Showing posts from January, 2011

Seaside to discuss Smart Meters

In my last entry I noted that Monterey will be discussing a possible ban on PG&E's Smart Meters on Tuesday, February 1st.  I just learned that Seaside will be discussing Smart Meters at its next city council meeting on Thursday, February 3rd. If this concerns you, write your city councils a letter or show up at the meetings and let your views be known.

Monterey to consider Smart Meter ban

I thought my readers might like to know that the Monterey City Council will consider a ban on PG&E's so-called "Smart Meters" at the February 1 city council meeting. I hope other local jurisdictions will do the same. Click HERE to see a copy of the city staff report and proposed ordinances. My concerns about smart meters are as follows: They record data about your personal habits by recording when you use electricity and gas minute by minute. As I understand it, there are at present no safeguards on how that data may be used. PG&E is likely to use the information to charge you more for gas and electricity during certain hours of the day. The data is transmitted wirelessly from your meter to PG&E and can be intercepted by hackers who could use the data to determine when you are home or away.  The data will also be available on PG&E's website, supposedly only to the customer who resides at a given residence. However, this data could also

Only a bureaucrat could make this excuse

I took a look tonight at the City of Monterey's latest version of the new Waterfront Master Plan. My primary interest, as an advocate of rail transportation, is to see that the legal railroad right-of-way (which includes the historic passenger depot near Fisherman's Wharf) is properly used in accord with the city's agreement with Caltrans. This agreement requires the city to actively support the reestablishment of rail service between Monterey and San Francisco. To that end, the city must keep the former Southern Pacific railroad right-of-way available for that purpose, or other other transit uses, such as light rail. I also have a strong interest in historic preservation. Fortunately the city is dedicated to preserving and restoring the passenger depot building. Unfortunately, Monterey has in recent years grown reluctant to fulfill its obligations to support the return of passenger rail service. This has become increasingly evident in Monterey's waterfront planni

Clover is not a weed

"We must look deep into realism instead of accepting only the outward sense of things." -Mary Baker Eddy One learns interesting things when one does a little research. Fifty years ago the presence of clover in one's lawn was the sign of a good gardener. In those days, grass seed was actually sold with about 5% clover seed in the mix. Why? because grass needs nitrogen in the soil to grow thick, healthy, and green while clover has the magical property of taking nitrogen out of the air and putting it into the soil. Clover and grass are a perfect match for each other. But the grass seed makers also made fertilizer. They figured that they could sell more fertilizer if they took the clover out of the grass seed mixes. So when people's lawns started looking bad the neighbors would repeat the new suburban mantra "You need to add nitrogen." So homeowners trotted off to the garden shop and bought bag after bag of nitrogen fertilizer. Then a new weedkiller c