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Woman Arrested While Refusing Smart Meter Installation on Her Property Tells Us Her Story

THEBLAZE -- Jennifer Stahl has been a strong advocate against the smart meter program in Naperville, Ill., for the last two years. The issue came to a head Wednesday afternoon when she was arrested while refusing to let the utility workers install the controversial device.

“I was protecting my property,” Stahl said in an interview with TheBlaze Thursday afternoon. “I felt my emotion was like a momma bear protecting her babies.”

Stahl was at a friend’s house when she received the call from her husband that the utility workers had arrived. She was home within 15 minutes and saw they were at a neighbor’s house. Her neighbors were not home, but they had signs stating they did not permit the new meter to be installed. (VIDEO)



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Submitted Jan 25, 2013 By: NOTSOGRN
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
Author Topic: Woman Arrested While Refusing Smart Meter Installation on Her Property Tells Us Her Story Back to Topics
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Jan 29, 2013 4:59:16 AM

funny how everyone cries for the government to "do something" in the wake of such tragedy as Sandy Hook, but no one wants their own rights to be abridged. I guess the person who figures out the solution to that dilemma will be the next super-billionaire.
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LetemEatCake
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 9:27:52 PM

And pray tell Guy what is big brothers agenda with Smart Meters? Do you know? Or are you just into Gun Control? Which is way off topic for this thread.

[Edited by: LetemEatCake at 1/26/2013 10:29:28 PM EST]
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HawaiianGuy
Champion Author Idaho

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 6:11:06 PM

Another case of Big Brother shoving his agenda down your throat. Gun control is only the beginning. Don't you EVER surrender your Right to Bear Arms to an increasingly intrusive government, no matter what the self-ordained King decrees.
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jethro5000
Champion Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 11:39:59 AM

Old news
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NedW
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 9:23:47 AM

I hope she sues everyone that anything to do with this.
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DanMtz
Champion Author Oakland

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 7:36:48 AM

Cue the Looney Tunes theme.
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blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 7:02:20 AM

OK, nothing to do with guel prices.
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greatartiste
All-Star Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 6:59:35 AM

WTF does this have to do with fuel prices?????
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goldrose1
Champion Author Cleveland

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 2:10:11 AM

And how does this relate to gas?
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BennoBlue
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 26, 2013 1:27:46 AM

This doesn't belong here, because it's not a story about energy, it's a story about a woman who got herself in trouble. If it was actually about the smart meters, it would be a great addition, but there's no real information about the smart meters themselves here. A story about what might be considered civil disobedience has a place, but that place would be a politics board, a community forum, etc.With that said, here are two other articles that give additional information about the situation:

http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/01/23/two-naperville-women-arrested-for-trying-to-block-smart-meters

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/naperville/chi-naperville-smart-meter-arrest-20130123,0,6519967.story
After reading more about it, this looks like a clear-cut case of capitalism:
The utility company is upgrading their equipment, and the owner has been given advance notice, as well as an option to decline for a fee to cover the additional costs to the utility -- if they have to send a meter reader, they're charging for the cost of an employee's time, fuel for the vehicle, etc. Stahl admitted to being aware of this option, but didn't want to pay the charge, and she also didn't choose to end her account with the utility. Thus, the utility sent someone to upgrade their equipment to cut costs. And, it *is* the utility's equipment: the meter itself *is* owned by the utility, and when the customer signs up for the utility account, they grant the utility access to read and maintain (which includes upgrading or replacing) said equipment (it's usually done as an easement).

I understand Stahl's concerns about health and privacy issues, and I can see how she might have concerns, but in that case she had a number of legal options:
-- She could have opted to pay a monthly fee to keep the older equipment that costs the utility more
-- She could have gotten an injunction against the change while investigation is being done on the health and privacy issues
-- She could have ended her account with the utility company and chosen to handle her power needs by a generator, solar panels, windmills, or whatever other means
-- As a member of a group that is against the smart meters, the group could start their own utility company that only uses analog meters

I'm sure there are more options that didn't occur to me. But, she didn't choose any of them. She decided to block the access that she'd already agreed upon to the utility's property, the meter. That's like if you have an account with the cable company, you decide you're going to downsize your account, and aren't going to pay for the equipment you've been renting from them (DVR, converter, set-top box, whatever). If they tell you you need to either pay for the equipment or return it, and you do neither, sooner or later, someone's going to come for it. If you block them, the police will come too, and arrest you for getting in the way while the equipment is being repossessed. You're asking the company to keep providing the service without paying for the equipment of theirs that you're using. It's just another type of theft. Any concern about health, privacy, or whatever doesn't give the right to do that. What's at issue here isn't the Constitution or the federal government, it's the contract that Stahl entered into when she opened her account with the utility, and the ownership by the utility of the meter as their equipment.

I'm not debating over whether smart meters might have issues, or if there are any reasons for concerns about health, privacy, or safety. Different people have differing opinions, and that's their right. It's enough that Stahl had concerns, whether or not they were warranted. The story isn't about the smart meter itself, it's about her actions and their consequences, so that's all I'm looking at.

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TIGERPAW46
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:35:26 PM

Either way get use to it because every day gets worse with Gov. intrusion into our private lives. "Gov. big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take it all away."

It may not be long before the USA is just like other countries where the people are having to fight a dictator. The Balance of power of our Government has been eroded to near nothing already.

[Edited by: TIGERPAW46 at 1/26/2013 12:37:36 AM EST]
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TIGERPAW46
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:32:24 PM

Install your own Solar or wind power system & disconnect from public utilities. Just hope you have enough backup storage capacity for lack of sun or wind times.
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crreed1
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:25:25 PM

ok
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1_percenter
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:22:02 PM

“I felt my emotion was like a momma bear protecting her babies.”

nothing much happens in naperville
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10k
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:18:52 PM

wish i had known this on monday, cause i have a feeling one of those suckers was installed on my house..

a man claiming to work for progress energy, soon to be duke power, exchanged my old meter with a new one, that he said could be read from the home office, w/o requiring a meter-reader to personally read the numbers-another job just sent to h*ll, i guess..

and this dude was driving a truck with colorado license tags..in north carolina ??-hmmmmm..
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esquared
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:18:35 PM

The charges against her will be dismissed, but she hasn't a legal leg to stand on with easements guaranteeing access across/onto private property for public utilities.
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bikechuck
Champion Author Indianapolis

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:16:33 PM

Time to figure out your own individual energy producing system if you do not want to use the public utility. Otherwise you do not have a choice.
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regout
Champion Author Quebec

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:16:24 PM

She had to protect his home but...
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arb0526
Champion Author Greensboro

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:14:47 PM

Don't see how this is about fuel but in the article:
To receive a “non-standard” smart meter costs an initial, one-time fee of $68.35 (this is the cost difference between the two meters) and a monthly fee of $24.75 for manual reading of the meter.
I have a wireless transmitting meter on my house and it cost nothing to install /maintenance fees. Seems like a power company gouging customers at every turn.


[Edited by: arb0526 at 1/26/2013 12:15:58 AM EST]
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DustyHorse
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:14:42 PM

That BS charge will be thrown out in a second. The officer should be sued for false arrest. I would like to be on that jury.
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dongo50
Champion Author West Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:13:48 PM

not sure what a smart meter is, but it sounds dumb to me.
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jrsva
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:13:43 PM


On one hand this is a tempest in a teapot but on the other it is one more intrusion of Big Brother into our lives. Police and government officials should not be involved. If she does not want to allow utility workers onto her property to change the meter, the utility can shut off her power. Her choice.
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joel27nc
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:12:50 PM

How does the "smart meter" work or do?
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1fulltank
Champion Author Buffalo

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:12:34 PM

New technology may take a while to work out the bugs, but at WHOSE expense???
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cheapertvs
Champion Author Richmond

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:12:23 PM

These are crazy people. The smart meter is the property of the utility company as is the regular meter currently in place. These people can get an off grid solar power system of their own (and pay for it) if they do not want the smart meter.
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CartelBuster
All-Star Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:12:08 PM

Welkom to O's Amerika! (Where government knows what's best for it's peons) Orwell was only off by 29 years!
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alaric76
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:11:07 PM

these things are a curse!
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wayoung56
Champion Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:11:06 PM

Hmmm...
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TheSicilian
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:09:38 PM

how about a dumb meter
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MINIWINI598
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:09:10 PM

Wow..
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Blue_Cruzer
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:08:32 PM

A controversial program.
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rats3
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:08:07 PM

Smart meters are a cash grab and nothing more. Many, many Ontarian's will tell you their electric bills went through the roof after smart meters were installed.

The best solution, if you can, is to get off the grid all together. If you can it will be a great selling feature in the future. Saying goodbye to utility companies can be very invigorating.

The police that arrested her should be ashamed of themselves.
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cheaper0ON
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:07:44 PM

Ok.
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after10
All-Star Author Hamilton

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:07:34 PM

Its about who has control of rights .Unfortunatly we have paid dearly give them the right to infringe on our rights
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heartbroken2010
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:07:01 PM

simply just another monitoring system the smart meters are.
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PrinceLH
Champion Author Ontario

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:05:07 PM

It's a sneaky way to get more money, without an increase. No wonder she was upset.
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UpSol7
Champion Author Augusta

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:04:09 PM

tell her to get a generator and off the grid then.
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unemployed58
Veteran Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 11:00:34 PM

he said she said
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fenster66
Champion Author Pittsburgh

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:56:39 PM

It takes all kinds, I guess....
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Wanda127
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:55:00 PM

The utility companies have the right to update your meters to make it more efficient. They just need to send you a notice that they will be out to do the job & have ID so I don't understand what the problem was with this woman.
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SammyAdams
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:53:40 PM

As more people learn some truths about these "smart" meters, more communities are rejecting them.
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mstearno
Champion Author Dayton

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:45:57 PM

they have the right to change your meter
if you don't want their meter move or go without electricity
YOUR CHOICE
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PontiacFan
All-Star Author Gary

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:41:07 PM

Fight the man!
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Kamakani
Champion Author Denver

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:40:20 PM

Too much government
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skyking19
Champion Author Little Rock

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:37:51 PM

Wow
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bonzoonfmb
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:34:37 PM

She has worse problems than a 'smart meter' if she lives in Naperville. Naperville = suburban hell.
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Buddy2264
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:32:21 PM

I would hope in time a smart grid and meters will save us money and lower electric costs and fuel costs, which use more oil and natural gas as they switch over from coal.
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PrepHermit
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:31:42 PM

Nice try.
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BREW9
Champion Author Tampa

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:30:41 PM

big bro
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ESCORT6768
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: Jan 25, 2013 10:26:13 PM

Their property, their choice. Just another piece of freedom lost to please some green group.
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