I agree with what Greg Garrett had to say in his memo. I have lived in Tehachapi for more than 16 years. When these shut-offs started, I didn't believe this area had ever had a wildland fire started by a downed power line in this time. Garrett took it even further, that is to say during all of his time that I am sure is even much longer than 16 years. Yes, we have had fires. Usually due to human stupidity such as cutting metal in a brush area, from mowing or carelessly discarding ashes along Highway 223, planes crashing and several from weather issues, i.e. lightning strikes. God forbid that any fires were arson related, but I'm not optimistic. Being a CERT member I do pay attention to these.

We still have relatives living on the East Coast. Every year, they will lose power due to hurricanes, freezing rain/ice, etc. And I start to rail about putting power lines underground. Public officials come back at me and ask who is going to pay for this? We are! We always do. So it may cost about $3 million per mile. Now both PG&E and SoCal Edison are facing potentially billions in liability payments from years of neglect and poor management. Improvements don't all have to be done at once, but as one section fails, start there first. Am I being simplistic? Probably.

An old Chinese proverb says a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. A step in the right direction. When we moved here in 1981, this truly was the "Golden State." We had a bipartisan legislature. Today, California is ruled by elitists from San Francisco, Los Angeles and the coast. We pay too much in taxes and fees. Remember, "taxation without representation" from 200-plus years ago? Check what it costs in other states — I have, and I would like to move but my wife says we are too old.

Perhaps it is time to divide California into two states. The current Gov. Gavin Newsom believes California should act as its own country. Many state and city actions now ignore federal law as it is. This idea has come up before without any proposal that gathers much interest. A solution lies dividing roughly along Interstate 5. On the east side there could be Sierra California and on the west, Pacific California. I believe many folks would feel more comfortable with this arrangement. I know I would.

Jake Anzulis, Bear Valley Springs