The lights are on in Santa Clara

It's dark at the Stick -- but they've got (public) power in Santa Clara

It's ironic that PG&E is trying to blame the (brief) power outages at Candlestick -- seen live, nationwide, on what was otherwise a great Monday Night Football game -- on San Francisco. Even by the utility's biased admission (and let's remember -- these are the same folks who tried to duck blame for the San Bruno blast that killed eight people), the whole problem started when a line owned and operated by the private utility lost power.

But here's the best part: One of the main reasons that Santa Clara has been able to finance a brand new stadium for the team, which will soon abandon poor, beat-up old Candlestick, is that the Peninsula city has its own public-power agency.

I'm not for using public money to build sports stadiums. The people who own NFL teams (with the exception of the Green Bay Packers) are not only part of the 1 percent; they're part of the top one-tenth of the one percent. They're very, very rich folks, who can pay for their own damn stadiums.

And I don't think San Francisco will suffer greatly when the Niners move south -- we never got much of an economic benefit from football games here, anyway.

But I'll always remember the story Sheriff Mike Hennessey told me a few years back, when he was attending one of Mayor Gavin Newsom's department-head meetings, and the mayor started complaining about Santa Clara's efforts to woo the Niners, and how money from that city's power agency was making it hard for S.F. to compete.

"Are you saying," Hennessey asked the mayor, "that if San Francisco had public power, we might be able to keep the 49ers?"

Newsom didn't respond.


Mayor Lee was reportedly 'shocked' by two brief power outages at Candlestick Park last Monday night. He described them as a "national embarrassment", called for an investigation, and promised he would "make sure that... this doesn't happen again."

I have lived on Treasure Island since 1999. Recently, we had 6 unplanned power outages in 30 days. One lasted 6 hours, another 9 hours, and two outages on Thanksgiving totaled 10 hours. 2,500 people live here: 1/3 are low income, many are disabled.

The Treasure Island Development Agency has spent over $100M during the past 12 years, while their agents collected at least $150M in rents. From 2000 through 2005, I recorded 60 utility outages, but I stopped counting-- and complaining-- after TIDA kept giving me the "runaround".

Incidentally, TIDA plans to wait until construction of 6,000 luxury condos before upgrading the power grid. Meanwhile, 6 outages in 30 days is proof that our dilapidated grid is not being maintained to even a minimal safe standard.

If only the 49'ers played on T.I., then perhaps Mayor Lee would make sure to keep the power on here!

Posted by Guest Pariah on Dec. 29, 2011 @ 11:33 am