Letters to the Editor, July 5, 2012

It could happen to you

Dear Editor,
PUD customers and ratepayers, did you know that there was such a thing as a secondary line possibly coming into your home? After a power surge on the morning before Easter that blew out a DVD (that was smoking), small kitchen TV, microwave, range hood (that could be repaired), overhead fluorescent light ( which smelled so bad from the melting of the tube that it had to be replaced immediately), garage door opener and an electric organ.
These secondary lines are lines from a pole, with a transformer, that gets its power from the mainline. In our case, we have an alley that abuts our back yard. On this alley is a pole that serves our house and the house on the other side of the alley. It has two lines, one into the other house and one into our house, to and through the ever present meter. The PUD says that they do not own the secondary line because it comes over my property even though their, and our, power goes through it to the meter.
They say they cannot come onto our property to trim any trees but they could come on when they used to read the meters. In other words they say they are not responsible for the damage done by the surge. We are blessed that our house did not burn. We did receive a very nice and polite letter of refusing our claim in recompense for the surge and the commissioner of our area did come and look at the line and agreed that the PUD was not at fault. A rejection, however, is a rejection and a monopoly is a monopoly.
Are you ready for another “kicker”? The Okanogan PUD does not carry insurance but are self-insured so they give you the song and dance about any recompense would be at the cost of the ratepayer. Apparently the cost of raising wages, at the ratepayers’ expense does not bother them. How many multimillion dollar businesses would not carry insurance?
I called the Washington Utilities Commission and they only control privately owned utilities. Since we are a PUBLIC Utility, we own it and are, theoretically, supposed to be able to run our own business through the commissioners we elect and the manager they appoint.
If this can happen to us, who have lived in this house for 40 years, it can happen to any of you PUD owners too.
Ann Figenshow

Take a moment

Dear Editor,
This letter goes out to all fishermen, all of you who know a fisherman and those who frequent places where people fish. Please properly dispose of all fishing tackle: hooks, fishing line, bait, etc.
Today my dog Patches, while on the leash and in a flash, ate a hook with a little piece of bait clinging to it. First it lodged into her gum and despite my efforts to remove it, she worked it loose with her tongue and it disappeared before my eyes. It wasn’t pretty.
What followed was all the trauma for her of a visit to the vet and a costly vet payment to a much deserving Arc Animal Clinic – thank you Jacqueline and the Arc team!
Patches picked up the hook at Henry Kniss Park in Oroville where we often walk and almost daily remove discarded fishing line, hooks and other tackle. My dog had the benefit of human intervention. I would not want to imagine the suffering carelessly discarded fishing tackle causes wildlife. So please, if you see it, pick it up. If you use it, properly dispose of it. If you introduce a young person to fishing, educate them well. A short moment of careful consideration could go a long way to avoid suffering.
Candace Gerber

How will our children lead?

Dear Editor,
The other night my wife got a movie for us to watch. I wasn’t overly enthused about her selection, “The Iron Lady,” but being the somewhat, at at times, dutiful husband I am (smile) I said nothing. But, like she almost always does, she made a great selection. It turned out to be one of the best movies I’ve had the occasion to watch. It was the story of Margaret Thatcher who became the Prime Minister of Great Britain. There was a line in the movie that went something like this: If you want a solid society – then lead it!”
Reminded me of a similar line, given by either Admirals Nimitz or Bull Halsey to a junior officer who suddenly found himself in the tenacious role as newly appointed admiral during World War II, “When you are in command, then command.”
So the question rises, are we as a nation leading? More specifically, are those in leadership leading or are they like the proverbial general who sees which way his army is moving then hurries up to catch them? Or, perhaps the question could be more specific, are YOU leading? Speaking out? Making your thoughts count?
Another line in the movie had Margaret Thatcher challenging the other leaders in parliament that “we must remember that our children of today will be our leaders tomorrow.” We need to realize that maybe our children in their leadership may not lead as we, who are older, think they ought to lead, but then we probably didn’t lead as our parents thought we ought either. However, an even deeper question might be, “will our children take into leadership the principles we have taught them? You know, the principals of the republic, of the morals and of the Christian principles that we have taught and upon which our country was built?
Perhaps they will. Perhaps, because of poor examples, they will reflect something different; or, perhaps of good, solid examples they will only improve on the foundation they’ve been handed. So, I challenge myself, and you, to sharpen the examples we are setting so they may have a rich heritage upon which to build.
Like the Iron Lady, that Margaret Thatcher was, may we sharpen our steel and live where we can be proud of the heritage we leave and our children can, with pride, build upon what has been handed them.
The Old Coffee Drinker,
Randy Middleton