Saturday, January 02, 2016
Don Brandt (Photo: AZR)
So, Arizona Public Service has decided to flex its considerable muscle (again, that is) and reject a regulator’s order to disclose how much it spent to stack the Arizona Corporation Commission with friendly faces.
“Compelled disclosure about political contributions that APS or its affiliates may have made out of shareholder profits would go beyond what is required of all corporations under Arizona campaign finance laws, and would impinge on APS’s First Amendment rights,” APS/Pinnacle West CEO Don Brandt wrote, in a three paragraph blow-off to Commissioner Bob Burns.
Never mind that the Supreme Court justice who wrote the decision that allows APS to spend money on an independent political campaign actually contemplated that disclosure of such spending woujld occur.
Never mind the state Constitution, which says commissioners “shall have the power to inspect and investigate the property, books, papers, business, methods, and affairs of any corporation whose stock shall be offered for sale to the public, and of any public service corporation doing business within the state.”
Or state law, which says commissioners “may, at any time, inspect the accounts, books, papers and documents of any public service corporation.”
Brandt is thumbing his nose at the law because he knows no one in a position of authority will do anything about it.
APS refuses request to disclose political contributions
Certainly not the five-member commission. Two of them, Doug Little and Tom Forese, are widely believed to have been elected with $3.2 million worth of secret help from APS. One, Bob Stump, has been fighting all year to keep secret the texts he was sending during last year’s campaign – texts that went to an APS official, a dark money group believed to have been funded by APS and to Forese, Little and their campaign manager, Alan Heywood.
That leaves the new guy, former House Speaker Andy Tobin, appointed to the Corporation Commission by Gov. Doug Ducey on Wednesday to fill Susan Bitter Smith’s seat after she resigned earlier this month. Tobin likely has no great love for APS, given its $10,000 in support last year for Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick over him, but would he risk running afoul of the governor? Not likely.
Then there is Burns – the only commissioner thus far willing to ask questions about whether APS secretly spent millions to in essence buy a couple of seats on the commission that regulates utilities. And it took him most of the year to even ask the question.
Absent Burns filing a lawsuit, I don’t see this toothless commission taking a bite out of APS for thumbing its nose at the law. And at you and me.
OK, so maybe Ducey will intervene? Not likely. APS parent Pinnacle West Capital Corp., spent at least $55,500 to get Ducey elected last year. That’s that we know of. Who knows how much of the $3 million in dark money spent to get Ducey elected might have come from APS/Pinnacle West? Coincidentially, I’m sure, Brandt was one of five people to serve on Ducey’s Inaugural Committee.
So how about Attorney General Mark Brnovich? Might he intervene in an effort to enforce the law? While I’d like to think he would, Brnovich enjoyed at least $450,000 worth of campaign support from Pinnacle West.
The Legislature? Oh, come on….
APS said no to opening its books not because it has the legal right to do so but because it has a political muscle to do so.
Such is the state of the state of Arizona as a new year dawns.
Four Essential Sources of Information; One Article and Three Brief Videos:
Google’s Secret US Loon Test Implicates the FCC, FAA, EPA, State, and DOD/NSA
by Scott Cleland in Net Competition
corporate-welfare/googles- secret-us-loon-test- implicates-the-fcc-faa-epa- state-dodnsa
Project Loon: Scaling Up
into the video “With our system, we use LTE, which is a common protocol that most of the telcos (cellular telephone companies) around the world use. So anyone with a smart phone anywhere in the world will be able to get Internet access. One of the key things we do is we partner with the local telco in every country.”
Inside Google’s wildly ambitions internet balloon project
into the video: “Last year the team made a critical decision switching from a wireless router to an LTE antenna. We are just like a cell phone tower, but in the sky. And the same way their central office of the telco interacts with all their cell towers, they will interact with our balloons.”
into the video: “Over the last six months, Google has run tests with Vodaphone, Telstra and Telephonica, utilizing their networks to provide connectivity to customers who normally live with little or no Internet access.”
Ask Away: What’s inside the Loon antenna?
with Cyrus Behroozi, Network Engineering Lead, Project Loon
The following videos provide important additional information:
How was the antenna casing designed?
How can balloons provide stable coverage?
with Dan Piponi, Rapid Evaluator, Project Loon
Project Loon official website
How do I receive Internet service from the balloons?
Signals are transmitted from the balloons directly to LTE-enabled devices. Web traffic that travels through the balloon network is ultimately relayed to our local telecommunications partners’ ground stations, where it connects to pre-existing Internet infrastructure.
How Loon Works
How Loon Connects
What communication equipment is on a balloon?
Here are articles on Project Loon:
Google Details New Project Loon Tech to Keep Its Internet Balloons Afloat
articles/2015-05-29/google- details-new-project-loon-tech- to-keep-its-internet-balloons- afloat
May 29, 2015
Mike Cassidy was interviewed:
“By the end of the year, Cassidy hopes to be able to provide a few days of continuous service in its tests. So far during trials in Australia, Chile, New Zealand, Brazil, and other countries, Google has succeeded only in providing intermittent access before the wind carries a balloon off. If it can overcome the remaining challenges, Cassidy is hoping to roll out the service more widely by the end of 2016 and is looking at underserved Internet markets such as Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia as the best places to start.”
Google’s Balloon Internet Experiment,
“Google made a different kind of advance with Loon when it added the capability to send data using the LTE spectrum—making it possible for people to connect directly to the Internet with their mobile phones. (Loon’s original Wi-Fi connection required a base station and a special antenna.) Using LTE also helped Google boost the capacity of its connections. Recent Loon payloads are providing as much as 22 MB/sec to a ground antenna and 5 MB/sec to a handset.”
Google’s Project Loon testing LTE in Nevada?
April 17, 2014
“So far, Loon has used the unlicensed 2.4GHz band for its Wi-Fi testing. But, according to FCC filings obtained by PCWorld, Google is testing two types of radio spectrum, along with a broad class signal that could possibly mean it's looking into using 4G LTE for Project Loon.
“Using LTE could mean a faster Wi-Fi experience with less interference. But, it also means Google would have to work harder to get regulatory approval from several countries.
“Google has hoped for absolute secrecy in regards to its alleged new testing in Nevada, according to PCWorld. In its filing to the FCC, Google reportedly asked the government agency to keep the tests under wraps.
“’The technology is under development and highly sensitive and confidential in nature,’ Google wrote, according to PCWorld. Publicizing these tests would ‘jeopardize the value of the technology’ and enable others to ‘utilize Google's information to develop similar products in a similar timeframe.’
Google trials LTE in Project Loon’s balloons over Brazil
“The addition of LTE to the balloons brings several benefits, according to Google. Markets where 4G LTE has launched know it for higher speed mobile broadband, but in Loon it serves a different purpose. It could allow Google to provide an internet signal directly to mobile phones as well as deliver services over longer distances than wi-fi.'
“(The radios used in Google's New Zealand launch operated on unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands used in wi-fi.)”
“The other benefit of LTE is that carriers are already using it on their networks. ‘This means that when Loon partners with telcos to deliver last-mile connectivity, we will be able to use the telecommunications companies' existing infrastructure, which will allow us to deliver service to rural and remote users seamlessly and quickly,’ Google said.”
From Oram Miller
Friday, January 01, 2016
Posting of GUARD's objection to Google's License Application, as posted on Chasm:
Objection Filed To Google, Inc. License Application at FCC for ‘Project Loon’ | Stop "Smart" Meters, Florida!
Objection Filed To Google, Inc. License Application at F...
On December 17, 2015, Global Union Against Radiation Deployment from Space (GUARDS) filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an Informal...
Preview by Yahoo
Bio-effects of electromagnetic radiation missing from Navy's "Impact Statement"
STOP's ongoing review of the Navy's recently released Northwest Training and Testing Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) has identified what we believe are a number of significant violations of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
In our last update, we discussed how other government agencies have criticized the Navy's analysis of the noise impacts of the aircraft using the proposed Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range.
In this update we discuss another gross deficiency - the complete failure to analyze the impacts of the electromagnetic radiation that would be emitted by the electronic warfare weapons with which the aircraft using the proposed EWR will be equipped.
Section 2.3 of the FEIS has an extensive listing and description of sonar systems, ordnance, munitions, targets, and other systems to "facilitate understanding of both the activities and the analysis of the environmental effects of their use." The potential environmental impacts of those systems are then analyzed in Section 3 of the FEIS.
However, no such listing or description is included in the FEIS for the electronic attack weapons with which the EA-18G Growlers are fitted. This is especially ironic because the whole purpose of the EWR is to provide testing and training in the operation of those systems.
Instead, without limiting or describing in any way just what electronic attack weapons will be used, Section 22.214.171.124.2.1 of the FEIS dismisses any consideration of their impacts by claiming that "these systems will be operated at power levels, altitudes, and distances from people and animals to ensure that energy received is well below levels that could disrupt behavior or cause injury."
Just as with the Navy's more conventional weapon systems, however, a listing of the types of electronic attack weapons and their specifications, and the "power levels, altitudes, and distances from people and animals at which the weapons will be used," is needed to "facilitate understanding of both the activities and the analysis of the environmental effects of their use."
A recent article in the online publication Defense Systems noted the Navy" is upgrading its electronic attack aircraft, the EA-18G Growler" and described the Growler as "an advanced airborne electronic attack platform, with electronic warfare capabilities" including "non-traditional electronic attack" weapons.
According to its Environmental Assessment, the EWR is intended to "sustain and enhance the level and type of EW training currently being conducted by assets using the [Northwest Training Range Complex], to provide the ability to accommodate growth in future training requirements, and to maximize the ability of local units to achieve their training requirements on local ranges." It is also intended to provide "combat-ready Tactical Electronic Attack squadrons which are fully trained." This degree of training would require the use of "non-traditional electronic attack" weapons within the EWR.
A United States Army document entitled "Bioeffects of Selected Nonlethal Weapons" released in 2006 discussed electronic warfare weapons that could induce sounds in human subjects, trigger epileptic seizures, and induce blinding. In 2013, the Air Force awarded General Dynamics a $49,000,000 contract to conduct bio-effects research on directed energy weapon effectiveness and safety, directed energy bio-mechanisms, radio frequency bio-effects modeling and simulation, and human effectiveness analysis andintegration. This 2013 contract indicates that the development of the selected nonlethal weapons mentioned in the 2006 document is very much being pursued by the Department of Defense. These types of weapons would seemingly qualify as "non-traditional electronic attack weapons."
Before any rational analysis of the effects of the EWR can be made, it is essential that the specifications of all the electronic attack weapons to be used in the EWR, including "non-traditional electronic attack" weapons, be known. This is especially so with non-traditional electronic attack weapons being a part of the Growler's arsenal, and with those weapons apparently being designed to harm people.
We invite all of you to share your knowledge and concerns regarding electronic attack weapons with us and the public so that this aspect of the EWR might receive the proper attention. We invite the Navy to recognize the deficiencies in its NEPA documents, and to start anew by drafting a scoping document to begin the proper analysis of the environmental impacts of the EWR.
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