Re: Power Shutoffs 

I completely agree with the views expressed (Our View, Sept. 26) and would like to add a couple of my own based on my experience of working in the electrical power industry for over twenty years. 

During this time myself and my colleagues held the view that PG&E’s approach to the maintenance of their distribution system, predominantly the lines carried by wooden poles, has been reactive not proactive or, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”

Regarding the transmission lines, PG&E is over-reacting by shutting them down if there is a red flag warning with wind gusts in the 40 mph range because these lines are typically designed to withstand winds of up to 100 mph.

In the case of the Camp Fire, which to my knowledge is the only one caused by a transmission line failure, the cause may not have been entirely negligence on the part of PG&E. I have heard that when the forensic study into the cause was conducted that evidence of damage by bullets was found, probably the glass insulator that supports the line was damaged or shattered. 

Also the same person told me that PG&E was not allowed to clear the brush from under the transmission lines in this area. 

If these comments are true, the person who decided to use PG&E equipment for target practice and the organization that prohibited the brush clearance should share the blame and bear at least part of the costs. 

Finally, let’s not forget that only a small percentage of wildfires over the past years has been caused by power lines. Those of us who live in the foothills and within timber still need to take precautions to prevent wildfires. For example, not using powered equipment such as lawn mowers around dry vegetation, particularly when it is hot and breezy.

Peter Langdon, 

Marysville

Re: Ukraine

In April of 2014 the owner of Barisma Holdings (Ukraine’s largest natural gas company), Mykola Zlochevsky, had his London bank accounts frozen. 

The British government was looking into money-laundering by him. 

The investigation was hindered because Ukrainian prosecutors wouldn’t turn over needed documents. 

They instead informed Zlochevsky there was no case against him.

In December 2015 investigative reporter James Risen published a story stating Joe Biden went to Ukraine partly to get the country to eliminate rampant corruption. 

Biden’s son’s association with Burisma made this appear “politically awkward and hypocritical.” 

However, were the country to pursue the corruption investigation it “would actually increase-not lessen” the chances that his son and Burisma could have legal woes.

We budget funds to other nations because it is for our national interest. 

If there is corruption in a given country, those funds are often not used for the intended purpose. Biden was trying to get Ukraine to investigate this corruption. 

Eventually Viktor Shokin, the chief prosecutor, was forced from office for his misdeeds. Biden did “threaten to withhold $1 billion.” However, he did so “because Shokin had blocked serious anticorruption investigations, not because he was investigating Burisma.”

You will soon see ads telling you Joe Biden is a bad guy, and involved in Ukraine, trying to help his son, which is not true. The ads themselves will actually be a form of political corruption.

Bob Bush, 

Yuba City

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