At the tail end of a ferocious storm this winter, I checked on our Moonshine Ink office and when I saw what had happened, my heart sunk. The power main, ripped off the building by roof snowshed, lay askance amid a shrapnel blend of wood and metal. A rather large snowbank had broken the conduit’s fall, and I murmured fervent gratitude that no fire had ignited, and that our world headquarters still stood.
Emergency personnel who responded to my call were excellent and supportive (the Matt Parkhurst, creator of the Prosser roundabout ants, came from Truckee Fire). Within 15 minutes, the power line was cut, the water main shut off, and a plan of action was sketched out.
The big question mark was, would we be able to find an electrician to do the work. I had been trying for a few years to find one who would fix this problem that had been staring me in the face — a “cricket” (a shield for the power connector) had been creeping down the roof and the conduit was bent from the pressure. Every contractor who had showed up ended up deflecting, saying they didn’t have the bandwidth. Here I was, in the same boat, with higher stakes.
The utility district personnel gave me a list of electricians they work with; I called several that afternoon. Early the next morning, a friend and office vendor shared a Nextdoor post extolling the virtues of AJ Electric. I called and left a voicemail. Owner Anthony Jimenez called me back within two hours. I told him the situation and he said, “That sounds urgent. Let me stop by.”
Anthony and his subcontractor, Geremy Johnston of Tahoe Ridge Electric, fit us into their schedule, cleared snow around the power main, established a plan, and had us energized within three days. A.Mazing.
I asked Anthony why he decided to take on our project when there is no doubt he had enough work. His answer was commitment to community.
“We heard last year there were a bunch of elderly people actually not having power in their house during these outages,” Anthony said. “So we kind of just dedicated this winter for that … if there’s an emergency and you give us a call and we answer, we’re there.”
Anthony, a Kings Beach resident for 20 years, credits the school program Adventure, Risk, and Challenge with pushing him to be mindful of community. He started electrical work at his uncle’s company, and recently branched out to his own business. The initials in AJ Electric honor being the third generation with his name.
“I’d like to see every business doing well. I don’t feel like any business should be really left out in the community,” he said. “When I mean growth, I mean everybody works as a group. That’s the circle of life right there.”
Info: AJ Electric, (530) 386-2191
Tahoe Ridge Electric, (530) 386-8870