Letters to the Editor | TheUnion.com

Letters to the Editor

Season of Gratitude

I often think about how wonderful it is to live in Lake Wildwood, but while enjoying the theater production of the “The Mystery of Giles Nerfff” last Saturday, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for our community. For sure, we are blessed to have such a great cast of characters for all the theatre productions we have here.

We are also blessed to have a new Clubhouse as a venue for theater, music and a wide variety of events. Dustin and his team bring us good food at reasonable prices, and even dreamed up BBQ parties in the park as a fun distraction during our recent power outages!!!

We have so many talented Committee Chairs who volunteer their expertise on many topics. We have a dedicated Golf Pro, Jim Knight, and a terrific agronomist, Bill Hamilton, to keep our golf course and parks in top shape.

Not to mention a Garden Club that keeps things pretty around here. Don’t forget the FireWise Committee to keep us safe!

We have Andrew in charge of our Recreation programs including aerobics, water activities, yoga and other fun things. We have Bob Stewart, our Tennis Pro, who manages a great tennis program, and very peppy leaders like Nan Spier, Terri Norby and Melissa McCarthy who keep our Pickle Ball group energized. We have lots of Bridge games and tournaments that include for all levels of bridge players.

This is just mentioning the tip of the iceberg of LWW activities and events due to the efforts of so many community volunteers. No space here to tell it all!

And when you leave the gates to go ”up the hill” there is more beauty and wonder to appreciate in Grass Valley, Nevada City and the wilderness beyond. Endless art, theater, restaurants, hiking, skiing and other opportunities abound.

I am especially in awe as I notice the autumn colors as I drive along the highway.

Please take a few minutes to appreciate all that we have here as you celebrate Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season ahead.

Caryl Fairfull

Lake Forest Drive

‘Power Shut-off’ Strategy Violates Public Trust

We’ve read your recent articles on the PG&E power shutdown situation here in California. PG&E should cease and desist in their strategy of shutting off power during periods of perceived adverse wind, temperature and humidity combinations that enable wildfires to spread.

Instead, put their efforts forward to aggressively modernize and/or repair their controls systems, powerlines, cables, piping and equipment to enable the distribution of power to proceed uninterrupted under all immediate emergency events.

This “power shut-off” strategy seems to many of us who are affected to be a game of “you can’t blame me for the fire if we weren’t there!”

First of all, a power utility that does not provide power violates the public trust as well as its own charter and is not a true public utility.

Of course, a public utility can be and should be blamed for malfeasance, misfeasance and non-feasance. But shutting off power (i.e., refusing to perform their duty) is non-feasance and absolutely should not be a publicly allowed option except in case of an active fire, accident or other active and compelling event.

The PG&E representatives claim that the adverse conditions of high wind, low humidity and dense vegetation exist where the transmission lines are located, not necessarily where we are. Further, their representatives blame “climate change” for these conditions.

Well, California has had this combination of adverse conditions many times in every year that I’ve lived here, and until this year, no shutdowns were apparently necessary. Of course, PG&E has been blamed for several recent tragedies and has entered protection under Federal Bankruptcy Laws as a result.

Setting that issue aside, as I write this, our home is at hour 41 of the current (our third) shutdown, with 48 to 72 hours more of this shutdown promised.

Even if otherwise justified on wildfire prevention grounds, the impact of a power shutdown on the economies of the Foothills’ counties of California will be horrific and incalculable:

1. Enormous business loss of income due to shut down.

2. Commercial and residential food spoilage due to power loss.

3. Stunted business growth, as new business will refrain from starting due to uncertain power.

4. Existing businesses loss of market share and reputation arising from failure to meet their commitments due to power shutdown.

5. Many businesses that might otherwise have stayed in California will now revisit the advantages of moving to another state.

6. Employees’ loss of wages due to power shut-down mount rapidly.

7. Significant loss of internet commerce due to disconnect.

8. Increased health risk due to disconnected medical devices, canceled appointments and surgeries.

9. Drop in property values, as in, “who would want to live in an area with known frequent shutoffs?”

10. Economic and societal quality of life loss caused by the traffic jams and inconveniences resulting from these outages.

Over time, the impact of these shutdowns will devastate the communities affected. California’s image will deteriorate.

Daniel E. Halloran

Chaparral Drive

The Delight of No Lights

During one of the last PG&E power outages someone on Nextdoor asked if there were any positives to the electricity going out.

I had no trouble at all coming up with a positive answer. DARK SKIES! The lights happened to be out during the Orionid Meteor Shower. What a treat this is going to be, I thought. I bundled up a bit and headed to my deck.

Not a porch light to be seen, no tree trunks or deck railings strewn with rope lights, no lantern-like lights lining the walkways from the water’s edge to lakefront homes, no parking lot or Marina lights, just a black sky twinkling with stars and galaxies, and oh my the Milky Way. I saw seven meteors in less than 30 minutes. It was indeed a treat!

That night was not so different from the dark skies we enjoyed when we moved here.

Back then I guess people were still moving to Lake Wildwood to get away from the city but it seems over the last several years the new residents want to bring the big city with them.

Front and back porch lights are left on all night, new houses are built with lights every 3 feet under the eves, driveways are lined with lights and garages have what seem like spotlights pouring light over every corner of the lot.

Well, to say the least our good view of the Milky Way has been lost in recent years and I can no longer appreciate the glow of the full moon filling my backyard once a month as a neighbor’s back porch light now lights up my yard. What a shame to be losing one of nature’s special gifts. And for what?

The interesting thing about light pollution is that it is one on the easiest pollution problems to solve. Just turn off outdoor lighting.

Yes, if you have guests arriving after dark then by all means turn on your porch lights but once they arrive turn them off. If you’re worried about burglars or vandals, even though that is not a big issue in Lake Wildwood, add motion detectors.

Over-lighting is not just a irritant to nature lovers like myself but it disrupts nature as well.

Plants and animals depend on Earth’s daily cycle of light and dark, by us lighting up the night it can interrupt behaviors such as reproduction, hunting, sleep and protection from predators.

I could go on and on but I would rather direct you to the International Dark-Sky Association for more information.

So by turning off unnecessary outdoor lights you can, save money, you and your neighbor can enjoy twinkling stars rather than electric light bulbs while out on the deck, you can help out the local bats and other nocturnal animals and share the wonders of our universe with your children and grandchildren.

There are two more Meteor Showers before the end of the year, the Leonids on November 17 and Geminids on December 13 and 14. Turn off your porch light and enjoy the night sky.

PS: I’m not a Scrooge, I am looking forward to the Christmas light displays, but then there’s no need to keep them on all night.

Ruth Peterson,

Dark Sky fan

LWW Resident


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