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California adds jobs in July, but LA County and Inland Empire post losses
Despite numbers moving the opposite direction in Los Angeles County and the Inland Empires, California employers added 82,600 jobs in July and the region’s year-over-year gain of 276,400 jobs was the second largest in the nation, according to figures released Friday. The Golden State landed second only to Texas, which added 293,400 jobs over the past 12 months. Florida ranked third with 226,200 jobs added, followed by New York (138,100) and Georgia (96,200). California’s employment boost in July was especially welcome on the heels of the previous month’s loss of 1,400 jobs; the state’s yearly employment gain outpaced June’s annual increase of 261,400 jobs. [Article]
by KEVIN SMITH, Pasadena Star News. 2017-08-18
 
Group files another 'Calexit' initiative in push for California's independence
A new ballot initiative was submitted to state officials Thursday advocating for a federal constitutional convention that could lead to California's independence. The measure, similar to one already in circulation that is pushing for California's secession from the union, would require the state Legislature to ask Congress to establish a new constitutional convention. [Article]
by LIAM DILLON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
After Virginia violence, far right and white nationalists turn to a familiar target: California
When far-right activist Kyle Chapman took to Facebook last week urging followers to attend upcoming rallies in the Bay Area, he was downright gleeful about taking the fight to the celebrated liberal bastion. “Talk about kicking the hornets nest! This is sure to be barn burner,” wrote Chapman, who became a hero to the extreme-right and earned the nickname “Based Stickman” when he battled counter-protesters armed with a shield and staff earlier this year. “Let’s show these intolerant Communist we will not be silenced or intimidated!” Left-leaning, multicultural California might not seem like an ideal place for the extreme-right and white-nationalist groups to make a stand. But the movement has increasingly targeted the state in recent years, with optics as much as membership in mind. Seeking media attention and validation for their “us vs. the world” narrative, far-right activists find desired attention and conflict in California, leading to clashes that often end in blood and bruises, experts say. [Article]
by JAMES QUEALLY and PAIGE St. JOHN, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
Tensions grow inside ACLU over defending free-speech rights for the far right
It was 1934 and fascism was on the march not only in Europe but in America. People who admired Adolf Hitler, who had taken power in Germany, formed Nazi organizations in the United States. The American Civil Liberties Union, represented by lawyers who were Jewish, faced an existential question: Should the freedoms it stood for since its founding in 1920 apply even to racist groups that would like nothing more than to strip them away? Ultimately, after much internal dissent, the ACLU decided: Yes, the principles were what mattered most. The ACLU would stand up for the free-speech rights of Nazis. “We do not choose our clients,” the ACLU’s board of directors wrote in an October 1934 pamphlet called “Shall We Defend Free Speech for Nazis In America?” “Lawless authorities denying their rights choose them for us. To those who support suppressing propaganda they hate, we ask — where do you draw the line?” [Article]
by MATT PEARCE, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
Pasadena police's handling of drug overdose in USC dean's hotel room sparks debate
Facing criticism over his department’s handling of a drug overdose involving the then-dean of USC’s medical school, Pasadena’s police chief this week issued a directive reminding officers they must promptly file reports on overdose investigations. Chief Phillip L. Sanchez made the move while acknowledging that the department erred by not immediately writing a report when police responded last year to a young woman’s overdose in a hotel room registered to the dean, Dr. Carmen Puliafito. The responding officer did not file a report on the incident until three months later, after a Times reporter repeatedly sought information. The woman who overdosed, Sarah Warren, then 21, said police never interviewed her. The Pasadena Police Department’s handling of the March 4, 2016, incident sparked controversy after The Times reported last month that Puliafito used drugs and partied with a group of criminals, prostitutes and addicts during his tenure as dean. Warren’s overdose at the Hotel Constance occurred three weeks before Puliafito, 66, resigned from his post at the Keck School of Medicine. USC kept him on the medical school faculty and allowed him to accept new patients. [Article]
by MATT HAMILTON and PAUL PRINGLE, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
Billions in new spending for housing, water, parks and more could be on the 2018 ballot
Californians could vote on billions of dollars in new spending for low-income housing developments and water and parks improvements next year. Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers are considering five proposals that would finance new homes for low-income residents, build parks in neighborhoods without them and restore rivers, streams and creeks among dozens of other projects. The Legislature is likely to decide how much money would be borrowed and where it would be spent before it adjourns for the year in mid-September — a debate that legislative leaders say is pressing. “We know that housing is such a major crisis up and down the state of California,” Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said. “The issue of aging infrastructure goes hand in hand. We need to strike while the iron is hot.” Voters have long backed bond financing, which allows the state immediately to spend more money than is otherwise available and pay back the debt with interest over time. Over the last four decades, California voters have approved $164 billion in bond spending while only rejecting $18 billion, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. [Article]
by LIAM DILLON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
State Senate bills aim to make homes more affordable, but they won't spur nearly enough construction
Last month, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders promised in a joint statement to pass a package of bills that “will help ensure Californians won’t have to pay an arm and a leg to have a roof over their head.” But the measures now contemplated to alleviate the state’s affordability crisis will not make much of a dent in California’s housing needs, according to analyses from state officials and housing groups. Even if high-profile housing bills pass, the state would need to find at least an additional $10 billion every year for new construction just to help Californians most burdened by high rents. The three marquee measures under consideration — Senate Bills 2, 3 and 35 — aim to increase funding for low-income housing projects and ease development regulations. The measures are unlikely to help spur enough home building in general. Development would still fall short by tens of thousands of new homes needed annually just to keep pace with projected population growth. [Article]
by LIAM DILLON, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
Redondo Beach adopts temporary ban on controversial mixed-use projects
After years of mounting opposition to dense housing and retail projects in south Redondo Beach, city leaders have slapped a temporary ban on mixed-use development that could be extended up to two years. The 45-day moratorium was approved unanimously Tuesday by the City Council, earning a standing ovation from activists who have been fighting a trend they fear will dramatically reshape their neighborhoods. It was first considered by the previous council nearly two years ago amid public outcry over projects on Pacific Coast Highway, such as Sea Breeze and Legado. But the panel decided to hold off until making headway on updating the city’s mixed-use guidelines in its General Plan. [Article]
by MEGAN BARNES, Daily Breeze. 2017-08-18
 
California police killed 157 people last year — more than a third of them in L.A. County — report says
California's attorney general says 157 people died during encounters with police in the state last year — and more than a third of those deaths occurred in L.A. County. A report released Thursday by state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra marks the first time California has publicly released statewide statistics on police use of force. The report said there were 782 incidents in 2016 in which a police officer either used force that resulted in serious injury or death, or fired their weapon. And more than a quarter of those incidents happened in L.A. County, with the vast majority involving either the Los Angeles Police Department or the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department. (The Long Beach Police Department was the only other agency in double digits: 21.) [Article]
by ASSOCIATED PRESS, Los Angeles Times. 2017-08-18
 
Los Angeles County seeing sharp rise in West Nile cases
Los Angeles County is seeing a rise in West Nile virus cases, and many of the people infected live in the San Fernando Valley. So far in 2017, 22 people have tested positive county-wide -- that's higher than the average over the past five years. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, KABC Los Angeles ABC 7 News. 2017-08-18
 
County Launches Survey to Get Input for Age-Friendly Action Plan
LOS ANGELES COUNTY  – Residents can help the City and County of Los Angeles prepare for the region’s rapidly aging population by completing a 20-minute, online survey, it was announced Monday. “The older adult population (65 years and above) in the Los Angeles region will double between 2010 and 2030, from approximately 1.1 million to more than 2.2 million people,” according to the announcement from Purposeful Aging Los Angeles (PALA) – an Age-Friendly Initiative working to develop the region’s 2018-2021 Age-Friendly Action Plan. [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, LA Weekly. 2017-08-18
 
Time to end injustice in juvenile justice system
Maria Rivera was a single mother raising two boys in Orange County when her youngest got into trouble. In 2008, he became one of tens of thousands of youth — disproportionately black and brown — who are referred annually into the state’s juvenile justice system, where he spent more than a year in detention. Then came the bills. Ms. Rivera was charged $23.90 for every day her son was detained and $2,200 for his court-appointed lawyer. All told, Orange County said she owed more than $16,000. State law authorizes counties to charge families administrative fees for children’s detention, lawyers, supervision and electronic monitoring. The fees are supposed to help counties recoup some of their costs, but they are also required to determine whether families can afford to pay the fees. [Article]
by JEFFREY SELVIN and ABBYE ATKINSON, Orange County Register. 2017-08-18
 
Dana Point creates task force to take on ‘exploding’ homeless issue
DANA POINT In the wake of complaints from dozens of residents about the homeless setting up camp on private property,  the city has created a task force to take on the problem. The City Council on Tuesday night decide to put together a Homeless Task Force that will represent specific groups in the community and work toward a goal of reducing or eliminating homelessness in Dana Point. The group will be made up of representatives from varyious community groups, including the City Council and Planning Commission, Dana Point Chamber of Commerce, County of Orange, California State Parks, Dana Point Harbor Merchant’s Association and South Coast Water District, officials said. [Article]
by ERIKA I. RITCHIE, Orange County Register. 2017-08-18
 
County Rejects DA Investigators’ Corruption Claims, Setting Stage for Court Battle
Orange County officials have officially rejected legal claims filed by two District Attorney investigators who alleged high-level corruption at the DA’s office, setting the stage for a lawsuit that will put the matter before the courts. Investigators Tom Conklin and Abraham Santos allege they were whistle-blowers who faced retaliation after reporting misconduct within the office to higher-ups. Among their allegations is that a high-ranking prosecutor said the DA’s office wouldn’t look into an alleged cover-up of a former Fullerton City Manager’s drunk driving because the prosecutor and the then-Fullerton police chief are friends. [Article]
by NICK GERDA, Voice of OC. 2017-08-18
 
Navy Mayor: 15,000 sailors and families coming to San Diego, housing crunch looms
By 2025, the U.S. Navy will add 20 more warships and 15,000 sailors — plus their families — to a San Diego region already reeling from high home prices and rents, forcing the community to work together to find solutions, the “Navy Mayor” said Wednesday. Speaking before the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s monthly breakfast session at Naval Base Point Loma, Rear Adm. Yancy “Lurch” Lindsey, the commander of Navy Region Southwest, urged political, economic and uniformed leaders to forge creative solutions to accommodate a rise in military staffing as defense strategists pivot their focus to the Pacific Rim. “There are a lot of challenges that come with that, and that’s only part of the growth,” Lindsey said. The number of vessels and sailors arriving here could grow even higher. Currently the Navy homeports 52 ships in San Diego and Coronado. Lindsey’s projections are based on previous plans to build a 305-ship Navy. Both President Donald Trump and lawmakers have pushed for a 350-ship force to be deployed over the next three decades. [Article]
by CARL PRINE, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-08-18
 
Nonprofit launches "Savings Calculator" for homeowners considering solar panels
Homeowners in San Diego County have a new tool when considering the costs and benefits of installing rooftop solar panels. The local nonprofit Center for Sustainable Energy launched a web page this week that allows residents to see how much they could save on their electrical bills based on a number of factors. The web-based “Solar Savings Calculator” is intended to inform consumers who are considering whether to contract with a particular installation company, said Christina Machak, senior research analyst for the center. “The value proposition for solar depends on lowering a homeowner’s monthly electricity bills,” she said. “The calculator gives a household-specific look at what homeowners can shave off their monthly utility bills in actual energy and dollar savings.” [Article]
by JOSHUA EMERSON SMITH, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-08-18
 
Some area shelters waive pet adoption fee
County Animal Services along with a number of local shelters are waiving pet adoption fees Aug. 19 as part of Clear the Shelters adoption drive, an effort to get as many pets as possible into permanent homes. More than 300 animals are currently up for adoption at the County’s three animal care facilities in Carlsbad, Bonita and central San Diego. Animals include dogs, cats and rabbits along with some chickens, turtles and guinea pigs. In addition, about a dozen other shelters are participating throughout San Diego County Dogs and cats will be altered, vaccinated and microchipped; rabbits will be altered and microchipped, all at no cost to the adopter. [Article]
by LINDA McINTOSH, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-08-18
 
Local nonprofit educates children, families
A community-based nonprofit in Bonita recently transformed the outdoor space at one of its three preschools, extending the learning environment from inside the classroom to outside. Child Development Associates currently operates three state-subsidized full-day preschool centers in the county: in west Chula Vista, south San Diego and most recently in National City. All of them provide children from low-income families access to early education, free or reduced childcare and meals. On July 27 local business leaders, elected officials and members of the community celebrated the opening of its brand new playground, completely transformed into an outdoor learning environment. [Article]
by ALLISON SAMPITE - MONTECALVO, San Diego Union-Tribune. 2017-08-18
 
Bloomington residents take anti-warehouse message to county commission
BLOOMINGTON >> Residents of this unincorporated community brought San Bernardino County Planning Commissioners a message Thursday: Don’t approve any more warehouses. “We like our rural lifestyle,” said Thomas Rocha, one of the community’s anti-warehouse organizers. More than a few community members have been focused on the warehouse issue after it became generally known this summer that on May 2, San Bernardino County Supervisors approved a nearly 680,000-square-foot warehouse not far from an elementary school. Construction has not started, residents say. Despite the fact that San Bernardino County officials conducted a public meeting on this proposal, and that it had been the subject of several meetings at the Bloomington Municipal Advisory Council, some Bloomington residents said they were unaware of the warehouse threat until relatively recently. At least two other warehouse projects are at various stages of development in Bloomington. “I love it here,” said Ana Carlos, a six-year resident of Bloomington and mother of two children in elementary school. [Article]
by JIM STEINBERG, San Bernardino County Sun. 2017-08-18
 
Supervisors fund D.A.’s Human Trafficking, Animal Cruelty units
(STAFF REPORTS) The Board of Supervisors has allocated $1.1 million in supplemental funding for high-priority District Attorney programs that will tackle human trafficking, animal cruelty and other programs, Board Chairman Robert A. Lovingood announced. “I thank District Attorney Mike Ramos and his team for prioritizing human trafficking, which is nothing less than modern-day slavery and is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “I also applaud the D.A. for his ongoing fiscal responsibility.” [Article]
by STAFF REPORT, Victorville Daily Press. 2017-08-18
 
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