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Sanctuary city leaders vow to remain firm, despite threats from U.S. attorney general
Leaders from so-called sanctuary cities across Southern California struck a defiant tone Monday, stating that they would continue to protect people who are in the country illegally despite threats by U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions to cut off and even claw back grant funding from the Justice Department. “We will fight this vigorously and still continue to maintain services to provide for our high quality of life in Santa Ana,” Sal Tinajero, a city councilman in Santa Ana, which voted unanimously to become a sanctuary city shortly after Donald Trump was elected president. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Los Angeles Times. 2017-03-28
 
California National Guard official tells legislators forced bonus repayments will be resolved by mid-summer
A top official for the California National Guard told state legislators Monday that he hopes lingering issues from the soldiers being forced to repay enlistment bonuses will be resolved by mid-summer. A Times investigation last year found that the Pentagon demanded thousands of soldiers repay enlistment bonuses up to a decade after going to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. The claw-back came after audits revealed vast overpayments of bonuses, due in part to mismanagement and pressure to hit enlistment targets. The Times story prompted outcry that soldiers, who were not at fault for accepting the bonuses, were now facing financial hardship. [Article]
by MELANIE MASON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-03-28
 
LA County leaders poised to condemn China’s dog meat festival
With the annual Yulin dog meat festival approaching in the southern region of China, Los Angeles County Supervisors will consider Tuesday joining a national effort to pressure the government there as well as in South Korea to stop the practice of slaughtering the canines for consumption and trade. Supervisor Hilda Solis introduced the motion to request that county officials craft a letter in support of a growing movement to urge China to end the dog meat trade and the festival. In January, a resolution was introduced by Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings that asks the U.S. government to condemn the Yulin Dog Meat Festival in the Guangxi region because of extreme animal cruelty. [Article]
by SUSAN ABRAM, Los Angeles Daily News. 2017-03-28
 
Measure M Funds, Approved by Voters Rich and Poor, Going Mostly to LA County’s Richest
During this month’s meeting of the Metro Board of Directors, there was a protracted discussion about how Measure M’s local return fund would be apportioned to the 88 cities and unincorporated Los Angeles County. While in the past return dollars have been doled out on a strictly per capita basis, the new sales tax might work a little differently. The local return working group for Measure M (h/t Henry Fung) came up with a plan that would set an annual minimum amount that all jurisdictions would be guaranteed regardless of their population. The money to push these very small cities up to the floor amount would be carved out of the overall local return pot for the year, the remainder of which would then be distributed to the larger cities. [Article]
by SCOTT FRAZIER, CityWatchLA. 2017-03-28
 
Significant Southern California beach erosion on the way, study says
A new study predicts that with limited human intervention 31 percent to 67 percent of Southern California beaches could completely erode back to coastal infrastructure or sea cliffs by the year 2100 with sea-level rises of 3.3 feet (1 meter) to 6.5 feet (2 meters). The study released Monday used a new computer model called CoSMoS (for Coastal Storm Modeling System) to predict shoreline effects caused by sea level rise and changes in storm patterns due to climate change. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-03-28
 
Former Spitzer aide sues Orange County over supervisor's 'raging temper,' alleging wrongful termination - The Orange County Register
A former aide to Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer has sued the county and her ex-boss alleging that Spitzer’s “raging temper” toward employees caused her health problems and that when she requested to transfer to a new county position she was instead fired. Christine Richters, 50, who was Playboy’s Playmate of the Month in May 1986 and later worked in Spitzer’s office from February 2013 through October 2016, said in her lawsuit, filed Friday, that Spitzer’s excessive time demands and practice of running his office “through means of fear and aggression,” caused her to experience anxiety, depression, hair loss and other health issues. She also alleges she was wrongfully terminated. [Article]
by JORDAN GRAHAM, Orange County Register. 2017-03-28
 
New Pollution Detection Tech Highlights Toxic Risks in Southern California Air
(TNS) -- As the reports began landing on Wayne Nastri’s desk last fall showing alarmingly high levels of cancer-causing pollution had been unexpectedly detected in a working-class area of southeast Los Angeles County, a stark concern arose: This may not be an isolated problem. The reports were scooping up data from a new generation of monitors deployed by Nastri’s agency, tasked with keeping the air clean from the beaches stretching from Santa Monica to Dana Point and inland to Palm Springs. [Article]
by RACHEL URANGA and DAVID DANELSKI, Government Technology. 2017-03-28
 
Couples Substance Abuse Treatment Resource Center Enters Into Marketing Agreement With Addiction Marketing SEO Firm
Couples Rehabs is an informational website for individuals looking for more information about treatment for substance abuse. Although the site focuses on promoting married couples rehab centers, CouplesRehabs.org offers drug and alcohol treatment information for everyone. The new agreement with Knack Media is to help the existing staff create new content and promote the different treatment options available to people who suffer from addiction. [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, Daily Breeze. 2017-03-28
 
OC Bus Ridership Numbers to Stay Down
Orange County bus ridership has fallen 37 percent since the 2008 Great Recession and never again will reach pre-recession peaks, according to the CEO of the county Transportation Authority. “We’re not going to have ridership in excess of 60 million,” CEO Darrell Johnson told the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board Monday. “There are too many things that have changed.” As the agency prepares two major, long-term documents envisioning the future of public transportation in Orange County, the question of what to do with the $300 million bus system looms large. [Article]
by THY VO, Voice of OC. 2017-03-28
 
Popular Senior Transportation Program Gets $1.8 Million SANDAG Grant
A popular senior transportation program that has provided over 300,000 trips in San Diego County was awarded $1.8 million to help cover two years of operations. The grant from the San Diego Association of Governments to Jewish Family Service of San Diego helps fund the nonprofit’s On the Go senior transportation program. On the Go is the largest program of its kind in San Diego County, serving seniors of all faiths and helping them maintain independence and mobility. Services vary from shuttled field trips and group transportation to individual rides to appointments and errands. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Times of San Diego. 2017-03-28
 
Veteran homelessness: Trump's budget could hurt efforts
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The push to end homelessness among veterans would suffer without the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is up for elimination under President Donald Trump's proposed budget, nonprofits and local officials say. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KFMB-TV - CBS8-San Diego. 2017-03-28
 
Potential breeding ground for West Nile Virus mosquitoes targeted for destruction
Fears of West Nile Virus are prompting local officials to plan significant renovation work in a Southeastern San Diego stream bed where concrete channel lining has created a stagnant water breeding ground for mosquitoes.The San Diego Planning Commission is scheduled on Thursday to approve spending $290,000 in county “vector control” funds on the project, which is located in a residential area near the Lenox Drive Bridge over Chollas Creek in Encanto.ADVERTISINGThe stagnant water has been identified by the county Department of Environmental Health as a high priority treatment site due to its location near residential development and the potential for breeding of mosquitoes with deadly West Nile virus.The county and city two years ago completed similar work on a different area of standing water in Chollas Creek in the Southcrest Trails area, which is farther to the south and west. [Article]
by DAVID GARRICK, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-03-28
 
NAFTA, border crossings, border tax broached at SD Chamber Mexico City meetings
Tijuana and San Diego leaders gathered in Mexico’s capital Monday, working to showcase their cross-border collaboration while expressing concern that a proposed 20 percent U.S. border tax could harm their shared region.“We want to make it easier for trade,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer told a crowd of Mexico City journalists. “We want to continue our shared growth… We do not want to have policies that would put that in jeopardy.”Faulconer was accompanied by his Tijuana counterpart, Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum, and Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, during a news conference aimed at highlighting the Tijuana-San Diego relationship and the benefits they said that it brings to both sides. [Article]
by SANDRA DIBBLE, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-03-28
 
Santee sinkholes have residents feeling drained
Several residents in Santee with sinkholes on their properties are poised to sue the city for repairs.Two families with homes in the 9600 block of Hartland Circle have holes six- to eight-feet deep in their yards. They hired an attorney last week to present a claim of damages against the city and pressure Santee to fix the ruptured metal pipe storm drains.Because the city does not own the drainage easements — the corrugated metal pipes are on private property — Santee does not have responsibility for them, according to city staff.The City Council on March 21 offered to send out scoping cameras and engineers to start repair work, worth up to $75,000, at the affected homes. [Article]
by KAREN PEARLMAN, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-03-28
 
What's that buzz? Why hordes of insects are bugging Inland residents
Southern California residents are trying to swat away a pesky problem. In the past few weeks, swarms of gnats and other tiny insects have been bugging people everywhere -- from backyards to bedrooms and at morning and night. Riverside resident Bonnie Walker said she can't escape the nuisance whether she's working in her garden, relaxing on the front porch or watching TV. "They're inside, they're outside, they're everywhere," said Walker, who lives near Riverside City College. "I can't get away from them." [Article]
by STEPHEN WALL, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2017-03-28
 
California is shattering solar records. This bill could take renewable energy to the next level.
A month ago, California broke its all-time solar record, with nearly 8,800 megawatts of solar power flooding the state's main electric grid on a Friday afternoon. The record stood until the following Wednesday, when more than 9,000 megawatts of solar powered the Golden State, according to the California Independent System Operator, which runs the grid. That record didn't even last 24 hours. With the costs of solar continuing to fall, and wind still one of the cheapest sources of new electricity around, California should have no problem hitting its 50 percent clean energy target by 2030. [Article]
by SAMMY ROTH, Desert Sun. 2017-03-28
 
Hikers protest indefinite 3-month closure of Bump & Grind for bighorn lambing season. 'Show us the science'
Legislation permanently making the top of the Bump and Grind Trail accessible to hikers nine months out of the year has cleared its first committee, but some still contend no closure is needed. Assembly Bill 661, coauthored by local representatives Chad Mayes and Eduardo Garcia, removes the Jan. 1, 2018, sunset in the current legislation, extending indefinitely the practice of closing the trail for three months for lambing season. The bill unanimously passed the assembly's Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee last week and was sent to the Appropriations Committee, but a hearing has not yet been scheduled. [Article]
by SHERRY BARKAS, Desert Sun. 2017-03-28
 
Colonies’ prosecutors allege intimidation, harassment by defendants
SAN BERNARDINO >> The judge in the Colonies corruption trial on Monday denied a request by prosecutors for additional courtroom security based on allegations of escalating intimidation and threatening conduct by the defense team and the defendants. Judge Michael A. Smith did, however, admonish the defense team and the four defendants, saying it would be in their best interest to not do anything that could paint them in an unfavorable light to jurors. “I would just advise both (defense) counsel and the defendants, the jurors are obviously observing you, listening to you, and they form opinions,” Smith said during Monday’s proceedings. Deputy Attorney General Melissa Mandel, who is jointly prosecuting the bribery case with San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Lewis Cope, filed a motion with the court March 23 requesting additional courtroom security and alleging “repeated acts of harassment” by Rancho Cucamonga developer and defendant Jeff Burum toward prosecutors when Smith was out of the room. [Article]
by JOE NELSON, San Bernardino County Sun. 2017-03-28
 
47 sickened at Christian campground in Yucaipa
Health officials are investigating what caused 47 people to fall ill at a Christian campground in San Bernardino County. On Saturday night, campers at the Oak Glen Christian Conference Center in Yucaipa began suffering from nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, said Lana Cao, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health. When first responders arrived, they provided medical aid to 20 people for an unknown illness; 13 were taken to hospitals, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s San Bernardino County Unit. The number of patients has since grown to 47. [Article]
by VERONICA ROCHA, Los Angeles Times. 2017-03-28
 
County homeless population stabilized?
Twenty-one fewer homeless people were found on the streets, in transitional housing and in shelters in San Bernardino County than were counted a year ago, a sign that progress to combat the problem countywide has been firm and steady, officials say. In 2015, there were 2,140 total homeless counted and 1,887 were tallied last year, representing a 12-percent year-over-year dip. Preliminary figures from the 2017 San Bernardino County Homeless Count and Survey, conducted Jan. 26, show 1,866 homeless persons in this county. If accurate, the number of homeless has dwindled again, even if by just 1.1 percent. Yet officials point to the rarity of the down arrow at a time when they say the numbers are rising in this half of the state. [Article]
by SHEA JOHNSON, Victorville Daily Press. 2017-03-28
 
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