Since I came here last year from Chicago, the electrical power has gone out in my area a score of times. As we have a person on life support in the house, this is serious.

Each time I call Dominion Virginia Power to ask what solutions it suggests, it generally has had nothing to recommend other than to install a propane-powered backup generator at a cost of many thousands of dollars. When I ask why Dominion has not buried its cables and why it does not keep up with tree trimming, I get no answer, other than that the problems are "the wind" and "the trees." Yet we did not have as many power outages in our 10 years in the Windy City as we have had here in the past 10 months.

Now the mail brings an ad informing us that Dominion is selling generators, at $5,000 and up. This seems akin to a small-town doctor going into the funeral-parlor business on the side -- a win-win situation (for the doctor) but a serious conflict of interest.

If Dominion is going to make money selling generators, what motive will it have to improve service?


Great Falls