BREAKING NEWS Felton Water Rate Hearing Rescheduled
Valley Post, May 6, 2008
At the request of California American Water, the local hearing for its request to raise Felton water rates has been moved from late May to June 17. Cal Am has requested that the state Public Utilities Commission grant it a 54.4 percent rate hike for Felton customers beginning in 2009, followed by increases of about 6 percent for each of the next two years.
Cal Am parent debuts on stock exchange
The Associated Press, April 23, 2008
NEW YORK -- Shares of American Water Works Co. are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange today after the water and wastewater utility's initial public offering priced at $21.50 per share, below the expected price range.
Crooked Pipes: FLOW prepares for the final battle against RWE for control of Felton’s water utility
Good Times Santa Cruz, March 19, 2008
How much is water worth? A California American Water (CalAm) internal memo—prepared by a PR firm in 2003 and leaked to activists and the press anonymously—states the following about the prospects of quashing eminent domain mutiny in Felton: “The results of [focus groups] show a grim environment in which the only viable argument appears to be increased taxpayer cost without improvements to service or water quality.”
Metro Santa Cruz, March 12, 2008
For the average working stiff Monday is not a day for jubilation, but for Betsy Herbert, Monday, March 10, was sure to be the best day of the week. That was the day the environmental analyst for the San Lorenzo Valley Water District (SLVWD) learned that her agency had won a crucial court ruling in its attempt to wrest control of Felton's water system from Cal-Am, a subsidiary of the multinational company RWE.
Cal Am: It's Not "If," It's "How Much?" Felton Water Suppliers Agree to Let Jury Establish Purchase Price
The Valley Post, March 11, 2008
In a surprise move, about one week before California American Water went to trial Mar. 17 to fight a local attempt to take over its Felton water system by eminent domain, Cal Am conceded the point. Instead, company officials said they would focus on establishing the Felton system's worth at $25 million in a jury trial set for June. That is significantly higher than the San Lorenzo Valley Water District's $7.6 million offer, or for that matter the $11 million in bonds authorized by Felton voters.
Cal Am drops fight over public interest of water buyout
Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 11, 2008
FELTON -- California American Water Co. dropped its legal opposition Monday to a grass-roots effort to establish whether there is public interest in wresting control of the Felton water supply from the private conglomerate.
BREAKING NEWS: Cal-Am concedes first phase of eminent domain trial
Press Banner, March 10, 2008
In a bold move, California American Water Co. announced today it would forgo the “right to take” trial that would have determined if the Felton water system is eligible for eminent-domain takeover by the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
German Utility RWE Profit Falls
Associated Press, February 22, 2008
BERLIN - Germany utility RWE AG, whose U.S. operations include American Water, said Friday that its profit fell in 2007 from the previous year when it had a large gain from the sale of its British subsidiary.
Cal-Am pulls billing request
Press Banner, February 29, 2008
California-American Water Co. has withdrawn its state Public Utilities Commission request to bill Felton residents for the $67,000 awarded to Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water for its work on a previous rate-increase request.
Cal Am will suggest spreading fee to Monterey
Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 26, 2008
California-American Water Co. has temporarily withdrawn its attempt to recoup from Felton residents legal fees the company was ordered to shell out to a grass-roots citizens group.
Cal Am lowers proposed rate hike for Felton
Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 5, 2008
California American Water has lowered its rate increase request that would affect 1,300 Felton customers beginning in 2009, but a grassroots group determined to take control of the local water supply says the proposed hike is still too high.
Cal-Am loses bid to stop Felton condemnation
Press Banner, January 25, 2008
California-American Water Co. tried and failed to short-circuit the eminent domain process under which San Lorenzo Valley Water District is moving to acquire Cal-Am’s Felton water system.
FLOW lawsuit stays afloat; Felton water control fight head to court this spring
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 19, 2008
FELTON -- Residents here may be a bit closer to regaining local control of their water system. A Superior Court judge denied a motion Friday that could have thrown out a lawsuit Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water, or FLOW, filed against California American Water to win back control of their water supply.
Felton fights against American Water - and RWE
German Public Radio, December 27, 2007
The water comes from the same source as in the neighbouring village, but cost double. Die Bürger der kleinen kalifornischen Gemeinde sehen den Grund dafür in der privatisierten Wasserversorgung und in der Preispolitik der RWE-Tochter American Water - und wehren sich. The citizens of the small Californian community see the reason in the privatised water supply and the pricing policy of RWE subsidiary American Water - and defend itself.
CalAm Seeks Additional 78 percent Revenue Increase from Felton Water Business
Valley Post, December 18, 2007
CalAm has filed a rate case with California's Public Utilities Commission that seeks a 78 percent increase in revenue from the Felton system. The impact on customer rates would be spread over three years starting in 2009. However, the largest leap would come in the first year, when the average customer's bill would increase by 72 percent.
Cal-Am to file for rate hike
Press Banner, December 14, 2007
California-American Water Co. has advised the state Public Utilities Commission that it wants to boost water rates by 79 percent in 2009 and collect a new surcharge over nine months instead of two years.
Cal-Am hits Felton
Press Banner, December 7, 2007
Felton water customers got a double whammy Friday, Dec. 7, as California-American Water Co. filed to boost water rates by 78 percent and proposed to collect an additional new surcharge over nine months instead of two years.
Reversing Water Privatization in Felton
KUSP's Talk of the Bay, December 4, 2007
An update on Felton's efforts to take over its water system with Jim Graham of Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water. Broadcast included an episode of the National Radio Project's "Making Contact" series.
Cal-Am wants residents to pay FLOW legal fees
Press Banner, November 23, 2007
Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water is opposing an attempt by California American Water to levy a surcharge on its Felton customers to pay $67,000 to FLOW, as ordered by the state Public Utilities.
German Owner Delays Sale of Felton Water's Parent Company
The Valley Post, November 20, 2007
Felton's water system will remain part of the chain of ownership that falls under German-based RWE Aktiengesellshaft for a few months longer. RWE has postponed its plan to divest American Water, which owns CalAmerican Water and the Felton system. RWE is poised to sell American Water as a public offering, but for the moment the stock market isn't an attractive place to sell a corporation. RWE has indicated that it will pursue the sale next spring.
FLOW gets $67,000 in legal fees
Press Banner, November 16, 2007
The state Public Utilities Commission has awarded Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water $67,000 in legal fees for its expenses as an intervenor in the recent California-American Water Co. rate case.
RWE Delays Unit's IPO; Cites State of U.S. Market
Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2007
FRANKFURT -- RWE AG postponed the initial public offering of shares in its American Water Works unit, citing unfavorable conditions in the U.S. capital market. RWE punished for American Water sale delay
The Guardian UK, November 15, 2007
The German utility RWE saw its share price fall sharply yesterday after it announced it was postponing the sale of its American Water business, which had been planned for the end of this year.
RWE Delays Controversial Sale of American Water on Wall Street
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
NEW YORK - November 15 - "Amid third quarter profit losses, Germany-based utility giant RWE announced it would delay its controversial sale of American Water, citing "unfavorable" market conditions in the United States. This decision begs the question: will market conditions ever be favorable to the privatization of public water services?
RWE puts off sale of American Water
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 15, 2007
RWE, Germany's largest power producer, has postponed the sale of its American Water unit due to U.S. market turmoil, a move that impacts plans for Felton residents who want to buy the waterworks.
RWE Shares Roll Downhill
Forbes, November 14, 2007
LONDON - Germany utility giant RWE disappointed the market on several levels Wednesday. First came the nine month results that, though comfortably ahead of last year's results, fell short of analyst expectations. Then came the announcement that they would be postponing the much-anticipated initial public offering of their American Water subsidiary, and would be scrapping a share buy-back program, as well as postponing an increase in dividend payments. Unsurprisingly, the announcements triggered a sell off that sent RWE's shares diving.
Water Rights: No Clear Solution
National Radio Project, October 31, 2007
The privatization of public water supplies is occurring in many places around the world. Sold like a common commodity, the rights for distribution and management of community water are being bought and controlled more and more by private entrepreneurs and corporations. But a global movement of activists say this most basic element of life should stay in the hands of the people who use it and out of the control of profit-seeking corporations or government bureaucracies.
State Awards FLOW $67,000 in Legal Fees
Valley Post, October 23, 2007
On Oct. 18, FLOW activists marked a small victory in their protracted battle over the water rates charged by California American Water Company (CalAm) in Felton. The state's Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has agreed to reimburse FLOW $67,000 for legal fees incurred last fall as they battled CalAm's application for revenue increases.
Utilities panel grants FLOW legal fees
Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 18, 2007
The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday awarded the Friends of Locally Owned Water $67,000 to reimburse the conservation group for legal fees it spent fighting a water rate increase.
KTVU Channel 2 special report on the Felton water fight
KTVU Channel 2, May 6, 2007
Court keeps Felton water case local
Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 7, 2007
The Sixth District Court of Appeals on Tuesday dismissed a petition from California-American Water Company, which serves Felton residents, to move its trial out of Santa Cruz County.
State to Felton's Cal Am: Well proposal not very well planned
Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 28, 2007
FELTON — The state has thrown a wrench into plans by California American Water Co. to drill a $500,000 well in search of an additional source of water, which the private company says it needs because of low winter rainfall this year.
Cal Am's plans for a new Felton well run dry
Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 27, 2007
The California Public Utilities Commission has denied the proposal by California American Water Co., the water supplier to 1,350 customers in Felton, to drill a new $500,000 well in search of an additional source of water.
FLOW vs. Cal-Am: The battle over Felton water continues
Press Banner, August 7, 2007
Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water, a grassroots organization that fights to gain public control of the town’s water system, has put itself on the map when it comes to fighting privately owned corporation California American Water Co.
Cal Am appeals venue change
Monterey Herald, July 3 2007
California American Water has filed an appeal to a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge's ruling against their request for a change of venue in a lawsuit over the company's Felton water system.
Felton Community Resists Water Giant
KPFA, June 18, 2007
Residents in the town of Felton, California are using eminent domain to buy back their water supply from a private water company called American Water. Residents complain of price gouging and poor customer service.
Water district wants rehearing
Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 19, 2007
The San Lorenzo Valley Water District has requested a rehearing of the Public Utilities Commission's decision to approve the application of German utility giant RWE to spin off American Water Co., parent company of Felton water provider California American Water Co., in an initial public offering.
Felton water eminent domain case to stay in county
Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 10, 2007
A Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday that the San Lorenzo Valley Water District's lawsuit seeking to seize California American Water Co. property in Felton through eminent domain will stay in the county.
Cal Am wants fee in line with standard
Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 9, 2007
California American Water Co. has applied to the state Public Utilities
Commission for an increase in its after-hours reconnection fee in the Felton
district, according to an April 30 letter to the PUC.
Cal Am doesn't want eminent domain issue settled in Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 8, 2007
Saying it can't get a fair trial in Santa Cruz, California American Water Co. will ask the court on Wednesday to change the location of the eminent domain proceedings filed by the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
Judge Recommends Spinoff of CalAm
The Valley Post, April 10, 2007
As the San Lorenzo Valley Water District begins a court battle in an attempt to seize control of the Felton water system, the international conglomerate that owns CalAmerican Water is trying to take public its California assets in an initial public offering.
Felton water case: Ball now in lawyers' court
Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 18, 2007
When the board members of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District voted last week to use eminent domain to acquire the Felton water system from California American Water Co., the room erupted in cheers from the dozens of Felton residents.
Water district votes to take Cal-Am
Press-Banner, February 14, 2007
After a four-year battle, Felton residents cheered the latest step to gain local control of their water last week.
Legal Battle Begins Over Forcible Purchase of Felton Water System
Valley Post, February 13, 2007
This month, attorneys hired by the San Lorenzo Valley Water District will file a lawsuit against California American Water (CalAm). The litigation seeks a forcible purchase of the embattled utility that serves over 1,300 customers in the Felton area. The Water District board voted unanimously on Feb. 8 to begin the court process after a public hearing in which dozens of Felton residents reiterated their frustrations with the internationally owned corporation controlling their water supply.
SLV Water District ready to condemn Felton system
Press-Banner, January 31, 2007
Directors of San Lorenzo Valley Water District have called a special meeting Feb. 8 to consider starting eminent domain proceedings to acquire Felton’s water system.
PUC division lambasts Cal-Am in IPO attempt
Press-Banner, January 23, 2007
In a scathing rebuke, a state Public Utilities Commission division accused the German utility that owns Felton's water system of making misleading and erroneous claims in its attempt to spin off its American water holdings.
Aptos residents rally for local control of water
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January
California American Water Co., the private water company on one side of the David-and-Goliath showdown over control of Felton's water system, is looking to purchase a water system in a tiny pocket of the Aptos hills.
Thumbs down to state PUC
Press-Banner, December 20, 2006, Editorial
To the California Public Utilities Commission for being Scrooge to Felton water customers and San Lorenzo Valley Water District. Within a month, the PUC first refused to let the district, which wants to acquire Felton from California-American Water Co., participate in proceedings where Cal-Am’s parent is asking for permission to spin itself off through an IPO and then told Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water to look elsewhere for assistance in taking the system public.
San Lorenzo Valley Water District Offers $7.6 Million for Felton's CalAm
Valley Post, December 19, 2006
Supporters of a public purchase of Felton's water system reached a major milestone this month. Appraisals of the system and its assets are now complete and for the first time, money is on the table. On Dec. 5, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District sent CalAmerican Water, the system's current owner, a formal offer to purchase the system for $7.6 million.
Felton water customers to see bills rise again
Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 1, 2006
The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a rate increase for the 1,350 Felton customers of California American Water that will raise the average water customer's rate about 13 percent, according to a Cal Am spokesman.
SLV to offer $7.6M for Felton water system
SLV Press-Banner, December 6, 2006
This is a good news-bad news week for Felton water customers. The good news: A $7.6 million offer to purchase the Felton water system is being made by San Lorenzo Valley Water District. Unexpectedly, the potential acquisition also has gotten a nudge from the president of the California Public Utilities Commission. for sale. Cal-Am also announced another rate increase for Felton customers.
SLV Water District to offer $7.6M for Felton water system
Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 2, 2006
The San Lorenzo Valley Water District board of directors voted unanimously Thursday night to offer $7.6 million to California American Water Co. for the Felton water system, according to district Manager Jim Mueller.
UCSC students film documentary on Felton's fight to acquire water system
(Posted April 6, 2006)
UCSC students Jen Lopez and Phoebe Boyd filmed a short documentary on Felton's efforts to acquire its water system from RWE/Cal-Am. They were kind enough to allow us to make it available to everyone.
The documentary interviews members of Felton FLOW and members of the community and examines the issue of local ownership of water. They put a lot of work into it and we think it came out very well.
Corporate Water 95018 - online (ok, the first third of it) Bob Evans is hosting the first third of Phyllis Macy's "Corporate Water 95018", a play written and performed to dramatize the problems surrounding private for profit ownership of a municipal water company in the small town of Felton, California.
After the town's water supply was purchased byCalifornia American Water Company (a subsidiary of RWE, a German corporation) their water rates were increased significantly.
Re-elected SLV Water District board members make plans for progress
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 24, 2006
With the defeat of challenger Paul Storm, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District board of directors aims to continue with its plans and goals, including updating the district's capital improvement plan, working on major projects such as building a north-south inter-tie and negotiating the acquisition of the Felton water system, said Jim Rapoza, one of three re-elected to the board.
PUC agrees to further discussion on Felton water rate hike
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 12, 2006
The California Public Utilities Commission declined this week to approve a 50 percent water rate hike for California American Water customers in Felton, instead ordering more discussion on the increase Nov. 30.
Kentucky's 'Bluegrass FLOW' also fighting for local ownership of water
Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 12, 2006
They call themselves "Bluegrass FLOW." Their acronym stands for For Local Ownership of Water rather than Friends of Locally Owned Water, but Bluegrass FLOW in Lexington, Ky., is in line with the Felton group that's been pushing to buy its water system from its corporate owner for more than four years.
Valley headed for eminent domain?
Press Banner, October 18, 2006 - Editorial
Fresh on the heels of Scotts Valley making noises about using eminent domain to acquire the parcels necessary to develop the Town Center in Skypark, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District is no doubt readying to get into the act after last week’s decision that the California Public Utilities Commission wouldn’t force German multinational utility RWE to divest Cal-Am water, which serves the Felton area.
Pat McCormick: PUC needs to move forward to expedite Felton waterworks purchase
Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 15, 2006
On Sept. 27, an Administrative Law Judge for the California Public Utilities Commission PUC came to Felton to receive testimony concerning the proposal of the RWE/Thames/California-American Water Company to sell the water system in Felton as part of an initial offering of a new stock company. At the hearing, the PUC's representative heard substantial and unified testimony that the Felton community is ready to purchase the water system before the new stock company is formed.
Judge recommends 50 percent rate hike
Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 10, 2006
Felton residents will pay 50 percent more for water if last week's recommendation by an administrative law judge is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission.
State does not order Cal Am to divest waterworks
Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 10, 2006
State regulators sided with California American Water Co. rather than Felton residents who had hoped the company would be ordered to negotiate the sale of its Felton waterworks to their community.
Felton residents ask judge to force water system sale
Press-Banner, October 4, 2006
Dozens of residents made impassioned pleas to a state Public Utilities Commission judge Wednesday, Sept. 27, to force the German corporate owners of Felton's water system to sell to the neighboring San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
Felton residents boiling over water
Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 29, 2006
One by one, 38 residents, interested parties and elected officials approached the microphone Wednesday night before a state Public Utility Commission administrative law judge and echoed the same sentiment: "Help." (Photo courtesy Brian Fus)
Felton residents to spout off about water tonight
Santa Cruze Sentinel, September 27, 2006
FELTON — Felton residents have a chance tonight to weigh in on a potential change in the ownership of their water system during a Public Utilities Commission hearing. But local advocates plan to use the meeting as an opportunity to convince the commission that the system should be taken out of corporate hands and sold to the people. LAFCO decision paves way for buyout of Felton water system
Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 12, 2006
When silence filled the room at the county Government Center on Monday afternoon, Patrick McCormick closed the meeting, and the San Lorenzo Valley Water District obtained final clearance to annex the Felton service area.
Time for Cal-Am to give up game
Valley Press, August 31, 2006
EDITORIAL: The saying goes that all good things must come to an end. Whether one thinks the ongoing saga between California-American Water and Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water is a good thing, a bad thing or just plain ugly, the time is clearly coming to put this impasse out of its misery.
Where is FLOW now?
Valley Post, August 30, 2006
By now, property owners in Felton have received two property tax bills reflecting the cost of the first $1 million in bonds from Measure W. The $11 million bond measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters in July of 2005 amid a frenzy of public debate. Measure W 'authorized' and funded San Lorenzo Valley water district's proposed purchase of Felton's privately owned water system.
Water rates in Felton to rise, but it's unclear how much
Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 27, 2006
An administrative law judge for the California Public Utilities Commission issued a preliminary opinion this month that allows some rate increases requested by Felton water system owner California American Water Co. but doesn't allow others.
PUC to host water hearing in Felton
SLV Press-Banner, August 9, 2006
The state Public Utilities Commission has schedule a Felton hearing to investigate a request by the Felton water system's German corporate parent to sell of its water utilities. (Page 1) (Page 2)
Public hearing set for waterworks sale
Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 27, 2006
The Public Utilities Commission public hearing on German utility giant RWE's sale of American Water Works, which includes Felton water system owner California American Water Co., will be 7 p.m. Sept. 27 at Felton Community Hall.
PUC will hear case on waterworks sale
Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 19, 2006
The Public Utilities Commission is considering German utility giant RWE's application to sell American Water Works, which includes Felton water system owner California American Water Co., according to the grassroots group Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water.
Eshoo backs FLOW, bashes Bush
Press Banner, July 19, 2006
Rep. Anna Eshoo said Sunday, July 16, that she has allied herself with Felton Friends of Locally Owned Water by writing to the state Public Utilities Commission and urging it to require utility giant RWE to negotiate divestiture of its Felton water system.
LAFCO prepares for Felton water takeover
Press-Banner, July 5, 2006
Felton residents are closer to gaining control of their water system, following a resounding vote of confidence by the countywide Local Agency Formation Commission.
Annexation a 'satisfying' step for FLOW
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Junet 28, 2006
Like a cold glass of water on a hot day, Monday night's Local Agency Formation Commission decision was "very satisfying" for members of the grassroots Friends of Locally Owned Water group.
Residents closer to owning their water
Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 27, 2006
The Local Agency Formation Commission unanimously agreed Monday to annex about 1,920 acres in Felton to the San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
Cal-Am to recover costs through rates
Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 20, 2006
California American Water Co., the water provider for Felton, has requested authority from the state Public Utilities Commission to create an account to track Cal-Am's share of expenses incurred by its parent company, American Water Works, in compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
Utilities commission denies legal compensation for FLOW
SLV Press-Banner, May 17, 2006
The state Public Utilities Commission last week denied "intervenor compensation" for Felton FLOW that would have paid its $49,719 legal bill incurred by its participation in PUC hearings about rates a restructuring of California-American Water Co.
Water group faces hurdle
Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 23, 2006
San Francisco attorney Edward O'Neill spent about 120 hours during the past two years developing arguments to help people in Felton fight to keep their waterworks out of a merger with Monterey. The people who hired him won the argument, but O'Neill may not get paid.
Threat seen to water-system sale - Felton: Residents concerned over eminent domain amendments
Monterey Herald, March 31, 2006
Felton residents are concerned that two constitutional amendments working their way through the state Legislature and a ballot initiative being circulated that would curb state and local government authority to impose eminent domain claims on private property might torpedo their efforts to force the sale of California American Water's system in Felton to a public agency.
Felton residents see new window for purchase of waterworks
Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 29, 2006
Felton residents pushing to buy that area's water system from California American Water Co. are turning up the pressure following an announcement last week that Cal Am would become a publicly-traded company.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, March 26, 2006
The San Lorenzo Valley Water District board of directors on Thursday voted unanimously to begin the process of annexing the Felton water system service area into that of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District
Veolia casts hungry eye overseas
Bloomberg, March 14, 2006
The chief executive of Veolia Environnement said Monday that he would consider acquisitions involving units of rivals RWE and Suez, but ruled out joining any unsolicited offer for Suez.
Proposed amendment could dam FLOW's efforts
Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 24, 2006
A proposed amendment to the state Constitution has recently surfaced that, if passed, could negate the past four years of efforts by water crusaders in Felton.
Water bill: $36,800 in legal fees
Santa Cruz Sentinel, January 17, 2006
A judge has ordered Felton resident Patrick Dugan to pay $36,800 in legal fees for his challenge of the ballot argument on Felton's waterworks last May.
RWE Shares Reach Record on Report of Thames Water Bid Bloomberg, January 16, 2006
Shares of RWE AG, Europe's fourth- largest power company, rose to a record on reports that buyout firm Terra Firma Capital Partners Ltd., led by the British financier Guy Hands, plans to buy the company's U.K. water unit for 8 billion pounds ($14.2 billion).
Cal Am demands water district records
Santa Cruz Sentinel, December 15, 2005
When someone files a request for five years worth of your financial records, you know they're looking for something.
Am to be sold Monterey Herald, November 7, 2005
For months, California American Water has been telling groups advocating
a public takeover of the company's systems on the Monterey Peninsula
and in Felton that it is not willing to sell. The matter is now
out of its hands.
Water System Put Up For Sale
KSBW-TV, November 4, 2005
Action News learned Friday night that Cal-Am water is up for sale,
which could have an impact on Measure W in next weeks Special Election.
dumps challenge to Felton's water bill Monterey Herald, November 4, 2005
While California American Water awaits the outcome of Tuesday's
vote to determine if voters want to study a takeover of its local
system, a judge this week upheld July's vote in Felton in which
voters overwhelmingly approved a bond measure to finance a hostile
takeover of the company's system there.
upholds Felton water vote Santa Cruz Sentinel, November 2, 2005
A Superior Court judge has upheld the July 26 special election on
Felton's waterworks, a decision that had Measure W supporters smiling.
Am's puppet show Monterey Herald, October 20, 2005
It's interesting to see who's supporting Cal Am in opposition to
Measure W: Larry Foy, a former Cal Am employee, and Paul Bruno,
whose family-owned company, Monterey Peninsula Engineering, has
received contracts from Cal Am worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
on the Tap: Is Water the Next Oil? Harvard Business School, October 17, 2005
Flush, shower, rinse, swallowfumbling through their first
waking moments, most Americans are probably too groggy to see competitive
advantage in their early morning routine. But there it is: All the
H2O they needcheap, clean, treated, pressurized, and home-deliveredavailable
at the turn of a faucet. Not so for 1 billion other residents of
planet Earth, whose day begins quite differently. With their basic
health already compromised for lack of water-based sanitation, those
less fortunate must also worry that their drinking wateroften
requiring several hours each day to collectmay sicken or even
report issued on water company Santa Cruz Sentinel, October 5, 2005
Public Citizen has issued a new report on RWE/Thames Water, the
parent company of California American, which owns the Felton waterworks.
The report describes company operation in England over the past
six years and seven locations in the United States, including Stockton,
Monterey, and Chualar.
and Kentucky Cities Should Fire Corporate Water Giant: Communities
Will Be Better Served by Local Control of Water Public Citizen press release, Oct. 4, 2005
WASHINGTON - The largest private water company in the United States,
which serves 16 million customers in 29 states, is heavily debt-ridden
and has a track record of raising rates excessively where it operates,
according to a new report by Public Citizen. The national consumer
group Public Citizen urges voters in Lexington, Ky., and Monterey,
Calif. to fire the corporate water giant when they vote Nov. 8 on
initiatives asking whether the communities should buy back their
local water utility from Kentucky American and California American,
subsidiaries of the multinational RWE AG.
percent Felton water rate hike upheld Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 18, 2005
Customers of California American can expect to see bigger water
bills in mid-October, now that state regulators have upheld a
44.2 percent rate hike.
man pushing to nullify vote Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 30, 2005 Felton resident Patrick Dugan wants a judge to throw out the
results of Measure W, the July 26 special election on Feltons
decides that Felton-Monterey water merger is not realistic Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 7, 2005
A judge has issued his recommendation to deal with rate shock
for Felton water customers. James McVicar, administrative law
judge with the Public Utilities Commission, has recommended a
30 percent increase in water rates for Felton customers.
water rates apart, judge says Monterey Herald, August 3, 2005
Monterey Peninsula residents should not have to subsidize the
water rates of residents in Felton, an administrative law judge
with the state utilities commission said Tuesday.
approve Felton water vote results
Santa Cruz Sentinel, August 3, 2005
A week after Felton voters approved an $11 million bond measure
to buy the town's water system, the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday
put the legal steps in motion.
corporate takeover Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 28, 2005 (Letter
to the Editor)
Common sense tells me that no person, private company or corporation
should have the legal rights to control through "ownership"
water necessary to maintain life and to sell it solely for profit.
has the money but utility won't sell LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER WIRE SERVICES, July
FELTON, Calif. - Voters in Felton have approved an $11 million
bond issue to buy its California American Water system, but the
company says it is not for sale.
Voters Support Local Water Control
Free Speech Radio Network, July 27, 2005
Multinational corporations are buying up water rights worldwide.
About five percent of the global water supply is controlled by
private companies. This privatization raises fears, and in some
places, like Bolivia, water privatization has caused deadly conflict.
A three year struggle over control of the Felton, CA waterworks,
entered a new phase last night with passage of Measure W, an 11
million dollar bond to buy-back the local system.
backs water buyout
Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 27, 2005
FELTON Measure W supporters celebrated with champagne and
cake Tuesday night, thrilled that the $11 million bond to buy
their waterworks passed with a 74 percent yes vote.
to blame for Hwy. 9 cost overrun?
Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 23, 2005
Customers fighting a water rate hike blame their water company
for a $150,000 cost overrun on its project to replace a main on
Opposition: Cal Am says it will not fight water system buyout
Monterey County Weekly, July 14, 2005
In November, Peninsula voters will decide if they want to finance
a study of the cost of a public takeover of California American
Water Companys local system. Meanwhile, in Felton, a small
community in the Santa Cruz mountains, residents are currently
voting on a 30-year tax to buy their water system from Cal Am
in a mail-in ballot with a July 26 deadline.
takeover is smart Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 10, 2005 (Letter
to the Editor)
Capitalism generally provides marvelous benefits to consumers
because the innovations and productivity that the profit motive
unleashes are transferred to the customer by the vigorous competition
a company faces. Water is the most natural monopoly there is.
That is fundamentally why Feltons attempt to take back control
of its water system makes such sound fiscal sense. CalAm has no
competition, so it is not penalized either for poor service or
high prices. The virtues of capitalism become vices when there
is no competition.
Am clients have an ally Monterey Herald, July 10, 2005 (Editorial)
Customers who were stunned by California American Water's request
for a 46 percent rate increase next year now have an able advocate
on their side. Not only has the state Office of Ratepayer Advocates
challenged that sought-after increase and more in the two years
to follow, it's recommending customers actually get a 6 percent
decrease in their bills next year.
holds community forum to discuss water buyout Santa Cruz Sentinel, July 3, 2005
Voters have questions about Measure W, a bond of up to $11 million
to buy the Felton waterworks from California American. Its
a special tax that will cost homeowners between $595 to $698 per
acknowledges water monitoring error Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 30
FELTON State records show a lapse by California American
in monitoring Feltons drinking water in 2004. Leslie Jordan,
the companys water quality chief, confirmed Wednesday that
a mistake was made and vowed "this will never happen again."
A Request for a Public Retraction
Valley Press, June 29, 2005 (Letter to the Editor)
My name is John Fasolas and I'm the FLOW supporter probably best
known for driving the big silver van with the FLOW banners on
the sides and back.
Fight: Feltons effort to buy its water comes to a vote
Good Times, June 30, 2005
A furious battle over who should control Feltons water system
took a step closer to resolution this week as Measure W ballots
arrived in local mailboxes, competing for attention with credit
card bills, coupon books and the Victorias Secret catalogue.
studying water system takeover (Editorial) Monterey Herald, June 26, 2005
It's too early to support a public takeover of the California
American Water system, but the water board's step in that direction
last week was a good move. Condemnation is so difficult and so
potentially counterproductive that it should be studied hard,
which is exactly what the board wants voters to authorize.
Puppet Masters? Metro Santa Cruz, June 23, 2005
As the Measure W vote on Felton's water system approaches (ballots
will be mailed June 27), Cal-Am, the corporation that currently
owns the water system, continues its charge against Friends of
Locally Owned Water, after most of CalAm's requests to change
wording in the ballot were rebuffed by Superior Court Judge Art
Payment: Monterey Peninsula Water Management District considers
the costs of owning Cal Ams system
Monterey County Weekly, June 23, 2005
Peninsula voters, famously fed up with California American Water
Companys rates and decrepit local water system, will get
to weigh in on a public buyout of the private system. On June
21, the water board approved a November ballot measure that will
ask voters if the Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
(MPWMD) should be directed to investigate the cost and process
to publicly acquire the Cal Am system.
in the water?
Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 22, 2005
Good to hear that water-quality concerns with tetrachloroethylene
are being so carefully monitored, prompting action in Scotts Valley.
Wish I could feel so confident here in Felton, where a Superfund-eligible
site contaminated with tetrachloroethylene is not being monitored....
up: Felton water ballot OKd: Reworded Measure W draws judges
approval Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 10, 2005
In the courtroom clash Thursday over Measure W the Felton
water buyout ballot it came down to two words: guaranteed
profits. The result: The argument for Measure W in the voter information
guide will be changed, but not as much as Measure W opponent Patrick
emerges to fight Felton water buyout Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 7, 2005
A new group, the Valley Information Alliance, has surfaced to
oppose Measure W, the Felton water buyout, with a mailer that
does not identify its leader or financier.
date for Felton ballot suit (second story) Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 7, 2005
The attempt by Felton resident Patrick Dugan to change the wording
of a Measure W ballot statement has been postponed until Thursday
at 8:30 a.m. in Department 9 of the county courthouse.
Water customers won't see double: Cal Am can't yet charge
for desal plans, judge says June 3, 2005, Monterey Herald
California America Water's proposal to double rates charged to
its Monterey Peninsula consumers has been shelved - at least for
May 25, 2005, Metro Santa Cruz
We're on the edges of our seats here in the Nüzroom as we
wait for the next development in the FRIENDS OF LOCALLY OWNED
WATER scuffle, wherein a ragtag group of Felton residents vie
to buy out the rich, profit-mongering villainous CAL-AM CORPORATION
-- or anyway that's how the script might have read in the hands
of a younger MICHAEL MANN, director of The Insider.
Send Cal Am packing May 24, 2005, Monterey Herald (Letter to the
Lies! Lies! Lies! Cal Am's German masters may think that they
can lie, seduce our elected representatives with big money and
break laws without any consequences. The Herald's exposé
tragically outlines how big business does backroom deals with
weak local politicians at the expense of our citizens.
Web confirms Cal Am lobby expenses: Water utility paid $10K
in '03 to influence McPherson bill May 20, 2005, Monterey Herald
Contrary to the company's denials, state records show that California
American Water lobbied on Senate Bill 149, failed legislation
by former Sen. Bruce McPherson that would have reshaped governance
of the Peninsula water district.
prepare for June 6 clash over Felton water May 19, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Felton residents will be back in court June 6 to argue over the
wording of a voter pamphlet for Measure W. Measure W is the ballot
measure for Felton voters to decide on a special tax to buy out
their waterworks, now owned by California American, and join the
San Lorenzo Valley Water District.
faces lawsuit in push for Felton water buyout May 17, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
FELTON Friends of Locally Owned Water, the grassroots group
pushing a ballot measure to buy the Felton waterworks, has been
sued over the wording of the voter pamphlet scheduled to be mailed
June 27. The lawsuit was filed Monday by Felton resident Patrick
Dugan, local chairman of the Libertarian Party and president of
the San Lorenzo Valley Property Owners Association.
puncture water line on Highway 9 May 4, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Crews working on water main improvements on Highway 9 punctured
a lateral service line by mistake Tuesday afternoon, prompting
concern among customers.
OK water buyout ballot April 29, Santa Cruz Sentinel
FELTON Now the campaign can officially begin. County supervisors
voted unanimously Wednesday to let Felton residents vote on whether
they want to borrow $11 million to buy their waterworks from its
FLOW Wants Openness, Dialogue April 20, 2005, Valley Press Letter to the
In his April 6, 2005 letter, Evan Jacobs (Felton's Public Information
Officer of California American Water/RWE) calls for openness and
dialogue in Felton's campaign to regain control of its water resources.
We couldn't agree more.
'Water, Water Everywhere' April 15, 2005, KSBW-TV
"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."
The lament of Coleridge's Ancient Mariner rings true to Central
Coast ears. Drive the highways and byways of the Central Coast
this weekend, and you're likely to see something that we don't
often see in this area: river and creek beds briskly flowing with
water. Like the wildflowers bursting with color this spring, rivers,
streams and creeks are nearly bursting their banks with unusually
high water levels.
project moves ahead
April 8, 2005, Monterey Herald
After more than four months of negotiations, a consortium of city
governments, water agencies and the county Thursday announced
an "approval in concept" to pursue a publicly owned
regional water project under the umbrella of the Monterey County
Board of Supervisors.
mark town water deals April 1, 2005, Sonora Union Democrat
In San Joaquin County, Lathrop city officials say handing over
operations of their sewer system to a private company has been
a boon. But in Santa Cruz County, Felton residents are fighting
to buy their water and sewer system back from a private company
that's readying 85-percent rate increases.
water-main break illustrates tension between customers, CalAm March 31, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
FELTON When Rod Wilkerson saw a crew with night lights
outside his house on Highway 9, he went outside to take a look.
When he realized there was a water main break, he grabbed his
Polaroid to photograph the hole in the ground even though it was
10 p.m. He never expected anyone to call the Sheriffs Office.
to buy water system advances March 16, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
Efforts by Felton residents to buy that areas water system
from a private corporation took a big step Tuesday. The county
Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to begin establishing a
special tax district to pay for buying the system owned by California
American Water Co. and approved a preliminary plan that would
issue about $11 million in bond debt to do it.
takeover legislation draws ire - AB1397 March 16, 2005, Monterey Herald
Two Central Coast groups, one in Monterey and another in Felton,
say California American Water Co. is trying to block potential
takeovers of local water systems through legislation that would
rewrite the state's eminent domain laws.
paves way for Felton water buyout
March 5, Santa Cruz Sentinel
BOULDER CREEK Felton residents who want to buy their waterworks
from the corporate owner have jumped another hurdle. The San Lorenzo
Valley Water District board voted unanimously Thursday night to
approve an agreement with the county to own and operate the waterworks.
proposes larger revenue increase
March 5, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
FELTON California American Water has replaced its proposal
for a 108-percent revenue increase for Felton customers, with
one seeking a 109.67-percent revenue increase.
Small Chemical Spill Questioned
March 2, 2005, San Lorenzo Valley Press/Banner
There was a small chemical spill recently in the Felton Water
District. Thanks to the location of the Water Dstrict ffice to
our fire station, Cal-Am employees received prompt and efficient
March 3, 2005, Monterey Herald
Who among us could prefer continued service from the California-American
Water Company? Any telephone inquiry addressed to the company
winds up with an unsatisfactory response from Illinois.
taxing district to be discussed at board meeting
March 3, 2005, Santa Cruz Sentinel
BOULDER CREEK Call it a prenuptial agreement. Its
a 10-page document laying out terms under which the San Lorenzo
Valley Water District would operate the Felton waterworks owned
by California American.
Listen on line to BBC series on privatization "The
The BBCs World Service is broadcasting a series on the privatization
of public utilities called "The Global Sell-Off". The
series discusses the German transnational corporation that owns
Cal-Am, and the reporter meets workers and bosses whose enterprises
succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. But he also hears from
those in developing countries who feel they are worse off because
of privatization. You can listen
desalination solution urged
Monterey Herald, February 21, 2005
While two groups move forward with competing plans for desalination
plants in Moss Landing, area mayors and their staffs are developing
a structure for governing a regional desalination plant.
Chemical accident at Cal-Am Felton water treatment plant
The Scotts Valley Post reported in its February 15 issue that
a cloud of hazardous chlorine gas was released from Cal-Am's Felton
treatment plant on January 6 when an employee incorrectly mixed
chemicals in a 55-gallon drum. The Felton Fire Department and
County environmental health officers responded to the incident.
One employee was taken to a doctor to be checked. Cal-Am will
not be fined for the incident.
orders Cal-Am to reduce water rates in Ventura County
Ventura County Star, January 14, 2005
The California Public Utilties Commission ordered Cal-Am to lower
water rates for 20,000 Ventura County ratepayers, according to
the Ventura County Star. Cal-Am had been charging its customers
about one-third more than those customers served by the city of
Thousand Oaks, which purchases water from the same source. (Second
item in story. If prompted for login, use "email@example.com"
and password "bugmenot").
Am delays pilot desal plant
Monterey Herald, December 28, 2004
California American Water Co. is applying the brakes to a plan
for a pilot desaliniation plant that was to have started production
in Moss Landing in early 2005.