Dear Members,

It is hard to believe we are again approaching the end of another year. It has been one of ice and fire.

It seems only recently that we were experiencing above average snowfall and dealing with extremely low temperatures, and were concerned about predicted freezing rain events. Fortunately, the ice that clobbered areas west of us did not materialize here. The distribution system held up well under the deep snow, and few problems or outages occurred.

We are now gearing up for the winter of 2017­-2018. I hope you are, too! Please access the safety section of our website for preparedness information and other related topics.

More recently, wildfire approached our doorstep. Again, we did not experience the worst the event had to offer. At no time was our infrastructure endangered. The smoke and ash were a nuisance and caused discomfort. I was relieved that co­op members were not under evacuation orders. I am not aware that any businesses served by HREC were substantially impacted.

The wildfire, in particular, reinforced the importance we now place on electronic communications and social media notifications. I followed the daily fire reports on the county sheriff ’s website, Facebook page and the joint agency Incident Information System (InciWeb) website. More than 2,000 homes and businesses served by CACHE can access this information due to the fiber­optic and wireless internet infrastructure and services it delivers.

CACHE continues to be a technically and financially successful and growing endeavor. Three full­time employees, with help from other HREC staff, tend to the network’s day­today maintenance, expansion and upgrading. They are deploying the fourth iteration of wireless gear to enhance performance and reliability, and are exploring technology and options to enable affordable fiber­optic based internet service.

We—the board of directors and staff—appreciate the trust you extend in allowing us to provide essential electric and internet services. We look forward to serving you through the coming winter, whatever it may bring, and into 2018.

John Gerstenberger, Manager