(SF Gate.com) There was joy Monday in Middle Earth, and Oakland, too: Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials have changed their minds and will not evict thousands of gnomes nestling on their utility poles.
The reprieve came shortly after the utility announced it would remove the diminutive, hand-painted creatures that have been proliferating around Lake Merritt for six months on the grounds they were "compromising" utility equipment.
"We received a great deal of public feedback, so we're declaring the poles gnome-man's land. We're not going to remove them," PG&E spokesman Jason King said. "We're committed to working with the artist, the city and the community to find a peaceful resolution."
Gift to community
The gnome paintings, which have been screwed to the base of utility poles in Haddon Hill, Adams Point and other neighborhoods, have invoked much love in a beleaguered city that's been struggling with the state's worst violent crime problem.
They've inspired dozens of delighted blog posts and tweets, and have been the talk of almost every cafe and preschool.
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