CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 2013 |
The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday cleared the way for Mayor Eric Garcetti to overhaul the five-member panel that oversees the city's electricity and water utility. On a 15-0 vote, the council confirmed four new commissioners at the Department of Water and Power: former U.S. Rep. Mel Levine, political consultant Jill Banks Barad, attorney William Funderburk Jr. and foundation director Michael Fleming. The four will join Christina Noonan, who was appointed to the panel three years ago by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
August 20, 2013 |
In the midst of this year's mayoral campaign, the union representing most Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees made city officials an offer they apparently couldn't refuse. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 would scrap the pay hike its members were due beginning Oct. 1 and instead start in on a new multiyear deal featuring three straight years without cost-of-living increases - the first no-raise years at the utility in two decades. There would be up to a 4% base salary increase in the contract's final year, pension concessions of a sort and a somewhat convoluted claim that DWP workers would for the first time ever contribute toward their healthcare costs.
August 12, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO - Preparing for months of battle over who should pay the estimated $4.1-billion cost of permanently shutting down the San Onofre nuclear power plant, which closed in June, Southern California Edison has launched a public relations campaign suggesting that ratepayers pick up part of the cost. Who pays - ratepayers, stockholders, equipment manufacturers or insurers - is expected to be a long and thorny dispute before state and federal regulatory agencies as well as in the courts.
August 7, 2013 |
Terry noticed that his gas bill was double what he had paid for the same month last year. He called the gas company and was told that his bill had been estimated because no one actually had looked at his meter. Say what? Terry wants to know what the deal is with estimated utility bills. More videos from Ask Laz It's a growing problem. Utilities nationwide are seeing their customer base grow as the population increases but are cutting back on staff to save money. Their solution: estimated bills.
July 27, 2013 |
In the automotive world, no one is more loyal than a truck owner. Lassie on her best day couldn't match the fidelity of someone who buys a particular brand of pickup. Once they choose Ford or Chevy or Dodge, usually only a pine box lures them away. With this in mind, the goal of the next-generation Chevrolet Silverado wasn't to lure new buyers with extraneous bells and whistles. Rather, the 2014 model, rolling into dealerships now, aims to give the Chevy faithful exactly what they liked about their existing trucks, while correcting previous flaws.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2013 |
Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power has paid thousands of employees a total of $35.5 million since 2010 in extra sick days under an unusual program that the utility's top executive acknowledges has been vulnerable to abuse. DWP employees benefit from a 32-year-old policy that allows them to take paid days off well beyond the agency's 10-day-a-year cap on sick days. Last year, 10% of the department's roughly 10,000 employees took at least 10 extra days off, the data show. More than 220 took an extra 20 working days off, or about a month, according to a Times examination of data obtained under the California Public Records Act. In fact, records and interviews show, there is no limit to the paid time off DWP employees can take when they say they're sick, and requirements to provide medical proof of their illness have been loosely enforced.
July 16, 2013 |
A John Deere utility vehicle that Oxnard High's baseball and softball programs use to drag the school fields was stolen two weekends ago, baseball Coach Al Tarazon said. The school is hoping for donations to replace it. It was discovered missing on July 8. Nothing else was taken, Athletic Director Rick Garcia said. Eric.firstname.lastname@example.org
July 16, 2013 |
After holding public hearings around the state, the California Public Utilities Commission is expected to propose improvements to California Lifeline - a program that offers discounted phone service to the poor - by year's end. But state lawmakers, backed by phone and cable companies, are trying to rush through their own update for the program before the commission acts. Their bill has the right goal: giving low-income consumers more choices, including wireless and Internet-based phone service.
July 13, 2013 |
Electric car owners can get special discounts from utilities to charge their vehicles at home, but the amounts vary widely among power companies, according to a new study of charging costs. The study by Northeast Group calculated that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers pay 53 cents per gallon of gas equivalent to charge at home, 40 cents cheaper than the average cost of discount programs nationwide. Southern California Edison customers choose from one of two discounted rate plans, depending on their usage habits, costing $1.11 or $1.24 per gallon equivalent.
July 9, 2013 |
Hoping that the best years are not in the rear-view mirror for its Acura luxury line, American Honda Motor Co. is shifting into high gear for the introduction of its redesigned 2014 MDX sport utility vehicle. The U.S. sales arm of the Japanese automaker typically has kept a low advertising profile for Acura. But that's about to change. This week, American Honda in Torrance plans to roll out its largest-ever national advertising campaign for an Acura model, a marketing push that also is being closely watched in the Los Angeles advertising industry.