A state administrative law judge has recommended state regulators cut Jersey Central Power & Light’s rates by $107.5 million. It is now time for the Board of Public Utilities to act. JCP&L customers have waited over three years for relief. The BPU should respond quickly and in the best interest of consumers who have been footing the bill.
In 2011, the Division of Rate Counsel voiced concerns that JCP&L was earning excessive profits and not investing in infrastructure improvements. BPU ordered JCP&L to open its books to determine whether its profits were reasonable. The findings proved they were not, which is what the ratepayer advocate and I had been saying all along. BPU staff recommended that JCP&L cut its rates by $169.8 million.
Congressman Chris Smith, center, meet with Middletown Administrator Anthony Mercantante, Public Works Director Ted Maloney, Mayor Stephanie Murray and Committeeman Tony Fiore (right) in the Township’s new Emergency Command Center on the 2nd Anniversary of Superstorm Sandy.
Congressman Chris Smith visited Howell and Middletown Townships on the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy to assess the progress of recovery and determine remaining needs to be fought for in Washington.
Smith joined Mayor Bill Gato and Deputy Mayor Rob Nicastro at the Mariners Cover community along the Manasasquan River to the the sites of four demolished homes that had been damaged by Sandy and Hurricane Irene in 2011, and one remaining home that is slated for demolition. The homes were purchased by the township with state and federal funding.Disney Princess Chambre de rebond
In Middletown, Smith joined Mayor Stephanie Murray, Committeeman Tony Fiore, Administrator Anthony Mercantante and Public Works Director Ted Maloney in the Township’s Emergency Command Center from where Fiore directed the rescue and recovery efforts two years earlier in the aftermath of the storm, before touring three sites in the Township still in need of federal support. While in the command center Smith recalled that NBC’s Andrea Mitchell showed up and asked to interview him. “I told her to interview Fiore because he was the one doing the work. She refused, so I spent the interview talking about him and the amazing work he was doing protecting the lives and property of his community.” Fiore was Mayor during the recoveries of Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012.
Highlands, NJ- A home that had been damaged in Superstorm Sandy collapsed while being lifted above the floodplain this morning, destroying an adjoining home in the process. No one was injured. Both homes will be torn down this afternoon.
Borough Engineer Dale Leubner said that the cribbing, the wood palates piled to hold the structure while lifting takes place, apparently failed on one corner of the home, causing the collapse.
No one was home in either property. Leubner said that residents of the neighborhood were evacuated. Fire Departments from Asbury Park, Middletown and Naval Weapons Station Earle were on hand to assist the Highlands Volunteer Fire Department in preventing further property damage or injury. Utility workers from JCP&L and New Jersey Natural Gas were on hand to shut off the utilities in preparation of the demolitions.
Steven Hasenfus, President of Hasenfus Construction, the company hired to lift the Locust Ave home said, “It was an accident.” Hasenfus declined to comment further. Hasenfus Construction has offices in Long Branch and in Plymouth, MA. Hasenfus’s LinkedIn profile says he’s from the Great Boston area.
Mayor Nolan thanked the Highlands first responders, and those from the neighboring communities who arrived to assist and urged homeowners who are rebuilding and raising their home to be careful. “Thank God no one was hurt. This should be a cautionary tale for homeowners to be sure they hire qualified contractors and that those contractors have adequate insurance.”
Patricia Parker, President of the Highlands Fire Department’s Ladies Auxilary, said that homeowners who are lifting their homes should be sure to remove all valuable possession and important papers.
The owner of the home that collapsed is traveling out of state. Friends and family are on the scene waiting to recover whatever possession are in the home after it is demolished.
The adjoining home has been abandoned since Hurricane Irene devastated the borough in 2011.
Governor Chris Christie will announce this afternoon in Little Ferry that all New Jersey utilites are providing the State with town by town information with expected restoration times which will be posted on the State website.
MMM will provide a link to the site when it goes up.
In response to customer and government complaints about communications during power outages resulting from last year’s storms, JCP& L has created an interactive website that lets customers report outages. The site provides real time data including the number of people affected, estimated restoration times, photos and videos of damage and restoration efforts, according to a report on NJBIZ.
The site is hosted by Amazon.com’s servers so that it can be accessed in the event that power outages disable JCP&L’s primary site. It can be accessed by desktops, smartphones and mobile devices.
Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon will be our guest for the full hour today on the LaRossa and Gallagher: Real Jersey Guys On The Radio Show. The show, sponsored by Repatriot Radio, will air on WIFI AM 1460 and here on the Internet from 5PM-6PM.
O’Scanlon will be discussing JCP&L, their response to Hurricane Irene and how the government will be addressing that response now that the power has been turned on, after a long week, for the electric utility’s customers. He will also be addressing the recent dispute with Morris Bailey and the NJSEA that threatens the long term viability of Monmouth Park. The track was in O’Scanlon’s 12th legislative district and is now in his new 13th legislative district.
During the second half hour of the show we will open a conversation into the question: “What is an appropriate conservative response to social problems?” or “How do we contribute to those less fortunate than ourselves and reduce the size of government?”
O’Scanlon was instrumental in having charitable organizations donate food to many communities during the power outages that followed Hurricane Irene, without spending government money. In addition to his policy and political leadership, he is a quiet leader in many charitable endeavors.
O’Scanlon is reluctant to talk publicly about his charitable works. He has agreed to do so in the hopes increasing the awareness and action among conservatives.
“So many people just don’t get it,” said O’Scanlon of his fellow political leaders, “Otherwise brilliant people seem to have a ‘Let them eat cake’ way of thinking.”
You are welcome to participate in our conversation with O’Scanlon by calling into the show at 609-447-0236.
Individual Assistance Extended to Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Middlesex and Salem Counties; Individual and Public Assistance Approved for Camden, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Monmouth, Sussex and Warren Counties; Public Assistance Approved for Mercer County
Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today announced that the federal government has approved disaster assistance for New Jerseyans impacted by Hurricane Irene in additional counties, providing direct assistance to individuals and households in the aftermath of the historic hurricane. Individuals in a total of 16 New Jersey counties are now eligible for federal disaster relief. Governor Christie previously requested assistance for all 21 New Jersey counties, but damage assessments need to be concluded before individual assistance can be granted to the remaining counties of Burlington, Hudson, Mercer, Ocean and Union.
New Jersey residents and small businesses in the following 16 counties are now eligible for Individual Assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): Atlantic, Bergen, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren.
Eligibility allows New Jerseyans to apply for different types of assistance, including temporary housing, repair, replacement or other needs such as Disaster Unemployment Assistance, and Small Business Administration disaster loans.
All 16 of the counties have also been approved by the federal government as eligible for public assistance, which includes federal funding. Additionally, Mercer County was also approved for public assistance. Funding also is available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Irene. Survivors of Hurricane Irene who suffered damage should apply for disaster assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency – even if they have insurance or aren’t sure they are eligible.
Residents of the five counties that have yet to be declared eligible for individual assistance by the federal government are being encouraged to begin the process of registering with FEMA for relief.
Register by phone at 800-621-FEMA (3362) or TTY 800-462-7585 for those with hearing or speech impairments. Specialists are standing by at the toll-free numbers seven days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, until further notice. Help in other languages is available. Or you can register online atwww.DisasterAssistance.gov.You can also apply through a web-enabled mobile device or smartphone by visiting m.fema.gov and following the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”
How would you like to be that one family in West Long Branch who has been without power for a week?
West Long Branch appears to have fared pretty well from the storm. When I first started tracking JCP&L’s estimates for customers without power on Tuesday there was only 35 customers without power in West Long Branch. By Thursday evening West Long Branch was off the list, implying that power had been restored to the entire town.
On Friday one customer from West Long Branch was back on the list. Maybe that customer’s power had been restored and went out again. I’m guessing that it never went back on. That JCP&L missed them. There is still one West Long Branch customer on the list this morning.
That situation occurred to me. Not this time, during some other summer outage. I don’t remember which one, we’ve had at least one every summer, and one every other winter, since I moved to Highlands 10 years ago. The entire town was without power for, I don’t remember…too long. The town came back online and my house was still without power for a couple of days or three.
I was fortunate, which is probably why I don’t remember the details that well. My commercial building in Belford had power. We have a shower and a kitchen in the building. We didn’t have to impose on neighbors to shower or store food. I don’t know what the family in West Long Branch is going through, but I know it sucks to be the only one without power in your community for an extended period of time.
They or the one customer in Ocean Grove, Aberdeen, or Spring Lake Heights will probably be the last ones in Monmouth with the power turned on, as JCP&L finishes working on their “priorities” and then tracks back to the homes they missed the first time around. There are 8 zip codes with only one customer without power in Monmouth County. 22 zip codes with between 2 and 16 customers without power.
JCP&L sucks. Their infrastructure is aged and inadequate. They didn’t respond to Irene like it was an emergency. They responded like it was one of their “normal” annual power outages that was just bigger than usual. They lie to their customers. They lie to the mayors. They lie to county OEMs. They like to state OEM. They lie to BPU and they lie to the Govenor’s office. They lie to their own government affairs representives.
There was a joke floating around facebook that JCP&L got religion….they said they could not control acts of God. They didn’t get religion. Their preparation showed no fear of this act of God. In their response they did not act like their customers are His children.
I hope that JCP&L suffers the wrath Chris Christie.
While the situation we have suffered this week is a failure for JCP&L, it is also a failure of government.
For too many decades the Board of Public Utilities has been a bureau of cozy cronyism where senior political hacks or their spouses were sent as a reward for their “service.” It has been a piggy bank funded by ratepayers to fund experimental and inefficient wind and solar technologies and $80,000,000 off the books slush funds.
For decades BPU has looked the other way while JCP&L, a company owned by out of state utility conglomerates, “created efficiencies” by deferring maintenance and infrastructure upgrades. By reducing the number of New Jersey residents employed by the company.
Democratic hacks whined when Chris Christie appointed the prosecutor who ran his Trenton U.S. Attorney’s Office as BPU President over McGreevey- Corzine hack Jeanne Fox. Lee Solomon’s job in Christie’s cabinet got a whole lot more important this week.
Estimated Customers Out For
As of Sep 3, 2011 9:47 AM