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Feb. 12, 2001 PROBE

February 12, 2001

QUESTION: Some Imperial Irrigation District electricity users pay a monthly charge based on our average consumption for the year.

For instance, we pay for more electricity than we use in the cooler months. In the summer we pay for less. It's supposed to come out even in October.

With the rise in fuel costs and an increase in IID's "energy-adjustment" rate, will IID recalculate our monthly payments?

If not, we might as well pay each bill as we get it because we can't build up any credit for our summer bills in this current situation. — Thinking Ahead, Imperial

If you are on IID's consumption averaging plan, your February bill will be the same as last month. That means it will not reflect the 7 percent increase in the energy-adjustment charge.

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However, even as we write, IID is working on a computer program that would raise the future monthly bills for customers who average their cost over the 12 months of the year, said IID spokeswoman Susan Giller.

The computer will estimate the new rate so IID customers will not be hit with the numbing increases that hit payers in other areas, Giller said.

QUESTION: A few weeks ago I received a copy of an article from a weekly newspaper in your area honoring veterans. To my surprise, my father was one of the gentlemen in the article sharing their memories and experiences at the high school.

According to his discharge papers, my father served four months and 21 days in the Army with no active duty. Anything he shared regarding his experience in the war would be pure fantasy.

What he neglected to remember, and I feel compelled to share, is his younger brother, now living in Oxnard, served in the Navy during the war. My father's son, my brother, is a Vietnam veteran.

I think newspapers should do a background check before they identify a man as a veteran. Being a veteran is an honor and you should never assume one is a veteran just because he represents himself to be one. — Vet's Nephew, Oxnard

Our newspaper didn't do the article on which you base your complaint. Nevertheless, if we were covering an event at the high school, we would not question a 70-year-old man's assertion he served in World War II.

Nor do we think there was any harm done. We suspect your concern is you feel embarrassed by the episode. Forget it.

Let your dad enjoy his 15 minutes of fame. Why would you want to expose him as a liar? We wouldn't do it. That's why we took out his name.

A NICE BUG — I can't tell you how much better I like your new bug on page B11 in Thursday's paper. It was a nice bug. Your other bug was obscene. If you're going to put a bug in the newspaper you should put in a nice bug, not an obscene bug! — Bugged, El Centro

We aim to please.

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