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Time to speak up about power losses

February 01, 2012

On Jan. 25, the power in many of our homes shut off completely again. According to my records, this is the 18th time in two years. The Sunday before, there were two power outages lasting a few minutes. I was angry and disappointed. It is obvious that if power goes out, essentially everything that requires electricity, including gas pumps, banking, purchasing of food and other trading, stops.

I wrote to Mayor David Spence. I complained about the last two years, which have been fraught with these many unexpected and unplanned outages. I understand our city has in place an alert system for some emergencies. But the system does not have any way of giving updates on outage alerts. If a major earthquake hits and power shuts down, this is a threat to all of us. Something must be done.

The mayor wrote me back immediately, saying he had talked to Ted Craver, the chief executive of Edison, twice since the wind storms and had a face-to-face discussion about service to La Cañada Flintridge residents last week. And he and other city officials have been contacting leaders, including state Sen. Carol Liu. Liu’s husband, Michael Peevey, chair of the California Public Utilities Commission; he has been asked to resolve the serious outage problems in our city.

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One of the major problems is that there is a major need to upgrade the Flintridge substation from 4 kilovolts to 16 kilovolts. With all of these outages, I feel outraged as to why this has not been done already. We have been inconvenienced so many times and we still do not have the right kilovolts for everyone. Why is that?

Everything in our homes goes crazy when we constantly have to reset clocks, turn on computers, etc. On Jan. 25 it wasn't raining or windy, the power just stopped. My husband heard a transformer pop. Only because of cell phones were we able to get to the sheriff's department to gain information. People with land lines only are out of luck. Edison was not easily available for contact or information.

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