Why can’t PG&E keep equipment working?

PG&E is in the national news again, this time for two power outages during the televised Monday 49ers game. PG&E says it can be blamed for only one of the outages and the cause is unknown, although there are pictures of a transformer on the Candlestick property blowing up.

PG&E has transformers that lasted more than 50 years in service before replacement or failure, so why are so many transformers in manholes and on backyard power poles failing now? There could be overloading of transformers that reduces their life expectancy, power loading and voltage control that operate the lines at a higher voltage to allow for the voltage drop at the end of the line, voltage regulator control failure, inadequate power factor control, improper protective relay settings, failed circuit breaker operation, down lines or people shooting at transformers.

So how do the 49ers plan to ensure that there will be no problems when San Francisco hosts a playoff game next month?

Frank Norton, San Francisco

Gambling on gaming

If the IPO for Zynga, the San Francisco social game-maker, had been arbitrarily decided to open Friday on the Nasdaq stock market at a price of $9 a share instead of at $10, the public offering’s closing price of $9.50 would now be hailed as a smash hit instead of a one-day 5 percent loser.

This reminds me of the shock in my grade school son’s eyes, many years ago, when I explained a phone call to my stockbroker. “Isn’t that gambling?” my son wanted to know.

And I still don’t have an answer.

Al Ujcic, San Francisco

Get to work, Senate

If the U.S. Senate thinks it is doing the citizens and itself a favor by skipping out of town and not passing the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, it doesn’t have a bead on reality. No wonder the economy is dead.

Somebody needs to haul the irresponsible children right back into the Capitol, kicking and screaming. Right now, over Christmas! Then they need to be told to sit down, shut up and vote the bill in, making the rest of our New Year’s holiday a happy one.

The adults out here paying for their parties and trips — and who knows what else — are sick and tired of the juvenile senators. This is a great time to inconvenience their lives like they have done to ours.

Janet Campbell, San Francisco

Tarnished Golden State
The current recession’s effect on California’s economy, and especially on education, has several contributing factors. The repercussions of California’s anti-business environment, taxes, environmental regulations and various regulatory policies greatly exacerbated the effects of the recession here.

The governor’s proposed tax increases, new or beefed-up environmental regulations and about two dozen new state employment laws taking effect on Jan. 1 will only make matters worse. In order to once again be the Golden State, California needs to rethink its current economic policies and analyze the economic effects of any new policies before putting them into law.

Howard Epstein, San Francisco

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