california

Wildfire safety blackouts in California by PG&E could leave homes without power till Friday

A return of bone-dry humidity and gusty winds Wednesday in Northern Calfornia during the peak of wildfire season is expected to result in power outages for tens of thousands of customers that could last until Friday.

The nation’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), warned it may begin power shutoffs by Wednesday evening to as many as 54,000 customers in 24 counties.

“We really view it as a last resort option,” Mark Quinlan, the company’s incident commander, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

POWER OUTAGES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MAY IMPACT 50,000 PG&E CUSTOMERS IN SAFETY SHUTOFFS

Wind gusts possibly hitting 55 mph have spurred the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue a red-flag warning from 5 a.m. Wednesday through Friday morning.

While PG&E said it will make a final decision sometime on Wednesday morning whether to implement the pre-emptive electricity cuts, it advised that it began its one-day advance notifications to customers.

Customers in portions of the following counties are being notified of potential shutoffs: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Humboldt, Lake, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Solano, Sonoma, Tehama, Trinity, Yolo and Yuba.

The Public Safety Power Shutoff is an effort by the utility to prevent fires from being started by damaged power lines fouled or knocked down in high winds. The utility also has deployed generators and other measures to keep electricity flowing in some areas that might otherwise have lost power during the outages, according to Quinlan.

If the forecast unfolds as planned, there will be two main waves of when customers lose electricity.

CALIFORNIA UTILITY USING ‘SMARTER, SHORTER’ TACTIC FOR BLACKOUTS TO PREVENT WILDFIRES

About 33,000 homes and

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$1,325,000 Homes for Sale in Connecticut, California and South Carolina

One might have thought the most interesting thing about this house in southeastern Connecticut was that it belongs to Chris Elliott, the actor, comedian and writer, and his wife, Paula Niedert. But just as compelling is the identity of a previous owner: a local celebrity named Elizabeth Tashjian, better known as the Nut Lady. In 1972, Ms. Tashjian, an artist who inherited the property from her father, turned it into a cult attraction called the Nut Museum, ultimately charging three dollars and one nut as an entrance fee.

The Elliotts bought the house from a subsequent owner in 2008. Although it had been fixed up and endowed with central air-conditioning, they polished it, bringing in vintage and period-style fixtures, moldings and glass, and recreating a Victorian ambience with 21st-century comforts.

Old Lyme is a town about 100 miles northeast of New York and 120 miles southwest of Boston, with a seafaring past and a historically protected Main Street. This property is yards from the Lieutenant River boat launch and half a mile northeast of Ferry Landing State Park on the Connecticut River. According to Flood Factor, an online evaluation tool, its flood risk is minimal.

Size: 5,289 square feet

Price per square foot: $251

Indoors: Turning right from the central foyer and descending a few steps, you find a living room with hardwood floors, huge leaded casement windows and a ceiling ornamented with plaster moldings and hung with crystal chandeliers. The room extends more than 43 feet to the back of the house, ending with a red-marble fireplace topped by an elaborate mantel and mirror. A wide doorway hung with curtains on the left side of

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Uber and Lyft Lobby California Appeals Court to Keep Drivers as Contractors

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Arguing before a state appeals court Tuesday, Uber and Lyft lawyers predicted fewer rides for consumers, lower earnings for drivers and a spike in drunk-driving accidents if they are forced to classify California drivers as employees instead of contractors.

“I don’t want the court to think that if the injunction is affirmed, that these people will continue to have these earning opportunities because they won’t,” Lyft attorney Rohit Singla said.

Uber and Lyft want California’s First Appellate District to overturn a lower court’s Aug. 10 preliminary injunction requiring them to start classifying drivers as employees. The injunction was stayed pending appeal on Aug. 20.

Joined by the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sued Uber and Lyft in May, accusing them of violating Assembly Bill 5 by misclassifying drivers as independent contractors and denying them employment benefits, such as minimum wage, overtime and unemployment insurance. AB 5 went into effect this past January.

If forced to comply with the law, Uber and Lyft say they could no longer let drivers choose their own working hours. Government lawyers say nothing in AB 5 prevents the tech giants from offering flexible schedules.

During a two-hour telephonic hearing before a three-judge panel, Singla said classifying drivers as employees would drastically change his client’s business model and make scheduling flexibility impossible.

He compared Lyft drivers to the state of California 235,000-person workforce of government employees.

“Do they have employees that can work whenever they want, stop working for a month or two,” Singla asked. “No employer can do that, have employees working as long as they want whenever they want.”

Both Uber and Lyft insist they are not “hiring entities” subject to the labor law but rather providers

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Potential blackouts could leave California homes without power until Friday

A dangerous combination of fast winds and low humidity at the height of fire season is expected to prompt power outages for tens of thousands of Northern California homes and businesses starting Wednesday and lasting potentially into Friday.

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Potential PG&E blackouts could leave California homes without power until Friday

A dangerous combination of fast winds and low humidity at the height of fire season is expected to prompt power outages for tens of thousands of Northern California homes and businesses starting Wednesday and lasting potentially into Friday.



a tree with a mountain in the background: PG&E apprentice Oscar Rodulfo works to restore power along Los Alamos Rd. in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Customers throughout the region could face power shutoffs later this week as red flag fire warnings take effect.


© Noah Berger / Special To The Chronicle

PG&E apprentice Oscar Rodulfo works to restore power along Los Alamos Rd. in Santa Rosa, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. Customers throughout the region could face power shutoffs later this week as red flag fire warnings take effect.


Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has warned that about 54,000 customers in portions of 24 counties, including most Bay Area counties, will likely face preemptive electricity cuts intended to prevent wildfires caused by wind-damaged power lines.

Generators and other measures deployed by PG&E should keep the lights on for about 12,000 customers that would have otherwise lost power, according to Mark Quinlan, the company’s incident commander.

PG&E officials did not expect to make a final call about shutting off power lines until Wednesday morning. But if the forecast materializes as expected, electricity will go out mainly in two waves later that day, with a third possible on Thursday.

The shut-offs were expected to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday for 33,000 homes and businesses, primarily in the North Bay and northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Two hours later, the outages would move further south into the Sierras as well as targeted spots in the East Bay, South Bay, Peninsula and Central Coast.

Limited areas of Humboldt and Trinity counties could lose power late Thursday afternoon as the second of two rounds of anticipated Diablo winds blow through, PG&E said.

Electric service should be restored for everyone no later than Friday at 10 p.m. But company officials said they would look for opportunities to turn some lines back

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