Once upon a time... the majority of public utilities in the world were publicly owned and were nonprofit. They operated as a SERVICE to the community, and they invested in INFRASTRUCTURE and planned for the future.

Unfortunately, that made life too easy for all of us... and so that era ended, and we now have greedy corporations with CEO managers who only think short-term and care about their bonuses and looking good whilst they're running the show. Result: infrastructure is sacrificed and left to future managers to worry about.

It's criminal negligence that sees transformers and their like starting fires regardless of what season of the year it is.

It's that, plus the incestuous relationship between the CPUC and the likes of PG&E and Edison that have brought us to the sorry state we're in now — high utility costs, low maintenance and even lower infrastructure investment, and virtually no accountability for the decades of skimming off the vast profits.

America's national power grid was once the envy of the world. Forget building a wall, it's the grid that is far more vital to our survival and it's not mother nature's fault that our power has to be cut off in advance. As for what we locally can do, make brush clearance a felony offense for those who ignore it, especially when we're all living here in the third windiest place in America, the land of the four seasons, and at times all in the same day!

Graham Hill, Tehachapi