Thursday, September 9, 2010


I really wanted to give a high five to Brownsville PUB yesterday, but the piece got long and the issue did not really fit.

All over Texas electricity was out. Storm damage was seen in just about every community hit with Hermine. You cannot prevent damage from a tropical depression, but depression can govern how we see it. I live on hope and tend to see things half full. Yes, I said it - now shut up!

According to the Herald when you compare Brownsville to Harlingen Brownsville came through the storm with flying colors. 5000 people lost electricity in Brownsville compared to 14,000 people in Harlingen. Brownsville also did better than Port Isabel and nearly better than San Benito.

Also, many people lost power because of ordered rolling blackouts. These come from damage to the system outside PUB’s control. Now here there may be a story. Winter Haven, which is served by Magic Valley Electric Coop always loses electricity when rolling blackouts are ordered. This is a community with many disabled senior citizens who rely on electricity for their medical devises.

I cannot sleep without my CPAP. I even use it on planes. It kinda of scares people when they see me put on an oxygen mask. I have a device which allows me to plug it into my truck via an extension cord if for some reason my home loses electricity. My sister died from sleep apnea - so I know it is serious. Also I know I start to choke within a minute of falling asleep on the couch. My point is, electricity should not be cut off to Winter Haven during rolling blackouts when the PUB knows there are possibly hundreds of seniors who need the electricity for their medical devices.

The story is, how does PUB decide who gets electricity during a rolling blackout and who does not? The city commissioners whose districts were denied electricity need to ask this question.

So when you consider the order for rolling blackouts originates outside the power of the PUB, and only 5,000 people lost electricity in Brownsville compared to 14,000 people in Harlingen, the PUB seems to have held up just fine. But then I tend to see the glass half full. There I said it again - BFD. But really the PUB seems to have a good ongoing maintenance program which helps to minimize how many people lose electricity.  You know Brownsville has many problems, but when an entity gets it right we need to say "hats off to the PUB."

Oh, I am thinking about doing a story on racial demographics in Brownsville. I have discovered something very interesting. We shall see.

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