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Food For Thought

An “06880” reader spent Tuesday morning extracting trees from a neighbor’s home, covering her roof with a tarp, and clearing debris from the yard.

The experience, he says, was “quintessentially American: friends and neighbors pulling together without invitation or direction from anyone except their own innate feeling of responsibility toward neighbors. As it should be.”

However, he was “both disgusted and unsurprised” by the CL&P-bashing reactions on “06880”‘s power restoration story. “Sheesh. Folks need to grow up and start acting like high school students!” he says.

He’s not through. He adds:

“What a bunch of selfish whiners. ‘Why isn’t my personal power restored?’ And the charming but utterly undeceiving ‘of course it was huge and horrible…but what about me?’

“Stop it. Grow up. Get out of your house with some tools. Clear some trees and limbs yourself, and quit waiting for the government to do work you can do. Staples students seem capable. Why aren’t the rest of you?

Staples soccer players, friends and neighbors helped clean up a Compo Beach home yesterday. Throughout town, similar citizen crews of all ages were at work.

“Take a look around. On a reconnaissance by bicycle yesterday I did not see a single street in Westport, Norwalk, Wilton, or Weston that did not have one or more trees down, wires out, houses smashed. Many roads remain closed outright, and  you can’t get trucks through if you can’t get the trees out of the way.

“And why is Mr. Joseloff complaining that CL&P hasn’t cleared streets? Last time I checked, that was the town and the state’s responsibility.

“CL&P had over 600,000 customers without power, and the tri-state area had 4.9 million. That takes a lot of manpower, folks. But of course Westport, with its 10,000, is the most important town. ‘Why can’t I see any trucks?’

Does anyone have any idea how an electrical grid works? If they can’t restore the lines that bring power to your street, fixing your street will get you nowhere. They have priorities, an appropriate combination of civic need and engineering reality. And, shockingly, you just may not be as important as you think you are.

“After a storm every electric utility becomes a whipping boy for unrealistic complainers and opportunistic politicians. Calls go out to bury the lines from people unwilling to put up the $1 million per mile that it costs.

“Get off your high horses, put your dudgeon back under your hat where it belongs, and get a perspective.

“And while you’re at it: Put on some gloves, pick up a saw, and get to work.”

Scenes like this are repeated throughout town. This is the view from the Longshore golf course parking lot. The Parks and Rec office is in the background.

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