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Thoroughly Modern Bob – Coming to a Legislature Near You!

Paul Hatfield
PERSPECTIVE-Thoroughly Modern Millie was a Tony Award winner. State Senator Bob Hertzberg is rolling out his own sequel. The only problem is the production cost. Actually, the real problem is we will be the ones bankrolling it if Bob gets the green light. It is the most expensive tax scam concocted, more than California HSR. I’m talking…

Elite Girls School Has Brentwood Up in Arms … Over Traffic

John Schwada
INSIDE LA-Hairdresser Mikell Powell is walking her two dogs in Brentwood along Sunset Boulevard just across the street from the Archer School for Girls (photo left). “I’m opposed to anything that would make driving on Sunset here anymore hellish than it already is,” Powell says as her dogs tug on their leashes. No question: there’s a 1.2 mile…

Homeless LA: Safe Havens, Not Sidewalks

Mike Bonin
WHO WE ARE-In recent years, Los Angeles has seen more progress in combating homelessness than it ever has – yet the problem is still getting worse. Since 2011, the region has housed more than 23,000 people – a record number even by national standards. Yet homelessness is on the rise. Encampments are proliferating in our neighborhoods throughout…

Can LA Afford Another Olympics?

Jack Humphreville
LA WATCHDOG-Boston bailed on hosting the 2024 Olympics when Mayor Martin Walsh refused to sign a host city contract with the United States Olympic Committee (“USOC”) that would have put Beantown (and possibly the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) on the hook for any cost overruns associated with this 17 day extravaganza. But Walsh’s refusal to…

The Petty Hypocrisy of Mandatory Ethics Training

Bob Gelfand
GELFAND’S WORLD-As a member of a neighborhood council board, I am required by state law to do 2 hours of ethics training every 2 years. Elected officials such as members of the City Council are also required to take this training. The curious thing about our California ethics rules is that they prohibit the small stuff while looking the other way…

Los Angeles: Brown lives Matter!

Fred Mariscal
LATINO PERSPECTIVE-According to the Los Angeles Times, over the last five years in LA County, coroner's data show that Latinos, who make up about half of the county's population, also represent about half the people killed by police. Of the 23 people fatally shot by law enforcement in the county this year, 14 were Latino. The Times raises an…

Grading the LA Times: Mike Feuer’s B+ Leaves Something Out

Noel Weiss
OTHER VOICES-Reading the LA Times’ Report Card grade of B+ for City Attorney Mike Feuer, it was good to see at least a 'hat-tip' to the issue of whether the City Attorney really is the “attorney for the people.” But their conclusion seems to be that he is not, and I believe that is wrong. Exactly who does the City Attorney represent? Certainly, he…

Beverly Hills Pounds Final Nail in Bike Lanes Coffin

Mark Elliot
GETTING THERE FROM HERE-If you expected that Beverly Hills might install bicycle lanes on our segment of Santa Monica Boulevard when reconstructing it next year, you will be sorely disappointed to know that City Council just pounded the final nail into the bike lanes coffin. City Council split on the Blue Ribbon Committee recommendation to expand…

Helter Skelter, Murder and the Looming Race War

Tony Castro
TONY CASTRO’S LA-In one of our last conversations before his death earlier this year, author and prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi lamented that while he had successfully imprisoned Charles Manson, he feared he had only made a dent in the threat of an apocalyptic race war that the mass murderer had hoped to ignite. “Madness and mad men,” said Bugliosi,…

 

Reynolds Rap Video: Joey has hope for the pope in Philly.





You’re gonna cry! Kids sing to teacher with cancer

Scarrrry! The Flying Gun

Kid Stuff! Full of chuckles


LADWP Rates Overview

 

 

  

 

 

 

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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