Some of Berkeleyside took a quick vacation over the weekend. We returned home late Sunday night, but when I eagerly went downstairs to check the latest in yesterday’s Netherlands vs Slovakia World Cup match, I found a blank TV. No signal. We also had no phone and no Internet. “Damn that Comcast,” I thought.

A call to Comcast revealed that they couldn’t see any signal going to our house. So they dispatched an engineer. When Corey Johnson showed up a little over two hours later, he found the problem pretty swiftly. The cable to our house had been severed. Here’s what we found in the street:

A helpful neighbor came out of his house to say that crews had been tree-trimming in our street at the end of last week. What seems to have happened is that trimming a branch had led to severing a cable. I assumed it was the City of Berkeley doing the trimming, but a helpful woman in the city’s forestry department checked the records and found it wasn’t them.

The culprits? PG&E. PG&E outsource their arborist work to The Davey Tree Expert Company.  Davey may have been tree experts since 1880, but I find it astounding that when they take down a cable, no one bothers to do anything about it. They just leave the coiled cable lying in the street, for someone else to figure out.

Whatever Davey did, it also seems to have dramatically lowered some of the wires across the street from our house:

I’m just over 6-foot tall, and I can reach up and touch that telephone cable without jumping. That can’t be good.

Update, 12.08pm: Well, the power of the press. Phil Gibbons, area manager of Davey, just rang the bell on my house with this post in hand. Turns out it wasn’t Davey. They had crews in Tilden last week, but none in the Elmwood. His guess is that the cable was broken by a tall truck clipping a low cable. I’m sorry I wrongly implicated Davey and PG&E. I’m very impressed at the speed of their reply and their determination to set things straight.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...