About Vigilant Dave

David Sheldon, B.S. in physics and economics, MBA, Certified in Software Engineering Concerned about all kinds of technology and laws that impinge on our freedom and privacy, or take away the choices we should have as free men and women.

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Let’s Talk About…

Wireless Radiation

& Health Effects

  • What are the health concerns associated with cell phones, cell towers, WiFi, “smart”/wireless transmitting public utility meters, and the new 5G Grid?
  • Why are children & those with autoimmune issues more vulnerable?
  • What can we do to minimize our exposure for the maximum benefit?

Join us for a conversation with Dafna Tachover, at one of these three locations and times, about the health implications of the new 5G technology and Smart Grid. Dafna will discuss the increasing levels of WiFi radiation in our biosphere, and its adverse impact on the health and well-being of humans, plants & animals.

Friday, April 20, 7pm 
Dexter District Library
3255 Alpine St
Dexter, MI

Saturday April 21, 3pm
Roscommon Library
106 Lake S
Roscommon, MI

Sunday April 22, 4pm
Better Health Store
305 N. Clippert St
Lansing, MI

Dafna Tachover is an attorney in both New York and Israel with an MBA and founder and Managing Director of  “We Are The Evidence,” an advocacy organization for protecting the rights of people who have been injured by wireless technology radiation. She has a technical background in wireless computer networks and infrastructures from her service in the Israeli Defense Forces as a Telecommunication Officer and commander of the Israeli Defense Force’s Operations Center and Headquarters.            In 2009, Dafna developed Electromagnetic-Sensitivity, a condition caused by exposure to wireless radiation. Since then, she has dedicated herself to educating the public and public officials regarding the adverse health effects of wireless technology and the widespread sickness that exists from this technology and radiation. Working on this issue at Federal and State levels, Dafna has taken part in numerous public speaking engagements, and litigated on this issue. She has been consulted in various related lawsuits, initiated and led a Supreme Court case in Israel to ban use of Wi-Fi in schools and install wired internet networks instead—a case that led to the strictest limitations in the world on Wi-Fi in schools—and represented 94 international organizations   in an amicus brief in a US case. Dafna has been one of the leading advocates on this topic globally, featured and interviewed by TIME, CNN, New York Magazine and other media worldwide and in documentaries about the topic, including in the newly released award-winning film, “Generation Zapped.”         

For more information, email MichiganSafeTechnology@gmail.com

 

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Nanci Rose Gerler
Pinckney, Michigan

January 29, 2018

All Members of Michigan State House of Representatives, Energy Policy Committee

RE: Energy Committee hearing of January 30, 2018 and MPSC Case U-18486 Investigation into DTE Shut-Offs

Dear Energy Policy Committee Member,

In your investigation into violation of shut-off protocols by DTE: The scope and breadth of audacious mendacity, cruelty and brutality by a corporate monopoly turned tyranny, will spawn a “me, too” response far greater than the Flint Water Crisis and Larry Nasser scandals. For the beleaguered customers subject to their atrocities, there has been no satisfactory response or recourse from DTE nor the MPSC, whose “service to the public” is illusory. Complaints and entreaties to the corporation yield no results, only perpetuation of the standardized lies they portray as “truth” through repetition. The MPSC serves as defenders and enablers of DTE, echoing the programmed responses provided to them to the degree that MPSC staff sound exactly like DTE employees.

The MPSC has diffused and refused legitimate complaints of outrageous and egregious actions against consumers with responses like “We regulate rates, not business practices”. Personal and anecdotal experiences recount unjustified and retaliatory behaviors by DTE more often associated with organized crime syndicates and fascist governments than “standard business policies”.

Customers who object to the installation of the misnamed smart meters for many of the justifiable reasons (such as threats to health, safety of home and property, privacy, security, accuracy, and excessive costs) are subject to heinous treatment. The experiences of residents of the Glennbrook Beach Association (GBA), located in the Pinckney Recreation Area in northwest Washtenaw County, illustrates the extreme measures DTE has used to suppress opposition.  Upon notification in July 2016 of the forthcoming AMI installation, over three quarters of the forty homeowners sent a polite certified letter to DTE, requesting to retain their analog meters (as allowed by Consumers Energy). The majority of homes in this small private lakeside enclave are seasonal summer homes or cottages with some structures almost one hundred years old, which are surrounded by a land conservancy and state land. Generations of families have lived here and the majority of residents are elderly retirees on a fixed income, who wished to retain the pristine nature of their long time community environment, without the interference and issues of a wireless mesh network.

A standard form letter sent by DTE was the only reply. Residents posted legal notices, and in some cases locked meters as the only prevention to unwanted installation. In early 2017, DTE cut off locks to six homes and installed AMI meters with no notification to the residents. Phone calls of protest to DTE were ignored. On July 24, 2017 everything changed, when the GBA was subject to a military style tactical operation by DTE, deploying a convoy of ten DTE, contractor and private security vehicles to storm the private community. Power was cut at the pole to over a dozen homes of customers paid current, most of whom had received no communication from DTE since the aforementioned form letter almost a year prior. This orchestrated maneuver was staged and documented with photographs by rude and intimidating workers who thrust letters into hands or onto homes – the first notification of shut-off most residents had received. All this occurred while over 80,000 regional DTE customers still awaited power restoration after a high wind-event the previous night. This indicates a gross misallocation of resources and priorities.

Residents were shocked and traumatized by the callous cruelty of the workers who took obvious delight in cutting power, water and sanitary capacities. (GBA is on a well and electrical grinder sewer system). Scrambling to restore power, residents faced excruciating long waits on the phone (often 1.5 to 3 hours). All affected residents ordered the ‘opt out’ meter but many were informed that ‘opt outs’ were “out of stock, back ordered, unavailable for 3 to 4 weeks”, or it was “too late and they had to accept a ‘smart meter’ to have service”. However, when the DTE installer arrived the next day, he had both standard and ‘opt out’ meters for orders placed, and acknowledged that ‘opt out’ meters are ‘smart meters’ with the radio turned off  – which could be programmed on-site or remotely.

DTE’s rationale for the illegal power shut-offs was that “locking devices on meters posed health and safety hazards to the customers and neighbors”. The DTE installer proceeded to affix tamper proof locks on utility boxes (homeowner property) accessible only by DTE. This refutes DTE’s justification as spurious while imposing genuine health, safety and sanitation hazards on hapless residents without electricity, water & sewer for 2 to 8 days.

DTE’s ‘shock and awe’ strong-arm tactics forced the remainder of the residents into compliance, to avoid unwanted and unwarranted shut-off. The use of “hired goons and hired guns” (contractors and security) is never justified, especially when no aspect of the five-step process for standard shut-off protocol was adhered to.

To add insult and injury, within six days of installation my ‘opt-out’ meter was intentionally re-programmed to operate as a radio transmitting ‘smart meter’. As an extremely electro-hypersensitive individual, I experienced immediate negative health symptoms, which alerted me to the change. A neighbor confirmed that she had seen a DTE vehicle on the property the day prior (a Sunday afternoon), when there were no new orders pending. DTE did not change the meter out for six weeks, during which time both myself and my cat were debilitated by serious illness and symptoms caused by the transmitting meter. My cat’s vomiting ceased as soon as the meter was replaced with a new ‘opt-out’ meter, but he had lost one third of his normal body weight. I also lost weight due to constant nausea and sleeplessness, and it took months to recover from symptoms.

Another resident’s ‘opt out’ meter was fully defective, never registering a kilowatt since installation. This resulted in extremely high estimated bills that bore no relation to years of usage history. Hours of phone calls and emails yielded nothing but frustration and aggravation, with threat of service shut-off for non-payment of inaccurate, bloated bogus bills. He was charged $9.99 in advance for a service call to diagnose the defect. After several calls and several days, the installer did not show up for several scheduled appointments. When he finally arrived he did not have the diagnostic device necessary and simply switched to a new meter. The billing situation was unresolved by the time the seasonal resident left, because of DTE’s “continuing computer billing issues”. Immense time and energy was expended over a defective meter that was unwanted and unneeded, since such problems had not occurred with his long time analog meters.

None of the initial customers who were refused ‘opt-outs’ received them. Others who called to order them were forced to leave a message with no subsequent response or follow up. Residents have concluded that DTE is the worst company they have ever dealt with, yet have no recourse due to the state imposed monopoly. This situation allows DTE to exploit, abuse, and extricate unjustified monies from their captive customers – as exemplified by the extortionary fees charged for the ‘opt-out’ meters. Customers have the right to read and report their own meters but must pay to have them read by contractors who drive their own vehicles, and whose meager compensation in no way justifies the $9.80 monthly fee.

As long-standing paying customers who denied consent to install a new meter, we were subjected to bullying, intimidation, trickery, harassment, trespassing, destruction of property, and unjustified shut-off. Since ‘smart meter’ installation, other residents and their companion animals have experienced debilitating health effects – one dog and two cats have subsequently died.

DTE must be held responsible and accountable for their numerous transgressions against the paying public, who deserve redress and remuneration for the difficulties caused by the improper shut-offs, which constitute abuse by the utility. The report recently submitted to your committee by DTE is a work of fiction created by these masters of mendacity, and must be independently investigated and verified. As a former Ann Arbor resident who has dealt with DTE over these issues since 2012, I can attest that they lie and deceive with consistency, ie “that’s my story and I am sticking to it”.

The abusive conduct endemic to DTE necessitates the passing of bill 4220 to provide analog meter choice and protect the rights, health, safety and financial well being of DTE’s customer base (never a priority to DTE). Governed by greed and need for excessive profits, their $30 billion net worth allows them deep pockets to influence media, MPSC and politicians. The threatening and intimidating non-protocol shut-off letters (received after the fact), referred customers to call a phone number – which is the hot line to report energy theft tampering or fraud – falsely implying wrong-doing on the part of the customer.

Please use the power vested in you by the people to censure and penalize DTE, and compensate injured parties. Grant the freedom of meter choice to the citizens that elected you by representing their interests, over those of the self-serving monopoly utility corporations.

Respectfully submitted,

Nanci Rose Gerler

 

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by David Sheldon

March 23rd, 2018 – Setback for Tom Mitchell’s Case. Tom had submitted a formal appeal concerning DTE Electric’s threat to terminate his electric service over his smart meter refusal. His refusal was based on medical evidence that, because of a pre-existing heart condition, the installation of a smart meter could trigger a heart attack. In support of his claim Tom had submitted an affidavit from his personal physician and an affidavit from electrical engineer Bill Bathgate.

Many of you attended the motion hearing on February 1st at the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC), where Administrative Judge Lauren Van Steel heard legal arguments as to whether Tom’s case should be heard at all. The attorney for DTE Electric and the attorney for MPSC staff both argued for summary dismissal of Tom’s case putting forth mostly very specious arguments which the judge found not persuasive. Tom held his own very well at that hearing against preposterous arguments from the other parties. Administrative judge Lauren VanSteel was very fair in the way she conducted that hearing and fired hardball questions at the attorneys for DTE and staff, and gave Tom ample opportunity to make his points.

We have waited six weeks for a decision from the judge. The judge has just issued her “Proposal for Decision” (PFD).  In this 27 page document she addresses all the arguments very carefully, but ultimately concludes that a ruling of the Michigan Court of Appeals must control this case. That ruling, on DTE’s opt-out plan in 2013, stated that the type of metering equipment used by a utility is a “management prerogative”, and that the MPSC has no jurisdiction to rule on what meters they can use. That court further concluded, therefore, that MPSC had no obligation to investigate any complaints about the meter, whether based on health claims, privacy or anything else. Judge Van Steel concludes her PFD by asserting that prior ruling of the Court of Appeals makes it necessary for her to recommend the summary dismissal of Tom’s case.

This then goes to the three member Commission appointed by the Governor for final decision. It is likely they will adopt the judge’s PFD as their final decision. It is hard to see how they could do otherwise, given that prior ruling by the appeals court.

This, then, is decision time for Tom’s case. What we need to do is get Tom’s case in front of that appeals court. We would be asking them to reverse the earlier ruling where, we believe, they incorrectly concluded that meter choice was purely a management decision. That ruling cannot be allowed to stand. It cannot be purely a management decision when the meter is located on a customer’s property, not the utility’s property, and where there are far reaching impacts on the customer’s health, privacy and safety from whatever meter choice a utility makes. The MPSC is charged by law with the responsibility to assure delivery of safe electric service. They cannot perform that function where a high court tells them they have no jurisdiction. The prior decision of the Court of Appeals virtually guarantees to a utility the right to deliver unsafe service!

The question now is the best route to follow to get Tom’s case before the Court of Appeals. One way is by direct appeal of the decision the Commission will make on this case. The other way is to start a suit in Macomb Circuit Court seeking a court order to block the installation of a smart meter on grounds that would amount to a deliberate infliction of a harm on a utility customer. And on the grounds the MPSC had already waived its jurisdiction by refusing to hear the case. A circuit judge might well summarily dismiss for the same reason the administrative judge recommended dismissal. But then that ruling could be appealed to the Court of Appeals. There would be advantages in reaching the COA by this route, since that court would have much broader discretion this way then they would on an appeal from an MPSC decision. But this way also would involve higher legal expenses.

Many of you have given generously to help Tom fund his case. Somewhat over $2,000 has been raised so far. But we need to ask all of you who care about the future of smart meter law in Michigan to dig even deeper to provide Tom with more financial support.

We ask that all checks be made out to Tom Mitchell and mailed to Jeanine Deal who will be maintaining records of all contributions.

Those who would like to read the judge’s entire 27 page decision will find it here: https://michiganstopsmartmeters.files.wordpress.com/2018/03/proposal-for-decision-mitchell-case-032318.pdf

 

 

 

 

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by David Sheldon

February 1st, 2018 –t DTE customer Tom Mitchell had a motion hearing before an administrative judge at the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The hearing room was filled to capacity. Purpose of the hearing was not to hear evidence on the merits of Tom’s formal complaint against electric utility DTE, but to rule on whether Tom’s case could go forward, or be dismissed as both DTE and MPSC staff were requesting. Purpose was also to rule on two motions Tom had submitted, one to set the scope of the case and one to allow out-of-state witnesses to testify via Skype.

Tom had requested a formal hearing on his complaint that DTE had threatened him with shutoff for not agreeing to accept either the standard smart meter or the smart meter with radio turned off. Tom has a heart condition known as atrial fibrillation and has an affidavit from his personal physician that having an electronic meter on his home could harm his health and even possibly cause his death. Tom believes that, under this circumstance, DTE must provide accommodation by allowing him and all others with a similar documented health condition to keep the traditional analog meter.

Administrative judge Lauren Van Steel conducted the hearing, appeared to be a good listener and also asked some hardball questions of both the DTE attorney and the attorney representing MPSC staff. At the conclusion she took all three motions under advisement. She is expected to issue her decision sometime within the next week or two.

Tom had planned to have this writer assist in the presentation, but the judge insisted that since Tom was appearing without an attorney, that he must present his case without assistance. Tom did a fantastic job!

Incredibly, the attorney for MPSC staff argued that all possible health issues had already been addressed in the 2012 report by staff and that there could never be a legitimate reason to take another look at the opt-out policy from a health standpoint, despite there never having been an evidentiary hearing on the health issues. The judge did NOT appear to be buying this line.

If she decides to let Tom’s case proceed, a new date will be set for the evidentiary hearing. This would be the one where testimony would be taken from Tom’s personal physician, experts on the dirty electricity issue and from DTE’s witnesses.

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December 21st, 2017 – Senator Colbeck Calls for Electric Shut-Off Moratorium. Welcomes formal MPSC investigation.

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, said on Thursday that he welcomed the announcement of a formal investigation into the electric shut-off practices of DTE and called for a moratorium on such practices until the investigation was completed.

“In October our office began to see a big increase in the number of constituents contacting us and complaining about inappropriate shut-off notices and other problems that we reported to the MPSC,” Sen. Colbeck said. “As the months got colder those problems shockingly got worse instead of better. This formal investigation by the MPSC is going to clearly show that people were being threatened with shut-off notices they never should have received, resulting in turn with many of them then having their power inappropriately disconnected. In addition, getting power turned back on also took much longer than it is legally supposed to.

“This has gone beyond just minor billing snafus and has unacceptably created significant stress, hardship, and endangerment for hundreds of people whose simple wish is to pay their bills and receive electric service. Especially in Michigan where people can’t just change their utility provider when they’re treated like this, it is imperative that we hold both our utilities and our oversight 110 percent accountable.”

Now that the extent of the problem is being acknowledged, Sen. Colbeck also called for the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) to put a moratorium on DTE’s ability to shut off power to their residential customers until the investigation over the shut-off and billing problems has been completed. Power was wrongly cut for many reasons, but as an example, the investigation notice highlighted that at least 288 customers had their service improperly disconnected because of simple computer-related billing errors over the past six months.

“This investigation is still necessary, but it is already a forgone conclusion that DTE’s computer problems are causing people to have power cut because of internal communication problems within DTE that incorrectly put people at risk for being flagged for shut-off,” said Colbeck. “I’ve had people contact me one week saying they got an inappropriate shut-off notice, were assured the next week that it wouldn’t happen, and then a few days later they would call my office back because DTE had returned to their home threatening shut-off again.

“Until the investigation shows the exact steps that need to be taken to fix all of this, it would be prudent for the MPSC to, at the very least, have to pre-approve all residential shut-offs while this investigation is ongoing. A moratorium would be an even better course of action if simple billing errors that could affect anyone would result in shut-offs that jeopardize ratepayer health and personal safety during our cold winter months.”

Sen. Colbeck said while the main concern is for seniors, especially those who live by themselves, that in today’s high tech world a lack of power impacts everyone.

“Older individuals would be calling from the library asking for help because their VOIP phones would not work with the power off and they had no way to recharge their cell phones,” Sen. Colbeck said. “When they would try to contact DTE they could often only leave a message, but had no working phone for DTE to even call them back on. Those who could not rely on the help of neighbors were significantly impacted.

“But even younger families faced hardships beyond the cold. People’s computers would not work, and their kids were missing school assignments. Burglar alarms were down. Birthday parties and Thanksgiving plans were disrupted. Even for people who received notices but didn’t get shut off, they went through several stressful weeks waiting for the other shoe to drop and were oftentimes afraid to leave their homes unattended for fear of finding their power cut when they returned.”

Sen. Colbeck also highlighted that because the MPSC only knows what it is told that it is critical that people call the MPSC to lodge complaints. If people don’t call, the extent of the investigation will be understated. People should call 1.800.292.9555 for any complaint they have, even if the incident occurred several months ago.

Sen. Colbeck’s previous press release on the matter also drew attention to the fact that the MPSC currently does not formally ask the utilities to report why people have their electric power involuntarily shut off. Sen. Colbeck said he felt that would be an issue that would hamper the investigation and shows the need for changes in reporting.

“State administrative rules need to be rewritten so that something like this can’t happen again,” Sen. Colbeck said. “I believe that the current law requires more detailed reporting than what the utilities are now submitting to the MPSC, but in any event it is clear that the MPSC has the legal ability to now retroactively ask for those details as they conduct this investigation. For example, it has been extremely frustrating for me to see people getting their power turned off because they simply want to keep their analog meter, to then be told that it is a rare occurrence, but then be unable to get the actual data on how frequently it is happening.

“For a start we need to change the rules that allow for such meter-choice related shut-offs, that encourage lax reporting, and that allow utilities to take too long restoring power without experiencing any real ramifications.  Waiting a week to get power restored in the cold is simply too long, especially when the person shouldn’t even be getting their power cut in the first place.”

Sen. Colbeck said that the type of behavior being exemplified by the shut-offs shows why both utility choice and meter-choice urgently need to be reexamined.

“Until people can vote with their feet we’ll continue to see these problems,” Sen. Colbeck said. “People deserve the right to flee poor service when it jeopardizes their health and well-being.”

Please also check out our Home page and
consider making a donation to support our
ongoing efforts to educate through this
site and through flyering in the districts of
House Energy Committee members who have
been holding up passage of House Bill 4220.

 

 

 

 

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DECEMBER 16TH – CALIFORNIA ISSUES CAUTION ON CELL PHONE USE – by Olga Naidenko Ph.D.

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children’s developing brains could be at greater risk.

The state Department of Public Health was forced to release the guidelines in March after a lawsuit by University of California, Berkeley, researcher Dr. Joel Moskowitz. At the time, the department said the guidelines were only a draft, but they now are the state’s official position. The DPH guidelines closely align with EWG’s Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use, published in 2016.  MORE

PLEASE SEE OUR HOME PAGE HERE AND CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO MICHIGAN STOP SMART METERS TO HELP US GET THE WORD OUT SO MORE PEOPLE WILL CONTACT THEIR STATE LEGISLATOR AND URGE PASSAGE OF HOUSE BILL 4220 THAT WILL GIVE PEOPLE A MEANINGFUL WAY TO OPT-OUT WITHOUT PAYING EXTORTIONATE FEES!!!

 

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DECEMBER 16TH, 2017 – WE STILL NEED HELP!!!  Two months ago we made an appeal for donations to cover our ongoing costs for flyering, educational efforts and possible newspaper ads. A few of you contributed generously and we appreciate that. But we need more of you to step up and help with this – by donation or by volunteering.

Again, how much we can do will depend on your generosity in donating to us at this time.

If you are angry at what DTE, Consumers Energy and their cronies in state offices are doing to Michigan utility customers, and you appreciate all that we are doing to fight these injustices, then PLEASE HELP US by donation or by volunteering your time!

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