Ace: Every day I walk past the construction site on Maury Avenue for the Jefferson Scholars’ new building at UVA. One day, I looked up and saw a good size log—yes, log—hanging on an electric line that runs in front of the site. Every day as I walk underneath it I think: If that log falls on top of me, I will be flat as a frog run over by a car on the road. Why is that log hanging on the electric line and how in the Sam Hill does it continue to hang on the line? —Fluffy, Not Flat
Dear Fluffy, Coincidentally, Ace asks himself the same question every time he passes under a pair of sneakers dangling from a power line. There’s a particular pair near the CVS on Long Street that have been threatening to fall on Ace for years. Putting aside for a moment the gross quotient of getting hit in the face by a couple of old insoles, those shoelaces could tangle around a man’s neck, killing him easily. But a log sounds equally dangerous, and so Ace felt he must make an inquiry, and in so doing, perhaps save a life.
The new Jefferson Fellow Center at 124 Maury Ave. is going to be tremendous, a worthy bastion of Jeffersonian learning. Ace can deduce all of this from Google Street View. Unfortunately, Ace’s Dominion electrical contacts were not able to answer your inquiry because the power line in question does not belong to them. In fact, Ace could not find anyone to take responsibility for the controversial power line. But Ace’s man on the ground (i.e. his investigative intern) checked out the log and determined that the tree is a “remnant from a tree trimming.” Occasionally tree limbs embed themselves between power lines and if they don’t pose a threat to passersby, they’re let be by the powers that be. This means that the log hovering over your head is probably so firmly entangled that you won’t be flattened any time soon. Plus, as a bonus to your pristine cranium, the electrical service to a construction site is typically only temporary, meaning that the log could be cleaned up by the time of the new building’s unveiling. We’ll only know for sure when the new Jefferson Scholars move in and either move the log out or start singing a la Ren and Stimpy, “It’s log, it’s log/It’s big, its heavy, it’s wood/It’s log, it’s log, it’s better than bad, it’s good.”
You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.