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UCLA faculty voice: L.A. can’t follow California’s lead on water conservation
Mark Gold is the associate vice chancellor for environment and sustainability at UCLA and a director on the Metropolitan Water District Board representing Los Angeles. This op-ed appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Last month, California’s Water Resources Control Board took the easy way out on water conservation. In 2015, California nearly met Governor Brown’s mandatory water conservation goal of 25 percent thanks to transparent monthly reporting and identifying profligate water wasters. The water board even fined a few of the worst water hogs to demonstrate how serious it was about getting urban Californians to live within their water means.  Then, despite the fact that numerous reservoirs in Central California are already nearly empty, and that our “strongest El Niño on record” turned into just an average precipitation and snowfall year in northern California, the state evidently decided that California survived its ongoing water crisis. Meanwhile, the five-year drought continues, with Los Angeles receiving less than 39 inches of rain over that time period: less than 8 inches annually. [Article]
by MARK GOLD, UC Riverside News Press. 2016-09-27
 
America's largest jail: By the numbers - CNN.com
(CNN)Here's one thing you may not think about when landing at Los Angeles International Airport: Just 11 miles away sits the biggest jail system in America. With an inmate population the size of a private college and a budget just north of $700 million, the L.A. County Jail is as sprawling and as complex as Los Angeles itself. The institution -- recovering from a massive inmate abuse scandal in 2011 -- is one of roughly 2,750 jail jurisdictions across the United States. In midyear 2014, approximately 744,600 people were held in jails nationwide, according to the Department of Justice, most of them facing criminal charges and awaiting their fate in the court system. [Article]
by BREEANNA HARE and LISA ROSE, California Watch. 2016-09-27
 
As Wildfire Risk Grows in the West, So Does Home Building
Along a scrubby mountain range on the northern rim of Los Angeles, a developer is planning to build a 188-unit luxury community in one of the state’s highest-risk wildfire zones. In the hills of San Diego County, 150 miles to the south, builders are planning a project featuring more than 1,800 homes, 20,000 square feet of commercial space and a hotel on land scorched during one of the most destructive wildfire seasons in California’s... [Article]
by CHRIS KIRKHAM, Wall Street Journal. 2016-09-27
 
Drone landing pads, voice commands: See the house of 2050
The homeowner of 2050 won’t park her car in the garage after returning from work. Because of Uber and Lyft, she doesn’t need a car, and there’s no garage either. Instead, the owner will stroll directly to the front door, touch an app on her smartphone and say, “Arrived.” The door unlocks. The lights come on. The air conditioning starts to whirl. And the stereo launches a favorite playlist. The house of the future is taking shape today at a factory in Cypress, the brainchild of Los Angeles-based KB Home, Irvine-based KTGY Architecture, and Washington-based Builder Magazine. [Article]
by JEFF COLLINS, Orange County Register. 2016-09-27
 
There’s a Lot to Like: Yes on Measure M
STREETSBLOG LA ENDORSES-There is a lot to like about Measure M, the Los Angeles County sales tax that would fund a mix of transit and other transportation projects throughout the county. For all of the transit, mobility, walkability, bikeability benefits – not to mention health, environmental, and job benefits – across the region, Streetsblog Los Angeles endorses Measure M.  [Article]
by EDITORIAL, CityWatchLA.com. 2016-09-27
 
Why are fewer pit bulls ending up in L.A. animal shelters? | The Eastsider LA
LINCOLN HEIGHTS — During the past five years there has been a significant drop in the number of pit bulls being taken into city animal shelters.  For example,  790 pit bulls and pit bull mixes arrived at the North Central Animal Shelter in Lincoln Heights during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. That’s down more than 40% from the 1,351 pit bulls taken in five years ago, according to L.A. Animal Services statistics. What explains the drop? Apparently changing attitudes about the breed might explain part of the decline. [Article]
by JACQUELINE FERNANDE, . 2016-09-27
 
California is cracking down to prevent illegal fishing off the coast
California is embarking on a new effort to shield ocean waters from overfishing. Law-enforcement officials have embraced a statewide ticketing system aimed at poachers and unwitting anglers who illegally catch bass, yellowtail, lobsters and other types of marine life within these zones, which are commonly called MPAs. California’s continued push to police its network of underwater state parks comes as government officials and scientific leaders from around the world gathered in Washington, D.C., last week for a conference on a wide range of marine issues, including climate change, pollution and restoring diversity of sea life.   Initially spearheaded by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014, the Our Ocean conference has since drawn commitments to expand or form new preservation zones in sensitive ocean habitats from more than a dozen countries, including Morocco, Thailand and Canada, as well as the European Union and the United Kingdom. Most recently, the Obama administration expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument off the coast of Hawaii — now the world’s largest marine protected area.   [Article]
by JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH , Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-27
 
How Latino voters and legislators are changing California politics
California Latinos are helping to ensure a Democratic majority in the state’s Legislature, but they are hardly a politically monolithic group. The range of their political positions creates a complicated picture of both progressive and centrist influence on state politics. As the number of Latino legislators and voters grows, they will add to the shades of blue that dominate California’s political landscape. Latinos now constitute nearly 40% of California’s population, surpassing the white, non-Latino population. Yet they make up only 20% of the Legislature, and at the local level their numbers are even less representative of their share in the population: Statewide, Latinos make up roughly 10% of county supervisors and 15% of city council members, according to the Leadership California Institute. Still, Latinos have achieved an unprecedented ability to influence state politics. Their legislative power is boosted by their concentration on the Democratic side of the aisle. Twenty-two out of 24 Latino legislative members are Democrats. Last year, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León became the first Latino to lead the Senate in over a century. And with the March appointment of Anthony Rendón, a Democrat representing California's 63rd Assembly District, as speaker of the Assembly, Latinos of Mexican descent now lead the state’s two legislative bodies. [Article]
by MINDY ROMERO, Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-27
 
Gov. Brown signs bills to curb gun thefts from police cars, speed up confiscation of firearms from felons
Capping a year of major gun control legislation in California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a raft of bills including one addressing a series of killings involving firearms stolen from law enforcement vehicles. Brown signed SB 869, which Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Leandro) introduced in response to an incident in which a gun stolen from the car of a federal Bureau of Land Management ranger was used to kill a 32-year-old woman on San Francisco’s Pier 14. Hill noted that two months later, a gun stolen from the car of a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer was used to kill a 27-year-old muralist as he worked in Oakland. The new law requires law enforcement officers and concealed weapon permit holders who leave firearms in their cars to lock them in a safe box or in the trunk. [Article]
by PATRICK McGREEVY, Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-27
 
Californians can now act to save dogs from hot cars
Gov. Jerry Brown on Saturday signed into law a measure allowing Californians to break into vehicles to rescue animals if they appear to be in danger from excessive heat.  The bill by Assemblyman  Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga), Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) and others was introduced after a series of incidents in which dogs died after being left in closed cars on hot days. "We're very excited about the lives this new law will save," Steinorth said in a statement Saturday on Facebook. "Thank you to everyone who helped us raise awareness of this serious issue and showed their support." Under AB 797, a citizen must first call law enforcement to report a situation in which he or she believes an animal to be in peril. [Article]
by PATRICK McGREEVY, Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-27
 
O.C. supervisor hires Irvine councilman who recently threatened to sue county
An Irvine councilman who recently threatened to sue Orange County over a Great Park land development will soon start work as County Supervisor Todd Spitzer’s public-policy adviser, causing other city council members to complain the arrangement will present a substantial conflict of interest. Irvine City Councilman Jeff Lalloway – who Spitzer said on Monday he hired under a one-year, $169,000 contract – said city lawyers told him there is no conflict of interest, in part because his agreement stipulates he will be walled-off from Irvine issues during his county work. “Supervisor Spitzer hears issues from all over the county, and those are the issues I’m being asked to help with,” Lalloway said. [Article]
by JORDAN GRAHAM, Orange County Register. 2016-09-27
 
Transitional Center for Civic Center homeless readied for opening
Two contracts for the operation of a round-the-clock transitional center with emergency shelter beds and enhanced services will be considered Tuesday by the Orange County Board of Supervisors for the former Santa Ana Transit Terminal, which has been renamed “The Courtyard.” The plan to use the former terminal was proposed by Supervisor Andrew Do at a special Board meeting earlier this month, with a directive to open the center within 30 days providing access to showers, food programs, storage and comprehensive service referrals. Public restrooms have been available at the former bus terminal since 2009; in August, the County installed additional portable toilets. [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, Daily Breeze. 2016-09-27
 
Border Report: The ‘Crisis of Migration’ at Our Doorstep
Although the wave of people seeking asylum, refuge, or humanitarian parole in the United States continues unabated, the United States has announced that it will resume deportations of Haitians, six years after suspending them when an earthquake devastated Haiti’s infrastructure in 2010. That will have an immediate effect on how Haitians appearing at the San Ysidro Port of Entry — and every other — will be processed: As of last week, they will be detained and processed under “expedited removal,” also known as the rocket docket, without an appearance before an immigration judge. [Article]
by BROOKE BINKOWSKI, Voice of San Diego. 2016-09-27
 
Tax bills show increased growth, but slower rate
Last week San Diego’s tax collector sent out nearly 1 million bills in an attempt to collect nearly $5.7 billion in property tax revenue. That’s a record figure, but the rate of growth in the county has slowed. Dan McAllister, the county’s treasurer-tax collector, put 989,089 annual secured property tax bills in the mail, and if everyone pays their share, the county will receive $5,662,765,208 in revenue, a 5.42 percent increase compared to last year. It’s the largest number of bills the county has send out as well as the most revenue it has attempted to collect, the tax office said. The number of bills mailed increased by 0.226 percent from last year, and the assessed value of properties is growing faster than the number of properties assessed. The jump is due to the county’s housing situation, McAllister said. “With high demand and a limited supply, the price of housing is on the rise in the county, which means property taxes are also up,” McAllister said in a statement. [Article]
by JOSHUA STEWART, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2016-09-27
 
San Bernardino County supervisors to consider rave task force
In an effort to crack down on unruly conduct, heavy traffic and noise levels associated with raves at the San Manuel Amphitheater in Devore, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today will consider forming an Electronic Dance Music Task Force. Supervisor Janice Rutherford, in response to more than 100 resident complaints, proposed terminating the county’s contract with Live Nation to host the Nocturnal Wonderland rave and its sister events, which have been held annually at the amphitheater since the county entered into a 3-year contract with Live Nation in 2013. But Rutherford’s proposal failed in June due to lack of board consensus. [Article]
by JOE NELSON, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-09-27
 
The battle over a rock fest that Joshua Tree locals say will rattle wildlife and the desert town's chill vibe
This high desert enclave has long been a refuge for nature lovers, artists, seekers and misfits of every stripe, drawn as if by a magnetic vortex to its otherworldly landscape of weather-sculpted rocks and forests of the spindly icon for which the reputedly chill town is named. In recent months, though, Joshua Tree’s peace has been shattered as neighbors have been at each other’s throats over a local meditation retreat’s plan to jump on the desert music festival bandwagon — a decision its director this week said she would reverse, after the organization’s Desert Daze concert in October. Nestled on a 400-acre spread along California 62, about 30 miles north of Palm Springs, the Institute of Mentalphysics has, since 1941, focused on teaching a combination of breathing techniques and spiritual awareness that its website calls “the science of the future” and a “Super Yoga.”  In March, however, the institute surprised the community by hosting its first rock festival. The sound from that event, neighbors say, rattled windows and the lighting effects illuminated mountains miles away. [Article]
by LOUIS SAHAGUN, Los Angeles Times. 2016-09-27
 
Prop. 47: 'Reckless experiment' or hope for criminal justice reform?
Nearly two years after a state law passed that turned some serious drug offenses into minor ones, a new study has stirred up renewed discussion on whether the measure is working. Voters gave Prop. 47 the nod in November 2014, mandating that six low-level property and drug offenses would be reclassified from felonies to misdemeanors. From Los Angeles to the Inland Empire, it meant that felons got resentenced. Many received reduced time. And some were simply released for time already served. The idea was popular at the time. The goal: Decrease bloated jail populations and use the savings from incarcerating low-level “felons” to fund rehabilitation programs and supportive housing to help addicts. [Article]
by SUSAN ABRAM, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-09-27
 
Cluster of earthquakes rattle Salton Sea (UPDATE)
A cluster of earthquake struck in the Salton Sea area just south of the Riverside County line Monday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. More than two dozen temblors with magnitudes between 2.5 and 4.3 struck in the Salton Sea in northern Imperial County. The area is about 40 miles southeast of Indio and sits along the San Andreas fault line. [Article]
by ANNE MILLERBERND, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2016-09-27
 
Kern County supervisors approve temporary Erskine Fire housing
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The Kern County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the use of temporary federal shelter for Erskine Fire victims. State and county emergency services officials worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to secure around 70 units of the manufactured housing. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Bakersfield Now. 2016-09-27
 
Experts educate public on effects of marijuana
Hundreds gathered Saturday for the Central Valley Marijuana Awareness Conference at the Tulare County Office of Education in Visalia to learn more about marijuana and the negative effects it can have on those who use it. Among those who spoke were Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims and marijuana expert Dr. Kevin Sabet. The Tulare County Prevention Coalition, the Tulare County Office of Education and California Friday Night Live - the only mandated prevention program by the state of California - sponsored the town hall meeting in partnership with the Tulare County Health and Human Services department. [Article]
by MYLES BARKER, Recorder Online. 2016-09-27
 
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