Among the several reasons for delays in restoring power reported to be given by "Austin Energy" in a front-page story in the May 8 edition of the local daily were: (a) "Access to utility poles is difficult in older neighborhoods, where most of the outages occurred. Workers cannot use bucket trucks. Transformers weighing as much as 700 pounds have to be maneuvered into place by hand." (b) "Although more than 340 workers were deployed to restore power, safety concerns limited the number of crews that could work at the same time in the core of the city, where damage was concentrated." What was done before the advent of bucket trucks? What safety concerns? Don't we have enough people who still know how to use a climbing belt and gaffs? It's a given that, in older neighborhoods, access is from narrow alleys (if they haven't been privatized for next to no money) or through yards where distances between neighboring houses are extremely narrow and there is very often no driveway even if it's not possible to reach out and touch a structure on either side at the same time. Why are 700-pound transformers being installed in older neighborhoods, replacing ones that appear to be a quarter to a fifth the size? Is it to make way for super-large residences or for the oft-proposed rezonings to multi-family dwellings? Is "Austin Energy" locked in with too few linemen? The trucks around town replacing utility poles (with much larger ones) say "Shaw." If these Shaw contract employees were City ("Austin Energy") employees, they could be reassigned from pole replacement to power restoration. There may be no such flexibility built in to contracts with Shaw or other providers of out-sourced services. All the outages known about here were the result of lightning strikes or hurricane-like winds just plain snapping the lines. "Austin Energy" couldn't use "squirrels" as a reason this time, so it has resorted to "trees." In conditions this extreme, any full-grown oak or pecan anywhere on a small, older city lot that goes down is likely to cause some sort of damage, either out in the street or to a structure or perhaps even to transmission lines, with the combination of gale winds and saturated soil. This has nothing to do with mutilating everything green within 17 feet on either side of utility lines, but recent events will probably be used as an excuse to do so. Using the logic favored, one would be led to believe that it's necessary to clear-cut the entire city, even though one report did note that there's little difference in outage rates reported as between areas with "line-clearance programs" and those with trees left untouched by Asplundh and Davey thus far.