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Council Talks PSEG

When the Pubic Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) took over Long Island power operations in January of 2014 after what many perceived as one folly after another on the part of the Long Island Power

Authority (LIPA)—culminating, of course, with their chastised performance during Superstorm Sandy in 2012—Long Islanders held their collective breath, hoping that the new guard would be an improvement over the old.

 

However, even the best-run operations need time to dig in their feet and push, and while PSEG does their best to shoulder the great task of providing power to 1.1 million customers in Nassau, Suffolk and

Queens, it stands to reason that New York State would be keeping a watchful eye over them.

 

At the June meeting of the Levittown Community Council, Co-President Tom Kohlman welcomed consumer program specialist Anna Senatore with the state Department of Public Service—the agency tasked with providing oversight to PSEG’s operations—who told local residents that her department’s priority is make sure that their customers are treated right; something many didn’t feel under LIPA’s regime.

 

According to Senatore, the LIPA Reform Act, which was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2013, establishes a Long Island branch of the public service department, which is designed to assist and protect utility customers while providing oversight and review of utilities, including electric, natural gas, stream, water, and telecommunications. 

 

Senatore said that if a customer has issues with their electrical service, she urged them to first contact PSEG and attempt to work it out; however, if that avenue is not successful, she said that the customer can contact the public service department and lodge a complaint. From there, the department will look into the matter and take appropriate action where needed. 

 

One area that former LIPA customers are likely still smarting over is their reaction—or rather, the perceived lack thereof—to the vast amount of power outages wrought by Superstorm Sandy. Under her agency’s watch, Senatore said that new programs are being put into place to improve that misconception. 

 

“PSEG will be installing a new outage management system that will provide a more accurate time of restoration, and a new interactive voice response system to reduce the wait time on the phone as well,” she said. “We will also review proposed capital expenditure plans as well as proposed rate hikes, and if a rate hike is proposed, PSEG must hold a public meeting to get feedback on it.”

 

The department will also perform annual reviews to offer suggestions for PSEG infrastructural improvements to ensure reliability and meet new demands. 

 

“These reviews will help us to identify whether PSEG’s performance entitles them to certain performance financial incentives, or if improvements are needed,” Senatore continued. 

 

Overall, Senatore said that the relationship between the Department of Public Service and PSEG will be fine-tuned to bring their customers the very best service possible.

 

“Our goal is to ensure that Long Island receives the same level of oversight as the rest of New York State,” she said. “We’re also working on developing more educational material on a variety of utility topics.”

News

In response to the county’s fly-by-night decision to remove 176 old oak trees along Seaman’s Neck Road, earlier this month, New York State Sen. Kemp Hannon has issued a letter to Nassau County Department of Public Works Commissioner Shila Shah-Gavnoudias regarding constituents’ concerns with the appearance of the roadway.

In his letter, Hannon asks Commissioner Shah-Gavnoudias if the removal of the trees were under the jurisdiction of LIPA or PSEG.

“If not, I would like to know who made the decision to remove these trees and why,” Hannon states. “I request you review this case and take whatever course of action necessary.”

U.S. Navy Veteran Richard Meyerowitz of Levittown joined the military in 1962, enlisting straight out of high school. While he would never see combat, Meyerowitz served as a boilerman aboard the U.S.S. Dewey amid the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

“They gave us our orders,” Meyerowitz said, “turn any vessels away. If not, blow ‘em out of the water.”

During the blockade, Meyerowitz said he only encountered one ship, which they warned to turn back. Just a kid at the time, Meyerowitz said it didn’t occur to him at the time, how the country could have been on the verge of nuclear war.


Sports

Christopher Joseph of Levittown was recently selected to play on the United States world university hockey team in Italy this year. A 2009 MacArthur High School graduate, Joseph was captain of his high school team for two seasons, leading them to two championships. Joseph would later go on to play junior hockey for New York Apple Core and the New Jersey Rockets junior ‘A’ team.

Joseph’s parents, Hal and Theresa, along with his brother Robert and sister Kristin said they are very proud of Christopher’s accomplishments and are cheering him on as he heads off to Italy.

Farmingdale State College had four players named to the 2014 D3baseball.com All-New York Team. Senior outfielder Edward Bergmann of East Meadow, earned First Team honors, while junior shortstop Anthony Alvino of Lindenhurst was named to the Second Team. Junior outfielder Michael Marino of Franklin Square and sophomore pitcher Alex Weingarten of East Rockaway also earned Third Team honors this year.

Bergmann batted a team-leading .421 this season and also led the Rams in hits (53), runs scored (42), doubles (8), on-base percentage (.503), stolen bases (30) and held a perfect fielding percentage. Nationally, Bergmann ranks 4th for stolen bases per game (0.88), 10th in stolen bases, 23rd in both on-base percentage and batting average and 29th in runs scored per game (1.21).


Calendar

BOE Planning Session

Wednesday, Aug. 27

Bad Seed Auditions

Thursday, Aug. 28

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs

Friday, Aug. 29



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com