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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 27, 2009 | Phil Willon
Heeding calls to conserve water and power, Los Angeles residents have significantly reduced water use and installed enough energy-efficient appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs to save an amount of power equal to that used by 53,000 homes, city officials said Wednesday. "Angelenos didn't just meet the challenge, they exceeded it," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a Wednesday morning news conference. With strict watering restrictions that limit landscape irrigation to Mondays and Thursdays, the amount of water used by city residents in July declined by 17% compared with the same month the year before, Villaraigosa said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2014 | By Emily Alpert Reyes
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power resumed sending out automatic notices to customers who are short on their bills this week, months after halting the practice amid alarm over erroneous charges. The effort is meant to help mop up a revenue shortfall of more than $300 million. Assistant general manager of customer service Sharon Grove said automatic collections have been resuming in phases, starting with commercial customers who have owed more than $10,000 for more than 90 days.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Ordinarily, I don't spend more than an hour or so at a time in Los Angeles City Hall. I get in and out of there, quick as a burglar, to avoid having my judgment impaired. I thought longingly about that approach on Friday, when I attended a windy public hearing on a proposed new contract for employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. For the first two hours, public officials explained the contract, in mostly rosy terms. It wasn't perfect, they said, but pretty good.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 15, 2014 | Steve Lopez
If somehow you missed the news that California is drier than a stale tortilla, the Amber Alert signs have come to the rescue with highway bulletins like this one: "Serious drought, help save water. " This is helpful to a point, I suppose, and I like the creative use of highway signs heretofore reserved largely for safety warnings or child abductions. If Caltrans would consider pushing the boundaries even further, I'd spring for a sign that says: "Hey, Brian D'Arcy, where's our $40 million?"
OPINION
May 15, 2003
"Outside PR Consultant Reaps Millions From City" (May 9), about the public relations fees paid by the L.A. Department of Water and Power, was silent as to the reason these fees were incurred in the first place. The DWP is a public agency and has a captive clientele for its water and power services. We have received our water and power from this agency for 26 years, and it has never been suggested that there is an alternate source for these services. Why, then, would it require the services of a PR firm?
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 1991 | KEVIN THOMAS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Pat O'Neill's unique and audacious "Water and Power" is almost certainly the first experimental feature to receive a regular run in a local theater since Bunuel's "L'Age d'Or." (It's at the Monica 4-Plex for one week as part of the AFI USA Independent Showcase.) The film's title makes it sound like a documentary, but it is yet another of O'Neill's witty, vibrant, kaleidoscopic visions of the world in which we live.
OPINION
March 28, 2011 | Jim Newton
One of the exasperating facts of contemporary Los Angeles politics is that City Hall is beset with problems, but its critics are often as misguided as its culprits. That's certainly true when it comes to the Department of Water and Power. In the recent City Council elections, a number of challengers — and incumbents — argued that the DWP is a cesspool of overspending and that the utility's excessive electricity rates stiff consumers to prop up a bloated city bureaucracy. Persuaded, city voters approved two measures intended to rein in the DWP, including the creation of a ratepayer advocate.
OPINION
April 7, 2010
Los Angeles is suddenly back in a deep and immediate financial crisis, and this time it's not a result of recession, the mortgage meltdown or a persistent structural deficit. All those things pushed the city to the brink, but officials had begun dealing with the problem by making painful yet necessary program and job cuts. Now, just as the city was backing away from the edge, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Department of Water and Power are trying to see just how far over it the city can hang without falling.
OPINION
November 19, 2012 | Jim Newton
Los Angeles owes an old debt to the Owens Valley. It was there, a century ago, that representatives of this ambitious city quietly bought up water rights from unsuspecting farmers and then diverted the Owens River into a newly built aqueduct that brought Sierra snowmelt south and made Los Angeles possible. Owens Lake was emptied so that Los Angeles might prosper. But how far does that debt extend? Is Los Angeles forever on the hook for the actions of its forefathers? And to the extent that it is possible to restore some of the Owens Valley, what would make it whole?
OPINION
June 30, 2010 | By Mark Gold
A recent audit of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power by City Controller Wendy Gruel criticized the agency for its lack of transparency. The DWP, she concluded, has "lost the trust of the public." And why shouldn't the public have lost trust? Long before the DWP's recent fight with the mayor and City Council over rate hikes, the agency had ceased to inspire confidence. The utility burned through nine general managers in 10 years, during which time maintaining the status quo was a much higher priority than moving the City forward.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 | By Jack Dolan
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power union leader Brian D'Arcy's effort to "clear the air" and explain what happened to more than $40 million in ratepayer money paid to two nonprofits has failed to convince city leaders calling for full accounting of the groups' expenditures. Instead, Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Controller Ron Galperin and City Atty. Mike Feuer said Wednesday they would ramp up actions to determine how the money was spent. The three citywide elected leaders said an opinion piece by D'Arcy in the Los Angeles Times defending the spending, and his release of an audit conducted by a firm hired by the nonprofits, falls far short of the full accounting they have been seeking for nearly six months.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2013 | By David Zahniser
The head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Wednesday that his agency has stopped issuing shut-off notices as it tackles problems associated with as many as 70,000 late or inaccurate customer bills. Faced with questions from City Council members upset over the billing debacle, DWP General Manager Ron Nichols said his agency also will not initiate new collections on unpaid bills through the end of the year. Since the DWP switched to new customer software three months ago, ratepayers have experienced delayed charges, bills that are dramatically higher than they should be and long hold times when they call demanding answers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
Frustrated by their struggle to learn how two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power nonprofit institutes spent more than $40 million of ratepayers' money, commissioners of the publicly owned utility voted Tuesday to cut off funding to the organizations and asked the city controller to perform a sweeping audit of the accounts. The two organizations, the Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, are co-run by DWP General Manger Ron Nichols and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18 business manager Brian D'Arcy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 19, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has directed an estimated $40 million in ratepayer money to two nonprofit groups charged with improving relations with the utility's largest employee union, but the agency claims to have scant information on how the public funds have been spent. The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute, controlled by DWP managers and union leaders, have received up to $4 million per year since their creation more than a decade ago after a contentious round of job cutbacks at one of the nation's largest municipal utilities.
NATIONAL
September 17, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
LEFTHAND CANYON, Colo. - By late summer, Left Hand Creek is usually a gentle stream that gurgles through this tranquil, tree-shaded neighborhood of spacious lots. It was anything but that last week when rain-swollen waters enveloped houses, turned roads into riverbeds and sent cars tumbling downstream. Hui Lam fled before dawn Thursday after the creek came thundering across his driveway and down Streamcrest Drive. "It's completely surrounded by water," Lam, 41, said as he surveyed the area Tuesday, his house perched precariously against the current of brown, rushing water at the mouth of Lefthand Canyon.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 17, 2013 | Steve Lopez
Ordinarily, I don't spend more than an hour or so at a time in Los Angeles City Hall. I get in and out of there, quick as a burglar, to avoid having my judgment impaired. I thought longingly about that approach on Friday, when I attended a windy public hearing on a proposed new contract for employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. For the first two hours, public officials explained the contract, in mostly rosy terms. It wasn't perfect, they said, but pretty good.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 16, 2009 | By Phil Willon and David Zahniser
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power announced Tuesday that it has shelved plans for a 970-acre solar farm near the Salton Sea, just as members of the City Council signaled that they were unprepared to support the project. The DWP's interim general manager, S. David Freeman, said he was troubled by the costs of the 55-megawatt project, which had been slated to go up on land purchased by the utility in 2006. Freeman made his comments moments after Councilwoman Jan Perry, who heads the council's Energy and the Environment Committee, said she planned to send the solar project back to the DWP for more work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 2013 | By David Zahniser
The head of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said Wednesday that his agency has stopped issuing shut-off notices as it tackles problems associated with as many as 70,000 late or inaccurate customer bills. Faced with questions from City Council members upset over the billing debacle, DWP General Manager Ron Nichols said his agency also will not initiate new collections on unpaid bills through the end of the year. Since the DWP switched to new customer software three months ago, ratepayers have experienced delayed charges, bills that are dramatically higher than they should be and long hold times when they call demanding answers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 15, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and David Zahniser
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday set the stage for a potentially messy confrontation with the City Council, saying he would refuse to sign a proposed salary deal with the politically potent union representing Department of Water and Power workers. Local 18 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ran a fierce campaign against Garcetti, whose main argument in the mayoral election in May was that he could be trusted to stand up for DWP ratepayers. In a written statement, Garcetti said the union-endorsed contract proposal included cost savings that were worth pursuing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
Responding to public criticism of an unusually generous sick pay policy, Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power said Wednesday it will immediately begin requiring employees to provide a doctor's note for absences of three or more days. The rule change comes less than a week after The Times reported on a 32-year-old policy that has allowed thousands of DWP employees to take far more fully paid sick days than allowed by the agency's 10-day-a-year cap. Since 2010, the department has paid employees more than $35.5 million for 103,802 extra sick days, the equivalent of 415 years of lost productivity, according to a Times examination of data obtained under the California Public Records Act. "The revelations from last week were simply outrageous" and prompted City Hall leaders to demand action, said Yusef Robb, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti.
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