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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
June 1, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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June 1, 2012

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Visit your doctor not just any doctor. With three full-time physicians and a nurse practitioner dedicated to the island and its patients, we invite you tO have an on-going relationship with a provider who knows you and your medical needs. Monte Mellonl MD Tracey Norton, DO Laura Ulibarri, MD Diane Chamberlin, NP ..............   "" CONVENIENT PROFESSIONAL COMPASSIONATF_ Catalina Island Medical Center 2 Hour Emergency Care Radiology, laboratory & physical therapy Skilled nursing facility (31o) 51o-o7oo Provider appointments M-F 8 am-5 pm Mon. & Wed. 8 am-7 pm (310) 510-0096 CIMedicalCenter.or Island Medical Center I Edison lobbies CPUC to ignore court's proposed decision Opponents of Southern Cali- fornit Edison's request to increase Catalina water rates say that Edi- son ts lobbying the California Pub- lic Utility Commission to ignore a proposed court decision to recom- mend that the water rates be applied to mainland electricity customers. Itwas Edison that originally pro- posed applying Catalina water costs to mainland electricity users as an alternative to a water rate increase. However, according to a press re- ,' lease issued by an attorney repre- senting the opponents of the in- crease, Edison is backing away from its own proposal because Edison did not get the $19.1 million increase the company originally sought. Asked to comment on the press release, Ben Harvey of Southern California Edison, referred the Is- lander, to EFILE/CM/166637.PDE The "protestants," as they are called in legal jargon, learned this week that Edison has been lobby- ing the PUC commissioners and their staffs in an effort to persuade the commissioners to ignore the proposed decision of Administra- tive Law Judge Robert Barnett. Legally, the Public Utility Commission may adopt, ignore or modify the judge's decision. The-decision results in no in- crease in the Catalina Island wa- ter rates; which ALJ Barnett said "are by far the highest in the State of California." According to the protestants press release, Edi- son wants the Commissioners to ignore this decision and to allow Edison to double its water rates as it originally requested. However, Edison argues that Catalina water is affordable. According to the Edison PDF file, the cost of doing business on Catalina is high--a loaf of bread, for example is 60 percent higher, and a gallon of gas is 62 to 69 per- cent higher on the Island than on the mainland. Edison requested a $2.618 million O&M increase, while the proposed decision would grant a $2.196 million O&M increase. Edison also argues that the wa- ter system is complex, with five separate systems spread out on rugged terrain. "This is what we feared from the beginning," said Norris J. Bishton Jr., the protestants' at- torney. "Protestants represent the 2,000 water ratepayers on Catali- na Island. Edison is an enormous public utility with great influence in the state of California. It has an army of lobbyists stationed a short distance from the CPUC's offices in San Francisco who visit those offices every day. ALJ Bar- nett found that Edison completely failed to justify the increase it sought. Edison now seeks to ob- tain that increase with behind the scenes lobbying using its influence and it is doing so in meetings with Commissioners and their staff without a representative of the protestants presence to counter the statements they are making." Protestants said they had Ob- tained a copy of one of the docu- ments Edison provided to commis- sioners and their staffs. According to Bishton, the document contains bogus "evidence" never presented to ALJ Barnett, which should therefore not be considered by the commissioners. According to Bishton, the document also contains complete msrepresentations of the facts and the Proposed Decision. The document will be posted on the website along with the comments on the proposed decision filed with Judge Barnett by the parties. In its comments to the proposed decision, Edison asserts that just be- cause it spent money on capital im- provements, Judge Barnett should find the expenditures reasonable, a position rejected by Barnett. Edison attacks the protestants' expert, an engineer who worked 21 years for Edison, and has both managed and advised water utili- ties, and who is currently manag- ing a water utility serving 9,000 customers. Edison said that the testimony of its expert, a person with no training with regard to wa- ter utilities who has spent his entire career in electrical generation, was the more qualified expert. Accord- ing to Bishton, 10 times in the pro- posed decision, Barnett found the evidence of Edison's expert "con- fusing" or "causing confusion" and 11 times found that the evidence presented by Edison's expert failed to meet the burden of proof. Bishton quotes Edison as argu- ing that the high rates are caused "because Catalina residents use so little water" compared to people on the mainland. Edison proposed an increase of $19.1 million of its rate base to its electric customers on the mainland. Edison advertised its proposal to its water ratepayers as:the solution. Edison never put on testimony as to what made up the $19.1 million. In his decision, Barnett ordered $10.7" million of the rate base shifted to mainland electrical customers. "Ratepayers should contact the commissioners by e-mail or U.S. mail and express their support for ALJ Barnett's decision and their reaction to Edison's lobbying ef- forts to overcome that decision," Bishton said. Below is contact informa- t.i', for theCommissioners: Pi'esident Michael R. Peevey c/o Lester Want Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon c/o Lauren Saine Commissioner Mike Florio c/o Marcelo Poirer Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval c/o stephe n st. Marie Commissioner Mark J. Ferron c/o Charlotte Terleurst Or by mail to: California Public Utilities Commission 505 Van Ness Avenue San Francisco, CA 94202 Assistance in preparing a letter can be found at www.catalinacon- Contact: Norris J. Bishton, Jr., 6701 Center Drive West, Suite 925Los Angeles, CA 90045, Ph: (310) 337-4866 , CALL FOR ENTRIES ........ EIGHTH ANNUAL TASTE AROUND AVALON KICKS OFFTHE FLYING FISH FESTIVAL The Eighth Annual Taste ments were entered into adrawing Submit your photograph, graphic or art of Cata.ina If we use it for a cover, you'l.I, get a free one year subscription to the IsLander and recogn!tion. SEND High resolution digitat JPEG fites-300dpi min.-via emai[ to Must be original artwork. By submitting work. the senders agree to license pubtishnng nn the CataLina Islander Around of Avalon was held Thursday, May 31 Catalina Island's annual Taste Around of Avalon was held Thursday, May 31. The event was held from 5 to 9 p.m. Fourteen eating and drinking establishments offered main dish- es. appetizers, alcoholic or non-" alcoholic beverage and/or dessert "tastes" for $1 per taste. Guests picked up a voting card. at the Catalina Island Visitor Center on the Green Pier for $2, if purchased before the event, or $3 if purchased at the start of the event at Wrigley Stage. With the voting card in hand, guests visited each establishment, sampled the dishes and/or drink entries, then voted for their favor- ite taste of food, drink and des- sert. The establishment with the most votes in each of four catego- ries at the end of the evening won $100 cash. The categories were: Best Taste of Food, Best Taste of Drink with- out Alcohol, Best Taste of Drink with Alcohol, and Best Taste of Dessert. Participants could also vote for the Best Flying Fish Themed establishment. Participants who turn in their vot- ing cards with 10 or more valida- tions from participating establish- lor a chance to win a $25 Catalina Island gift certificate: This year's Taste-Around of Avalon featured the following establishments: Antonio's Pizzeria & Cabaret Avalon Grille Big Olaf's Catalina Coffee & Cookie Company Descanso Beach Club Dessert Island E1 Galleon Restaurant Landing Bar & Grill Lloyd's of Avalon Luau Larry's Marlin Club Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant Steve's Steakhouse Three Palms Avalon Arcade The Catalina Island Woman's Forum had a booth near Wrigley Stage to promote their Trip Raffle and upcoming Wine Tasting Festival on Sept. 15. They pro- vided free water to Taste Around participants. " The 8th Annual Taste Around of Avalon is sponsored by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau. For more information contact the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau at (310) 510-152.0, or visit www. 41 Friday, June 1, 2012 THE CATALINA ISLANDER I