Woman battling installation of smart meters tells her story on radio

Brenda Hawk has been in a long battle with her power company and her sheriffs department over the installation of smart meters. All Brenda wanted from the company was written assurance that these new smart meters are safe and not a hazard, but the company allegedly refused to do so. The story only gets more disturbing from there.

The transcript of the interview is below:

GLENN: Next I want to tell you kind of a, I don't know, a 1984 story, if you will, a story of Big Brother, and a story of the little person winning against the machine. At least a temporary battle. Brenda Hawk is a 9/12 project member and she's a woman that lives in Ohio and does not want the smart meter. And she's lived her life the right way. Last October she was told she's going to have to get a smart meter attached to her home, and she said no. She successfully managed to keep the old one until just last week. The CEO of American Electric Power sent her a letter saying, "Too bad, you're getting a smart meter." She has a pacemaker and people have reported problems with pacemakers after getting the smart meters installed. She said, "I don't want it." She is somebody that needs a breathing machine, she's ‑‑ I mean, she's not necessarily the picture of health.

Well, here in the middle of winter they shut her power off and her water. I've never seen anything like it. They shut her power and water off. The sheriff and the power company trucks arrive uninvited and she says to the sheriff, "Are you there to protect my rights?" And he says, "No, I'm here to protect them." She said, "I do not want a smart meter on my house." So they shut her power off. Well, because she's a 9/12 member, the phones at TheBlaze lit up and we found out about Brenda's story, and she spoke to Michael Opelka and she's on the phone with us now to give us the rest of the story. And the kind of happy, I was going to say ending, but middle. Brenda, how are you?

HAWK: Oh, I'm doing fine, Glenn. I ‑‑ it's a great honor to speak with you today.

GLENN: Well, I'm sorry. I wish it was on ‑‑ I wish it was on something else, but tell me about your experience of having the sheriff and the power company come out and put you in your place.

HAWK: Well, it was rather interesting since I had erased my easement with AEP, oh, about ten or twelve years ago due to some tree‑trimming problems and ‑‑

GLENN: Explain ‑‑ hang on just a second. Explain what that means, Brenda.

HAWK: Well, they always had these groups called Asplundh contract with AEP to come trim your trees and they don't trim them. They butcher them to where they ‑‑ they actually make them dangerous and they start dying and that's why they do it that way.

GLENN: Right. They are doing it to keep the power lines clear in case there's snow or wind or something.

HAWK: And unfortunately my trees weren't interfering with their pole. They were 30 feet off their easement even but they said they had a blanket easement to my property. So it made it right that they could even remove my house if they felt it was in the way.

GLENN: That's crazy.

HAWK: I was a little shocked at that. So we had some issues and I found out later on that, studying the law that I could erase my easement with a contract between two parties. So I thought I was safe on this because they haven't returned with the tree trimmers over twelve years and they usually do this every three. And so I informed AEP that, you know, they would need my permission on the land if they did come here. And the issue I had with the meter is that I just wanted a written guarantee. I called PUCO, the whole bit, did everything legally and said that all I wanted was a written guarantee that this meter is safe for my health, my health and my home and for the animals because I've read quite a few things and I wanted the information from them to prove that the meter was safe and to prove what I was reading on the Internet may not be right. They wouldn't give it to me. And so it's quite a shock to see them come last Friday.

GLENN: Did they notify you ‑‑ did they notify you in advance that they were coming?

HAWK: Yeah.

GLENN: But I thought we had cancelled the appointment when I talked to an AEP representative beforehand that I said, I had asked him to send me this information and I had written to the governor of Ohio and my congressman Jim Jordan and it was awaiting, you know, some information or answers from somebody as to whether they could do this or not when they had no easement to my property. And, of course, I hadn't received anything and that was within that week. So it was way too probably fast for anybody to answer me. Jim Jordan's office did contact me and said they were working on it at the local office. And then they called back later in the afternoon and said they found out there's nothing they can do because it's a state issue. So I went, okay. But when the sheriff's department came at 10:00 in the morning, they came with three AEP trucks and when the deputy came to my porch, and I knew to stay on the inside of my enclosed porch with the door locked. Let's just say I've had issues before because of this. And I spoke to the officer, and I'm always very polite to people and I just asked him, like you had stated that, "Are you here to protect my property rights as a citizen of Allen County, or are you here to protect AEP?" And he said, "No, ma'am, I'm not here for you. I'm here for AEP."

GLENN: Boy, I tell you I would do everything I can, and the 9/12 project should do everything they can to make sure that sheriff is voted out.

HAWK: Oh, well, this gets interesting. Let me update you real quick what happened Monday. They did restore my power. I guess they ‑‑

GLENN: Hang on just a second. It's my understanding that within three hours of this being posted on TheBlaze, they were inundated with e‑mails and phone calls and they restored your power. Is that your understanding?

HAWK: Yeah, not until ‑‑ not until 36 hours later, about ‑‑

GLENN: Oh, 36 hours?

HAWK: Yeah. About 5:30 on Friday evening ‑‑ I mean Saturday evening, I'm sorry. So I had to stay awake for 36 hours because if I fall asleep because of my brain injury, it stops my diaphragm from working and without the CPAP type of breathing machine ‑‑ I don't have sleep apnea. It's a brain condition. It's called central apnea. And my brain, if I do fall asleep, the brain just kind of slows down and won't let my diaphragm work.

GLENN: Right. It is a very ‑‑ it is an extraordinarily dangerous medical situation.

HAWK: Condition, yes.

GLENN: And you can die quickly from it. But I understand they laughed at you when you brought that up.

HAWK: Yeah. That was one issue I brought up that I said, you know, there's an Ohio law that states you cannot turn my power off between November 15th and April 15th. And I said, I've paid my bill. And they said, well, that law does not pertain to you, ma'am. And this Mr. Rocco was with this deputy that day. I didn't know who it was at the time, but he was the one pretty well telling me that the law doesn't pertain to me. And I said, oh, you're right. My bill has been paid up to date and I've never missed a payment. So I guess that makes a difference, huh? They were just kind of giggling at me at my expense and they said, well, I'll tell ya, lady, it's either the meter, you take the meter or we take your power. And I said, well, I'll tell you what. If it's about the meter, go ahead and take the analog meter off my house but until you give me a guarantee that the other one's safe, you cannot replace it with the RFM meter. And they said ‑‑ they kind of discussed each other between AEP and the deputy and they said, "Well, it's going to be the power then." They didn't really even want the meter. That was what really fascinated me.

GLENN: I will tell you that, I think there are a lot of people in the power companies that are doing it because it will save them money. And it will. It will save them money. They don't have to go and look at it. But I really, truly believe, and I don't know if you believe this, Brenda, but smart meters in the end are all about control.

HAWK: Right. Right. Yeah, from what I've studied, I understood that pretty well before they showed up.

GLENN: Sure.

HAWK: And yeah, because I ‑‑

GLENN: So what happened on Monday when ‑‑ with the sheriff?

HAWK: Yeah, Monday was very interesting. I just, some friends were kind of concerned about my safety and they said, why don't you call your Allen County sheriff's department and lodge a complaint or file charges against these people. I said, you know, that's probably a good idea. So first thing Monday morning around 8:30 in the morning, I did call the sheriff's department. And they took my report and said they would have a deputy ‑‑ or a sergeant call me back. Well, the sergeant called me back and was extremely rude and disrespectful to me. I mean, he yelled at me up one side and down the other and basically he said I was a criminal, I was shooting at people, I had no right to give anybody ‑‑

GLENN: What the hell kind of sheriff's department do you have?

HAWK: Pardon?

GLENN: What kind of sheriff's department do you have?

HAWK: It's scary. It's really scary.

GLENN: Let me tell you something. Now I sound like a broken record, but Brenda, move to Texas.

HAWK: I wish I could.

GLENN: Jeez.

HAWK: Land here is not selling very well.

GLENN: Yeah. Well, another reason to move to Texas.

HAWK: Tough to leave.

GLENN: Wow. I am sorry, Brenda. Okay. So what is this sheriff's name?

HAWK: The sheriff's name is Sheriff Crish, C‑r‑i‑s‑h.

GLENN: Crish.

HAWK: Yeah, Crish.

GLENN: When is he up for reelection?

HAWK: He was just elected I think a year or so ago. So it's going to be a while.

GLENN: Well, for anybody who is listening that wants to run against him and wants to protect the people of your area, if you're running, I will give you a commercial for free to run against him if you stand for the principles of liberty and the understanding that it is your land. If the sheriffs ‑‑ I will lend my voice to a group of sheriffs that decide that they are going to stand together across the country, and I will do everything I can to empower sheriffs and to make sure that people understand that your sheriff, your local sheriff is the best friend that you have. And any of these sheriffs that decide they are going to go the other way, I'll help ya. I'll help you. You just let me know.

So Brenda, how is this left now?

HAWK: Well, I don't know what happened, but after this sergeant ripped me up one side and down the other and just yelled at me and said, "Lady," never said my name or anything. Just was basically being very rude, he called back about five minutes later. I didn't even recognize the voice. And he said, "Gee, I..." kind of interesting. He said, "It appears that somebody has already filed a complaint and a case with the prosecuting attorney's office and if I wanted the number I could have it and call the prosecuting attorney's office. And he was very calm. I didn't ‑‑ like I said, I didn't recognize his voice. And he actually called me Ms. Hawk at that point. Total turnaround. So ‑‑

GLENN: Before it was "lady"?

HAWK: Yeah, so far as "hey lady" this and "hey lady" that. I don't even want to get into the conversation. It wasn't pleasant. I just sat there and took it. But yeah, so to date I don't know who has done this in my benefit, and I'm extremely grateful to whoever this person is because usually this is what they pull on me: Well, you don't have any rights, so you cannot do any ‑‑ and they definitely basically said he would not allow me to press charges or write up a complaint against anyone in this town. So I was ‑‑ or against AEP for that matter. So I was really shocked.

GLENN: Well, I tell you what, Brenda, we'll do everything we can at TheBlaze to follow the story and to make sure that this sheriff ‑‑ you know, I would like somebody at TheBlaze to do a profile on this sheriff and we'll also find out who filed that lawsuit for you unless they don't want to be exposed. If they don't mind being exposed, we'll let you know who the good‑doer was. Thank you very much. Brenda, you ‑‑

HAWK: Well, thank you, Glenn Beck.

GLENN: You stay in touch with us, all right? You stay in touch with Michael Opelka. These are his kinds of stories. Thank you so much.

HAWK: Thank you.

GLENN: God bless.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.