Multi-tasking

Here's that melon I posted a while back - I love the orange color, and the smell is just out of this world.

Here’s that melon I posted a while back – I love the orange color, and the smell is just out of this world.

Although air quality leaves something to be desired, these temperatures have sure been a relief. The garden seemed to be baked into paralysis, but these last few days, things have been growing again. We found this beautiful melon on the vine yesterday, cut it this morning.

This melon will disappear fast.

This melon will disappear fast.

There are more coming, so I threw a few chunks in my smoothie. You can’t get produce like this at the grocery store. 

The tomatoes are starting to roll in, and it looks like an avalanche. We picked two boxes yesterday. 

Off to the sauce pot, My Pretties!

Off to the sauce pot, My Pretties!

We’ve been enjoying fresh tomatoes on hamburgers, sandwiches, and just on the side, but we can’t eat all of them. Most of them will go in the sauce pot. That’s okay – we just used the last pint of sauce from last Summer’s garden on a couple of pizzas the other night. 

I only use this tomato press for a couple of months every year, but boy do I depend on it.

I only use this tomato press for a couple of months every year, but boy do I depend on it.

It ain’t Summer around here until I have a couple of pans of sauce bubbling continuously on the stove. Tomorrow morning I will have to go out and pick more. 

And then there’s the peaches – I stripped the yellow peaches quickly. They were small and not very many. I juiced the worst ones and then halved, pitted, and froze the rest. The white peaches will be done any day now, and I’m already rubbing my hands together thinking about those mid-winter frozen peach smoothies. But oh yeah, there’s a lot of work between here and there, some long days standing at the kitchen counter with a paring knife!

In my spare time today I tried to get more information about the latest Cal Water rate increase proposal. I had a couple of phone numbers to try – those turned out to be duds. So, I got on the computer and started perusing the Cal Water and CPUC websites. I decided to try the “Public Advisor’s” office. The Advisor is the person who is supposed to help the public get involved in the decision making process by facilitating public comment and participation in all these hearings. So I called the number listed on this page:

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/aboutus/Divisions/CSID/Public+Advisor/

I got a recording that was hard to work with – no matter which buttons I pushed it kept repeating itself over and over again. Finally I waited until the end of the recording, and got an operator. I told her I was looking for information on the Cal Water rate increase case application filed July 3. She said she knew nothing about any such case, “there’s nothing like that here…” she said. I read to her directly from an article I found at Market Watch:

SAN JOSE, CA–(Marketwired – Jul 6, 2015) – On July 3, 2015, California Water Service Group’s (NYSE: CWT) largest subsidiary, California Water Service Company (Cal Water), filed a General Rate Case requesting authorization from the California Public Utilities Commission (Commission) to increase rates to add revenues of $94.8 million in 2017, $23.0 million in 2018, and $22.6 million in 2019.

She  still denied any such case had been filed. I asked if there was anybody else I could talk to – she left me on hold for several minutes. She had asked her office mate, who also denied any such case had been filed. Then she gave me an e-mail address and said I would probably receive a reply within “one to two days.” 

So, I wrote my inquiry and cc’d my county supervisor, Maureen Kirk, and Chico mayor Mark Sorensen.  I asked for a copy of the rate case filed, and also if there would be any notice to the public or a public hearing. 

About three minutes after I pushed “send”, I heard from my friend in Marysville – she sent me a link to the rate case filing that both these women had just denied existed. 

https://www.calwater.com/rates/

You must hit “General Rate Case”, and there you will see the “CWS Rate Case with Attachments (July 2015)” – that is the rate increase application.

This is how everyday people get treated by these agencies, which are chock full of people collecting salaries and benefits they don’t pay for. 

At least I heard back from Maureen Kirk, and I sent her the application above along with some  information by which she could request more information. I told her we needed an “intervenor.” 

http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/NR/rdonlyres/191B1061-FFB2-4203-9B63-A07156EAC899/0/4HowtoBecomeaPartyinaCPUCProceedingFinal020614.pdf

They really lay down as many hurdles for the public in this process as they possibly can. We need a representative, and I figure the best candidate is one of our locally elected officials. 

I guess I should send the same information to the mayor, even though he has not responded. The consultant the city hired to fill in as city attorney has advised the council “not to engage the public.”  

Oh well, when I go to bed at night, I go with a clean conscience. And my house smells good!

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