|LA County unveils a 10-year plan to divert 75 percent of trash from landfills|
|The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a plan Tuesday to divert 75 percent of its trash from landfills by the year 2025.
Called a Roadmap to a Sustainable Waste Management Future, the plan's waste-reduction strategies includes building a plant to capture methane gas produced by decomposing food, lumber and yard waste - and turn it into compressed natural gas - which can power cars or facilities. Officials said this kind of organic waste comprises about 60 percent of area landfills. [Article]|
|by ANDREA GARDNER, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2014-10-22|
|L.A. County OKs contract to design new touch-screen voting system|
|Los Angeles County is moving to overhaul the way millions of residents vote by replacing the antiquated, ink-based balloting system with modern touch-screen machines.
Officials said the touch-screen system would be easier for voters to navigate and reduce the risk of errors in filling out and counting ballots. They hope to avoid the sometimes serious pitfalls other counties have run into while transitioning to new voting systems.
Elections officials — who serve about 4.8 ml registered voters scattered across 5K precincts — began planning for a new voting system five years ago.
The county's current system is known as InkaVote, and it requires voters to mark a paper ballot with their selections. [Article]|
|by ABBY SEWELL, Los Angeles Times. 2014-10-22|
|L.A. County supervisors finalize rule to break stalemate on labor commission|
|Los Angeles County supervisors gave final approval Tuesday to a proposal that would allow them to break an impasse between management and labor over the makeup of a commission that rules on disputes involving county workers.
A three-member commission had been stalemated, without a working majority to make decisions. Unions and management have been in a standoff since the supervisors changed the process for appointing commissioners last year.
Under the old process, labor and management had to agree on all three appointments. Under the new rules, each side could independently pick a commissioner but would have to agree on the third. Unions preferred the old system and mounted an unsuccessful bid to get the new process thrown out through state legislation. [Article]|
|by ABBY SEWELL, Los Angeles Times. 2014-10-22|
|On Location L.A. area sees surge in location shoots for TV shows|
|TV production continued to steal the show in the third quarter, as location shoots for television shows surged in the Los Angeles area.
Shoots for television programs on city and county streets jumped 31% in the period compared with the same time a year ago, generating 5,362 production days, according to newly released figures from FilmL.A. Inc. The surge comes as local feature film production continued to decline.
This marks the second consecutive quarter of growth in the television market and underscores L.A.'s growing reliance on the television industry as feature film work has migrated to other states and countries. Gov. Jerry Brown recently approved a bill that would triple annual funding for California's film incentive in an effort to keep more work from leaving the state.
There has been an industry-wide increase in TV programming in recent years that has brought a crop of new dramas to L.A., such as Steven Spielberg's sci-fi series for CBS, "Extant," starring Halle Berry; "Matador" for El Rey Network; and "Chasing Life" for ABC Family.
"While we are still trying to reclaim our share of television production, we're encouraged," FilmL.A. President Paul Audley said of the upswing in TV shoots. "With the new tax credit taking effect next July, we see strong potential for growth in local TV work ahead."
Eight series set to premiere this fall are filming in L.A., compared with five a year ago, according to FilmL.A. [Article]|
|by RICHARD VERRIER, Los Angeles Times. 2014-10-22|
|Seniors in Laguna Woods Village are craving medical marijuana|
|Inside Laguna Woods Village, retirees with stiff knees and failing eyesight make ready use of wellness centers and medical offices scattered throughout nearby strip malls.
Residents such as Peggiann "Benji" Johnson — a breast cancer patient experiencing the side effects of chemotherapy — say one more healthcare service is needed:
A marijuana dispensary.
As cities throughout California fight to limit cannabis outlets, residents and leaders in the south Orange County seniors-only village of around 16,400 have pushed for a pot shop and joined collectives by the hundreds.
The medicinal use of marijuana has been legal in California since 1996. But the fight over how and where it should be distributed is being waged in city halls and courthouses across the state.
At Laguna Woods Medical Cannabis, a customer checks out bottles of pot oil. Two to five drops under the tongue are prescribed to relieve certain ills.
Seniors stand as a potentially powerful voice in the debate that often is thought to be taking place among young adults, those who oppose government oversight, and people who believe the sale and distribution of pot is intrinsically linked with crime.
The retirees behind the gates of Laguna Woods are a blend of those born during the Great Depression and baby boomers from the Woodstock era, when marijuana was seen as a gateway to hard-core drug use and a catalyst for neighborhood decay. Even those who don't smoke pot typically say that as long as there are no problems, they don't mind what others do.
A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that half of baby boomers nationwide support marijuana legalization, as do 32% of those born the generation before, an increase that marks "a striking change" in opinion among an older population.
And as seniors — who make up the most reliable voting bloc in America — see others get on board with marijuana, they may be drawn to the cause for legalization, said Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at USC.
"If you're an older voter and the only pro-marijuana surrogates you see are 30 or 40 years younger than you are, that may have somewhat limited appeal," he said. "But hearing the same message from someone with whom you feel a common bond may be more persuasive." [Article]|
|by EMILY FOXHALL, Los Angeles Times. 2014-10-22|
|L.A. County supervisors expand reuse, recycle efforts|
|The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday set a goal of diverting 80 percent of waste from unincorporated communities away from landfills by 2025, equivalent to disposing no more than three pounds per person per day.
“I know we all look forward to when nothing is wasted,” Supervisor Don Knabe said.
To reach its goal, the county plans to expand reuse and recycling programs and focus on educating residents and businesses.
Specific initiatives to be considered, subject to future board approval, include: [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Pasadena Star News. 2014-10-22|
|County seeks kids who touched rabid bat|
|Public health officials are looking for several children believed to have handled a rabid bat outside a San Marcos restaurant Saturday.
Five unidentified children found the rabid flying animal under a tree in a courtyard 15 to 20 feet away from the Pizza Nova restaurant at 141 N. Twin Oaks Valley Road about 11 a.m. [Article]|
|by PAUL SISSON, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2014-10-22|
|San Bernardino County loosens food truck restrictions|
|SAN BERNARDINO >> Events with fewer than 100 attendees will no longer need permits to bring in a food truck, San Bernardino County supervisors unanimously decided Tuesday — and they said it might not be long before food trucks don’t require event permits at all.
Health permits will still be required, Planning Director Terri Rahal said, but until now San Bernardino County was the only one in California that didn’t allow food trucks to operate unless it was part of a permitted event. [Article]|
|by RYAN HAGEN, San Bernardino County Sun. 2014-10-22|
|Public Defender building work no longer in limbo|
|RIVERSIDE - Riverside County supervisors today approved a 2.49mln contract with a Buena Park firm to complete seismic renovations to the future headquarters of the Office of the Public Defender, now approaching its fifth year as a vacant office complex in downtown Riverside.
The agreement with Angeles Contractor Inc. specifies that the firm will do seismic retrofitting on the eight-story structure at 4075 Main St.
Angeles was selected by the county Economic Development Agency to pick up where Glendale-based AWI Builders left off. AWI was hired in February 2013 at a cost of more than 14 mln to replace most of the interior of the building, as well as take care of the retrofitting, which was deemed necessary after inspections uncovered cracks in the floors from past earthquakes. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Temecula Valley News. 2014-10-22|
|Supervisors delay decision on new policy to reduce liability claims|
|RIVERSIDE - To give absent members an opportunity to address the issue, the Board of Supervisors today postponed voting on new guidelines intended to reduce Riverside County's exposure to litigation and, therefore, save it some money.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries placed an item on the board's policy agenda titled "Administrative Protocol for Reducing Claims and Lawsuits Against County Agencies."
Although Jeffries expressed a desire to move forward with implementing the policy without delay, he was opposed by board Chairman Jeff Stone, who said he wanted Supervisors Marion Ashley and John Tavaglione present before a vote, in case either man wished to make comments. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Temecula Valley News. 2014-10-22|
|Imperial County Board of Supervisors approve building permit fee reductions and penalty waivers|
|Imperial County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of resolutions reducing fees and waiving penalties related to specific private home improvementsduring their weekly meeting Tuesday morning.
Fees associated with the “maintenance, repair and rehabilitation of existing residential structures” will see a reduction of 50 percent, while any fines or penalties incurred through unpermitted repair or rehabilitation workconducted prior to Oct. 21, 2014, will be waived through a 15-month amnesty program, sunsetting on Dec. 31, 2015. [Article]|
|by HERIC RUBIO, Imperial Valley Press. 2014-10-22|
|Opposition to renewable energy brews in Imperial Valley|
|Renewable energy development could disrupt productive farmland and kill agriculture jobs in the Imperial Valley, farmers and conservationists argued at a public meeting on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.
Unprecedented in scope and scale, the plan lays the ground rules for the next quarter-century of solar, wind and geothermal development across 22.5 mln acres of California desert. In Imperial County, it could open more than 700K acres to solar and geothermal development — largely on disturbed private land — while designating nearly 900K new acres for conservation. [Article]|
|by SAMMY ROTH, Desert Sun. 2014-10-22|
|EDITORIAL: Sobering lessons from pot prohibition|
|The proliferation of marijuana growing operations in Riverside County will not, and cannot, be stamped out with whatever regulations and minor penalties the Board of Supervisors come up with. The more than four decades of federal and international efforts to eradicate the alleged scourge of marijuana has demonstrated prohibition to be a doomed solution to an ambiguous problem.
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries has indicated a concern with the hundreds of growing operations identified in the county. There is speculation that at least some of them may be connected to Mexican drug cartels. As the Press-Enterprise reported, this concern has yet to be supported by any evidence. [Article]|
|by EDITORIAL, Riverside Press-Enterprise. 2014-10-22|
|Supervisors ponder road improvements|
|An Avenue 152 (West Olive Avenue) safety improvement project and a project to improve 57 controlled intersections in the county will be discussed at today’s Tulare County Board of Supervisors meeting.
The proposed safety improvement area runs on Avenue 152 and Westwood Street out to Highway 99. The improvements being considered are a result of a county-wide traffic analyses by the county’s Resource Management Agency that identified the area as having a history of collisions.
Improvements will include upgrades to traffic signals; and the installation of left-hand turn lanes, center- and edge-line rumble strips, and oversized stop signs. Improved traffic striping and markings, minor improvements to the road surface at intersections, and improved advanced-warning devices are also planned. [Article]|
|by KELLI BALLARD, Recorder Online. 2014-10-22|
|County kicks off No Flu for You campaign|
|Tulare County officials are urging residents to get their flu vaccinations early this year.
Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing influenza, and getting vaccinated helps prevent people from spreading the flu to family members, friends, and co-workers, according to Health and Human Services officials. For those at high risk for complicated influenza, vaccination could be lifesaving. [Article]|
|by ERIC WOOMER, Tulare Advance-Register. 2014-10-22|
|New quarantine area in Kern for citrus pest|
|A new extended quarantine zone south of Bakersfield was mandated Tuesday by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, 12 days after an adult Asian citrus psyllid was found in a trap.
The quarantine zone overlaps an earlier 113-square-mile quarantine and treatment program in the Pumpkin Center area, adding another 35 square miles.
It is bordered on the north by New Stine Road, on the east by South Vineland Road, on the south by Millux Road and on the west by Interstate 5.
The Asian citrus psyllid, a winged, 1/8th-inch-long insect resembling a moth, was found Oct. 9 in a trap east of Highway 99 and south of Panama Lane. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Bakersfield Californian. 2014-10-22|
|Kern County leads southern valley in assessed property value growth|
|BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The recovering real estate market helped fuel assessed property value growth of 5.9 percent in Kern County, according to Second District Board of Equalization Member George Runner.
The figures released Wednesday show a statewide increase of 6.1 percent to 4.918 trln for 2014-15. That marks the fourth straight year of an increase. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Bakersfield Now. 2014-10-22|
|DUI probationers to be supervised|
|The Tulare County Probation Department has been awarded a traffic safety grant for a year-long program aimed at preventing deaths and injuries resulting from driving under the influence (DUI).
The 75K Intensive Probation Supervision for High-Risk Felony and Repeat DUI Offenders grant awarded by the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) to Tulare County will aid in the county’s ongoing effort to improve traffic safety and quality of life.
Special probation supervision measures will target high-risk, felony and repeat DUI offenders in Tulare County. The Probation Department will also work with other local law enforcement agencies on anti-DUI efforts as part of an ongoing commitment to keep roadways safe through enforcement and education. [Article]|
|by STAFF REPORT, Recorder Online. 2014-10-22|
|State water bond really is in Valley’s best interest|
|Turlock Irrigation District Director Rob Santos describes his opposition to Proposition 1 (“Here’s why I can’t vote for Brown’s water bond,” Page D1, Oct. 19), the state water bond, as selfish.
It is better defined as shortsighted.
California’s population has increased by 67 percent since the 1970s, when the last significant increases in surface water storage facilities were approved by state or federal authorities. In the 40 years since, our state and federal storage capacity has increased by only 1 percent.
There is no pathway to providing sufficient water for our agricultural, domestic and recreational needs without significant increases in water storage. That is what Proposition 1 provides.
Proposition 1 will provide more than 7 bln for new surface and groundwater storage projects, regional water reliability, sustainable groundwater management and cleanup, water recycling and safe drinking water.
It is long overdue. [Article]|
|by ANTHONY CANNELLA AND ADAM GRAY / OPINION, Modesto Bee. 2014-10-22|
|Supervisors get update on North County Corridor|
|Stanislaus County supervisors received an update on the North County Corridor expressway and related environmental work that should be completed next year.
A consultant and staff members with the project’s Joint Powers Authority have worked on environmental field studies this year. The California Department of Transportation needs to review the reports before a draft environmental study is released in the spring.
The JPA plans to hold public meetings in summer of 2015 to see if residents in Oakdale, Riverbank and the county area can reach a consensus on the best alignment for the traffic corridor. The expressway north of Modesto would link Highway 99 near Salida with Highway 108 somewhere east of Oakdale. [Article]|
|by KEN CARLSON, Modesto Bee. 2014-10-22|