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Water And Power

December 12, 1986
The disconnection of water service that occurred recently at an apartment building owned by an absentee landlord was an unfortunate one. But it sent a loud, clear message to us that there needs to be a revision of our policy on the disconnection of utility service for nonpayment of bills in multifamily dwellings. This new policy will include additional safeguards to further defend tenants caught in the middle of bill disputes. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's present policy involves many administrative steps to resolve delinquent bills.
November 25, 2004
Re "Mayor's Use of PR Firm Criticized," Nov. 20: It is interesting to learn that every time I turned on my lights or TV set, I've been charged without my knowledge for the mayor's speechwriters and miscellaneous public relations expenses. This is not the way to improve the city's image, as the mayor claims, when you consider what kind of message it conveys about city operation. It raises the question of what other items the city hides in our electricity bills that are not related to the production or delivery of electricity, or operation of the city-owned utility.
March 1, 2011 | David Lazarus
Kimberly Vincelli may not be the poster girl for reforming the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. But her case illustrates the need for a ratepayer advocate that people could turn to when they feel they're getting muscled by the utility. Vincelli, 53, of Tarzana received a residential bill for almost $18,000. Something's clearly wrong when a bill gets that high, and Vincelli believed she wasn't to blame. An examination of her DWP records suggests that maybe if she'd paid her water and power bills more diligently, she wouldn't be facing this trouble now. But the utility also appears to be at fault for not explaining things clearly to a customer who says she repeatedly tried to get straight answers, and for keeping the lights on for years as unpaid bills piled up. Vincelli's situation highlights the lack of a readily accessible resource for ratepayers having trouble with the country's largest municipally owned utility, a place where they could deal with folks who are ostensibly on their side.
May 11, 2008
Re "Rules limit home size, hotel conversion in L.A.," May 7 Critics of the Los Angeles City Council's modest anti-mansionization ordinance are spreading misinformation by stating that limiting home sizes will cause property values to fall. Further, there is ample proof that houses adjacent to the mansions are the ones that suffer devaluation, as having a home next to a structure the size of a small apartment building drives buyers away. Considering that the mayor and the Department of Water and Power are asking city residents to cut back on water and electricity use, it is amazing that the city continues to allow mansionization without levying higher use taxes for energy-inefficient vaulted ceilings, removing old-growth trees and excessive size.
February 6, 2009 | David Zahniser
Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick said Thursday that she is against the solar energy plan known as Measure B. She said the proposal was rushed through the City Council without sufficient review and noted that there are two reports with widely divergent cost estimates for the plan to add 400 megawatts of solar panels to parking lots, rooftops and other surfaces by 2014. Chick made her remarks as she unveiled a 223-page report on the Department of Water and Power that says the agency has not determined how much more its ratepayers would have to pay for the shift to solar, wind and geothermal energy.
August 21, 2006
Re "Council Imposes Labor Pact; Walkout Possible," Aug. 16 The breadth of professional talent that spans the membership of the Engineers and Architects Assn. fashions a good portion of what might be seen as the human backbone of Los Angeles city government. Why wouldn't city management want the same for association members as it does for other represented employee groups, especially Department of Water and Power employees? Airport employees are willing to work for DWP workers' wage scales, in spite of their overwhelming economic advantage to the city.
November 8, 2008 | David Zahniser
The City Council placed a measure on the March 3 ballot that would add 400 megawatts of solar power throughout Los Angeles by 2014 -- all of which would be installed by the Department of Water and Power. In an 11-0 vote, the council went forward with the measure, which was sponsored by the labor advocacy group Working Californians. That group is co-chaired by two high-level officials with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which represents DWP employees. Council members said they had made changes to the proposal to reassure business leaders and environmentalists.
February 28, 1985
The 5 1/2-hour power failure in West Los Angeles and part of the San Fernando Valley was caused by a malfunction in the wiring that controls a power station's circuit breakers, officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power said. The malfunction Tuesday tripped the breakers and interrupted the flow of electricity to 18 smaller distribution plants, the officials said.
September 22, 1990
Midge fly larvae stewing from the drought and summer heat forced the Department of Water and Power to shut down the Rowena Reservoir in Los Feliz Friday for the second time this summer. Service will not be interrupted. Robert DiPrimio, a sanitary engineer with the department, said the closure was prompted by about a dozen complaints from residents who found the tiny, thread-like larvae coming out of their water faucets.
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