lipaBy Larry Gordon

Some have not had power at home for 12 days now. Others on the Rockaway Peninsula and the south shore of Long Island had power for a few days this week, but then, with the quick accumulation of snow yesterday, the power went down again. More darkness, more cold.

To add insult to imposition, there is no one to talk to at the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The utility demonstrated a profound incompetence that is exacerbated by either their inability or simply outright refusal to communicate to their customers what to expect in terms of restoration of service.

With no end in sight to this fiasco, a group of 5 Towns and Far Rockaway attorneys and activists are taking a leadership role in taking LIPA to task. The objective is not to protest or send e-mails or visit their offices. It is a plan that will, over the short term, be more fundamental and effective. The idea at this stage is to set up an escrow fund where proceeds from LIPA bills for residents can be deposited. Representatives of the fund will communicate to LIPA as well as to elected officials that the objective is to pay all bills in full once all power is restored and satisfaction is achieved for all LIPA customers.

More information will be forthcoming on the formation of this group in the coming days. If you wish to join, write to LIPABOYCOTT@GMAIL.COM.

No business can treat customers this way after all this time and get away with it without consequences. Stay tuned.

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  1. Great idea. Blackmail, that has always worked in society. it will back fire. LIPA has the power ( no pun intended ) and it will only hurt the residents. This storm was NOT created by LIPA. It was not intentional that they are struggling to restore power. I had been without power for 8 days in Passaic NJ and power was restored through patience, not blackmail. Sometime one should wonder where peoples brains are.

  2. #1, does DD stand for Dumb Dude?

    The point made by Mr. Gordon is a valid one, and addresses the main issue directly.

    There ARE no consequenses for any of these power companies when taking their time to restore power. That’s their power. And there’s not a darn thing anyone can do about it.

    I propose that local municipalities should join together and put out a mandate that would say something like this:

    “Dear LIPA, when power goes out due to a natural weather event, you have three days to restore full power to anyone who lost power.

    If three days pass and power has not been restored, that customer’s bills for the next six months must be reduced by 50%.

    If six days pass and power has not been restored, that customer’s bills for the next 12 months must be reduced by 75%.”

    You get the picture. We have to hit them in the only place it counts, the wallet.

  3. Dear dd. Apparently you are most deserving of the epithets that you so generously bestow unto others. I am also from Passaic, witnessed the sabotage perpetrated by PSEG and its union, and I can attest – it was not patience that restored the power to Passaic – it was non-unionized crews that came from as far as Miami to Toronto. All the NY and NJ state-sponsored-monopoly-power-companies should come under the public scrutiny microscope and be replaced.

  4. It’s awful what these guys are going through but I highly doubt that LIPA’s taking it easy. A terrible disaster the likes of which has not happened in decades upon decades and your complaining as if they could just turn on a switch. By all means put pressure in an appropriate and costructive way, not by writing codescending articles “representing” frum Jewry.

  5. I agree with the first comment – they won’t even notice. You can put off paying your power bill for about two months before they start coming after you for it. Do you expect power to be out that long?

    Larry, you’re a good guy, but this idea has no teeth.

  6. Bubbie, I have high praise for JCP&L- they worked hard and deserve our thanks. The damage is unimaginable- they are literally fixing our power piece. by. piece.

  7. How about getting a new administration for LIPA? I didn’t have electricity for 10 days and then lost it again. I am a medical professional and was not able to see patients and my practice suffered! I agree that LIPA has to be revamped but it has to be done in a legal and prudent manner.

  8. Frustration is understandible. In this case though, anger in my oppinion is unjustified. They dont have the manpower to answer the phone calls of everyfrustrated upset person. They just DO NOT. ANd why would they?

    This is the biggest storm that I can every remember, to hit the NYC and New Jersey area.
    Going for a week and a half without power is very very difficult. Therefore, be very thankful when you get it back.

    The power outage in 2003, some people went 3 to 4 days wihtout power, some spent Shabbat wihtout electricity. And there was no storm at all back then. Lay off of DD. Dont be cry babies. Suck up reality, and see what you can make of yourselves in these times.

  9. To DD: Sorry to pile on but you’ve earned it

    Let’s not talk patience. Let’s demand competence.
    This is not the first time that LIPA has shown it’s hand through poor procedures and bad management. It’s chronic if you’ve paid attention. Yes a catastrohic storm and yes catastrophic incompetence. They collect big bucks from its customers and don’t reinvest in or create a customer service infrastructure or technical expertise to handle what their charter requires.
    Yes patience will be required for the new entity and new management after LIPA’s charter for the privelege of doing business in NY is revoked. Just wondering if that great CEO, Michael Hervey, will get work after this.

  10. So once in a lifetime storm, millions without power. I’m just curious as to what they could have done to prepare, and what more they could have done/be doing differently to fix the power? I’ve tried to imagine what else I could have done differently, and I can’t think of a single thing. A lot of people are DEAD from this storm, which is worse than no electricity. So they brought a lot of people in from all over the US, dealing with electricity and a lot of water. Should they work faster and carelessly and risk more deaths? I understand frustration. I just can’t imagine A) how ANYONE could have been prepared for this and B) what more they can/could have done beyond bringing in more workers, which they did. It’s not something you can “miracle” fixed. So seriously, I really want to know what people think they could have done differently? I’m not being a troll… I freaking HATE utilities companies. I hate most authority figures. I’m just hearing a lot of frustration and blame, but no ones said what could have been differently beyond “being prepared”. How and what else? Thanks for your ideas.