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California Water Services requests 273% water rate increase for 
Lucerne California

November 19, 2005

Terre Logsdon 


LUCERNE -- Some Lucerne residents protested in front of the California Water Service Company building Friday morning, garnering honks of support from many of the vehicles passing by.

Virginia Diploudis of Lucerne, standing on the sidewalk holding a placard and a cane said that she had never participated in a protest before in her life, especially with how bad her legs are.

"I talked to 225 seniors in two days," Diploudis said, "they are so concerned and so scared wondering how they would choose between their medication, food or water ... I had to do something to help."

Chris Sorenson, owner of Lucerne Bath and Brush already had his landlord increase the rent on his dog-grooming business because, "the new landlord is not going to pay the water increase, so he's already raised the rates."

"We use a lot of water in my business," Sorenson said, "and my rates will have to go up but all of my customers will have their water rates raised, too. How will they be able to pay? This may put me out of business."

Several signs have been posted by residents on Highway 20 in Lucerne, which ask residents to "Tell the Judge NO, we can't afford it."

According to Lucerne Community Water Organization member Lenny Matthews, a petition at Lakeview Market protesting the rate increase has more than 1,500 signatories.

Lucerne residents will have two opportunities to speak to a judge on Monday, Nov. 21 in Lucerne in hopes that the California Public Utilities Commission will refuse or reduce California Water Services Company's requested rate increase of 273 percent.

Administrative Law Judge James McVicar will conduct hearings at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday at the Lucerne Senior Center.

Contact Terre Logsdon at tlogsdon@record-bee.com.