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Lawmakers propose expanding L.A. County Board of Supervisors from 5 to 7 members with one elected executive
A group of nine state lawmakers on Thursday introduced a bill that would seek to improve representation of people of color on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors by expanding it from five to seven members and creating a position of an elected county executive. State Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) is the lead author on the legislation that would put the matter of changing the state Constitution to a vote on the California ballot in June 2018. [Article]
by PATRICK McGREEVY, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
In Watts, foodie haven Locol cooks up a healthier lifestyle — and a new outlook
It was lunchtime Thursday, and the cooks at Locol had kicked into high gear. They quickly placed beef patties on the grill and scooped fries onto paper plates as the line at the front counter began to grow. Some customers were there for the $5 cheeseburger, while others opted for the $7 garden salad or turkey chili bowl. By 1 p.m., most of the chairs in the Watts restaurant were filled by people of seemingly all ages and ethnicity. Kmond Day, 42, and his childhood friend Reginald Queen, 57, sat on black and white wooden blocks in the middle of the food spot started a little more than a year ago by chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson. As R&B music blared in the background, the friends said Locol had changed their eating habits. [Article]
by MELISSA ETEHAD, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
California single-payer healthcare bill passes first committee test
sweeping measure that would establish government-run universal healthcare in California cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday as scores of supporters crammed into the Capitol to advocate for a single-payer system. The Senate Health Committee approved the measure on a 5-2 vote after a nearly three-hour hearing, but Democrats and Republicans alike signaled unease with the major question still unanswered in the legislation: how the program would be paid for. The bill, SB 562, would establish a publicly run healthcare plan that would cover everyone living in California, including those without legal immigration status. The proposal would drastically reduce the role of insurance companies: The state would pay for all medical expenses, including inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health and nursing home care. [Article]
by MELANIE MASON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
Trump order could open California coast, Arctic to new oil and gas drilling
President Trump on Friday is expected to sign an executive order that could open large parts of the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic oceans to new oil and gas drilling, a prospect that elicited a fierce backlash in California and elsewhere even before details of the order were clear. The move, which is certain to face legal and political challenges, could undo a plan finalized late in President Obama’s second term that sought to limit fossil fuel development and fight climate change by not including new drilling leases off the coast of California or Alaska during the current five-year federal offshore plan, which extends through 2022. [Article]
by WILLIAM YARDLEY and CHRIS MAGERIAN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
The fight against climate change in California gains an unlikely ally: Republicans
Stepping further into its role as the nation’s pioneer on climate issues, California might soon clear a hurdle that has long frustrated environmental advocates: Republicans say they’re joining the fight against global warming. Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley) and some of his colleagues are taking the unusual step of embracing the state’s complex regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pledging to work with Democrats at the same time President Trump rolls back national environmental policies. “Californians, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, are different from the rest of the country,” said Mayes, who represents parts of Riverside and San Bernardino counties. “What they’re doing back in Washington, D.C., is not what we’re going to be doing in California.” [Article]
by CHRIS MAGERIAN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
City of cars: Paying for public transport in Los Angeles
WHEN the Los Angeles transit authority extended a railway to link the city’s towering downtown to Santa Monica, a swanky seaside neighbourhood, last May, Angelenos rushed to experience it as if to glimpse a celebrity. For six decades, there had been no rail connection from the centre to the Westside beaches. So exciting was the concept that queues formed at 9.30am to catch the first train at noon. A year later Los Angeles is gearing up to build a rail link to the traffic-strangled International Airport, introduce new rapid-transit bus routes and extend subway lines, among other things. The ventures will be financed by money from Measure M, a ballot proposal passed handsomely last November to increase the sales tax by half a cent to pay for public transport. Growing congestion and reduced state and federal funding have spurred other cities to do the same: voters in Atlanta and Seattle also passed transit referendums in November. But they are dwarfed by the Los Angeles measure, which is expected to come into effect in July and collect a whopping $120bn for transport over the next 40 years. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Bloomberg News. 2017-04-28
 
Hey, LA County supervisors – this woman has her eyes on you: Dennis McCarthy
The bumper sticker on Genevieve Clavreul’s electric scooter tells you all you need to know about this straight​-​talking, no​-​nonsense 76-year-old retired nurse. “Don’t mess with me, I get paid to stab people with sharp objects.” For the last 18 years, Clavreul’s been surgically stabbing members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors with sharp objects every chance she gets - which is a lot considering she’s attended more meetings than the entire current board of supervisors combined. She’s the eyes and ears of the public who don’t have Tuesdays off to schlep downtown to keep an eye on the “five little kings,” as they’re called, who run things in L.A. County. [Article]
by DENNIS MCCARTHY, Los Angeles Daily News. 2017-04-28
 
Measure H spending proposals - Spreadsheets
Los Angeles County of­fi­cials have drawn up this pre­lim­in­ary three-year spend­ing plan for an es­tim­ated $355 mil­lion an­nu­ally to come from the Meas­ure H sales tax in­crease ap­proved by voters in March. A 50-mem­ber cit­izen plan­ning group is re­view­ing the plan and will make re­com­mend­a­tions May 10. The Board of Su­per­visors is sched­uled to con­sider it June 13. Amounts are shown in mil­lions of dol­lars. The code links the item to a de­tailed ex­plan­a­tion avail­able on the county’s Home­less Ini­ti­at­ive webpage. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
How some of the Supreme Court's conservative opinions may lead to a liberal victory on 'sanctuary' cities
Liberal sanctuary cities in California and elsewhere may well win their legal battle against President Trump thanks to Supreme Court rulings once heralded by conservatives, including a 2012 opinion that shielded red states from President Obama’s plans to expand Medicaid coverage for low-income Americans. On Tuesday, a federal judge in San Francisco temporarily blocked enforcement of Trump’s sanctuary city executive order, resting his ruling on high court decisions that protected states and localities from federal meddling. [Article]
by DAVID G. SAVAGE, Los Angeles Times. 2017-04-28
 
Without protest, locals pack El Monte immigration forum
EL MONTE >> Undeterred by protests at a similar event two weeks ago, locals filled the pews of Nativity Church Thursday night for an immigration forum hosted by the city. The purpose of forum was to provide residents with information about legal protections and resources for immigrants, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the naturalization process. Anti-illegal-immigrant protesters disrupted a similar information session in El Monte hosted by Congresswoman Grace Napolitano on April 14 at the city’s Grace T. Black Auditorium. [Article]
by CHRISTOPHER YEE, San Gabriel Valley Tribune. 2017-04-28
 
The world’s deadliest animal lives in your back yard
The blood-lusting killers attack in the darkest hours, after you’ve gone to bed or early in the morning. If they were zombies or vampires, you would fear them. But these killers, which are very real, don’t get the respect or caution they deserve. Consider this: Since 2014, these creatures have passed along the potentially deadly West Nile virus to 1,311 people in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. How would you react if that number were connected to the phrases “mountain lion attacks” or “shark bites?” [Article]
by KEITH SHARON, Daily Breeze. 2017-04-28
 
LA Waterfront Bike Share program expected to launch in summer
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved bringing the Metro Bike Share program to the LA Waterfront early this summer. The Los Angeles harbor commission in October had already approved the plan. The proposal calls for 120 bikes to be placed at 11 stations along the San Pedro and Wilmington waterfronts, including the Fanfare Fountain, Battleship Iowa, Downtown Harbor, Crafted, Ports O’ Call and Banning’s Landing. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Daily Breeze. 2017-04-28
 
Trump, NAFTA and the economic stakes for California
President Trump told reporters Thursday he had been planning to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement within days, but decided to try to renegotiate the agreement instead. The president held out the possibility of killing the trade deal later if the negotiations fail. While meeting with the president of Argentina, Trump told reporters, "I decided rather than terminating NAFTA, which would be a pretty big, you know, shock to the system, we will renegotiate. Now, if I'm unable to make a fair deal, if I'm unable to make a fair deal for the United States, meaning a fair deal for our workers and our companies, I will terminate NAFTA. But we're going to give renegotiation a good, strong shot." [Article]
by JIM KANE and MARK KATKOV, KPCC Southern CA Public Radio. 2017-04-28
 
Grand jury report faults management in O.C. jail escape
Serious management failures at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department helped three inmates charged with violent crimes escape from jail last year, according to a new report by the county grand jury. In a scathing assessment, grand jurors said key factors in the January 2016 escape included management not adequately training and supervising deputies at the jail, which allowed the guards to repeatedly violate security policies and procedures. [Article]
by NICK GERDA, Daily Pilot. 2017-04-28
 
Private donors pour millions into California politicians’ pet projects
‘Tis better to give than to receive, they say — especially when you’re giving someone else’s money. Since 2011, California public officials have steered more than $74.5 million of other people’s money to their favorite causes and charities, often donated by business and other entities hoping to influence elected leaders, demonstrate their stellar citizenship to the masses, or perhaps a bit of both. [Article]
by TERI SFORZA, Orange County Register. 2017-04-28
 
Funding for OC Human Relations Council stalls over concern about its entanglement with government partner
SANTA ANA — County supervisors have put on the back-burner a $250,000 request from the OC Human Relations Council to fund three staff positions, citing concerns about the entanglement and blurring of roles between the county’s Human Relations Commission, a public entity, and the council, a private nonprofit. Supervisors were scheduled to vote on the funding Tuesday, April 25, but Chairwoman Michelle Steel and Vice Chairman Andrew Do sent out a memo Friday deleting the item from the agenda because of the entanglement issues, and what she said were the council’s lack of compliance with open meeting laws and its failure to “meet Board directives.” [Article]
by DEEPA BHARATH, Orange County Register. 2017-04-28
 
Bad bugs to watch out for in Southern California
The wettest winter in a decade will mean one thing this summer — bugs. Mosquitoes and other disease-spreading insects could breed in record numbers over the next few months. Vector Control experts say these are some of the creatures to watch out for. [Article]
by KURT SNIBBE, Orange County Register. 2017-04-28
 
New report reveals drug and alcohol overdose deaths in Orange County are on the rise
The Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) released the “Drug and Alcohol Morbidity and Mortality in Orange County” report that provides a summary of the leading causes of substance-related overdoses in Orange County. Compiled in collaboration with the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner division, the report found that the overall rate of drug/alcohol overdose deaths in the county increased by 82% since 2000. [Article]
by PRESS RELEASE, OC Breeze. 2017-04-28
 
San Diego County Building Permits Down
The number of building permits issued in San Diego County in the first quarter of this year could suggest a slowdown in construction of new homes. The head of San Diego’s Building Industry Association warns this would make affordable housing even harder to find. Borre WInckel said 1,409 building permits were issued in the first three months of 2017 in San Diego. If you multiply that by four, a total of 5,636 new permits would be issued this year, considerably fewer than the 10,000 issued last year. [Article]
by ALISON St. JOHN, KPBS - San Diego. 2017-04-28
 
Kindergartner Vaccinations Rising In San Diego County After State Law Change
About 2,400 San Diego County kindergartners — in both public and private schools — began the 2016-2017 school year lacking one or more recommended vaccinations against diseases such as measles, polio and whooping cough, according to an inewsource analysis of state data. That figure represents about 5.3 percent of the county’s kindergarten students. And while one in 20 kindergartners lacking required vaccinations might seem high, it represents the lowest figure in at least 16 years. [Article]
by JOE YERARDI, KPBS - San Diego. 2017-04-28
 
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