­la­tions with­in the city. It remains to be seen to what extent the util­i­ty will respect this request.

Oppo­si­tion is being orga­nized and led by the fledg­ling but fast grow­ing Stop Smart Meters! San Anto­nio. We have been work­ing close­ly with the group over the past few weeks, pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal and strate­gic assis­tance as they launch their local cam­paign.

Three thou­sand brochures based on the Stop Smart Meters! design have been sent to every house­hold in Alamo Heights and these have boost­ed res­i­dent aware­ness and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the polit­i­cal process. In response, the CPS pro­pa­gan­da machine is busi­ly spread­ing mis­in­for­ma­tion in the area.

The founder of the group is Susan Straus, a Trager body­work ther­a­pist, artist, and ani­mal res­cuer who grew up in Alamo Heights. Real­iz­ing the impli­ca­tions of a smart meter deploy­ment in their com­mu­ni­ty, Susan and anoth­er local San Anto­nio group, Coali­tion for Safe Meters, has mobi­lized a group of pro­fes­sion­al and edu­cat­ed res­i­dents to speak out.

One of those peo­ple who has mobi­lized is Elliot Weser, MD Emer­i­tus Pro­fes­sor of Med­i­cine at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas Health Sci­ence Cen­ter in San Anto­nio who wrote to the coun­cil two weeks ago the fol­low­ing:

There is sub­stan­tial doc­u­ment­ed data and reports of house and apart­ment fires attrib­uted to these Smart Meters (all brands), as well as risks of bio­med­ical effects and seri­ous ill­ness­es from the radi­a­tion asso­ci­at­ed with the elec­tro­mag­net­ic fields gen­er­at­ed by Smart Meters and the grid it cre­ates. Addi­tion­al­ly, they impose def­i­nite risks for fur­ther inva­sion of our right to pri­va­cy, by mak­ing our per­son­al activ­i­ties and habits avail­able for mon­i­tor­ing and con­trol, and pos­si­ble dis­tri­b­u­tion to unau­tho­rized per­sons or cor­po­ra­tions.”

The Alamo Heights Mule: Dealing with unwanted equipment

The Alamo Heights Mule: Deal­ing with unwant­ed equip­ment

Stop Smart Meters! San Antonio’s case has also been strength­ened by the recent trag­ic events in Reno. Only the most unscrupu­lous and unrea­son­able util­i­ty exec­u­tive would rec­om­mend pro­ceed­ing with a new smart meter deploy­ment while they are being inves­ti­gat­ed (and in many cas­es, recalled) for caus­ing home fires and mul­ti­ple fatal­i­ties.

The mas­sive pub­lic response to the city coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day evening has embold­ened the group, who are now plan­ning to beef up their out­reach activ­i­ties in prepa­ra­tion for what appears to be an immi­nent forced deploy­ment. The group plans to ini­ti­ate a com­mu­ni­ty plan­ning process that will decide what an ade­quate response will be if CPS does decide to try and install against the city’s wish­es.

Susan tells StopSmartMeters.Org:

This has been a huge learn­ing curve for me- I have spent more than 500 hours since July 24th research­ing smart meters and I am tru­ly appalled by what I have learned. I had no clue what smart meters even were. Now, know­ing the truth, I feel like the util­i­ties are over­step­ping bound­aries and our prop­er­ty rights are being tak­en away- unless we stand our ground.”

She goes on to say:

Our group is grate­ful to Josh Hart and the team at StopSmartMeters.org for bring­ing us to this point with their exper­tise and moral lead­er­ship. With your assis­tance, we have now suc­cess­ful­ly con­vinced our city coun­cil to stand with us for a mora­to­ri­um. We expect CPS to respect our local demo­c­ra­t­ic process, and there will cer­tain­ly be reper­cus­sions if that does not hap­pen.”

My SanAn­to­nio arti­cle on Alamo Heights res­i­dent mobi­liza­tion:

Local TV Cov­er­age: Home­own­ers ask Lead­ers to Stop Smart Meter Instal­la­tion

You can con­tact Susan and Stop Smart Meters! San Anto­nio at: info at: http://www.sanantoniosmartmeterawareness.org

Update 9/26: CPS has sent an arro­gant and demean­ing let­ter to the City of Alamo Heights refer­ring to “sev­er­al” cit­i­zens con­cerns when in fact the demand for a mora­to­ri­um was from the city as a whole. They also claim that they were plan­ning to install in Spring 2015 all along (anoth­er lie: smart meter instal­la­tion was immi­nent, and in fact delayed by the city’s coura­geous actions.)