2017-12-08 Let’s make BC Ferries have Wi-Fi free areas

[AARP – ADA – Amnesty International – AT&T – BC Hydro – Bills – California Alliance of Retired Persons – Cell Phones – Cell Towers – Consumption – CPUC (Michael Picker, Karen Eckersley) & Elimination of Copper Wire Landlines / IP Internet Protocol – David Coley (ibert – Engineers & Psychologists) – EHS / EMS Disabled – EMR – Faraday Cage – FortisBC – Health – IoT – NTP – Oona McOuat Letter to John Horgan & NDP MLAs re Stop Site C – Power Outages (Batteries) – Privacy – Rural County Representatives of California – Safety – Samsung Smart Appliances – Security – Smart Home – Studies – Wireless Smart Meters – Write to Mark Collins, BC Ferries re No Wi-Fi Free Zones – ZigBee  | BC – Exeter, UK – California, USA] & (video)

1)    In California, meetings (“workshops”) are being held with the Public Utilities Commission in which the transition from copper line communications (hard wired phones) to wireless is being discussed. Many stakeholders were not involved, such as the disabled, the elderly, those who cannot afford a cell phone or those like us who do not want a cell phone.  History has shown us what happens in California soon happens elsewhere, including here in BC. We need to learn from them and be prepared to defend what is left of our copper line – which may not be much.  Please see a letter below from someone in California in protest to these plans to dismantle landlines.

(click on photos to enlarge)

2)    In UK, some are working on making new models of smeters that identify how electricity is being used and how it can be conserved. A team includes psychologists to help make the user understand consumption!!!   Nothing about making them safer or more secure.  Seems like greater invasion of privacy.

“A typical smart meter isn’t so smart; it simply shows the amount of energy you are currently using and how much you have used over the past week. This will be presented in energy and money units. And that’s about it. The device will not tell you what this energy is being used for or what actions you might take to reduce it. One thing it certainly doesn’t try and do is make you understand your energy consumption. A team of engineers and psychologists led by Professor David Coley at the University of Bath, in partnership with Exeter City Council, has spent the last three years designing a meter to do just that. 

https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/creating-a-smarter-smart-meter/36899/

3)     From a member:

The new Samsung ad currently being plastered all over the web has the tagline: “It’s not just a fridge, it’s the family hub.

Ironically (?) they show various members of a family in space suits interacting with the fridge, which has an iPad style display. They’ll need space suits to protect themselves from all the radiation coming off not just the fridge but all the other appliances in the new all-wireless home.” 

This is exactly how things will be when everyone has “smart” appliances and BC Hydro / FortisBC activate the ZigBee chips.

4)    BC Ferries is concerned about the health and wellness of their customers and employees – and is introducing a non-smoking policy, which is wonderful. Now, since they have acknowledged how much they care, let’s tell them it’s time to introduce a Wi-Fi free environment for those who are sensitive or who do not wish to be exposed to Wi-Fi in a Faraday cage.

We should all write to them, thanking them for this show of concern for the health of those on ferries, and ask them to address a danger that is just as great, if not more so.

Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO <Mark.Collins@bcferries.com>

BC Ferries Going Smoke and eCigarette Free 

“BC Ferries is pleased to advise customers that the company will be introducing a smoke – free environment in all BC Ferries locations, including terminals and vessels starting January 22, 2018 . This also includes the interior of all vehicles on BC Ferries property.

“This new policy supports the health and wellness of our customers and our employees by reducing exposure to second – hand smoke ,” said Mark Collins, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “ The policy aligns with other transportation services and ensures everyone using our services can breathe smoke – free air.” 

The new smoke – free policy applies to tobacco and any other substance including e-cigarettes, and is expected to reduce the number of complaints BC Ferries receives from customers related to second – hand smoke. BC Ferries will make regular announcements regarding the new policy on board the vessels and at the terminals, and will place signage on board the vessels and on shore as a reminder of the new policy. 

BC Ferries first provided advanced notice of the policy change last summer to give customers and employees who smoke time to adjust to this change.”

https://saltspringexchange.com/2017/12/06/bc-ferries-going-smoke-and-ecigarette-free/

5)    Amnesty International is asking for people to include in their letters to Horgan to protect Peace River Valley on behalf of First Nations.  Please see a good letter below as an example.

 

 BC government is about to decide the fate of the Peace River Valley, we’re re-sending this urgent call to contact Premier Horgan about Site C. It’s crucial that we all speak out for the rights of Indigenous peoples:

premier@gov.bc.ca  (250) 387-1715

If you’ve already called or emailed Premier Horgan, thank you! If you sent an email or letter, please consider also calling. If you haven’t had a chance to do either, please take a few minutes today to reach out. It’s important for the government to hear directly from BC residents right now. Thank you so much for your efforts!

Letters:

To: CPUC President Michael Picker and Karen Eckersley, Energy Division

RE: 12-6-17 Workshop — Copper Communications Facilities Usage in the IP Transition

I protest the exclusion of those disabled by electromagnetic sensitivities from representation and by topic on your panels. The EMS-disabled are not just stakeholders; they are also a protected class. The CPUC is well aware of this already large and growing population, but continues to ignore it and adopt policies that further increase it. The only disabled speaker is a reliable supporter for wireless technologies, supporting the “IP transition”.

In addition, older Californians and rural counties, with organizations including California Alliance of Retired Persons, and Rural County Representatives of California, are missing on the workshop panel on customer usage, despite the importance of copperline and the enormous impacts if withdrawn. AARP has vigorously protested the abandonment of copperline, yet is missing. The failure of the CPUC to hear from those most affected by “IP transition” is truly egregious.

Internet Protocol is an inferior system only available when the power is on. AT&T, in a promotional flyer with the tagline “Call to build your perfect bundle”, states “AT&T Phone: AT&T Phone service is provided over an Internet Protocol connection and powered by electricity in your home. AT&T Phone service, including 911 dialing, will not function during a power outage without battery backup power. It is your responsibility to purchase necessary battery backup units for your service.” These companies want ever-rising profits, special privileges no other industry enjoys, and no responsibility. Public protections are being eliminated.

This “IP transition” to a vastly inferior, less effective, and actually unsafe system is already costing Californians in injury, lives lost through decreased public safety and microwave impacts, environmental damage, increased CO2 and climate change, and increased energy use. Cell towers have repeatedly demonstrated their vulnerability in disasters. Cell phones and wireless devices do not work when their batteries run out. And the present grid cannot provide electricity for the billions of IoT devices envisioned by industry.

Copperline is a superior system — reliable, robust, safe, and formerly affordable before the CPUC deregulated rates. This advanced and resilient infrastructure was created at great effort and great public expense so that everyone could have telecommunications service. However, it created an uber-wealthy and powerful class — an industry which now seeks to destroy this essential infrastructure and further enrich itself at the public’s expense and regardless of all the costs. This is actually the public’s infrastructure.

The CPUC has clearly supported, even been a leader in helping this industry in its disastrous plan to terminate essential service to Americans. The CPUC has pushed people out the door by promoting wireless and allowing the elimination of telephone booths. This is in spite of its mission is to provide safe, reliable, and affordable utility service, and the oath that CPUC commissioners and staff took to uphold and defend the California Constitution which guarantees safety as an inalienable right and that government’s role is to protect the public. The CPUC makes policy choices for Californians and conducts the people’s business ignoring its responsibilities.

The terrible impact to the EMS-disabled and their dramatic increase in numbers is a direct result of CPUC policy decisions mandating and deregulating unsafe technologies. This “IP transition” creates insurmountable access barriers including to the enjoyment and use of people’s homes and access to their communities, and is actually life-threatening.

However, the CPUC has shut out the EMS-disabled from this conversation in violation of ADA rules — a pattern and practice for many years, despite multiple filings by the public, complaints, and proceedings where this issue was raised, and refusing to accommodate EMS-disabled people at hearings. Your Smart Meter program alone received thousands of health complaints early on and lengthy public testimony. EMS was recognized by the Access Board in 2002, and which released a report in 2005. The Department of Labor and the Social Security Administration have recognized disabling EMS. California gathered EMS prevalence data in 1998. This year, the California legislature recognized EMS. Yet, this blatant and ongoing discrimination by the CPUC continues — apparently a stratagem to protect utility corporations — even though the international scientific research and the federal National Toxicology program identify the damaging impacts and mechanisms of wireless radiation harm.

In another state where the copperline network was “retired”, someone who is EMS-disabled has no 911 service. Using a cellphone causes life-threatening health effects. The so-called Magic Jack does not work in a power outage.

Common sense customers want reliable 911 service including during power outages and safer telephone service. IP transition makes California less safe and provides unreliable telephone service, and microwave technologies themselves are inherently unsafe. How “smart” is it to continue staying this course?

It is long past time for the CPUC to change course and address these urgent issues. I protest the exclusion of the EMS-disabled from policy considerations and request your immediate attention to this issue.

Sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________

From: Oona McOuat  (name given with permission)
Sent: December 8, 2017
To: BC Office of the Premier <premier@gov.bc.ca>
Cc: EMPR.Minister@gov.bc.ca; FIN.Minister@gov.bc.ca; adrian.dix.MLA@leg.bc.ca; anne.kang.MLA@leg.bc.ca; bob.deith.MLA@leg.bc.ca; bowinn.ma.MLA@leg.bc.ca; bruce.ralston.MLA@leg.bc.ca; carole.james.MLA@leg.bc.ca; claire.trevena.MLA@leg.bc.ca; david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca; doug.donaldson.MLA@leg.bc.ca; douglas.routley.MLA@leg.bc.ca; garry.begg.MLA@leg.bc.ca; george.chow.MLA@leg.bc.ca; george.heyman.MLA@leg.bc.ca; harry.bains.MLA@leg.bc.ca; jagrup.brar.MLA@leg.bc.ca; janet.routledge.MLA@leg.bc.ca; jennifer.rice.MLA@leg.bc.ca; jinny.sims.MLA@leg.bc.ca; judy.darcy.MLA@leg.bc.ca; katrina.chen.MLA@leg.bc.ca; katrine.conroy.MLA@leg.bc.ca; lana.popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca; leonard.krog.MLA@leg.bc.ca; lisa.beare.MLA@leg.bc.ca; mable.elmore.MLA@leg.bc.ca; melanie.mark.mla@leg.bc.ca; michelle.mungall.MLA@leg.bc.ca; mike.farnworth.MLA@leg.bc.ca; mitzi.dean.MLA@leg.bc.ca; nicholas.simons.MLA@leg.bc.ca; premier@gov.bc.ca; rachna.singh.MLA@leg.bc.ca; raj.chouhan.MLA@leg.bc.ca; ravi.kahlon.MLA@leg.bc.ca; rick.glumac.MLA@leg.bc.carob.fleming.MLA@leg.bc.ca; ronna-rae.leonard.MLA@leg.bc.ca; s.chandraherbert.MLA@leg.bc.ca; scott.fraser.MLA@leg.bc.ca; selina.robinson.MLA@leg.bc.ca; shane.simpson.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Subject: Please Cancel the Site C Dam

Dear Premier Horgan and members of cabinet,

I am writing with a heartfelt request that you cancel the Site C project.  After years of profit-driven decision-making by our former government, I look to you for sane leadership, leadership grounded in an ethic that puts the well being of the people and the environment which sustains us at the center of all decisions and actions.

On so many levels, moving forward with Site C does not make ethical, financial, or environmental sense.

Treaty Rights

  • Proceeding with Site C would violate the treaty rights of Treaty 8 First Nations. More than 330 documented archaeological sites would be inundated by flooding and traditional hunting, fishing and medicinal gathering sites will be forever lost.

Food Security

  • The farmland that would be flooded by the Site C reservoir would seriously harm B.C.’s future food security.

Environmental Impacts

  • Site C would cause numerous adverse environmental impacts, including mercury poisoning of fish; downstream impacts on the Peace-Athabasca Delta (the largest freshwater delta in the world); and adverse effects on many species of fish, birds, bats, vertebrates, and plants, as well as sensitive ecosystems.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Contrary to B.C. Hydro’s claims, Site C would not deliver power with lower greenhouse gas emissions than other renewable sources of energy.

Jobs:

  • Greater job creation opportunities exist through demand-side management and by deploying an appropriate mix of smaller-scale renewable power sources.

Alternatives Exist

  • British Columbians would be much better served by a more ambitious and expanded version of the Power BC initiative that was announced before your government assumed power.

Clearly, the adverse effects of proceeding with Site C far exceed the benefits. I urge you to exercise extraordinary leadership and cancel this outrageously expensive, environmentally destructive, and socially disastrous project.

Sincerely,
Oona McOuat

 

Sharon Noble
Director, Coalition to Stop Smart Meters

The greatest enemy of truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived and dishonest
– but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrelenting.
Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
– John F. Kennedy