First, from Cape Coral, Florida via, first, the Examiner.com:
Florida woman living ‘off the grid’ has sewer capped, gets pressure to ‘plug-in’
by Justin Andress
Robin Speronis has been living “off the grid” for nearly two years. The Cape Coral, Florida resident hasn’t used the city’s water or electrical services for months, as she prefers to, in her own words, “live without being dependent on the system.” Most people would find that mindset acceptable, if not outright admirable, but the “system” in question has it’s own ideas.
For most of us, living “plugged in” is the only option we’d ever consider. We rely on the established methods for our power and water, the Internet, our phones, and our healthcare. For a large part of her life, that was the case for Robin Speronis. Then, her husband was diagnosed with a degenerative illness that changed everything.
“I finally educated myself and went completely natural. When Zenny died in 2010 at the age of 84, he hadn’t seen a doctor in 6 years and had been off of all meds for 7 years and, more importantly, he was clinically healthy (just very weak) and extremely happy. That is the subject of my first book, ‘My Love Was Greater Than My Fear.’ So, getting what I call today ‘off-grid’ from the healthcare was so empowering and so rewarding that after Zenny died, I wanted to do that for the rest of my lifestyle – not be dependent.”
Stop right there. This is either a woman who is actually walking and talking the true energy independence walk and talk — just in the vein of a good Leftist. In the vein of a good Conservative, she is eschewing dependence on government and attempting to be self-sufficient. To “not be dependent.”
But here’s where Big Government and Leftists take over:
Late last year, Speronis was interviewed by her local Fox affiliate about her lifestyle. The piece ran on the local news and was spotted by city officials who took issue with Speronis’ way of life (and in her refusal to pay taxes for services she didn’t use). The day after the interview, the city of Cape Coral voted to evict Speronis for living in an uninhabitable property – something they determined without actually stepping foot inside her house.
Bingo! There’s the issue: money!
But wait; it gets more ridiculous:
“A code enforcement officer came, knocked on the door then posts a placard that says uninhabitable property, do not enter,” Speronis told the Fox affiliate in a followup report.
Along with the eviction notice, Speronis was charged with a laundry list of offenses that amounted to her not paying the city fees for utilities she didn’t need or want. Among the offenses leveled against her were several violations of the International Property Maintenance Code, which – in this context [strike] – essentially requires inhabitants to hook their utilities up to either the available public systems or an approved alternative.
Because the government knows better than you do. Despite the government and energy companies telling you — no, demanding — that you use less and less energy.
When asked about how expensive or inconvenient a life “off the grid” would be, Speronis’ answer is surprising. “Going off the grid in an urban setting was easy and inexpensive,” she explains. “I lived 7 months in an RV in the woods, so I had all the basic skills. I cut my energy needs down to next to nothing, so I only need two portable solar panels, (under $100 each), and two marine batteries, (again under $100 each) as a battery bank and two inverters, (under $100 each), to supply all my power needs and more. I do not have a regulator on my batteries, so my biggest problem is that sometimes I over-charge my batteries and will affect the life of the batteries.”
Speronis decided to fight back. She created a blog and located an attorney who took her case pro bono. And a smidgen of bright light emerged:
Fast forward to last Thursday, February 20th, when Special Magistrate Harold Eskin ruled that the majority of charges brought against Speronis were meritless. Her alleged infractions against the city’s power grid and sewage systems were summarily dismissed. In fact, Eskin ruled that Speronis was only guilty of not having her water hooked up to an approved public alternative (Speronis uses filtered rainwater). The city further accused her of using the city’s drainage system without paying for it, an accusation that has left Speronis thousands of dollars in debt with liens on her home.
“This resident provided testimony at the code compliance hearing that she has been living in the home for the past year and using the city’s wastewater system without paying for the service,” said Connie Barron, spokeswoman for the city of Cape Coral. “She also gave clear indications she does not intend to pay for this service but intends to continue to use the system. We really had no choice but to cap the sewer.”
So here comes the puerile and babyish riposte.
And cap it they did. Yesterday morning, city officials cut off Speronis’ access to the city’s sewage system for refusal to pay her bills. Speronis, however, remains resilient, “I know how to live off the grid completely and I have the tools in my home to do it so on that level it is no big deal.”
So her benevolent local government, in its now clear and obvious vindictive and petty reaction — as Speronis dared to point to an Emperor sans clothes — cut off her sewer connection because it could.
The government said: “you can’t pick and choose your independence, because that will create a chink in armor of our span of control.” And:
“Damn you for attempting any modicum of independence, you bitch, we’ll show you,” her local government clearly stated in its reaction.
Speronis emphasizes my precise point:
While she’s certainly prepared to deal with the city’s newest tactics, Speronis was quoted by many outlets calling the move, “pure evil.” We asked her what she meant by such a strong assertion.
“I wasn’t upset that they capped the sewer as much as upset that the city is still out for vengeance. I had hoped that over the last three plus months that I and my many supporters across the globe were able to touch the city and maybe change them a little to being servants of the people instead of cruel dictators. And that is why this move on the city’s part was such a “blow”. Looks like we haven’t touched them at all – how disappointing. Remember, the definition of evil is the intention to do harm and evil, just like good, can only manifest itself through people. I honestly believed that we had touched some good in the hearts of some of the city officials. Looks like we didn’t.”
Your government is becoming more of an enemy than a friend, or even a partner of sorts.
This is simply another in a continuing series of local, state and federal government stories emphasizing that government no longer serves people — government believes your job is to serve it. A Big Government that is too taken with itself and its power.
Energy independence? That isn’t the point. At all. Whatever happened to fundamental fairness? What happened to having empathy for the citizen? And what happened to the basic tenets of conservation and minimization demanded by government itself of it citizens?
Leftists again and again don’t want the American public to achieve independence of any sort, economical, societal, technological or cultural. They have proven this time and again with their acrimonious and bitter reactions to any form of pushback or endeavor to seek self-sufficiency. Speronis sums up wonderfully:
She is committed to living her life on her own terms, regardless of what trials she must face. “[The] lesson is shine your light, live your life the way you see fit, ignore the ‘terror,’ don’t be afraid and the ‘evil’ goes poof. The light always puts out the dark. Love never fails. And honestly, at such times when you stand your ground, it actually becomes fun to watch ‘evil’ go poof.”
It’s time for some line-drawing and limit-setting for government on all levels. And evil, these days, can and does in fact come in some forms of government. Especially government that thinks its job is for us to serve it.