Monday, January 14, 2013 - By Ben Berkowitz - 2 comments
Connected neighbors identify potentially life threatening situation to animals.(And also a history lesson as well a Civic Geek challenge)
To start this post we need to reiterate that calling 911 in an emergency should always be done prior to posting on SeeClickFix. As this issue documents there are many times when there is value created from calling 911 and then posting on SeeClickFix. In this case the issue did not necessarily constitute an emergency to the reporter and he was unsure if 911 was the appropriate channel. Thanks to open conversation we all got a little insight into a rare potentially dangerous event and how to handle it going forward. Ever heard of "Stray Voltage"? Neither had we until this post, but its real, and it can kill a human if left unattended.
On Wednesday a dog walker and SeeClickFix user, Concerned Resident, reported an unusual issue that he had suspected for some time but was not able to put his finger on. That was until he chatted with another dog walker in the neighborhood. Last year Concerned Resident used to walk his old dog by Grove Street Cemetery until one day the dog yelped and then later refused walking on that side of the street. He was skeptical about what was going on and asked a few folks what they thought. The only explanation that anyone came up with was "spirits from the cemetary." If any cemetery possesses spirits able to outrun the grave it's this one. To give some context to non-locals there are some once very powerful life-forces buried in Grove Street, so you can imagine that one might use some spiritual deduction in this case. As a quick history lesson notables buried in Grove Street include the Father of American Football (Walter Camp), the publisher of the modern English dictionary (Noah Webster), The Father of Thermodynamics (Josiah Gibbs aka the most likely suspect in this case), The inventor of vulcanized rubber (Charles Goodyear), The father of American Geography and Father of Samuel Morse (Jeddidiah Morse), a founding father and the only person to sign all 4 documents of American Sovereignty (Roger Sherman), many Senators and Congressman and SeeClickFix's personal favorite the inventor of the Cotton Gin (Eli Whitney).
Despite the lasting real-world effects of the spirits in Grove Street Concerned Resident was skeptical and put the thought aside. Until, in the past 6 months, he started walking his new dog by the Cemetery and was startled to find that this dog would not walk on that side of the street either. Recently he advised another dog walker to avoid that side of the street. The other walker replied that he already was avoiding that side on his dog's orders. In their conversation they raised the possibility of stray electrical voltage similar to the cause of death of Jodie Lane in NYC in 2004. Still skeptical that this was the case they were hesitant to call 911 and so Concerned Resident posted on SeeClickFix, Potentially Life Threatening Voltage Leakage On Sidewalk.
Fortunately New Haven has a host of responsible civil servants who chimed in to assist including the Livable Cities Initiative, The Emergency Operations Center and the Chief Administrative Officer. The Fire Department was notified immediately.
Concerned Resident (Guest)
RFM (Concerned Resident)
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