|County social workers strike over pay, high caseloads|
|Los Angeles County social workers took to the picket lines on Thursday, the first county strike in more than a decade and a sharp escalation of a labor dispute between the county and its biggest employee union. [Article]|
|by Seema Mehta and Abby Sewell, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Labor leaders rally in support of striking county social workers|
|Labor leaders backed striking Los Angeles County social workers at a raucous rally near downtown Thursday morning, underscoring the seriousness of the first county employee walk-out in more than a decade.
Union officials are trying to keep the focus on the social worker caseload issue that is one of two major sticking points in a stalled contract negotiation between the county and its largest public-employee union. [Article]|
|by SEEMA MEHTA, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Union declares impasse in contract talks with L.A. County|
|Contract negotiations between Los Angeles County and its largest public employee union hit new lows, with the union declaring an impasse and county leaders preparing for a possible strike by social workers Thursday. [Article]|
|by SEEMA MEHTA, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Sheriff Lee Baca admits shortcomings in 2010 hiring practices|
|Under fire for hiring dozens of officers with histories of serious misconduct, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca on Wednesday acknowledged shortcomings in the way his agency handled the process.
"We did a job that could have been done better," Baca told reporters. "There is a reality here that certain individuals, upon scrutiny, need to be revisited and that's exactly what I intend to do." [Article]|
|by Bob Pool, Robert Faturechi and Ben Poston, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Burial held for unclaimed ashes of 1,464 people in L.A. County|
|Community leaders, chaplains and dozens of others gathered on a chilly Wednesday morning in Boyle Heights to remember more than 1,400 people whose remains were left unclaimed at the county's crematory. [Article]|
|by JON SCHLEUSS, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Nearly 1 in 5 live in poverty in Southern California, study finds|
|More than 3 million people in the six-county Southern California region lived in poverty in 2012, 18% of the total population, officials said Wednesday.
The figure represents a 69% increase since 1990, which is nearly three times the rate of population growth in the same period, said economists with the Southern California Assn. of Governments, a regional planning agency. One in four children were living below the federal poverty line. [Article]|
|by GALE HOLLAND, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Letters: Designing better juvenile probation camps|
|Re "L.A. County speeds up plan to rebuild youth probation camp," Nov. 26
Los Angeles County's probation camp system, based on an 80-year-old correctional design, represents an outdated approach to juvenile justice. The camps' institutional design, with barracks-style dormitories and open bathrooms, has failed to meet the complex needs of incarcerated youth and remains an impediment to reform. [Article]|
|by Michelle Newell /Children's Defense Fund-California, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Monterey Park apologizes for emergency alert message|
|Monterey Park apologized Wednesday for accidentally sending out an emergency alert to mobile devices.
The text alert by the city 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles led to a wave of confusion after it caused cellphones to buzz at 2:14 p.m. [Article]|
|by RUBEN VIVES, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Monterey Park emergency alert disrupts smartphones in L.A. County|
|MONTEREY PARK >> An alert sent to thousands of smartphones across Los Angeles County was a false alarm, but its loud, high-pitched siren still rattled and annoyed many on Wednesday afternoon.
The rogue alert was issued about 2:13 p.m. during a test of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System at the Monterey Park Emergency Operations Center, and “reached further than anticipated,” according to a news release from the city of Monterey Park. [Article]|
|by Adam Poulisse, Pasadena Star-News, Long Beach Press Telegram. 2013-12-05|
|National health survey underway in Los Angeles County|
|MONROVIA >> A national survey researching the health and nutrition of Americans will randomly select and medically examine more than 1,000 county residents over the next several months.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) began its local data collection this month and will continue until February.
The survey is conducted in 15 counties across the nation every year and examines approximately 5,000 people. [Article]|
|by JASON HENRY, San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2013-12-05|
|Antonovich Raises Concerns About Welfare Fraud In L.A. County|
|In response to ongoing social welfare fraud in Los Angeles County, Supervisor Michael Antonovich requested the Chief Executive Office and the Department of Public Social Services to submit a report on strategies to combat this fraud and the misuse of taxpayer dollars.
County officials have 30 days from Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting to report back to the board with their solutions.
Los Angeles County’s social welfare system provides more generous benefits than many other districts in the state, with possibly also a greater potential for fraud.
The county has lost millions of public welfare dollars, according to a press release from Antonovich’s office. [Article]|
|by ALLISON PARI, Los Angeles Daily News. 2013-12-05|
|Metro Blue Line service in downtown Long Beach resumes|
|Service on the Metro Blue Line in Long Beach resumed Wednesday after being halted for more than nine hours.
The train’s overhead power was damaged at 9th Street and Long Beach Boulevard about 5:20 a.m., forcing Metro to shut down trains in downtown Long Beach. [Article]|
|by SAMANTHA SCHAEFER and JOSEPH SERNA, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|20 LA Sheriff’s Department officers shed combined 640 pounds after department challenge|
|MONTEREY PARK >> Losing weight is something people generally save for the new year, but the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has started early.
Ten male and 10 female officers faced off at the Sheriff’s Department headquarters on Wednesday. In 10 weeks, the 20 officers lost a combined 640 pounds in Battle of the Badges, a men versus women competition similar to “The Biggest Loser” television show. The men lost a combined 384 pounds, about 130 pounds more than the women lost, thanks to the help of the weight-loss company Lindora. [Article]|
|by ZEN VUONG, Pasadena Star News. 2013-12-05|
|Pasadena moves to impose spay/neuter ordinance for pit bulls|
|PASADENA>> The city is moving forward with an ordinance to require all pit bulls to be spayed or neutered in the latest attempt by Councilman Steve Madison to reduce the presence in the city of what he says are dangerous animals. [Article]|
|by LAUREN GOLD, Los Angeles Daily News. 2013-12-05|
|California bullet train project handed another setback|
|In another key setback to the California bullet train project, federal regulators have rejected the state's request to exempt a large Central Valley segment of proposed track from a lengthy planning review.
The action affects part of a 29-mile rail section to be built near Fresno, where state officials have already awarded a construction contract. The decision is likely to complicate, delay and substantially drive up the cost on that initial $1-billion package of work. [Article]|
|by RALPH VARTABEDIAN, Los Angeles Times - Orange County Edition. 2013-12-05|
|Orange County Leads State in Deportation of Children|
|Armed with a report showing that Orange County overwhelmingly leads the state in the deportations of children, local activists marched on the streets of downtown Santa Ana on Wednesday and demanded that county probation officials stop referring minors to federal immigration authorities. [Article]|
|by NICK GERDA, Voice of OC. 2013-12-05|
|OC Leaders Discuss Challenges of Public Comment Sessions|
|Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait largely struck the right balance in handling hate speech hurled at a city councilman from the public comment dais earlier this year, concluded a panel of experts who gathered to discuss how public comment sessions should be handled. [Article]|
|by NORBERTO SANTANA Jr., Voice of OC. 2013-12-05|
|From videotape to digital dash cam|
|Costa Mesa police Sgt. Zack Hoferitza remembers when officers would sign out a videotape at the beginning of a shift, load it into a patrol car and hope there was enough space on the dash camera tape to record everything that might happen.
Soon, those Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, once almost synonymous with "police car," are going to be as outdated as the VCR.
On Tuesday, Hoferitza showed off two new models of the Interceptor that first hit Costa Mesa streets in September — complete with a digital dash cam that automatically and wirelessly uploads to a central server as soon as it's in range of the police station. [Article]|
|by Jeremiah Dobruck, Daily Pilot. 2013-12-05|
|Did Social Services spend funds well?|
|Why did the Department of Social Services fly three people to Sacramento, two of which were managers, to attend a two-hour meeting? Couldn’t one person have taken notes and gone alone or couldn’t they have attended by phone conferencing? — Concerned taxpayer, Brawley
The Probe writer is not alone in thinking that flying three county employees to Sacramento for a two-hour meeting could amount to wasteful spending. For that reason the department has a set of checks and balances in place that is used to ensure travel requests are justified, said Director Peggy Price. That said, there was no two-hour Sacramento meeting that three department employees had recently attended. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Imperial Valley Press. 2013-12-05|
|County mental health seeks extra staff|
|Amid a continued increasing demand for services, county mental health officials are seeking extra staff to alleviate pressure on emergency rooms, law enforcement and better serve wide-reaching rural areas. [Article]|
|by SHEA JOHNSON, Victorville Daily Press. 2013-12-05|