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Last updateThu, 02 Jul 2015 6pm

LOS ANGELES Saturday, July 4th 2015 6:38

 OUR 4TH OF JULY DIFFERENCES

The Declaration of Independence Meant Something Different to America’s Not So Independent Slaves

Amy Goodman
WHO WE ARE-“What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July?” asked Frederick Douglass (photo above) of the crowd gathered at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, NY, on July 5, 1852. “I answer,” he continued, “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which lie is the constant victim. To him,…

Trumping Trump: Shun the Donald, Boycott His Palos Verdes Golf Course

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-I believe that it's really Donald Trump's hair. I seem to be unique in this belief. It's nice to be unique in some way, but what bothers me is that I have also been nearly unique, until now, in arguing that Trump should be shunned and boycotted. But times change. It's been a traumatic week both for Donald Trump and for the…

LA’s Sidewalks: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-The City of Los Angeles is expected to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to repair our sidewalks pursuant to a Settlement Agreement involving the Willits class action lawsuit that alleged that the City was not in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. While the yet to be disclosed Settlement Agreement appears to…

Is It Really a Golden State or Is It Just One of Those Hollywood Illusions?

Dennis Zine
JUST THE FACTS-Is Los Angeles really part of a Golden State or is it a place to remember as you move to greener pastures? I pose this question following my recent visit to Chicago and other cities east of the Rockies. My travels to the east coast were part of my reserve LAPD duty. I was part of the group of LAPD Reserve Officers escorting the…

Want to Save The Bullet Train, Governor … Get Better Bullet Points!

Ken Alpern
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-George W. Bush had Iraq. Barack Obama has ObamaCare. And Jerry Brown has HIS bullet train. Not OUR bullet train, mind you, but HIS bullet train. And like Iraq, and like ObamaCare, the bullet train that was meant to help all of us, and which was promoted with great fanfare and wonderful intentions, has to survive the test of…

LA: Hit-and-Run Capital of the World May Be Getting an Alert System

Damien Newton
LA’S STREETS - After last week’s warning that CA Assemblymember Mike Gatto’s legislation to create a “Yellow Alert” system was imperiled by Senate Transportation and Housing Committee staff and the California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) objections, there was a feeling of a looming showdown before today’s committee hearing. Assembly Bill 8 would create…

LA’s Citywide Sign Ordinance: By, For and Of Special Interests

Barbara Broide
IRATE PRIVATE CITIZEN’S OPEN LETTER-I write this letter not as a representative of my local homeowners association or neighborhood council, both of which have come out in support of the sign ordinance that limits new signage to sign districts in specified commercially zoned areas and who seek enforcement of and the issuance of citations to signs…

Now Is the Time For True Courage

Abby Zimet
FURTHER-Britanny 'Bree' Newsome - the filmmaker, organizer, activist and aspiring Super-Woman who memorably, determinedly climbed the flagpole at South Carolina's capitol to remove the Confederate flag - has spoken out for the first time about her feat, which she views "both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power…

When Did the American Civil War Really End and … Did Shenandoah Really Save the Whales?

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE - When did the American Civil War end? Could it really have been late June or early November of 1865? April 9, 1865 is the date widely accepted, and for good reason: it marked the surrender of General Lee’s army at Appomattox, Virginia. It was a foregone conclusion that other field commands would quickly follow suit. In fact, they did,…

 

  • Costco: Free Range Liars!

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS POLITICS-Eight years ago grocery retailer Costco (COST) pledged to transition out of using eggs from chickens in small cages to cage free…
  • 10 Things Over-Thinkers Are Tired Of Over-Thinking

    Lindsay Holmes
    WELLNESS-While writing this intro, I deleted the first paragraph approximately six times. My thoughts ranged from "Just get to the point already" to…
  • Can Procrastination Give You a Heart Attack?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-A study posted in the journal of behavioral medicine linked procrastination with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Specifically…



Sun Jul 05, 2015 @ 5:00PM - 09:00PM
Twilight in the Garden: Little Tokyo Concert Series
Thu Jul 16, 2015 @12:00AM
LA Equality Awards RSVP
Thu Jul 30, 2015 @ 6:00PM - 08:00PM
A Taste of Chatsworth


Fail! Fail! Americans don’t know why we celebrate the 4th of July

Awwww! Tornado separates dog and owner … dog waits!

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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