|Power struggle brewing in L.A. County sheriff's deputies union|
|It appears there’s a power struggle brewing in the union for rank-and-file Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.
Earlier this week, the union put out a statement announcing that it had removed its president, citing problems with his attendance. According to sources familiar with the union’s inner-workings, the supposedly ousted president, Armando Macias, showed up at a meeting Wednesday and insisted on running it.
Reached by The Times on Thursday, a union representative declined to say who is now the union’s president.
Macias did not respond to requests for comment. [Article]|
|by ROBERT FATURECHI, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2014-03-14|
|Feds take inspiration from California's drug sentencing guidelines|
|If, as Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote, the states are laboratories of democracy, then California has been a kind of Nobel-prize team, cranking out initiatives that change the way we look at culture, politics and crime, and sending them out for the rest of the country to sample.
One of these has been around since 2000, so long that it has just become part of the fabric of courts and cops in California -- Proposition 36, sending eligible nonviolent drug offenders to treatment instead of prison. [Article]|
|by PATT MORRISON / COMMENTARY, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2014-03-14|
|Californians grow less reliant on cars, survey finds|
|Californians aren't depending quite as heavily on cars for commutes and errands as they did a decade ago, according to a new survey by Caltrans.
Although driving is still by far the most dominant mode of transportation across the state, accounting for about three-quarters of daily trips, researchers say a decrease in car usage and a rise in walking, biking and taking transit indicate that Californians' daily habits could be slowly changing.
What is happening in California mirrors a nationwide decline in driving, experts say: The number of car miles driven annually peaked about a decade ago, and the percentage of people in their teens, 20s and 30s without driver's licenses continues to grow. [Article]|
|by LAURA J. NELSON, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2014-03-14|
|Study: Income inequality is rising fast in Orange County|
|Income inequality is rising all over the country. But it’s rising faster in some places than others -- almost nowhere faster than Orange County.
That's according to a report this week from real estate website Trulia, which crunched income figures over the last 22 years and found that a household in the 90th percentile of income in Orange County in 2012 earned 11.7 times as much as a household in the 10th percentile. That's up from 7.5 times as much in 1990.
Only three metro areas in the country -- San Francisco, hedge-fund capital Fairfield County, Conn., and San Jose -- saw the disparity grow faster in that time.
|by TIM LOGAN, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2014-03-14|
|Nearly 1 mln residents sign up with Covered California as health care deadline looms|
|With a March 31 deadline approaching and 100 mln already spent on marketing, Covered California officials announced Thursday that more than 900K state residents have enrolled in health plans through the exchange since October.
The figure was more than projected but officials said it still wasn’t good enough. The announcement was made near Olvera Street where a Covered California rally had been organized to urge community leaders to keep reaching out to all who are eligible and tell them sign up online, in person or by phone for health care by the federal Affordable Care Act’s deadline. [Article]|
|by SUSAN ABRAM, Los Angeles Daily News. 2014-03-14|
|Toll-roads CEO Peterson resigns with 'double-dipper' benefits|
|The head of Orange County's toll-road agency received nearly 40K in retirement benefits that his contract specifically prohibited, records show.
Agency board members accepted Neil Peterson's resignation on Thursday, weeks after they learned of tens of thousands of dollars in contracts that he had signed without their knowledge. [Article]|
|by DOUG IRVING, Orange County Register. 2014-03-14|
|Public guardian to retire|
|After moves that folded many of her duties into other departments, Orange County's public guardian and assistant public administrator, Lucille Lyon, will retire after almost three years in that post, a news release said.
"We're very thankful for Lucille's willingness to help Orange County during a troubled time, and we wish her all the best in retirement," Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shawn Nelson said in a statement. [Article]|
|by JILL COWAN, Daily Pilot. 2014-03-14|
|California Vies To Replace Closed San Onofre Plant Power|
|LOS ANGELES — More than two years after the San Onofre nuclear power plant stopped production, California is looking to fill the gap left in its energy grid by the plant that provided enough electricity for 1.4 mln homes.
On Thursday state regulators planned to make a major decision toward filling the hole left by San Onofre and its 2K-megawatt capacity as they consider a proposal that would allow the plant's co-owners — Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — to find replacement power. [Article]|
|by ASSOCIATED PRESS, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-03-14|
|Why is Imperial police patrolling in Calexico?|
|Why is the Imperial Police Department patrolling Highway 111 all the way to Calexico? Don’t we have enough CHP officers to do this job? I drive on Highway 111 every day and I see Imperial police citing drivers daily. I didn’t know these areas were in the city of Imperial’s jurisdiction. What gives? — Commuter, El Centro
Along with Imperial police being seen patrolling the southern span of Highway 111, local residents may have also observed a number of other law enforcement agencies enforcing the law outside of their normal jurisdiction. This enhanced law enforcement initiative is made possible as a result of Operation Stonegarden funding, said Imperial Police Chief Miguel Colon. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Imperial Valley Press. 2014-03-14|
|Metrolink’s new technology aims to make train travel safer|
|Metrolink recently announced it had launched Positive Train Control (PTC), a new technological breakthrough which will help make train travel safer, according to officials.
A ceremony which was attended by Metrolink Board Chair Pat Morris was held last month at Union Station in Los Angeles to celebrate PTC.
"I have spent my entire life around the rail, but this is unequivocally the most instrumental piece of technology ever implemented for train safety," said Morris, who worked his way through Stanford Law School at the ATSF Railway. "PTC will undoubtedly make Metrolink the safest commuter rail system in the country; the invaluable partnership between Metrolink and the BNSF has made today a reality." [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Fontana Herald News. 2014-03-14|
|SOLAR: McCoy project near Blythe OK’d|
|Even as the massive McCoy Solar Energy Project won approval from the Riverside County Board of Supervisors this week, the future of similar solar plants being installed on desert land from the Coachella Valley to Blythe appears less than certain.
“Three years ago, we were talking about hundreds of thousands of acres (of solar panels),” 4th District Supervisor John Benoit said in an interview Monday.
But that level of growth predicted for large-scale solar projects like McCoy — permitted for up to 750-megawatts in eastern Riverside County — hasn’t materialized, even as rooftop solar installations across the state have boomed. [Article]|
|by LUKE RAMSETH, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2014-03-14|
|Rational water policies are likely out of reach: Tim Rutten|
|Think California’s recent rain storms solved the state’s water crisis?
Well, they didn’t, and to understand why, you have to go beyond the uncertainties of our state’s climate and into our unique — often confounding — economic and political history.
When American astronauts stood on the moon and looked back toward Earth, there were only two works of man that they could glimpse with the naked eye: One was the Great Wall of China and the other was the California Aqueduct. [Article]|
|by TIM RUTTEN / OPINION, San Bernardino County Sun. 2014-03-14|
|'Green' energy may provide Salton Sea funding, but path unclear|
|WINTERHAVEN — Plans to develop renewable energy as a way to fund restoration and conservation projects at the Salton Sea could be premature without at least a preliminary plan on what the restoration will look like, which in turn may depend on figuring out the funding sources for those efforts.
And that, somewhat circularly, could also depend on renewable development, which will be shaped and controlled by state and federal policies, energy and government officials said at a renewable energy conference in Imperial County on Thursday. [Article]|
|by K. KAUFMANN, Desert Sun. 2014-03-14|
|Three supervisors said no to ordinance|
|The three Mono Supervisors who voted against a proposed ordinance to further regulate politicking on the job in County government, explained that the ordinance was way too complex, threatened first amendment rights and left too many chances for misinterpretation. [Article]|
|by BENETT KESSLER, Sierra Wave. 2014-03-14|
|Local water districts discuss ways to handle California's water crisis|
|BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -
Every drop counts and tonight water experts came together to discuss how to make our supply stretch.
They met for a water forum, a chance to share ideas about how to best cope with the state's drought crisis.
City leaders say they are not in a water crisis, but is actively promoting and engaging in water conservation and awareness efforts to residents around the community.
Six urban water districts around Kern county are sharing ideas of how to deal with California’s drought crisis. [Article]|
|by CARLOS CORREA, Bakersfield Now. 2014-03-14|
|Kern County organizations team up to reduce homelessness in rural areas|
|BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Several different organizations in Kern County are teaming up to fight homelessness in rural areas.
Rosalina Allen is just one of the outreach workers Flood Bakersfield Ministries uses to let the homeless know what resources are available to them.
"There are a lot of people that just don't know so they get accustomed to this lifestyle because they don't know. The not knowing is worse than knowing and not doing,” said Allen.
Allen is out on the streets five days a week building relationships and reaching out to the homeless. [Article]|
|by AMANDA GOMEZ, Bakersfield Now. 2014-03-14|
|Public Health having trouble inspecting food trucks in the field|
|BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Scientists with the California Department of Public Health just concluded a statewide study that evaluated full food preparation trucks (typically referred to as taco trucks or catering trucks.
The two-year study looked at operating procedures in full kitchen, complex menu mobile food facilities. Six counties throughout the state, including Kern County was the target for the study.
The scientist were looking for risk factors associated with those mobile food facilities.
"In addition, we surveyed environmental health jurisdictions to find out what are the resources and challenges with the food program," said Brenda Faw, environmental health specialist with CDPH.
Those challenges stem from the very nature of [Article]|
|by MARK CHRISTIAN, Bakersfield Now. 2014-03-14|
|New county jail prepares for downsizing|
|The 40 mln grant money approved for a new jail in north Tulare County by the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) approved in January has been reduced to 33.3 mln after an appeal of the funding by Stanislaus County was upheld.
The ruling will affect the county’s plan to build a jail north of Visalia. [Article]|
|by KELLI BALLARD, Recorder Online. 2014-03-14|
|S.J. won't get $33M to build jail|
|SACRAMENTO - San Joaquin County lost out on 33 mlin funding to build a new jail after a state corrections panel Thursday upheld an appeal from neighboring Stanislaus County in a competition among counties for a piece of 500 mln.
The county's proposed project would have replaced the jail's minimum-security Honor Farm with a new facility with room for rehabilitation programs, increased security, and more flexibility to be able to house more inmates, county officials said, allowing some relief at the jail that has forced the county for decades to release some inmates early to prevent overcrowding. [Article]|
|by ZACHARY K. JOHNSON, Stockton Record. 2014-03-14|
|Biomass appeal: Stockton plant focused on clean way to turn wood waste into power|
|The first thing John Reis does, as he turns a corner and his new power plant comes into view, is clear up any misunderstanding about the great clouds of gas billowing from its 75-foot stack.
"It's not smoke," he says.
Closed to public
Right now, the public is not allowed to come to the new DTE plant and drop off wood waste.
However, project manager John Reis said another DTE plant near Sacramento has experimented with a residential drop-off program, and said such a program might be offered at the Stockton plant in the future.
It's steam. Indeed, as you gaze up toward the plume, tiny drops of water wet your face on this otherwise clear, 77-degree day.
Resting on the footprint of what was once the county's grossest-polluting business, this new 100 mln biomass plant went online just a few weeks ago. [Article]|
|by ALEX BREITLER, Stockton Record. 2014-03-14|