Snow, ice, power lines down, thousands in the cold darkness in their homes. Again and again. News media full of stories about utility workers putting in heroic hours, cutting branches, fixing wires, people suffering.

And through all of this, no one mentions something obvious – spending the millions each storm costs on a massive nationwide project instead and doing something different with the wires. Different than stringing them on poles the way our parents and grandparents did many decades ago.

Is a wireless system as unheard-of as wireless telephones were 50 years ago? Are underground wires more expensive than the cost of dozens of storms each winter? How about at least talking about something more than the latest outage count and how awful the weather is?

John Widdows

Portland