DWP Officials: To Sacramento, To ICU

Commission gave some in the Eastern Sierra renewed hope of good relations with the big city. One of the reasons – Mary Nichols, a woman who had held many powerful positions in state and local government. Wooed by another state power spot, Nichols left the DWP Commission.

At the last Standing Committee meeting of Inyo and LA officials, it was noted that Nichols had ascended to the head of the California Air Resources Board. Nichols was quoted as saying that Governor Schwarzenegger wants her to fight for clean air. Her mandate from the Governor, said Nichols, is to “speed up, not slow down” the state’s ambitious effort to slash global-warming pollution.

Nichols, known as a political environmentalist, was one of the DWP commissioners to resist more clean-up of the Owens Dry Lake. As observers noted, she was first a politician representing the City of LA and second an environmentalist.

In Sacramento, she will wield the power of the Governor’s office to ramrod clean air measures.

One other DWP note. As we had reported, DWP General Manager Ron Deaton was hospitalized in Costa Rica with an irregular heartbeat. He was vacationing there with his family.

More recent reports said that the DWP commissioners voted to name Robert Rozanksi as temporary head of the DWP while Deaton recovers. Rozanski is the DWP’s chief administration officer.

Deaton, 64, was transported back to California last week. DWP officials said Deaton is recovering in the intensive care unit of a Los Angeles hospital and is expected to make full recovery.

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