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Last updateMon, 25 May 2015 2pm

LOS ANGELES Thursday, May 28th 2015 2:53

WAGE RAISE RAGE

  • WHO WE ARE-Nearly half of Los Angeles just gave itself a raise. Following a wave of state and local minimum-wage bills and initiatives, Los Angeles became one of the largest cities to dramatically raise its hourly base pay and join Seattle to hit the magic $15-an-hour demand pushed by labor and community groups nationwide. The City Council…
  • ​City Snookered by Westfield Billionaires

    Jack Humphreville
    LA WATCHDOG-In March of 2014, the Herb Wesson led City Council and Mayor Eric Garcetti approved a 25 year, $48 million giveaway to help the $28.5 billion Westfield Corporation finance its $250 million development, The Village at Westfield Topanga. (Photo) But this subsidy championed by Councilman Bob Blumenfield was hardly necessary as The Village…
  • Slick With Denial: ‘Self-Regulation’ and the Latest Oil Spill

    Judith Lewis Mernit
    HISTORY LESSONS IGNORED-On Wednesday, May 20, the day after a Santa Barbara County fire inspector discovered a stream of contaminated crude oil flowing onto a pristine segment of the Southern California coast, a group of researchers published a study linking the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill to a mass die-off of bottlenose dolphins. The 46…
  • Scaremongering about the Patriot Act Sunset

    Jameel Jaffer
    FALSE CLAIMS EXPOSED-In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator…
  • Still the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave

    Ken Alpern
    ALPERN AT LARGE-It's been another year and another successful Flag Placement at the West Los Angeles National Cemetery. Crawling out of bed in the morning on a holiday weekend to show up bright and early for a show of American patriotism and respect to our veterans and fallen heroes, the region and nation saw yet again how the Boy Scouts, Girl…
  • Retaliation: VA Police Target Veterans

    Robert L. Rosebrock
    LOS ANGELES – Recently, I was interviewed by John Ismay, an Iraqi War Veteran who is the “Veterans and Military Issues Reporter” for Southern California Public Radio. We met at the Los Angeles VA to discuss the never-ending misappropriation of land at this largest VA in the nation, within our nation’s capital for homeless Veterans. We were…
  • City Controller’s Grandstanding DWP Audit is the Real Waste of Ratepayer Dollars

    Dennis Zine
    JUST THE FACTS-City Controller Ron Galperin’s Grandstanding DWP Audit results were finally released. Unfortunately, the conclusion and political spin that came afterwards from the controller was misleading. Here are the FACTS: The DWP’s Joint Training Institute and Joint Safety Institute are administered by DWP managers and representatives of the…
  • A Place Where ‘Special Interest’ is NOT a Dirty Word

    Denyse Selesnick
    MY TURN-We need to have a new word to differentiate the villainous “Special Interest” that everyone is always complaining about and the “Special Interest” that almost all of politicians and civic and social activists have adopted as a cause. It is impossible to have passion about multiple issues. I know I have mentioned this before, but it seems…
  • Alert! America’s Small Businesses are Being Screwed by Big Business

    Robert Reich
    THE ECONOMY-Can it be that America’s small businesses are finally waking up to the fact they’re being screwed by big businesses? For years, small-business groups such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses have lined up behind big businesses lobbies. (Photo: small businesses in Studio City) They’ve contributed to the same Republican…

 

  • Can Strawberries Help Fight Cancer?

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-There have been a number of studies over the years that could show evidence of strawberries fighting off cancer. Tong Chen lead a study…
  • Study: The Best Way to Quit Smoking … Bet On It

    Francie Diep
    WELLNESS-Oftentimes, money speaks louder than words. Apparently, that aphorism applies to cigarettes too. A new study finds that money incentives…
  • Exercise Can Help Anxiety … Here’s How

    Christian Cristiano
    WELLNESS-Statistics show that over 3 million American adults suffer from anxiety and there is no evidence that number will be declining any time…




ICYMI-Amy Schumer shows Dave her vagina

Remembering Ann Meara: 1929-2015

The Star Spangled Banner … like you’ve never heard it before

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

Pet Project Alert: The $110 Million Elysian Reservoir-Park

LA WATCHDOG - Ratepayers of the Department of Water and Power are being asked to foot the $110 million bill for the construction of a 55 million gallon underground reservoir to replace the existing Elysian Reservoir and for the creation of a new 12 acre recreation area on top of the new subterranean reservoir.

Yet this recommendation is vastly more expensive than the $25 million Floating Cover alternative recommended by DWP management in 2008.

So this begs two questions.

Should Ratepayers be required to pay the princely ransom of $85 million for a 12 acre park that is really the obligation of the City and the Department of Recreation and Parks?

And what City Councilmen are pressuring DWP to adopt the much more expensive alternative?

The Elysian Reservoir is located in Elysian Park, just north of downtown, in Ed Reyes’ Council District 1 and adjacent to Eric Garcetti’s Council District 13.  The reservoir covers six acres, contains 55 million gallons of drinking water, and serves 285,000 people in an area covering 24 square miles which includes Echo Park, Chinatown, Mount Washington, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, and a large portion of downtown.

As a result of environmental regulations that are designed to ensure water quality, all reservoirs that provide drinking water must be covered to avoid direct contact with the sunlight and limit the intake of storm water.  As a result, DWP developed three plans: the proposed $110 million Buried Reservoir that will take 5.5 years to complete; the $55 million Aluminum Cover that will take 4 years to complete; and the $25 million Floating Cover that will take 2.5 years to complete.

All three alternatives meet the necessary environmental requirements, although the Buried Reservoir alternative will generate significantly more Greenhouse Gas, air quality issues, and noise during its 5.5 years of construction.  

And coupled with the $65 million project to replace and expand the Inlet and Bypass Lines, all three alternatives will result in the reliable delivery of quality drinking water.

The major difference is that the Buried Reservoir achieves the “secondary” objective of providing an additional 12 acres of recreation area in the 575 acre Elysian Park.  

But the cost of $85 million, or over $7 million an acre, a price that rivals the highest prices in the City, is not the responsibility of Ratepayers, especially when Ratepayers are about to get slammed with the triple whammy of multiyear increases in water, power, and sewer rates.  

So to answer the first question of whether the 12 acres of recreation area is the responsibility of the Ratepayers, the answer is not no.  It is HELL NO.

Rather, the $85 million overage is the responsibility of the City and the Department of Recreation and Parks, no matter what selected Councilmen say to justify this fraud upon the Ratepayers.

As the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils (“VANC”) stated in its April 18 letter opposing the Buried Reservoir, the funding of this project may violate the City Charter in that this obligation is not a “necessary” expense.

This additional $85 million expense may also be subject to the recently passed Proposition 26, the Super Majority Vote Required to Pass New Taxes and Fees Act.

As for the Councilmen whose backroom maneuvering is responsible for the trying to dump this $85 million cost on the Ratepayers, only time will tell.  But now that scam has been exposed to the bright 'rayes' of the sun, starting with the VANC’s letter opposing the Buried Reservoir alternative favored in the Draft Environmental Impact Report, all Members of the City Council are on notice that this added expense is not acceptable to Ratepayers.  Nor is it proper.

On Saturday, June 4, our Department of Water and Power is presenting its case for multiyear increases in our water and power rates.  As part of that presentation, DWP needs to discuss why the Ratepayers should pay for the Buried Reservoir as well as any other “pet” projects of the Mayor and the City Council.

Is there any wonder why we need a well funded, empowered, and truly independent Ratepayers Advocate to oversee the operations, finances, and management of DWP on a timely and continuous basis?

78% of voters thought so.

(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


CityWatch
Vol 9 Issue 43
Pub: May 31, 2011

 

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