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Alex Radin, who was the face of the public power industry in Washington, D.C., for more than three decades, died April 11, 2014, at his home in Washington, D.C. He was 92 and had been in poor health for the last several months, said his son, Bill. Radin was the chief executive officer of the American Public Power Association from 1951 until 1986.

Radin joined the APPA staff in 1948 as editor of Public Power magazine. The association staff at that time was small—only three people. He was named general manager of APPA in 1951 when Carlton Nau left that post to return to the Northwest. In the subsequent 35 years, Radin built the association into a respected voice for the nation’s more than 2,000 not-for-profit public power utilities. The association emerged as an effective representative of public power interests before Congress, the White House and federal agencies and as a source of information and services for the utilities it represented. Through his efforts, public power utilities were recognized on Capitol Hill and in executive branch agencies as progressive, consumer-owned providers of electricity—entities that worked to keep electricity affordable.


In the 1960s, Radin launched a campaign to support the development of joint action agencies, which are a vital presence in the public power industry today in dozens of states.


Under Radin’s leadership, APPA expanded educational programs for its member utilities to address technical and safety training and a wide range of other specialty areas.  During the 1960s, he launched a campaign to support the development of joint action agencies in several states.  These agencies, which today exist in dozens of states, allow small municipal utilities to realize the benefits of economies of scale by working together to purchase or build power generating facilities. The agencies today are a vital presence in the public power industry.

Radin's long tenure at APPA was marked by many milestones. In 1984, APPA became the first electric utility association to call for enactment of federal legislation to address acid rain. The move took APPA out of the "just say no" crowd and gave the association an opportunity to advocate for pollution control measures that would not create an unreasonable cost burden for electricity consumers.

After he retired from APPA in 1986, Radin worked for 13 years as a consultant for public power utilities in several states. During that period, he chaired an advisory committee on the Tennessee Valley Authority for the Southern States Energy Board and served as chairman of the Consumer Energy Council of America. In 1988, Radin chaired a special federal commission on the temporary storage of spent nuclear fuel and in 1994 and 1995, he represented then-Energy Secretary Hazel O’Leary on a special panel charged with reviewing the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project. Radin also was one of the founders and a vice president of the Consumer Federation of America.


Radin (far right) is pictured with President John F. Kennedy (third from right) in this APPA file photo from the early 1960s.

After retiring from his consulting practice, Radin wrote a book, Public Power-Private Life, a personal memoir and a chronicle of the public power industry during his years at APPA. The book was published in 2003.

"Alex was a keen believer in the principles of public power—community ownership, citizen control, local management, and not-for-profit operation," said Larry Hobart, who worked with Radin for 35 years and succeeded him in the late 1980s as APPA's chief executive. "He led many political battles to protect those objectives for towns and cities all across America, and expanded the services of APPA to assist them. His talents helped advance the cause: writing ability, political skills, leadership gifts, and, most of all, the faculty to communicate with everyone, be it a U.S. president or a small-town utility manager. His is a record of a professional and personal life lived well."

"For nearly four decades, Alex was Mr. Public Power," said Alan H. Richardson, who succeeded Hobart as head of APPA. "And in fact, he retained that title even after he retired in 1986. His legacy is an organization, APPA, that continues to reflect the principles that were so important to him — always keeping the lights on, but doing so in ways that kept the interests of consumers and protecting the environment.  Alex was a great man, a marvelous mentor, and a true friend.  He will be missed dearly."

Radin was born in Chattanooga, Tenn., June 14, 1921, to Joe and Mollie (Pernat) Radin, who had immigrated to the United States from Russia. He graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  He worked as a newspaper reporter in Chattanooga before moving to Washington, D.C., in 1942. He worked in the Office of Price Administration and served in the U.S. Army during World War II. After the war, he worked at the U.S. State Department and then at APPA.

He is survived by Carol, his wife of 35 years, and two sons, Jay and Bill, daughters-in-law Mary and Ruth, and grandchildren Sam Radin, Andrew Radin and Randi Lorber. His brother, Jacob, also survives him. His first wife, Sara, died in 1964.

Funeral services were private, but a public memorial service will be held at a later date.  Memorial contributions can be made to the Alex Radin Scholarship Fund at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. —JEANNE LABELLA

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission plans to hold a technical conference June 23-25 to discuss opportunities for using improved software to increase the efficiency of the real-time and day-ahead markets run by regional transmission organizations.

In a March 28 notice, the commission said its staff "will be facilitating a discussion to explore research and steps needed to implement approaches to market modeling which appear to have significant promise for potential efficiency improvements in the following areas: stochastic modeling; optimal transmission switching; alternating current (AC) optimal power flow modeling; and use of active and dynamic transmission ratings."

The notice includes a list of more detailed questions that the FERC staff would like addressed. A more detailed agenda will be posted after May 7. —R.V.

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Twitter user Randy Skoog, @rmskoog, tweeted this photo on April 3: "Got up to baseball-size hail in Denton ... Lots of broken car windows and power outages." Photo credit: Randy Skoog
Denton Municipal Electric crews braved hail and 82 mile-per-hour wind gusts the night of April 3 to restore power to businesses and residents in Denton, Texas. Starting at 6 p.m., crews responded to 27 different outages affecting a total of 3,385 customers. Electricity had been restored to all customers by 1:37 a.m. on April 4.

Most of the utility's customers — 92 percent — did not lose power during the storm, the utility said.

According to the National Weather Service, three confirmed tornadoes struck Collin, Hunt, and Hopkins counties in Texas as severe thunderstorms moved across the Midwest and South. No tornadoes touched down in Denton County.

Several funnel clouds were reported, which triggered a tornado warning to be issued for the area. Denton also experienced significant damage from the large hail, which in some cases was as big as baseballs and even as big as softballs, the National Weather Service reported.

"We are lucky to have courageous professionals in Denton who know how to quickly and safely get the power back on," said DME General Manager Phil Williams.

Denton Municipal Electric has reduced outages by 59 percent in the past five years, said Brian Daskam, DME spokesperson.

The utility credits its tree-trimming program for the outage reduction, as well as the fact that more than 50 percent of its distribution lines are underground and therefore less susceptible to weather events, said Williams. —FALLON FORBUSH

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EVENTS CALENDAR
Webinar – Electric Utility 101: Distribution
April 16

Webinar – Cybersecurity Awareness Training Part III
April 17

RP3 webinar – Reliability
April 17

DEED webinar – New Program Options to Engage High School Students on Energy Usage
April 23

Webinar – Determining Revenue Requirements for Your Utility
April 24

General Accounting, Finance & Audit Spring Meeting
Washington, D.C.
April 24-25

RP3 webinar – Safety
April 25

Webinar – Industry Issues and Challenges Facing Public Power Governing Bodies
April 30

RP3 webinar – Workforce Development
May 2

Spring Education Institute
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
May 5-9

DEED webinar – Better Building Practices Toolkit for New Residential Construction
May 8

RP3 webinar – System Improvement
May 9

Webinar – Overview of Utility Financial Operations for Board and Council Members
May 13

Webinar – The Leadership Development Process
May 15

Webinar – Development of Cash Reserve Policies
May 20

DEED webinar – DSTAR: Best Practices Guide to Preventing Copper Theft
May 21

Webinar – Technology: From Meter Reading to Customer Information Systems
June 3

DEED webinar – Energy and the Environment, a High School Curriculum for Public Power
June 11

Webinar – Accounting Standards and Reporting Framework Update
June 12

National Conference & Public Power Expo
Denver, Colo.
June 13-18


Webinar – Introduction to Legislative Issues and Grassroots Advocacy
June 25

Webinar – Rate Making for Utility Boards and City Councils
June 30

DEED webinar – Customizable Weather Database Helps Utilities Handle Customers' High-Bill Complaints
August 20


For a full APPA Events Calendar, visit Publicpower.org.


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CLASSIFIEDS

Regulatory counsel—The American Public Power Association is recruiting for a regulatory counsel to assist in energy policy formulation and policy advocacy before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), federal courts, other federal/state agencies and industry policy forums. The incumbent participates in and monitors FERC dockets and NERC activities of interest to the association and its members, as well as advocates association positions in these forums and participates in coalitions on such matters with other industry associations and groups as appropriate. The incumbent also communicates with individual APPA utility members, groups of members and their counsel to develop and coordinate consistent policy positions. Required education and experience includes:

• a law degree and appropriate bar admissions to practice law before state and federal courts;
• prior relevant experience in FERC and NERC regulatory matters;
• broad experience in electricity policy issues;
• the ability to analyze legal issues, draft complex legal documents, understand multifaceted regulatory, technical and economic issues and develop solutions;
• the ability to help plan and organize educational offerings on areas of expertise for the association; and
• the ability to communicate effectively—verbal and written communications—and gain cooperation from staff, members, outside counsel, other industry association representatives, press and the public.

Apply: For more information, go to www.PublicPower.org. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to HumanResources@PublicPower.org with "Regulatory Counsel" in the subject line. APPA is an equal opportunity employer.

Transmission and distribution systems operations manager—Tacoma Power in Washington is hiring a transmission and distribution systems operations manager to manage operations of the Energy Control Center, including shift operations of the system power dispatchers, dispatcher candidates and senior substation operators. The position supervises 29 employees. Compensation: The yearly salary is $118,456 to $151,860.80. Qualifications: The position requires a Bachelor of Science degree or completion of an electrical apprenticeship and five years experience. Apply: Inquire at www.mytpu.org/jobs.

Senior distribution planner—The City of Redding Electric Utility in California is seeking a senior distribution planner to design new and modify existing overhead and underground electric transmission and distribution facilities; develop master distribution system plans; and prepare work orders, estimates, material lists, cost of service studies and standard drawings. The candidate may also provide training and supervision to lower level classifications. Apply: If interested, please see the detailed job announcement and apply online at www.ci.redding.ca.us. This recruitment may close at any time with minimal or no notice, therefore; prompt application is encouraged. Please apply immediately. The position is open until filled. EOE/FAAE.


Check out APPA's career services on the Web

Visit the Career Center at PublicPower.org. Our career center allows job seekers to upload resumes, and recruiters to obtain resumes from job seekers. Classified ads in Public Power Daily and Public Power Weekly cost 70 cents per word for APPA members, and 80 cents per word for nonmembers, for a one-week run. Job posting subscriptions are available in packages of five, 10, or unlimited for a full year. The weekly deadline for placing a classified ad is every Thursday at 12 p.m. (Eastern time). If you have questions about classified ads, please write to jobs@publicpower.org, or call 202/467-2958.

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