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Last updateFri, 29 May 2015 4pm

LOS ANGELES Friday, May 29th 2015 9:19

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  • WHO WE ARE-Earlier this month, I arrived in San Diego following five days of driving across the country from Wisconsin. I pulled into my friend’s driveway, brought my things inside, and went back to my car to park it on the street. Almost immediately, a cop’s siren and flashing lights went off. I’d left my license in my friend’s apartment, so I…
  • The Hunting Ground: Human Truths of Campus Rape

    Susan Rose
    CALIFORNIA MOVES AGAINST RAPE-On May 13, California moved aggressively against rape on campuses, issuing a directive to all state colleges to “notify authorities when a sexual assault is reported.” Attorney General Kamala Harris and U.C. president Janet Napolitano jointly issued a set of guidelines to encourage collaboration between campuses and…
  • Santa Barbara Spill Underscores Why We Can’t Allow Arctic Oil Drilling

    Ryan Schleeter
    PLANET WATCH-Last week, a major oil spill in Santa Barbara County made headlines after a ruptured pipeline dumped as much as 105,000 gallons of crude oil on the California coastline. The spill stretches across roughly nine miles of state beach with tens of thousands of gallons entering marine protected areas in the Pacific Ocean. The spill took…
  • How Will David Ryu Honor His Campaign Pledges?

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In a race that focused on local issues, outsider David Ryu (photo) outpolled City Hall insider Carolyn Ramsay by almost 10 points (54.8% to 45.2%), representing a margin of over 2,300 votes. Yet, since less than 16% of Council District 4’s 153,000 registered voters bothered to vote, Ryu was supported by less than 9% of those eligible…
  • $15 an Hour: If This Ain't Socialism, Then What SHOULD We Call It?

    Ken Alpern
    CONSIDER THIS-Funny how when you accuse, or even suggest, to a liberal (or is it "progressive"? or is it "reformist"?) that he/she is socialist, they get all bent out of shape. One reason that Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont is so respected is that he says it like it is--he's a sincere socialist who means what he says and says what he means. One…
  • California Dreaming: Booms to Busts, the Optimists are Still Searching for the Gold

    James Preston Allen
    AT LENGTH-At a meeting I attended recently with the management of the Port of Los Angeles, a civic leader voiced his enduring optimism for a bright and successful future. I gave the unsolicited reply, “an ounce of skepticism is worth a pound of optimism.” Others at the meeting said aghast, “Oh, no. How would anything ever get accomplished?”…
  • LA’s Homeless: Not a lost Cause

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-I was both surprised and rather pleased about the reaction to my recent article. Apparently, many people in Los Angeles are realizing that the Homelessness isn’t just City Hall’s challenge but affects all of our neighborhoods. Even more important, it doesn’t just affect us economically but impacts our sense of humanity and fair play. Yes,…
  • Senate Race: Choosing Kamala or Loretta Comes Down to North vs. South … California

    Joe Mathews
    CONNECTING CALIFORNIA-Are you a Kamala or a Loretta? Attorney General Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez—the two leading candidates for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat next year—confront Californians with a choice. But it’s not a choice about competing policies or political visions. Californians don’t have political arguments about…
  • From Tragedy, Healing

    Mike Newhouse
    GUEST WORDS-In the days after Brendon Glenn was killed, in the heart of Venice, I was starkly reminded of one of our community's biggest challenges. But, my perspective may surprise you. What first came to mind was not how we police. It was not about racism or homelessness. It was not about mental illness, or the insidious nature of drug or…

 

  • Can Marijuana Really Kill Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    Marijuana enthusiasts have been speculating for years that pot can actually combat certain types of cancer, but it wasn’t until recently that…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…




Alert! World’s 10 most dangerous animals

Smashing good job. World’s leaders beating each other up

Trevor Noah warming up for takeover of the Daily Show

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Does DWP Deserve a Rate Increase?

LA WATCHDOG - Our Department of Water and Power is proposing to increase power rates over the next two years by 11%.  And DWP is also asking for another 5% increase in our water rates, which combined with the Water Quality increase in February, will approximate a 15% bump in water rates.
These rate increases will be used in part to fund DWP’s reliability programs that are necessary to keep the lights on and the water flowing.  

Needless to say, we do not want DWP’s water and power infrastructure to be in the condition of our streets, the second worst in the nation, courtesy of The Transportation Mayor and the City Council who have diverted money from our infrastructure to fund the $1.3 billion escalation in personnel costs during the profligate Villaraigosa era.

The rate increases will also fund numerous, very expensive environmental mandates, including, but certainly not limited to, the Renewable Portfolio Standards (33% renewable energy by 2020), Once Thru Cooling, AB 32 and the resulting Cap & Trade provisions involving carbon emissions, the Safe Water Drinking Act, and dust mitigation in the Owens Valley.

But should the Ratepayers have to foot the bill for the political follies and pet projects of the Mayor and City Council?

Just last week, Councilmember Ed Reyes stood before the DWP Board of Commissioners and essentially threatened to delay any rate increases because he did not approve of the considered decision of the DWP’s management to support the $25 million floating cover alternative for the Elysian Reservoir as opposed to his pet project, a $110 million concrete covered buried reservoir.

Ratepayers should be thankful that DWP resisted considerable political pressure and made the proper decision to support the floating cover that saved us $85 million.  

Nevertheless, the politically appointed Board of Commissioners, after scheming in the back room to overcome this potentially illegal expenditure, approved an additional set aside of $12.5 million for city parks. This payoff was in addition to $3.2 million of DWP recommended enhancements to Elysian Park.

Ratepayers throughout the City are also going to be socked for about $25 million a year to finance the excesses associated with the troubled $319 million Headworks Reservoir Project, an Eric Garcetti / Tom LaBonge pet project designed to preserve the million dollar views of the politically connected Silver Lake residents.

The Los Angeles River Ecosystem is yet another pet project where DWP will be bullied into spending many more millions of Ratepayer money in addition to the millions spent to date on the LA River, all in the name of “economic development” according to former General Manager Ron Deaton.

As for the Power System, a rate increase may not be necessary since the $250 million associated with the beloved 8% Transfer Fee to the City’s General Fund may be illegal as a result of Proposition 26 (The Supermajority Vote to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act) that was passed by California voters in November of 2010.

There are numerous questions that need to be answered before this $500 million increase in our water and power rates is approved.  

Why is the proposed increase of 11% in our electricity rates so much lower than the 25% rate increase that was requested in June?

Why is the proposed increase of 15% (including the February Water Quality hike) in our water rates so much lower than the 22% requested in June?

How efficient are DWP’s operations?

Is DWP overstaffed as a result of absorbing 1,600 City employees that cost in excess of $200 million a year?  

When will DWP institute benchmarking as recommended in the last two charter mandated Industrial, Economic, and Administrative Surveys so the Department can compare its operations to other regional utilities?

Why should Ratepayers be socked with an additional $800 million for the early phase out of the Arizona based, coal fired Navajo Generating Station, especially since the facility will continue operating for many more years?

How is DWP going to address the IBEW Labor Premium and its Cadillac medical plans that cost Ratepayers at least $250 million a year?  And that does not even include the costs associated with overly restrictive work rules?

What are rates going to be in 2021 when 33% of DWP’s energy will be from high cost sources of renewable energy?   

Does DWP need the money?  Yes.  But DWP does not deserve to be reimbursed for pet projects of City Hall and their well financed lobbyists.  That is the City’s responsibility.

Our Department of Water and Power and the Ratepayers’ wallets are not City Hall’s candy store.  

(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee and the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at:   lajack@gmail.com)
–cw

Tags: Jack Humphreville, LA Watchdog, LADWP, DWP, Ratepayers, Ratepayer Advocate









CityWatch
Vol 10 Issue 34
Pub: Apr 27, 2012

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