“A day after signing off on a new agreement that delays raises
for Department of Water and Power employees and cuts compensation
for new hires, Mayor Eric Garcetti again took aim at the utility
workers’ pay and perks.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a commentary by Karin Klein:
“With no rain on the horizon, it’s pretty safe to call 2013 the
driest year on record in Los Angeles. The 2013-14 rainy season
is off to an unpromising start. And though we know that the
beginning of the season doesn’t tell us much — February tends
to be the rainiest month — the bottom line is that we need
rain. We need it bad.
“And the record for arid weather doesn’t belong to Los Angeles
From the Los Angeles Daily News, in a commentary by Conner Everts
and Adam Scow:
“Los Angeles water ratepayers and taxpayers beware. We are facing
the prospect of spending billions of dollars on a massive
twin-tunnels project that could further degrade the San Francisco
Bay-Delta, a source of L.A. drinking water.
“The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has issued an
emergency order directing a Vernon battery recycler to clean up
lead and other metals that have been deposited near the Exide
“In a letter released Wednesday, the agency said dust and soil
samples with metals in concentrations at or near hazardous
waste levels have been found near the facility and must be
cleaned up by Jan. 31.
“The public has a right to know how public money is spent. That’s
a fundamental, common-sense premise of our government. Tell that
to Brian D’Arcy. D’Arcy is the business manager of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, which
represents Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employees.”
“The politically powerful head of the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power’s largest union has refused to cooperate with a
city audit of two nonprofit trusts established to improve
relations between management and labor at the city-owned
“Survivors of the sudden collapse of the Baldwin Hills
Reservoir dam gathered Saturday in a grassy valley to
commemorate the disaster that sent 150 million gallons of Los
Angeles drinking water cascading into their homes 50 years ago.
“Hundreds filed into what is now Upper Kenneth Hahn State
Recreation Area, where the earthen edge of the 66-foot-deep
reservoir — holding 292 million gallons — ruptured Dec.
From the Los Angeles Times Framework blog, in a post by Scott
“In a Dec. 11, 2003, Los Angeles Times article, reporter Bob
Pool wrote about the Dec. 14, 1963, Baldwin Hills Dam collapse:
“The Baldwin Hills Dam collapsed with the fury of a thousand
cloudbursts, sending a 50-foot wall of water down Cloverdale
Avenue and slamming into homes and cars on Dec. 14, 1963. … It
foreshadowed the end of urban-area earthen dams as a major
element of the Department of Water and Power’s water-storage
“A Los Angeles City Council panel voted Monday to let the
Department of Water and Power scale back the cost of hiring
away workers from other city agencies, despite objections from
workers outside the DWP.
“The council’s Budget and Finance Committee unanimously
recommended an end to the DWP’s practice of absorbing longtime
pension costs of workers who transfer from other departments.
“Something bad has been in the water at Los Angeles
International Airport for the last several weeks.
“With the city in the midst of a sweeping $2-billion
transformation of the Tom Bradley International Terminal,
airlines that use the facility’s old and new gates have been
unable to replenish their aircraft with drinking water because
of contamination in the building’s plumbing.”
“A coalition of Los Angeles employee unions is challenging key
provisions of a labor agreement struck by political leaders and
employees at the city’s giant water and power utility,
potentially jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars in
savings for ratepayers over the next four years.”
“Los Angeles officials missed signs in a geological report that
suggest a $200-million residential and commercial development now
under construction in Hollywood might be located above an
earthquake fault, according to city records and interviews.
“After funneling $40 million in ratepayer money to two vaguely
defined and publicly unaccountable nonprofits over the past 10
years, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners on Tuesday
finally said: No more. …
“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.”
From the Los Angeles Times, in a column by Steve Lopez:
“Any time you’re dealing with the Los Angeles Department of
Water and Power, whether you’re trying to understand your bill
or figure out how the place is run, it can be a bit of an Alice
in Wonderland experience.