Category Archives: Utilities

Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

On March 3, Los Angeles voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure that could significantly increase L.A.’s use of solar power.  So-called Measure B, the “Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Program” (you want some crackers with that cheese?) would require the Department of Water and Power to “install, operate, maintain and repair and/or oversee the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of solar power installations within the City and on City-owned airports to meet specified goals regarding the production of electric generation ….”  The full text of Measure B is here.

Continue reading Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

LA City Budget Survey: Share your voice!

I’m on a mailing list for NorthEastLA (NELA) community issues and this came across my desk: the City of Los Angeles Budget Survey. I just completed the survey myself. I think it’s a good exercise and brings up a lot of interesting questions. Why no survey questions about subway funding or routes? And why do they even have to ask about what they call “needs based budgeting,” which would divert funding to areas that appear to need them the most? Is the city actually NOT “Repaving streets based on condition of the streets and the usage of the particular street?” or NOT “Focusing gang reduction services in communities where gang crime occurs most”…? Why do they even have to ask me if this is a good idea?! It made me think of a recent report I heard on local newsradio, where a representative from the Westside was bitching about higher-crime communities diverting his crime-prevention forces. “I know we don’t have as much crime as those areas,” he admitted, then went on to whine about the whole thing.

Well, ’nuff said. Go voice your own opinion here. The letter that came with the link is behind the jump.

Info on the current budget & process is here; the fiscal year 2008/09 budget itself is here. Continue reading LA City Budget Survey: Share your voice!

All your power are belong to us

SCE Control Box
Pardon the reference to AYB but today I gave up control on one more item in an effort to reel in my utility bills.  Helping conserve some electricity by giving SCE control of my A/C is what I did.  The little grey box here is how they will help me control useage.  Doing this helps SCE keep demand within capacity.  If giving “them” control will lower my bills and keep the lights on I figured this was worth a try. Continue reading All your power are belong to us

How to monitor potential heat related power outages

I spotted on the 6 AM news that the inland Valleys are looking for highs of 100-110 today.  Anyone who has been here a while knows that when it gets that high the potential for rolling blackouts in the event demand out strips capacity is a possibility.  When it happens it is a royal pain in the butt.

You can monitor the potential for rolling outages by checking the Cal ISO System Status.  That page will give you anticipated power useage and available supplies.  For a little more detailed information you can check the Cal ISO Emergency Notice page.

For those in the LA DWP service areas you can check their site.  They also have a good information page on how to beat the heat and list of cooling centers for those without A/C on their Emergency Information page.

Those of us in the So Cal Edison service area can get status on planned outages on their Power Outage page.

A little prevention is needed to survive the hottest days.  Make sure the kidlets and pets have ample water.  Pull them inside during the hottest part of the day.  Don’t run your major appliances during the peak heat and usage hours in the late afternoon.  Bump the temp on the thermostat a few degrees and use fans to keep the air moving and feeling cooler than it really is.  It takes just a little conservation to keep the power on for all of us.

Tomorrow is supposed to be the hottest day in this heat wave.  My idea of conservation on days like that is to shut everything off.  Lock up the house and head out with my heat emergency kit.  The kit consists of 4 boogie boards, my kids and the fastest route to Tower 22 down at Bolsa Chica. 

That sucking sound you hear

Keeping our sewers clean and fresh is of great importance in the City of Angels. Silver Lake just does it with a little more flair: I came home yesterday just in time to hear a loud and unmistakable sucking sound, accompanied by a blinding stink emanating from my bathroom. The bowl was empty and bone dry –

No one having used said room, nor summoned the dark demon of Nanageddon, I could only surmise that it was once again time for our sewer cleanse.

A quick investigation of the neighborhood revealed the big truck and confirmed my suspicions.

“Just be glad you weren’t sitting on it,” the street guy told me. Amen to that!

[absence of photo in deference to DM]

We’ll pay more for trash so that we can get more cops.

Los Angeles GarbageAll I know is that my LADWP bill includes charges for “a solid resources fee, which includes refuse, recyclables, yard trimmings, and bulky items” and that we generate exactly one garbage bag full of trash a week (quite a bit of recyclables, though).

L.A. trash fees may go up to $38

You may see trash fees go up once again in Los Angeles.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa says the hike is needed to hire 1,000 more police officers. The city has already raised monthly trash fees from $11 to $26 over the last two years to pay for the ongoing expansion of the L.A. Police Department.

Officials are contemplating a proposal to raise the fee to as much as $38 a month.

Photo by Omar Omar, used under Creative Commons

Monrovia Media Frenzy over a $170 Stop sign

maribelinterview.jpg Sheesh Monrovia didn’t get this much media attention when then President Clinton stopped in to give some congrats over a new truancy program some 10 years. ago. Whats the big deal here now?
City Hall not wanting to address speeders that I wrote about HERE and HERE.

This morning I got a call that he media was all over on North Primrose. I got there and in fact there were a lot of people out there. I met Maribel Parry who with her husband Robert, started the North Primrose Residents association. It started after an incident where they were nearly Tboned turning into their driveway buy a patron of the liqour store at the bottom of their street. Only there 18 months and working there with others who have fought city hall for traffic controls for years they decided to escalate the battle. The cost to put up a stop sign to slow down traffic on Primrose: $170 according to Maribel.

More after the jump.
Continue reading Monrovia Media Frenzy over a $170 Stop sign

One step closer to Big Brother and 1984?

The Foothill Cities Blog ran a great story titled “All Your Thermostats Are Belong to Us”. It links further to a story on World Net Daily.

The short of it is that there is some plans afoot that would give the government control of our air-conditioning, gas or electric furnaces even computers during energy emergencies. This to prevent the rolling black outs of the past.

Or is this to extend the time in which to improve our infrastructure as some have opined? Will it easily be circumvented by buying hardware from out of state or giving your “8-year-old with a screwdriver can easily render any “non-removable” FM receiver “non-functioning”?

I’m big on energy conservation for a lot of reasons. Some due to environmental concerns, other simply because I’m a cheap SOB and hate paying big bills for heating or air-conditioning. That is why I invested years ago in things like ceiling and wall insulation in my 1950’s tract house. That is why I have programmable thermostats to control the A/C and heat. I buy the highest energy star rating I can get.

Do you think this is a wise plan? Is it a plan you will simply follow and not fight? Speak up and act up while you have the chance.

All that Rain didn’t do much good

soil%20damp.jpg Up here in outer Monrovia we had somewhere around 9″ of rain from last weekends storms. Today I found out how little all that rain did to help the dry soil around here. The soil was wet only about 1″ down, after that it was powder dry. Where did all the rain go? Probably straight to the ocean as run off through the storm drains. Very little went to recharging the water tables through percolation. I hope we have a series of good storms to help get us some real drough relief here, but more importantly in the entire SW where we are growing faster than our water supplies can keep up. I really don’t look forward to water rationing aka forced cutbacks in consumption.

Pic by me with the trusty cell phone cam, does get bigger but not much better.

Despite Weekend’s Heavy Rainfall, MWD May Cut Water Deliveries

Education_waterdrop.jpg It’s great to get rain like this past weekend’s. More than a foot fell at Opids Camp in the Los Angeles County mountains over the weekend, and we got 3.62 inches in the Hollywood Hills. Add to that the nearly 11 inches measured in San Marcos Pass in the Santa Barbara County mountains, and you’d think we’d done pretty well for ourselves. The truth is, all that rain did little to ease shortages, partly because we’re hugely dependent on imported water (such as from the Colorado River Basin) that has been reduced by “prolonged drought and court-ordered cutbacks.” In fact, a contingency plan to cut water deliveries could be activated as early as May.

The Metropolitan Water District is considering a contingency plan to cut water deliveries to its member cities using a new formula that critics contend favors faster-growing areas while penalizing older, poor communities.

The district’s staff is recommending the plan in case the agency, which serves 18 million people in six counties, is forced to slash water deliveries this spring in the event of continuing shortages.

The MWD is also considering rate hikes of 10% to 20% for next year, in part to buy more water to shore up supplies.

Full article here.

LA Leaking

crews.jpg By now everyone who uses Coldwater Canyon to sneak into WLA and avoid the 405 knows a DWP water main broke and flooded Eddie Van Halen’s pool closing the street for hours. The complete story can be found here at KNBC.COM.

This morning a 55+ year old 4″ water main on my street split. I first noticed little springs coming up from the street when the better half and I went out for our annual December Date Day and a little shopping for the kidlets. We returned to find what must have been the entire Monrovia Public Works on scene.

More pics and my neighbor’s theory on multiple pipe bursts (urban legend in the making?) after the jump.
Continue reading LA Leaking

Pasadena attempting to tax internet?

paspunbanner.jpg Among the blog’s on my must read list is that of Pasadena resident Wayne Lusvardi who writes the Pasadena Pundit blog. He has called Mayor Bogaard out this time for what he believes is an effort to tax internet useage by the city under Measure D.

He even has posted a transcript of a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer where Bogaard allegedly asks that she support a bill that would extend the current moratorium on non-taxation of internet useage by only 4 years. Pasadena Pundit is very vocal on Pasadena’s Measure D as being an attempt to put before voters the ability of the city to tax internet useage. Full details are in his various analysis entries on his blog.

The most recent articles by the Pasadena Star News are “Measure D Draws Arguements” and Staff Action Worries Blogger.

The other blog I read out of there with a fair amount of regularity asked why the City of Pasadena had to hire a pimp to pimp Measure D which is just go pick their pocket a little deeper. More on the Pasadena’s Political Underbelly is found in the section of “what I missed” in their blog post HERE.

In the end I like it when a blog writer can tackle an issue and get the more common local media’s attention. Better when it get’s the attention on important issues that affect other communities.

107 here and I have electricity too…how about you?

107today001.jpg I’m fried, I’ve done what I can to save power but….who didn’t? My sources at SCE let me know that the ISO is worried, stage 2 today and likely stage 3 tomorrow. You can get more California ISO and the flex your power here.

DWP cut Sunland off the grid around 2:30 for about half an hour to cope with the demand. Tomorrow promises to be more of the same. The SCE pal of mine joked that DWP being an independant power not public utility answerable to shareholders places like Sunland, Grand Terrace and other “trailer trash capitals of metro LA” get the power cut. (Don’t shoot me that’s the joke in the industry just repeating what I said).

According the the SCE mole if we go into stage 3 tomorrow or Saturday we may see the rolling blackouts. Do what you can to keep us up and running.

(The pic is mine taken minutes ago on my patio….it’s from the che-ez stroke it a few times to see how bad it is fully engorged).

DWP still working on it

In my endless quest to always find something to complain about and just to follow up to Ruth’s prior posts about the water situation here in Silver Lake I’d like to note that the water main that broke is directly next to my house and while I really appreciate that we’ve got water back and that they were so quick to respond to the water spraying out of the cracks in the street I also totally wish whatever machines they are still using out there to patch things up were just a tad more on the quiet side because damn, it’s almost 2am and that shit is LOUD!

Update: …and as if on cue, as soon as I posted this they started in with JACKHAMMERS.

Did you get your power bill last month?

Last week I received a red FINAL NOTICE from the DWP. I found this extremely interesting, since I never received a first notice for this particular bill. Also of interest was the fact that they didn’t send an envelope with the bill.

Annoyed, I found a location where I could pay in person (to be fair, they do provide a list on the back of the bill – but what if I had a 9-5 I couldn’t leave?) and headed over with the bill and my checkbook.


The payment process was painless, though parking did cost me a dollar. What I’m wondering is, was this just a fluke? Did anyone else miss their power bill last month? And why the heck didn’t they send me an envelope?