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Utilities must plan, respond

September 06, 2007

Re " 'Miserable' without electricity," Sept. 5

Every year the heat and humidity become oppressive all over Southern California, and yet our utilities seem never to expect it. They go blithely along, providing the power to illuminate Griffith Park with a tunnel, no less, of holiday lights, to heat our pools and provide light for our great sporting arenas. Why do utilities not make provisions for this annual occurrence? Why do their engineers say on news programs that "72 hours without power is not a terrible inconvenience"? Tell you what: Let's all pay our utility bills 72 hours late just this month, and see if the utility considers our tardiness an inconvenience or not.

Steven Parker

La Quinta, Calif.

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Re "Steaming over an abuse of power," column, Sept. 5

Thank you, Steve Lopez, for bringing awareness, and humor, to the incompetence at the L.A. Department of Water and Power. I own and operate a home for the developmentally disabled. Two of my homes have been without power for two days. This has put severely retarded and medically fragile clients at a major health risk. Although our evacuation plan has been enacted and the clients are safe and secure, their home is still without power. Upon speaking with representatives at DWP, when we could get through, and requesting priority status because of the major health and safety risk this outage posed to our clients, they responded, "Everyone is a priority." What they do not realize, in their simple liability-dodging answer, is that this form of logic breaks down quickly because if everyone is a priority, in actuality no one is. DWP's policies and service are putting disabled children at major risk.

Robert Nydam

Executive Director

Daybreak Care Center

Sun Valley

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