BGE rips off customers

I would like to suggest an issue which I believe warrants investigative expertise.

The issue involves the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company ripping off their customers, particularly in 2 compelling areas.

Rip off # 1 – Power restoration following power outages
I have been working on this issue since 1992. Disgraceful – That is BGE’s record of power restoration time for customers getting their power back on following power outages, especially for individuals living in less populated areas.
The cause of this appalling record is due to the fact that BGE is at least 2000 crew members short of the number of people needed to bring power back on. BGE-Exelon is more concerned about pleasing their stockholders, board members, and fat cat executives through dividends and outlandish salaries rather than providing better service to their customers.
Instead of going on the offensive having the required crew members on standby at all times (like fire stations have firefigthers on standby regardless of whether a fire has actually broken out) BGE goes on the defensive using the strategy of waiting until the storm actually occurs before calling out the needed troops. Power outages are not just an inconvenience to BGE customers. They become life threatening situations for babies and the elderly.

Rip off # 2 – The replacement of gas pipes underneath the ground
A law passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governors of the last 20 years set into motion the gas pipes replacement. BGE plays a large part in carrying out the law. They hire subcontractor companies whose job is to dig underground, repair and/or replace the pipes, and then clean up the mess by paving the streets, in many instances partially rather than the entire street.

The process takes too long and puts drivers and citizens in a precarious situation.

I was personally involved in an accident that took place on July 19, 2018. No one was in the area to say I could not make a turn on to Smith Avenue nor were there any cones or other signs warning me not to proceed. My car wound up in a sinkhole causing the air bags to go off, an explosion, a bloody nose. I sat in my car, in a state of shock, for at least one minute before somebody came to see if I was OK. The subtractor company, Grade Line Construction, was responsible for this gross negligence.

At the suggestion of the Baltimore County Police Officer, Officer Bailey, who eventually came on the scene, and escorted me home, I contacted the Grade Line Construction Company and asked to speak to Allen Howard, the Safety Director. I was told by the operator he was in and given his direct number which I called, but he did not take the call. I contacted the operator again and left a message with her asking that Allen Howard please call me. He did not.
Following additional attempts to talk with him, I finally reached him. Unfortunately, he chose to display a very unpleasant manner with me.

To top it off, I learned that the crew chief lied to Officer Bailey and covered up their negligence by saying I did not follow directions. BUT NO DIRECTIONS WERE GIVEN TO ME NOR WERE ANY SIGNS, CONES, ETC. ON DISPLAY TO PREVENT ME FROM PROCEEDING.

A byproduct of this outrageous incident of which I was a victim involved the police report that was filed. In reporting this accident, Officer Bailey was required to use an accident form that comes from the Maryland State Police. However, the form is problematic. The form calls for a witness account. However, in my situation, there was no witness. Officer Bailey went over to the crew to find out what happened. The crew chief spoke up even though he did not witness the actual accident. Hence, the crew chief was able to provide an account that was untruthful. Since Officer Bailey was required to fill in the witness space, he used the crew chief’s account – an account that covered up his negligence.

It has been brought to my attention that other citizens have encountered areas where lanes were closed due to construction work going on, but drivers were clueless in how to proceed because no signs or people were around to direct the traffic. In my opinion, this is a dangerous predicament.

If these unfavorable actions of Grade Line Construction Company exemplify the type of subcontractors which BGE uses, then I must question the criteria used by BGE in hiring these companies.

I am fed up with BGE ripping off its customers on account of the morally bankrupt political system in Maryland.

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Follow Up

Another recent happening reinforces my concerns about the practices of BGE and its subcontractors.

*On October 2nd, the public was informed that “BGE contractor damages sewer line, sending sewage flowing into Patapsco River in Westport.” As the article stated, it was “a classic case of utility work gone horribly wrong.”

**On October 3rd, however, the public learns that “BGE says it was actually the city’s contractor that broke a ‘large sewer line’ in Westport, sending sewage spewing.

The Department of Public Works, disputes BGE’s claim.

Once again, BGE with its contractor is a party to a very muddy dispute and denying any responsibility for the fiasco.

And again, I must question the criteria used by BGE in hiring its subcontractors.

 

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The Decadence of College Sports

Time has passed, but the problem persists. The article that appeared in the Baltimore Sun, “College sports have become hopelessly decadent,” is just as relevant today as it was in April 2013 when it was printed.
In actuality it is even more applicable. The heartbreaking death of the University of Maryland college athlete, offensive lineman, Jordan McNair, and the catastrophic set of events resulting in the firing of the football coach, DJ Durkin, the retirement of President Dr . Wallace Loh and Board of Regents Chairman James Brady shine a light on the problems and corruption inherent in college sports.

The outrageous salaries given to college coaches, who for the most part, put their own interests for advancing their careers, above the interests of their players; the excessive amounts of money spent on lavish football stadia or basketball arenas; the occurrence of severe head injuries and other physical or emotional injuries make a strong case for changing the nature of sports on the college level. Right now, college sports is organized, big bucks, “legalized brutality.”

In my opinion, the hazards do not outweigh arguments for continuing this type of play for those at the college level. As stated previously, college sports should become competitive, intramural programs with participation by students for the purpose of exercise, weight control, and some good solid fun.

While this might not be a popular step, it is the right thing to do.

Ralph Jaffe