Smart meter opponents called a ‘lynch mob,’ meter rep walks out

When county Legislator Bob Aiello asked for a definition of “smart meter,” Donna Greco leaped to her feet and held up her laptop (photo by Will Dendis)

When county Legislator Bob Aiello asked for a definition of “smart meter,” Donna Greco leaped to her feet and held up her laptop (photo by Will Dendis)

Opposition outshouts town officials at rowdy Glasco meeting

The town hoped an information meeting on the new water meters would put the rumors to rest. That hope ended when company representative Chris Goodrich walked out.

“This is a lynch mob,” he said. “I’m leaving.”

But by that time—nearly two hours in—it was clear the presentation wasn’t changing many minds. From the first minutes, as residents jeered Goodrich’s PowerPoint slideshow, the atmosphere at the Glasco Fire Department was raucous and confrontational. Like an embarrassed teacher trying to calm a rowdy class, Supervisor Kelly Myers repeatedly stepped forward to ask the 50 or 60 residents to let Goodrich finish without interrupting. It didn’t work. The people were frustrated, not all of them for the same reasons. There were concerns about radiofrequency [RF] radiation, rumors of workers demanding $75 if homeowners refused installation, the overall price tag of over $800,000 to replace meters that weren’t broken, and the feeling the town didn’t publicize the February public hearing when it made the decision and now it was too late for the taxpayers to have a say.


Goodrich is from EJ Prescott, which contracted with the town to provide the meters. The make is Sensus, the model is iPERL. The meter is more sensitive than the old mechanical models and capable of transmitting usage data remotely to a vehicle passing by, which speeds up the time it takes to read meters, but Goodrich said the term “smart meter” usually refers to electrical meters that provide almost constant usage data to the utility. Still, there is no official definition, so the water meters could be considered “smart meters” because of their ability to be read remotely, though that technology is nearly two decades old.

Prescott said the RF radiation produced by a typical cell phone conversation is several thousand times greater than that produced by one of the company’s meters. He said studies haven’t demonstrated a clear link between RF radiation and cancer.

But opponents, armed with pages of research printed out from the Internet, said precisely the opposite, and urged attendees to do their own research.

Read local opinion on this issue

Prior to the meeting, those in opposition to the new meters had hung signs that read “SMART METER FREE ZONE.” Barclay Heights resident Donna Greco, author of the letter to the editor of this newspaper that sparked much of the interest in the issue, sat at a table near the entrance collecting signatures for a petition against the new water meters.

After Goodrich concluded his presentation, the question and answer session quickly devolved into a public debate. When called upon to ask a question, several individuals, including some Woodstock residents, instead strode up to the front of the room and addressed the audience from prepared notes.

One Woodstock resident shared her own story about being exposed to an electrical smart meter and feeling immobilized by its effects.

In response to concern that the water meters emit signals continuously, board members Fred Costello and Jimmy Bruno said they’d gone into a home with a new water meter with an RF-reading device, and witnessed that no signal was being transmitted until provoked by a signal sent by a truck outside. The signal lasted for four seconds.

Goodrich, initially mild-mannered, seemed taken aback by the combative atmosphere. When one resident asked, “How many meters have caught on fire?” he replied: “That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

There are 44 comments

  1. Nancy Baer

    Citizens are correct to oppose ‘smart’ meters for any utility as they emit electromagnetic and radio frequency and there is scientific evidence showing that these emissions upset our 100 trillion cells to the point where the blood brain barrier is breached and may permanently damage DNA. See SedonaSmartMeterAwareness (dot) com for lots more.

    1. Derek

      Can you — instead of just saying there is “evidence” — actually cite the peer-reviewed science behind such “evidence”?

      Hint: it’ll be really really tough.

      Science, not pseudo-science.

      1. brian

        Derek, Gladly… here you go…
        This is directly from the USA Army, Navy, CIA, DARPA, Pentagon, FDA and EPA. This is also the Russian Military. These are also studies over decades, over multiple ages, classes, sexes and races, from all continents. So enjoy them, and be tough if you want to. Of course we expect the same replies as normal “Well who was the peers of the peer reviewers” Or ‘Oh, they were from Harvard and not Princeton, so it does not count” Etc. Any excuse when it is right in your face. Of course there is tonnes more and links within these links themselves. This has been known since the 30’s at a minimum. You can do your own research on the Moscow signal, Eldon Byrd, Project Artichoke and more. This is readily available military confirmation of the effects. You can hold onto your ‘its not heating the brain 1 degree in 6 minutes of exposure therefor nothing is happening” bs for life. Tell us all what the safe exposure is for a fetus? a pregnant woman? her ovaries/eggs for life? You don’t know, but the military does. Enjoy!

        1. Derek

          Well, first off: “directly from the USA Army, [etc. etc.]” doesn’t mean squat. That’s not what “peer reviewed” means.

          The *only* thing mentioned in any of those articles you listed that is peer-reviewed is the Salford/Persson paper (published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal), which shows interesting effects from GSM signals, but: [a] one paper describing research done on a small number of test subjects does not constitute alarming data, and [b] smart meters don’t use GSM signals.

          So, again, what do you have that’s peer-reviewed and relevant to this discussion?

          1. brian

            Here is a 574 page document, with over 3600 studies cited by the EPA as effects from MIcrowave Radiation from 0-100 Ghz. Of course NONE of these are worth Derek’s approval, and he knows more than ALL of these 3600 studies, that show effects. His next line will be ‘peer review’ as this is, his only line. Because Derek knows more than the EPA, FDA, ARMY, NAVY, Russian Military, DARPA, Microwave Warfare Experts, Eldon Byrd, CIA, Universities, Global Militaries, 1000’s of studies over Decades on ALL classes races, creeds, sexes. Including Military studies of 1000’s of Korean War vets, The NMRI Compiling 2300 studies showing effects. The EPA compiling 2300 studies showing effects and more. Here is 3600 studies on the effects for you to categorically deny Derek, enjoy.
            Here, I will write your reply for you ” I am derek, I know more than the entirety of all science, therefor I am right” (almost forgot) ‘peer review” there, its all done for you!

          2. brian

            Derek, of course we know you are an expert in Non-Lethal EMF weaponry and microwave warfare, so of course, what Mr. Byrd is saying is categorically false?

            Military researcher and speaker Byrd was an expert in nonlethal EMF weaponry and electromagnetic aspects of living bodies – on cells, tissues, thoughts and whole populations. He worked in acoustics, amplification and transduction. He published a paper on the telemetry of brain waves in the “Proceedings” of the International Telemetering Conference, 1972.

            He particpated in panels for USPA on scalar physics and biofields with Tom Bearden, Elizabeth Rauscher, Bob Beck and others. In his later years, like Carl, he seems to have taken a humanistic turn toward his fellow man, perhaps as a reaction to earlier research and proprietary knowledge he was exposed to in the course of his professional life.

            USPA 1993. Psychoactivity of Extremely Low Frequency EM and Scalar Fields: A lecture by Dr. Eldon Byrd, a government scientist “formerly” with the US Naval Weapons Lab, who discusses the relationship of intention and connection-at-a-distance between organisms, psychoactive signals, some of the history of beta-endorphin research, the up-and-coming research in bio-optics, how electromagnetic stimulation can and does have the capability to induce an “alien” experience, the relationship between opiate compounds and the immune system, brain-immune system communication, behavior-affecting ELF/RF weaponry, and more.

            In 1973 Byrd was a physicist at the U.S. Naval Surface Weapons Center, Silver Spring Maryland, also home of MRU. His story appears in J. Keith’s Secret and Suppressed. 1993 and Lobster Magazine (Britain) 1998-#34.

            From 1980 to 1983 [. . . ] Eldon Byrd ran the Marine Corps Nonlethal Electromagnetic Weapons project. He conducted most of his research at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute in Bethesda, Md.

            “We were looking at electrical activity in the brain and how to influence it,” he says.
            Byrd, a specialist in medical engineering and bioeffects, funded small research projects, including a paper on vortex weapons by Obolensky. He conducted experiments on animals–and even on himself–to see if brain waves would move into sync with waves impinging on them from the outside. (He found that they would, but the effect was short lived.)

            By using very low frequency electromagnetic radiation–the waves way below radio frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum–he found he could induce the brain to release behavior-regulating chemicals. “We could put animals into a stupor,” he says, by hitting them with these frequencies. “We got chick brains–in vitro–to dump 80 percent of the natural opioids in their brains,” Byrd says. He even ran a small project that used magnetic fields to cause certain brain cells in rats to release histamine.

            In humans, this would cause instant flulike symptoms and produce nausea. “These fields were extremely weak. They were undetectable,” says Byrd. “The effects were nonlethal and reversible. You could disable a person temporarily,” Byrd hypothesizes. “It [would have been] like a stun gun.”

          3. Derek

            Brian –

            You must not have spent too much time reading that 574-page document. Because it’s been taken down at some point, and is no longer available at the URL specified in the link you sent.

            Happy to read it, but you’ve got to give me a link that actually works. 🙂

          4. Derek

            Also, Byrd’s work in ELF and VLF portions of the EM spectrum isn’t terribly relevant as it’s a completely different portion of the spectrum from where smart-meters would operate (the UHF portion of the spectrum, on the complete opposite end of the radio spectrum).

            But please, do feel free to lecture me some more about his credentials, because it’s riveting.

            It’s also amusing that for someone who wants to quote so-called scientific sources, you’re so down on the peer-review process, which is pretty much the hallmark of “good” science.

          5. brian

            You can see the PDF at this link, But there really is no point, it is not ‘peer reviewed’ enough for you. The hallmark of science is repeatable results. If there are no peers on your planet, but you are repeating the same results as everyone else has been, over decades of time, 1000’s of times over, on multiple sets of subjects, in different locations (all over the globe) sexes, races, creeds… everything… and the results are virtually exact… that is what science is. PERIOD
            Sorry for having to spoonfeed you for everything… but scroll down to where is says “3627 Studies” Remember, these are studies the EPA found on effects from 0-100 Ghz But of course, you know more than them and everyone else on the planet, including your opinion that overrides the laws of electricity, the ARMY, NAVY, EPA, DARPA, Microwave Warfare Experts, Health Canada, CIA, Pentagon, Yale University, Duke and untold amounts of people.

          6. Derek

            And by “not peer-reviewed enough” you mean, of course, “not peer-reviewed at all”.

            Also convenient is that it doesn’t break down which effects were exhibited by which portions of the RF spectrum.

            Also convenient that whoever posted the PDF only chose to publish the first 11 pages, and not the other 94+ pages which had their sources, etc., etc. (which is how you would independently verify anything in this report).

            It’s also funny that they talk about thinks like “exposure to RADAR” … well duh, before they knew better they had people simply walking in front of megawatts of RF power that was scanning out for miles and miles.

            Do you have a link to the FULL report? That’s what it would take to catch my interest.

  2. Dorothy

    The company that was just paid close to half-a-million dollars should have done everything to offer the best customer service possible, even if it meant dealing with dumb questions. The format of the meeting probably would have been better to open with questions and skip over any hopes of education. But this is what Saugerties is — a circus of ignorant people masquerading as concerned citizens. It is less about health safety than it is about political power and getting the 15 minutes of fame in small town politics. My question: Why is this part of the Clean Water Act? Because of lead? Are there new mechanical (not digital) meters somewhere? I have a feeling there is. This is REALLY about the town circumventing pensions, benefits, and salary for the people who read the mechanical meters, nothing else.

  3. Ashley Drewes

    Re: Customer Service:
    The company was available for over 2 hours to respond to questions. Unfortunately, the presenter was interrupted, called a liar, told to shut up and called an idiot. I’m not sure he could have been more accommodating. Even after he left, he responded to folks (who weren’t shouting at him) outside, while another rep remained inside to field questions from the group. Most of those questions, sadly, were really just statements. According to Mr. Goodrich, he had given a previous presentation during the summer that no one had attended.
    Re: Education
    Many of those citizens in the room were very respectful, asked thoughtful questions, and tried to make sense of the issues. They were there for information, not just to get on a soapbox.
    Re: Clean Water Act
    Yes, new, safer meters would be needed in the long run. Unfortunately, the question of “was there a third option?” was never answered. These smart meters have already been purchased and will be the ones used. Replacing meters that require less workers to read them was part of the point, with citizens perhaps saving money in taxes. Those projected savings were not talked about at the meeting, though Mr. Goodrich did point out that having fewer individual meter readers was a perk of the new meters.

    1. brian

      Ashley, why didn’t you post everything I sent you?
      Is there an issue with the truth being known about how
      you people are poisoning children and lying about it?

  4. Raji


    Please, let’s at least have a little honestly here. People who stood up and were angry and had angry comments were angry for GOOD REASONS. You conveniently skip over the FACT that one woman stood up in response to the question “How many people attended the supposed informational meeting offered by the town of Saugerties” (a question you could not answer) and this one woman said to the crowd, “I can answer that question – I was the ONLY one there! and they only gave us one paragraph that had any explanation / education about these meters!” She even held up the paper to show everyone.

    Next, you have no clue what the facts are. All you seemed to able to do is to parrot over and over “Do you have a question for Chris?” The people were there to be educated in an unbias way – getting the TRUTH about these meters – not just to be spoon fed information from Chris. MOST people who were there wanted to hear what those of us who “did not have a question to ask” but rather wanted to present FACTS about the TRUTH — had to say! People did not appreciate you parroting over and over “Do you have a question” and MOST of the crowd told you to be quiet and let people speak!

    People are angry for very GOOD REASONS! Reasons that you and other members of town boards and governments have no desire to hear, or even consider! You only want to hear what the people who SOLD these radiating devices to the town have to say and then collect your GRANT MONEY! Why have you (and others) not done your due diligence and actually taken some time to RESEARCH this issue – instead of just accepting a biased presentation by the company that you bought into?

    The people elect the government officials – and the people are sick and tired of lies and deceit. You may think that all Americans are asleep but you need to open your eyes and your ears and realize that there is a VERY STRONG movement against these radiating meters and the proof is there – solid, real proof – that they are making people SICK all over the country and in other countries. If you choose to ignore this then that is your choice. Our choice is to fight this and continue to reveal the REAL FACTS on this issue!

  5. Raji

    ALSO, the man named “Chris” who gave his “presentation” to the town of Saugerties was an absolute joke! Really? Did you really think that people would just buy into his lies and his inability to answer sound questions that were asked of him? That guy ran out of there because he got flustered from not being able to handle the TRUTH that was being presented – not because “we were a lynch mob”. If anything, you and the companies that are getting away with installing these meters are more like the “lynch mob” as you are not giving anyone any CHOICE and all are employing stealth methods and deceitful ways of installation – with as little or NO education to the people who are PAYING for these radiating devices to be installed.



    So if you want to ask questions, ask intelligent questions – such as, “why is it that this technology is being rolled out and forced upon people all over our country – simultaneously – and in other countries – using stealth methods to install them?” AND “Why is it that we have absolutely NO EDUCATION (unbiased please!) and no CHOICE whatsoever? Since when was this the “American way”?

    The answers are real and come down to “following the money” – which is nothing new in this world. The Telecommunications Industry is now apparently running our country and no one is stopping them – why? – because of money of course. Who cares about the privacy of our homes? Who cares about the health of our pregnant women, small children and the elderly? Who cares about a tremendous rise in cost for utility bills? WE DO! WE THE PEOPLE – OF THE PEOPLE – BY THE PEOPLE – FOR THE PEOPLE!

    ASHLEY – You may choose to be a parrot and a sheep and not do any research about this issue – but WE THE PEOPLE will not stand for this madness to continue without a FIGHT!

      1. brian

        Caps or no caps… this will not change the fires these meters cause…
        You will of course have guys like derek refuting the laws of electricity, science and physics
        to affirm his beliefs of safety. However, when your house is burning down, like so many others, this will not matter. Science wins, not opinion in this matter.
        There was just another fire in florida 2 nights ago, of course, and surely as derek will attest
        it is the ‘homeowners fault’ because they are NEVER allowed to touch their meter and ‘magically’ the meter goes on fire… right after install?

        1. Derek

          You’re aware — I’m sure — that power smart-meters and water smart-meters are like apples and oranges, right?

          Power smart-meters literally have hundreds of volts and hundreds of amps of power running through them. Water smart-meters, well,… don’t.

          But I’m sure you were well aware of that radical difference in fire risk hazard level before you posted that alarmist reference.

    1. Ashley Drewes

      Raji: You are correct that no one was in attendance to prior meetings – a point that Kelly Myers and Mr Goodrich both pointed out, a fact that has been pointed out by myself and others at the Saugerties Times. I am not personally profiting from the installation of these meters. My assignment was to cover a town meeting at which EPJ was to give a presentation, along with town officials present to help answer questions. I am interested in this topic and I hope to do more research on the matter, but for the purposes of this story my job was to report on the events as they happened Tuesday evening. Thank you for your comments.

    2. Derek

      Please cite the peer-reviewed scientific research. Not pseudo-science ramblings of individual people who happen to have degrees.

      That’s how scientific FACTS are defined.

      Science. Not pseudo-science.

      1. brian
        Hi derek, there are dozens of peer reviewed studies right in this link, of course you will deny
        they exist, because that is what you do, but in case you can read them, they are here, as well as the ones I gave you above. They always have been and always will.

        Tell me again though… what is the safe level of multi-frequency pulse radiating a fetus or an egg? Do you know the answer for that? Show me your ‘peer reviewed’ studies that show the body is not electrical and not subject to electrical stimulation via microwave pulses. How come your Military tells you all this but you do not believe them? Surely you are not saying you know more than DARPA, CIA, Pentagon, Army and Navy, EPA, FDA do you?
        Surely you are not saying DECADES of research on ALL races, classes, sexes on all continents saying THE EXACT Same thing is not ‘science’ enough for you is it? Is not science defined by repeatable results over decades, 100 000’s of subjects?

    3. Janie

      It’s true utility companies and telecommunication companies are ripping us off. They agreed to make improvements they never did and continue to add more and more fees to our bills. Look at a phone bill in 1980, it had three lines in plain English. LOCAL, LONG DISTANCE, TOTAL. The state goes along with it. We should be mad. Unfortunately, junk science on rf radiation as a rallying cry isn’t going to do us any favors.

  6. Mary Pat Hilditch

    The citizens in the Village and Town of Saugerties are fed up and are overall angry.

    We are being robbed of our earnings via outrageous taxes and there is no return on investment for the citizens but there sure seems to be a hefty one in the pockets of the politicians. It’s disgusting. And we’re fed up of stupid decisions and sneaky ways.

    We must vote for those who will consult the public PROPERLY and DILIGENTLY and spend with THE APPROVAL OF THE PEOPLE not in hidden rooms. HOW DARE THEY!

    The Village and Town Budget and all spend should be publicly posted in the Post Star for all to see where every last penny is going. Every new initiative should be voted on by those whom are paying for it.

    It’s not this meter guy…it’s who did this to the citizens of Saugerties.

    It’s who screwed up the water, it’s the local politicians who line their greedy pockets with our very hard earned dollars and fluff up their lawns and cars and take weekdays off to take their families to a Yankee Game and post it on Facebook. We’re seriously angry.

    Someone of pure intent for and of the people, PLEASE RUN FOR MAYOR and bring us some honest communication and some action instead of the inaction and hidden agendas we’ve been putting up with from these facades we call politicians.

      1. Phil S.

        It would be great if a candidate appeared who could help the accounting department produce a more readable budget, with charts, graphs, headings

    1. Get Involved

      “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

  7. Chris C

    I hope this “Donna Greco” character knows that that laptop she’s holding up emits more RF than a smart water meter that emits a signal for 8 seconds PER YEAR! Well, unless that shiny Mac has its WiFi turned off all but 8 seconds PER YEAR and, of course, if its bluetooth is turned off for all but 8 seconds PER YEAR. Hell, even just having the screen on likely emits more harmful radiation. Hey, “Donna Greco”, do you have a cell phone in that pocket of yours? Better turn that off too! I mean, for all but 8 seconds PER YEAR that is. Got a microwave at home “Donna Greco”? Better get rid of that thing, except for heating up 1/10 of a hot pocket PER YEAR. I bet you have an iPad too, “Donna Greco”. Let’s not get started on that, Wifi, bluetooth, THREE GEE!!! Do you have a garage door opener? Open it a dozen or so times PER YEAR, then get rid of it, because it clearly has too much harmful radiation for you. How about you just stay in your house and never leave, the outside world is filled with radio frequency. A smart meter that will end up saving towns like yours money is not going to kill you. There are plenty of other things you likely do that will get you first.

    1. brian

      Perhaps that is true, but there is a word called choice that comes into play, that is the foundation of freedom, and if you want to give that to a corporation, that is up to you, but you should not be getting on people for wanting to keep that choice to be safe in their own home. Your next line is of course “well then get off the grid” and of course the obvious response to that ‘except us to burn your house down, or get off the essential life service that is electricity”
      Now ashley and her cronies can say what they want without doing research, but when you do your own research you realize why these people are so opposed.
      Check out the mutated chicks at exposure levels much lower than a smart meter.

      1. Derek

        Choose not to have smart-meters. Dig your own well, or have your water carted in and stored in an underground tank. That’s a perfectly acceptable answer.

        But if you want to use the public water system, this is the equipment that will be in use.

      2. Derek

        The chicks were exposed to “much less [cellphone] time than even a weeks worth of phone time for the avg person”, but that does not give any indication about where their exposure level compares to the eight seconds of broadcast per year a smart meter emits.

        Do you have some OTHER data that you haven’t presented yet, perhaps?

  8. houdini

    Okay so where was this first public information meeting notice published? In the Saugerties Post Star ? In the Saugerties Times? Nobody reads these rags anymore – at 75 cents an issue it’s not worth the newsprint it’s printed on. Or was it the Kingston Daily Freeman ? Hell by the time their home delivery people get the daily paper to your home, you will have died from old age. I got tired of getting my daily paper at 8 AM or 9 AM weekdays (they “guarantee delivery BEFORE 6 AM). So if the meeting notice was published in any of these rags it was never seen.

    1. Ashley Drewes

      Houdini – great questions! The Saugerties Times is available in stores for a dollar, with popular stories often available online for no fee at all (at least at this time). It’s pretty easy to see find older stories that have appeared online by using the search bar. Searching “smart meters” you can find several stories in the Saugerties Times. I would also suggest checking out the coverage of smart meter concerns in Woodstock on the Woodstock Times page.

  9. houdini

    Once a year the Glasco Water District mails me some stupid ridiculous federally mandated “water quality report” at I don’t know what expense to the district. If this so-called informational meeting (1st one) was so important for the District residents to attend then why not mail the meeting notice directly to our homes. Oh but that might cost a few sheckles in postage ! Right !

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