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Con Ed to pay up

For ten hot, sweltering days in July 2006, a vast portion of Astoria, Sunnyside, Woodside, Hunters Point and Long Island City suffered through a total blackout.
Con Edison started out poorly by reporting the catastrophe as a small power outage affecting fewer than 2,000 customers in the area on Monday, July 17. The real severity of the situation bubbled to the surface as the press, emergency services and even the mayor’s office arrived on the scene. The number of affected residences ballooned to 25,000, which translated to more than 170,000 people.
Three months later in November of 2006, after much public outcry, Con Ed raised its reimbursement caps, which allowed individuals to file for up to $350 in spoiled food and medicines and $7,000 for businesses.
Now Con Edison has put approximately $17 million more in community improvements and additional compensation to those affected by the blackout on the table in its ongoing negotiations with the utility giant’s regulators. Additionally, it has indicated that it may be willing to swallow over $40 million in repair costs too.
Whatever the final amount, at least customers will not have to file to receive this compensation; it will probably be taken off a future monthly bill.
In the meantime, Kevin Burke, chair, president, and chief executive of Consolidated Edison Inc., received a $5.5 million pay package in 2007, representing a 24 percent raise from the prior year. Included in the pay increase is a shocking $1.1 million performance-based bonus, representing a 47 percent increase from 2006.
Thank Con Ed for your recent 4.7 percent rate hike this month. Thanks for planning to ask for another rate hike within the next few weeks. Thank you for Kevin Burke’s compensation package.

Honor Jack Fein
Jack Fein’s name always comes to mind when we think of Fort Totten. He proudly preserved the fort’s history and secrets. His 36-year military career encompassed both World War II and the Korean conflict.
We are all saddened by the death of Jack Fein; his passing marks the end of an era. Jack Fein kept the memories alive.
Now it is up to us to ensure that his dedication and contributions are not forgotten. He represented the best of what has rightly been called “The Greatest Generation.”
As is only fitting, Jack Fein will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on May 19.
Long after retiring from active duty, Jack Fein remained at his post. Visitors to Fort Totten could always take comfort in the fact that Chief Warrant Officer Fein was on guard. The fort was definitely in good hands.
An appropriate tribute would be to name the Fort Totten Visitors Center in honor of Jack Fein. It is hoped that everyone will support the efforts of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance to make the “Jack Fein Visitors Center” a reality.
Warren Schreiber
President, Bay Terrace Community Alliance, Inc.
Editor’s Note: We could not have said it better.

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