a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Warning: storm tripping hazard ahead

By Scott Beveridge

The photograph, above, illustrates how I found my car the morning after Stormageddon delivered this region 2 feet of snow, buried under white stuff and parked under a downed telephone line.

It was two weeks ago tomorrow. Removing the wire then was understandably low on everyone's priorities. There were old people here in Webster, Pa., who needed to be evacuated by their neighbors to places that hadn't lost their heat to the widespread power outages.

So, I waited a week to notify Verizon, which apparently owns the overhead telephone lines around here. Rather than wade through frustrating telephone prompts to reach a live voice at the utility, I sent the company an e-mail that listed my address and the nature of the problem.

My message since has been ignored, without so much as my receiving one of those automated computer-generated replies guaranteeing that my message would be given attention. It probably would be a waste of time to send the company another message, yet I will send another message.

Be warned Allegheny Power and Dominion Peoples that there is a dangerous tripping hazard at the entrance to my property when you next send representatives to read the meters before passing along your next bills. If either of your meter readers trip, fall and become injured, please ask your company's attorneys to contact the owner of this dangerous downed wire and sue it, rather than me.

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