The Kenwood Press
Publishers' Corner: 11/01/2019

Kiss my PSPS

Alec Peters

We’re a little tardy with this issue I know, but no power for five days will put a crimp in your business. And our printer is in Healdsburg. Kind of a perfect storm for us. But in your hands is the latest issue.

Looking at the big picture regarding PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS), this cannot keep happening year after year, especially to such a huge part of the Bay Area at one time.

Speaking only from where I sat in my house, yes, the winds were extreme and scary on the night of Saturday, Oct. 26. And I was sincerely glad for my family and my community to have that PSPS. In fact, I was getting nervous that my lights were still on at 8 p.m. I was about to call PG&E and tell them “Hey, turn my power off!” Good call, and one point for PG&E.

A couple of nights later, still without power, and a forecast of another high wind event, there wasn’t any notable wind to speak of. I know, because I got up every two hours. That allowed me to put on my “I Hate PG&E” hat and be outraged.

Given what’s occurred over the last few years, PG&E is basically afraid of its own miles and miles of infrastructure. Well, if that’s the case then I’m not sure the answer is to turn everything off for a million people at one time. We do pay PG&E for electricity after all. A lot. It’s more than a small inconvenience when the power is out for days.

Of course, we don’t want any fires either. Been there, done that. And as long as the lines and lines of electricity are pulsating up in the air above the dry fuels of Northern California, the chance of fire during the right red flag conditions is great.

Obviously, my feelings are complicated.

People a lot smarter than me, and there are plenty, have to come up with solutions. PG&E is low-hanging fruit for state politicians – the company has made itself an easy target for all the things they haven’t done to harden their equipment over the years.

Let’s bring the adults in the room and figure it out. Now.

Please go out and support your local businesses. At the Kenwood Press we spoke to a lot of small business owners this October who have lost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue that they can’t afford to lose, thanks to these power shutoffs. And they have found out that business insurance will not cover their losses.

You’ll also be supporting the many people who work at these stores, restaurants and wineries, all of whom have lost valuable income.

And please, send your good thoughts, funds, volunteer time, etc., to those affected by the Kincade Fire. Recovery is only beginning. We know what they’re going through.

– Alec