Letter to the editorInfrastructure Letters 

Letter: SLV Residents Struggle through 5 PGE Outages this Past Week

Dear Supervisor Bruce McPherson, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, Assemblymember Mark Stone Stone, Senator John Laird,

I’m sure you are well aware that we are on our fourth consecutive day of power loss.  There have been five outages in the past week.

Residents are weary of struggling to find ways to get work done; parents are tired of sitting in their cars to charge phones and portable devices; families are spending excess money on food because they can’t cook in their own kitchens and what’s in the refrigerator is spoiling. 

This is an unsustainable situation for San Lorenzo Valley’s residents and businesses. Local restaurants, operating on backup generators, are offering the community an opportunity to recharge portable electronics and get access to wifi service. Local grocery stores are struggling to keep food fresh during the long, sustained outages. These businesses will need support and should not bear the burden of attempting to stay open under these conditions without it.

Air quality also is affected during long-term outages in the valley due to the prolific use of diesel and propane generators for sustained periods. 
According to the most recent census data, San Lorenzo Valley is home to a demographically older population than the rest of the county and a disproportionate percentage of SLV seniors live in poverty. They are least able to deal with the impacts of these sustained outages.

If PG&E is going to continue to use this community to test the limitations of its “fast trip” feature there should be proactive communications, a townhall to answer questions, and community charging stations set up for businesses, residents, and children who may need access to power while they continue to resolve this problem. 

PG&E should not be surprised that the fast trip feature is reacting in this manner. According to a recent story, this has negatively impacted other communities as well.

The lack of clear communications, the vague information regarding cause, and the lack of resolution should be unacceptable to anyone living in or representing this community. 

Please work with Teresa Alvarado, Regional Vice President for PG&E’s Central Coast Divison.  As the daughter of a former Santa Clara County Supervisor (Bianca Alvarado) and former director for progressive public policy think tank SPUR, I would think she would be eager to work with us. If you have contact information for Ms. Alvarado and her counterparts at PG&E, I’m sure a number of valley residents would like the opportunity to voice our support for a community meeting.

Kind regards,

Jayme Ackemann
Ben Lomond Resident 
San Lorenzo Valley Water District Director 

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