Devastating Storm, Salvation Army Door of Hope, and Happy Fourth of July

I wish everyone well in the Washington DC area after the devastating storm that passed through this past Friday evening. It is my understanding that at least 17 people were killed and more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in the Washington area were left without power as a result of the storm, which blew hurricane-force winds across a 700-mile-long path from Illinois to New Jersey. This storm occurred during a record-setting heat wave, which greatly increased the suffering of those affected. As of Monday afternoon, almost half-a-million businesses and homes were still without power in the Washington area, and many customers may be left without electricity — and air conditioning and refrigeration — through the end of this week. The video and photographs of the devastation are sobering, and I hope that the affected areas and residents are able to recover quickly.

This storm again points out the current fragile state of our nation’s power grid and infrastructure, and it reminds me of the blackout that we suffered here in Southern California in September 2011. According to reports, up to 7 million people were affected by the blackout at its peak, which was blamed on an error made by a technician who was replacing a capacitor bank on a 500 kV line at a power substation in Arizona. The error cascaded through the entire Southern California power grid over the course of 11 minutes, ultimately resulting in the widespread blackout which lasted many hours. I am sure that our enemies have taken note of these weaknesses in our infrastructure, and will attempt to exploit them if and when they decide the time is right.

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On Tuesday, June 26th, Betty and I attended the Salvation Army Door of Hope construction kick-off for its new Transitional Living Center here in San Diego. This new building will provide shelter and services for homeless women and children as they try to rebuild their lives. We have been supporters of the Door of Hope for several years, and we are pleased with the good work they are doing there.

After attending the construction kick-off, Betty and I went to Baci’s Italian restaurant on Morena Boulevard. We were frequent patrons there many years ago, and our visit brought back many pleasant memories. I have included a photo of Betty and me from the Door of Hope event below.

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I hope you all have a very happy Fourth of July holiday, whatever you decide to do to celebrate. We will likely have lunch at the Beach and Tennis Club, then watch the fireworks at our daughter Mary Ann’s house that evening. Her home is perfectly situated on Mount Soledad to watch the pyrotechnics over La Jolla Cove.

— Bob