Land And Water U.S.A.

Friday, February 23, 2024



Testifying before Colorado General Assembly              photo by Norman Kincaide

By Roni Bell

Colorado Capitol, 2/22/17: 

We testified on two bills having to do with protecting our Constitutional Private Property Rights.
We thank Representatives Kimmi Lewis and
Perry Buck, for their ongoing efforts to protect Private Property Rights Owners.
The committee we testified in is known as "The Kill Committee." 
Right out of the chute that screams "BIAS!" In particular against Private Property Rights.

I'd be embarrassed and apologetic if I served on any court or legislative body, that's so damn predictable as to have a tag liberal, conservative, or voodoo!

And as predicted, they "killed" both bills.
What's really revealing is this: The Republicans voted YEY, the "outnumbering" Democrats voted NAY.
I knew it'd shake out this way.
Because every committee I've ever testified in on property rights, Democrats don't ask Property Owners questions. Instead, they fawn over those who want to "trespass, use or deny" Property Owners property without Just Compensation.
In listening to the oppositions testimonies and the Democrats questions of them, the most dunning revealing was this: None, have knowledge of our Constitution, Private Property Rights, what constitutes compensatory property, statutes and policies.
One legislator portended to know "all about federal lands" but after their first sentence showed a glaring lack of knowledge.
If you are a Private Property Owner, know that any entity that wants to "hike, float, picnic, help themselves to it," will do so without your permission. Your property will no longer be protected in Colorado.
In Colorado, your foundational rights to "acquire and enjoy property" are gone!
Roni Bell

Photo courtesy of Representative Steve Humphrey

Wednesday, February 21, 2024



By Peter Menkin


Smart Meters

The controversy over Smart Meters has been steaming in various counties in the United States, including the County of Larimer and the area served in Colorado’s Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association where Lt. Col. Tom Niichel lives with his wife and children. He is on active duty with the United States Air Force. He does not want a Smart Meter installed in his home, which is off the military base and he has been opposed to one being installed since 2010.

These devices measure the amount of electricity or gas used in a home and report it back to the energy company. Customers and consumers complain they emit radiation, and there are a large number of consumers who claim it emits harmful radiation that even causes cancer. People say their installation is an intrusion in their lives, as in the case of the Lt. Col. This is not an unusual complaint.

“A smart meter is usually an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility for monitoring and billing purposes.[7] Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system. Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter.” So Wikipedia reports.

Europe uses Smart Meters. Wikipedia also reports: “The installed base of smart meters in Europe at the end of 2008 was about 39 million units, according to analyst firm Berg Insight.[9] Globally, Pike Research found that smart meter shipments were 17.4 million units for the first quarter of 2011.[10] Visiongain has determined that the value of the global smart meter market will reach $7bn in 2012.[11]

“Smart meters may be part of a smart grid, but alone, they do not constitute a smart grid.[12] 

Lt. Col. Tom. Niichel says in an email that the energy company Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association reports in its minutes,  "Projected completion date is 2014 when all 36,000 meters will be AMI." That means of the 37,000 meters all but 1,000 will be Smart Meters in 2014. That is the energy company completion date target.


The Lt. Col. is one household head who does not want a Smart Meter, as has been said. He has opposed having the meter and in 2014 met with energy officials in their offices. After leaving their offices this is the incident he encountered. Others have had police encounters over smart meters, but this is an unusual one.


After the meeting with the Smart Meter officials Lt. Col. Tom Niichel, USAF, found himself suddenly confronted with police officers on exiting the building—to his surprise. He wrote in a narrative a report available to this reporter a long statement, and this is a quote:

As I was walking down the side walk I thought the sheriff’s car odd since there is a very narrow shoulder and I would have thought he would have had lights going since it was a hazard as parked.  I stopped about 10 feet from the end of the walk to contemplate it when two officers jumped up from behind some junipers separating the parking area from the turn-around drive.  They were off to my left and about 75 feet from me.  The younger officer to my far left had his pistol drawn and a bead on me.  The other officer seemed to have difficulty mounting his AR weapon and never really got me in his sights.  My hands were at my sides with several papers in my right.  The younger officer yelled at me to get my hands away from my body, as I complied by raising my arms to 90 degrees, I noticed a third officer off to my right a little over a hundred feet distant among some trees, he too was armed with an AR type weapon and it was trained in my general direction if not directly on me. 


The younger officer told me to turn around, I complied.  I was very concerned by the 1st AR officer’s apparent inabilities with his weapon.  During this entire sequence of events, my demeanor was calm, non-threatening and as professional as one can be when facing three weapons.  I was however very concerned with the apparent lack of skill or training of particularly the 1st AR officer as I could hear him fumbling with the weapon as I turned away from them.  I actually remember wondering if I might become the victim of a negligent discharge, I just prayed that if he did let one go, it would not be in my direction. 


This incident made the Lt. Col. both unhappy and even incensed at the police action, thinking it illegal even so that a long series of events followed and a private investigation was begun by the Lt. Col. that continues as of the writing of this report. He continues to discover the reason for their actions, thinking it connected to his own meeting with the Smart Meter officials. It is his reasonable suspicious that this is a form of intimidation regarding his belief that Smart Meters are a problem and even a hazard for homeowners for a variety of reasons, including these: invasion of privacy because they gather data that they don’t need or haven’t a right to record, that they emit radiation that can prove hazardous, and that they sometimes spontaneously catch fire.

A reporter can find numerous if not numbers and numbers of people willing to complain about and even make argument about the dangers of Smart Meters. Some of these stories are more extreme than others.

Virginia Farver wrote Fort Collins Light and Power saying she didn’t want the Smart Meter. The result from writing them in the Fall of 2013 came in March 2014. The power company put the Smart Meter in anyway and came to her door to tell her this with a policeman. The Smart Meter is still at her house.

Rich Farver, Virginia’s son, passed away in 2008 and Virginia believes that the kind of cancer he died of was partially the result of living near a cell pole carrying Smart Meter information connected to the grid. “There were three men in the same room in the same building (teachers) who were diagnosed with brain cancer in 2008.” “My son graduated from Colorado State University and he went to San Diego State to receive his Masters degree. It was there that he became sick. He passed away at home in Colorado. He was 28 when he was diagnosed and passed away at 29.” She says the cell poles are dangerous. Regarding her home installation:

They put in the Smart Meter to control what we can and can’t do. They want to control how much water and energy we can use. “They know these things are dangerous but they continue to use them.” As she points out, I live in Fort Collins, Colorado just north of Denver about 50 miles. Virginia Farver is something of an authority on the issue of claims against Smart Meter regarding cancer causing incidences and actual cases. She can cite websites and news sources with ease that are connected to cell poles. This is a list of three news sources she suggests:
Because there is so much detail from Lt. Col. Tom Niichel of USAF, this reporter will again quote from him when he narrates his meeting with the Sheriff Justin Smith of Larimer County, Colorado regarding his request for an explanation for the intimidating incident with police who drew their guns on him. You’ll note that this August 7, 2014 meeting with the Larimer County Sheriff is not solo by the Lt. Col., but he is accompanied by an attorney named Terry Ryan who now represents him. Note that this business of the Smart Meter began in 2010 and it took four years to reach the point it has matured to at this time. As you can tell from the opening sentence of the Lt. Col.’s narrative, there was a threat to turn off his power. This is his narrative of the meeting with the Sheriff as he wrote it:




I still have power and the original analog meter.  Today Mr. Terry Ryan and I met at the Sheriff’s office at about 1545 for a 1600 meeting with Sheriff Justin Smith.  We waited in the lower lobby about 5 minutes before being led upstairs to the Sheriff’s outer office.  Shortly after 1600 Sheriff Smith came out of his office, introduced himself, asked if we needed anything to drink, got himself a cup of coffee and we all went to his office.  Mr. Ryan asked what the sheriff knew about the incident I had with his deputies at the PVREA office in late June and he replied that he was aware of the general circumstances but had not been briefed on the details. 

            They asked me to recount some of the details so I began with a short synopsis of the disagreement I have had with PVREA (Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association) regarding the Smart meter program since 2010 and how it had escalated into so forceful letters as of late.  I described how I had been invited to the PVREA office to discuss and see the meters they wanted to install on my premises.  I briefly recounted my experience with his officers and then asked what I believed was that his officers were given some erroneous information that led them to the level of force they executed that evening.  I told the sheriff that I wanted to know what that information was and who gave it to his deputies.  That in my mind the amount of force utilized on me was unwarranted unless the deputies were acting upon information other than the threat I presented while leaving the building.  \


It is clear to this reporter that the Lt. Col. remains unhappy and even incensed at the actions by the police in their intimidating behavior after his meeting with the Smart Meter officials and wants clarity and even an apology from the Sheriff’s department regarding the incident, including the action of the officers pulling their guns on him. This he said was dangerous and even life threatening. He wondered, and sanely so, what if there had been an accident and he had been shot!


Unfortunately, according to the Sheriff, his office is not the place to seek redress. The Sheriff wrote an email to this reporter and said Lt. Col. Tom needs to seek another venue. This is the text of the body of his email: I met with Mr. Niichel and advised him that we would provide him the information on the incident through an open records request. I believe it's best for him to review those records for himself. His concerns with the smart meter are a civil matter and I encouraged him to work with counsel through a court on civil matters if he wishes a legal remedy. A contract between a utility company and a customer is a private matter, so civil court would be the appropriate jurisdiction for him to reach out to.” Dated August 25, 2014, the email is signed Sheriff Smith.


The Lt. Col. continues to seek information on the deputies reasons for drawing their guns. He continues to refuse to allow a Smart Meter to be installed in his home. People continue to oppose the installation of Smart Meters and call the act government “intrusion.” Smart Meters continue to be successfully installed in thousands of homes, many of them against people’s objections.


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