Tag Archives: alert

OK-SAFE: Help Stop Common Core in Oklahoma – Calls Needed!

Kaye Beach

May 17, 2013

Via OK-SAFE:

 

Help Stop Common Core in Oklahoma – Calls Needed!

OK-SAFE, Inc. – By now everyone knows how dangerous the Common Core State Standards are for our children and state education.  (See here, here, here, here, and here.)

Everyone, that is, except OK Governor Mary Fallin, State Superintendent Janet Barresi, and Senator John Ford.

It appears that OK Speaker T.W. Shannon has come out against the Common Core state standards and is willing to run legislation (hopefully this session) to repeal one of the components of this egregious education system.  (HB 1719 may end up being the legislative vehicle for the repeal of the Common Core standards bill, but that has not been confirmed as of this writing.)

Please call your Senator and Representative and tell them you want Common Core repealed in Oklahoma.  Especially, call and email Pro-Tem Brian Bingman and Sen. John Ford and tell them to say YES to the repeal of the Common Core in Oklahoma.

  • Senate Pro-Tem Brian Bingman   405-521-5528   Email: bingman@oksenate.gov
  • Sen. John Ford                                 405-521-5634  Email: fordj@oksenate.gov

Read more

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Oklahoma Action Alert! SB618 DNA Collection Before Conviction

dna prison

Kaye Beach

March 6, 2012

SB618 by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Leslie Osborn will be heard as early as today tomorrow in the OK Senate.

SB618 would require mandatory collection of your DNA following arrest for felony and even some misdemeanor offenses. 

If there is a reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is connected to other crimes, law enforcement can get a warrant for the sample.  Collecting and databanking of DNA on arrestees as a matter of course and not upon any particular suspicion of a connection to a specific crime, negates the principle of innocent until proven guilty which is the cornerstone of our justice system.

The original mandate of DNA databases – to record genetic markers from convicted offenders, on the dual theories that convicts are;

1) likely to reoffend

And

2) their diminished expectation of privacy legitimizes the search.

The expansion of circumstances from which DNA can be collected, analyzed and indexed to people arrested but not convicted of a crime goes well beyond the purpose and intent of creating a criminal DNA database

Please Contact your Senator and ask them to please VOTE NO! on SB618.

e-mail block.  Use bcc and send out one e-mail;
aldridge@oksenate.gov, allen@oksenate.gov, anderson@oksenate.gov, ballenger@oksenate.gov, barrington@oksenate.gov, bass@oksenate.gov, bingman@oksenate.gov, boggs@oksenate.gov, branan@oksenate.gov, brecheen@oksenate.gov, brinkley@oksenate.gov, brooks@oksenate.gov, brownb@oksenate.gov, burrage@oksenate.gov, coates@oksenate.gov, crain@oksenate.gov, dahm@oksenate.gov, david@oksenate.gov, ellis@oksenate.gov, efields@oksenate.gov, fordj@oksenate.gov, garrisone@oksenate.gov, griffin@oksenate.gov, halligan@oksenate.gov, holt@oksenate.gov, ivester@oksenate.gov, johnsonc@oksenate.gov, johnsonr@oksenate.gov, jolley@oksenate.gov, justice@oksenate.gov, loveless@oksenate.gov, marlatt@oksenate.gov, mazzei@oksenate.gov, mcaffrey@oksenate.gov, newberry@oksenate.gov, paddack@oksenate.gov, schulz@oksenate.gov, sharp@oksenate.gov, shaw@oksenate.gov, shortey@oksenate.gov, shumate@oksenate.gov, simpson@oksenate.gov, sparks@oksenate.gov, standridge@oksenate.gov, stanislawski@oksenate.gov, lewis@oksenate.gov, treat@oksenate.gov, wyrick@oksenate.gov,

Senate Members http://www.oksenate.gov/Senators/Default.aspx?selectedtab=0

Here is the letter I wrote to the Senators;

Dear Senator,

Our DNA contains our most private information.

SB618 would require mandatory collection of your DNA following arrest for felony and even some misdemeanor offenses. Our Constitution guarantees your right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Taking DNA prior to conviction is a warrantless search.   If there is a reasonable suspicion that the arrestee is connected to other crimes, law enforcement can get a warrant for the sample.

One of those *misdemeanor offenses that SB618 would require a DNA sample for is for urinating in public (outraging public decency) It ought to be a banner opportunity for bolstering the *CODIS system with DNA samples from harmless Oklahoma college kids.  And that is exactly the purpose of SB618-to populate the CODIS database in the hopes of raising the number of hits on unsolved crimes.

*The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a software system that  allows for state, local and federal authorities to share DNA profile information.

*See page 26 SB618 for a complete listing of offenses that will require DNA sampling and inclusion into the CODIS database.

Right now the Supreme Court is debating a case (Maryland v. King, 12-207) that may overturn as many as 29 state and federal laws that allow the collection of DNA samples when a person is arrested.  The Court’s decision on this case will be rendered in June of this year.

The original mandate of DNA databases – to record genetic markers from convicted offenders, on the dual theories that convicts are;

1) likely to reoffend

And

2) their diminished expectation of privacy legitimizes the search.

The expansion of circumstances from which DNA can be collected, analyzed and indexed to people arrested but not convicted of a crime goes well beyond the purpose and intent of creating a criminal DNA database

Whether or not collecting DNA samples from arrestees is an effective way to solve crimes is a moot point.  The ends do not justify the means.

On this point Supreme Court Justice Scalia agrees;

“I’ll bet you if you conducted a lot of unreasonable searches and seizures, you’d get more convictions, too,” Scalia said. “That proves absolutely nothing.”

Source: Bloomberg, February 26, 2013, DNA Collection Questioned as Court Weighs Privacy Rights http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-26/dna-collection-questioned-as-court-weighs-privacy-rights.html

This bill should receive a NO vote on its lack of constitutional merit alone.

But if that isn’t enough for you, there is more to consider. Once we cross the threshold of DNA collection prior to conviction and without a warrant what is next?

I will let Greggory LaBerge, Director, Crime Laboratory Bureau, Denver Police Department tell you exactly where we are heading.

“I’ll give a brief talk on forensic genetics of DNA database expansion, and specifically the CODIS database as it sits today, and where we think it will go in the future.

. . . We talk in the near term about how this database can be expanded. . . .There are states also looking at all arrestees legislation. . .”

Source: GENETICS AND PUBLIC POLICY CENTER AT JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY “A PERFECT MATCH? DNA IN LAW ENFORCEMENT” http://www.dnapolicy.org/resources/GenePOPSforensics_transcript.pdf

SB618 is a critical step towards mass DNA databasing of non-criminal
citizens and  DNA familial searches.  Eventually the ‘vision’ is DNA samples for roadside traffic stops, and merging our property records and financial profiles, workand medical history files, demographic data along with other biometric data including DNA.

The ultimate goal is a universal database of DNA profiles thatcan be used to predict our propensity for criminal behavior before any crime is committed.

Don’t believe me?   Believe Director LaBerge.

Source: The Forensic Genetics of DNA Database Expansion http://www.dnapolicy.org/resources/LaBerge-National_Press_Club_07.pdf

LaBerge lays out law enforcements vision for the CODIS DNA database;

Near Term DNA database Expansion (slide 8)

  • All convicted felons-current
  • All felony arrestees-currently expanding
  • All arrestees
  • Some misdemeanors

He lists the following near term desired uses of the CODIS DNA databases in the United States (slide 19)

  • Familial DNA searches
  • All military personnel DNA collected (now) and run (later) and searched against national CODIS as condition of enlisting
  • DNA databases based on privilege like DNA from teachers, driving, government and law enforcement jobs etc.

And eventually- (slide 21)

Relational databanks-biometric data merged with:

– DNA,

– fingerprints,

– photos,

– vehicle registrations,

– facial and body index/structure characteristics,

– Accurate ethnicity, race prediction

– demographic data,

– work and medical history,

– financial profiles,

– behavior modeling

– Criminal history,

By 2022 LaBerge predicts (slide 22);

laberge outer limits 1

  • Rare allele databases that relate genotype to geographical data
  • Predictive databases for crime propensity
  • Integrated police forensic intelligence databanks
  • Medical condition databases and DNA markers that characterize conditions-Research database access?
  • Roadside DNA profiling at every police stop
  • Universal databases

Read more Envisioning the future of the CODIS DNA database final

SB618 is moving us closer to this dystopic future.  Forced DNA testing should stop with people convicted of crimes.

Please vote NO on this unconstitutional and inhumane bill!

*Update* Oklahoma – Biometric Exemption Bill Passed Committee 12-0! Thank You’s Needed!

target dl 1

Kaye Beach

*Update 2/28/13 HB 1476 by Rep. Ken Walker passed the Government Modernization Committee 12 to 0 today!  Big thanks to all who called or emailed the committee members!  Please be sure to give them a thank you!

Here are the committee members’ emails;

Email block (use bcc)

jason.murphey@okhouse.gov, mike.turner@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov, david.derby@okhouse.gov, joedorman@okhouse.gov, dan.fisher@okhouse.gov, elise.hall@okhouse.gov, richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov, seneca.scott@okhouse.gov, jason.smalley@okhouse.gov, ken.walker@okhouse.gov, justin.wood@okhouse.gov

*Update 2/27/13 This bill is getting a lot of support!  Thank you to everyone who has called and emailed.  Thurs. morning, before the committee meeting (10:30 AM) It would be very helpfule to have a last push with some phone calls to the committee members. Numbers are listed below.  Thanks Again!**

Feb 26, 2013

Biometrics means “measurement of the body.”  Technology is used to measure behavioral or physical aspects of an individual and transform this personal data into digital code for the purpose of identification.

In Oklahoma, when we get a state driver’s license or identification card  we are having our facial biometrics captured by the high resolution photos.  High resolution digital cameras capture, map, digitize and database our facial features for the purpose of use by facial recognition technology.

Facial recognition technology enables at a distance identification and tracking through networked camera systems without our knowledge or consent.  (Oklahoma also requires a finger scan.)

The standard for the digital image on our ID cards is the adopted international standard of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization and International Standards exist for one purpose: to enable the global exchange of information.

Americans are experiencing increasing demands by business and government to produce their ID as a condition for access.  Our ability to buy, sell travel (and if Congress gets its way-soon work!) is becoming contingent upon this biometric ID.

In truth, we are being enrolled into a global system of identification and control that links our bodies to our ability to buy sell and travel.  And it is being done through deception, coercion and stealth and these facts has vigilant Christians concerned.

“Oklahoma has a long tradition of protecting religious liberty through its laws.”  OK. AG Scott Pruitt

HB1476 by Rep. Jon Echols Ken Walker will be heard this Thursday in the Government Modernization Committee at 10:30 AM

HB 1476 will permit a religious exemption for those who object to being enrolled into a biometric identification system.

This is, in my mind, the most important bill offered this session.

HB 1476  says that

“Any applicant who has signed the exemption shall be exempt from supplying biometric data to the Dept. of Public Safety.”

And

“The Department of Public Safety shall cease collecting, retaining or disclosing biometric data and from making biometric comparisons of an applicant who has signed the exemption.”

This exemption means that those with a religious objection to biometric identification and enrollment could get a NON-biometric driver’s license or ID card AND that any biometric data previously collected from you would be deleted from the system.

HB 1476 reads in part;

Beginning November 1, 2013, the Department of Public Safety shall modify the application for the issuance of a Class D driver license or an identification card to contain a statement of exemption. The statement of exemption shall contain the following language:

“BIOMETRIC IDENTIFICATION RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION”

“Because of my religious beliefs, I object to enrollment in an international biometric identification system including, but not limited to, facial recognition and digital fingerprinting that directly connects my body to identification and personal biometric information sharing.”

E. Any applicant who has signed the exemption shall be exempt from supplying biometric data to the Department of  Public Safety.

. . .

G. The Department of Public Safety shall cease collecting,  retaining or disclosing biometric data, biometric samples or  biometric templates from and making biometric comparisons of an applicant who has signed the exemption.

Please contact the members of the Government Modernization Committee before this Thursday and ask that they support HB 1476 which will permit people of faith in Oklahoma to avoid being mandatorily enrolled in a system of identification and control that violates their sincerely held religious convictions.

Members of the Government Modernization Committee

Chair Rep. Murphey, Jason  405/557-7350

Vice Chair Rep. Turner, Mike 405/557-7357

Rep. David Brumbaugh  405/557-7347

Rep. David Derby  405/557-7377

Rep. Joe Dorman  405/557-7305

Rep. Elise  Hall  405/557-7403

Rep. Richard Morrissette  405/557-7404

Rep. Dan Fisher  405/557-7311

Rep. Seneca Scott  405/557-7391

Rep. Jason Smalley  405/557-7368

Rep. Ken  Walker  405/557-7359

Rep. Justin F. Wood  405/557-7345

Email block (use bcc)

jason.murphey@okhouse.gov, mike.turner@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov, david.derby@okhouse.gov, joedorman@okhouse.gov, dan.fisher@okhouse.gov, elise.hall@okhouse.gov, richardmorrissette@okhouse.gov, seneca.scott@okhouse.gov, jason.smalley@okhouse.gov, ken.walker@okhouse.gov, justin.wood@okhouse.gov

Okla. Heads UP! Drone Surveillance Bill In Committee Tuesday 26th

Eye in the Sky Must Have a Warrant!

Eye in the Sky Must Have a Warrant!

Kaye Beach

Feb. 25, 2013

HB1556 will be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy Committee at 1:30 Tuesday Feb. 26th  Calls, emails needed today!

House Bill 1556-the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Act

HB 1556 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft requires law officers, absent an emergency, to obtain a warrant first before using drones for surveillance purposes and prohibits the state from outfitting drones with weapons.

The FAA estimates as many as 30,000 drones could be flying in US skies by 2020 and Oklahoma is poised to become a state leader in the drone industry.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched one of its first test flights for civil use of drones over the skies of Oklahoma in December 2012.

FORT SILL — The small, winged drone quietly soared overhead as SWAT team members closed in on a building at Fort Sill.

When a suspect sprinted from the structure, the drone banked through a cloudless afternoon sky in an effort to track the person.

A few miles away, two Lockheed Martin technicians sat in a converted bedroom of a ranch-style house using a laptop computer to control the drone’s movements. They followed the action on a video relay.  NewsOK, Dec. 31, 2012 Read more

Drones are capable highly advanced surveillance. Law enforcement drones can carry various types of equipment including live-feed video cameras, facial recognition, automatic license plate readers, infrared cameras and more.  Drone manufacturers admit some are designed to carry “less lethal” weapons such as Tasers or rubber bullets and law enforcement has openly expressed interest in utilizing these weapons.

HB1556 will be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy Committee.(contact info below)  Call and tell them that you want them to support HB 1556 for these reasons:

  • Drones should be deployed by law enforcement only with a warrant, in an emergency, or when there are specific and articulable grounds to believe that the drone will collect evidence relating to a specific criminal act.
  • Images should be retained only when there is reasonable suspicion that they contain evidence of a crime or are relevant to an ongoing investigation or trial.
  • Usage policy on domestic drones should be decided by the public’s representatives, not by police departments, and the policies should be clear, written, and open to the public.
  • Use of domestic drones should be subject to open audits and proper oversight to prevent misuse.
  • Domestic drones should not be equipped with lethal or non-lethal weapons.

Aerial, warrantless surveillance is a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights and our right to privacy!

Oklahoma House Aerospace and Energy Committee Members

Email block bcc;

johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov,weldon.watson@okhouse.gov, donarmes@okhouse.gov, mikebrown@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov, mariancooksey@okhouse.gov,  scott.inman@okhouse.gov, steve.kouplen@okhouse.gov, randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov, rcpruett@okhouse.gov, mike.sanders@okhouse.gov, bensherrer@okhouse.gov, garybanz@okhouse.gov, david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov,leedenney@okhouse.gov, charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov stevemartin@okhouse.gov jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov, mikereynolds@okhouse.gov,  colby.schwartz@okhouse.gov, aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov, lisajbilly@okhouse.gov, josh.cockroft@okhouse.govjwhickman@okhouse.gov,  dan.kirby@okhouse.gov, mark.mcbride@okhouse.gov, eric.proctor@okhouse.gov, sean.roberts@okhouse.gov, seneca.scott@okhouse.gov

Chair Rep. John Trebilcock johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7362

Rep. Weldon Watson  weldon.watson@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7330

Rep. Don Armes donarmes@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7307

Rep. Mike Brown mikebrown@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7408

Rep. David Brumbaugh david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7347

Rep. Marian Cooksey  mariancooksey@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7342

Rep. Scott Inman scott.inman@okhouse.gov   (405) 557-7370

Rep. Steve Kouplen steve.kouplen@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7306

Rep. Randy McDaniel  randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7409

Rep. R.C. Pruett  rcpruett@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7382

Rep. Mike Sanders mike.sanders @okhouse.gov (405) 557-7407

Rep. Ben Sherrer bensherrer@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7364

Rep. Gary W. Banz  garybanz@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7395

Rep. David Brumbaugh david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7347

Rep. Lee Denney leedenney@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7304

Rep. Charlie Joyner charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7314

Rep. Steve Martin  stevemartin@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7402

Rep. Jerry McPeak  jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7302

Rep. Mike Reynolds mikereynolds@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7337

Rep. Colby Schwartz colby.schwartz@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7352

Rep. Aaron Stiles aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7386

Rep. Lisa J. Billy  lisajbilly@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7365

Rep. Josh Cockroft  josh.cockroft@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7349

Rep. Jeffrey W. Hickman  jwhickman@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7339

Rep. Dan Kirby  dan.kirby@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7356

Rep. Mark McBride  mark.mcbride@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7346

Rep. Eric Proctor  eric.proctor@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7410

Rep. Sean Roberts  sean.roberts@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7322

Rep. Seneca Scott  seneca.scott@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7391

Okla. Legislative Action: Three Important Privacy Protection Bills and What You Can Do to Help

Kaye Beach

Feb. 23, 2013

**Corrected!  I was in a huge rush when I posted this and left off about half of the info.  Apologies.  It is fixed now. ***

Thank to all who attended today’s privacy rally at the state capitol event!

It’s true-ALL Oklahomans value their privacy!  Young, old, right, left and even some that cannot be so easily defined, turned out to stand up for their right to be let alone.  We busted paradigms, expanded our networks, made new connections and put Big Brother in Oklahoma on notice.  And we have only just begun to fight.

If you missed the  Intenational Day of Privacy event at the state capitol today but want to help, here is our ation items on important privacy protecting legislation active in Oklahoma.  In a nutshell, these bills cover drones, phones and RFID.

HB1559 (the last item on the list) is actually the most time sensitive of the three bills.  Please send your emails out this weekend and follow op with calls on Moday morning if you can.

 

1.House Bill 1556-the Oklahoma Unmanned Aerial Surveillance Act

HB 1556 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft requires law officers, absent an emergency, to obtain a warrant first before using drones for surveillance purposes and prohibits the state from outfitting drones with weapons.

The FAA estimates as many as 30,000 drones could be flying in US skies by 2020 and Oklahoma is poised to become a state leader in the drone industry.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security launched one of its first test flights for civil use of drones over the skies of Oklahoma in December 2012.

Drones are capable highly advanced surveillance. Law enforcement drones can carry various types of equipment including live-feed video cameras, facial recognition, automatic license plate readers, infrared cameras and more.  Drone manufacturers admit some are designed to carry “less lethal” weapons such as Tasers or rubber bullets and law enforcement has openly expressed interest in utilizing these weapons.

HB1556 will be heard in the House Aerospace and Energy Committee.(contact info below)  Call and tell them that you want them to support HB 1556 for these reasons:

  • Drones should be deployed by law enforcement only with a warrant, in an emergency, or when there are specific and articulable grounds to believe that the drone will collect evidence relating to a specific criminal act.
  • Images should be retained only when there is reasonable suspicion that they contain evidence of a crime or are relevant to an ongoing investigation or trial.
  • Usage policy on domestic drones should be decided by the public’s representatives, not by police departments, and the policies should be clear, written, and open to the public.
  • Use of domestic drones should be subject to open audits and proper oversight to prevent misuse.
  • Domestic drones should not be equipped with lethal or non-lethal weapons.

Aerial, warrantless surveillance is a violation of our Fourth Amendment rights and our right to privacy!

2.House Bill 1557 – the Geolocation Information Protection Act

HB 1557 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft requires a warrant for law enforcement access to cellphone data except in certain emergency situations.

All cell phones register their location with cell phone networks several times a minute, and this function cannot be turned off while the phone is getting a wireless signal. Our travels reveal many intimate details about our lives.  Do you drink or go to bars, how about church?  Are you faithful to your spouse?  What medical treatment are you receiving? Are you politically active and if so, what political groups do you associate with?

HB1557 has been sent to the House Aerospace and Energy Committee but has not been scheduled to be heard yet.  Please call or email the Chairman of this committee and ask that HB1557 be scheduled. Then contact the members of this committee and ask them to please support HB1557.  Tell them that:

·         The government should have to obtain a warrant based upon probable cause before tracking cell phones

Warrantless cell phone tracking is
not permitted under the US Constitution and it is a grave violation of our
privacy

Oklahoma House Aerospace and Energy Committee Members

Chair Rep. John Trebilcock  johntrebilcock@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7362

Rep. Weldon Watson  weldon.watson@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7330

Rep. Don Armes donarmes@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7307

Rep. Mike Brown  mikebrown@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7408

Rep. David Brumbaugh david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7347

Rep. Marian Cooksey   mariancooksey@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7342

Rep. Scott Inman scott.inman@okhouse.gov   (405) 557-7370

Rep. Steve Kouplen steve.kouplen@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7306

Rep. Randy McDaniel  randy.mcdaniel@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7409

Rep. R.C. Pruett  rcpruett@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7382

Rep. Mike Sanders mike.sanders @okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7407

Rep. Ben Sherrer bensherrer@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7364

Rep. Gary W. Banz  garybanz@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7395

Rep. David Brumbaugh david.brumbaugh@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7347

Rep. Lee Denney leedenney@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7304

Rep. Charlie Joyner charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7314

Rep. Steve Martin  stevemartin@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7402

Rep. Jerry McPeak  jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7302

Rep. Mike Reynolds mikereynolds@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7337

Rep. Colby Schwartz colby.schwartz@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7352

Rep. Aaron Stiles aaron.stiles@okhouse.gov (405) 557-7386

Rep. Lisa J. Billy  lisajbilly@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7365

Rep. Josh Cockroft  josh.cockroft@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7349

Rep. Jeffrey W. Hickman  jwhickman@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7339

Rep. Dan Kirby  dan.kirby@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7356

Rep. Mark McBride  mark.mcbride@okhouse.gov

(405) 557-7346

Rep. Eric Proctor  eric.proctor@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7410

Rep. Sean Roberts  sean.roberts@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7322

Rep. Seneca Scott  seneca.scott@okhouse.gov  (405) 557-7391

Rep. Paul Wesselhoft (these are his bills so no need to contact unless you just want to give him a Thank You!)

3.House Bill 1559 – NO RFID IN OUR ID!

HB1559 by Rep. Paul Wesselhoft would prohibit the state Public Safety Department from installing Radio Frequency Identification tracking technology in a driver’s license or state-issued identification card.

HB1559 has been sent to the House Transportation Committee. However, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Charlie Joyner, refuses to schedule the bill to be heard (which is very odd since he voted FOR this very same piece of legislation in the past!)

Please email or call Rep. Joyner the member of the Transportation Committee and ask that he, please give HB1559 a hearing. Do this right away! if this bill is not scheduled on Tuesday Feb. 26-it will die.

Chairman House Transportation Committee Rep. Charlie Joyner charlie.joyner@okhouse.gov 

(405) 557-7314

 

Tell him that:

  • The state of Oklahoma already      prohibits the implantation of RFID microchips in human beings.
  • RFID on our driver’s license and      state ID cards would be the next best thing to actually implanting them in      our bodies because we carry our ID documents with us everywhere we go.
  • RFID readers are becoming more      and more prevalent and will eventually enable tracking us wherever we go      revealing our travels, habits and associations.
  • Tagging and tracking of human      beings is inappropriate and violates our right to privacy.
  • AND remind him that he voted FOR this legislation before!

 

RFID is for inventory, NOT human beings

 

Oklahoma Robo Cop Alert! Rep. Steve Martin’s HB 2525

Kaye Beach

**Update Feb 12, 2012-this bill passed the Public Safety Committee last Wed. Rep Martin says it has nothing to do with tag scanning cameras.  I’m placing bets (figuratively speaking) on how long it will be before insurance verification is added on to the ALPR cameras already on some of the police cars in the state.**

Feb, 4, 2011

And I thought I missed Groundhog Day.

I got this email alert  on HB 2525 by Rep Steve Martin from Oklahomans for Liberty tonight.

 HB 2525 will allow police to pull you over… Not because you are speeding, not because you are driving erratically, but to check and see if your auto insurance is expired.  Click here to read the bill.

In fact, it can be the PRIMARY reason you are pulled over

(pg 3, line 11)

Oklahomans for Liberty asks;

Rep. Martin, please explain how the police can determine my insurance isn’t current before they pull me over?  Do they have some newfangled x-ray device that can see through my car AND my wallet to read the date on my insurance card?

I can answer that.  No.  It’s not an x-ray device but it’s close and this where the ‘Robocop’ comes in.   It’s called ALPR-Automatic License Plate Reader, and these things are all the rage.

ALPRs are not ordinary cameras. Attached to police cruisers, or fixed on telephone poles or other stationary places, the cameras snap an image of nearly every license plate they encounter. The device produces a file for each image captured, which includes searchable text displaying the time, date and GPS location of the car when and where the plate was ‘read’. This information is fed into a database, where it can be shared with other agencies and databases, and “mined” or analyzed. Read more

ALPR, known not-so-affectionately in Oklahoma as Spy Cams, caused such an outrage across the state that one of only a handful of questions asked to gubernatorial candidates Jari Askins and Mary Fallin at their face off preceding the election was regarding their stance on the use of the devices.

And if this all smells vaguely familiar to you, it should because we have stepped in this pile before!

Back in 2010, HB 2331 by Steve Martin proposed to  amend Title 47 “to allow at-will random insurance verification via an online insurance verification system, without a traffic-stop or accident having occurred first; the bill further gives authority for law enforcement to then seize the vehicle if found to be uninsured.
Observation or verification can be conducted from a fixed location, i.e. from the roadside, or from a moving patrol car.  Oklahoma utilizes an online insurance verification system, which may or may not be accurate.” (from a 2010 OK-SAFE Action Alert)  Read more

HB 2331, the 2010 bill by Rep. Steve Martin, as introduced, required officers to seize the vehicle if a driver had not complied with the Compulsory Insurance law.

Upon issuing a citation under this paragraph, the law enforcement officer issuing the citation shall seize the vehicle being operated by the person

Confiscating property is a big deal and this bill took away the ability of an officer to use their good judgment.  I was outraged by Rep. Martins answer when he was asked if a woman and her children should be just left on the side of the road at night because of lack of insurance and he said absolutely-YES!

Martins 2010 bill, HB 2331 was  amended  and softened by replacing the word “shall” with “may.”   The bill passed both houses and was ultimately signed into law.

But back to Rep. Steve Martin’s current bill, HB2525.  Currently the insurance verification law reads;

Establishing compliance with the Compulsory Insurance Law through the online verification system shall not be the primary cause for law enforcement to stop a motor vehicle

http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=82234

If Rep. Martin’s new bill HB 2525  passes law enforcement will be able to drive around with their little spy cams mounted on their cars and scan every plate they pass.  Every time the spy cam alerts that a motorist does not have insurance the officer can promptly issue a ticket.  These tag scanning cameras (ALPR) can scan hundreds of tags per hour.  I predict that the time it takes to stop you and actually issue you a citation will soon be seen as an obstacle to the efficient revenue enhancement of the state and they will just mass mail the tickets out automatically before long.

By the way, these tag scanning devices can do a LOT more than just check for your insurance status.

Oklahomans for Liberty recommends (and I agree!) that we might want to talk to our legislators who are on the Public Safety Committee pronto because the bill goes to that committee this Wednesday, Feb 8th (Room 512A at 10:30 AM)

This bill is being heard Tuesday Wednesday morning so we need to call the members of the Public Safety Committee and urge them to vote no on HB 2525.  Here is the list of the committee members.  I urge you to contact as many as you can before Tuesday morning.

Representative Sue Tibbs, Chair  (405) 557-7379
Representative Steve Martin, Vice Chair  (405) 557-7402
Members:
Representative Ed Cannaday  (405) 557-7375
Representative Josh Cockroft  (405) 557-7349
Representative Doug Cox  (405) 557-7415
Representative Tommy Hardin  (405) 557-7383
Representative Chuck Hoskin  (405) 557-7319
Representative Fred Jordan  (405) 557-7331
Representative Charlie Joyner  (405) 557-7314
Representative Al McAffrey  (405) 557-7396
Representative Pat Ownbey  (405) 557-7326
Representative Pam Peterson  (405) 557-7341
Representative Brian Renegar  (405) 557-7381
Representative Paul Roan  (405) 557-7308
Representative Todd Thomsen  (405) 557-7336
Representative Steve Vaughan  (405) 557-7355

Health Exchange/Network Language Found- SB971 Needs to be Stopped

Kaye Beach

April 2, 2011

The following is a slightly abbreviated version of the Action alert issued by OK-SAFE this evening.  To read the entire alert click here

OK-SAFE, 5/2/11 –

The substitute language for the failed HB 2130 (HUB board bill, establishing governance of the health insurance exchange) has appeared in a newly-created appropriations bill, SB 971. 

SB 971 was introduced on 4/27/11 and has been assigned to the Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget. 

Details on who to call are below. The bill’s language is posted on the OK-SAFE blog.

Background

[. . .]Grassroots groups’ research and lobbying helped force the rejection of the $54 Early Innovator Grant, awarded to Oklahoma in February 2011 to implement the technology systems necessary to create such an exchange. (See diagram below.)

HB 2130, as you may remember, established the Health Care for the Uninsured board (HUB) governance over the implementation of a health insurance exchange in Oklahoma.

HB 2130, narrowly passed in the House on 3/17/11, was refused a hearing in the Senate due to the outrage caused by its’ passage.

Oklahomans don’t want an exchange, with or without federal grant money.

However, a few Senators are again attempting to pass the same language that was used in the HUB bill (HB 2130), switching the HUB board to a new board, and replacing an exchange with a “Network.”  

Specifically, SB 971 would create a 7-member Health Insurance Private Enterprise Network board, to be chaired by the Insurance Commissioner: 3 members appointed by the governor, one member by the Speaker, one member by the Senate Pro-Tem, and includes the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Terry Cline.  This board would pick an Executive Director for the Network.

This 7-member board can end up being the same people who would have been on the 9-member HUB board as defined in HB 2130, minus two.

[. . .]SB 971 further states: Funding for the Network shall come from state and private sources.

We’ve been told the state is facing a budget shortfall – where will the funding come from? What/who are the private sources?

There is no reference in the bill for how the Network website is to be set up, which opens the door for passing this right back to the system shown in the diagram above.

“Oh”, one Senator has said, “but this bill is completely different. You’ll like it.”  Huh?

Please Call [and or email] the following legislators and ask for NO vote on SB 971:

Senate Member Directory

1) Senate Appropriations Committee group email list: (Note- Sen. Myers and Sen. Sykes’ emails go to their executive assistants, Ingraham and Lewis, respectively)

ingraham@oksenate.gov, jolly@oksenate.gov, ballenger@oksenate.gov, branan@oksenate.gov, brinkley@oksenate.gov, burrage@oksenate.gov, crain@oksenate.gov, fordj@oksenate.gov, halligan@oksenate.gov, ivester@oksenate.gov, justice@oksenate.gov, marlatt@oksenate.gov, newberry@oksenate.gov, nichols@oksenate.gov, paddock@oksenate.gov, rice@oksenate.gov, stanislawski@oksenate.gov, lewis@oksenate.gov, wilson@oksenate.gov, wyrick@oksenate.gov

2) House Joint Committee on Appropriations and Budget: group email:

earl.sears@okhouse.gov, scott.martin@okhouse.gov, donarmes@okhouse.gov, lisajbilly@okhouse.gov, gusblackwell@okhouse.gov, mikebrown@okhouse.gov, dougcox@okhouse.gov, david.dank@okhouse.gov, leedenney@okhouse.gov, daledewitt@okhouse.gov, joedorman@okhouse.gov, chuck.hoskin@okhouse.gov, guyliebmann@okhouse.gov, jerrymcpeak@okhouse.gov, ronpeters@okhouse.gov, danielsullivan@okhouse.gov, purcywalker@okhouse.gov

Tell Senators to vote NO! Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund HB 1953

Kaye Beach
April 27, 2011

-This bill was passed this morning I am told.  Now you know what you should be mad about!  Thank them or Spank them as you see fit- here’s how they voted;

HOUSE BILL 1953            [Economic development; Quick Action Closing

Mazzei                     Fund]

Third Reading

YEAS:   41                                                 RCS#  642

NAYS:    3                                                 4/27/2011

EXC :    4                                                  11:10 AM

N/V :    0

YEAS:   41

Aldridge          Burrage           Johnson, C.       Russell

Allen             Coates            Johnson, R.       Schulz

Anderson          Crain             Jolley            Shortey

Ballenger         David             Justice           Simpson

Barrington        Ellis             Laster            Sparks

Bass              Fields            Lerblance         Stanislawski

Bingman           Ford              Mazzei            Sykes

Branan            Garrison          Myers             Treat

Brecheen          Halligan          Newberry

Brinkley          Holt              Nichols

Brown             Ivester           Rice

NAYS:    3

Eason Mc          Wilson            Wyrick

EXCUSED:    4

Adelson           Marlatt           Paddack           Reynolds

NOT VOTING:    0

HOUSE BILL 1953

http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf/2011-12%20SUPPORT%20DOCUMENTS/votes/Senate/HB1953_VOTES.HTM




Call Your Senators
Say “NO” to HB1953

Call your senators immediately and ask them to vote NO on HB 1953, a bill creating the Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund, amending title 62.

This bill concentrates power and authority in the executive branch and the director of the Dept. of Commerce; it creates what in the public mind is a “slush fund.” This bill opens the door for possible misuse of funds by both the Governor/director and the chosen recipient.

HB 1953 creates the Oklahoma Quick Action Closing Fund in the State Treasury for use by the Oklahoma Department of Commerce (ODOC). Monies in the Closing Fund are to be used for economic development, specifically in situations in which spending these funds would likely be the determining factor in locating or retaining a high-impact business project or facility in Oklahoma. The Director of ODOC may recommend expenditures from the Closing Fund after analysis specific economic benefit factors outlined in the measure. After approval by the Governor, in consultation with the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives, ODOC may enter into agreement establishing conditions for payment from the Closing Fund.

Senator John Sparks plans to submit an amendment tomorrow that will improve the bill modestly, if it can’t be defeated.  If we use public funds to entice a business to move here, at least the company shouldn’t be allowed to turn right around and make big campaign contributions with the money they got from our taxpayers.

Senator Spark’s amendment read here
We need for Senators to support the Spark’s amendment but oppose the underlying bill.  If the bill makes it out of the Senate WITH the amendment, at least that would send it to Conference where we can work on it some more.

Senate Directory HERE

Oklahoma Senate emails-copy and paste

coates@oksenate.gov, crain@oksenate.gov, david@oksenate.gov, easonmcintyre@oksenate.gov, ellis@oksenate.gov, efields@oksenate.gov, fordj@oksenate.gov, garrisone@oksenate.gov, halligan@oksenate.gov, holt@oksenate.gov, ivester@oksenate.gov, johnsonc@oksenate.gov, johnsonr@oksenate.gov, jolley@oksenate.gov, justice@oksenate.gov, laster@oksenate.gov, lerblance@oksenate.gov, marlatt@oksenate.gov, mazzei@oksenate.gov, ingraham@oksenate.gov, newberry@oksenate.gov, nichols@oksenate.gov, paddack@oksenate.gov, reynolds@oksenate.gov, rice@oksenate.gov, russell@oksenate.gov, schulz@oksenate.gov, shortey@oksenate.gov, simpson@oksenate.gov, sparks@oksenate.gov, stanislawski@oksenate.gov, lewis@oksenate.gov, treat@oksenate.gov, wilson@oksenate.gov, wyrick@oksenate.gov

The following links tell stories about this bill and about actual abuses of a similar bill in Texas.

Message received via OKforTEA.com who credits Ronda Vuillemont-Smith and Don Wyatt from Tulsa 912 Project for the info on this…

Oklahoma Alert-Bills Scheduled SB 841 Electing Pres. by Popular Vote and Smart Meter Data Pimping Bill

Kaye Beach
April 10, 2011

I just had this information passed on to me.
I thought SB 841 was dead but apparently not.  Title was struck and the word “National” removed but it is still ticking.

Senate Bill 841 would have Oklahoma join a coalition of states to bypass the workings of the Electoral College by decreeing that the winner of the national popular vote would get all of the state’s support.

The bill was introduced by a Democrat senator, Sen. John Sparks of Norman. But in committee action its sponsorship was taken over by freshman Sen. Rob Johnson, R-Kingfisher. Its sponsor in the House is State Rep. Don Armes, R-Lawton.

A group called Save Our States has more information on this (and similar legislation) nationwide;

Federalism–our unique American system of states–is under assault. The ‘National Popular Vote’ organization is pushing state legislation as a way to sidestep the Electoral College.

While only six states have enacted NPV legislation, the effort plays on misunderstandings about the Electoral College and reinforces misconceptions about federalism. If passed by states worth a majority of electoral votes (270), NPV claims to create an interstate compact that would manipulate the Electoral College system to create a direct national election for President. This would eliminate the checks and balances created by the Electoral College and further unravel our system of states.

Read More

The bill allowing for customer data sharing by utilities, HB 1079 grabbed my attention. I will find out more about this bill and post my findings here-until then, some questions are certainly in order!

Contact your Senators


Hat tip to the sharp guy from Tulsa who brought this to my attention.


The following bills are on the Calendar for votes on Monday the 11th by the State Senate. 

SB841 Elections:  Agreement Among States to Elect the President by
(National) Popular Vote: Rob Johnson Senate, Armes House
Passed out of “Committee on Rules” after striking title to include “National” Popular Vote (3-1-11) (the word National doesn’t appear in the Title on the Calendar) 

The following is an apparent continuation of Legislation (HB3028 & SB828 passed during the 2009- 2010 Session)

HB1079 Utilities: Creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act: Marten, Scott and Jolley
(Protection for customers of Smart Meters or Utility Company Protection?)
Passed the House 86 to 10 on 3/16/11
Passed to Energy Committee after striking “Protection Act” out of the title and passed on to the Senate for vote.

<StartFT>An Act relating to utilities; creating the Electric Utility Data Protection Act; stating findings; stating purpose; defining terms; establishing duty with respect to usage data by an electric utility; authorizing certain use of customer-identifiable usage data; requiring an electric utility to provide standard usage data to a customer; allowing an electric utility to provide nonstandard usage data to a customer; authorizing a reasonable fee; authorizing disclosure of customer information to affiliates and certain third parties; specifying circumstances for the release of customer information to certain third parties; providing for the use of aggregate usage data by an electric utility; authorizing the disclosure of aggregate usage data to a third party for certain purposes; setting certain restrictions for the disclosure of aggregate usage data; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.

Data collecting, sharing and security risks relating to smart meters:

*Central communications*

The government has confirmed that, for the domestic sector, the new communications backbone over which smart meters will transmit data will be co-ordinated centrally (the centralised communications model). Risks to this centralised network include the hacking of customer details, denial of service attacks and even infiltration by intelligence services and terrorist groups seeking to disrupt supplies. In its reply to the government’s smart metering consultation, technology consultant Detica warned that we have already seen examples of security breaches involving smart meter technology. In the US, security firm IOActive recently sought to highlight the weaknesses of a smart meter network by successfully infiltrating systems with a worm.

*Security risks*

The highly detailed information that can be generated and communicated by smart meters will be of interest to a wide spectrum of third parties. For example, it has been suggested that monitoring and analysing household consumption profiles could:

* reveal the absence or presence of individuals in a household, enabling criminals to establish when it is most vulnerable to burglary;

* alert law enforcement authorities to potential illegal activities such as the growing of cannabis;

* provide unprecedented amounts of information on the personal movements of individuals and the life patterns of households, which would have significant commercial value to marketers and advertisers;

* identify energy inefficient consumers, facilitating the introduction by government of taxes and incentives to promote reduced consumption.

Worldwide, privacy concerns will likely only increase as smart grid technology delivers more near real-time information and improved communication with individual appliances in the home.

*Data sharing*

The potential for sharing data with third parties raises many concerns. There is likely to be considerable public concern regarding how data may be accessed on “public interest” grounds, for example public health, such as monitoring the vulnerable, or for combating crime. Many commentators have expressed the view that smart meters’ capabilities raise serious Big Brother concerns. Following the recent rejection by the Dutch parliament of smart meter proposals, in part due to privacy concerns, the energy industry is generally well aware of the potential risks of a privacy backlash in relation to smart metering.

Read more

Oklahoma approves smart meter rollout

Last month the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approved Oklahoma Gas & Electric’s Positive Energy smart grid program.
After closely evaluating the utility’s application, the OCC found this smart grid technology to be a prudent investment — preapproving up to $366.4 million in program costs to construct the system.
Here’s some information about where that money is coming from, and how it will be handled…
Funding sources for OG&E’s program include a $130 million stimulus grant from the US Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Investment grant program. Also, Oklahoma ratepayers will be expected to cover $220 million of the program costs via a three-year smart grid recovery rider (SGRR), which the OCC approved.
Although Oklahoma ratepayers will be funding this program through the rider, both the maintenance expenses, plus $8 million in annual meter reading costs. These savings will be passed through to ratepayers — as will the costs.
Oklahoma consumers also will save money on their utility bills by taking action to reduce consumption, time-shift usage, or implement other energy efficiencies in response to information obtained from the new smart meter equipment.
Further utility cost recovery will be addressed in OG&E’s next scheduled rate case in 2013. In that proceeding, funds from the approved rider must be reconciled. To facilitate this, the commission has ordered the establishment of three regulatory assets:
  • A smart grid operations and maintenance account.
  • A stranded meter cost account.
  • A web portal account.
OCC’s action follows regulatory approval of of major smart meter rollouts by public utility commissions in California, Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Pennsylvania, Maine, Delaware, and elsewhere. The Aug. 13 Maryland PSC approval of BGE’s smart meter program was only one of many.

42,000 meters install in Norman 2009
6,600 in OKC 2011
14,000 in Owasso beginning March 2011 (PSO)

Building a smarter grid, one customer at a time

In Oklahoma City, 6,600 people are plugged into a “smarter grid” made possible by Oklahoma Gas & Electric and GE. The technology project involves a whole new way of distributing and managing electricity that puts consumers in the driver’s seat. In addition to the two-way GE digital SmartMeters connected to participants’ homes, OG&E customers also have wireless consoles that display the cost of electricity per kilowatt hour at peak and off-peak times. The SmartMeters communicate with the electric company, and the display terminals communicate with the project participants. “Yesterday, we sent the customer a bill,” says Chris Greenwell, Manager of Commercial Services for OG&E. “Now, we give the customer tools to make intelligent choices.”

Learn more about the Oklahoma Gas & Electric project at GE.com

Have some 3-D smart grid fun on our new Web site, plugintothesmartgrid.com.

Press Releases

eMeter Announces New Smart Grid Appliance Bundle to Help Utilities Jump Start Grid Initiatives

New Bundle Available with eMeter’s EnergyIP™ and Energy Engage™ and IBM Tivoli and WebSphere Software Preloaded on IBM POWER7 Systems

San Mateo, CA – March 23, 2010 – eMeter and IBM today announced a first-of-its-kind bundled software package from eMeter, available preloaded on IBM hardware, designed to help electric, gas and water utilities customers implement their Smart Grid implementations out of the box.
Many utilities worldwide have demonstrated their commitment to the Smart Grid and have encountered challenges associated with building a solution from several piece parts. Now, by starting with templates of Smart Grid best practices and out-of-the box adapters for Advanced Meter Infrastructure (AMI) systems, the combination of IBM and eMeter technology can help utilities reduce the implementation and test cycle time from a year to as little as six months, and shave as much as 60% off the implementation cost.
Developed for municipal and mid-sized utilities, the new eMeter Smart Grid Appliance combines a set of software, tools, and best practices available preloaded on IBM POWER7 systems for rapid implementations. Effective Smart Grids should be able to automatically monitor and control two-way energy flow that allow consumers to manage energy usage right down to the individual networked appliance. This requires the ability for utilities to host and manage billions of transactions securely and efficiently.
“Having worked with several utilities that have succeeded with large-scale Smart Grid rollouts, eMeter and IBM took on the responsibility of identifying the right set of hardware and software tools best suited for these critical projects,” said Bobby Napiltonia, SVP of Sales and Alliances at eMeter. “The Smart Grid Appliance delivers a solution for utilities looking to quickly and easily make the most of their Smart Grid investments.”
The demand for rapid development and deployment for Smart Grids is growing as current city infrastructure boundaries are continually being tested with population increases driving new and higher demand for energy. Governments around the world are allocating stimulus money to revamp energy systems—the U.S. alone has assigned $4.3 billion to the effort. eMeter and IBM have developed technologies and programs to enable this global shift working with countries and utilities all over the world to establish the necessary policies and smart grid roll-out strategies to ensure the highest level of success and to move closer toward smarter transportation, policing, governance and grids.
With eMeter’s Smart Grid Appliance built on IBM technology, utilities will not only be able to put these stimulus funds to work, but can achieve operational efficiencies and new levels of customer responsiveness more quickly and be able to show those results to their regulators and customers alike.
“By eMeter leveraging IBM technology, our utility clients will be able to streamline their Advance Metering Infrastructure projects and reduce implementation and operational costs associated with their smart grid programs,” said Allan Schurr, VP of Strategy for IBM Energy & Utilities, “This serves as another example of IBM and its partners working together to help transition the world toward smarter energy and ultimately a smarter planet.”
Through an IBM Application Specific Licensing agreement, the new eMeter bundle combines IBM Tivoli Monitoring and WebSphere 7 Application Server software with eMeter EnergyIP™ meter data management and Energy Engage™ home energy solutions. These technologies are offered preloaded and optimized to take advantage of the capabilities of IBM’s recently announced POWER7 systems.
To manage the demands of emerging applications such as smart grids, as well as traditional applications, the new IBM Power Systems with POWER7 technology are designed with workload-optimizing technologies. The new systems also feature technology breakthroughs in virtualization, energy savings, more cost-efficient use of memory, and better price performance to enable clients to lower costs.
The Smart Grid Appliance will become available in the second quarter of 2010.
About eMeter
worldwide depend on eMeter Smart Grid Management softwareMeter provides essential software that enables electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of Smart Grid. Leading utilitiese to reduce operational costs, improve customer service, and drive energy efficiency. With the most large-scale deployments in the industry and strategic partnerships with Accenture, IBM, Logica, and Siemens, eMeter has built a reputation for unparalleled expertise that ensures customer success. For more information visit: www.emeter.com.
For more information about IBM and smart utilities, please visit www.ibm.com/energy.
###
DALLAS – Anger at one of Texas’ largest utilities is growing.
Dozens of people are furious at sky-high power bills and are convinced the new smart meters are to blame.
“I don’t mind paying my bill, but I’m not paying for something I’m not using,” said one customer in Grand Prairie on Saturday.
Oncor representatives sat through a tongue lashing at a town hall meeting, where angry customers, pleaded for help with their high bills.
“It’s either food, medicine or my electric – there’s no way,” said Trina Hall.
Nearly all say their bills went up after Oncor replaced the old mechanical meters on their homes with new digital smart meters.
Susan Major has always been careful to save electricity but almost immediately after her new meter went up, so did her bills.
“There’s something wrong, either my meter was installed wrong, read wrong, something, and nobody will own up,” she said.
Oncor still blames the cold winter for most of the high bills.
But the company now admits its workers misread at least 7,000 new meters when they were installed and overcharged customers.
“What you have is essentially a typo, we’re catching those, both with the customers and through our own internal process,” said Chris Schein from Oncor.
The utility insists the meters work.
Still, anger is growing, as is suspicion.
Grand Prairie Rep. Kirk England (D) is joining other lawmakers, calling for Oncor to stop installing millions of the new meters across North Texas until an outside agency can test their accuracy.
“I think there’s a problem and I think it’s more than just weather,” he said.

Texas Grassroots Alert-the TSA No Groping Bill needs your help!

Grassroots Alert! HB 1937

Bill to stop the TSA from groping our wives and daughters in airports will be heard in committee this Tuesday. This bill clarifies that sexual assault is sexual assault–no matter who performs it. Just because the TSA is a government bureaucracy does not mean that they can touch our intimate areas without probable cause.

Not only does it violate our dignity, but it also violates the intent of the 4th Amendement in the U.S. Bill of Rights and Section 9 of the Texas Bill of Rights. Stop the abuse….stop the TSA! (read the bill text and find more info at SupportDignity.com)

“Treating travelers as criminal suspects and forcing innocent citizens to submit to unreasonable and humiliating searches without probable cause as a condition of travel violates Section 9 of the Texas Bill of Rights and the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” — State Rep. David Simpson

We need your help! We need as many calls to flow into the capitol as possible to encourage the members of this committee to support traveler dignity and stop the TSA’s abusive practices. The committee will hold a public hearing this Tuesday, March 22nd, in the afternoon, so call on Monday!

Want to really help? Show up to the capitol on Tuesday and support this bill in person at the hearing! Email us at info@SupportDignity.com for more details.

Below is a list of the key committee members:

Rep. Pete Gallego – Committee Chair – 512-463-0566

Will Hartnett – Vice Chair – 512-463-0576

Rep. Cindy Burkett – 512-463-0464

Rep. Stefani Carter – 512-463-0454

Rep. Yvonne Davis – 512-463-0598 

Monday: Phone Calls

Tuesday: Criminal Jurisprudence Committee Hearing, JHR Building, Room 120(Corner of Congress & 15th)

(Simply showing up to this hearing will help with the effort, please join us if you can)